Enough of the "Staff Shortages" Whining


Enough I tell you! Businesses complaining about staffing shortages, and using that excuse to provide poor service, charge more, and simultaneously continue to make record profits? There is nothing more obvious than this bullsh*t that they are pulling, and complete lack of accountability for their business practices that created these job openings in the first place.


From hospitals *still* asking entry level customer service reps to have healthcare industry experience on their job postings (something I verified the other day when I was unable to get a hold of someone at my former healthcare provider to do a referral to a new eye surgeon , to companies who claim to care about COVID-19 safety protocols but NOT requiring staff to be vaccinated (then wonder why folks don't want to work there), to the rampant age discrimination that older individuals experience thinly veiled as "overqualified", to the horrific ways that all too many recruiting teams continue to manage the recruiting life cycle, it's just an abject embarrassment to hear the continued whining by companies that they cannot find people to fill their positions...while they do NOTHING to improve their recruiting processes. Job descriptions that make you want to jump off a bridge they are so uninspiring, with a 15-bullet list of qualifications that tell prospective candidates "we care more about profits than we do about treating people with respect". Once again, companies make the false assumption that the job seekers are to be blamed...not themselves.


"Amidst one of the greatest job crises in recent history, employers are turning away job seekers willing and able to work because they don’t have the exact skills to match their openings. And waiting for those perfect candidates is holding employers back...With technology and industries shifting so quickly, our economy’s open positions aren’t necessarily a perfect fit for our unemployed workers. Rather than simply wishing that mismatch away, businesses need to embrace training to reduce it...It’s time organizations stop dreaming of perfect employees and start growing them."


Seems pretty basic right? Yet here's what's really sad: this quote from an article in Fast Company came out...TEN YEARS AGO. That's literally a decade where the writing was slapped on the wall (with examples shown of the rare companies who had - gasp! - built training programs and ended up lowering their time-to-fill), but companies for the most part have done nothing to change their habits, because ultimately, it's about executives protecting their paychecks...and egos.


The abject refusal of companies to do the real work needed to quickly attract and retain employees is at the heart of the staffing shortages they not only claim, but use to jack up prices while leadership continues to rake in the cash and makes zero adjustments to their own paychecks. It's common knowledge that culture and workload/hours are two of the three things driving resignations (salary being the other, of course), but are there more part time opportunities? Are they welcoming unions? Are they providing childcare benefits?


Or is it business as usual...with stock buybacks and upper management raking it in while the folks who are building their McMansions still live paycheck to paycheck?


Have a think about this for a bit: I worked for a famous music industry manufacturer who when I came on board, learned the CEO had hired an entire team of nearly 100% undocumented workers assembling their products at minimum wage in one of the most expensive areas of the country. An area where my first husband's clients were Hollywood celebs and where it cost $300K for a mobile home (and that was 15 years ago) so multiple families were living together to make ends meet. And while she was paying them the bare minimum, she was simultaneously buying a huge ranch along the coast where movies were filmed, all paid for by the profits of a company whose product her creepy ex-husband designed and where the primarily Spanish-speaking staff never were promoted to work upstairs on the corporate side for a living wage, where they were silenced from asking for more money because they knew as undocumented workers they had no leverage. No empowerment.


Schools are taking days off because of teacher burnout and shortages...but are teachers making they money they deserve? Oh hell no. Long-haul truck drivers are seemingly so hard to recruit...but are logistics companies finally putting them on the payroll, or still forcing them to 1099 it and cover their own costs? Guess the answer. Service industry businesses are 'forced' to shrink their offerings - but are they mandating all staff and customers show proof of vaccination so staff can go to work safely? Are they providing affordable health insurance and a living wage? More often than not, the answer is 'why of course not!'


So again, have a think about this. And if you're in the hiring seat and bitching about not being able to find folks, maybe pointing the finger back at yourself wouldn't be such a bad idea, and see what YOU can do to change.