Back and Forward: Rick Kempf on Workforce Challenges

Back Q&A Jun 30, 2017

Rick Kempf, regional vice president of LF Staffing Services, Inc., provides his perspective on challenges facing the U.S. workforce. For more from Kempf, check out “Now Hiring” in our July issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.

What’s the biggest challenge in your industry in the past year?

A challenge in the market today is in part the lack of understanding by employers of the lack of desire on the part of many workers to put in a 40-hour work week. This is tied in part to the various social benefits and the loss of such benefits in many cases if a worker makes too much money to qualify. It is common that if a worker ends up with a raise of pay of $50-100 per week, they will lose social benefits that amount to far more than that, thus many are not looking to work more than they are working. The concern around medical benefits is a major factor as well, as none of us know what the cost will be moving forward nor what coverage will be available.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenge on the horizon in the year to come?

From a client standpoint, helping understand the true cost of turnover is key, what is the true value of a temporary worker and why, to obtain the talent needed, is the cost at the level it is.  The talent match is, and will continue to be, a challenge given the unknowns facing both the worker and the hiring company. The political changes pending with little movement create a situation of fear on the part of companies to engage and with the worker to move forward with the thought of losing various benefits. Hiring new people — with training time and allocation of ramping up to skill levels needed — is a major cost to any company, and must be a long-term strategy with a defined goal and not the old Band-Aid approach.

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