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Businesses Report Difficulty Hiring and Retaining Employees

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Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to hire qualified workers while also struggling to retain their existing employees. This information is based on a survey released this past Wednesday by the Conference Board.

Businesses, HR Personal Spoke Out Regarding Labor Shortages

Of the more than 230 human resource executives on an April online survey, they echo the many reports of labor shortages across the economy. That is as businesses and other establishments had shut down or were restricted by the Corona Virus pandemic that quickly reopened.

Businesses: Hiring and Retention

There is difficulty in hiring and retention according to the organization’s survey. In fact, it was most acute for those looking for industrial and manual services workers. Yet the problem was also significant for professional firms.

Industry, Manual Service Workers

“Industry and manual services workers were in high in demand and short in supply before the pandemic,” said Frank Steemers, a co-author of the survey report and senior economist at the board. “As the economy reopens this trend is going to resurface, while this changed at the onset of the pandemic.”

Challenge for Companies

This creates a challenge for corporations, Steemers has added. Thus on the flip side, it bodes well for the workers themselves. It offers upward wage growth and offering more employment opportunities.”

Businesses: Trends in the Survey

A third in the series, this survey was first done in April 2020 since the pandemic had begun. It was just as the Corona Virus shutdowns were at their peak. The second survey was done in September. Over the last year, developments have left companies facing four major challenges: a workplace where a huge number of employees will work remotely, hiring and retaining workers, thus dealing with employee well-being, and then managing the return to the workplace.

Survey Findings

In fact, the findings suggest it won’t be easy to meet those challenges as:

Organizations at least 38 percent expect that as many as 40% or more of their employees will work most remotely. Companies, at least 80 percent, are seeking industry and manual services workers report that is “somewhat” or “very” difficult to find qualified workers. This is compared with 74 percent before the pandemic. The numbers are 60 percent and 59 percent respectively among companies with professional or office workforces.

With a need for industry and manual services workers, 49 percent say it is “somewhat” or “very” difficult to retain workers. Thus compared with 30% reporting that prior to the pandemic. The numbers are 28% and 23%, respectively, among companies with professional or office workforces.

Productivity Increases, Burn Out Among Employees and a Decrease in Work-Life Balance

Productivity increased during the pandemic which is what 60% of the firms reported. Yet at a cost to employees, with 76% saying they had seen an increase in employees. They have said there is burn out. With 55% reporting a decrease in work-life balance. In the September survey, it compares with 42% and 46%.

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