Microsoft’s Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform is a versatile and widely used business toolset. With features suited for organizations of all sizes, from the enterprise level to small businesses, its long successful history and reputation for stability has made it a favorite across several industries. Much of the growth in the adoption of the platform has (and is expected to continue to) come in the small to midsize business (SMB) category in recent years, though. For companies in the SMB market that use Microsoft Dynamics, the high adoption rate means more competition to hire and retain talented professionals who are skilled in the use of the software. That’s no small feat for businesses that often don’t have the financial wherewithal to compete for staff against larger enterprises. For such an in-demand skill, that’s an unenviable position to be in. The best way for small and medium businesses to deal with the staffing challenges associated with Microsoft Dynamics is to become expert in the trends of the associated labor market. By adapting their organizations to support the needs of these coveted specialists, businesses can increase retention rates and become a more attractive environment that can lure in new talent. The State of the Labor Market To get an idea of where the current labor market stands for Microsoft Dynamics professionals, it’s useful to look into the details of the Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey for 2017. It’s a wide-ranging dataset that includes plenty of information that businesses can turn into actionable intelligence when assessing how to recruit and keep specialists in the field. As a primer, here is a brief rundown of the salient points from the report and how businesses can respond. An Unsatisfied Cohort The most stunning result in the report is that only 27% of respondents were satisfied with their current positions. The report includes a breakdown of the reasons behind the dissatisfaction, but the overall picture is a stark one. The number should serve as a warning to employers that they’ll need to take some immediate action to keep their existing Microsoft Dynamics staff happy and to remain an attractive environment for newcomers. Providing Avenues for Advancement Survey participants cited several reasons why they sought to change jobs this year. The most common cause for the dissatisfaction is a lack of paths to career progression in their organizations, which was the concern of 50% of respondents. In order to combat this perception, it can be helpful to create career paths for employees. These don’t have to be guaranteed, but creating an organizational structure that clearly communicates to each employee how they may advance internally goes a long way towards fighting a feeling of job stagnation. The Need for Challenges The second most cited reason given for seeking a new position among Microsoft Dynamics professionals this year was a lack of challenges. Among the group, 41% reported needing new challenges as the reason they sought a change in jobs. This is actually common in many professions. Repetition of tasks leads to boredom and disengagement, which is disastrous for morale. Wherever possible, organizations should give skilled employees the ability to branch out into other areas of the business. The moves don’t have to be permanent, but establishing a rotation of responsibilities keeps employees interested, builds new skills, and provides redundancy that can help offset unexpected losses in staff. The Vision to Succeed A full 37% of the surveyed group reported that a lack of leadership and vision was the reason they had left their job. Although these concepts can be hard to quantify, they are nevertheless crucial to hiring and retaining talented employees. Fixing the problem requires an organization-wide review to figure out what (and who) is contributing to the problem. Identifying and removing managers with poor leadership skills is a good first step. It’s also helpful to seek leadership from within teams by encouraging communication of new ideas to management. It’s helpful to remember that those with leadership skills often naturally display them to anyone who is paying attention. Addressing a Lack of Training Among surveyed professionals, 25% cited a lack of training as a top reason to change jobs. This was the fourth-most reported reason to seek a new position. To address the concern, employers may consider establishing programs that sponsor employees that seek Microsoft certifications for the Dynamics platform. The report indicates that only 24% of respondents are currently certified, so it’s definitely an area that has room for growth. Since the training and required testing can be somewhat expensive for individuals, businesses can take advantage of bulk testing rates to offer their employees this benefit. This is a win-win situation since the chance to build new skills is attractive for employees, and the knowledge directly benefits the business. Recruiting for the Future Any small or medium business that has done the work to address these common concerns will be well on the way towards becoming a top destination for talented professionals. The overall effect is twofold. Existing employees will remain in their positions longer, reducing turnover and thus the need for additional hiring. They will also become natural ambassadors to attract new hires since they will be satisfied with their own jobs. It’s often said that an engaged workforce in the best recruiting tool, so there can hardly be a better tactic for bringing in the best Microsoft Dynamics professionals available. As long as any new employee concerns are dealt with swiftly, there should never be any shortage of available labor, no matter how much higher the demand for these specialized skills climbs.