The Corona Virus started infecting people early in 2020, almost three years ago, and the pandemic that followed has continued to cause difficulties for all businesses, including in the security industry. Demand for security services was down for a long time, and even though demand has returned, problems getting reliable staff have made taking advantage of that more difficult.
As a business owner, I still feel the pandemic's effects, but it's not a lack of new contracts giving me headaches. The problem concerns staffing. We receive requests for security guards weekly, but we struggle to maintain staff, and some employees have become unreliable. The reliable employees have been overtaxed.
As to why people aren't returning to work, a lot has been written on the subject, including this article by CNBC. Perhaps some people just got used to being at home, or they must stay home to care for children or sick family members. Others may still worry about getting sick, but whatever the reason, many businesses continue to be short-staffed.
There are more jobs available and fewer applicants, so hiring qualified people has become extremely competitive. We have made operational changes in an attempt to attract great people. We have increased pay rates which has meant charging customers more. While I think that has helped some, unfortunately, some employees are unreliable.
There are two problems. The first is an issue of people not showing up or being late for their shifts. While normally, I have people standing by to jump in, that’s become more difficult. The second problem concerns employees who join the company but only stay long enough to qualify for unemployment benefits. Both issues cause our steady employees grief.
We value and appreciate the reliable officers we have who work longer hours and more shifts because of their coworker’s behavior. It's been frustrating, but by continuing to work hard at problem-solving, we will overcome this challenge like we have many others.