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Worker shortage leads to businesses struggling to hire employees

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NowHiring

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Businesses big and small have been working hard to find employees to keep their operations going. The pandemic is causing people to not want to return to work for a variety of reasons.

"Now Hiring" signs can be found on almost every block. Employers in the Cedar Valley are short-staffed in what is now a national issue.

"We're going to high school career fairs, college career fairs, and just community career fairs," VGM Talent Acquisition Vice President Amy Streeter said.

Businesses and companies are doing everything they can to find employees.

"We've advertised on Facebook. We have the signs posted in house. I've asked the employees to reach out to their friends," Cabin Coffee Manager Emma Williams said.

Large companies and small local businesses are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. Some even cutting back on services because there are just not enough workers.

Waterfalls Car Wash in Waterloo can only offer exterior washes on vehicles at the moment. There is not enough employees to make the business a "full service" car wash.

"Sometimes people just don't show up for interviews, or they do the interview and I can't get ahold of them again so it's kind of a crazy time to be trying to hire people," Williams said.

Working remotely has changed the game, causing a "war on talent." Employers are losing team members to other competitors, as working from home is more convenient for many.

Some companies are even able to hire people who live out of state from where the employer is based. Local employers are trying to adjust to be able to offer that option as well.

"You're fighting not just a local employment base that's searching for employees, but all across the world," Streeter said.

Raising wages, converting full-time to part-time positions, and offering incentives to new hires are some of the ways businesses are trying to get help.

"We need to think bigger. We need to think different. We can't continue to do what we've always done to recruit and hire, so we need to broaden our perspectives," Streeter said.

Returning to work during a pandemic is also a worry for some, but business is booming as the vaccine rolls out, and cities start to reopen more and more. Employers need to keep up with the amount of business they are receiving, so they need more workers.

"It's a little bit of a never ending battle trying to keep up the staff and continue to provide our customers with the customer service that they deserve," Williams said.

Unemployment is another reason that seems to be keeping people home, according to local recruiters and managers. People are choosing not to return to work because of their weekly unemployment checks, that are sometimes worth more than a typical paycheck.