How to Address a Staffing Shortage

How to Address a Staffing Shortage

staffing shortage

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs in 2021, leaving equally as many vacancies in their wake. While many employers had no problems filling their open positions, some struggled and still have issues to this day. If your business has encountered problems associated with staffing shortages, here are a few of the many ways you might be able to address them.

Work With Staffing Agencies

When you work in a specialized industry, such as IT, finding qualified and experienced employees isn’t always easy. You might offer the most attractive perks and desirable pay packet but still aren’t able to attract the right workers. Utilize the services of an IT staffing agency, and that might change.

Staffing agencies work hard to find the right talent with the right skill set and send you their best candidates for your open positions. With them handling this critical task, you can focus on your daily operations and keep your business operating like a well-oiled machine.

Look Outside Your Area

It’s easy to assume that you can only fill physical location positions with people living in your town or city. While you might receive most of your applications from locals, there’s no harm in looking outside your area. With the right incentives, some job seekers with the skills you require might be more than happy to relocate to a new city.

Rather than posting your job vacancy only regionally, consider state-wide or nationwide postings. You might even sweeten the deal by offering to contribute to relocation costs for the right applicant.

Consider Short-Term Employees

Some roles can require such specialized employees that filling them quickly with permanent employees can be a near-impossible task. If you haven’t had any luck securing a permanent employee in your necessary timeframe, consider whether a short-term employee can be a suitable interim measure. If agencies aren’t able to assist with permanent employees, they might be able to help you find casual employees until someone more suitable comes along.

Determine the Reason for Your Staffing Shortage

If your business has long struggled with staff retention, it can be important to determine the cause. Otherwise, you risk going through the hiring process once more, only to lose more staff. Ask your employees for feedback through anonymous surveys and act on any feedback they provide you. A lack of communication, no advancement opportunities, minimal perks, and uncompetitive salaries might all play a part in your inability to hire and retain staff. Focus on these problems, and that might change in the future.

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Inflexibility in working hours can sometimes contribute to a lack of job seekers applying for your vacant positions. Your job might be just what people are looking for, but commitments like family can see them not inquiring because the hours don’t suit them. Be more flexible with your working hours, and you might fill your positions much easier.

There are three popular working arrangements that appeal to prospective employees: flextime, remote, and short work weeks. You might lure in promising applicants by letting them choose their own hours with a flextime arrangement or let your employees telecommute part-time or full-time. A compressed work week is also desirable as it allows employees to work longer hours but fewer days.

Prioritize Business Projects

Short staffing typically means fewer employees to tackle an ever-growing list of projects. Employees faced with significant workloads can be at risk of burnout and might even be pushed to resign to take care of their mental health.

Prioritize business projects for the sake of your team’s well-being and to keep your clients’ expectations in check. Check in with your workers to learn about the projects they’re working on and organize them in order of urgency. Don’t forget to meet with your employees often to ensure they aren’t overworked while you’re in the process of addressing your staffing shortage.

Communicate Effectively

Increased workloads during times of reduced staffing levels might only be a temporary problem. But your employees won’t know that unless you tell them. When your business encounters challenges, keep your employees informed for their peace of mind. Failure to pass on important information might result in them drawing inaccurate conclusions about business operations. As a result, it might become harder to maintain a positive company culture and high employee happiness levels.

Staffing shortages are frustrating for many business owners and managers, but they don’t last forever. Work with staffing agencies, make your business a desirable place to work, and communicate effectively, and it might not be long until you’re fully staffed once more. 


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