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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021 8:56 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by E3 HR

    The 2021 outlook for the staffing industry remains very positive with multiple opportunities to expand and grow. Labor shortages should be temporary with relief on the horizon as special unemployment benefits either expire or are canceled at the State and Federal levels.

    With mounting pressure to improve margins, it is more important than ever to control worker comp costs considering the vital role these costs represent when pricing existing and new business opportunities.

    Clearly, claims management should include strong and timely reporting combined with aggressive controls on the back end to ensure the expenses are regulated and premiums become more predictable leading to enhanced margins and profitability.

    One practice often overlooked in the claims management process is the critical step of returning the employee to work when they are released to light duty. Understanding that a light duty position is not always readily available, there are still alternative solutions. One is verifying if your worker comp provider and claims management team has partnered to provide another avenue for light duty. For instance, E3 has partnered with a company called ReEmployAbility (REA). Utilizing a nationwide network of Non-Profit Organizations, REA will seek out a cost-effective return to work solution for the injured worker by finding them a position at one of their preferred vendors. The position will always accommodate the physical restrictions outlined by the treating physician – allowing the employee time to heal, while at the same time earning compensation and reducing the overall risk profile of the claim.

    Understanding the Value

    Using this example with REA a “win-win” outcome is created for everyone in the claims process. It provides benefits for the injured workers, the clients, and the the Non-Profits who are always in need of extra help. In 2018 alone, 57% of employees referred to ReEmployAbility accepted the assignment, leading to an average indemnity savings of $4,200 per claim. The economic impact on the non-profit industry was valued at over $53 million.

    The injured employee will also benefit in multiple ways if enrolled in the REA program. They remain mentally connected to their employment, reducing the likelihood for the claim to malinger, and increasing the speed of the rehabilitation process. Employees can learn new skills that compliment regular employment, feel productive, and maintain self-confidence and pride in doing meaningful work. In REA surveys, participation in the program has demonstrated that the worker feels valued by the employer, and that their health and wellbeing is being taken seriously. This can decrease the potential of the worker retaining legal representation, keeping the claims cost lower, as well as boost overall morale among other employees.

    Anytime a program can be put in place where all parties receive a benefit is a great positive in the world of business today. The success of programs like this one are proven and will certainly be another tool for staffing companies to deploy in an attempt to make certain expenses and earnings more predictable.

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021 8:49 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    Are you in the process of bringing new technology to your staffing company or upgrading your existing platform? Then before you pull the trigger, wait a second. Making the almost-right decision here can be the difference between gaining a competitive advantage in your market and fading into irrelevance.

    When searching for a new staffing system of record, you want to make sure you find a provider that offers the following:

    • A TRUE end-to-end staffing solution
    • Proven track record of success
    • Powerful platform integrations

    A True End-to-End Staffing Solution?

    A true end-to-end solution—one that encompasses all your workflows from winning new clients to managing back office operations—can provide a differentiated, positive experience for your team members, your talent and your customers.

    For example, with all your data housed in a single, secure location, the different arms of your business can easily share information and insights. At Avionté, our clients love the fact that:

    • Recruiters and sales share a single system and can finally align on pipeline and talent needs.
    • Operations can map the talent journey from application to payroll and work with relevant teams to optimize the process, minimize cost, and improve ROI.
    • Back office teams can quickly access robust integrated data sets to drive informed business decisions.

    If you don’t invest in an end-to-end staffing or recruiting solution, then you’ll need to rely on a host of best-of-breed point solutions to build your workflows.

    At the bare minimum you’d need:

    • Applicant tracking system (ATS)
    • Client relationship management tool (CRM)
    • Interviewing tool
    • Onboarding platform
    • Employee engagement system
    • Time and attendance tracker
    • Payroll platform
    • Billing and AR system
    • Business intelligence or reporting tool

    Each of those platforms comes with individual contracts, bills, support teams, and logins that all need to be managed and maintained by your team on a regular basis.

    What’s worse, if you can’t connect these systems together, then your teams will not only need to learn separate systems, but manually re-enter information in each of these systems, which wastes time and impairs data integrity and security.

    At the end of the day, it’s hard to scale your staffing business with inefficient teams and inaccurate data. An end-to-end staffing solution will help unify your data, your operations, and your talent/ client experience so you can grow with confidence.

    Proven Track Record of Success

    Staffing is a complex industry. Don’t waste time working with a vendor that doesn’t understand it. Look for a solution that provides a proven technology—one that many staffing firms before you have used to grow their businesses. Only a vendor who understands the industry can address the unique needs of your teams, your clients, and your talent.

    As an added bonus, a trusted staffing technology provider will have a firm financial foundation and will likely be around to support your business far into the future. This stability allows them to focus on nurturing their relationship with you and boosting your long-term success.

    Powerful Platform Integrations

    While an end-to-end solution provides a solid foundation for success, teams may need to utilize a custom tech stack or best-of-breed point solutions to maximize workflows and maintain a competitive advantage. That’s why you want a system that offers powerful platform integrations geared towards growing and scaling your business while improving the staffing/ talent/ client experience without having to leave the core system of record.

    Your vendor should also thoroughly vet all their technology partners and ensure security protocols—so your data is kept safe and you can meet compliance standards.

    What’s the best end-to-end staffing and recruiting platform on the market?

    That depends on your business. But the smart choice for clerical, light industrial, IT, and professional staffing is Avionté. Avionté offers a true end-to-end platform that drives efficiency, maximizes profitability, and boosts productivity for nearly 1,000 staffing agencies throughout North America.

    The core platform offers:

    • Advanced candidate search and next-level sourcing
    • Text recruiting and video interviewing
    • Personalized job boards
    • Task and activity tracking
    • Paperless process from talent apply to payroll
    • The ability to analyze data for a 360-degree view of your business

    But staffing is a complex business with needs that extend beyond your core front and back-office solution. That’s why Avionté also offers powerful platform integrations through the Avionté+ program.

    With Avionté+ you have the ability to:

    • Quickly connect to pre-vetted, pre-integrated technologies that have an emphasis on staffing and security.
    • Customize your experience to fit your firm’s unique needs through a powerful data exchange infrastructure of secure APIs, automated file transfers, and events.
    • Trigger actions from multiple technologies with a single click in a single system of record.
    • Quickly gain extra efficiency through an engagement and experience-based tech stack.

    All of which frees you up to land new clients and recruit top-notch talent while running all your back office functions and planning for the future.

    If you’re ready to unify your data, streamline your tech stack, and build the ultimate staffing experience, then schedule a demo with Avionté today.

    Click here to view the article online.

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 11:30 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peapack Private Investment Banking

    Our Team is pleased to present its 1Q21 quarterly human capital solutions industry update from our Senior Advisor, Jim Janesky, who oversees client coverage and leads the vertical.

    Through this industry update, we will share with you our impressions on the market, track the leading macroeconomic indicators, report relevant transactions, public market valuations and highlight current trends.

    Click here to download the report.

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 11:25 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    As the market continues to harden, the Claims Management team is used to fielding a common question from our clients across all industries: “How do we get the insurance coverage we need in a hard market without our premiums skyrocketing?”

    We wish we could give a simple answer to maintaining your needed level of coverage while keeping your rates down. But we do know this: getting ahead of incidents—before they become severe claims—keeps your risk profile low and increases your favorability to Business Insurance (BI) carriers. Over the years, my team has found that this laser-focus on mitigating risk heavily relies on a company culture based on trust, transparency, and advocacy with all levels of staff.

    Focus on what you can control.

    Even the most diligent workplaces cannot eliminate the risk of accidents or injuries. After all, that’s why BI is a critical part of the health and continuity of your business in the first place. But when carriers see your company taking a hands-on approach to risk management, you’re setting yourself up for better coverage at lower rates regardless of the current state of the market.

    The best way to do this is focusing on the aspects of your operations that are within your control, such as your company culture and the extent to which it is oriented toward a positive employee experience.

    Okay, I know just how cliché that sounds, but it’s true! Building trust with your staff can keep an incident at your workplace from spiraling into an expensive loss that you will likely be covering the cost of for an extended period.

    One of our clients recently achieved $1.39 million in potential cost savings following an employee injury. Much of this success was due to leadership's commitment to building a proactive, compassionate claims management program that prioritizes maintaining a positive employee experience following an incident.

    Here is an example of what I mean.

    Let’s say an employee falls on the job and sustains a neck injury, requiring you to file a claim with your Workers’ Compensation carrier. If you’re a part of Assurance’s Advanced Advocacy program, the employee is immediately connected with a nurse who listens to the employee and helps coordinate their medical care. We work with your front line manager to ensure they show compassion for the employee, reassuring them of their commitment to a smooth recovery and eventual return to work.

    The Risk Management Team at Assurance would then evaluate the incident with precision and care, making record of what happened for an eventual root cause analysis and quickly reporting those details to your HR team in a format that meets your carrier’s expectations.

    Now, while filing this claim was unavoidable to prevent even greater losses, your diligent outreach to the employee showed them that you have their best interests in mind even when things go wrong. Your company stayed engaged with the employee, made accommodations to their role, allowed them to stay connected to their peers, and reduced the incident to a medical-only claim instead of a more severe and expensive indemnity claim. With Assurance’s support, you also took actionable steps and implemented corrective actions to ensure that similar incidents don’t happen again at your workplace.

    In doing so, you built greater trust with the employee, put to rest their concerns about unexpected medical bills, and quelled negative perceptions about the incident before they may have considered taking legal action against your company. How you handled this incident also set an example of your workplace culture to the rest of your staff.

    Additionally, because your Workers’ Compensation carrier received the details of the incident immediately following occurrence, you highlighted your company’s dedication to taking immediate control of any potential losses. Taking action to reduce the severity of the claim helped keep your experience modification at bay, which could mean more favorable terms and rates when it’s time to renew your Workers’ Compensation policy—even during a hard market.

    See how prioritizing a positive employee experience allowed you to take the outcomes of an accident to your business into your own hands? Had you not built a company culture built on trust, care and transparency, an incident such as this could have easily spiraled out of control and led to a Workers’ Compensation expense with potentially severe and long-term losses.

    Our ‘A’ team can help you reduce the frequency and severity of your claims so you can keep your Business Insurance costs in control during a hard market.

    Click here to download the article as a PDF.

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 11:23 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Access Capital

    Our world is increasingly influenced by our digital culture. Whether you need to restock household groceries or arrange a driver for your next flight you are most likely using an app on your phone. While convenient and efficient, the increased use of technology to run our day-to-day lives seems to have created gaps in communication and social interactions. A culture of people swiping left to find their dates has led to changes to certain social mores.

    What was once a term applied only to modern dating, “ghosting” can now be used to describe other areas of social interaction. When you get ghosted, the person with whom you’ve been dating cuts off all communication with you with no warning. You don’t even get the benefit of the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech when someone ghosts you. There’s just radio silence and perhaps a feeling of rejection on the side of the “ghostee.” Not a great way to end a relationship is it? Ghosting has become so prevalent that even the New York Times explored the phenomenon. And now, we are seeing that ghosting has found its way into the workplace with regards to candidate behavior. More and more recruiters and employers are being ghosted by candidates. Sometimes for interviews and even for the first day of an assignment!

    With the ongoing expansion if unemployment benefits in our post-COVID existence, candidates are empowered and can afford to be finicky about their next project. Some are simply blowing off interviews or becoming no-show employees when day one of a new assignment arrives. For recruiters, this poses a major disruption to fulfilling client needs and has the potential to negatively affect your relationships with your clients.

    If a behavior like ghosting manifests en masse, how can we combat it? The key seems to be to ensure you take good care of your candidates - be sure to keep the lines of communication open and touch base often.

    Address the Elephant (Ghost) in the Room: Communicate clearly about ghosting. If you broach the topic upfront with candidates, you may help mitigate the likelihood of being ghosted. Create a safe space for communication and encourage your candidate to let you know if they’ve decided to take another offer. Take the perceived stigma out of telling a recruiter no. In other words, make it okay for a candidate to refuse an offer or change his or her mind with you and chances are, they will be forthcoming with you.

    Engage and Inform: Just as it’s frustrating for a recruiter to suddenly lose communication with a candidate, potential employees appreciate ongoing communication at each stage of the recruiting process. When working with a candidate, be sure to provide status updates and a timeline for the process so there is no uncertainty. If a candidate feels informed by a recruiter, they will feel valued and may be less likely to disappoint you when it’s time to meet with your client. Also consider working to have less lead up time until the start date. In the days leading up to the start date, send info about the new company to your candidate and see if you can connect your candidate to someone at the new employer sooner to help establish a connection before your candidate’s first day. This will lessen the threat of your candidate going elsewhere or abandoning the assignment altogether.

    An informed and well-tended to candidate will be less likely to stray than one who hasn’t heard from a recruiter in weeks. Providing a positive experience for your candidate will help ensure they follow through with you and show up for your clients. It will take some extra care but you will appreciate the benefit of a forthcoming candidate. While we may not be able to halt the social phenomenon of ghosting, we can at least work with it and try our best to not fall victim to it.

