Addressing Labor Shortages for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses


August 16, 2021

Job Interview Labor Shortages Could Mean Business Owners Need to Rethink Their Hiring Strategies

Many North American industries, including medium to small businesses, are experiencing roadblocks when rehiring workforces and bouncing back from a challenging pandemic. Some pundits have cried foul, pointing to unemployment benefits that have, in some cases, allowed people to stay home and not work while collecting compensation. While major media may identify labor shortages as a crisis it might be more accurately redefined as a wage crisis. Many states have ended unemployment benefits but still face labor shortages.

There were an estimated 9 million job openings across the United States this past spring, yet employers have continually been challenged to fill these roles. Job listings don’t garner anywhere close to the same amount of attention from workers as they once did. Business leaders might need to use some creativity to attract and retain workers to ensure the anticipated economic bounce back goes as smoothly as possible.

Labor Shortages: Key Industries That Are Facing Extreme Challenges

It’s important to note that some industries are experiencing more hardship than others. Demand has increased for some sectors, while other specialized labor has been recruited or drawn to different employers for increased wages and other health benefits. For instance, the moving industry has faced extensive challenges this spring and summer. The housing market has experienced wild swings, and many families have downsized or moved out of major cities; the result is causing employers to scramble to find general laborers to address these demands.

The logistics and shipping industry has also struggled during these times, as the demand for truck drivers and other warehouse professionals has increased with consumers purchasing goods online. Textile, sawmills, and fishing industries continue to struggle to find qualified workers as they face the growing demand from the economic recovery.

Money Labor Shortages Might Not be Fully Addressed by Increased Wages

Increasing wages, offering more flexibility, and incentivizing roles with health benefits is just the beginning of speaking to the greater labor shortage issues facing business owners. Recruiting talent that can fill roles, especially specialized roles, is likely to be a complicated endeavor that begins not just on online job sites but at community colleges and universities. Some of the outdated tactics of filtering applicants based on how many years of education they have might need to be done away with, and employers may have to dig a little deeper to find applicants that can fill their vacant roles.

Long-term partnerships with community colleges can help grow workforces organically, as these relationships allow key information to be communicated to educational institutions. By partnering with schools, educators will know what qualifications students need to land a job with your business. Instead of looking at these labor shortages as a hurdle towards recovery, view it as a chance to rethink how your company recruits candidates and shapes a workforce that promotes growth for years to come.

Labor Shortages Mount as Government Addresses Concerns

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is well aware of the challenges facing many businesses at this moment. The America Works Initiative has been created to connect employers with candidates and promote policy changes and encourage companies to look at the bigger picture for workers and employers alike. Some initiatives include promoting professional training programs, removing some of the barriers to hiring, and encouraging employers to be more competitive in their efforts to rehire workers.

Now more than ever, young workers are more informed and patient in their job search. Potential candidates are looking at the bigger picture of their career, are more selective of where they choose to work, and may not accept the first offer that comes their way during their job search. Some workers might opt for a position that includes “upskilling,” opportunities for apprenticeships in skilled markets, and the potential to not only make a living wage but grow their skillsets towards a more fruitful career.

Hard Hats Labor Shortage Solutions Offered by AFIMAC: Temporary Labor and Workforces

During these challenging times, business owners should consider leveraging temporary labor solutions to help meet the increasing demands of their industry. Temporary labor and workers offered by AFIMAC can address labor shortages and keep a business viable despite the ongoing labor crisis. Should a small or medium-sized business find challenges filling specific roles for their industry, temporary labor can address these hurdles until the situation is fully addressed.

Further, AFIMAC can address complications related to strikes, labor negotiations, walk-offs, or absenteeism among your workforces. AFIMAC maintains a directory of highly skilled laborers that can address long-term strikes or shortages with temporary workers across multiple industries. These temporary workers provide a solution to challenges related to your supply chain and can help ease issues of absenteeism that have arisen post-pandemic.

Should your business experience labor shortages, AFIMAC can offer many solutions while helping navigate challenges with union negotiations and strikes. Further, AFIMAC can address other issues that may arise during these challenges, including strike security, remote terminations, and executive protection service offerings.

Contact us directly to learn more about available services and address the challenges related to labor across North America.
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