As Wisconsin businesses begin to reopen and try to regain their footing in the marketplace, one almost universal problem seems to be finding employees to fill open positions. Hiring employees post-pandemic is an issue that is plaguing many companies. Many businesses had to severely cut back or even close temporarily. As a result, many employees were let go. Now, it seems there is a shortage of workers in many industries. What is causing the problem and what can a business do to overcome the hiring issues?
What is Causing Hiring Shortages?
There are a number of factors that may be contributing to a hiring shortage. Many people who became unemployed during the pandemic were receiving unemployment benefits, with a supplemental provision of $300 which is set to end later this year. The federal government provided checks to all Americans and parents are now receiving child tax credit payments monthly. These payments could be part of the reason why some people are not ready to return to work. In addition, some people are now working from home and they prefer that to having to go to an outside job every day.
A number of people who were laid off have since found employment, sometimes in different careers. Older individuals may not be as apt to return to the workforce and early retirements are on the rise. With an aging potential workforce, it is making it more difficult to find suitable employees, particularly for factory jobs that require standing and physical labor. Some businesses were already reporting difficulty hiring even before the pandemic. This could be due, in part, to low minimum wages.
What Can Businesses Do to Improve Hiring Conditions?
With the challenges of hiring right now, businesses must be much more active in trying to recruit new employees. As a business owner, you know that it can take months of training to get an employee up to speed once you hire them. Hiring incentives such as sign-on bonuses and others are helpful, particularly when you hold payment until the employee stays for at least six months. Competitive salary offers are critical for finding good quality workers. You may need to increase wages for entry-level and other positions.
In addition to increased wages, potential employees are looking for better benefits. You can review your benefit packages to improve what you offer workers. Flexible schedules can be appealing to applicants. If your business permits, allow some workers to work remotely or to work from home, at least for a portion of their workweek. Additionally, it is critical to address the medical concerns of workers. Make sure that you provide for a safe work environment and include the features that will ensure the safety of employees and customers during the pandemic.
Create a safe workplace by improving cleaning protocols and including measures to sanitize the environment on a regular basis. Put rules in place that allow space between workers and require masks for those who are not vaccinated. Encourage vaccination and you might even be able to host a vaccine clinic for your employees. Take a more active role in recruiting, looking locally and using social media to find new workers. Consider new places to find workers who are suited to the particular positions you have available.
The pandemic is still not completely over, and yet it is critical to hire employees to keep your business profitable during this interim period. To learn more about business practices and hiring issues, contact our employment law attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online.