Not only are small businesses being severely challenged these days by the economy, but finding the right people has become a continuous challenge. So many businesses in so many industries are looking to expand but are finding that getting qualified people onto their team is becoming next to impossible. So, why is it such an overwhelming challenge? In some recent survey research, the US Chamber of Commerce went out to discover what the potential workforce is thinking. What they discovered may be a bit of a surprise. The following is taken directly from their recently published research:
- Many Americans who lost their job during the pandemic—and remain unemployed—are not actively searching for work, according to a new U.S. Chamber poll. In fact, 45% feel they can remain out of work for six months or more before it becomes essential to return to a full-time job. The lack of people actively seeking work is a major factor contributing to the ongoing workforce shortage, leaving employers looking for ways to adapt their recruiting and retention practices to attract the talent they need.
- The poll revealed nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans who lost their job during the pandemic, and remain unemployed, say that a top reason they have not returned to work is the need to be home to offer care to others. That percentage jumps to 31% for women respondents. Access to high quality, affordable childcare has been increasingly difficult to come by during the pandemic, leaving many caretakers more likely to stay out of, or leave, the workforce. To address the people-jobs gap, there must be a commitment to solutions for working parents.
- More employers are offering flexible work schedules (which may also help bring back some of the caregivers mentioned above). According to the U.S. Chamber poll, the second most popular incentive that would increase the urgency for the unemployed to return to full-time employment is flexible work hours (43%). And increasingly, employers can’t afford to go without it. There is mounting evidence that workers view flexible work schedules as an important benefit that may lead them to take one job over another.
- Some employers are looking to bring back workers, or find new ones, by offering to upskill or train new hires as part of their hiring package. Today, many workers are looking to not only change jobs, but to change industries. According to the poll, nearly a third (32%) of unemployed workers said they would prefer to work in a different industry for their next job.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer