Employees form the backbone of any business. Businesses are dependent on their staff especially in the absence of automated processes. Small businesses often face the challenge of retaining staff during uncertain times. Employee loss leads to disruption of normal operations. You may ask yourself, how does my company deal with such a situation? In this blog, we’ll explore some tips to deal with staffing shortages.

Common Reasons for Staffing Shortages

There are several factors that often lead to staffing shortages such as:

Job Insecurity

We are going through uncertain times with economic instability. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are facing many challenges such as maintaining steady cash flow. This has led to irregular salary disbursements, which ultimately have led to attrition.

Lack of a Career Growth Trajectory

Small businesses often struggle with business expansion due to resource constraints. On the retention side, motivated employees are often looking for what’s next career-wise. It can be hard to answer that question without a growing business. On the hiring side, many candidates ask what positions are down the road for an entry-level role.

Job Expectations

Employees’ expectations have dramatically changed after what they’ve experienced during the pandemic. There has been a growing demand for flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, and better awareness and handling of mental health. Therefore, If your business has the flexibility to provide those accommodations, staffing is easier. However, some of those benefits are not realistic for many types of businesses.

How to Deal with Staffing Shortages?

Staffing shortages are a limiting factor for the success of a business. Rather than quick fixes, long-term strategies are crucial for mitigating a crisis.

Below are tips to address shortages in the short and the longer term. 

Process & Operations Automation:

Technology and automation are gradually replacing manual work in many industries. For instance, If you are experiencing a staffing shortage, you might consider it a prompt to double-check that you aren’t missing opportunities to use automation for what used to require an employee, or reducing the time it takes to do the work.

Merging various verticals helps in streamlining processes. Additionally, it reduces over-dependence on manpower.

Employee Retention Strategies:

Without upskilling and training options, employees often lack motivation. Offering extra perks such as learning or certification opportunities helps in retaining employees. Indeed offers an extensive list of high-demand certifications. While not all companies may be able to offer comprehensive perks, there there are many other perks you can make available to your employees that have little to no cost. Some examples include:

  • Flex day offs
  • Summer hours
  • Paid volunteer time

Trends for Recruiting New Talent

Over the past year and a half, companies have had to re-examine their talent acquisition strategies as employee expectations have changed. To ensure success in the hiring process, we suggest trying these strategies for attracting new talent.

  • Outsourced recruiting
  • Short-term gigs for specific requirements
  • Performance-based incentives
  • Internal hiring
  • Remote onboarding

In conclusion, the success of any business lies in its capacity to optimize existing resources. For small businesses, this is particularly important due to both financial and resource constraints as compared to larger companies. Having a proper strategy helps in dealing with staffing shortages, ultimately ensuring smooth operations and financial stability for the company.