As the economy reopens after more than a year of business closures, many companies are struggling to build back their workforce to full strength. The hiring and recruiting strategies that many businesses employed before the pandemic have changed, and many business owners are becoming frustrated by their inability to get enough workers.

Economists have many different theories as to why businesses are struggling to find workers, but it is likely a combination of several different things.

Why the worker shortage?

One likely contribution to the worker shortage is that the expansion of federal unemployment benefits has made it easier for some people to delay their return to work. In many states, unemployed people are getting an extra $300 a week on top of regular unemployment benefits.

This extra cash has given many would-be workers a cushion to delay their return to work or hold out for a better job offer or take additional time off to deal with family responsibilities or health issues that may have resulted from the pandemic. Workers slowing down their job searches for these reasons is also overlapping with a huge growth in available jobs as we emerge from the pandemic, and those are not being filled quickly enough.

Recruiting strategies can still be effective.

While it is a challenging time to fill a large number of positions quickly, there are still recruitment strategies that can attract applicants. Many businesses are offering short-term bonuses or larger salaries to applicants that exceed unemployment benefits. Employers should also consider issues like child care and work-from-home benefits, which may help remove some of the barriers keeping would-be workers from applying.

The shortage is expected to be temporary.

While unemployment benefits may be slowing the pace that some workers are returning to work, people are slowly returning to the workforce. Some states have already cut unemployment benefits, which may encourage workers to accelerate their job search. Companies struggling to get workers should continue to build their recruitment pipeline to take advantage of applicants when they inevitably come.

Need Some Guidance with Hiring and Recruiting?

LBMC Employment Partners can help your company with everything from recruiting and hiring to onboarding and training. From payroll to PEO services, we’re equipped with a comprehensive suite of HR services to grow and scale with your company along the way!