Desperate for a Job. Or Not.

I have two friends who both run businesses. Both have told me similar stories lately about how, in such a down economy, they cannot find people to work for them. The first friend runs a construction business that specializes in renovating restaurants. He routinely has people come to him, begging for work. They plead for jobs because they need to feed their families or they are about to lose their homes. Since my friend always needs employees, he takes many of them on. He even takes on the ones who are “overqualified” because they are out of work professionals.

My friends is upfront in the interviews about the amount of travel required (a lot, but company paid), the salary (which


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6 Responses to Desperate for a Job. Or Not.

  1. Jaime says:

    No offense to your friends, but if they have a continuous stream of new hires because people typically quit within 2 weeks, then there might be something else going on. There’s always another side of the story and maybe these jobs with their “generous” salaries/benefits are not really so generous, or maybe there are safety issues or whatever. Maybe it’s exactly as they say, difficult to know from only their viewpoint. But it reminds me of people who complain that they always date crazy men/women – if YOU are the common denominator then maybe it’s time to look at what you’re doing when you look for someone to date, or in this case, hire.

    With physically strenuous work as well, it can be difficult for someone who’s never held that type of job to realize just how tough they may find it until they actually do it for a few days. Even if your friends are truly representing the difficulty of the work, the reality can still be a punch in the face. Perhaps your construction friend should implement a mentor period – have new hire work under someone local for the first month or two to learn the ropes and then if it doesn’t suit them then he’s not out the travel expenses.

    Overall, I agree that if it were the difference between feeding me and my family and starving, then I’d work almost any job that I can physically perform. If the applicants didn’t exaggerate their circumstances (and their abilities) and your friends really do offer nice jobs, then I also couldn’t understand people’s flakiness.

  2. O Kapi says:

    You’re kidding right? Hook me up with either of your friends. I hear this same story all the time but frankly, I think it is leaning towards total B.S.

  3. Debbie M says:

    Yes, tell your friends to start a mentor program. It’s one thing to be told that hours are long and work is strenuous. Having a co-worker help them find strategies to deal with this could make all the difference.

  4. Gail says:

    I’ve seen this happen at many jobs over the years and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the boss, but people that have never learned how to do hard work. When I first graduated from college, I couldn’t find a job. I finally landed a part time one at Arby’s and worked my way up to assistant manager and full time. My boss several weeks after hiring told me he was scared to hire me as he figured I wouldn’t stay. I stayed until I found a better job a year later. When I quit with 2 weeks notice, I was the FIRST employee in two years who hadn’t walked off the job. It wasn’t the job or the boss. It was people who got themselves in a snit and quit or it interferred with time with the boyfriend or whatever. Granted that job isn’t like the ones described, but it is the same attitude. People talk about their great new job until the reality of working hits them and it is easier to quit than to work.

  5. Money Gal says:

    What %age of their employees wimp out on the job?
    Anecdotaly the article makes it sound like a lot, but maybe it is only 5 out of 50 & those 5 leaving causes lots of re-work so they are on the people’s minds.
    People are kind of wimps & maybe think they are ‘desperate’ when they are not. But I’d say it’s quite wimpy to bail out on a job just because it requires nights and weekends (the manufacturing job). The business owners probably need some basic criteria to figure out whether a candidate can be successful at the job & stick to that. For example someone that runs a production facility probably doesn’t actually have the skills to do production bench work successfully.

    I’d work 3rd shift so long as the business is in a safe area.
    I’d sell my house before I took a job where I was traveling all the time.
    But if I was down to not being able to afford food, you better believe I’d be taking any job I could get hired for!!

  6. Catherine says:

    If your friends reeally want employees, then they need to offer jobs people can take. Hours too long? If they are as desperate as they say for employees, then they should be capable of taking people part time, say 4 days instead of 5. For people to be turning work down in the current climate, something is desperately wrong at these companies.

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