You’ve seen the headlines about “The Great Resignation” in which masses of people resigned from their jobs. The Great Reshuffle would be a more accurate term though, as hiring has outpaced resignations since November 2020, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. 

How Did We Get Here?

In the midst of the pandemic, over 100,000 businesses were forced to close temporarily, leaving millions of U.S. workers unemployed. And while job openings have soared, unemployment has been slower to decline.

Since February 2020, 3 million people have completely left the workforce. A portion of those three million people no longer needed to work with enhanced unemployment benefits, stimulus payments, and child tax credits.

The US has an estimated 11.5 million job openings currently, but only 5.9 million unemployed workers. The industries with the highest number of job openings include transportation, health care and social assistance, hospitality, and food sectors.

A Job Seeker’s Market

HR reps, recruiters, and hiring managers are struggling to fill positions. With such an imbalance between open positions and people looking for work, job seekers have more options, and power, than ever before. Applicants seem flakier than ever: not responding to requests for interviews, not showing up for interviews, and even quitting before their first day because they got a better job offer from somewhere else.

So what are employers dealing with staff shortages supposed to do? Today we’ll share some quick fix ideas for your talent shortage and ways to attract more applicants. 

Quick Fixes

Train your current team to do more

Consider the job openings you have currently. Could some of the tasks be done by current employees, either in their current roles or if they were promoted? Do you have employees that are underutilized or looking for advancement opportunities? 

Have current employees work more

Do any existing employees want more hours, like transitioning from part-time to full-time? Overtime is also a compelling offer for many employees. While many companies try to avoid overtime at all costs, it may actually be a cost effective way to solve staff shortage problems in the short-term.

Think about the cost of posting a job, time and effort required to review applicants, interview multiple people, and select a candidate who may or may not accept your offer. Then there’s the time and resources it takes to train a new employee. Now compare that to the “time and a half” you can pay to existing employees who know what they’re doing and are happy to increase their paycheck. 

Consider hiring a temporary employee

There are some advantages to hiring a temp worker, especially if a position requires little training. A temporary employment agency may be able to connect you with a temp worker immediately. You can test out a candidate’s skills and company fit on a trial basis. And of course if the temp employee does well, you can offer them a permanent role. 

Get more applications

Make your job post stand out 

Make your job posting fun and unique. Highlight what makes your organization different. Think of how you can humanize the post rather than it being a dry list of job responsibilities and what you need. What does the company have to offer?

Include the starting pay or pay range

Once upon a time, pay was not discussed until an employer was ready to extend a job offer. I remember hearing the advice that when it came to job interviews “the first person to talk about money, loses.” But times have changed! 

With more opportunities for applicants than ever before, some people won’t even apply to a job without pay information listed. And do you really want to go through the entire recruitment process with a candidate just to find out in the end that you can’t offer them anything close to the rate or salary they require? Save everyone time and hassle by clearly stating in the job description the starting pay or pay range.

Post the job opening on social media

Whether it’s a post on LinkedIn or Facebook, sharing an open position in your network never hurts. You might be surprised when a trusted old coworker replies, or your Aunt knows someone looking for just that type of position. 

Explore new channels for recruitment

The one or two job websites you’ve had success with in the past may not be sufficient in this job seeker’s market. Consider where you might find candidates in your community. 

Ask local colleges or high schools about sharing open positions, participating in job fairs, or offering internship opportunities. There may be local organizations you can partner with to advertise your job opening. And don’t count out senior citizens – plenty of retirees seek part-time employment for extra income or socialization.

Offer an employee referral program

Try out an employee referral program/bonus to reward current employees who refer an applicant who is hired and stays for a certain length of time. Maybe it’s $50, maybe it’s $500. How valuable are qualified employees to you?

That concludes our tips for employers to quickly tackle a staff shortage. Stay tuned for longer-term staffing solutions in an upcoming post geared toward decreasing employee turnover (hint: becoming a great employer helps!). 

Source of employment stats: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

More Numberwise articles for you to explore:

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Green Flags in an Accountant

3 Reasons Bookkeeping is Important Year-Round

About the Author

Picture of Rachel Law

Rachel Law

Rachel Law, Marketing Manager at Numberwise, has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications. She coordinates content for all of our marketing channels, and loves a good meme. Rachel is a health and fitness enthusiast who enjoys yoga and running. She has 2 kids and a growing number of indoor plants.

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