• When there are barriers to employment, are you willing to make concessions to attract and retain talent?

    Everyone—Employers, employees, policymakers, nonprofit leaders, and educators—plays a role in addressing issues caused by barriers in today's modern job market and economy. It's not just individuals' livelihoods that are at stake. It's the strength of the overall economy.

    Companies need to examine the specific barriers in their job markets—and work to help alleviate them the best they can.



  • Title-GreatDivide-1380X205

  • 1-Barrier_1380X265  

    The global pandemic upended child care in both the U.S. and Canada and continues to disrupt child care facility operations. This leaves working parents under greater strain than ever before. This barrier can lead to parents being kept out of the workforce, or they may choose to not have children, which further exacerbates the worker shortage. 

    PRO TIP: Offer additional incentives to parents, such as a daycare stipend, paid parental leave, flexible work hours and location, and shortened work weeks.
  • 2-Barrier_1380X265  

    The elder population is growing rapidly, and it’s only going to accelerate. To add to this issue, there is a labor shortage in elder care professionals over the last couple of years. All of this forces many working-age adults to choose between caring for a loved one or going to work–that’s if they can afford care in the first place.


    PRO TIP: Offer additional incentives to the workers with caregiving responsibilities, such as flexible work hours and remote work.
  • 3-Barrier_1380X265  

    A business outlook can change by the day. As a result, a business that is eager to hire many new employees one day may rethink that the next, or due to rising costs they cannot afford to offer the salaries they were planning to pay. This confusion and uncertainty are frustrating for employers and even more so for employees.

    PRO TIP: Consider implementing free and low-cost employee benefits, such as shortened work weeks, hybrid schedules, casual dress codes, themed workplace events, or feedback opportunities.
  • 4-Barrier_1380X265  

    Many job seekers have not had the opportunities to gain skills required for jobs. This is a result of them not having the resources available, the educational system not equipping students, and those who lost jobs in the 2020 recession couldn’t use the opportunity to pursue retraining or upskilling for in-demand careers.

    PRO TIP: It is important to offer “upskill” resources to help your employees grow, from providing professional development courses to opportunities to attend educational conferences/workshops to tuition reimbursement for higher education.
  • 5-Barrier_1380X265  

    The hot job market has led some workers to change jobs frequently and become known as “job hoppers” and may be seen as unreliable. In addition, having a criminal history has kept many capable individuals from being considered for positions–without looking into the nature and severity of the offense.

    PRO TIP: Elevate your workplace culture to improve the employee experience, create more opportunities, lessen job hopping, and in turn, increase employee retention. Examples include: Create a positive work environment, review and modernize criminal background check policies, promote diversity and inclusion, provide meaningful work, and offer growth opportunities.
  • 6-Barrier_1380X265  

    Many job seekers must be picky about job location–this is where transportation and geography become a barrier. Accessibility to public transit, commute distance limited by fuel and car maintenance costs, and having job openings in one region while the job seeker lives in another are great examples of the barriers that limit opportunities for some.

    PRO TIP: Meeting your employees in the middle is a great way to attract and retain talent. This can range from providing commuting stipends to offering relocation reimbursement, and even allowing work to be remote when appropriate.
  • 7-Barrier_1380X265  

    Many in the workforce grapple with complex health and disability issues that can keep them from working, and due to the global pandemic, health issues have been front and center. And it’s not just physical health that is the issue — mental health issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly for those who have experienced social isolation, job loss, or changes in relationships.

    PRO TIP: Offering more flexibility to your workforce is more important now than ever so they have opportunities to visit caregivers or take care of personal matters. Ways to offer the needed solution include: flexible work hours, remote work, increased paid leave, part-time opportunities, and mental health resources.
  • 8-Barrier_1380X265  

    The way we communicate has changed significantly in recent years as the reliance on electronic communications continues to increase—and in-person, face-to-face communication is deprioritized. Communication preferences vary widely among people of different generations, which can create barriers for job seekers, such as employers making assumptions about applicants, and in turn, applicants feeling uncertain in the hiring process.

    PRO TIP: Ensure communication is clear and transparent with job applicants in the hiring process and provide feedback, as well as displaying grace and understanding throughout.
  • 9-Barrier_1380X265  

    Expectations today are different than ever before–employees have realized that they can be pickier in the modern job market and have re-evaluated what they want in a job and how they balance their time. Employers are expected to treat employees well and pay attention to their individual needs, concerns, or values.

    PRO TIP: Take the time to hear from your employees to get a good sense of their needs. Consider hosting a roundtable in a group setting using the roundtable notes template or create a survey to send out to your entire team for quality feedback.
  • 10-Barrier_1380X265  

    Wages have been rising, but prices have been rising faster. And when prices rise faster than wages, what you’re earning buys less and less. Those on the sidelines looking for reasons to go back to work may feel less motivated if the buying power of a potential paycheck is shrinking. The question that now arises is, “Why would I work now for less?”

    Real average hourly earnings have been falling.  From July 2021 to July 2022, real average hourly earnings were down 3%.  
    PRO TIP: It’s more important now than ever to add value to the positions on your team. Providing a strong mentorship program, many opportunities for growth in the company, or more meaningful work are great options to upgrade the employee experience.
  • Deeper Look into the Chasm

    Dig deeper into the 10 barriers to employment—download the full

    Great Divide White Paper!



  • Roundtable Notes Template

    This template was designed to help guide you through a roundtable session with your workforce to come to an understanding of what course of action is necessary to help close the gap.

    Click the icon below to download a roundtable notes template and share it with your team, your department, or your entire organization!

    Roundtable Notes Template

    Included are example survey questions to help get you started on creating a survey to send out to your team and receive quality feedback.


  • Contact your local Express office to learn more about staffing solutions to help bridge the expectations gap in your workforce and address these barriers.


  •  SM-Email_110X110     SM-FB_110X110

       SM-TW_110X110     SM-LI_110X110

  • Sidebar-Divider_445X20

    Additional Employer Resources from Express Employment Professionals

    When it comes to building an ideal workplace culture, the employee experience is a big piece of the puzzle.

    For more information about these employer resources, contact your local Express Employment Professionals office today!

  •  Footer-GreatDivide-1920X805