Where Are The Workers? Nine Innovative Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Good Employees

We went to Branson, Missouri, to celebrate our 32nd anniversary. When we checked into our beautiful resort and arrived at our luxurious room, my wife opened the refrigerator and found a pizza box left-over from another guest. The resort apologized profusely and implied that they had been having trouble finding reliable people for their housekeeping staff. Sadly, there is an employee shortage all over.  This shortage has been particularly difficult in the tourist industry. Just as sadly. we as customers have lowered our expectations for customer service.  We have come to understand that waits will be longer and service will be subpar in some cases.  But this problem hit me closer to home on our Branson trip. 

My wife planned a couple of outings in the local area. At one show we went to, the venue was packed with an excited crowd. The show featured five male and one female entertainers, all showcasing Motown acts. The show opened with a Temptations act, but with only two male entertainers instead of five Temptations. The two guys apologized that the other three entertainers did not show up for work. They did not want to cancel the show. The audience applauded and the show went on.  Later in the show, a 70-year-old retired female entertainer was brought out as a fill-in.  The experience was interesting, to say the least.  It showed the impacts of a labor shortage and how sympathetic customers can be to an employer’s plight, given the pandemic.  The situation is no laughing matter.

With COVID-19 continuing to impact businesses globally, today’s small businesses must consider new strategies during what has become a severe employment shortage.  In 2020, many businesses were forced to either furlough or lay-off workers, especially in the tourist and food industries. As we move ahead with reopening the economy, businesses are now unable to operate effectively without quality workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of job openings rose to a record level (9.29 million in May, from 9.19 million in April). There is clearly a shortage of workers, which means that employers feel they are forced to pay more to attract those fewer people still in the job market.  However, jobs are still going unfilled. This article examines several innovative strategies that small businesses can utilize to attract and retain employees in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

Right now, there is a huge demand for talented workers. In fact, some businesses, especially in the tourism industry, are suffering from the lack of essential workers. Many unemployed people have opted not to come back to work for various reasons (i.e. low pay, safety). Management experts Jason Furman and Wilson Powell note, “The main reason for the lack of much faster job growth has been the unusually low number of people transitioning from unemployment to employment—a flow that should be at or near record levels given the overall labor market.”  Thus, record job openings and increased hourly earnings (about 4.5 % on an annual basis) still have not been enough to convince workers to return.

At the same time, workers are quitting their jobs at a record rate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 million Americans left their jobs in April, creating a quitting rate 24% higher than before the pandemic. This phenomenon may be due to burn-out of  ”doing more with less,“ COVID fatigue, and/or the search for a more purposeful kind of employment.  

Regardless of the factors that are driving this situation, most small businesses will need to retool if they are to survive in the wake of this employee shortage. Small businesses have to adopt new strategies in order to attract quality employees post-pandemic. Sadly, many small businesses are not equipped to infuse innovative thinking into their organizations because of the competing priorities of having to maintain their daily operations. Furthermore, companies often end up in a bidding war with other businesses in order to get the best workers during the shortage. Contrary to popular belief, money is not the only motivator for employees. In fact, money is not the only incentive that attracts prospective employees.  Given this reality, small businesses should consider the following creative ways to recruit and retain quality employees:

  • Develop a human capital strategy that complements the emerging hiring trends. 
  • Build an employee loyalty program with incentives to keep good employees. Small businesses need to protect their most valuable asset—quality employees.
  • Implement some aspects of artifical intelligence and automation into their operation for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Develop an online recruitment program using Indeed, Glassdoor, and other recruitment websites.
  • Create or enhance a presence on LinkedIn for recruitment if applicable.
  • Connect with Generation Z employees by providing practical training, such as micro internships with local universities. Programs like those in place at Oklahoma Baptist University provide business students with practical experience, while also providing businesses with marketing assistance. 
  • Utilize flexibile employee hours and remote working options. 
  • Incorporate a meaningful, frequent reward system.
  • Allow employees to create and innovate in their working environment.

In today’s changing landscape, successful small businesses have to implement effective recruitment and retention strategies. Unfortunately, some companies will stick to traditional recruitment tactics by simply offering more money. 

With the shortage of workers, some businesses, especially small businesses, find themselves in this competitive hiring climate. This article discusses how today’s small businesses can implement innovative strategies to attract and retain employees in the aftermath of the pandemic.  Pray that it is not too late.

