We’ve been hearing about the issue for weeks: Businesses are struggling to recruit new employees.
As states and workplaces all across the country reopen amid the pandemic, many employers are finding it difficult to fill open positions. With “help wanted” signs not doing the trick, some businesses are rethinking the recruiting process entirely.
“We never thought we were going to have an issue trying to bring people into the workplace,” said Wes Ayar, co-owner of Urban Air in Sterling Heights.
Like most other businesses, Ayar says Urban Air can’t find enough employees -- despite having a fun place to work. Instead, he is limited to offerings in the building, instead of expanding like he wants to.
So why doesn’t anyone want to work?
The large unemployment checks offered throughout the pandemic certainly play a role in fewer hirings, but the Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce believes there are several factors keeping people from applying for jobs.
“We have to look at a lot of different things: Is it child care? Is it still feeling unsafe from COVID? What is really the underlying (issue)? I think that all goes into play,” said Stacy Ziarko, president of the Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Ziarko says companies are getting creative and offing more monetary incentives to encourage people to join the workplace. She says businesses are focusing specifically on offering things like signing bonuses, gift cards, vouchers and extra time off.
Ayar says that when at other stores, he asks employees if they have friends who are looking for work as a way to reach out to more people.
But is there another solution outside of throwing temporary money around?
Ziarko says that businesses that are finding new workers are seeking and recruiting new employees themselves, rather than the other way around.
“People aren’t going to just come to you this time,” Ziarko said. “Sometimes you might have to go and recruit them somewhere.”
Ziarko says that the chamber of commerce has held hiring fairs and has tried to encourage businesses to hold their own job fairs. She says it’s necessary for employers to step outside of their “four walls” to determine the best way to find new employees and then seek them out.
Ziarko is also encouraging businesses to network with one another and potentially share resumes that are coming in with employers who aren’t receiving any.