Does Indiana Have a Workforce Crisis?

Date: September 21, 2017

Remember the days when you could advertise for a position and get lots of good quality applicants? Remember when employees would show up for work on time and gladly work a 40-hour week? Remember when you didn’t have to worry about open positions going unfilled?

Yeah, I remember, and it wasn’t that long ago.  Unfortunately, the peak of this phenomena came with some really bad baggage:  the worst recession in our lifetime. Now, as the economy improves, small business owners across Indiana are struggling to find quality workers. Today Indiana is not just in full recovery mode; the state economy is in full expansion mode and small business owners must find the workers they need to participate in the growing economy.  Additionally, they need to be able to compete with Big Business for the best employees.

The NFIB Research Foundation has been tracking small businesses for decades and produces a monthly “Small Business Economic Trends Report” (SBET).  A few short years ago, the SBET reported the issue of finding quality labor was way down the list when small business owners were asked about their single most important problem.  In our most recent report, Labor Quality had shot up to number two in importance; second only to Taxes.

So… what’s a small business owner to do?  Short answer:  Try something new.  Whatever we do, we must be innovative and look for new ways to find or train quality workers.  New ways like using the WorkHere app.  WorkHere is an NFIB member start-up that has created the means to have employees find you.  

According to CEO Howard Bates, “We built WorkHere because it needed to exist. The job market is changing and good, dependable people are hard to find for most business owners. WorkHere helps business owners curb turnover by helping them hire local.”

“Right now, turnover is a major issue for business owners and CEOs,” Bates added. One of WorkHere’s early customers found that 80% of workers with over 5 year’s tenure lived within 2 miles of their 67 stores.” 

The days of putting an ad in the paper are posting on random job boards and hoping good candidates will find their way to your door are over.  With 3% or lower unemployment rate in Indiana, small business owners must find new ways to connect with prospective candidates and an app that directly connects workers with jobs close to home is one new approach than can have a big pay-off.

Barbara Quandt Underwood

Indiana State Director

Related Content: Hear from State Director | Indiana | Labor

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