Local businesses offering hiring incentives due to a worker shortage

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Many local businesses and companies are doing what they can to attract applicants as the nation experiences a worker shortage fueled by the pandemic.

As of last month, the national unemployment rate sits at around 6% which is drastically lower than last year in March when 14.7% -point-seven-percent of Americans were out of work.

But, even though the numbers are down, there are more jobs available these days. 

And, local businesses like Curve Cafe are struggling to fill those vacant positions.

The pandemic forced the family-owned restaurant to shut down altogether at the start of the pandemic and now they are still closing early, at 2 p.m. on Fridays to give employees a break.

The worker shortage is pushing them to the point of exhaustion due to the amount of workload of doing multiple jobs.

Some even stuck working seven days a week to make sure every shift is covered.

That makes providing high quality service, something the Curve Cafe is known for, an even bigger challenge.

Staffers tell me they are encouraging people to come in and apply.

The owner is also offering a $350 dollar signing bonus to new cooks after their first 90 days.

“It’s been crazy because everybody is getting comfortable getting out now. So, businesses have been booming but we’re short in staff. And, it is so hard to even get anybody to fill out an application. We could use about 10 more employees realistically,” said Mandy Cave, a staff member at Curve Cafe.

The owner of Curve Cafe tells me one reason they’re actually having a hard time hiring is because unemployment claim extensions are matching weekly paycheck amounts and paying people to stay home.

A local recruiter here in Michiana tells us what some businesses can do to get more applicants in the door when the demand is this high.

Tammie Carr who is the owner of Talent Source Staffing in Mishawaka has been in the business for more than 25 years and works closely with companies to attract the right candidates.

Tammie Carr says incentives go a long way.

“For employers who are struggling, I would encourage them to get creative and look outside the box. Look at hiring bonuses, retention bonuses, referral bonuses, look at pay rates. Are you offering the right pay? Can you improve your benefits at all? You know those things will definitely help employers attract the right candidates,” Carr said.

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