Now Hiring: The Lack of Employees in a Post-Pandemic Job Market

Now Hiring:  The Lack of Employees in a Post-Pandemic Job Market

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Throughout Ingham County, an increased number of “now hiring” signs have sprung up on every corner. Many employers, particularly for minimum-wage jobs, are frantically seeking extra help.

“It [understaffing] has definitely made my life a little bit harder, because I have to work more shifts, I have to work longer shifts, and even while I’m working the shifts, there are more things to do because we don’t have enough people,” said Yousif Murrani, an employee at a local restaurant.

Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate inched up by a tenth of a percentage point during May to 5.0 percent, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“The hiring process was very very easy, because they were so understaffed. I basically just walked in and left with a job after a 10 minute conversation,” Murrani said.

Reinstated work search requirements were enforced in May for those on unemployment.

“We are starting to see some more movement with candidates reaching out, and responding and starting to interview. But I think it’s going to take a while certainly to get us back to where we were at with levels pre-COVID,” said Carrie Rosingana, Chief Executive Officer at Capital Area Michigan Works!

Employers have also begun changing the way they search for employees.

“The former methods of you apply as a job seeker and you wait for them to give you a callback - we’re seeing some employers start to utilize text messaging...virtual job fairs or virtual hiring events...that's different than we saw before,” she said.

Rosingana also speculates the hiring process may never return to pre-pandemic procedures.

“We expect that will actually likely stay for many of the employers, because it allows you to reach that broader audience that you might be looking for that might not reside necessarily in the region that you’re looking to hire from.”

Many employees are still wary about businesses re-opening.

“We also know that a lot of people are still feeling some level of insecurity about returning to the workforce because of the COVID pandemic,” Rosingana said.

Murrani echoed this observation.

“So many people are still afraid of COVID, they don’t want to leave their houses,” he said.

Rosingana encouraged employers to make their COVID-19 safety precautions clear in their job postings.

“That's a critical part of helping people feel comfortable and safe reengaging, is to understand what employers' protocols look like, and what safety procedures they have in place,” she said.

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