Staffing shortages are causing issues for businesses. Freelancers can help you minimize the impact.
The effects of “The Great Resignation” have moved from “behind the scenes” to “front of the house." Due to staffing shortages, businesses across a variety of industries are scrambling to stay ahead of looming customer service nightmares. Is your business prepared?
Researchers at Goldman Sachs found that we’re facing “a perfect storm of worker shortages.” Since the pandemic's start, 5 million people have left the labor force – their reasons fall under four broad categories.
First, some people lost jobs and received boosted federal unemployment insurance – some earning more from these benefits than their previous job. Since benefits expired, these people are gradually returning to the workforce.
Also, due to pandemic-related restrictions for entering the United States, immigrant and temporary work visas fell to nearly zero, removing around 700,000 people from the workforce. As restrictions relax, temporary work visas will slowly increase.
The biggest surprise was the third category: the number of people who retired during the pandemic. Retirees comprise half of the 5 million people who left the labor force since the start of the pandemic. While 1 million people were expected to retire during that time, 1.5 million people decided to retire early. No one anticipated that many early retirements, and those people are not coming back. It will be many months, perhaps more than a year, before the workforce replaces their labor.
Lastly, Goldman Sachs also found that self-employment increased by over 800,000 people during the pandemic. However, the impact from these workers is yet to be determined. From the report, “Although an increase in output from self-employed workers should in principle help meet aggregate demand and reduce the need for employed labor, some employers may be slow to adjust labor demand projections.”
Each of these situations have contributed to creating a “perfect storm” in the labor force and directly leading to a shortage in staff – and available skillsets - across most industries.
Nationwide, businesses are preparing their customers for prolonged service disruptions due to labor shortages. Others have made operational changes such as shortened operating hours and staggered employee shifts to ensure coverage during busy times.
Additionally, store inventory for nearly every industry took a hit due to the supply chain slowdown. Initially, the delay was due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, which stopped production across the board. However, labor shortages continue to interrupt output, and once the products are made, transportation industry labor issues interfere with shipping.
Labor shortages now directly affect customer service through delays in the delivery of services, longer waits for support, and even unavailable products. While most consumers are understanding, not all are (just ask a flight attendant how crazy people can become when they are slightly inconvenienced). Plus, even the most “understanding” customer may venture online to vent their frustrations. So, ensuring your business has the customer service support to navigate these potential challenges is even more essential in today’s world.
So, with a shortage of available workers, how can you avoid a customer service nightmare? Short answer: the gig economy.
Don’t be one of those “slow to adjust” employers. While customer service glitches in service industries are most visible, businesses across the country are struggling to retain employees and maintain the level of customer service that clients and customers expect.
By strengthening your workforce with skilled, virtual freelancers, you can maintain a high level of customer service and keep your consumers happy and loyal. Freelancer pros can provide direct customer service support or can take on other tasks that free up employees with company product/service expertise and knowledge, to provide customer support.
Partnering with virtual freelance talent can help you deliver the service your customers have come to expect, and ResultsResourcing can pair you with the best-matched freelancers for your business, satisfaction guaranteed. ResultsResourcing’s unique, no-hassle, talent-curation process ensures that you find the exact contractors you need.
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