Ask the Flexpert…How to Overcome the Employee Shortage?

Trouble Keeping up with the Demand?

Companies are increasing their need for high performing talent, but the supply of skilled candidates has diminished.  That makes it harder for employers to satisfy their needs.  The economy is hot and organizations want to participate.  But, how do they do that when they can’t find enough qualified workers?

Characiture of Flexpert

This has become a candidate-driven environment.  Nearly 40% of organizations couldn’t fill their job openings last month.


Some helpful hints to deal with this employee shortage are:

Extended Hiring Process

Reset your expectations that a longer hiring process is the new normal.  It’s been observed that open positions are remaining that way approximately one and a half months.  The time to fill a position has roughly doubled over the past 5 years.  So you must start your recruitment process earlier and pay particular attention to your job description and your company reputation.


With more available positions and salaries finally starting to rise, employers can expect to see more turnover.  That will worsen the hiring crisis.  Higher performing workers have even more job opportunities available.  So, it’s vital for retention to support current employees’ desire for greater training and career development.   That shifts the discussion away from money and toward retention actions.

Counter Offer

If an employee plans to leave, the earlier you get this information the more time you have to consider whether or not to counter. The key is learning why the employee plans to quit.  Asking the employee if they would consider staying if those areas were improved could make a difference in retention versus back to hiring.

Dissatisfaction causes a worker’s choice to jump ship. In this candidate-shortage environment we advise finding out your top employees dissatisfaction points and presenting them with a counter offer.  Your plan is to persuade them to remain with your firm and for you to avoid the cost and hassle of going the new hire route.


Higher wages in your new hire offer is an obvious answer, though painful. But a competitive compensation package can be the solution. Be sure to research what your industry is paying for certain experience, skills, and positions. You can tweak that to make sure you have a solid offer. If a high-performing candidate already has a firm offer from a competitor, consider the components of the offer and make your offer addresses learning, company culture and career advancement as your response.


In the past, there were fewer employment opportunities and more competition for jobs. An organization could list their job opening on its website and multiple qualified applicants would respond. Today, candidates aren’t necessarily proactively seeking new opportunities. But, if an employee recognizes your firm and it has a good reputation then they’re more likely to respond to your job post. So, actions to strengthen your company name and differentiate your firm become an asset in this tight labor market.

There are many other ways to deal with a worker shortage.  If you need some assistance in surviving and thriving with recruitment in this tight labor market, contact Flexicrew today.

Ask the Flexpert…Why Are Employers Struggling to Find Workers

Employment experts confirm employers are having a difficult time recruiting qualified employees to fill vacant positions.

It’s a very tight market.  There are more job openings available than trained and experienced individuals to fill them.

Employers are also trying to find applicants from a smaller pool of potential candidates. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in September 2019, according to the most recent figures. The workforce has been the number-one issue facing businesses in the last few years.

Since more people have jobs, less people are looking for work.  Candidates today have many options in multiple industries.

Firms struggle to find qualified workers with the skills necessary for the available jobs, and the most difficult jobs to fill seem to be technical skills positions, transportation jobs, and middle management.

The construction industry especially has complained about a shortage of experienced workers. In a survey by the Association of General Contractors, 78 percent of respondents said they were having a hard time finding qualified workers.

Symptoms of the problem
  1. Job applicants don’t show up for scheduled interviews
  2. Online openings will receive a lot of applications, but those applicants aren’t dedicated to the hiring process
  3. Applicants often won’t respond when employers reach out to them
  4. Struggle to find workers willing to do entry-level or hard work.
Problems for Employers
  • Hiring difficulties have increased causing firms to forgo new business opportunities
  • When short-handed, employees work longer shifts, making them more tired, so their attitudes might not be as appealing.
  • Some organizations haven’t started new projects for lack or talent
  • Projects have been delayed due to lack of people to complete the project
  • Retention is harder for businesses because employees have more employment options.

This is not ‘your father’s recruiting environment.’  It isn’t effective to use just one recruitment strategy anymore. Recruiters really have to be going at it in a number of ways and have had to adapt to this changing job market.

Employers Using Different Approaches to Make Their Jobs More Appealing

They have:

  • Adopted more flexible employee scheduling to be more appealing
  • Have tried to recruit to ‘nontraditional workers,’ including semiretired workers, retirees, etc. to fill entry-level jobs
  • More and more redoubled efforts to attract young people to apprenticeships
  • Some have raised pay, added vacation days and offered hiring and longevity bonuses
  • Broadened ties with local vocational institutions, expanding skilled apprenticeship programs
  • Gone regional or national with recruiting efforts that formerly stayed close to home
  • Aging or discouraged workers are being drawn back into the workforce
  • More employers start hiring people with a non-violent criminal history so the candidate field opens up

Candidates don’t necessarily need experience because the company will now provide training.

It’s becoming more common for businesses to reach out to recruiting agencies for assistance finding people to fill entry-level and upper-level positions. At Flexicrew, our clients are counting on us to do the leg work to find the skills they can’t find or don’t have time to search for.

There had been such a big push for a college education in past years that schools placed less emphasis on skilled trades. Now, Public Schools and other area districts are building their career technical education and employers are accommodating more on-the-job training


If things seem bleak now, a Washington Post article states that tight labor markets are likely to persist. Over the next decade, as the baby boomers retire, the labor force will expand by 0.5 percent annually, roughly one-third as fast as it did between 1950 and 2016, predicted the Congressional Budget Office.