Pipeline boss says he's turned down $13 million in work because he can't find workers, even after boosting wages 22% and offering $5,000 retention bonuses
A pipeline company's president told WSJ it's lost $13 million in work because of staff shortages.
He said the firm increased wages by 22% and offers hiring and retention bonuses.
Almost half of small businesses said finding and retaining staff was a problem, a survey found.
A pipeline company in California said that it's turned down over $13 million in potential work this year because of staff shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Boudreau Pipeline Corp. is made up of about 350 people, and the company installs underground sewer, water, and storm drain utilities.
Alan Boudreau, the company's president, told the Journal that the staff shortages are "frustrating," and that there's enough work for an extra 50 employees. The $13 million in lost work translates to around 22% of the total value of the contracts the company had won during the time period, Boudreau said.
In the last two years, the company's wages have increased by 22%, Boudreau told WSJ. The company has also hired three in-house recruiters, and is offering hiring bonuses up to $2,500 and retention bonuses up to $5,000 if the employee stays for at least a year, he added. Boudreau did not immediately respond to Insider's request for additional comment ahead of publication.
The company increased referral bonuses up to $1,500 in early 2021, which is a $150 more than it was four years ago, Boudreau told WSJ, adding that it's the best way to get new employees.
Boudreau isn't the only small business owner with a hiring problem.
A survey from Goldman Sachs found that 47% of almost 1,500 small business owners surveyed are having difficulty finding and retaining employees. The top reason, the survey found, was competition with larger companies who can offer higher pay and benefits.
Insider has previously reported that some businesses are also facing problems with job candidates who don't show up to their job interviews, or some who leave right after they're hired.
In a July 2022 report on small business employment from the National Federation of Independent Business, 49% of small business owners surveyed said they had job openings they couldn't fill.
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