Droves Quitting Their Jobs, Employers Scrambling to Hire
Despite millions of jobs going unfilled as the economy rebounds, unemployment has remained stagnant, sitting at roughly 5.9% since the start of 2021. Over 4 million workers have quit their jobs for a variety of reasons, and employers are struggling to replace them.
Many states have been quick to blame extended unemployment benefits, which are set to end in September, for the worker shortage. Some have chosen to end these CARES Act payments in hopes that lower benefits will drive recipients back into the workforce. However, states like Iowa and Missouri, which stopped paying federal benefits on June 12th, still have low job search rates. In fact, job searches in those states are still nearly 4% below the national average.
Why Aren’t Workers Going Back to Work?
The answer is complicated. Some workers have increased childcare responsibilities while others have gone back to school. People moved away from urban centers’ higher living costs, and some who became unemployed are biding their time to search for a job that fits their current needs and their schedules.
At GLFS, we want to help your small or medium-sized business succeed, and we understand how a labor shortage can impact your bottom line. Here are a few ways your business can help attract and retain workers.
Flexibility is Key
When COVID-19 pushed workers out of the office and into their homes, many workers embraced the remote work lifestyle. Long commutes and uncomfortable offices became unnecessary, and workers could now better balance their personal and work lives. It’s no wonder, then, that workers who have been asked to return to the office have decided to quit for jobs that allow them to work remotely.
Working remotely, however, is not the end-all-be-all for job flexibility, and sometimes, it is not ideal for certain positions. Flexible hours, increased paid time off, and a more understanding and inclusive work environment can also provide the work environment that employees desire.
Analyze Your Turnover
Another way to attract and keep workers is to analyze your turnover rate and uncover reasons why employees may be leaving your company. Are your employees finding higher salaries elsewhere? Do they dislike working for a certain manager? Do they feel overwhelmed or burnt out?
The answers to these questions will provide you with suggestions for how to improve your working environment. Talk to your employees to find out what they want and need, and act on those suggestions to improve areas where your company may fall short.
Raise Wages or Offer Sign-On Bonuses
One of the easiest ways to garner the interest of top applicants is to offer a higher starting salary or a sign-on bonus. The news is full of images of “Now Hiring,” the starting pay and big sign-on incentives in industries ranging from service to healthcare. Be diligent in your research before offering financial rewards that impact your bottom line. Your company may already be competitive in this area.
Remember: There’s Still a Pandemic
For what seemed like a split second, it appeared the states were opening up and we were turning a corner with the pandemic. Currently, statistics show vaccination rates are stagnant, and some experts are raising a red flag about increasing cases due to the Delta variant. Some areas are re-instating masks. The point is: the pandemic isn’t over. Many people are still concerned that returning to an office or workplace full-time could put their families at risk.
Encourage your employees to take reasonable precautions to make sure that everyone in your office feels comfortable.
What are workers waiting for? They’re not waiting for one certain thing, but it’s a safe bet that when an employer meets their needs, they will return. If there is anything our team can answer or do for you, get in touch.