There are massive changes taking place in the labor market — ones that will have a dramatic impact on how you operate your business. The economy is running into a condition known as the “sansdemic,” a general lack of workers that will make hiring and retention more difficult over time. But what’s causing this shift?
The sansdemic is being driven by core demographic changes. Among these conditions, a low overall birthrate means that there aren’t enough younger workers to replace the older ones now reaching retirement age. Each time you lose a team member, your choices for a new hire get slightly narrower.
The Impact of a Lower Birth Rate on the Sansdemic
What is causing the sansdemic? The term itself refers to a general lack of workers. Many causes have combined to fuel this trend, but a key trigger comes from the retirement of the Baby Boom generation — a process that is removing an important part of the workforce.
However, these departures are only half the story. Theoretically, those retiring Boomer workers should be replaced by younger ones. As older employees retire, replacements should be exiting school and entering the labor market, keeping the supply/demand dynamics roughly equal.
However, an imbalance has developed, driven largely by lower birthrates. This process, which has been accumulating over the course of decades, means that there are fewer younger workers available to replace the aging ones leaving the workforce.
To put things in perspective, the current birthrate in the U.S., according to the CDC, sits at 11 births per 1,000 population. In 2000 (roughly the year many current college graduates would have been born), that number stood at 14.7.
Looking further back, the U.S. birthrate in 1960, around the birth year for many workers currently considering retirement, was 23.7. This represented more than double the current birthrate and significantly above the figures seen around the turn of the 21st century.
Operating in a Sansdemic
The dynamics in the labor market constantly experience minor alterations. You’ve gotten used to dealing with the routine ebb and flow of worker availability. However, as we’ve seen, the evolution underway now has been building for decades and involves extremely broad demographic trends. As such, the situation is not likely to see a permanent reversal in the near future.
There’s nothing you can do about lower birthrates and the overall demographic forces impacting the labor force. However, you can take steps to make the most of the current market and to prepare for the future. Here are some strategies to consider:
As hiring becomes more difficult, the ROI balance between recruiting and retention begins to change. Investments aimed at keeping your current workforce begin to make additional sense. As such, look for improved ways to build bonds with top performers you already have on your team.
The sansdemic might cause a lack of workers. Yet, you still have the same amount of work to get done. The best solution is to improve your processes to minimize the amount of labor needed. By upgrading productivity, you limit the pressure that comes with a shallower labor pool.
How do you get more out of your current staff? Technology provides a key tool. If you can find places to automate your operations, with computers taking over some of the functions previously completed by workers, you reduce your hiring needs.
Optimize Your Recruiting
Even in a sansdemic, you’ll need to search out new employees. You’ll also need to get better at the process. Take steps to upgrade your recruiting process, letting you find the best hires in an increasingly competitive market.
A strong recruiting partner can help in this effort. A top staffing agency, like PrideStaff, can give you the support you need to operate in any labor market.
Contact PrideStaff Bend today to get the most out of your recruiting process.
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