The signs are everywhere – help wanted – now hiring and everyone has heard the stories by now. Jobs are available but nobody is applying for them or at least very few people are getting hired.
Joanie (not her real name because she preferred to remain anonymous) who is a manager of a San Bernardino-based staffing agency said without a doubt this is the most stressed she has ever seen businesses in trying to find workers.
“It’s definitely a defcon4 situation,” Joanie said. “Businesses just can’t find enough staff and it is really hampering their ability to meet customer demand.”
All kinds of companies are looking for entry level employees, everything from general labor to data entry clerks. According to a number of local agencies the hottest sector of hiring is logistics, almost all of the local warehouses are hiring all the time.
“There just are not as many people applying for work today than there used to be,” said Sara Cullins, a staffing expert who has been in the industry for more than 20 years.
According to Cullins, many businesses have policies that keep people from being hired who just might be a good fit for the job. A criminal background check might turn up something minor that automatically screens them out or they might fail a drug test because they smoke marijuana recreationally. “In this tight of a labor market businesses might have to rethink those kinds of obstacles to hiring,” said Cullins.
Another barrier to hiring is the automated process of hiring where companies and sometimes agencies use software to do the first broad viewing of resumes and applications and something like a long work history gap may eliminate a candidate for no good reason. “If a person had an opportunity to explain that gap in employment there might be a really good and sensible reason but the computer processing does not let them do that and they get eliminated and that’s a terrible outcome for both the job seeker and the employer,” Cullins continued.
Joanie said that her company does not use technology software to check resumes, they still do it the old fashioned way, by reading applications by hand and interviewing people.
“We have people that get hired every day,” Joanie said. “They are mostly temp positions but a significant number do get permanent jobs, that is a great day for everybody when that happens.”