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How to Overcome Staffing Challenges Post-Pandemic

  • May 2, 2022
  • 4 minutes read

A major challenge of running a business is developing scalable long-term company growth. The best way to ensure your business can maintain and grow is to hire great employees and keep them on board for the long term. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the natural flow for hiring and retaining employees has been disrupted. Many small business owners had no choice but to make layoffs, and employees had to alter their career paths to make ends meet. Now, as we’re learning to live and work in year two of the pandemic, we’re seeing massive shifts in service industry workers and the hiring pool. The good news is that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total employment is projected to grow with an increase of 11.9 million jobs over the next eight years, with employment in the food preparation and service industry seeing an increase of 20%.

We wish we had a magic solution to improve hiring for small business owners, but we’ve collected four tips for overcoming staffing challenges and setting your business up for future growth and success.

#1 Incorporate creativity and flexibility

A sound approach to creating flexibility within your business is to use part-time workers, freelancers, and interns. While it used to be difficult to find top performers willing to work for anything less than a full-time position, many candidates prefer the flexibility of these “gig” roles. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry, the Bacon app would be an excellent solution for listing shift jobs. Candidates on the app are already background checked and have reviews from previous employers, making it a quick and easy hiring process for you. Additionally, establishing an internship program in partnership with a local high school or college could be an excellent option for filling your employee pipeline long-term. And, hiring temps for emergencies or during peak periods of your business is also a good idea, allowing you to stay flexible and get the job completed without increasing your overhead.

#2 Cross-generational teams

​​The pandemic forced some of the recently-retired Baby Boomers back into the workplace, which meant that a single team these days can consist of up to four generations:

-Baby Boomers – a great target audience for jobs since the pandemic
-Generation X
-Millennials
-Generation Z

This can create challenges for business owners to blend each generation’s unique experience and skills into one cohesive unit. To work around these issues and avoid any conflicts that may arise regarding experience or seniority, it is essential to:
Clearly define roles
Outline responsibility and decision authority
Implement a practical communication framework within the team

#3 Utilize a local chamber of commerce or small business association

When you can’t find the people with the skills you need, it can negatively impact productivity for your business. Another option for promoting your business and finding what you need is looking into your local chamber of commerce or small business associations. It’s a valuable way to improve a local business’s visibility and credibility. It also allows you to connect and network with other small businesses in your area experiencing similar business issues as yours. Chambers of commerce provides access to valuable resources, discounts, and relationships that help businesses save time and money and further market their products and services. Utilizing this or a local small business association to advertise your job listings will help spread the word for your business.

 

#4 Update your website to promote job listings

Adding a Careers Page to your website is a great way to attract talent to your business. When using the right keywords, your page can show up on search engines, attract casual job seekers, and provide the information serious job hunters need to decide if they want to work for you. Additionally, you can promote your Careers Page via your business and personal social media channels for further exposure. And, to go that extra step, why not advertise your Careers Page on local college campuses. Students are always an excellent resource for shift or temp jobs, so it’s always worth trying.

A “perfect” team doesn’t exist, but working toward long-term fits and addressing your most urgent concerns should provide you with a solid foundation to begin working toward your ultimate goals for business growth. Staffing is a challenge for everyone; try not to stress about it.

Emilija Bošković

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