University Research Equips Small Businesses in the Gig Economy

Oklahoma researchers reveal research about the gig economy that can help small businesses to grow.

How do today’s small businesses find dependable, quality help during a pandemic?  An Oklahoma university has answered this question. Recently, the Management and Economics Research Journal published this case study, “The Gig Economy: A Case Study Analysis of Freelancer.com,” by a collaborative team at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU). This research evaluated Freelancer.com, one of the largest freelance websites on the globe. 

In this research, I worked with a respected scholar – Dr. Xan Polk who serves as associate professor of management and marketing at King Union’s Knoxville campus (TN). The other authors who contributed significantly to this study are my former students, Kelsey Doughty, Michelle Carr, and Devan Costa-Cargill; they are OBU MBA graduates. My inquisitive students produced the initial research as a class assignment in one of my graduate classes. Additionally, Heidi O’Donnell, who is a doctoral student at Liberty University and a former graduate student of mine, also contributed to this work.

Meet Our Research Team

Dr. Xan Polk, Ms. Michelle Carr, Ms Kelsey Doughty, Ms. Devan Costa-Cargill, and Mrs. Heidi O’Donnell (pictured in order below)

Although I was heavily involved in this study, I know the significance of this research for small businesses. I enjoyed working with my research team. I was honored to work with these brilliant ladies. This work on the gig economy is needed especially during this pandemic. Most small businesses have limited resources, struggling to find quality employees. Yet, freelancers can infuse new energy into a business. Therefore, this research can be very beneficial to today’s small businesses by leveraging the power of the gig economy to secure great freelance talent to maximize their performance.

With the onslaught on Covid in 2020, most businesses relied on digital platforms. Some businesses operating remotely could not locate local talent to meet their needs. Welcome to the New Normal. The gig economy is transforming societies across the globe. Freelancer.com promises experts representing every technical, professional, and creative field on its platform serving over 47 million users that project managers will find freelancers seeking work.

Most Americans are familiar with Uber and Airbnb in the freelance industry. However, there are lots of more businesses operating on Freelancer.com. According to one study, there are about 1.1 billion freelancers across the globe. Yet, finding the right freelancers is a difficult task because there are too many options on freelance websites. Some websites provide inferior or poor-quality service providers. Therefore, buyers need to beware. 

In closing, this case study was significant during Covid-19 because the research will assist future scholars and practitioners with freelance websites like Freelancer.com in the gig economy.

For more information about the research, visit here

If you want more information about how this  research can assist your organization, please contact me at drdarylgreen@gmail.com.

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl D. Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s small businesses. Dr. Green is the Vice President of Marketing at AGSM Consulting LLC. In 2016, he retired as a Senior Engineer in the federal sector. He is also the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. His research addresses practical ways to address societal and business problems.  Additionally, he has assisted over 100 small businesses across the nation with marketing and management expertise. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. If you would like more information about this article or business assistance, please contact Dr. Green at drdarylgreen@gmail.com or visit http://www.drdarylgreen.com.

OBU Research Stretches to Hip Hop Culture: An Analysis of Beats By Dr. Dre

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) sheds light on the influences of Hip Hop icon like Dr. Dre’s BEATS on entrepreneurship in the United States. 

SHAWNEEE, OK, May 15, 2020– Oklahoma Baptist University Dickinson College of Business has recently released new research titled, ‘The Intersection of an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Hip Hop: A Case Study on BEATS by Dre’ under the guidance of Dr. Daryl D. Green and collaborators, Dr. Jack McCann, Arsid Panxhi, and Carly Miller. The study is a relevant examination of one of the most successful popular culture gadget line, BEATS by Dre in the backdrop of marketing and entrepreneurship pursuits.

Caryl Miller and Arsid Panxhi turned a research project in class to published research in academia.

The research article adopts case study analysis on the iconic brand of BEATS by Dre. Beats Electronics has established its legacy as one of the top premium sound equipment lines. With hip-hop as the foundational membrane of the entire marketing line of BEATS by Dre, the study infiltrates its gauge of business-oriented strategy by hitting pop cultural influences at the right spots of audience acceptability in paving the way for an empire of entrepreneurship goals. The case study not only examines the various factors that led to this historic feat but also provides upcoming entrepreneurs from underserved communities with an example of successful business stories.

