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BizyDad

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Hey Fastlane Fam,

As you may already know I run a search engine marketing agency based in Arizona. Currently at least 30% of my clients currently list finding good workers as their #1 stumbling block. 10% of my clients have stopped running ads in the last 2 months because they can't handle the leads they are already getting and they can't find people willing to do the work.

A couple require some specialized skills, like having a CDL or a therapist license. But a lot of them are just ordinary jobs, like my security company that runs classes and has training, you just have to pass a background check, speak normally, and fog a mirror. Another client will schedule 5 interviews a week, and 4 will no call/no show. Another client hired someone who quit 5 hours into their first day, hired someone else who quit after 2 days. The restaurants I frequent all have notices about being short-staffed. I had a conversation with a guy yesterday in logistics, and the few applicants he'll get are coming to him acting like they are made of gold and want to be paid accordingly, but he has a small family run outfit and can't afford to pay Walmart level rates. In the past, his family based company culture was enough to attract sufficient help, but not in the current climate.

I have had this conversation a lot in the last 8 weeks. And this is one area of business where I am not strong.

So I want to discuss 2 things. Generally, what are you seeing in your part of the world?

But I don't want to have a venting session or a complaining circle. I'm tired of telling my clients things like "Yeah, everybody is talking about it" or "What are you going to do?". I want to also discuss some ideas for overcoming this problem.

We've tried running ads on Linkedin, Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, social media, Google, etc etc. Outside of advertising, does anyone have any creative solutions to the current labor shortage?

I appreciate any input you want to provide. Thanks.
 

PapaGang

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From all of the things I have read, I have put together a picture of the perfect storm that has resulted in this condition.
• people that were laid off last year had several months to start asking themselves "is this all there is?" and have realized that they want to do something else with their life.
• I have read articles about a massive amount of people moving out of the service industry (specifically food/bev) and into tech, so you have a lot of movement out of lower skilled positions into higher skilled ones
• some people have been living off the honey money
• some have inherited money from family members who died last year
• some people are just not engaging in the labor market right now because what the F just happened?

And the last one, which I believe is significant, but haven't seen any articles on, which is:
"Why the f*ck would I want to go back to being a line cook when I can flip Nikes on my phone and make more money?"

I think a massive amount of people are using tech to pick up side gigs and have decided to bet on themselves instead of working for someone else. I truly think this is the case. It had been talked about, we read stories about the gig economy, but this pandemic served as a catalyst to push people out of their comfort zones and decide to use their computers and phones to make money. In my opinion this is just the beginning. I don't think things will be the same or "revert to normal," especially in food and beverage.

As a side note we have been hiring for line cooks and sous chefs for over a year and cannot find people to fill these. We've upped the pay, it's a pretty great environment, and we just can't keep anyone there. The scenarios are very similar to your story about people who are no shows for interviews and when they are hired last less than a week.
 

becks22

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The WSJ had a good article on this problem in last weekend's issue. It bought up the issue of a mismatch from jobs that are hiring vs industries that are growing. Essentially it talks about how for example restaurant work is hard work and usually doesn't come with benefits like traditional office work. When workers in these hard hit industries were laid off 18 months ago, some of them decided to simply never return. There is also a skillset mismatch. Programming jobs are up but there are less programmers looking for work right now. There is also a geographic problem. Places like Florida boomed in 2020 where parts of Manhattan looked like a ghost town. This shift is semi-permanent. If a family moved, they are probably not moving back to where they are from now that C0VlD is 'over'.

As an HR professional, my best tips for hiring would be:
Pay a decent wage. I started an employee in January at $28/ hr (part time). I could have offered her $21 but she was too valuable to me and I knew it. I know this is difficult but you'll find better people if you don't pay $15/ hr

See if you can offer any type of incentives. Traditionally Gen Y would take slightly lower salaries in return for better benefits. Talk to where you bank to see what they have in wealth management for 401ks. I have a staff less than 4 but I am thinking of implementing a company match. It is estimated to cost me way less than I thought- 4K a year or so. Can you do a HSA or supplemental insurance?

Flexible scheduling-- offering flexible scheduling here is a good way to attract employees. The pandemic changed the way people work. The traditional 9-5 office job is getting less and less attractive. If they can telecommute one day a week or work 7-3 instead, most people would rather to that. This is so important for kids. I'm not going to play the woman card here but lots of moms left the workforce in 2020 to homeschool because they have no choice. Childcare is important. By being flexible, you might get a great employee that occasionally needs to go pick up their kid from soccer. Who cares that they leave at 3pm one day, if they get their work done. My main employee took today off because it's been raining almost every day here for the last two weeks. Today it was supposed to be 80 and lovely out. She asked if she could take today off to go do things with her kids. I said Hell Yeah and didn't even hesitate. Burnout is real. You'll lose good employees by not being flexible.

