Many readers are likely aware of the challenges businesses across the country are having finding and keeping qualified workers. Maybe it’s the long wait and less-than-stellar service at a favorite restaurant, the local small business owner lamenting his or her inability to fill an open position, or one’s experience carrying an additional workload because a colleague left and the company hasn’t found a replacement.
These anecdotes and personal experiences point to a measurable trend across the country.
Companies Across the Country Challenged to Find Help
Millions of jobs remain unfilled, even as millions of workers continue to look for employment. “More than 9.5 million Americans were unemployed and looking for work in June, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data,” writes Art Bilger, founder and CEO of WorkingNation, in an article for CNBC. “At the same time, job openings in this country hit 9.2 million, a new record high. Statistically, there is an open job for every person looking for one. But even as employers signal that they are ready and willing to hire, they are having trouble finding workers ready and able to fill the jobs.”
In other words, the challenge isn’t necessarily a shortage of available workers but rather a mismatch between available jobs and the jobs potential employees are looking for.
And Employees Are Poised to Leave Their Current Jobs
Even employers fortunate enough to have filled open positions are not out of the woods; record numbers of current employees are ready and willing to leave their current jobs if the right opportunities emerge.
“The number of workers looking for a new job has almost doubled since spring,” writes Megan Leonhardt in an article for Fortune. About 64% reported they were seeking a new job at the start of August, when PwC surveyed 1,007 full-time and part-time U.S.-based employees and 752 executives. That’s up from 36% of workers in May.
Employers in the current labor climate need to work harder than ever not just to find and hire qualified candidates but also to keep those workers once they’ve joined the company. It’s more crucial than ever for companies to listen and pay attention to what their workers are saying about engagement and job satisfaction because companies that start to lose workers may have a serious problem refilling those open positions.