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Why Is Hiring Still Hard During High Unemployment?

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Many companies did their best to hold onto their employees in the beginning stages of the pandemic, but had no choice but to rethink their staffing structures, put together remote teams, and let people go throughout the year. But now, as we inch toward the one year mark of the pandemic, businesses are finding that even in periods of high unemployment, hiring is still a challenge. Why?

Temporary Layoffs Make Hiring Hard

About 75% of people who are out of work right now are temporarily laid off, which means they aren’t looking for new jobs. So while the numbers show hundreds of thousands of people out of work, many have a plan to return to their jobs. They aren’t applying for new jobs, and instead are figuring out how to navigate a temporary season of unemployment. This may look like taking out loans or living off of their savings.

A Shift In Qualified Applicants Can Make Hiring Hard

Another reason that it can be difficult to hire during times of high employment is that the pool of qualified hires is off balance. Industries like travel, hospitality, airlines, restaurants, and live venues have been impacted the most by Covid-19, but skills that make them successful in their industries are not the same skills required for jobs like finance or technology. Businesses that are hiring have to choose applicants that possess the qualities, experience, education, and skills that will help the company be successful. While there may be an influx in applications, many are not qualified for the jobs they’re applying for.

Small and medium-sized businesses are also reporting that while they may be generating interest in their open positions, they’re seeing a trend of people simply not showing up for interviews. Business owners and managers are wasting precious time throughout the day waiting for potential hires who never show up. This can be both frustrating and expensive for small businesses.

Filling Out A Resume During High Unemployment | Staffing Agency Los Angeles

Too Many Applicants Make Hiring Hard

On the other end, many industries in California are overwhelmed with applications and simply don’t have the time, staff, and resources to look through all of them. To accurately choose the right candidate for the job, an HR rep or business owner must take the time to carefully review every resume, call references, possibly run background checks, and schedule interviews. This can be a time-consuming process during times of average unemployment. But industries that are still actively hiring, such as grocery stores, telecommunication companies, and tech support can’t keep up, which means they may be missing out on qualified employees.

Unemployment Benefits Hinder Hiring

It’s no secret that many Americans can make more collecting unemployment than they can while working. According to a study done by the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago, “68% of unemployed workers who are eligible for unemployment will receive benefits that exceed lost earnings” This idea can bring up a lot of different feelings in people, but the truth is that many Americans can support their families while they are out of work the same way, or better than they could when they had their minimum wage job. This means that even though there are thousands of people who have been laid off, some are not actively seeking new employment. Many people see this time of unemployment as an opportunity to stay home, socially distance, have more personal time, and still make money to support their families. The danger to this, of course, is a gap in employment and skill building.

How To Hire In The Aftermath Of A Pandemic

Unemployment is high, but finding qualified employees is still a struggle for many small and medium-sized businesses. Many high performing businesses are turning to staffing agencies to help handle the details so they can do everything they need to help their business thrive during these uncertain times. If you’ve been struggling to find and hire top talent in the last 4-6 months, contact us today! We can take care of the details so you can focus on the big picture.

Great Hire Staffing Agency | Hiring During High Unemployment


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