Long-Term Impact of Global Hiring Shortages on Small Business

And what you can do about it!

As we reach the end of the season for most tent and event installations, now is the best time for businesses to turn their attention to the status of next year’s crew personnel needs and determine what gaps they will need to fill. The job market remains a job seekers market. The impact of the waning Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt people’s views of, and expectations for, employment. Moreover, supply chain shortages, partly caused by global hiring shortfalls, should continue at least into early next year. 2022 is almost certain bring in more business to tent and event companies than 2021. Let’s touch on the long-term impact of global hiring on small businesses and follow with a thought on how best to start 2022 with as much labor as you need.

Labor problems will be a semi-permanent problem for business owners. Assume that anybody hired for 2022 will cost your company more than this year. US job openings have risen for the past five months to reach a recent historic high in September, according to the most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data also points to a disturbing trend: what the news media has dubbed the “great resignation”: able-bodied workers quitting the workforce early, despite the cessation of direct unemployment payments.

Competing for new “blood” will be harder in 2022. A late Q3 2021 CNBC | Momentive Small Business Survey implies that the shortage will be lasting. “Almost one-third (31%) [of survey respondents] say they have open roles they have not been able to fill for at least three months, up from 24% last quarter and 16% in Q1 2020.”

When you put that “hiring” sign on your storefront, job site, or social media, you join more companies trying to fill more positions in their workforce. Competition for good talent will be more difficult and frustrating. So, when you do hire someone, take a bow, because that person chose you over other eager suitors in a job market.

We talked to hundreds of companies in depth in 2021. Virtually all report that this year was as good or more successful than any in recent memory – largely because the economy shifted into a higher gear than expected, with pent-up demand causing tent Installation orders to roll in non-stop.

If labor problems will not abate in 2022 and longer, what is there to be done?

Mechanization: a way to reduce your dependence on a large workforce.

The most immediate and sustainable solution for softening the blow of hiring shortages is not to find a way to hire more people quickly, because you cannot. Instead, go for efficiency, and try to reduce your dependence on all the people you currently need.

When Scott Woodruff invented the Tent OX system of attachments and mounted them on a four-wheel articulated loader made in Finland (after trying out other platforms), his main goal was to improve efficiency. His own regional tent and event company counted labor as the largest cost of staying in business, so Scott decided to mechanize as much as possible in a bid to maximize crew effectiveness. Over the years, Tent OX has published plenty of news articles, videos and customer success stories that illustrate how Tent OX System’s effectiveness dramatically reduces labor dependence.

Turn down the crew turnover rate. Another Tent OX goal was to reduce employee turnover. It is a rare seasonal worker who completes two seasons, and star performers begin to age out at 35 years, concerned for the wear and tear on their bodies. Our customers routinely point out that Tent OX improves crew retention rates. Learn how Bryant’s Rent-All was able to break the exhausting cycle of hiring and training new crew with Tent OX.

For more examples of companies overcoming labor shortages with Tent OX, long before COVID-19,  explore here.  

“Hire” a Tent OX instead. Most of our hundreds of customers who will tell you how Tent OX saves labor so they can make more profit (like this one who saved 24 man hours on the first job). As often, they will say it’s more important to them that Tent OX has improved crew retention, so they spend less time, money and resources getting up to speed for each season. Many Tent OX customers, who would otherwise hire more crew members are “hiring” another Tent OX System. More companies who started out with one machine now have added two, three and – frequently – more than four! As they grow, they are keeping their labor costs low while keeping install teams healthy and happy.

As your business turns its attention toward the elephant in the room – hiring and labor shortages for 2022 – keep in mind that improving crew mechanization is easier and less costly than trying to attract and keep more crew members. Since 2014, the best way to mechanize has been Tent OX. This may be the perfect time to invest in equipment more heavily than in personnel. Of course, you must have a great crew to run your business, but with the right equipment, their efforts will be amplified to new heights. Tent OX makes your workers even more effective, while helping reduce injuries, fatigue, and turnover issues. Do we have your attention? Let’s talk about what this could look like for your business. Now is the time to start the conversation for 2022!