As the baking industry moves into 2022, a couple of hurricane-force (or blizzard-force) headwinds keep many companies from reaching their full potential. In some cases, they are turning down business as they struggle to meet the expanding demands from their customers for a greater number of products in this expanding economy. Moreover, supply chain shortages and rising raw material prices have put many baking companies in the uncomfortable position of raising prices while everyday low-price customers want them to hold the line.

Labor shortages have resulted in bakeries being short staffed and sometimes unable to schedule shifts, let alone boost capacity to take on new business. Recently, the American Bakers Association and American Society of Baking issued “Workforce Recruitment Trends & Best Practices in US Commercial Baking,” an update to the workforce gap survey that the associations and Cypress Research conducted in 2016.

Among the key findings in the 2021 study was up to two-thirds of baking employers anticipate the workforce gap issue will continue to be significant for their companies over the next five years. Some 50% of baking companies predict the high to severe shortage of drivers will also continue.

To respond to these issues, a greater number of companies are using formal employee referral programs, social media channels, virtual or in-person career fairs, and company-specific career fairs to attract hourly, skilled and unskilled production employees. The male-dominated industry is reportedly searching for more female employees, as well as second-chance applicants. For more information, contact the association to get a copy of this terrific tool that provides insights for growing your business this year.