This is the first article in a two-part series.
Being one of the most plugged-in individuals to this job market, I hear these two questions nearly every day.
It’s no secret that we live and work in a very different culture than Averagetown, USA. Aside from the mainstay residents, we have our retirement community, college community and, of course, our vacation community, and the past few years our relocation community has increased exponentially and shows no signs of slowing.
All those factors make our job market one of the most interesting and volatile I have seen in my 10-plus-year career. It’s also very inviting.
Let’s start with the easy question. Where is the talent?
Yes, that’s the easy question. With our region closing in on 400,000 residents, one thing I know for sure is there is no shortage of workers. Yet, around every corner, employers have a desperate need to find quality talent for their companies. And as a professional recruiter, I will agree with about half of them.
The majority of employers in our area don’t have too much trouble finding quality talent and for the ones that do, there’s a simple fix. All they need to do to succeed is re-evaluate their hiring and interview processes, something that my company, Cape Fear Jobs, helps companies with every day.
There are industries that have no trouble at all finding talent, like Finance, Real Estate, Food and Beverage, Healthcare and General Administration. There are, however, a handful of professions that are, without a doubt, having a difficult time finding workers. Construction, Housekeeping, IT/Tech and Skilled Trades are all struggling to find talent.
The Construction and Skilled Trades industries are easier to figure out. The majority of workers were Baby Boomers who are now retiring or have retired, and the younger generations would rather be behind a desk or computer screen than swing a hammer or learn the intricacies of HVAC.
Housekeeping is just as simple, from my perspective. The workers lack the work ethic and pride to want to put in an honest day’s work. The people are here; getting them to apply for and work hard as a housekeeper is another story. We aren’t the only area struggling. Myrtle Beach and New Bern are also having a tough time with this timeless trade.
And finally, IT and Tech. This is a discussion that has been debated the past couple of years and continues across the region today. I personally do not think we have a talent problem and employers are not looking hard enough or are using ineffective marketing techniques to find the talent.
It is also my opinion that the employers complaining of a “tech worker shortage” are not exercising patience in their search. They are reactively searching for talent instead of proactively searching. In recruiting, that is a huge difference. My guess is that you can find the talent that matches your culture and work ethic, but not all the technical abilities, right?
Then I have a challenge for you – offer incentive training programs, so you can bring on the type of employee you want and train them on the knowledge you need.
Don’t have the time? Don’t want to cover that cost? Well, good luck in your search. One of my favorite lines is: “Hire for integrity, train for efficiency.” And that can go well beyond the tech trades.
In my next article, I’ll tackle the question every job seeker from Wallace to Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach to Shallotte asks – “Where are the jobs?”
Corey Lewis has more than 20 years of management, business development and project management experience across the retail, construction and staffing verticals. Entering into the recruiting industry in 2007 as an Executive Recruiter, Lewis spent the next seven years honing his recruiting skills and leading a local agency in developing the manufacturing sector of the company. With the support of his wife, Corey started his own boutique firm, Alliance Career Group based in Wilmington, while designing the basis for the company that would come to be known as Cape Fear Jobs. Corey found his passion for helping a struggling jobs economy in the Cape Fear Region and in 2016, Cape Fear Jobs was born. Visit the Cape Fear Jobs website or call (910) 782-2142.
Johanna F. Still - Oct 3, 2022
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