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Hiring in 2022? Find out why qualified candidates are a rare find

Labor Shortage Causes

Discover what caused the current labor shortage and how businesses can respond.

Recruiting in 2022 has become especially challenging. The workforce continues to shrink, and it’s not just the pandemic to blame. So, what exactly caused our current labor shortage, and what can businesses do about it?

As a full-service communications agency, we’ve helped our clients navigate the current labor market and we can help you, too. In this post, we’re covering everything you need to know about what caused the labor shortage and what you’ll need to attract qualified candidates in 2022.

The challenge with hiring in 2022

Demand for workers hit a tidal wave last year according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who recorded an unprecedented 3.8 million new jobs added to the U.S. job market in 2021.

At the same time, U.S. workforce numbers fell lower than pre-pandemic levels, with 3.4 million fewer job candidates in the workforce today compared to February of 2020.

Now two years since the initial onset of the pandemic, we’re all trying to return to life as usual, but the labor shortage is one of the obstacles we’re still facing.

Why did so many employees leave the workforce?

According to the Washington Post, there’s more than just one reason we’ve started seeing a shortage of workers recently. It’s the result of many circumstances culminating into the largest labor shortage in recent history.

Some of the largest factors include of the current employee shortage include:

Effects of COVID-19

Not only did employees reach extreme emotional burnout over the course of the pandemic, but there have also been over 1 million deaths nationwide.

Early retirement of baby boomers

Though millennials (born between 1980 and 1996) are now the largest generational group in the U.S., baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) made up a significant part of the workforce before the pandemic.

Population reports from the Pew Research Center found that by 2018, more baby boomers were employed past 65 than the two previous generations before them were at the same age.

With the added risk of contracting COVID-19, many were already on the cusp of retirement and over 3 million boomers left the workforce altogether throughout 2020.

Remote work

Many employees were able to experience the benefits of remote work during the pandemic, leading to a big shift in the job market.

A far greater number of today’s job seekers are searching for remote-only work and in-person positions are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.

A change in values

The pandemic caused a lot of people to reassess their priorities and many workers simply decided life was too short to stay in an unfulfilling job.


As living expenses, costs of transportation and other essentials increase, people are more selective in their career choices, opting for salary or certain benefits over other interests that don’t provide as much value.

Which businesses are affected the most?

While the factors are vast and seem to apply to almost every industry, the companies most affected by employee shortages include:

  • Durable goods manufacturing
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Education
  • Health services

While jobs suited for remote work, such as finance, management, professional services and IT, may have less trouble finding candidates, these businesses may still feel the pain as they scramble to fill roles from shuffling employees seeking even better perks.

No matter what industry your business is in, you don’t have to give up hope of running a successful recruitment campaign in 2022.

What can businesses do?

The job market is in favor of employees right now and most job seekers have set their priorities higher. They’ll be less likely to apply to companies that don’t match their values or expectations.

To attract qualified candidates in 2022, you’ll have to:

Show your value as an employer.

Employees have a plethora of job opportunities to choose from—why should they apply to your opening and work for your company?

You’ll have to prove right away that your brand offers competitive benefits and perks as good or better than your competitors. Make sure your employee benefits are clearly featured and easy to find in your job posting.

Improve your employer branding.

Branding isn’t just useful for helping consumers identify your company and products. You can and should invest in your employer branding to show potential candidates the unique characteristics that set your work environment apart from the competition.

Invest in recruitment resources.

The demands of creating and running a successful recruitment campaign are even more difficult than in recent years. You’ll need a professional team like the experts here at Insight to get the most reward out of your recruitment efforts.

Find quality candidates, even in a labor shortage.

More access to remote work, higher employee standards and a change in values has made hiring in 2022 even more challenging for businesses. If your brand has positions to fill, you’ll need to step up your recruiting efforts.

Contact Insight today to improve your recruitment campaign and showcase the value your brand brings to qualified candidates waiting to find a company like yours.