Small businesses still struggling to fill job openings

Posted at 9:20 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 06:49:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you have tried looking for a job over the last year, you know the pandemic has impacted the economy. At the same time, many small businesses are still struggling to fill open positions.

"All of a sudden we looked around and were 15 to 20% short of our desired staffing," said Adam Williams, the CFO of The Turnip Truck. "It's been a roller coaster ride."

Williams said staffing issues have improved since the summer, but there are still several open positions to fill. The Turnip Truck is offering referral bonuses, and managers are being more aggressive in recruiting new employees.

"If we get a job applicant in, we are calling them within hours," said Williams. "In the past, we would do it once a week, or a couple times a week, and follow up with people."

The Turnip Truck is one of many small businesses trying to find ways to bring in new employees.

"I do feel like there’s a bit of a mismatch between the jobs that are available and what people think they want to do going forward," said Suzanne Sager, Associate Dean for Professional Engagement and Development at Lipscomb University's College of Business.

Sager works with students to prepare them for a successful job search, and helps companies find good prospective employees. She said the pandemic has changed many employees' priorities and employers' needs.

Many job seekers are looking for a balance between remote and office work, and professional development opportunities.

"I think if a smaller company can say, I may not have a huge training program, but I want you to attend conferences and seminars," said Sager. "If you come to work with us, we can help with tuition reimbursement."

Sager added people looking for jobs should stay open-minded and flexible.

"If you have target industries, do some research and find out what jobs are being filled. You might need to do some retooling, but you can get a lot of certifications online."

For more information on applying for open positions at The Turnip Truck, click here.