Hiring agencies struggle to find employees to fill open jobs, professional gives job interview tips

Hiring agencies struggle to find employees to fill open jobs, professional gives job interview tips
Posted at 6:28 AM, May 21, 2021

CLEVEAND — For weeks companies across in Northeast Ohio have been struggling to keep a full workforce. Some industries are offering incentives and bonuses to get people in the door.

Now we’re checking in with hiring agencies to see how they’re helping to fill the open positions.

“Actually, this is my 26th year, and this has been the worst year ever to get people to go to work," said Lou Cardinale, the franchise owner of Express Professionals in Parma.

Express Professionals is a hiring agency which works with several companies in greater Cleveland.

"Some are direct starts, they can just start. And some want an interview," said Cardinale.

Cardinale said he and his employees have been working twice as hard trying to find people to fill open positions.

“Sometimes it takes us 20 calls to get one person," he said. "I think the government was trying to do a good thing giving away this free money, but it’s kind of backfired so people have just said, 'we’ll stay home.'”

Their job is up sell potential employees to the company, explaining why they’re the right person for the job.

"We try to match the skills to the person’s skills and shift. We don’t want to put a round peg in a square hole," Cardinale said. "That’s our goal, really try to help people get jobs."

Cardinale believes more people will begin heading back to work when the state stops providing the additional $300 benefit payments on June 26th. He said this will give companies a bigger pool of candidates to choose from.

But what if you don’t use a hiring agency and you have to sell yourself?

"We always say get comfortable being uncomfortable," said Amy Goldman, the interim director of Career Services with Cleveland State University.

Goldman works with current students, recent grads and even alum. She described the job search process as tough and sometimes even emotional. Which is why she said it's important to take time for self-reflection.

"Who are you? What do you want to do, and how do you fit that company or that industry and go from there?" Goldman said.

She said after you’ve answered those questions, don’t just send your resume out to dozens of companies. You have more work to do.

"Networking is the number one strategic individuals should have for their job search," Goldman said. "You want to identify people who can give you information and guidance about your job search. They can't give you a job, but they can give you information based on their background, what they've done and then provide you with tips and connect you with other people to expand your network."

If you score an interview, Goldman suggests, practice saying out loud who you are and what you’re bringing to the table. Plus, remember this during an interview: "Don’t go to an interview without questions to ask," she said. "You really want to talk about what you can contribute to the company. So questions like, 'tell me what a typical day would be like,' or 'how does this position interact with people within the company,' and 'tell me how you like to communicate.'"