A new survey from The Conference Board reports U.S. businesses are facing historic difficulty in finding qualified workers. According to this survey, it is especially difficult for small businesses in the service industry,
Worker Shortage Problems for Small Businesses
The survey looks at the human capital response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the pandemic is still affecting everyone, the impact of corona virus on small businesses is particularly hard.
For those hiring mostly industry and manual services workers, 80% of the respondents are having a hard time finding qualified workers. Twenty-five percent of them say they are finding it very difficult to find workers, and 55% somewhat difficult. Before the pandemic, only four percent said they found it difficult to find qualified workers.
The numbers for organizations with professional and office workers did not fluctuate that much before and after the pandemic (April 2021).
For professional and office workers 22% said it was difficult before and 25% after. And as far as being very difficult it was one percent before and three percent after.
However, he also points out this is going to bode well for workers. Adding it will accelerate wage growth and more employment opportunities.
The survey points out companies looking to hire will face challenges in the coming months. This will likely cover most industries as they ramp up output to meet the growing demand from the opening economy.
The challenges are:
- Recruiting qualified workers and retaining existing ones
- Adjusting to many employees working primarily remotely
- Addressing deteriorating employee well-being
- Managing the return to the workplace
Remote Work and Well Being
Remote work and well-being seem to go hand in hand as more people work from home without the social interactions of an office. When it comes to remote work, close to 75% of organizations had less than 10% of their employees working remotely in April 2020. In 2021, human capital executives expect 40% or more of their employees to still work primarily remotely one year after COVID-19 subsides.