Cleveland and Chattanooga city governments’ retention and recruiting efforts

City governments are struggling to fill vacancies as retention and recruitment continues to decrease and with commercial industries as their competition.Like many other entities, the city governments are having difficulty recruiting workers in the labor market characterized by record level turnover and job openings. The City of Cleveland mayor Kevin Brooks has seen the response to their job openings fall by more than half.

“This is a challenging season. So many of us know people and have familiarity with companies that are letting you work from home and there’s just a new  industry standard,” said Brooks. “Recruitment is a challenge at the city level, at the county level at every level.”

In an effort to defy retention trends, Cleveland City Council voted Monday to increase their employees Christmas bonus.

“I’m grateful that my colleagues supported this unanimously to show our city employees, the family that we work with, how important they are,” said Brooks. “It is a recruitment tool, as well as the fact that we can say ‘we appreciate you and we’re grateful for you’.”

With the intention of filling chronic vacancies in the City of Chattanooga’s Wastewater Division, a new pay upgrade has gone into effect.

Mark Heizner is the interim director of the Waste Water Division, he said the new pay will help them compete with commercial industries.

“Our starting pay now with the new pay plan that we just implemented is $40,000 at entry level. The pay plan is brand new, and it was a direct result of us working with the city’s human resources department and the mayor’s office,” said Hiezner. “So, we’ve had a number of vacancies primarily in our entry level positions. We’ve just not been able to get people to fill those roles.”

The pay increase will come at no cost to residents. The city will absorb the cost of approximately $1.5 million using scheduled annual sewer fees and the surplus of funds resulting from years of these unfilled vacancies.

Categories: Featured, Jobs & Economy, Local News