Hiring to Alleviate Food Shortages

In the U.S. and around the world, we’re facing a food crisis–and it’s serious. Data from 2020 shows that almost 10.5 percent of the population (14 million households) reported not having enough food to eat. And that number hasn’t gone down over the last two years: From June 1 to June 13, 2022, that number increased to 24 million households. Even with federal aid, almost 4 million households suffered from food insecurity.

It’s clear that, if we want to truly address this crisis, then we have to treat its main causes:

  • Inflation
  • Drought
  • Supply chain problems 

While we can’t directly fix drought or inflation, there are ways we can combat supply chain problems. We can mitigate food shortages through increased logistics and transportation hiring–allowing companies to move larger volumes of food into and around the U.S. But before we get there, we’ll do a simplified overview of the shortage’s main causes. Then we can discuss concrete solutions to truly make headway in solving this global issue.

Inflation

Inflation is negatively affecting our population across the board. But food prices in particular have drastically increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2021, the Consumer Price Index reported a 7.5 percent inflation rate in the U.S.–the highest rate in almost 50 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls attention to the following frequently purchased items and their inflation rates:

  • Eggs–39.8%
  • Lunchmeats–18.2%
  • Canned fruits and vegetables–16.6%
  • White bread–16.4%
  • Sugar and sugar substitutes–15.9%

Unfortunately, some of the most common foods have the highest increases. Which puts much of America in a precarious position when it comes to affording food.

Drought

When we add prolonged droughts to the equation, the food shortage problem gets even more complicated. Though weather varies from year to year, CNN points out an increase in extreme weather events–especially droughts:

Scorching heat and drought continue to bear down on the American West, forcing farmers in vital agriculture-producing states to fallow land, pull up orchards, reduce livestock herds, and slash expected yields. 

And the majority of fruits, tree nuts, and vegetables are grown in states like California and Texas–both of which are heavily impacted by droughts. Thus, another contributing factor to the food shortage.

Supply chain problems

Problems moving food into and around the U.S. aren’t new. Presently, the supply chain disruptions are largely a result of “increases in consumer demand, labor shortages, and trucking and shipping capacity restraints.” Companies struggle to fill positions, whether through hiring new employees or retaining current ones. However, many companies operate without a real recruiting strategy–so the relationship between frontline workers and supply chain leaders is ineffective: 

Hourly workers clock in and out — sometimes without ever having a real conversation with their supervisor. With no roadmap for career growth, training to learn new skills, or any real feedback or engagement, employees feel expendable. As a result, folks are quick to jump jobs and try other lines of work.

But there’s hope. Because we can directly impact the supply chain problems. By focusing on hiring in logistics and transportation, we can drastically reduce the interruptions that contribute to the food shortage.

Logistics hiring

By improving hiring in logistics, we can import greater volumes of food from other countries. To put it simply, companies trying to bring food into the U.S. have their hands full. From sanctions to wars, the many logistical challenges of today require more time and money to overcome. That’s why it’s crucial to keep filling logistics jobs with properly trained employees.

We know this is no easy task–so we’re here to help. Due to our experience working with agronomy companies, we can develop a recruiting strategy to fill logistics positions specifically in your industry. By being intentional about hiring tools like job descriptions and outreach methods, you can fill your pipeline with top talent. The end result? Having a team that can successfully navigate the logistical challenges of bringing food into the U.S.

Transportation hiring

Moving food around the U.S. today is also a challenge. By improving hiring in transportation, we can move food effectively and efficiently. More specifically, filling necessary transportation positions can mitigate trucking and shipping capacity restraints.

We’ll be the first to admit that it takes time and resources to achieve this goal, especially when you need solutions now. PeopleLift can help you recruit top talent quickly–including sourcing, interviewing, and hiring the people you need. We’ll do this by working closely with your HR team to identify your target locations, specialties, and more. Ultimately, you’ll develop not just a talent pipeline but a strategic talent pipeline. And with the right employees in place, you can scale your business and help combat the food shortage.

Though we can’t solve the food crisis tomorrow, there are steps companies can take to address contributing problems in the supply chain. Through a custom recruiting strategy, you can fill your talent pipeline with quality logistics and transportation candidates. Discover the PeopleLift Difference Today – Contact us to schedule a no-obligation Discovery Call and get your FREE Comprehensive Talent Marketplace Assessment!

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