Business Challenges As The Economy Recovers From The COVID Pandemic

United States Economy Improves and Returns to Normal After Crisis

The economy will recover after vaccination. GETTY

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is great news, but every change in the economy brings challenges to businesses. The economy should get better in the second half of 2021, with some sectors earlier and some later, as detailed in my article Vaccines Will Bring Economy Near Recovery By End Of 2021. But growth of sales will challenge business leaders to find additional employees, secure goods and services from suppliers, and manage increased need for working capital.

The recession spread far beyond restaurants, hotels, and air travel, affecting the overwhelming majority of sectors of the economy. Out of more than 800 categories of employers tracked by government statisticians, all but a few dozen have declines in employment since the pandemic began. Most every company now must consider what bottlenecks will limit growth and what action plans can be developed to ensure the ability to gain in economic recovery.

Staffing is not easy in most sectors of the economy, despite our elevated unemployment rate. Business leaders can begin by evaluating the problem. What kinds of people will need to be hired? Are folks who were laid off last spring ready to come back to work? Are random people stopping by asking if the company is hiring?

Some cheap and easy steps can help a business both get ready to hire and evaluate how tight the job market is. Those managers who had to lay off workers can get in touch with them, asking if they would be willing and able to return. The communication should not wait until the business is ready to re-hire. If everyone is ready to come back to work, then the staffing task will be straightforward. But if many former employees say that they have found other jobs, then the challenge will be greater.

Another easy way to gauge the market and lay the groundwork for more hiring is to take applications, both online and from anyone who walks in. A business need not have an opening to accept applications. The manager can chat with applicants, explaining that the company is not yet ready to hire but wants to know who might be available when the time comes.

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