Change the role/ job description. The people that are looking for work can't find job descriptions that match their current skillset. Can you change things around? For example, I am looking for a new person and skills of a hotel manager would be valuable in this position. I literally reworked my posting to aim for those types of people. Find an HR consultant in your area if you're in desperate need. If not, spend an hour or two reading job descriptions and take the good ones and then use them as a basis for your own.

Might have gone a little off topic but HR is what I do so...
 

BizyDad

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The WSJ had a good article on this problem in last weekend's issue. It bought up the issue of a mismatch from jobs that are hiring vs industries that are growing. Essentially it talks about how for example restaurant work is hard work and usually doesn't come with benefits like traditional office work. When workers in these hard hit industries were laid off 18 months ago, some of them decided to simply never return. There is also a skillset mismatch. Programming jobs are up but there are less programmers looking for work right now. There is also a geographic problem. Places like Florida boomed in 2020 where parts of Manhattan looked like a ghost town. This shift is semi-permanent. If a family moved, they are probably not moving back to where they are from now that C0VlD is 'over'.

As an HR professional, my best tips for hiring would be:
Pay a decent wage. I started an employee in January at $28/ hr (part time). I could have offered her $21 but she was too valuable to me and I knew it. I know this is difficult but you'll find better people if you don't pay $15/ hr

See if you can offer any type of incentives. Traditionally Gen Y would take slightly lower salaries in return for better benefits. Talk to where you bank to see what they have in wealth management for 401ks. I have a staff less than 4 but I am thinking of implementing a company match. It is estimated to cost me way less than I thought- 4K a year or so. Can you do a HSA or supplemental insurance?

Flexible scheduling-- offering flexible scheduling here is a good way to attract employees. The pandemic changed the way people work. The traditional 9-5 office job is getting less and less attractive. If they can telecommute one day a week or work 7-3 instead, most people would rather to that. This is so important for kids. I'm not going to play the woman card here but lots of moms left the workforce in 2020 to homeschool because they have no choice. Childcare is important. By being flexible, you might get a great employee that occasionally needs to go pick up their kid from soccer. Who cares that they leave at 3pm one day, if they get their work done. My main employee took today off because it's been raining almost every day here for the last two weeks. Today it was supposed to be 80 and lovely out. She asked if she could take today off to go do things with her kids. I said Hell Yeah and didn't even hesitate. Burnout is real. You'll lose good employees by not being flexible.

Change the role/ job description. The people that are looking for work can't find job descriptions that match their current skillset. Can you change things around? For example, I am looking for a new person and skills of a hotel manager would be valuable in this position. I literally reworked my posting to aim for those types of people. Find an HR consultant in your area if you're in desperate need. If not, spend an hour or two reading job descriptions and take the good ones and then use them as a basis for your own.

Might have gone a little off topic but HR is what I do so...
All good, not off topic at all. I appreciate your insights.

I rskimmed the journal article, and other than the restaurant point, I dismissed some of it because this is Phoenix and people are moving here, not the other way around. My mechanic client is offering 100k plus benefits, can't get someone to interview. It's ridiculous.

I read another article that said people are just terrified still of C0VlD. But I guess I thought AZ, being such a historically red state, wouldn't have the issue. The vaccination rate would suggest a big chunk aren't overly concerned about C0VlD.

You bring up a great point about telecommuting. I think that is a bigger issue. You can work from anywhere indoors and you can get away with not paying for child care. My clients need people who show up, and there is much less of those going around.

And for parents with little kids who can't get a shot, I guess the C0VlD fear is a little more understandable.

It's like my clients are no longer competing for work with other local businesses, they have national. maybe even international competition.

Ok, between that and @PapaGang 's theory of the young folk all becoming sneaker pimps, I see why some of my clients have issues. But what happened to all the truckers? The 40 somethings worker bees. I can't believe there a mechanic shortage, but maybe there is.

If only my clients could start a day care service...
 

digital

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Maybe they've all read The Millionaire Fastlane ?

I was working retail up until last month, even long after graduating with a BS in computer science.

I notice that employers who pay low like to talk about that "family" bs, but they don't actually care about you in the long run. Like MJ says, 5 for 2 is a horrible f*ing trade.

Also, like PapaGang said, "Why the f*** would I want to go back to being a line cook when I can flip Nikes on my phone and make more money?"

I think we may have inadvertently stumbled via this pandemic into an entrepreneurship golden age.
 
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SamRussell

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There are similar problems in the UK at the moment, some businesses are re-opening at partial capacity because they cannot find the staff to run at full capacity.
 

