Thriving After the Labor Shortage: What’s Next for America’s Employers

Is your company understaffed? Do you know someone at an organization that is hiring? Odds are you answered yes to one of these questions. That’s because America is facing a labor shortage the likes of which haven’t been seen for a long time. The length and ramifications of this crisis have been topics of serious debate for employers and employer brand marketers.

In an article from the New York Times, David Leonhardt analyzed the service worker shortage, what’s causing it, and what may come after. He discovered that thanks to pandemic stimulus packages and a soaring housing market, Americans are flush with cash (at least for the moment). Who can blame them for avoiding the low wages and inflexible hours of the past?

Leonhardt’s analysis may seem grim to retail and other service-driven, public-facing businesses. However, at Relish, we believe it suggests a genuine opportunity for employers to stand out from the pack and thrive.

Employee Retention in 2021 and Beyond

Today’s employment challenges have led some sectors to adopt new, employee-friendly business strategies. The healthcare and hospitality industries, in particular, have raised wages significantly to try to lure back employees. Similarly, some companies are seeing success by increasing benefits and training opportunities.

That said, while it’s easy to recognize the appeal of competitive pay and benefits, we at Relish have identified other strategies that are just as important. Take communications, for example. You can offer the best health insurance on the market, but if no one is aware, that benefit won’t attract prospects.

Now more than ever, people care who they work for. If your corporate culture is distinguished by a commitment to growth, development, and opportunity, you have to meet your ideal candidates with fresh, authentic employer branding that effectively communicates those differentiators.

The Post-Labor Shortage Economy

The American labor shortage is not sustainable. Eventually the money from stimulus packages will dry up and Americans will have to return to the offices, kitchens, and factories they happily vacated. Leonhardt predicts that tomorrow’s workers may return to find conditions worse than before, due in part to the decline of labor unions in the face of corporate consolidation.

It’s a dire prediction – but it’s also an opportunity if your brand can shine by comparison, like a beacon beckoning in the returning workforce.

Building a Business that Lasts

It’s no secret that America is facing a labor shortage. But the solutions aren’t secrets either. Treating employees with respect and humanity is one piece of the puzzle. Building a rock-solid employer brand to attract and retain talent is another.

If the employment crisis has been weighing on your mind, we’re eager to help identify solutions that grow brands and launch them into the future.