As businesses begin to recover after the blow of the pandemic, they face yet another challenge – the inability to hire sufficient workers. Potential workers are still concerned about their health, and they are needed at home now more than ever.


The 10-month long pandemic has had a devastating effect on the physical and psychological health of many workers. More importantly, those who were directly affected by the pandemic find it hard to work under stressful conditions or with people that remind them of their past experiences.

On top of the fact that there is an unbalanced supply and demand in the work force, jobs themselves have become much more difficult to fill.  The problem is not only due to a lack of interest among potential candidates, but employers also have difficulty setting up interviews or dealing with all of the needed paperwork required for their workers.

What is more, even if a hiring decision was made by hiring managers in advance, their staff would turn down the job offer due to other reasons.

A hiring specialist at a high-end hot pot restaurant said, "There are difficulties in hiring many positions that require people with special skills. Even though the salaries offered for these jobs are fairly good, hiring people who are willing to take these jobs is very difficult. Many candidates get cold feet and can't accept."

A hiring specialist at the airport business center said, "It's not only hard to pull in good workers for our own company, but employees that other companies have hired also come here looking for a new job. We need to be careful with hiring in order to avoid hiring people that are going to give their notice in a few weeks."

This is not just an issue in the service sector – hiring people for jobs that require specializations is also becoming a great challenge. Occupations like engineers are especially hard to fill.

Since this phenomenon is not just limited to workers in the service sector, but also applies to professionals and skilled laborers, the demand for these kinds of job positions has been on a steep incline since the pandemic's outbreak. As a result, many businesses have turned to foreigners for help; however, there are some serious issues with this approach that need to be addressed.

In a survey carried out in March, conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business, it was found out that 42% of job openings couldn't be filled. This broke all previous records. 91% of the owners that had these jobs open claimed that they could only find a few or no qualified candidates for these openings.

man sitting on chair beside laptop computer and teacup

As if the decrease in revenue reported by business owners during the pandemic wasn't enough; businesses today are constantly struggling to hire people. This poses a significant obstacle to the productivity of these businesses. The unemployment rate is far higher than in pre-Covid times and is more prevalent in small companies and startups.

When asked why, a significant number of people say that they are simply terrified from the spread of Covid-19, especially frontline workers like those working in a restaurant. People are making substantial sums using unemployment benefits compared to the amount they initially made from their jobs before the spread, giving them a reason to stay at home.

Also, people are unwilling to leave their children unattended at home without proper child care as businesses are much quicker to resume their operations as compared to schools. The unvaccinated population is unwilling to leave the comforts of their homes at any cost. The few people willing to be hired are either not qualified enough or don't have the required or relevant experience.

Many people have also moved out of the area and have found a new source of income. People are pursuing freelancing and work-from-home jobs much more nowadays.

One might think that this shortage of labor and the inability to hire may have catastrophic impacts on the economy, but this isn't the case. Despite the ongoing lack of labor, businesses are still performing better and making a healthy recovery from the losses suffered during the pandemic. “It’s a little shocking we’re at this point already,” said Steve Lucas, CEO of iCIMS Inc. “Businesses are champing at the bit to grow and are moving faster than applicants are willing to move.” However, there’s still a threat to businesses because of the unavailability of workers.

On the bright side – It is expected that there will be an increase in the population that is willing to work as more and more people get vaccinated, and things start to normalize once again. Also, the opening up of schools and the exhaustion of the government’s budget for unemployment benefits could give people a push in the right direction.

Businesses can expect a moderate increase of up to 25% in their employee strength by the end of next year. However, the workers might be in hopes of getting a greater pay and more job benefits once they resume their job-life.

Additional Resources on "Businesses face a new challenge as the pandemic eases down – The struggle in hiring employees."

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Related Statistics

  • A March survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 42% of owners had job openings that could not be filled, a record high. (

  • Bartenders make about 75% to 80% of their wages in tips, he said. (

  • Confidence is slowly moving higher, now at 45 in the current quarter, up from a record low of 43 in the first quarter, according to the Small Business Confidence Index in the latest CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey (

  • Already, 28% of small business owners reported raising compensation in March, according to the NFIB survey. (