This collaborative research started in an undergraduate classroom.  Students Carly Miller and Arsid Panxhi initiated this research as a class project at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU). Currently, Carly Miller is a senior studying Communications with a minor in Business Administration while Arsid Panxhi, an OBU graduate, is an Account Manager at Cuadrant LLC.  Dr. Green and Dr. McCann are seasoned researcher. Dr. Green is an Associate professor in the College of Business at OBU while Dr. McCann currently serves an appointment at Union College in Barbourville, KY, as Associate Professor in Marketing and Business. 

Dr. Jack McCann and Dr. Daryl D. Green have collaborated on research projects to improve society

The study raises three integral questions about the various marketing strategies implemented by Beats Electronics in its story of market success, a strategic correlation in the establishment of another business venture, and the business’ investment breakup. The pattern of audience engagement with a headphone line where consumers live under the maximum influence of pop culture is furthered broadened into perspective and analytical detailing in the study. The findings of the study confluences at maintaining the ‘cool’ stature of the product among consumers. BEATS product insinuates contemporary trends and fashion of the extant market and constantly follows through to modify its designs to keep up the brand legacy. However, the study also points at the potential fall of a company if it fails to improve its product with time and socio-cultural changes. Apart from the visual competency, the study concludes with the importance of maintaining a good and affordable streaming service that would enable BEATS by Dre to continue to expand its brand and customer base.

The results of this research will assist today’s universities in infusing the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business professionals.

For more information about the research, visit:  http://www.scholink.org/ojs/index.php/jbtp/article/view/2784

If you want more information about this research or want assistance with your organization, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at 405-585-4414 (daryl.green@okbu.edu).

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed to those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business degree programs of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visits www.okbu.edu/business.

College Students Use Hip-Hop Culture to Break Down Gen Z Entrepreneurship

Recent academic research into entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop culture, which was conducted by students from the Paul Dickinson College of Business faculty at the Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), has been published in the Management and Economics Research Journal; allowing students around the country to utilize the case study.

Although it is very rare for undergraduate research to be published, students from the Paul Dickinson College of Business at the Oklahoma Baptist University have done just that with their recent research paper, “Hip-Hop Culture: A Case Study of Beats by Dre For Entrepreneurship.” Published in the Management and Economics Research Journal, the paper examines how Record Producer Jimmy Lovine and hip-hop icon Dr. Dre were able to turn a small sub-culture into a global, multi-billion-dollar business. 

Focusing on the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone range, the students, alongside their professor Dr. Daryl D. Green, looked at how within a decade the company was able to control over 70% of the headphone market and make Dr. Dre the first “hip-hop billionaire.” The research paper observes how Beats by Dr. Dre used exceptional marketing techniques to target the millennial age group, including the use of celebrities alongside incorporating customizable headphones for each popular figure. 

In 2018, Students (L-R: JoziRose Mayfield, Sinai Gomez Farias, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck) worked on a class assignment.

The student authors who contributed significantly to the research are Braden Dwyer, Sinai Gomez Farias (graduated), Cade Lauck, and JoziRose Mayfield. While faculty collaborating with students at an undergraduate level in business is rare, the OBU believes it is an important factor in helping to raise the next generation of scholar-practitioners. By involving students in their research, faculty become mentors to the students. Faculty collaborating with students at the undergraduate level in business is rare. 

Dean David Houghton, OBU business dean explains, “Faculty collaboration with students is important in raising the next generation of scholar-practitioners. By involving students in their research, faculty become more than educators. They become mentors. Sometimes, undergraduate students lack relevant professional experience, which can make it more difficult to involve them in research projects. But Dr. Green is great at finding products, services, and issues that are relevant to the students and for which they have a meaningful experience.” Yet, these undergraduates were a special kind of students.

OBU students get their research published in an academic publication (L-R: Dr. Daryl Green, JoziRose Mayfield, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck).

At the time, these students turned a class assignment into relevant research to benefit others. OBU senior JoziRose Mayfield found the case study interesting: “The biggest and most important thing that I took away from this case study is analyzing the importance of demographics and product placement. Dr. Dre and his team did an exceptional job of choosing the right techniques when it comes to promoting their new brand. He made an effort to include celebrities in his product and incorporate customizable headphones for each popular figure.” Cade Lauck, a marketing major, agrees that getting their research published was a difficult process: “While working on this case study, I learned that teamwork was going to become extremely important. The communication that we had played a huge part in the coming together of the case study. I also learned a lot of information about how the communication and culture at Beats helped the company succeed.”

