The pandemic has reshaped the labor market in ways that continue to impact hiring. This effect looks likely to linger into the foreseeable future, creating ongoing complications for a labor market that was already under pressure from long-term demographic trends.
Meanwhile, different groups experienced the COVID ramifications in different ways. Women (especially single mothers) suffered massive setbacks during the emergency. Even as the pandemic restrictions have been removed, many women have had trouble getting back into the labor force. This has led to hardships for the individuals involved and has contributed to ongoing dislocations in the job market.
This is only part of a longer-term issue. Demographic changes that have unfolded over decades (including lower birthrates and the increasing retirements of the Baby Boom generation) have led to a situation that has become known as the sansdemic — a general lack of workers that has made it difficult for companies to find the talent to need.
How can you navigate the sansdemic? One strategy involves tapping into the reservoir of talent available thanks to the ongoing impact the pandemic has had on women workers.
Women Workers Hit Hard During Pandemic
Statistics underline the opportunity available in reaching out to more female candidates. A large number of women had their careers derailed by the pandemic and many have had trouble getting back on track. One estimate suggests that over 2 million women have left the labor force since February 2020.
This impact came as women felt a more acute unemployment spike during the initial COVID restrictions. The trend here reverses the demographic conditions seen during the Great Recession of 2008, when men were hit harder. Meanwhile, single mothers received the brunt of this employment rollback.
Many of these talented potential employees remain on the sidelines. Amid an overall tight labor market, you can find value in reaching out to this underserved group, coaxing them back into the workforce.
Reaching Out to Women Workers
The pandemic sent shockwaves through the U.S. labor force. In some ways, the market has recovered, with the overall unemployment rate recently dropping to its lowest rate in over 50 years. However, the labor participation rate remains low as well, meaning that many potential workers continue to absent themselves from consideration.
There are a few issues that can keep women (and workers in general) from returning to the workforce. Here are some of the major barriers:
- Lack of Childcare Options
- Post-COVID Changes in the Job Market
- Skills Gap Created by a Changing Economy
You can take steps to counteract these challenges. To draw women back into the workforce, here are a few policies you can enact:
Ensure Your Company Doesn’t Have a Wage Gap
Women face particular barriers in the workforce — a fact that was true well before COVID disrupted the labor market. Although the specific details are often controversial, government data show that, on average, women make 83 cents for every dollar paid to men.
This discrepancy can create a disincentive for women to return the workforce. You can do your part by ensuring that your organization offers competitive wages, regardless of the demographics of the candidate.
Provide Childcare Support
Even with the progress made in recent decades creating more equitable family structures, traditional gender roles still impact women’s professional opportunities. For instance, statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that nearly 80% of single parents are mothers. Meanwhile, there are about 11 million single-parent families in the U.S.
As a result of these dynamics, you can attract more female candidates to your workplace when you give additional childcare support. If you have a large enough organization, you could consider on-site daycare. For smaller businesses, benefits like childcare stipends or reimbursements can help as well.
Offer Extensive Training and Upskilling Programs
Workers who were disconnected by the pandemic might need help returning to the workforce. At the same time, a general skill gap prevents many otherwise talented potential employees from finding their proper career path. You can help by providing a robust training and upskilling program.
This strategy goes beyond discovering more women candidates. In a sansdemic, it might be difficult to find qualified individuals. However, you can still find great workers — you just need to help them reach the proper qualifications.
Contact PrideStaff Bend Today
When attempting to discovered underutilized talent, it helps to have a great partner. A top recruiter, like PrideStaff Bend, can deliver the workers you need in any economic situation.
Contact us today to upgrade your team-building process.