One of the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is overcoming the increasing skills shortage. For many organizations, including MSPs and other channel companies, the scarcity of available talent does not appear to be short-term. What some pitched as a potential blip on the HR radar screen has become a major concern that continues to affect businesses and consumers. Employment experts, researchers, and journalists refer to this ongoing trend as the “great resignation.”
Millions of workers are walking away from their jobs every month. While retirements and health and family leaves are common, and people quit and start new positions all the time, over the past two years, labor force defections have been rising exponentially. Pandemic-related health concerns, work-environment changes and lifestyle choices are among the reasons employees are exiting the workforce, which leaves hope that some may return.
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, more than 8.5 million U.S. workers quit their jobs in just September and October of 2021. The skills shortage is even more concerning on the later end of the employment spectrum. The number of Americans interested in retiring at or before the age of 62 is at its highest point since the Federal Reserve began the survey in 2014. Losing those tenured employees without a good supply of potential high-quality replacements is surely keeping HR managers and company executives from getting much sleep today.
Industries in Despair
Anyone who has left their house in the past few months understands the problem. From restaurants and retail stores to education, manufacturing and construction, virtually every industry is struggling to find people willing and able to work. More than 987,000 workers walked away in September alone in leisure and hospitality, with a big part of those losses coming from lodging and food services businesses.
Most of those organizations require many hands every day just to provide the basic services. With fewer people interested in manual labor, many companies are raising wages and benefits for those positions to attract enough people to keep the doors open. Those changes are driving up payroll and ancillary costs. In harder hit areas, stores and restaurants are shortening their hours of operation so they can get by with fewer employees, inconveniencing customers and reducing their revenue. Some companies are raising prices to compensate for soaring payroll costs and declining income, further fueling inflationary pressures.
Technology is an effective countermeasure. In many cases, automation and labor-saving applications can help companies reduce reliance on people and minimize payroll. Kiosks and automated burger flippers are just a few of the many opportunities for eliminating tasks that relatively few people enjoy or wish to do every day. Companies can shift their attention to filling the roles that require some level of human interaction.
Deliver Workforce Multipliers to Your Clients
Technology can also be a productivity booster for those employees. Providing your clients with the right tools, including solutions and integrations to automate various business processes, gives them a leg up on the competition, optimizing efficiency and minimizing personnel requirements. MSPs have the power to rescue companies caught up in the undertow of the great resignation.
The communication area is where MSPs can significantly boost efficiencies for their clients. Implementing a UCaaS application helps businesses streamline calls and track and manage employee activities to optimize productivity. Video and chat capabilities make it easier and faster for team members to get answers from co-workers, business associates, and customers – without leaving their desks. Those time-saving activities add up during the day, especially for companies that rely heavily on communications.
Workforce multipliers are critical in many industries. For example, retail and restaurant chains can leverage resources across multiple locations with UCaaS solutions, allowing well-staffed stores to temporarily handle calls for their short-handed counterparts. Your clients can quickly configure these solutions to “triage” and route incoming calls to someone who can answer questions, take orders, or field requests.
UCaaS Powers the WFH Movement
Remote work options are gaining popularity with prospective job candidates. According to the 2021 FlexJobs’ Survey, 58% of workers prefer the WFH environment, and 39% yearn for hybrid work opportunities, splitting time between home and the office− that’s an astounding 97% of potential job candidates.
Companies offering that option, at least for some positions, can significantly expand their geographic recruitment area and land prospects with greater talents for potentially less money. With many organizations already setting “return to the office” expectations for when the pandemic eventually subsides, those workers may be open to new opportunities. Offering your clients remote work-enabling technologies like UCaaS can put them in a position to attract that talent.
MSPs play an invaluable role in personnel and recruitment today. Are you enabling your clients with effective WFH and hybrid workplace solutions? If not, consider the options as a ConnectMeVoice partner. Our team can help you lessen the “Great Resignation” impact on virtually any business.
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