Trends in Technology

How to Hire Employees During a Labor Shortage

December 16, 2021 by Jared McCarley
Read similar articles in: Business, Industry Stories, Remote Work, Trending

Hire Employees | After tens of thousands of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, factories, and tourist attractions, closed due to the pandemic, nearly 9.6 million workers lost their jobs due to the economic downturn. However, with the economy gradually reviving itself following the mass vaccination problems and lifted restrictions, a considerable chunk of the workforce isn’t returning to work, causing businesses in most industries to experience a mass labor shortage.

In this post, we’ll share why the workforce isn’t returning to work and how to hire employees during a labor shortage.

Why Is There a Labor Shortage in the US?

The labor shortage in the US has become an unusual obstacle for employers looking to revive their businesses following the lockdowns and restrictions. With foot traffic finally returning, many are left frustrated with high turnover while others cannot entice employees to join or rejoin even with appealing incentives. Here are the main reasons for the staff shortage in the new normal:

1. Unemployment Checks

The US Department of Labor launched an unemployment insurance program that offers benefits to eligible workers. The average person received a check of around $378 a week; however, this amount varies from state to state. As a result, many workers were discouraged from searching for a job or taking certain jobs, especially where the benefits are more generous.

2. Relocation

Another reason for the labor shortage is that millions of workers in urban cities and employment hubs relocated to their hometowns or less expensive cities/towns due to layoffs or remote work. With a shortage of physical staff, many employers are struggling to recover from the pandemic or meet the new demand fully.

3. New Work Habits

The pandemic transformed several industries almost beyond recognition, especially with the emergence of remote work. As a result, many workers are willing to work but not ready to return to offices, forcing employers to either fully adopt the remote model or look for new staff.

4. Anger and Fear

The tables have turned for many businesses who thought layoffs were the best strategy to maximize profits and ensure continuity. After being let go at the worst possible time, many workers were enraged by their employers and industry, in general, and decided not to return, fearing another layoff was imminent if another pandemic-like event were to occur down the road.

5. New Perspectives, Life Goals, and Expectations

The pandemic forced many people to rethink their careers, priorities, and life goals after the crisis. For starters, employees are demanding more pay, work-life balance, and productivity tools from employers. Flexibility has become more important than earning a couple of dollars more an hour.

6 Ways to Hire Employees During a Labor Shortage

The truth is that staff shortage in the US isn’t going away anytime soon, even if governments decide to end the unemployment benefits program or increase the cost of living through taxes or inflation. Businesses have to transform their businesses by embracing modern solutions, simplifying operations, and including more rewarding incentives to entice employees. Here’s how to hire employees during a labor shortage:

1. Get Creative with Recruitment

Recruitment and retention are currently the most difficult challenges businesses in every industry are facing. The market has come a long way, from the time when people were suiting up and lining up outside offices for interviews. However, with staff shortages, businesses have to be on the front foot and carefully advertise their openings within their communities. The idea is to treat employees like a salesperson would treat customers and spice up the job descriptions.

2. Offer Flexible Schedules

The modern workforce has realized that they aren’t machines for businesses to command. With the market finally on their side for once, businesses are forced to consider staff preferences (number of shifts per week and working hours, etc.). By putting your future employees’ needs first and playing to their strengths, you have a better shot at retaining your staff and getting the best out of them.

3. Management Tweaks

Traditionally, workers have no idea which direction their organization is heading since leaders and executives make high-level decisions behind closed doors. Businesses in the new normal have to be more transparent. They have to involve employees at different levels in decisions, empowering them to work harder by showing them what their input means to the organization. This is possible through open communication and fostering a culture of open-door policies and cross-department collaboration.

4. Include More Benefits

Offering better pay than competitors has often been the go-to strategy for organizations looking to lure top-level employees. However, this strategy is outdated as modern employees want more than a better paycheck, such as bonuses, more paid leaves, a hybrid work model, and other benefits. Many remote employees also demand that their employers provide them with the proper tools and equipment to improve productivity and efficiency.

5. Embrace Technology

Organizations in the digital age have to deal with a tech-savvy workforce that primarily comprises Millennials and Gen Zers who expect a modern workplace that uses the latest equipment and digital solutions in the market. The last thing you want is job applicants being turned off by traditional practices or outdated equipment.

6. Diversify

Workplace diversity has become a trending buzzword in the last decade, with more women and people of color adding a wealth of perspectives in organizations, strengthening their business in the process. As a business, you should widen your pool to get the best candidates to apply and not just more of the same.


If you’re struggling to hire employees during the labor shortage in the US, you can use any of the methods mentioned above and make your company a place where people want to work. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving in to all the modern workforce demands but finding the right balance that can benefit both employer and employee.

For more information related to technology and trending business practices, visit Percento Technologies today. We specialize in working with small and medium enterprises to help develop IT and web solutions that can support different business initiatives.