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Worker Shortages in a Covid-19 World

Worker Shortages in a Covid-19 World


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Americans in many different ways, and employers are definitely feeling the effects. Some of these effects are expected. Many companies, for example, are experiencing a loss of income since they cannot fully run their businesses as per usual. Unfortunately, this is expected. 


But that’s not the only way American businesses are being affected by Covid-19. Oddly enough, employers are having a difficult time finding employees. And in a world where so many people are out of work, this is quite surprising. So why is this happening?

Indeed, the job hiring website, has recently claimed that job postings are just as high now as they were before the pandemic – but for some reason, employers can’t find employees. 


Here’s the problem – most of the jobs that are currently being hired for are in-person jobs. It’s the construction jobs, the warehouse jobs, the delivery jobs, and other in-person jobs that are hiring right now. And no one wants to do them in the middle of a pandemic where we are taught to fear social congregation. 


Of course, this includes the dental industry. There are few professions where you are more up-close and personal than in the dental industry. Each and every day dentists and dental assistants are up-close and personal with their clients, working inside their mouths. And in a world where we are required to wear masks everywhere we go, it’s not surprising that dentists may have a difficult time finding new hires to work in an industry where clients don’t wear any face masks. 


Right now, people that are out of jobs and looking want remote positions. Unfortunately, only 1 in every 10 job postings is actually for remote work. So that leaves 9 out of 10 employers looking for employees that are afraid to work in-person positions.


In addition to this, a lot of people who are out of work are simply “waiting it out” to see how the pandemic unfolds. There’s no doubt that once the pandemic starts to slow, people will be once again seeking work. But for now, they’re just waiting to see what happens in the near future.


You now have employers looking for help from a smaller pool of workers. It’s hard to compete with these multi-billion dollar companies who oftentimes can offer more benefits than a small business can. Fast food and other hospitality industries are hit particularly hard because their pool of workers can go out and work at Amazon which is paying $15/hour. Unfortunately for the business owner, this has created a pressure on wages.


So what can you do if you are an employer looking for employees?


Because most people are avoiding in-person work due to fear, the key is to lessen fear. And how can you do that? By showing people what you are doing to make your workplace a safe environment. When you post a job, ensure that you not only include the qualifications you are looking for, but how you as an employer are working to keep your clients and workers safe.

Consider asking patients if they know of anyone who is looking for a job. They know you. They know your office and if they can heartily recommend your practice as a “great” place then this would appeal to a potential job seeker.


Work with dental assisting and other technical schools to allow interns at your office. These interns will eventually be job seekers and if they have a familiarity with your office and enjoy working there, they may consider working for you first. 


Also look at your benefits package and see if there is room to offer a higher payer, better benefits, or combination of both? You, as a small business, can offer personal attention and appreciation that a big company may not. Employee happiness plays a big part in their tenure at a job so if you’re able to care for your staff like family, then they will treat you like family!


This pandemic has caused a lot of hardship for everyone and this is one of them. It won’t be easy but ensuring your staff are treated more than an employee ID number will help. 





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B. Vo, DDS
Author: B. Vo, DDS