By Lisa P. Cohn, PHR
Account Representative, Career Center
Jewish Community Services
In our current economic climate, it’s no secret that finding a job can be quite difficult. With Maryland’s unemployment rate over six percent, there are many people out there looking for work. But they aren’t the only ones having a hard time. Believe it or not, even in an environment where job applicants are flooding the market, employers face unique challenges when it comes to filling vacant positions.
Advertising for job applicants can be expensive, especially if a position has been open for a long time. And with so many options out there, it’s hard to know the right place to turn when you want to place an ad. These days some employers are looking to social networking and free employment listings for help. The problem is they may end up getting flooded with resumes from people who are lacking the qualifications and experience for the job. Many businesses simply don’t have the time or resources to effectively screen applicants and may end up hiring the wrong person for the job.
Some area employers have found an answer to this dilemma by listing jobs with the Jewish Community Services Career Center. While the Career Center helps people find the best possible job in a very crowded field, it also helps employers find the best possible applicants. Employers connect with an account executive who works with them to figure out exactly what they’re looking for. The JCS account executive matches the company’s needs with an extensive data base of eligible job seekers.
D. Page Bradham, PHR, human resources manager from the Parking Authority of Baltimore City, told JCS he was “seeking to diversify his candidate pool and increase the quality of and quantity of candidates.” He says he appreciates that JCS can cater to his company’s specific needs, including asking follow-up questions to ensure that he’s being presented with clients who have the relevant skill sets and qualifications.
At the same time, Career Center coaches have some suggestions for employers who are doing their own job screening.
- If a candidate claims they have a skill that’s relevant to a particular job, test it. If Quickbooks is an important part of the work that person will be required to do, ask the applicant to build you a quick spreadsheet.
- Always check references. Often employers collect reference information but don’t follow through with contact. Make sure at least one of the references has supervised the candidate at some point in time.
- Run a criminal background check and if it comes up positive, consider the situation before ruling someone out. Put the offense in perspective meaning was this part of a pattern of behavior or just a mistake of youth.
But for those who want one-stop shopping for hiring and recruiting The Career Center Team can assist employers, business and community partners, with other human resources needs such as employee relations, layoffs and downsizing, general employment questions and succession planning. Services are free.
Says Lindsay Vartanian, head bookkeeper/legal assistant with the Law Office of Arthur L. Drager, who approached JCS after hearing it was a reliable non-profit community resource, “JCS is my go-to resource to consistently interview qualified applicants and have qualified candidate choices.” She adds that their firm continues to use JCS because they enjoy getting employee feedback, including discussing details of the candidate interviews.
If you’re an employer looking to expand your recruiting network and candidate job pool, contact the JCS Career Center at 410-466-9200.