Companies relax work requirements, but challenges remain – Daily Local


New York (AP) — Landing a waitress job or bartender gig at a Lost Dog Cafe in northern Virginia has never been easier.

The “Help Wanted” sign is rare, with half of the chain’s staff stuck for at least 10 years. The outbreak of a pandemic further exacerbated work prospects when lost dogs had to temporarily stop eating indoors.

However, businesses began struggling to fill about 20% of service staff vacancy in May as vaccinated patrons rushed to eat out and formerly loyal workers moved to new opportunities.

To address the deficiency, it did something it had never done before: look to inexperienced people. We have also started hiring workers under the age of 18.

Lost Dog is one of the growing number of companies desperate for hired hands to relax all restrictions from age to experience level. In early August, drugstore chain CVS announced that it would not require a minimum high school degree to fill the store’s entry-level spots. This year, we plan to complete the GPA requirement of 3.0 when hiring on university campuses. Meanwhile, Amazon has stopped testing marijuana job seekers.

Even if many companies complained that they couldn’t find all the workers they needed, the change in standards could have helped boost recruitment this summer. Employers increased 940,000 jobs in both June and July, reducing the unemployment rate to 5.4%.

On Friday, the government released August figures, and economists predict that the unemployment rate will drop to 5.2%, adding another 750,000 jobs that month. Some analysts are concerned that delta variants will slow employment growth, but are optimistic about hiring in the fall.

The trend to relax the rules began about three years before the labor market began to tighten. It accelerated this spring when employers were caught flatfoot as Americans emerged enthusiastically from months of a pandemic blockade and re-aspired to shop and eat. At the same time, workers were reassessing their work and whether long hours were worth the salary.

The perfect storm led to record jobs, rising 6.5% in June from 9.2 million in May to 10.1 million. This is the best since the Ministry of Labor started tracking numbers 20 years ago. The number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs increased from 3.6 million in May to 3.9 million.

Employers hung incentives such as higher hourly wages and additional bonuses, but still struggled to fill the opening. Data from various sources show that they are willing to let go of some restrictions that have previously locked a particular population out of the workforce.

According to ZipRecruiter, a recruiting platform that scrubs 16 million jobs for all types of jobs, the percentage of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree has dropped from nearly 15% in 2016 to just over 11% in 2020. But that number dropped even further. 7% from January to June of this year. The percentage of non-experienced jobs jumped from about 9.2% in 2016 to 14.3% in 2020 and again surged to 18.6% in the first half of this year.

Experts say that many of the restrictions were artificial barriers that permanently locked out low-income workers, especially people of color. For example, educational requirements tend to prefer white workers to blacks. According to Educational Trust, a non-profit educational organization, only 30.8% of black adults have some form of college degree, compared to 47.1% of white adults.

According to Delta, 95 percent of customer service jobs no longer require a four-year college degree from 78 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Ashley Black, Delta’s director of equity strategy, said the move wasn’t. Directly due to labor shortages; rather, it was to find the right talent for the job and the organization.

“The traditional recruitment process is very subjective and there can be multiple barriers that complicate access to financial opportunities for potential talent,” says Black. “Still, this has a disproportionate impact on people of color. If skills cannot be evaluated easily and reliably, implicit bias can shape the hiring and hiring process.”

Sarah White, a restaurant consultant and area manager for three independently owned and operated locations in the Lost Dog Cafe franchise, is open to work prospects that may not have been previously considered due to relaxed requirements. Is said to have been opened.

“We are trapped in these thoughts about what a job looks like,” White said. “Now we’re hiring people we haven’t hired before, and they were some of the best employees. That would have been our loss.”

Karen Rosa, 32, started out as a server at the Lost Dog Cafe last September, but has since become an inexperienced bartender. She says she can now consistently withdraw $ 600 to $ 700 a week. She says the server’s income was more volatile.

“They gave me a chance,” she said. “They were very helpful.”

However, there are drawbacks. White says he’s desperate because he has a bad attitude and sometimes has to hire a server that actually scares his customers.

“We have no one waiting for them, we are losing them because they are being serviced, but I don’t want to serve them,” she said. Told.

Daniel Schneider, a public policy professor at Harvard Kennedy School, says the difficulty of finding a good worker like a server underscores the “lie” that this is not a skilled worker.

“Not everyone can step into these roles,” he said. “These are skilled tasks and should be compensated accordingly.”

Companies say they make up for their lack of experience by doing a better job in training. Lost Dog currently trains cooks daily on different types of menu items and posts cocktail recipes behind Barrail, which customers can’t see. CVS has opened two new workforce innovation and talent centers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. There, we work with faith-based and community organizations to find, train and deploy workers such as pharmacy technicians and customer service workers.

No one can predict whether a company will return to tighter requirements when many job seekers reassemble.

Brad Hershbein, senior economist and communications adviser at the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, said employers may still have more academic qualifications, but the desperate move to hire bad-mannered people will disappear. Stated.

“Employers may decide that there are other ways to actually screen employees for more effective than looking at resume keywords, or they pass this education or experience requirement. Is it? “Hirschwein said.

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Alexandra Olson, an AP business writer in New York, and Christopher Gerber, Washington, contributed to the story.


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Companies relax work requirements, but challenges remain – Daily Local

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