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."

  • As small businesses recover from the pandemic, they face a new obstacle: finding workers - More than 40% of small business owners had job openings that could not be filled, a survey found. (cnbc.com)

  • Hotels And Restaurants That Survived Pandemic Face New Challenge: Staffing Shortages - Business owners who rely on seasonal foreign workers coming to the U.S. on H-2B visas are struggling to find help they need for what's expected to be a busy summer. (npr.org)

  • Unemployment Is High. Why Are Businesses Struggling to Hire? - Discover the value of independent Times journalism today. (nytimes.com)

  • ‘It's a crisis:' Restaurants fighting to rebound from the pandemic are encountering a surprising new challenge - Despite a recovering economy and more job opportunities than a year ago, restaurants across South Florida can't seem to find enough workers and are being forced to curtail operations. (sun-sentinel.com)

  • Is the Restaurant Industry Facing a Hiring Crisis? - Sales might be bouncing back. Employment, on the other hand, is a different conversation. (qsrmagazine.com)

  • Restaurants struggle to find workers as pandemic eases - There are signs up at restaurants all around Wilmington advertising that they are hiring for all positions. Restaurant owners say business is picking up as COVID-19 numbers go down, but they are struggling to hire employees to handle the increased demand. (wect.com)

  • Small Businesses Get Creative to Survive During the Pandemic - Innovations adopted during the coronavirus crisis drive revenue and generate new opportunities for small businesses in the U.S. (shrm.org)

  • Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can't Companies Find Workers? - U.S. employers in sectors like manufacturing and restaurants aren’t finding enough people to hire, threatening to hold back the country’s economic recovery. Among the reasons potential workers are holding back: fear of getting Covid, lack of child care and enhanced unemployment benefits. (wsj.com)

  • Challenges of HR And Its Shift Post COVID-19 Pandemic - The sudden shift in work culture has brought new challenges for HR. The top priority for HR professionals is now crisis response and how to keep the employees engaged. (blog.vantagecircle.com)

  • To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now - Reskilling employees and adapting their roles to the post-COVID-19 ways of working will be crucial to building operating-model resilience. (mckinsey.com)

  • Employee adjustment and well-being in the era of COVID-19: Implications for human resource management - Today’s organizations have to remain alert and adaptive to unforeseen events, such as external crises, which create increased uncertainty among their workforce and pose immediate threats to the organizations’ performance and viability. ... (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

  • Diverse employees are struggling the most during COVID-19--here’s how companies can respond - New global research shows that despite companies’ recent efforts, diverse employees need more. Businesses should ask themselves new questions for a changed workplace. (mckinsey.com)

  • Starting a new job remotely can be a challenge: Here's how to ease the transition - Starting any new job can be stressful enough in person, but there are some additional issues with 100% remote-based work. Learn some tips on how to hit the ground running. (techrepublic.com)

  • A Way Forward for Small Businesses - In the face of existential uncertainty, you must balance urgency with prudence. (hbr.org)

  • Working From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic: What You Need To Know - Whether you’re a first-time telecommuter struggling to be as productive from your couch as you are from your cube, or a manager looking for ways to keep your newly remote team engaged, this is your guide to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. (forbes.com)

  • Globalization Benefits and Challenges - Weigh the main benefits and challenges of globalization to find out how to mitigate risk while taking advantage of global opportunities. (velocityglobal.com)

  • As pandemic eases, Buffalo Niagara employers face new challenge: bringing workers back - “Our goal going forward is to keep what’s great, what we’ve learned about remote working, but then how do we build back in some of the stuff that we’ve missed?” (buffalonews.com)

  • Experts Say the ‘New Normal' in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges - A plurality of experts think sweeping societal change will make life worse for most people. Still, a portion believe things will be better in a ‘tele-everything’ world. (pewresearch.org)

  • COVID-19: Policies to Protect People and Communities - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and people are forced to stay home, workers are losing their jobs, health care systems are being stressed, local businesses are at risk of closing (urban.org)

  • Manufacturers eager to produce, but can't find workers - It’s a common refrain among many area manufacturers: the demand for what they make is robust, but finding workers to hire is difficult. (buffalonews.com)

 

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. (cnbc.com)

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

  • 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 (cnbc.com)

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