    About Access Capital:

    Access Capital is a privately held non-bank lender that has been supporting the growth of staffing companies and other entrepreneurial enterprises for thirty five years. Headquartered in New York, Access Capital offers asset based lending and acquisition financing services to staffing companies nationwide.

    Learn more about how we can work together to support your success by calling us at (212) 644-9300

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 11:21 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    In my last blog, I discussed my post-pandemic labor market predictions and how major labor shortages in the US are being driven by critical socio-demographic trends and an aging U.S. workforce. Now, let’s examine strategies to overcome the labor shortage in the US that will challenge staffing firms in the coming years.

    Strategies for Staffing Companies to Deal with Labor Shortages

    Due to the US labor shortage, you should expect your recruiters will work harder to find fewer new candidates. Cutting-edge ATS software technology with sophisticated multichannel communications will be a fundamental requirement to operate a staffing firm, but even the best technology can’t find people who don’t exist. Here are strategies your firm can implement to overcome the labor shortage and win in a competitive market.

    Redefine the recruiting role

    Recruiters will become talent managers. Your best recruiters will cultivate an ongoing community of talent, even for hourly contingent work. Your most important asset is the database of talent you already have in your system today. The staffing companies that succeed in this rapidly changing labor environment will figure out how to engage, motivate, retain, and retrain the staff they manage today.

    Invest in Employee Development, Training and Retention

    If you have reliable employees, you can retrain them to handle a variety of assignments. This process will help you generate substantially more billings per employee. Not only will this investment benefit your business, but working to develop engaged workers will demonstrate your loyalty and improve retention. Investing in employee incentive programs will also allow you to retain your most dependable employees.

    Embrace Diversity and Cultivate Community

    Your talent community will rapidly become far more diverse than it is even today. Creating an inclusive and welcoming environment (physical or virtual) will be a core business requirement to assess, engage, and train candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds.

    Prepare for wage inflation

    With or without legislative intervention, the simple law of supply and demand will inexorably put pressure on wages. This is especially true for work that requires regular, defined work hours, on-site presence, and physical labor. You may have difficult discussions with your most price-sensitive clients as they grapple with the choice of higher hourly rates or doing without the labor they need. You may also need to find transportation and dependent care solutions that enable workers to actually show up.

    Redesign your business for speed

    Speed is everything. Your team and your technology will have to be laser-focused on cutting the transaction time from client requisition to on-site arrival of reliable workers. Over the next few years, staffing turnaround time will be measured in minutes and hours, not days and weeks. Audit and rethink your processes to be built based on short, rapid transactions. This will require you to rethink your technology, employment practices, workflow, and vendor relations to ensure your team is working as efficiently as possible.


    The bottom line is that the value proposition for temporary and contingent staffing is changing. Wage arbitrage, the difference in cost between full time labor and contingent labor, will shrink. The real value will come from providing reliable temporary workers on demand, as part of an employer’s overall workforce strategy. Value creation comes from using labor hours exactly when and where they are most needed rather than because they are cheaper.

    About the Author

    Christopher Ryan is Avionté’s Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer. Chris has more than three decades of experience of consulting, thought leadership, and corporate experience in Human Capital Management. Chris has extensive experience speaking on a broad range of HCM topics, including HR Strategy, Regulatory Risk, and HR Technology. His key areas of focus include U.S. Labor Trends, employment practices, and workforce management. Chris has also written and spoken extensively about part-time and temporary workers, employee retention, gender pay equity, emerging trends in compensation, U.S. labor shortages, and the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a B.A. in physics and holds an MBA in marketing and management policy from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

    Click here to download the article as a PDF.

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 10:58 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    During a recent episode of InSights, I had the pleasure of talking with hosts Brad Bialy and Matt Lozar about Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. It was a crash course on “everything PPC” and we discussed key insights into the vital role it plays for staffing agencies.

    Click here to download the article.

  • Friday, April 30, 2021 1:57 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Becker LLC

    On March 29, 2021, Florida passed a bill (SB72) providing liability protections to various businesses with regard to COVID-19 exposure claims, joining a list of growing states, including, Michigan, Georgia, and Ohio, to pass some form of liability protection for businesses.

    With specific regard to the Florida bill, in order for a plaintiff to bring a claim against a business for a COVID-19 related claim for damages, injury, or death, the bill creates a heightened pleading standard in that at the time of filing the complaint the plaintiff must also submit an affidavit from an actively licensed physician in Florida, attesting that, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the plaintiff’s claim for damages, injury or death occurred as a result of a business’s acts or omissions.

