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Forbes: solving the labor shortage paradox.

The labor market is complicated: we’ve gone from historically high unemployment rates to an abundance of job openings. Unemployment is still somewhat high, so competition for talent should be strong. Instead, we have a hard-to-navigate employment marketplace.

The foundational basics are there — high demand for talent, with increased wages and incentives available. But the workplace is about people and there’s always more to the story. 

Rebecca Henderson, Randstad executive board member and CEO of global businesses, shares: “In reality, the labor shortage is likely due to a complex mix of parents facing uncertain childcare responsibilities, fear of returning to public-facing work because of the Delta variant, and individuals simply taking time to reevaluate their career trajectory and plot next steps.”

Employers also continue to sweeten the pot with more flexibility for their workers. Knowledge workers of all types are building new lives around work from home and contingent jobs. What it takes to attract and retain top talent during a drawn-out post-pandemic recovery is still evolving, though.

“Businesses should also consider focusing more on how they can promote internal mobility within their organization by reskilling current employees to fill open positions,” advises Henderson. “Internal recruitment and redeployment can be a more cost-effective short-term talent solution when compared to attracting and competing for talent in a tight labor market.”

Today’s labor market is a mystery wrapped in the enigma of salary, flexibility and mobility. Read more of Henderson’s thoughts on solving this challenge. Then read Randstad Sourceright global CEO, Mike Smith’s latest article on workforce planning during extreme disruption to dive deeper.