The pandemic changed the way we hire and will continue to do so for years to come. A combination of factors, including a continuing fear of contracting Covid-19 and childcare facilities still being closed and/or operating at a lower capacity, have significantly impacted the labor market. However, businesses continue to need talent and are in many cases struggling to hire. Let’s explore the reasons for the labor shortage as well as some tips employers can leverage to entice candidates and continue scaling their business.
The Labor Shortage
Analyzing the labor shortage in the U.S.,concluded the following are top contributing reasons for it:
1. People are worried about getting sick: Though many are rushing to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to, Covid-19 is still afear for workers. People are worried about going to work and contracting the virus and some industries require workers to be in close proximity to each other, making concerns worse.
2. Workers with children are still needed at home: Workers with children are concerned about leaving their children home alone or areunable to find care for them. There are still some schools and care centers that haven’t reopened full-time yet, and so the kids need their parents at home.
With all these challenges, many employers are finding it harder than ever to find long-term (or even short-term!) employees who are ready to work. The reality is that hiring in 2021 will continue to be more competitive, more expensive and less successful than in previous years.
Combating The 2021 Hiring Struggle
At the end of the day, these challenges can definitely impact your business. To make sure you can carry on business as uninterrupted as possible, consider the following strategies to boost your hiring efforts.
1. Offer a back-to-work incentive: Consider offering a perk as a competitive differentiator and the reason that a candidate decides to choose your company versus another. For example,Amazon is reportedly offering a $1,000 signing bonus, andUber and Lyft have also offered large bonuses to get people driving again.
2. Increasing workers’ wages: When push comes to shove, it may make a big difference to take another look at the salaries you’re offering and see where there’s room to increase wages in order to gain a competitive edge. Amazon is now paying new hires an average of $17 per hour, up from $14 to $16.50 per hour.Walmart raised its average hourly wage to $15. Some companies in the restaurant industry, too, such asChipotle and McDonald’s, are reportedly increasing wages for their workers.
3. Get help with recruitment: Many hiring challenges can be mitigated by partnering with a professional recruiter. From firsthand experience, I know that recruiters’ robust networks and tested hiring strategies can find qualified matches for your roles faster than filling the role yourself. With the cost of applications and lack of candidates on job boards, seeking a professional experienced in recruiting can be game-changing for employers.
4. Play up your company benefits: Do you offer a 401(k) matching program? Quarterly bonuses based on performance? Do your company’s products or services solve challenges? Is your company making the world a better place? Is your company culture awarded and recognized? Share what makes being a part of your team special while highlighting what’s in it for the employee. What are the top three reasons someone wants to work at your company? Share those throughout your career pages, social media channels and on your job postings.
5. Offer flexibility and work-from-home benefits, if possible: Remote work and flexible schedules are becoming more popular than ever. Try to keep up with current workplace trends. Depending on the industry and shift schedule, remote work might not be possible, so consider other ways of offering more flexibility to your workers.
6. Open up apprenticeship opportunities: No skilled workers applying to your roles? Train any and all applicants to become the employees you desire. Consider offering a “get your foot in the door” approach to job seekers: Offer on-site training programs to anyone new to your industry and get them up-skilled using your own techniques in the business. In my experience, employees who are learning and who have mobility from an apprenticeship into a full-time paid role tend to stay longer and are more engaged with their employers.
Don’t Fear The Labor Shortage
There are certainly hiring challenges in 2021, but where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. These unique challenges should inspire your company to change to meet the new market demands. Are your employee benefits packages actually enticing? Do you have an active apprenticeship program? How could company culture be improved? Do you need immediate staffing help outside of your hiring team’s capacity? What agencies are experts in your area?
Sunshine is right around the corner. Keep your heads up and leverage these pro tips to gain an advantage for locking in your next round of awesome employees.
– Nicole Serres