Career Fair Planned As Businesses Face Greener Grass Era – Delco Times


HAVERFORD – A walk through Delaware County shows businesses large and small are looking for workers. Help Wanted signs can be seen in stores, from Applebee’s to the corner pizzeria.

As businesses continue to suffer from the shortage of job seekers, the Haverford Partnership for Economic Development is organizing a career fair Tuesday, October 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Haverford Reserve Community Recreational and Environmental Center.

“We have received reports from companies indicating that they are struggling to find the right people,” said Jeanne Angell, executive director of HPED. “The Township of Haverford, for example, is one of them, and certainly the restaurants and trades.

Angell said a catering establishment told him he didn’t even have staff to send to the fair because there were no staff.

“This kind of surprised me. They feel so tense that they couldn’t even make it to the job fair, ”Angell said.

More than ten companies from the region looking for employees will be present. They will also have a workshop on improving interview skills. The organizers will offer $ 500 in gift cards as door prizes.

Companies are looking for a variety of positions – from mechanics, CDL truck drivers and college guidance counselors to painters and cooks.

Among the companies that will be present at the fair is Steve Wilson, owner of Barbecue with secret sauce to Township Line, which can accommodate 54 clients, but not always the staff to meet demand. He needs at least three employees, including waitresses, a line cook and dishwashers.

“It’s been tough,” Wilson said in an interview on Wednesday. “I’m about to close the dining room, just for the fact that I don’t have anyone working in the dining room.”

Wilson said he posted something on Facebook not too long ago that was shared 85 times and viewed by over 10,000 people. This resulted in only two people walking through the door to apply, while other people applied but apparently did not want the job.

Wilson noted that while companies like Amazon offer significant signing bonuses, it’s something he can’t compete with. And the people who claim such bonuses are often not the employees he needs.

“This (a signing bonus) just might be someone looking for that quick cash,” Wilson said. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work. They just saw $ 300 or $ 500. What I’m trying to do is find people who match what we’re doing.

Wilson said his staff take calls and pack delivery orders for companies like Door Dash and Grub Hub. So he adds waitress salaries to include the profits from these delivery services and estimates that a good waitress earns at least $ 17 an hour, sometimes as high as $ 34. one o’clock. He noted that making that kind of money as a waitress depends on knowing the menu and paying attention to customers.

“It comes down to being able to know the menu and, when a customer comes in for the first time, tell them what we have. Their advice is reflected in all of this, ”Wilson said. “Their ability to know the menu and pay attention to the customer directly affects how they will receive a tip. “

“In this business, a lot of people are looking for cash. They want to come to work. They want to be paid in cash and they don’t want to pay taxes, ”Wilson said. He noted that in his restaurant cash is not used as much as the use of delivery services and credit cards has increased.

Wilson noted that the worker shortage goes beyond local restaurants. When he stopped to pick up an order from Sysco, the food industry delivery company that supplies restaurants and institutions, he couldn’t find an employee to pick up the items from the warehouse. .

When asked where all the employees are, Wilson said people who have jobs in the food industry, such as waiters, waitresses and bartenders, are often looking for extra income and not a career change. .

“And historically the industry doesn’t treat employees well, so it could have been, ‘I’m done with this,’ he said.

Wilson also believes the pandemic is still preventing people from eating out.

“Not everyone is ready to go out and eat,” he said. “They are worried about the next wave. There is the question of masks and what is mandated today or will that change tomorrow? There are a lot of people who are reluctant to bring in waitresses. I know some places around pay cash and attract people that way. We’ll see what happens.”

At Nolan Painting, which has been among the The Fastest Growing Companies in the Delaware Valley, they have a lot of work and are looking for at least 10 people to join them.

“We will teach you how to paint, no experience is necessary,” said CEO Kevin Nolan. “Right now I have about 105 (employees) and before COVID I had about 150. I have so much work but I couldn’t recruit. We are full for the whole year, since June. It is a remarkable situation. I’ve never had anything like it. I was full for the whole year, I couldn’t work anymore and I didn’t have enough people.

Nolan said it wasn’t just people saying, “I want to quit this job.” The pandemic has allowed employees to explore other opportunities as the job market has opened up.

“It’s wide open. You can go anywhere, ”Nolan said. “If you want to try to be an apprentice plumber now, if you want to be an electrician, you can do electricity, if you want to do carpentry, you can try that. Everywhere every person hires in every business, they hire – not just in the trades, but everywhere. It really is an employee market. They can decide what they want to pursue.

Nolan called it a “the grass is greener” phenomenon. “We are trying to be the greenest grass for sure – by increasing our wages, by increasing our benefits to the maximum,” he said. “Now we were able to charge more which is good and made it all work. But we just don’t want to get smaller, we want to be a growing business. We are the best places to work.

Nolan acknowledges that people no longer necessarily stay in jobs like painting for careers, but they are looking for people who would stay at least three years and to do so they offer perks like healthcare and 401K and up. to two weeks of paid leave and paid vacation.

He said that within a year of starting he could get someone to $ 20 an hour as a skilled painter with leadership opportunities.

“It’s a disappointment. We would like to grow, we need people to grow, ”he said. “We were all in it when we heard about this career fair and we’re going to put a lot of effort into it. We have a good message for someone to come. We really care about our values, how we are together, having a good time and enjoying what we do – that’s what we try to do to get the job done. Painting can be rewarding, take a step back and admire a paint job. We are trying to cultivate this. We try to get people interested in this bonus.


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