BizyDad

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I think there's a bias on this forum to assume that everybody is going into entrepreneurship. I don't think it's as widespread as our individual experiences might indicate.

To the extent that it's happening, and since we know most of those ventures will fail, it's just a matter of time before things swing back closer to "normal".

I mean shoot, sneaker pimps are just selling other sneaker pimps at this point with a handful of people with real money driving it. It's like the baseball card craze of the '80s. Tulips in the Netherlands. It's just a matter of time before the bubble bursts. And then what are all those newly minted sneaker pimps going to do?

Look how many people introduce themselves on this forum full of exuberance, only to do nothing for 6 years.

Anyways, in a roundabout way, what I'm trying to say is, no one wants to work for sh*t pay anymore. You just can't thrive on it.

Entrepreneurship ain't easy. Wait till all these entrepreneurs file their first year's taxes and find out that they've been working for $4.50 an hour. Or year 2 when they work even harder, but revenue doesn't increase nearly enough, so it's still only $6 an hour but now it was more than full time. $15 an hour might sound darned good then.

The way you're talking now, I can't wait to hear what you have to say when you're the one hiring people. If you make it that far...

in effect she's my first employee.
Either you're her first employee, or she's your first client. ;)
 

hellolin

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The internet made all jobs seems to be the glossy kind, now nobody wants to work a gloomy job. If your client can't even pay Walmart level rates, which is being berated for being cheap on the news, then I am afraid there is nothing to save them. Hell I don't even think new immigrants wants those kind of jobs anymore, let along the native born population. What doesn't help is the free money being passed out during this lock down has people seeing how a UBI can work out, but hey, no one really cares about the nearly 30 trillion national debt, it's just a number, after all, right, right???
 

hellolin

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The WSJ had a good article on this problem in last weekend's issue. It bought up the issue of a mismatch from jobs that are hiring vs industries that are growing. Essentially it talks about how for example restaurant work is hard work and usually doesn't come with benefits like traditional office work. When workers in these hard hit industries were laid off 18 months ago, some of them decided to simply never return. There is also a skillset mismatch. Programming jobs are up but there are less programmers looking for work right now. There is also a geographic problem. Places like Florida boomed in 2020 where parts of Manhattan looked like a ghost town. This shift is semi-permanent. If a family moved, they are probably not moving back to where they are from now that C0VlD is 'over'.

As an HR professional, my best tips for hiring would be:
Pay a decent wage. I started an employee in January at $28/ hr (part time). I could have offered her $21 but she was too valuable to me and I knew it. I know this is difficult but you'll find better people if you don't pay $15/ hr

See if you can offer any type of incentives. Traditionally Gen Y would take slightly lower salaries in return for better benefits. Talk to where you bank to see what they have in wealth management for 401ks. I have a staff less than 4 but I am thinking of implementing a company match. It is estimated to cost me way less than I thought- 4K a year or so. Can you do a HSA or supplemental insurance?

Flexible scheduling-- offering flexible scheduling here is a good way to attract employees. The pandemic changed the way people work. The traditional 9-5 office job is getting less and less attractive. If they can telecommute one day a week or work 7-3 instead, most people would rather to that. This is so important for kids. I'm not going to play the woman card here but lots of moms left the workforce in 2020 to homeschool because they have no choice. Childcare is important. By being flexible, you might get a great employee that occasionally needs to go pick up their kid from soccer. Who cares that they leave at 3pm one day, if they get their work done. My main employee took today off because it's been raining almost every day here for the last two weeks. Today it was supposed to be 80 and lovely out. She asked if she could take today off to go do things with her kids. I said Hell Yeah and didn't even hesitate. Burnout is real. You'll lose good employees by not being flexible.

Change the role/ job description. The people that are looking for work can't find job descriptions that match their current skillset. Can you change things around? For example, I am looking for a new person and skills of a hotel manager would be valuable in this position. I literally reworked my posting to aim for those types of people. Find an HR consultant in your area if you're in desperate need. If not, spend an hour or two reading job descriptions and take the good ones and then use them as a basis for your own.

Might have gone a little off topic but HR is what I do so...


You are talking way up in the air, the truth is, most jobs, even before the 2008 crush, does not offer any kind of benefits or anything close to 401k. Most jobs just plain suck, but the internet made everything look airy today, so most people got their hopes way up in the air, only to find out that they need way more qualification and connection to get those said glossy jobs. Simply put, if your place of work can actually afford to have a HR person, let along a department, you are already working in the upper 50% of the jobs available at any time in an economy. The way things are going, there will be no real small business existing in 20 years in America.
 

digital

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To the extent that it's happening, and since we know most of those ventures will fail, it's just a matter of time before things swing back closer to "normal".

