The Results Are In: Businesses Continue to Struggle to Fill Open Positions

As communities and workforces continue to work toward getting back to the pre-pandemic “normal,” some businesses are still affected by regulations and restrictions mandated during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Before March 2020, North America experienced record-low unemployment rates and high business gains. However, with unemployment in the U.S. and Canada at 5.8% and 8.2%, respectively, companies are dealing with new challenges hindering success.

In a recent poll by Refresh Leadership, readers were asked what their companies’ biggest barrier to success right now was, and with the majority of votes, the answer overwhelmingly points toward workforce issues. With 54% of the responses, “Hiring for open positions” coming in first, followed by “Offering competitive compensation.” The “Other” option received 13%. The full results are as follows:

What is your company’s biggest barrier to success right now?

  • Hiring for open positions – 54%
  • Other – 13%
  • Offering competitive compensation – 11%
  • Low product demand – 6%
  • Unable to keep with increased product demand – 6%
  • Employee turnover – 5%
  • Financial recovery from COVID-19 – 4%
  • Impact of new safety guidelines/requirements in response to COVID-19 – 2%

In a follow-up question, respondents were asked what was the one thing that would make the most positive impact on their companies’ success right now. Answers ranged from hiring new full-time employees to removing unemployment benefits to lifting COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. Specifically, a few responses showed how employers are struggling with getting past barriers caused by the pandemic, hiring the right workers, and maintaining production and the frustrations therewithin, including:

  • “The government needs to quit overly subsidizing the unemployed. No one wants to actually work as long as they are getting stimulus checks and high unemployment checks. They are interviewing and “accepting” positions and never showing up.”
  • “Being able to find employees with good work ethic and integrity. We have a lot of turnover from people who start and then just stop showing up after a few weeks.”
  • “Qualified employees who want to be successful. Employees that want to make a difference. Employees who understand that you have to earn a paycheck. You have to want to overachieve.”
  • “Being able to purchase materials to keep up with demand.”
  • “Lift all restrictions and go back to normal life. All factories, manufacturing, and shipping on double time to catch up to demand.”
  • “Decrease taxes and regulation.”

Dealing with Hiring Issues

While several of the issues expressed by our readers are out of their control, unfortunately, there is still something to be done when dealing with a talent shortage. According to the U.S. Labor Department and Statistics Canada, there are nearly 12 million people unemployed in North America. With COVID-19 U.S. unemployment benefits running out in the near future, experts expect potential employees to flood the job market. Additionally, the return to normal should drive up consumer spending and production, causing higher demand for qualified workers. To get ahead of the curve, now is the time to look toward workforce solutions to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.

Staffing companies like Express Employment Professionals are able to recruit and place the right candidates for you, when you need them. Taking the hassle out of hiring may be exactly what your organization needs to help you stay focused on running your business.

How do you deal with hiring issues? What are you doing to deal with the current talent shortage? Let us know in the comments section below!

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