November 28, 2023

It takes time to find qualified candidates, evaluate resumes, conduct interviews, and hire employees. More applicants than ever are available for jobs today, but many won’t be a good fit for your business. This raises the question of why it’s so difficult to locate qualified workers. After interviewing the qualified candidates, you choose the best candidate, but they swiftly reject you, leaving you perplexed and frustrated. The employment process, which you thought was virtually complete, must now be restarted.

To further complicate this situation, the current labor market in the United States is historically tight, with businesses feeling the employment squeeze. Even though the rate of the current economic recovery is significantly faster than that of the previous recession, there are still many more jobs available than people are looking for work. Since the beginning of 2022, the number of open positions has almost doubled, indicating that employers are ready to hire after the initial Covid-19 pandemic. 

So, what is stopping workers from applying?  There are undeniable reasons why employers are finding it difficult to find good employees as we near 2023. The good news is, no matter what type of business model your organization may fall into, there are five areas of business that can directly impact the hiring process and, when done correctly, will ensure your organization is hiring the best employees possible.


1. Your Recruiting Process is Flawed

The first thing to do when struggling to find good employees is to turn your attention inward. Historically speaking, organizations have largely gone about hiring employees the same way. A human resources manager prepares a detailed job description and determines the ideal candidate’s attributes. Interested applicants are interviewed and asked the same standard questions before HR sorts through the applicants to determine who best meets the preconceived job description and extends job offers. While this process may have worked in the past, this is exactly where it should stay – in the past.

The strategy used today is entirely different. According to data, most of those who started new jobs last year weren’t actively looking for them; instead, they were recruited. Companies aim to funnel as many potential candidates into their hiring pipeline as possible, creating “passive candidates.” Employers frequently post job openings that don’t exist to locate applicants who might come in handy down the road or in a different situation. Additionally, most job applications are completed online, where AI then sorts through all the applications, keywords are triggered, and only those applications are sent to hiring managers.

If you are having trouble finding good employees, look at your recruiting process and ensure it is up to date. What worked to attract top talent in the 1980s and 1990s will not work in 2023 and beyond. The adage, adapt or die, rings true – organizations that adapt to technology and new recruiting styles will undoubtedly have the upper hand in finding good employees.

2. Your Expectations are Unreasonable

It’s a good idea to hold employees to high expectations. However, it is always wise to temper expectations and keep them realistic. Consider the overall job and how it could impact employees when creating job descriptions. What are the hours and pay? How much vacation time off do employees get per year?

Employees today are looking for more than high-paying jobs with benefits; they are seeking jobs that offer a good work-life balance. In fact, many employees are turning down higher-paying jobs and accepting lower pay for shorter work weeks.  As more Baby Boomers retire, Gen X’ers, Millennials and Gen Z’ers are attracted to jobs that allow creative freedom, emphasize teamwork, and don’t require 40+ work weeks.

3. You’re Company Culture is Not Attractive

Today’s employees won’t tolerate a hostile workplace and desire a team-oriented company that appreciates individuality and equality. The culture of your business should create value for its employees. A positive workplace culture is more important than ever because employees rank corporate culture as a top consideration for open positions.

Businesses today need to offer attractive pay and work environment employees are eager to join. Consider Google and how they have open workspaces, allow employees to take naps, and provide snacks. Sure, not all companies can afford such measures, but be creative with what you can offer and intentionally build a culture that is engaging, unique, and attracts the type of employees you want. While providing employees with fair and competitive wages is important, keeping them content requires more than just a paycheck.

Are your employees happy at work? Do they feel valued and appreciated? Do you make it a practice to invest in your employees? If not, the culture may be deterring new employees from joining the team.

As mentioned before, job satisfaction is important to candidates these days. So it is important to keep your current employees happy and motivated in their position.  This will prevent current employees from leaving and will, hopefully, attract other qualified employees.

4. Keeping Existing Employees Too Long

Too frequently, business owners wait too long to terminate or extend them a buyout package. Even when an employee is not a good fit for the company. If an employee can no longer keep up with their job, has a bad attitude or burnout, or in many cases, has been at the job too long and needs to retire. Sometimes, is okay to let employees who no longer serve your organization go.

A goal for every business is to make money. To do so, you need the right employees at the right time. It is okay to acknowledge that a long-term employee may no longer be the “right fit” and to move on to an employee that meets your current needs.

5. Workers Now Have More Options

Another reason why good employees are getting harder to find is due to the fact that workers have more job options to choose from. Technology has created new job opportunities and almost every field. The globalization of the economy has also made it possible to work internationally.

The economy has become more diverse as more industries and sectors are created.  This has lead to a wider range of job opportunities. For example, the growth of the service sector has created many new jobs in fields such as healthcare, education, and finance.

One of the often forgotten about reasons has been the increasing flexibility of the labor market.  With the rise of freelance work and the gig economy and side hustling, workers now have more options to choose from when it comes to finding employment. They can choose to work for a traditional employer or they can work as a freelancer on a project-by-project basis.



In today’s tech-savvy and fast-paced world, businesses must be open to change. Gone are the days of putting a help-wanted ad in the newspaper and finding all the employees you need. Today organizations need to leverage social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, etc. to find good employees. Organizations that network the best are those landing the best talent.

Organizations need to consistently assess how well their hiring methods are resulting in hiring quality employees and make necessary adjustments. We are currently in a candidates’ market, meaning that candidates have more influence on wages and benefits packages. The right employees are out there – your organization must be willing to meet them where they are and seek them out.

Sarah Ruddle

Team Writer: For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world. Sarah has led an impressive career as a founder of nonprofits The Torch and Torch 180. She has been featured in well-known publications, including Woman’s Day Magazine.
Sarah has been honored with the President’s Award for her doctoral thesis on how cryptocurrency could revolutionize homelessness and the Entrepreneurship award for her MBA thesis. She holds a doctorate from Berkeley and is a professor instructing Business and Entrepreneurship classes at Iowa, Eastern Michigan, and Cal Southern universities.
On a mission to assist young entrepreneurs, she is focused on improving education, developing critical soft skills, increasing self-awareness and confidence, and creating collaborative learning spaces as a business consultant. Sarah has been an inspirational speaker at schools across America, speaking on leadership, selfless service, and commitment to the community. Before her time in the business world, Sarah served as a youth pastor, an ordained chaplain, and an intelligence analyst in the United States Army.

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