This month the U.S. added 210,000 jobs, fewer than many experts predicted, but many employers are still struggling to fill open positions. 

Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter Julia Pollak gave “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen some tips on how businesses can attract applicants and stand out from the pack. 

What You Need To Know

  • COVID-19 is causing absenteeism due to illness to be 65% higher than normal

  • Employers are struggling to find new workers and keep current employees

  • More than 55% of job seekers say they would prefer to find a remote job

  • An economist says that employers should offer long-term benefits rather than one-time bonuses

“Early in the pandemic, there were four and a half unemployed people per job opening. Now there’s less than one,” Pollack explained, “So employers are competing for two-thirds of a worker.” 

Making remote work an option when possible is the main incentive Pollack recommends companies offer.

“We’ve seen job seekers’ preferences for remote work skyrocket during this pandemic,” Pollack said. “More than 55% of job seekers say they would prefer to find a remote job even though only about 10% of jobs offer that opportunity.”

Pollack argues that even allowing employees to do some, if not all, tasks from home can make a huge impact for workers and set them apart from the competition. 

For work that can’t be done remotely, such as in the food service industry, Pollack suggests managers do as much as they can to improve the physical work environment and to ask current employees about what those specific improvements should be. 



“Often there’s some low hanging fruit like putting a coffee machine in the break room, like renovating the bathroom,” Pollak told Cohen. “So if you can’t compete on remote work, you can often compete on making it the most pleasant and wonderful place to work.”

The economist also emphasized the importance of offering long-term benefits rather than just one-time signing bonuses. “Labor force participation is slowly ticking up, but it’s going to be very gradual and that means we will have a tight labor market for many more months.”

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