Labor Shortage Continues Into Fall

More than 60% of small business owners report difficult time finding employees

September 15, 2021

The labor shortage experienced by many industries this summer appears to be getting worse, according to Alignable’s September hiring poll.

In a survey of 4,079 small business owners conducted from August 15 to September 13, 66% reported having a difficult time finding the right employees to fill open roles, many of which are necessary to help them drive revenue and rebound. In comparison, in July 50% of all small business owners surveyed reported they were having trouble finding the right help. That figure jumped to 59% in August and has gone up another 7% to 66%.

Other findings from the latest survey include:

  • 47% of employers have combated the shortage by increasing employee salaries
  • 23% said they reduced hours to cut expenses 
  • 26% said they gave up on finding workers and/or decided to do the work themselves. 

Despite these struggles, Alignable also learned in its poll that the No. 1 way employers have found people to hire (37%) is through personal referrals and networking.

A recent study by the Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research and the American Psychological Association, found five reasons why workers stay with their employers:

  • Most (8 in 10) workers who stay with their employee indicate it is because they enjoy the work.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 employees under the age of 25 indicate they stay with their current employer because of training and development programs offered.
  • While competitive pay and benefits are important, work that increases positive experiences on the job improves worker retention.
  • Ensuring every employee understands how their efforts are linked to the company’s overall success is one of the most successful worker-retention strategies.
  • Employees who feel valued are much more likely to be engaged with their work, less likely to feel stressed during the workday, and less likely to leave their jobs.

As to how this applies to the professional cleaning industry, Matt Morrison, an industry veteran and communications manager at Kaivac Inc., offers the following suggestions to employers who want to retain their employees:

  • To help employees enjoy their work, stress the importance of their work in helping to keep people healthy.
  • To keep younger workers on the job, turn to new technologies such as onboard training technologies.
  • Promote from within to help your staff feel they are valued and that they have a future working for your firm.
  • Start an employee recognition program to significantly improve worker morale and retention of all staff.


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