I was asked to be a guest on Radio Hereford and Worcester today. Things change and the 0845 slot I was scheduled for was given over to another story. But the producer called and moved me to a later part of the show.
I’d been contacted a couple of days ago on a story they were running on why a local company wasn’t getting any applications for some shop floor work. They are also struggling to fill more senior roles as well. I’d been given some questions that I’d be asked so I could prepare and be ready with short responses, but as usual, things didn’t work to plan. But, not wanting to waste some work … here it is, as a blog post, ready to share.
You can access the recording here. I recorded it from my computer into Camtasia and not sure why the quality is poor, sorry about that.
Before lockdown there was low unemployment but now with unemployment rising it should be easy to get staff, so what’s happening?
Why do you think people don’t want these shop floor jobs?
It can be because people see themselves as overqualified and hope to get something better. People can also make assumptions and think a job is minimum wage when it could be higher with added benefits.
But also, when people are on benefits and the job doesn’t work out, or it turns out to be zero hours, it can take weeks to get back onto their benefit payments and most people don’t have money in the bank.
But sometimes it is because the job ad could be better. Whatever the external environment, people will choose, or not, to apply for a job based on the information provided. People are happy to apply for bar jobs, and there are masses of people applying for each one as they are, mainly in centres with good public transport. Some jobs, offering for example, continental shift systems can mean that it is hard for people to organise childcare and if out on an industrial estates with starting/ending at 0630 it may make it difficult to arrive by public transport.
People want to know what’s in it for them, and without details of salary and any benefits may assume the worse. Many people will avoid zero-hour contract jobs as they may get fulltime one week and little hours the next week, and this can make it difficult when needing money via the benefits system.
And the ad could be in the wrong places, not everyone is searching through online job boards, and depending on the job, LinkedIn or Facebook may be the better places. And of course, the very best way is to ask for recommendations from current members of staff.
With so many people at university, have people’s career expectations been heightened?
I think it has, and the world has changed. When Tony Blair wanted 50% of young people at University the Government hadn’t thought of impact on jobs – now jobs that were done by people with 5 O levels have been rebranded as graduate jobs and who was going to take on the non graduate jobs?
People are no longer satisfied to take on any job, they have been conditioned to want a meaningful job with high levels of career satisfaction. But work is just part of who we are and if we are happy with our wider life – relationships and interests then we can be happy in any job.