The Mystery of the Job Candidate Shortage: 3 Possible Explanations

The Mystery of the Job Candidate Shortage

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It seems like everywhere you look, there are advertisements for job openings. Airlines, airports, restaurants, hotels, and so many other places (maybe not tech companies) are all facing the same fate – not being able to find candidates to work. So what’s going on?

There are a number of possible explanations for the job candidate shortage that businesses are experiencing right now. In this blog post, we will explore three of the most likely reasons.

Baby Boomers Exodus

Baby Boomer on a Boat relaxing after retiring

According to a recent study, nearly one-third of Americans over the age of 50 are considering retirement. This is a significant increase from previous years, and it represents a major shift in the workforce. We are no longer talking about the “Great Resignation,” we are not talking about the “Great Retirement.”

The “Great Retirement” is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing availability of retirement benefits and the desire for a more leisurely lifestyle. For many Baby Boomers, retirement is an opportunity to finally pursue their dreams and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

According to the Pew Research Center, 12,000 Boomers are retiring every day, and this trend is expected to continue for the next two decades. For many of these individuals, retirement is a chance to finally pursue their dreams. They may have always wanted to start their own business, travel the world, or write a book. Now that they have the time and freedom to do so, and received an extra push from the pandemic, they’re seized the opportunity to create the life they want.

The pandemic really took a toll on everyone, especially those in the Baby Boomer generation. Many of them have spent their entire lives working hard, then suddenly found themselves having to adjust to a new reality.

Between being isolated at home and having to learn new technologies, it was very easy to feel overwhelmed. For many Baby Boomers (between 57-75 years old), to get back into the workforce after the pandemic, many had to learn new technologies that companies implemented into work. For some, it was adding video conferencing, others it was having all computer files saved on the cloud. Either way, it was troubling for all of us to get used to the new normal.

For many Baby Boomers, they faced the decision of learning the new technology they have never used before or retiring a few years earlier than planned. Many chose the ladder half, which also contributed to the staff shortages.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis, in the third quarter of 2021, 50.3% of US adults 55 and older said they were retired, which is a significant increase from the third quarter of 2019 when 48.1% of US adults 55 and older said they were retired.

The increase in older adults retiring have had an effect on the staff shortages we are seeing today.


self employed young woman work on sewing machine i 2022 01 19 00 20 26 utc scaled e1660143688968

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. For many entrepreneurs, these platforms have become a powerful tool for promoting their businesses and sharing their success stories with the world. In particular, videos of cool cars and luxurious homes have been a hit with viewers, and many of these entrepreneurs are also giving tips on how they started their own businesses from scratch. 

This type of content is highly inspirational and motivating, and it has led to a significant increase in the number of people who are quitting their jobs to start their own businesses. 

Additionally, websites like Etsy and Shopify are making it easier than ever to create your own business within minutes. I am sure we have all seen those videos online of Shopify creators making thousands of dollars of profit per month. 

Because of the rise in these types of videos, many job seekers are turning away from their 9-5 jobs to start their own business with their own hours.

Keep in mind, while it is certainly possible to become successful as an entrepreneur, it is important to remember that this path is not without its challenges.


Unemployed man looking for work on the internet sitting at the computer at home

Those who were on unemployment benefits back when they lost their jobs due to the pandemic built a safety net for themselves. With the additional $600 per week PUA benefits for 11 weeks, and the additional UI Benefit of $300, many individuals made more money in one month on unemployment than they did for an entire year.

This ‘safety net’ has helped many workers become pickier when looking for work. Rather than accepting the first job offer they receive, candidates are waiting to find out what else there is on the market before making a final decision.

Candidates are looking for:

  • A job opening that has the opportunity to make a difference. They want a sense of purpose and the ability to contribute to the success of the organization.
  • They want to be compensated and rewarded for their efforts.
  • They want the freedom to decide how they perform their work where they perform their work, and when they perform their work.


So what’s the bottom line? The job market is changing, and businesses need to change with it. That means being open to new ways of finding candidates, such as using social media platforms or partnering with staffing agencies. And it also means being flexible when it comes to hiring criteria and looking at potential employees in a different light. Are you doing everything possible to find qualified candidates for your open positions? If not, maybe it’s time to try something new.

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