It is great news that the US is recovering from the pandemic. But vaccinations have slowed, and viral hotspots have the nation concerned. While many employers are hoping for an expeditious return to “normal,” we’re not quite there yet.
In spite of the growing uncertainty about the economy and its effect on the job market for American workers, 25 states have cut off unemployment insurance.
We will soon see how this experiment works itself out and how workers will react. Will workers return to the workforce? Or will a workforce fed up with the persistent issues of stagnant wages, poor treatment, lack of professional development, and inflexible conditions continue to hold out for something better?
More importantly, how can employers find the talent they need? Read on to learn more about how we got here and how, even during these difficult times, there is hope for employers.
Were Unemployment Benefits Really Causing the Labor Shortage?
As recent employment reports have shown, far fewer jobs were added to the economy in April than expected in the wake of the pandemic recovery.
But does this make sense for one of the strongest workforces in the world? Americans want to believe work, not free money, is their ticket out of poverty. Given the option between work or collecting unemployment, a wide majority of Americans choose work.
So then why would Americans – who are notoriously proud to be self-reliant – opt to receive a meager $300 instead of working for more? The problem isn’t that American’s don’t want to return to work. They just don’t want to return to normal.
When businesses stop blaming supposed unmotivated or lazy workers for their inability to fill vacancies and instead commit to making work conditions and benefits more attractive they will find that not only is the workforce full of highly capable workers but workers who will compete to join their organization.
What Barriers for Entry Are Preventing People from Going Back to Work?
In light of studies, such as the one performed by the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, we can see that unemployment benefits are not stopping people from going back to work, that “-only a small fraction (of workers) would turn down an offer to return to work under the CARES Act expanded UI payments.”
A much more likely culprit is an unexpected side effect of the COVID shutdown – workers gained some much needed perspective. Many mused about how they were let go or furloughed from jobs they didn’t even want in the first place. While workers spent their unemployment gaining perspective, many businesses did not. So it isn’t surprising that employers are having a hard time attracting workers with the same old offer.
But there’s more to the story than just low wages, long hours, and scant opportunity for advancement. Some of the more persistent factors holding people back are:
- COVID has not gone away, it’s getting worse. Yes, this is still an issue. And with the twice as infectious Delta variant, workers still don’t feel safe returning to work. Especially to work for employers who aren’t making safety a priority.
- Access to childcare is either unaffordable, unavailable, or – for kids who cannot yet get vaccines – still not safe.
- Employers are still unsure about remote work. But the cat is out of the bag. Remote work is not only doable, but may actually save time, money, and increase productivity. Still, many employers are slow to offer remote work and it’s limiting their options.
Are You Struggling to Attract Talent?
The factors that are preventing talented workers from joining the workforce are persistent. So how can businesses attract quality talent that have come to a higher understanding of what they’re looking for in their next role?
Here are some options that will help your business find the best talent in the industry:
- Put your benefits front and center. Those businesses who offer modern benefits should highlight those offerings.
- Create workplace flexibility. Today’s top candidates are negotiating for more remote work options. Lucky for you, there are more options than ever to conduct business as usual, beyond the office setting.
- Refresh your job descriptions. Do your job descriptions speak to the needs of the modern worker? Re-evaluating your job descriptions can go a long way to better define why job seekers should work for you.
While predicting the struggles and adjusting to the updated expectations of today’s workers could attract more talent, partnering with a recruiter for access to the market’s top candidates might be the smartest move you make in the new employment landscape.
By partnering with US Tech to recruit top talent, we can help you source and recruit like-minded workers who are eager to work for a great company with great benefits. Contact us today to find out more.