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What the labor shortage means for businesses

Written on Dec 23, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

While the labor shortage continues, business leaders need to focus on their top priorities.

“As leaders of business, there's all this opportunity in front of us, and to not be able to find the people to deliver on that opportunity is really frustrating,” said Jim Boland, partner-in-charge at Cohen & Company in Cleveland. “I think everybody is dealing with it. And it can cover, everything from salespeople to making the products to back office and how you support the operations and everything in between.”

Boland said because no one knows how long the labor shortage is going to last, businesses need to focus on how they can achieve their top objectives with the staff and the resources they do have. There are many ways to do this, and one of those is through robotic process automation.

“We've seen companies really gravitate to this to figure out where there are opportunities to deploy it in their organizations,” he said. “Even at a small scale, where it's not replacing a person or a group of people, but maybe it's supplementing an accounts payable clerk. And in the background, it's running tasks they don't have to deal with.”

Another way to make the best use of resources is to consider what should be outsourced.

“Business process outsourcing for has been around for years, and there are specialists that have offshore call centers and different types of IT organizations,” he said. “These can support your business functions that need to either be able to scale when transaction loads increase, or work around the clock if you've got a global operation, or just have a team of people that's potentially lower cost than hiring and retaining those people internally.”

Boland said the goal of this is to focus on the core of the business, because during a stressful time when there aren’t enough people or resources, sustainable businesses will stick around by working on their top priorities.

Find out other ways to get through the labor shortage by listening to the podcast with Jim Boland here.