    In addition to determining whether the plaintiff complied with the foregoing, the court must also make an initial finding as to whether the business “made a good faith effort to substantially comply with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance at the time the cause of action accrued.” Notably, not all issued standards or guidance must be complied with, so long as a good faith effort was made to substantially comply with one set of standards or guidance which were authoritative or controlling at the time the cause of action arose. If the court finds the business made the foregoing good faith effort, the business is immune from liability.

    Further, the burden falls squarely on the plaintiff to show the business did not make a good faith effort to comply with the applicable standards or guidance. If a plaintiff can show this, the plaintiff’s claim still may be subject to dismissal. Specifically, if the court finds the business was not at least grossly negligent by clear and convincing evidence (an extremely high standard), the business will not be liable for the claim.

    Finally, a complainant must bring the complaint within one (1) year of the time that the cause of action accrued, or if the cause of action accrued prior to the passage of the bill, then within one (1) year of passage.

    About Becker LLC:

    Becker LLC is a premiere mid-market firm recognized as a leader in the Staffing Industry. With offices in New York, California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the firm provides forward thinking, mission-critical advice to staffing industry entrepreneurs and management on high stakes, complex legal matters as well as day-to-day matters and long-term plans. The firm are proud to be members of the following Staffing Associations: TechServe Alliance, SIA, ASA, ASG, TempNet, CSP, MSA, NJSA, NYSA and serves as general counsel to the Mid Atlantic Staffing Association.

    For more information, call (973) 422-1100, visit us on the web: https://www.becker.legal/

  • Friday, April 30, 2021 1:55 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Becker LLC

    As COVID-19 vaccine rollouts become more prevalent in New Jersey, both employers and employees are faced with the reality that a return to the “normal” workplace is on the horizon. Faced with this prospect, many have asked if employers can mandate employee vaccinations. The short answer, like most legal inquiries, is “yes, subject to some exceptions”.

    New Jersey, following the general rules set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recently issued guidance that employers can require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to the workplace unless three narrow exceptions apply:

    • The employee has a disability precluding them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine;
    • The employee has been advised by a doctor not to get the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding; or
    • The employee has a sincerely held religious cause precluding them from getting the vaccine.

    If an employee falls within one of these three exemption categories, their employer must provide a reasonable accommodation from its mandatory vaccine policy, unless such accommodation would impose undue burden on its business operations.

    In typical fashion there are exceptions to these exceptions. While employers must ensure all employee medical information remains confidential, employers may request medical documentation to confirm a disability or medical guidance preventing the employee from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.  Employers may also make a limited inquiry into the facts and circumstances supporting an employee’s request for a religious exemption from the vaccination if the employer has an “objective basis” for questioning either the religious nature or the sincerity of a particular religious belief, practice, or observance. This is a qualifier to the general rule that employers may not question the sincerity of an employee’s religious beliefs, practices, or observances.

    In the event an employee is exempted from mandatory vaccination, what qualifies as a reasonable accommodation? Generally, the most common accommodation would be to allow the employee to continue to work remotely, or to otherwise work in a manner that would reduce or eliminate the risk of harm to other people in the workplace. Other accommodations may include the provision of personal protective equipment. If no reasonable accommodation can be made to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 transmission, an employer may exclude unvaccinated employees from the workplace, even if the employee is not vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.

    About Becker

    Becker LLC is a premier mid-market firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and California. The firm provides the complete spectrum of legal services from litigation, transactional, labor and employment, and bankruptcy law counseling, to intellectual property, real estate and construction law related advice. Our size and regional footprint allows us to provide sophisticated services in a manner not only focused on results, but also on our client’s return on their investment.

    For more information, call (973) 422-1100, visit us on the web: https://www.becker.legal/

  • Friday, April 30, 2021 1:52 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    We all want normalcy, and we finally have reason for optimism. Vaccination rates are increasing. Workplaces and schools are returning to on-site activities. Americans who were fortunate enough to remain employed through the pandemic have increased their personal savings. There is a strong sentiment among leaders that the U.S. economy will rebound briskly in the second half of 2021. New numbers published by Staffing Industry Analysts show staffing revenues have increased by over 10% year over year. Pundits and consultants have started talking about “the new normal.” But don’t expect normal and assume a return to business as usual. Here are my post-pandemic labor market predictions that we are likely to see over the next five years.

