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Your Need More Than Luck to Land Your Next Employee   Featured

Your Need More Than Luck to Land Your Next Employee    "This is a shot of the owner of New Zealand watch company - Hunters Race."

As small businesses try to rebuild and recover the lost opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new hurdle seems to be awaiting them: the lack of employees to fill the positions left vacant. With the unfilled positions despite advertising for job openings, the ability of small businesses to rebuild and keep up with the demand for products and services as lockdown restrictions eases is in jeopardy. A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses in March found out that as high as 42% of business owners have active job openings that could not be filled. On the other hand, 91 percent of those actively hiring or trying to hire reported no qualified applicants for the vacant positions.

Potential employees have cited various concerns. Business owners claim that the would-be workers are worried about getting infected with COVID-19, while others prefer living off the unemployment benefits given by the government. With the danger posed by the coronavirus, many people are afraid of going to a physical workplace for fear of being infected. Childcare is another issue during the pandemic. Potential employees with children are unable to work with children at home or as they home-school due to the pandemic. This has driven some of them into staying at home and suspending their work. For some, they are not interested in employment because of a variety of other reasons.

Although the demand for labor has risen, wages and benefits have not increased to reflect the new realities despite the difficulties employees are going through during this season. However, even with unemployment up at 6.1 percent, people are not interested in seeking employment. Many lawmakers and opinion shapers argue that the federal aid, including the additional $300 weekly federal unemployment aid, is discouraging individuals who were rendered jobless by the pandemic from seeking new jobs. While this is true, there are many other reasons for people being unwilling to take up jobs. A census survey conducted in March this year shows that more than 6 million Americans did not seek work because they had to take care of a kid. On the other hand, 4 million stated they fear going to work because they did not want to catch or spread the virus to their families.

While businesses of all sizes face the hiring challenge even as more than 5 million Americans are out of work, smaller companies with little income suffer the most. Although the shortage of talent is not new, the circumstances surrounding the inability or disinterest of the to-be employees refusing to seek employment are totally different. Small business, specifically those in the service industry, seems to be affected the most. For instance, the hotel industry, which requires contact with the public, has seen an increase in people refusing to take up employment to fear contracting the disease. Women seem to have been affected the most by these new trends, the reason being that they have no one to take care of their children. The online classes that kids are now subjected into has even complicated things further.

Although this has come at a time when business owners need people to fill the available positions more than ever, overreacting can spell disaster. According to the Washington Post, Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen has cautioned companies from overreacting can be disastrous. Luckily, with the vaccination now being rolled out across the country and businesses almost running fully, things might come to normal sooner. Therefore, there is no need for organizations to overreact, although the inefficiency caused by the lack of adequate employees might cost companies some dollars.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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