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Wrestling With Hiring Issues? Don’t Tap Out; try Untapped Labor Pools

If you’re feeling the pain of summer staffing woes, you’re not alone. The pandemic and ensuing “great reshuffle” has left untold franchises across the U.S. searching for new ways to tackle their seasonal staffing shortfalls.

Right now there are more than 11.5 million open jobs, with just 6 million available workers ready to fill them. That’s 1.9 jobs for every available worker.

But that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel. In fact, there are existing labor pools at your disposal that you might be unaware of. At Snagajob we’re helping large and mid-sized franchisees find summer workers by tapping into these often-overlooked workforces. Here are some underutilized labor pools to consider.

Consider second-chance hires.

According to recent studies, in the U.S. there are more than 1 million unemployed men between the ages of 24 to 35 who are classified as “nonviolent criminal offenders.” This age group is one of the prime demographics for hiring. Yet these people are being skipped over, often without consideration.

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Why?

First, understand that many of these convictions are simply “youthful mistakes” by people who used poor judgment and learned their lesson early. Also, many of the convictions aren’t even crimes today ー such as drug convictions in states where the drug has now been decriminalized.

But most importantly, second-chance hires are simply good employees. In fact, the Second Chance Business Coalition notes that 85% of HR teams report that nonviolent offenders perform the same as, or better than, employees without criminal records.

They also may be more determined to be successful. As Jeffrey Korzenik notes in his book Untapped Talent, “second-chance hires have ‘grit’ and ‘heart’ to rebuild their lives.” However, he also emphasizes, “It’s business, not charity…but isn’t it great when good business accomplishes so much?”

Along the same lines, second-chance hires are equally known for their hardiness. Jeffrey Brown, CEO of Brown’s Super Stores (and a proponent of second-chance hiring), explained “They’re accustomed to challenges that others are not, and they are prepared to manage through risk.”

You’ll also find several additional untapped labor pools that can be equally beneficial to franchisees.

Consider the un-retired.

According to Labor Department statistics, an estimated 1.5 million retired people re-entered the workforce in the past year.

With inflation rising and the stock market sinking, it’s anticipated that even more people will unretire in the very near future. This can be a great opportunity for restaurant staffing. More seasoned workers are traditionally reliable and conscientious about the job they do, and make excellent team members.

When searching, note that retired job seekers between the ages of 55 and 64 are the most likely to return to the workforce, as they’re not yet eligible for Medicare or full Social Security benefits.

Consider teens.

A recent Snagajob survey found that 87% of teenagers are looking for work this summer.

While working a summer job was once a rite of passage for teenagers, that began trending down in recent years 一 and fell dramatically during the pandemic. Now, however, after being cooped up for two years, these teens are eager to get out of the house and socialize while making money.

In fact, teens are now the largest group actively looking for jobs. And 70% of Generation Z (those up to 25 years old) are currently looking for part-time positions. Don’t let the opportunity to hire these valuable and underutilized workers pass you by.

Consider those with disabilities.

Labor Department studies show that in 2021, only 20% of people with disabilities were employed. And among workers with disabilities, 30% work part-time (while only 16% of able-bodied workers are part-timers). This suggests that workers with disabilities are given fewer opportunities than others, as some businesses wrongly believe that workers with disabilities have high absenteeism, are unskilled and not as productive, cost more to train and don’t fit in.

However, that’s not the case at all, as workers with disabilities are excellent employees who have exceptional perseverance and a strong willingness to work hard and perform well.

Hiring workers with disabilities also creates an inclusive work environment that pays dividends for your company culture. For example, teams that supported workers with disabilities report a 90% increase in retention, which spotlights the positive impact of an inclusive work environment.

Make This Summer a Huge Success

With consumers planning to get out and about at record levels, franchised establishments should be packed all summer long.

But given the staffing challenges due to today’s lopsided job market, it’s important to evolve your hiring playbook to seek out hourly workers who can step into seasonal jobs immediately. This involves rethinking your strategy and turning to pools of workers you might not have considered before the pandemic and great reshuffle.

Rather than struggling to recruit the same set of workers you’ve been targeting 一 most of whom are no longer responding to your appeals 一 branch out to embrace second-chance hires, the un-retired, teens and workers with disabilities. You’ll not only fill open positions, but you’ll also give more people financial stability and in turn stimulate the economy.


Appointed CEO in 2019 after previously serving as Snagajob’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mathieu Stevenson and his team are focused on using data and AI to realize the vision of becoming the first truly on-demand platform for hourly work, instantly connecting millions of hourly workers with hiring employers. Stevenson brings deep technology and marketplace experience across venture owned and public companies, including leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, HomeAway Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), and most recently Blucora Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOR), where he served as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. Stevenson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and attended the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University where he received his Master’s in Business Administration. His first hourly job was as a lifeguard.

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