Exclusive tED Magazine Survey Finds Distributors Are Short-Handed

The latest Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), released on January 21, showed nearly 10,600,000 open jobs across the United States. Believe it or not, that number is actually down from October, when the JOLTS report showed 11 million open positions.

The new, quarterly tED magazine/Baird research shows those open positions are impacting electrical distributors, too.

In January, 73% of the distributors who answered the survey reported that they are currently short-staffed and looking to hire for open positions in the first quarter of this year.

One comment from the survey showed not only concern about hiring right now, but increasing wages to attract new employees. “My main concern is increasing wages. It’s difficult to hire at pre-Covid levels so we are paying substantially more per hour to attract new employees. This then triggers increases for existing employees. If the economy suddenly returns to pre-Covid levels, companies will be in trouble,” one respondent answered.

When it comes to coping with staffing shortages, the responses often included a number of strategies to keep customers happy.

58% of respondents said they are restructuring job descriptions and responsibilities of current employees while they are short-staffed. In addition to that, 41% are paying overtime since the short staffing means current employees have to work extra hours to make sure all tasks are completed, and 15% of distributors say they are at least temporarily eliminating some services while they have positions to fill.

Most of us are looking for solutions or tips on finding people to fill open positions. tED magazine asked which methods worked to attract and hire new employees over the past six months.

8-% said word of mouth from current employees helped hire new employees, while 59% report job ad placements on internet job sites. Hiring an outside recruiting or staffing agency worked for 40% of the respondents, and going to colleges or high school recruiting events were successful for 28% of the respondents.

The tED magazine/Baird research also looked at revenue growth for the fourth quarter of 2021, projections for revenue growth in the first quarter and throughout 2022, and potential inflations concerns. You can read more about the survey results in March issue of the digital-only issue of tED magazine.


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