Hiring and retaining workers in the homeless services sector is crucial to solving the homelessness crisis. However, this sector has high turnover rates and vacancies; the average job tenure is less than two years, and these vacancies lead to high workloads for the remaining workers, which causes burnout (Rios, 2016). Workers in the homelessness service sector are disproportionately Black and Latinx and are more likely to have previously experienced homelessness. Due to a combination of low wages and the secondary trauma they encounter on the job, they are considered a vulnerable population that is more likely to fall into homelessness themselves (SVPLA, 2021). An infusion of funding into the sector and strategic decision-making could help to recruit more employees and incentivize current employees to remain.
The existing body of evidence suggests a baseline level of wages that is sufficient to retain employees. The research shows that sign-on bonuses can have meaningful impacts on employees. Additionally, various workforce strategies could support organizations and sectors that face employee retention issues (Rios, 2016).