July 22, 2021

Bad Leadership, Not Lazy Workers.

Sam Caucci

Bad leadership, not lazy workers, are to blame for labor shortage.

We get it. Everywhere we turn we hear about the labor shortage. A tightening labor market has created a public battle where people are blaming unemployment benefits, lazy workers and/or low wages.

Indeed’s latest report led with an expected headline. That a surge in job postings on their platform is taking place and postings are showing a significant increase in incentives to win back workers. Specifically, for you policy wonks out there, they found US job postings on Indeed.com on July 16 to be 36.5% above February 1, 2020, the pre-pandemic baseline.

That’s cool. Good for workers. But, I think this could have been avoided. The crazy costs companies are spending to recruit, win back, and incentivize is more of a byproduct of bad leadership decisions than just workers being lazy. Why do I think that?

Here are my 3 takeaways from the latest Indeed report and Department of Labor data around job postings and the state of the workforce:

1. A surge in HR job postings (considered “far above base-line”) proves companies made a bad decision to layoff their HR leadership during the pandemic. Now they are scrambling to hire back.

Indeed found, “Human resources jobs are also far above baseline, as employers are eager to hire the people who will help them hire others. The big laggards remain hospitality & tourism and beauty & wellness.”

2. Layoffs of veteran HR folks has resulted in chaotic recruiting/hiring practices, disgruntled workers, and unnecessary turnover.

According to a recent SHRM report, nearly 1 in 2 workers say they are going to quit within the next year. Now couple this with the fact that Gallup found wildly low levels of employee engagement pre-pandemic (only 15% of global workers are engaged at work) and you have a recipe for disaster. Or, just our current labor market. (BTW — we just talked about this on Cheddar TV)

3. And, an observation from us at 1Huddle. The companies that continued investment in tech to develop workers and did not abandon their Human Resources strategy are winning.

Many brands held onto their human resources people through the pandemic. This group has deep domain knowledge in the brand and understands the motion and mechanics of recruiting and hiring for the organization. Now, you have companies not just struggling to hire new talent, but also struggling to onboard the new people responsible for hiring others! This is not the case with brands that kept their Human Resources teams together.

  • “You guys are the golden egg. No matter what happens in life, you guys can still be used. And should still be used.” –Paul Hannah, Director of Training & Development at Ascension Coffee
  • “Good thing for 1Huddle or our asses would be in the wind during this crazy time.” –Brandon Lawrence, Former Director of Sales Training & Development at Madison Square Garden

Some consider the overall new data from the Indeed report to be a “good problem.” Really? All I see are companies that made decisions not to invest in people and are now scrambling back to work and blaming workers on the way. Not cool. Not right.

Now, I must continue to point out. Not every company quit on HR and their workforce. Many brands fought through, built up, invested in, and are now winning. We all see you.

Now, back to work…

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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