Since the pandemic began, a wealth of talent has opted out of the workforce. A new survey shows what your business can do to bring it back.

Unemployed people who aren't currently looking for work could be swayed to rejoin the labor pool by greater monetary compensation, remote work arrangements, or employee vaccination requirements, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce statement released Tuesday. 

"America's great economic resurgence is being held back by an unprecedented workforce shortage--and it's getting worse," Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer said in the release.

Up-front cash was the greatest incentive for workers to return: 39 percent of unemployed people not looking for work would seek full-time jobs with more urgency if they were to receive $1,000 hiring bonuses, according to the survey. The Chamber also found that 32 percent would increase the urgency of their job search if they were allowed to work from home; 24 percent if they got a 5 percent raise; and 23 percent if all workers were required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

"We are calling on every governor to take immediate action to help bring more Americans back into the workforce" with return-to-work bonuses or other financial incentives, the Chamber said in the statement, noting that 10 states already have done so. 

Kip Wright, president of Houston-based staffing agency Genuent and its subsidiary Talent Path, says that while signing bonuses are worth trying to attract talent, new hires he's asked all said they would prefer a raise in their base pay. He also suggests trying out work policies such as a four-day week or giving every other Friday off, and easing your company's dress code.

The Chamber of Commerce data is based on a May survey of 506 Americans who became unemployed during the pandemic and have not gone back to work full-time.