Last month, in my January editor’s note, I discussed the value of an outside perspective. This time around, I’d like to continue that theme of embracing external inputs through the lens of workforce trends. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, staffing is the top challenge among restoration businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated that longstanding struggle.

Without a doubt, investing in industry-specific research is critical to finding solutions. At R&R, we do this through our annual State of the Industry report. And there are exciting new research initiatives in the works. For example, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has made research one of its four focus areas in 2022. KnowHow is conducting the first-ever Restoration Workforce Survey to shed light on how the industry can attract and retain qualified workers.

In the spirit of complementing those targeted pursuits of deeper understanding with a wider-world view, I wanted to share a few highlights from the Robert Half “2022 Salary Guide.” I find the overall workforce report, and others like it, complements to what we know and seek to learn about the restoration workforce in particular.

What do people, in general, want from employers? How are other industries treating employees and candidates? Answering these questions offers up ideas, lessons and competitive intel from beyond the world of restoration. After all, restoration businesses aren’t just competing against each other for talent. They are competing against companies across completely different verticals, and not just down the street, but around the world, when you consider remote working.

Without further ado, here are a few of the stats from the 2022 Salary Guide that stood out to me. I encourage you to review it in full.

  • 51% of companies in the U.S. are expanding hiring for permanent roles
  • 48% of employers are offering signing bonuses for new employees
  • 43% of employers are offering more paid time off
  • 40% are offering job title upgrades
  • 72% of senior managers reported that diversity has increased in their leadership ranks over the past five years
  • 40% of companies are now posting open roles on DEI-focused job sites

This short list highlights some of what other companies are doing to attract and retain talent. You’ll see, if you read the report in full, more examples of what other businesses are doing along with employee expectations. For example, 75% of workers want to work remotely at least part of the time. This obviously has implications not only for restoration, but other fields in the trades and beyond where an in-person presence is fundamental. There are tips linked in the report that explore what the findings mean for organizations in today’s tight labor market.

What are you doing to attract and retain talent? What is working and what hasn’t? What questions do you have regarding talent strategy? Please send your stories and questions my way at so we can share success stories, help others learn from the mistakes of peers, and address challenge areas with informative coverage.

While I have you, I wanted to highlight that this happens to be the focus of a panel discussion, “How to Win the War for Top Talent,” I’m moderating at NeXus on March 29. A group of five industry peers who’ve experienced success with staffing will share unique perspectives on how to find and keep high-quality team members in a tough market. If you’ll be at the February 28-29 conference and trade show in Las Vegas, I welcome you to join us for an insightful conversation.  

That’s all for this time.

Valerie King