Like most of us during the early days of the pandemic, business owners were running on pure adrenaline, just trying to find ways to survive.
Now, with vaccinations on the rise and eased restrictions, they're poised and ready to get back to normal. However, they're facing a major pandemic-induced challenge: chronic labor shortages in the job market.
What led to our current hiring challenges?
To sum it up, the COVID pandemic is to blame. Shutdowns and social distancing caused businesses across industries to close their doors. Those that relied on face-to-face interactions — like restaurants — moved toward a remote, curb-side or delivery business model. Layoffs followed.
Meanwhile, organizations in certain industries, including warehousing, e-commerce, fulfillment and grocery stores, were facing unprecedented demand. To attract workers, they raised wages and offered signing bonuses. Workers flocked to these positions and are not likely to leave them. In fact, a recent survey by Joblist found that nearly 30% of restaurant workers do not plan on returning to the industry.
Lastly, enhanced unemployment benefits could incentivize some workers to stay home. According to QSR Magazine and Black Box Intelligence, these circumstances came together to create "a perfect storm" of talent shortages.
Hiring decisions should be about candidate experience, culture fit for the employer brand, and creating a healthy and diverse workforce. Unfortunately, in today’s job market, sourcing any qualified candidates is a far bigger concern.
5 ways to beat the talent crunch and find qualified candidates
These labor market conditions won't last forever. While you can be optimistic that several elements of the perfect storm are beginning to pass, it would be a mistake to let that optimism turn to denial. The pandemic has created permanent changes that employers in all industries will have to face going forward. You can adapt by considering the following.
1. Focus on recruiting. Employee referrals, website job boards and social media posts are some of the most successful methods of recruiting for restaurants, according to a poll by Black Box Intelligence and QSR Magazine. Communicate openings to staff and post them online.
2. Recruiters need to create job descriptions that tout your culture and career paths. Show workers a job with your organization is more than just a job. Create and post job descriptions that showcase your culture and your business as a place employees can grow.
3. Make applying easy. Blake Casper, a McDonald's franchisee who was offering a $50 incentive just for candidates to show up for interviews, had better luck employing a mix of referral programs, signing bonuses and allowing candidates to text to apply. Consider adopting text-to-apply technology.
4. Offer robust onboarding. Show new hires that you're willing to invest in their expertise and performance by training them well from the start. Not only will training help you attract top talent, it can help you retain the best candidates, too.
5. Offer flexible scheduling. The ability to work remotely is a perk that workers are beginning to expect. If offering remote work isn't possible because of your business model, offering a flexible schedule can be the next best thing.
The right technology can help find the right candidates
Taking the steps above might sound daunting if you don’t have any type of human resources management solution. But with the right technology, you can make talent acquisition less painful and automate key aspects of your recruiting strategy and hiring process.
When it comes to recruitment, it's helpful to use a technology that empowers you to post your job openings online and on social media platforms with just a few clicks. Potential candidates should be able to text to apply easily from any mobile device. The right system should also make it easy for you to manage the entire recruitment process all from one central dashboard.
The right solution will also have an onboarding module that will help you recruit the right talent and take steps toward their retention. Look for technology that incorporates all of these capabilities into a system that also helps you manage payroll and scheduling.
Heartland can simplify the hiring process and other staffing needs
Heartland Hire aggregates all your job postings, current applicants, and scheduled interviews all in one convenient dashboard. You can also access relevant resumes, interview notes, job stats and more in your own database. Plus, with Heartland Hire, you can create a new job posting in 60 seconds and post it to your careers page and social media accounts in a few clicks.
This type of technology, combined with our personalized customer service, can help you take the steps you need to adapt to the current talent pool crisis and secure the new team members you need.
You can learn more about Heartland’s human resources management and payroll services by clicking here. To read more about Hiring in Hard Times, check out our infographic here.