HOLLAND, Mich. — Despite the high unemployment numbers, some West Michigan companies say they are having to turn away work simply because they are short staffed.
Peggy Jacobs of Express Employment Professionals Holland-Muskegon told Fox 17 about one of the companies her employment agency represents, “He said, this is what’s going on. We are turning business away because we cannot operate and deliver that product we need to deliver.”
Jacobs says her agency has over 100 positions they’re actively trying to fill, and some employers are getting creative with both their compensation and their scheduling.
“What they’re trying to do is help people have a work-life balance, with Covid everybody is struggling with childcare and different things, or maybe they’re students and are in school,” Jacobs explained.
One employer, a premiere woodworking company on the lakeshore has multiple general labor openings for three 12 hour days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 6 a.m.-6 p.m., but they’ll pay you 40 hours for working 36 hours.
That perk equates to a nearly $2-an-hour raise when you consider the actual hours you’re working compared to what you’re being paid for.
“That’s why we call it general labor because really you don’t have to have a skill. The skill that you need to have is the ability to show up every day and have the desire to want to learn something and be a part of something,” Jacobs explained.
Other companies are getting creative with what’s called “off-shift premiums”, paying workers an extra 20% for a shift that doesn’t start in the morning.
“An afternoon 2-10 type second shift position works great for you and they’re rewarding you for taking that which is wonderful cause usually there are less people that want it,” Jacobs told Fox 17, explaining that it equates to a $3-an-hour perk on top of the $15 an hour starting rate, equaling $18 an hour.
Jacobs says a majority of the openings Express Employment Professionals Holland-Muskegon has currently start at at-least $15 an hour.
“I just talked with a company that is looking for drivers. They cannot find drivers to deliver cement and different things to their construction customers. It is across the board, I mean those are $24 -$25 dollar an hour jobs,” said Jacobs.
Express Employment Professionals Holland-Muskegon has jobs in four divisions, office services, skilled trades, professional and light industrial.
For more information, check out their website, or call their offices, in Holland 616 499-2199 and in Muskegon 231-739-6390.