Workforce Weekend

WORKFORCE WEEKEND IS A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT JOB RECRUITMENT IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY

 

“It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s no secret that the job market is changing. Over the years, industries and jobs have changed, but so have the needs and expectations of employees. What hasn’t changed is the way we recruit and hire employees.

Much research has been done locally to explore the local job market, both the employer side through the Job Market and the employee side from the HSU School of Business. Using that research, I discovered a few things:

  • Employers are not getting the number of applicants for available jobs that they would like.
  • Employers are not satisfied with the level of professionalism (work ethic, ability to work with people) of applicants.
  • Employers use word of mouth, followed by Craigslist, to promote new jobs. Students primarily use Craigslist and other online sites to look for work.
  • Students do not know what kinds of jobs are available overall.
  • Employers wish job seekers knew about the opportunities in their businesses/industries.
  • What students say they expect to make upon graduation from college is aligned with what Humboldt employers say they expect to pay to new college graduates. (Yes. You read that right.)

Challenges exist because Humboldt is a rural community. While there are jobs available, there aren’t a large number at any given time.  It’s not likely that the perfect job will be open exactly when an applicant is looking for work, or the perfect applicant will be ready at the moment an organization is hiring. Humboldt is not the place for every career, but it is place with interesting businesses and a range of job opportunities for people who have a broad sense of their career goals.

To address these issues, Arcata Economic Development Corporation, with a grant from US Bank, is proposing a new approach to recruitment. Workforce Weekend is an experiment that is part Match.com, part job fair.  The program will consist of three main parts including an online catalog of organizational profiles for those businesses interested in seeking quality employees; an application that is more aptitude driven than skills driven for those businesses that say, “I can teach the skills for the job if I have the right fit”; and a weekend of interviews between employers and applicants, whether or not a job is immediately available. The idea is that companies and employees will be better matched, and a line of communication will be established for potential future jobs making placements more successful.

This is a free program for employers. There are three requirements: First, fill out a business profile form that will be used to create the online profile. To request an application, email susans@aedc1.org. Second, look at applications as they come in and schedule interviews with potential matches during Workforce Weekend. Finally, agree to interview qualified applicants on the first weekend in March. Businesses are not required for interview anybody who doesn’t seem like a fit.  

Are you ready to get a different result from your employee searches? If what we’re doing isn’t working, why not try something new? There’s very little to risk, and the reward of a healthy workforce is a benefit to the whole community. Contact Susan Seaman at susans@aedc1.org to get your Business Profile started. 

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