Why It’s So Hard to Get a Callback From Professionals

  • September 4, 2023
  • 4 min read

A Nationwide Dilemma

Have you found yourself frustrated in recent months, attempting to reach professionals in various industries? Whether you’re trying to connect with contractors, attorneys, plumbers, electricians, or landscapers, you’re not alone. In fact, the struggle to connect with skilled professionals has become so widespread that it has even caught the attention of major publications like the Wall Street Journal.

Supply and Demand Imbalance

Let’s delve into the reasons behind this increasingly prevalent problem. According to the article, several factors contribute to the difficulty of hiring skilled tradespeople. Firstly, there’s a labor shortage, and many industries require professionals to hold licenses. Plumbers, electricians, and general contractors, for instance, must be licensed, ensuring that not just anyone can enter these fields overnight. Moreover, the demand for skilled tradespeople far exceeds the available supply, with job openings surpassing the number of qualified workers.

The Unseen Challenges

Consider a recent experience of ours when we needed some basic work done around our office building. We searched through online ads on platforms like Craigslist and Angie’s List, finding a few individuals who expressed interest in work within the past week. After corresponding with several candidates, we discovered that some were unreliable, while others had concerning criminal backgrounds. Ultimately, we settled on a pair of workers who seemed capable and reasonable. We offered them $50 per hour, an attractive rate for a handyman-type job. We even promised to pay them $1,000 if they completed a six-hour project. However, after just 20 minutes on the job, they decided they weren’t up to the task and left, even with the money in hand.

Seeking Solutions Across Industries

This anecdote illustrates the challenges faced by businesses and individuals seeking skilled labor. Even when generous compensation is offered, it can be difficult to secure reliable workers. This situation extends beyond the realm of small-scale projects; even licensed electricians earn anywhere from $35 to $42 per hour, and some contractors pay substantially more, up to $60 or $70 an hour, along with benefits. Yet, the shortage of workers persists.

Moreover, finding capable support staff and managing various administrative tasks are essential components of running a successful business in these fields. Additionally, some tradespeople are selective about the projects they take on, leading them to avoid jobs that are either too large or too small. This can create a dilemma for potential clients, as contractors often struggle to decide which customers to work with.

Securing Professional Help

Another factor worth mentioning is that contractors and tradespeople occasionally decline projects that have already been mishandled by previous workers or homeowners. Although such instances are relatively rare, they can complicate the process of securing professional help.

While these challenges are undeniably significant, they reflect the broader issue of supply and demand imbalances. In the wake of the 2008-2010 housing crash, many contractors exited the industry and did not return. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 also disrupted the labor market, prompting individuals to explore alternative career paths. This situation isn’t limited to the construction sector; it extends to fields like law, where even attorneys can be challenging to reach promptly.

Continuous Difficulties 

Many professionals find themselves caught in a balancing act. Devoting an entire day to answering phone calls, providing customer service, or acquiring new clients leaves little time to complete their core responsibilities. With a surplus of inquiries, they can afford to be selective in choosing which opportunities to pursue.

Have you encountered similar difficulties when attempting to reach professionals in various fields? Share your experiences with us. When we return, we’ll explore the real estate industry, where mortgage rates fail to curb soaring housing prices, and delve into the key reasons why only a fraction of existing homes can be sold. In some cases, this percentage may be less than 10%.

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