    Post-Pandemic Labor Market Predictions

    For starters, demand for critical IT and professional skills never really took a breather during the pandemic. Banks, Insurance Companies, and Technology firms continue to fight for qualified professional staff as baby boomers have exited the workforce.

    But an even bigger challenge looms for staffing hourly workers across Clerical, Light Industrial, Construction, and Business Services. In February, manufacturing backlogs rose by over 4%. Anecdotally, we hear U.S. manufacturers complaining that they could grow faster if they could find the right people. A quick scan of Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings data shows that there are still over 6 million unfilled job positions in the United States, with fewer than 1.6 unemployed persons per open job. The growing labor shortages are so severe that the Biden administration is quietly studying the issue.

    We are one year into a pandemic where we have lost 9.5 million jobs, and the U.S. unemployment rate remains 50% higher than in February 2020. There should be plenty of motivated applicants for full and part-time work. So why is it so hard to find qualified workers?

    Labor Shortages in the United States

    The U.S. has been facing labor shortages for several years leading up to February 2020. The pandemic itself provides a partial explanation for labor shortages. Many potential workers are reluctant to take on-site work during the pandemic. Older workers as well as individuals living with a medically vulnerable family member are reluctant to expose themselves to infection.

    Similarly, parents with young children attending virtual classrooms may not be able to leave home for work. While the pandemic had a severe direct economic impact to workers in key industry sectors, it has also acted as an accelerant to broader workforce trends—on-line retail, remote work, growth of technology infrastructure, Gig work, multigenerational households, and remote relocation. This pandemic will pass but the labor shortages will persist.

    Reasons Driving the US Labor Shortage

    Ultimately, the issue comes down to workforce socio-demographics in the United States. There is a fundamental mismatch between people, work opportunities, and skill requirements. We have an aging workforce with more single households and more dependents per working-age adult than at any point in our recent history. Additionally, U.S. job growth has accelerated in high-cost urban tech corridors and in cities, at the expense of rural and ex-urban locations. Available pools of U.S. workers are less likely to live near emerging job opportunities and are also less able to move out-of-state to take advantage of these opportunities.

    When you combine U.S. demographics and job growth patterns with spending cuts to technical and vocational training and add in an opioid epidemic, it becomes clear why it is hard to find motivated, qualified workers.

    Additionally, it is expensive to show up for work—especially on-site, low-wage hourly work. Try justifying a temporary work opportunity against childcare expenses, transportation costs, and inefficient commuting options. Today, many temporary employment opportunities have a negative net present value. For individuals who own their own vehicles, driving for Uber or DoorDash may provide a better ROI per hour worked than a long unpaid commute for low hourly pay.

    Short-Term Labor Solutions

    What about all the displaced workers from the Retail, Entertainment, and Hospitality sectors who lost jobs in 2020? In theory, we could retrain them to enter Manufacturing, Construction, and Transportation. In practice, this will be difficult. Back in 2015, I analyzed payroll data and employee movement patterns for millions of U.S. workers. I found two interesting patterns:

    1. Voluntary employee turnover declines dramatically between the ages of 25 and 35
    2. Greater than 90% of employees who leave one employer stay within the same industry

    Essentially, as workers mature, they tend to settle into job roles and work locations that fit their skills and preferences. We can retrain an unemployed bartender to work in light manufacturing, but he/she will likely switch back to a people-facing service role when the Entertainment, Hospitality, and Tourism related industries rebound.

    There are also significant gender and diversity issues associated with specific vertical industries. Economic evidence suggests the COVID pandemic has impacted female and minority workers far worse than other demographic groups. Figuring out how to empower and train these displaced groups to transition into new job roles will require planning and sensitivity.

    What Now?

    Though these labor market predictions seem daunting, there are various strategies for staffing firms to overcome the labor shortage in the US. While we are all looking forward to a return to normalcy, now is the time to begin strategizing to win in the post-pandemic market.

    About the Author

    Christopher Ryan is Avionté’s Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer. Chris has more than three decades of experience of consulting, thought leadership, and corporate experience in Human Capital Management. Chris has extensive experience speaking on a broad range of HCM topics, including HR Strategy, Regulatory Risk, and HR Technology. His key areas of focus include U.S. Labor Trends, employment practices, and workforce management. Chris has also written and spoken extensively about part-time and temporary workers, employee retention, gender pay equity, emerging trends in compensation, U.S. labor shortages, and the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a B.A. in physics and holds an MBA in marketing and management policy from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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