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A Challenging Hiring Experience

Hiring is as difficult task today as it was 30 years ago.

Not quite 30 years ago, I was working as an Assistant Store Manager for a well known discount retailer.  They took over the lease of a defunct company in a rather economically depressed town in Atlantic County NJ and pulled together a management team to hire and train a staff in a matter of one week which would be used to merchandise the store, unload truckloads daily, and ultimately become the opening team.  Advertisements were placed in local newspapers, and a hiring team was formed out of myself, another Assistant Manager and two HR representatives borrowed from other local outlets owned by this company.  Advertisements ran in the local newspaper announcing three dates and times to appear for interviews.

We had about 150 full and part-time jobs to offer and were greeted by close to 500 applicants the first day. Over the three days, I would guess we met close to 1200 people.  At the end of this stretch, we had filled maybe 75 slots as there just were not enough minimally qualified people who applied.  Eventually, the jobs were filled as we got referrals from many of those we initially hired and were able to transfer a few experienced folks from other locations.

The reasons we could not fill all the slots initially are not terribly different from the dilemma many hiring managers tell me they are dealing with today.  Many of the people who showed up did not follow the simple directions we advertised to bring two pieces of identification, a list of three references, and if a resume was not available simply bring a list of prior work history to assist in completing the application.  More than half of the candidates who showed up could not properly fill out the application form or provide the basic information we asked for so did not even get interviewed.  Many of the others complained our pay was not enough to get them to give up their welfare or unemployment checks.  Eventually, we got a decent team in place but I must tell you, my first real experience in the staffing field was quite a challenge!

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Steve September 20, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Some people simply do not want to work and were probably going through the motions for satisfying some criteria for welfare or unemployment to say they are looking for work. More needs to be done to crack down on the abusers of these social programs that are meant to be a hand-up, not a hand-out. In addition the minimum wage needs to be tied to cost of living index. Also every time the house or the senate votes to give themselves a raise it should be linked to the minimum wage and that should increase in proportion. Hopefully this will make actually working more attractive then sitting home and getting a check.
Harold Levin September 21, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Steve, I like your idea about tying minimum wage to raises down in DC. It would be interesting to see the reactions if every raise for elected officials caused a spike in pay rates in the private sector!
Mary Zeinieh October 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
AT&T has five full time PR Jobs open in Bedminster. Job details and application are available online http://att.jobs/career-area/marketing-pr

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