Pandemic Staffing: Why Some Employers Are Struggling to Re-hire
Pandemic Staffing: Why Some Employers Are Struggling to Re-hire

Staffing because of re-opened businessNow with Stage 3 of reopening allowing most businesses to resume operations, some employers are finding it a challenge to get everyone back into the physical workplace.


Some employees are concerned about the health risks associated with working during a pandemic. Some employers may also be having difficulty competing with the $2000/month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).


Childcare is one of the major factors for many who are deciding whether or not to return to work. Parents don’t know if they’ll be able to count on full-time learning in the classroom, full-time distance learning, or a hybrid mix of the two. Even if the school year starts under the assumption of full-time classes, things could change if the pandemic worsens.


staffing can be hard because of the pandemicWith so much uncertainty around back-to-school plans, many parents–especially mothers–are reluctant to commit to work. There is still a significant wage gap for women, with Caucasian women earning approximately $0.87 for every dollar earned by men. Due to systemic racism, Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour (BIPOC) women usually earn even less. This makes it likely that women are the low earners in a couple, which makes it more practical for them to care for children while higher-earning spouses work.


Single parents are in an even tougher position when it comes to returning to work, as their children could once again be forced to stay home instead of being in the classroom.


Tips for Attracting and Retaining Staff

Asian man in staffing processWhen staffing, it’s easy to be charmed by a likeable candidate, only to regret the choice later. Charisma can ‘sell’ a candidate during an interview, but it doesn’t mean they will produce once the actual work starts.


Look instead for people who are hard-working, able to learn and adapt to changing circumstances, and who have excellent listening and interpersonal skills.


Sincerity should take precedence over a big personality!


Soft skills, including emotional intelligence, will matter even more than they did before Covid-19.


While we’re still dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic (including the risk of a ‘second wave’) you can make your workplace more welcoming by:

  • Having a documented and consistently implemented health and safety plan — a legitimate fear of infection is keeping some people from working,
  • Offering flexible hours, and the option to work from home when possible,
  • Ensuring liberal access to work-supplied personal protective equipment (PPE) — don’t skimp on this!
  • Deliberately fostering a positive workplace culture. It costs very little to recognize your staff’s efforts to make sure they feel valued.


Here’s another thought…

group of kids with tutorIn some communities, affluent parents have been creating private ‘pandemic pods’ to navigate the new homeschooling reality. Healthcare workers started organizing this way when the pandemic started. It’s a radical idea, but could you pool resources with other employers to create shared childcare options? It might make coming back to work a much easier decision! While it might be a tall order for many employers, it may be nearly impossible for individuals who have even more limited resources.


Looking for additional information about staffing? Take a look (or a listen) to some of my other hiring-related blog posts:


Do you need help navigating the world of human resources and work? Contact Dr. Helen today for a free and confidential initial consultation by phoneemail, or via direct message on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

In some situations, when you don’t need a full hour, especially when it’s urgent, career coaching/information-by-the-minute via the Magnifi app is a very practical option.


More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.


I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.™


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