If you’ve talked to anyone in a position to hire staff over the past few months, you’ve probably heard the complaint that it is very hard to find anyone. For a combination of reasons, employers have been struggling to find workers at record levels.
On June 29, Ramsey County and the Midway Chamber of Commerce hosted a job fair at Allianz Field. The fair had 25 employers representing 3,000 jobs and over 300 job seekers stopped by to learn more. The jobs represented a diverse range of skills, positions, and industries, with many located in or near the Midway.
One observation from the fair is the time is right for many unemployed to get back to work. Most unemployment benefits will run out in September and those wishing to get a head start will start looking now. This also coincides with optimism about the economy as the pandemic nears its end, and companies are more apt to hire again. On July 2, the Department of Labor released official jobs numbers for June and the United States added 850,000 jobs, when the estimate was only 720,000. The unemployment rate also increased, meaning more people are seeking work.
The day after the job fair, Northland Staffing Solutions held an open house at their new location, 2506 University. Located just east of Highway 280, Northland’s president Brian Thoemke believes the space is the perfect location in between the downtowns and at the center of the Twin Cities. They have filled temporary positions, direct hire, and trial-to-hire throughout the last year in many industries but are expecting to see more interest from job seekers over the coming months.
Are you looking for a new job? According to Thoemke, applicants should have a concise resume listing what job/career you seek; call or email companies you want to work at; post your resume on several job boards; and if you find a job or company that interests you, do not wait to set up an interview. As the year goes on, some of the more desirable positions will fill up faster as more people return to the workforce.
Thoemke’s other advice to job seekers: Those who wait too long to look for a job may be disappointed in what’s left, as the workforce participation rates will continue to rise over the next few months. Currently, companies are offering more incentives and benefit packages for new hires, and employees can ask for pay increases because of the need to retain good employees. As the job openings go down, some of these added benefits may also go away.
Companies have become more flexible and in tune with what employees want. The trend has shifted to more employees prioritizing a better work-life balance, and many companies are willing to accommodate schedules that need to work around tight time frames – often around the school day of their children.
As we consider permanent changes to our world post-pandemic, the relationships between employers and employees will surely look different. The hope is it will work better for all involved – company, worker, worker’s family, and more. The important thing over the next few months will be getting more people back to work.