Why is it still so hard to fill jobs?

As a career human resources professional, I’ve never witnessed anything like what’s happening in today’s job market. Almost a million jobs were added in July. But the labor force participation rate – a measure of the share of working-age Americans who are employed or looking for work – stayed pretty much the same. That’s unheard of.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the participation rate is at 61.6% as of June 30, 2021, where it’s been since June of 2020. And it’s still 1% lower than it was at the start of the pandemic. This is the lowest rate of labor force participation in more than four decades and a record number of unfilled jobs.

But the lingering question is, why?

There are, of course, many temporary barriers created by the pandemic such as enhanced federal unemployment benefits, reduced availability of childcare and worries about the highly infectious delta variant. But these should be short-term and dissipate over the coming months.

However, economists believe the Covid crisis may end up reducing the size of the U.S. labor force even further. Workers who have been (or still are) sidelined, may find it difficult or impossible to re-enter the job market as their skills lapse. According to Bloomberg, one troubling sign is that the number of Americans unemployed for at least a year reached 2.9 million in June, which is equal to about 29% of all the jobless.

In my opinion, we need to work together as socially responsible employers to make sure people find their way back into the workforce, even if it’s in a different position. And at Synergis, we are trying to play our part with the introduction of our new hiring initiative, “Project Relaunch.”

This program is designed to provide employment for people who need part-time, flexible work arrangements. And perhaps, want to gradually re-enter the workforce. Businesses, like ours, need to get creative to attract workers given the challenges in the job market. And a greater willingness to allow remote or hybrid work and flexible scheduling is a great way to do just that.

With Project Relaunch, we can accommodate most scheduling needs as we anticipate up to 20 hours per week. We will work with you to provide a part-time work schedule that is mutually beneficial. And that also means working remote, partially remote, or in-office – you get to choose (as long as you’re in the Atlanta metro area)!

The positions we’re hiring for, Data Caretakers (4 opportunities available), are focused on quality control and database maintenance. You will be responsible for ensuring that information is accurate and up-to-date in our database. This will include data entry and “scrubbing” files to facilitate the implementation of new systems; as well as contacting Synergis candidates to obtain and update information; and ensure complete and accurate file documentation. But don’t worry, we will train you first.

So, if you love data as much as we do and have the following skills, please send your resume to talent@synergishr.com. Our target start date for these roles is September 13 or later, so apply today!

  • Detail-oriented
  • Familiar with computers
  • Data entry
  • Comfortable on the phone
  • Familiar with Excel
  • Organized (channel your inner “digital” Marie Kondo)
  • Inquisitive
  • Professional


About the author

Serving as Vice President of Human Resources, Leona Rapelye is responsible for ensuring that our people programs are aligned with Synergis’ business strategies. She is also tasked with driving talent and culture initiatives that deliver strong business results and a world-class employee experience. Having established a solid foundation in a variety of human resources roles in the financial services industry, Leona focused on human resources and people development, as well as operational and business roles that gave her a well-rounded breadth of perspective. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds the SHRM-SCP designation. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and movie buff. She is also an unapologetic Disney-phile and enjoys spending time with her husband at “the happiest place on earth.”

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