Look how many people introduce themselves on this forum full of exuberance, only to do nothing for 6 years.

That's true, and it's more related to human nature IMO. Pareto principle holds across many domains.

Entrepreneurship ain't easy. Wait till all these entrepreneurs file their first year's taxes and find out that they've been working for $4.50 an hour ... $15 an hour might sound darned good then.

The way you're talking now, I can't wait to hear what you have to say when you're the one hiring people. If you make it that far...

Well you could look at it in two ways: like "4.50 an hour, damn should have just worked at Walmart" or you could look at it like, "holy cow!, I made 4.50 an hour doing my own thing, and basically I'm getting paid to figure out how to run a business and succeed without needing to rely on anyone except myself and my ability to execute my ideas in the marketplace." I'd look at it as the latter.

And you are right, if I ever do hire people, I would want them for a rate that is both competitive to me as a business owner and to them as an employee, and I'd prefer someone who just wants to work on my vision, obviously.

But as TMF expounds, human resources systems are the worst kind of the five types of wealth creation systems (at least they have the lowest passivity grade). I'm more focused on building content systems and computer/software systems which have higher passivity grades. The ideal is not to need to hire anyone, or just hire very few people, at least for me, at this moment in time.

And yes, I do consider her to be a client (not my first, but a client nonetheless). Also though, once I get a machine running, with jobs coming in, my "client" will give me a head hunters fee for each job she gets via my systems. So maybe the word employee isn't the right word in that sense.
 
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PapaGang

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They are calling it "The Great Resignation"

NPR Story

BBC Article

Forbes

None of this should be a surprise to people in food/bev.
Those jobs suck, and pay less than $20/hr.

FINALLY people are waking up.
Maybe some read TMF
Thanks to MJ...
 
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hellolin

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That's true, and it's more related to human nature IMO. Pareto principle holds across many domains.



Well you could look at it in two ways: like "4.50 an hour, damn should have just worked at Walmart" or you could look at it like, "holy cow!, I made 4.50 an hour doing my own thing, and basically I'm getting paid to figure out how to run a business and succeed without needing to rely on anyone except myself and my ability to execute my ideas in the marketplace." I'd look at it as the latter.

I don't mean to say I'm being totally careless in just up and quitting my job. I still have a part-time at an Amazon warehouse making $17.75/hour doing menial, mindless things, I just need to work 12 hours per month to hold it, so I can scale my hours up as needed and I can pick up or drop hours freely as long as the shift isn't in the next 24 hours. I'm in SF so the minimum wage is like 16 something but most of the low tier jobs are paying at least 17-18 minimum.

And you are right, if I ever do hire people, I would want them for a rate that is both competitive to me as a business owner and to them as an employee, and I'd prefer someone who just wants to work on my vision, obviously.

But as TMF expounds, human resources systems are the worst kind of the five types of wealth creation systems (at least they have the lowest passivity grade). I'm more focused on building content systems and computer/software systems which have higher passivity grades. The ideal is not to need to hire anyone, or just hire very few people, at least for me, at this moment in time.

And yes, I do consider her to be a client (not my first, but a client nonetheless). Also though, once I get a machine running, with jobs coming in, my "client" will give me a head hunters fee for each job she gets via my systems. So maybe the word employee isn't the right word in that sense.


Also consider not long ago, an employee means "someone does work and gets paid". Today it means that, plus benefits, being taking care of, have a ton of liabilities, all before the said person start producing anything viable in the first place.....
 

hellolin

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They are calling it "The Great Resignation"

NPR Story

BBC Article

Forbes

None of this should be a surprise to people in food/bev.
Those jobs suck, and pay less than $20/hr.

FINALLY people are waking up.
Thanks to MJ...


Are they waking up and demanding an easier way to start up companies? Or are they demanding more handouts? I don't think they are thanking MJ or even MJ is happy to see what their actions are right now...
 

PapaGang

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36 percent of Americans are now working in the gig economy. We have 44 million people with side hustles. And also, this:

Screen Shot 2021-07-16 at 6.36.20 PM.png
 
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PapaGang

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Are they waking up and demanding an easier way to start up companies? Or are they demanding more handouts? I don't think they are thanking MJ or even MJ is happy to see what their actions are right now...
Don't know. Don't care. People are leaving jobs that apparently aren't fulfilling to them.

I'm not interested in judging them. But if you don't think that there is a correlation between that and record numbers of people learning coding as well as an explosion in e-commerce, then IDK what to say.

The majority of these people are probably just looking for better jobs, but the data is clear. Lots of people resigning, and more average monthly new business applications than in the past 12 years.

I for one am thrilled that record numbers of people are choosing to bet on themselves instead of waiting to be picked.
 
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