Wanted signs at restaurants are, in fact, easy to spot at the moment. But restaurant owners aren't getting the volume of applications they typically see.

Even Amid COVID, Some Employers Say Finding Employees Can Be Difficult

Restaurants took a hit at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, forced to close and reopen with restrictions of all sorts. Plenty of restaurant workers have been rehired over the past couple of months as infections leveled off. But why are some restaurants now having a hard time finding people to hire? 

Wanted signs at restaurants are, in fact, easy to spot at the moment. But restaurant owners aren’t getting the volume of applications they typically see. 

The same trend is showing up in other industries, including construction and lawn services. 

It’s fair to suggest that for some people, getting back to work isn’t a priority when they can earn nearly as much or even more just by drawing unemployment benefits. That was no doubt a bigger problem when the federal government was sending the unemployed an extra $600 a week on top of their unemployment checks. 

Today, some people are staying away because of health concerns or caretaking responsibilities; others are reluctant to resume minimum-wage jobs and are in the middle of training programs in hopes of switching careers. 

Whatever the reason, finding the right candidate, hardly ever a simple proposition, is posing new challenges for plenty of employers amid COVID. 

What happens post-COVID-19 is anyone’s guess. But one thing is clear: to earn the loyalty of front-of-house employees will mean providing them with adequate wages and an environment that is as safe as possible. 

As they typically do, U.S. employers are turning to temporary employment agencies for help. 

According to the American Staffing Association’s latest monthly report, new temporary and contract staffing starts were up 2.4% on average in August, with 46% of staffing companies reporting gains in new assignments week-to-week. 

During the course of most years, America’s staffing companies hire 16 million temporary and contract employees. 

A good number of those work at our restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality businesses. 

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