almost 2 job vacancies available to all job seekers, America’s labor shortage Has more employers than barrels In the fight to acquire and retain talent. But for candidates who are often overlooked by recruiters, the shortage of talent presents an opportunity.
Advocates for marginalized groups such as those with disabilities, those who were formerly incarcerated, and those in insecure residences believe that today’s labor market makes the people they work with a valuable resource to a thriving economy. It shows employers and themselves that they can be contributors. .
Employers today say, ‘We’re open to giving people opportunities.… Doug Smith, Director of Employment Services for Chimes, a nonprofit that helps employ people with disabilities, said:
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals being recruited over the past year at least,” he said. The percentage of people with disabilities working is very low at 22.5%, up from 21.6% a year ago. according to the data From the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I don’t think employers are as picky as they used to be,” said Carly Kammerer, executive director of Wildflyer Coffee, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit. “There is a sense of dignity and value in employment…Sometimes just the confidence to forge your own path and earn a paycheck can go a long way.”
Kammerer says small business owners look to her for insight. “People see us mostly as a staffing agency, so we were able to increase our opportunities and be more like a pipeline or referral source for young people,” she said.
Brett Struwe, CEO of Sustenance Coffee in Minneapolis, said he had already raised salaries by 15% to 20% when the labor market began to heat up last fall, but in the past six months he found it difficult to add workers He has to keep up with his business growth.
“You have to do a lot of aggressive recruiting to get the workforce you need to grow your business,” Struwe said, broadening the search and recruiting young adults participating in the Wildflyer program. He added that he had recruited one person into the package. Coffee in his warehouse.
The worker is a very good fit and Struwe said he is preparing to hire a second worker from the program this fall. “This is someone I want to be able to hold,” he said.
people with Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist and senior fellow at the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, says previous felony convictions face a different and in many ways greater challenge.
“Between 1980 and 2010, the percentage of Americans with felony records tripled … a product of the heightened war on drugs and mass incarceration,” he said. “There are more people in our community who have that experience and have that barrier than there used to be.”
But as employers scramble to fill vacancies, fair chance hiring, which refers to hiring practices that do not exclude or discriminate against candidates with criminal records, is gaining traction.
Amanda LaGrange, CEO of RePowered, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, said: A company that recycles e-waste and runs an on-the-job training program for previously incarcerated people.
“There’s a huge amount of talent, but it’s just disconnected,” says LaGrange. “A lot of our work is about stigma mitigation.”
Employers today seem more receptive to these messages. “Employers are open to the idea of considering applicants who may not have previously applied, including those with criminal records,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, senior economist at Indeed.
According to Conker, the number of job openings that explicitly reference this type of policy has increased by about 10% over the past three years, with a 75% share of searches by job seekers using phrases like “no background check.” also increased sharply. “This data shows that employers are expanding the pool of employees they consider hiring, and job seekers are aware of this,” she said.
Founder and CEO of Wash Cycle Laundry, Gabriel Mandujano, operates commercial laundry services in the Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC metropolitan areas.
“Most facilities have to operate seven days a week,” he said. “One of the things he sees more often is that people may leave on schedules Monday through Friday, which was not happening as often as it was before the pandemic.”
According to Mandujano, Wash Cycle has a long history of hiring people that recruiters often overlook, such as those with criminal records and people with disabilities.
Philadelphia resident Steve Stansbury has struggled to find stable employment since returning home in March 2021.
Stansbury, 34, was recruited into the wash cycle in November and was promoted less than six months later. “I actually had a conversation with his boss asking what he wanted to do. It makes my job easier because I do what I love,” he said.
Stansbury said the job gave him the foundation to build his career, and even hopes to one day start his own business. I take it seriously…I don’t want to go back to prison.I’m really applying myself,” he said. “If it wasn’t for this job, I don’t know what I would be doing.”
lack of educational qualifications Or experience can also be a hurdle that prevents people from getting a career track job.
“We are watching [fewer] Someone with retail experience or a long life on the job. That’s the wall we’ve faced,” said Elise Lark, store and operations manager at Paxton Gate, a natural science-themed retailer in Portland, Oregon.
“Our salaries have increased by at least 30% or more, which is only in the last year,” says Lark, who recently expanded health insurance at the store. Despite these efforts, however, recruitment attempts were unsatisfactory. “We’re a very professional retail store because we’re basically like a natural history museum. We need people who are passionate about the natural sciences,” she said.
Lark said he was able to hire a biology major part-time during the busy holiday season through a program that combined local college students and family-run businesses. “This was a great opportunity for students to learn real-world work experience,” she said.
Macy Buehler, owner of the Yahara River Learning Center in DeForest, Wisconsin, says adding much-needed staff is a big challenge. “Even some Targets pay $19 an hour.
Her preschool educators must be qualified at about the same level as an associate’s degree, but Buehler said the education requirements were for the younger, working-class, and often female child care worker population. “They have to work full time. They’re not from families where they can stop and go to school,” she said.
Buhler recently enrolled two new employees as part of a two-year pilot program run by the state. This program pays for on-the-job training while giving workers the opportunity to meet most of the degree requirements.
“This is a more supported way for them to get back to school. We have to support them by giving them time to do their schoolwork at work.” achievement of Higher education feels more accessible. “No one in her family went to college. [and] She told me she had no one to set an example for her.
The labor market was already tight even before the pandemic. A wave of baby boomer retirements, declining fertility rates, lack of childcare, and declining immigration all point to long-term challenges for employment managers. And all of these problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“In 2018, as we saw the unemployment rate continue to fall, [we realized] Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Human Capital Management Institute, said:
“The problem is stigma,” says Taylor. “All employers must give their employees permission to hire from untapped talent pools. We must drive that into our organization.”
Achieving and maintaining stable employment is an important part of engaging these people not only in the workforce, but throughout the community, Sojourner said. “When people are shut out of the workforce, they struggle to find ways to contribute to their communities,” he said.
Once employed, they are able to provide for themselves and their families and contribute meaningfully to the local economy.
It’s also good for the workers themselves. “Having an employment history will definitely help you stay employed,” Sojourner said. Workers are more likely to choose a job if they have references and a track record to demonstrate their commitment to the job.
And in an economy where the biggest wage gains occur when workers switch jobs, liquidity is key to unlocking potential earnings power.
Taylor said labor shortages are likely to continue to challenge today’s job market and employers, ultimately resulting in lower barriers for those seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce. I am optimistic that there will be
“Over the last few years, the birth rate in America has been low and getting lower and lower. [that] It’s not the only solution,” he said. “I think there was a real philosophical paradigm reset.”