Worker shortage explained: what 2021’s workforce issues mean for your business

Reading time:
Headsets hang on two powered-off desktop monitors in an occupied office space illuminated by bright, natural light

You know the phrase, “good help is so hard to find these days?”

Yeah, whoever came up with that had it easy.

These days—the Zoom-fatigue days, the not-quite-post-pandemic days, the how-is-2021-already-halfway-over days—good help is harder to find than ever. And as for retaining and engaging that help, well…  I’ll be blunt: we’re facing a historic worker shortage.

Overcoming the worker shortage is not just a matter of finding the best employees, but keeping them happy and working to the best of their abilities:

  • As a survey conducted by the Manpower Group recently revealed, 32% of US-based companies are struggling to find the talent to fill open positions. Globally, that number rises to 69%.
  • Korn Ferry estimates that by 2030, the current talent shortage “could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues” if left unchecked.
  • Roughly one-third of workers report struggling to stay motivated, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

Employers of all kinds are encountering the same challenges. The shortage includes a dearth of candidates for highly technical positions in the fields of operations/logistics and manufacturing/production as well as countless unfilled roles that emphasize communication—jobs in areas such as customer service, office administration, and sales/marketing.

Here are the top five in-demand roles:

Soft skills, which are centered on resilience and collaboration, are particularly in demand at the moment. Specifically, business owners are seeking employees who demonstrate…

  • Stress tolerance
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Reasoning
  • Problem-solving

How can employers navigate this historic moment? Optimizing employee experience is a great first step. While the majority of employees surveyed (roughly 90%) told Manpower they would like to stay in their current positions, 8 in 10 wish for a better work-life balance in the future.

For employees, a better work-life balance may mean more flexible scheduling and working options.

Employees have also reported a desire for better mental health resources from their employers to assuage the feelings of intense stress, anxiety, and burnout that so many of us grapple with.

For more information, read the ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey.

Remember those soft skills we mentioned earlier? And the fact that customer-facing and office support are two of the most in-demand jobs?  If you’re looking for communicative, adaptable, motivated critical thinkers to fill those roles, you’ve come to the right website.

Headshot: Joanna Myers, Ruby

Ruby elevates your business with friendly, professional, and highly-trained virtual receptionists. We’ve got you covered if—like so many organizations right now—you’re finding it challenging to hire for customer-facing and front office positions. Our virtual receptionists answer all your calls and website chats live, creating meaningful connections and unforgettable customer service experiences. And that’s just the beginning.

Did I mention our award-winning training? I should probably mention our award-winning training. Ruby provides receptionists with award-winning training designed for maximum engagement, retention of information, and on-the-job adaptability. It’s a key component of how we’re able to sound like a seamless extension of your business. Learn more.

The bottom line: there’s no need for this talent shortage to impact your business. Save time and money by letting us take care of customer service staffing for you. Good help is easy to find at Ruby.

(By the way, we’re hiring!)

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers—an illustration of two people with crowns surrounded by flowers
Small Business Tips

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers

Title card: Authentic small business marketing with Jamie Adams of Scorpion

Ruby partner feature: Authentic small business marketing with Scorpion

Using chat as a sales tool: hands using laptop
Small Business Tips

4 ways to leverage live chat as a sales tool

How to attract more law firm leads: smiling woman in professional attire talks on phone while using laptop
Legal Practice Tips

Treading water? Here’s how to attract more law firm leads.

Needs-based selling: woman using laptop in well-lit office next to large window.
Small Business Tips

Needs-based selling 101

Closeup image of a business owner texting message from smart phone in cafe
Small Business Tips

Why you should be texting from your business number—and how to get started

Title card: Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP, Ruby customer feature series
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Craig Rashkis, Falwell Rashkis LLP

What you can do to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses

Using virtual receptionists for full-time answering

How to end a phone call: person holding phone
Receptionist Tips

How to end a phone call

Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.


The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!