This collaborative research between faculty and students is significant because little research has been done in this area of Hip-Hop culture and entrepreneurship. (L-R: Dr. Daryl Green, JoziRose Mayfield, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck).

Speaking on the publication, student Braden Dwyer said, “The research we conducted can be used to show students that having a creative idea isn’t enough to be successful. To be successful, as Dr. Dre has been with Beats, there must be a differentiator between you and the competitors in your market to truly stand out. Seeing our work published gave me a sense of purpose for our project. Rather than the case study just being turned in for a grade, people will be able to use our research and gain knowledge for themselves, which is a fantastic feeling.”

The results of this study are available online now, helping to assist today’s universities to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business professionals. 

To view the paper, visit;

https://merj.scholasticahq.com/article/9564-hip-hop-culture-a-case-study-of-beats-by-dre-for-entrepreneurship, while for information about this research or if you would like assistance with your organization, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at 405-585-4414 (daryl.green@okbu.edu).

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed to those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business degree programs of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/business.

Research encourages universities to nourish entrepreneurial spirit in Generation Z

Speaking to a packed crowd at the 2019 ACBSP Conference, Dr. Daryl D. Green from the Oklahoma Baptist University, revealed that recent research shows Generation Z students are not only the most diverse and inclusive yet, but also the most ambitious. Making up nearly a quarter of the American population (some 74 million young adults), they shun the traditional employee route of their predecessors, with 72% of them wanting to start a business with 61% preferring to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee.

This high percentage reflects the differing work ethic of these students. Having never known a world without social media or smartphones, 84% of participants in a recent study by Forrester showed they regularly multitask with an internet-connected device when watching TV, whilst 66% believe technology makes anything possible. Not just digitally savvy, these students are driven to set themselves apart with nearly 50% participating in internships during high school for the purpose of advancing themselves professionally and 26% currently volunteering in their spare time. 

Therefore if Universities want to continue to attract the best students, it is important for them to adapt their teaching practices for Generation Z. Dr. Green broke this down into seven suggested practices;

  • Creating an academic environment that fosters creativity and entrepreneurial thinking
  • Setting clear expectations and boundaries
  • Engaging students digitally in the classroom and beyond
  • Breaking work assignments into smaller, manageable segments
  • Communicating regularly to provide frequent feedback
  • Being relevant and providing practical application and business role models
  • Incorporating a fluidic frequent reward system

Summing up, Dr. Green said “For the first time in history, there are now 5 generations coexisting in the work place and Generation Z, with its diversity and ingenuity, may be the best of all. This is why it is so important for universities and places of higher learning to encourage the natural entrepreneurial spirit of the most tech savvy, pragmatic and diverse generation yet; enabling them to join the workforce ready to hit the ground running and perhaps inspire businesses to adapt to the future.”  

Event Photos:

unnamed-6Caption #1:  Dr. Green presents “Wire for Life: Inspiring Generation Z to Be Entrepreneurial Leaders.”

unnamed-5Caption #2:  Dr. Green engages the audience of academics.

unnamed-4Caption #3:  Dr. Green unlocks the mystery related to GEN Z.

unnamed-3Caption #4:  Dr. Green discusses 5 generations in the workplaces.

unnamed-2Caption #5:  The audience listens as Dr. Green breaks down GEN Z traits.

unnamed-1Caption #6:  Dr. Green reunites with a former classmate from his doctoral program.

unnamedAbout Oklahoma Baptist University/Dr. Daryl D. Green: 

With its campus in Shawnee, and locations in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and 5 master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,073, with students from 40 states and 35 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by the U.S. News and World Report for 25 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 23 consecutive years. OBU is one of the three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma University listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma, and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 12 consecutive years.

Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of business at Oklahoma Baptist University and Dickinson chair of business.  He is an award-winning author with more than 30 books. He and his wife Estraletta have several years of social and competitive ballroom dance experience, competing in Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Dr. Green has taught social dancing classes and is a former president of the Knoxville Chapter of USA Dance Inc.