The Great “Break Up” Of 2021: Employers And Employees
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11 Reasons Why During A Pandemic It Is Difficult To Hire Hourly And Salaried Workers

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This topic is on the news, in client calls and going on in the C Suite. Let me give you the perspective I have been sharing. You may agree and/or disagree with some of this and I gladly hear your take on this => [email protected]

Rather than start with the list I am going to start with what would normally be the end, the conclusions. Mostly because I think we generally understand why it may be difficult to hire right now.

Conclusions and some philosophy:

- Some jobs are awful to do let alone at the wage that is paid for doing it.

  • This is, well… obvious.

- Some companies/CEO’s/Hiring Managers/departments/subsidiaries are awful to work for.

  • Just because you have open jobs and are having a hard time filling them does not mean it is a worker issue. It could be that you suck to work for.

- In many jobs, industries and regions there was a worker shortage pre COVID 19.

- A lot has changed in the world since Jan 6, 2020 (the first Monday of 2020 and pre COVID 19). Many people have changed what they want to do, where, with whom and why for work.

  • What if anything has changed at your company to reflect this and if/how/are you communicating it?

- Let’s cut right to it… why should someone work with/for you versus someone else?

Hourly Workers:

- To a certain point, and it depends on location/state, enhanced unemployment benefits may be more than what was a worker’s hourly wage was.

  • Yes, this is obvious and most cases the leading issue for companies.

- Fear of Covid 19… interacting with the public.

  • This will linger for some time.

- Some, many have (for now) left the labor market.

  • Lack of child care.
  • Caring for a parent.
  • Frustrated with the process.
  • Kids at home doing distance learning.

- Some jobs can be done remote and employers in other areas of a city, state or the country may be paying more.

- “The Amazon effect”… hiring a lot of people at higher than average hourly rates with benefits.

Salaried Workers:

- Competition.

- For those hiring remote employees, you are not the only one.

- Last in, first out.

  • Many people are concerned that in taking a new role they may be the first cut if business does not actually improve or another “crisis” happens.


  • Many people are waiting for the greater surge in hiring when they will have more opportunities to choose from.

- WFH vs. hybrid vs. in the office.

  • A lot of people are waiting to see what companies are going to do with this.

- “We’re Hiring”.

  • I can’t believe I have to say this… many companies are doing a poor job letting people know they are hiring.

The above are the most frequently mentioned reasons… there are more.

Here are a few ways to generally address them:

  • Raise wages
  • Increase benefits
  • Flexible scheduling including part time hours
  • Bonuses
  • Be willing to train less experienced people who your hourly wage may be more than they already are making
  • Having a safe work environment
  • Employer branding
  • Be a place people want to work at <= why is this so difficult to grasp
  • Or more mainly said => don’t suck to work for

NOTE: I appreciate most small businesses, restaurants, travel industry, etc. generally have small profit margins. That operating costs have gone up for many including input costs (what they are paying for things) and the addition of PPE for their team.

And raising hourly pay is not that simple.

Here’s the thing… this is not “the good ’ol days” when simply have a job to offer was enough to attract people.

People have options and you need to show them why you are the place to work at.

If you are or will be hiring and want to nerd about this, send me an email => [email protected]

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