How to Successfully Handle Labor Shortages for Your Biz

Man or a worker with drone standing in a warehouse.

Recent world events have many employers scrambling to cover open positions and add to their workforce. Whether you need a high school graduate or a highly skilled and certified professional, your inability to fill open positions will put extra stress on your current workforce and could lead to more losses of skilled, trained employees.

Get Flexible As An Employer

Everyone is more effective at different times of the day. Many possible employees have scheduled deadlines that they must meet. Parents with school-age children have a set drop-off and pickup time. Caregivers may be able to put in 8 hours a day while working from home.

If you hold to a rigid 8 to 5 schedule and never allow the chance to work from home, there’s a chance you will lose people when their life circumstances change. Building flexibility for your employees into your business plan can also benefit your business in the long-term.

If someone on your admin team has to leave at 3:30 each day, consider the benefits of having someone in-house by 7 a.m. Change may be challenging, but it can also be highly beneficial to your workflow.

Create An Account With A Staffing Agency

Setting up an account with a staffing agency will take time. However, once your account is set up with temp agencies in most major US cities, including Chicago, you can easily put in a request for help in a variety of positions.

Your staffing agency connection can help you find folks with the skills you need for small, specific projects. If you need help with a big data entry project, toss it to your staffing agency contact with a deadline. They may be able to help you hire a remote worker who can log into your system and work on the project in the off hours of your business so you can come in and check the progress.

These agencies generally have access to a pool of skilled workers that you could not access on your own. You can find temporary, seasonal, and permanent employees this way. You can also find remote workers as well as workers who live close to your facilities. Temp agencies vet their workers for you, and will be able to provide you with a list of candidates, their resumes, and their background checks to give you peace of mind. Not to mention, save you time from having to research these things yourself.

Offer Perks for Part-Timers

A quality part-time employee can save you a great deal of money during the time of their tenure. To keep them employed and happy, provide them with perks. You may not be able to offer health insurance, but consider offing them paid time off at half the build-up offered to full-time employees. Another simple way to make your part-time employees even more committed to your team is to offer them the chance to work from home on specific projects to increase their hours.

Happy part-time employees can quickly turn into full-time employees for short bursts of time. Do your best to respect their schedules; a part-timer with a lot of responsibilities at home may need to shuffle those responsibilities to make the situation work with their lives.

Provide Free Training

Create webinars to provide free training for prospective employees. Consider setting up a trainee or paid internship program for potential employees coming out of high school or on summer break from college. This free training will need to be quite generalized, but with these tools in place, you can easily send out these offerings in an email to any interested party.

Consider also giving potential employees or interns the chance to shadow a current professional. Before you start this program, bring in your most outgoing employees to invite them to brainstorm on the best way to do this, especially if you are not an outgoing person. Introverts can be excellent trainers, but make sure they are comfortable with the thought of this training before giving them the task.

Increase Your Freelance Pool

Quality freelancers can do a great deal to lower your workload stress. While hiring a new employee puts a greater burden on the employer to pay as the new employee trains, a new freelancer takes a bigger risk.

To that end, start small and be very clear in your instructions. If you want a freelancer to generate promotional content for your company, don’t hand over a 5,000-word project. Start with a 500-word project to help them find the right

  • level of technical terms
  • preferred layout; paragraphs, headers, bullet lists
  • general tone

When you’re happy with the 500-word promotional content and have paid for it, order a 750-word article. Build up slowly to increase everyone’s confidence in the project.

It’s important to carry that mentality over to all levels of your business. Having too much work for a short time can be a financial blessing to all involved. However, grinding yourself and your employees into the ground will eventually lead to diminished work product and may cause you to lose employees.

It’s important to support your employment force by becoming more flexible, utilizing staffing agencies to fill in short-term positions quickly, offering more perks, providing training resources, and increasing your freelance pools when necessary.