Job seekers and employers came together Wednesday at the city of Turlock’s first-ever job fair held at the New Life Christian Center. During the event, employers shared their thoughts on labor shortages, while those looking for new career opportunities shared their job search experiences.
Edgar Acevedo of RecruitGigs, a California-based recruitment company, shared his perspective on why there continues to be a high number of job openings despite the growing workforce. In the region.
“Probably the biggest challenge is that people come to us quite eager to get paid or want the job that pays the most… But before we can try to get you paid, we need to figure out what would work best. for you. get paid to do it because most of the time you won’t last,” Acevedo said. “Our role is to try to match employers and job seekers. job a career that suits them, a job they enjoy doing and a place they feel comfortable going to work every day.
Denise George is Crystal Creamery’s Human Resources Manager. She agreed with Acevedo, explaining that recruiting and retaining employees has been a challenge for the company.
“We offer great benefits and salaries, which helps us compensate for the fact that many workers here work after hours and on vacations,” George said. “Cows never stop producing, so employees can’t always take vacations or work the most ideal hours… We can get some people through the door, but they fall in the first few days because they realize they don’t want to work in that kind of environment.
Crystal Creamery tried to recruit through online job postings and word of mouth. George believes the most effective channel has been word of mouth, as current employees can share their experiences from their perspective. And while the approach has become more common among all employers, it’s not one that many of the job seekers at the event found useful. Perhaps one of the most common circumstances shared by job seekers at Wednesday’s event is that they are new to Turlock and the surrounding area. Many participants shared that they had recently moved to the Central Valley due to the rising cost of living in other regions and metropolitan areas.
George Yewell is originally from Chicago and has lived in Los Angeles for a few years. He moved to the Central Valley earlier this year and struggled to find work in an environment still very new to him.
“It’s been difficult because I’m new here and nobody really knows me and almost everything is online,” Yewell said. “Job search methods have changed. There is no more face-to-face interaction, and that makes this much more difficult to know someone. I think it’s always better to talk directly to the person instead of looking at a piece of paper and judging them that way. It’s good to have an event like this and give people the opportunity to open the door for people who are struggling to find a job online.
Jose Castillo Reyes is another job seeker who is new to the area. Originally from San Francisco, Reyes recently moved to Modesto to find new opportunities and be closer to his family.
“When I was living there in the Bay Area, there were lots of jobs available, but now it’s pretty tough. A lot of jobs still haven’t come back since the pandemic and all the layoffs,” he said.
Like Yewell, looking for work in a new place without having had previous relationships has been difficult for Reyes as he has been unemployed and has been looking for work for a month.
“I’m trying to enter a new market and nobody knows who I am yet,” he said. “I’ve applied to places with no luck and got no feedback, and that was kind of weird…You kind of have to know someone who’s already working those jobs to get you in. I hope this event can help me make those connections.
While there were plenty of participants looking to re-enter the workforce or find new opportunities, there were those like Taylor Fessenden and Ashley Fraiser, who were trying to get ahead of the competitive job market. . Both are finishing college and felt the best time to start looking for steady employment was now.
“We’re both getting our bachelor’s degrees, so we came here looking for the opportunity to not just find a job that will work for us for now, but something we can turn into a career,” Fraiser said. .
During their short time navigating the job market, Fessenden has come to believe that many employers are looking to hire workers to do more than they are willing to pay for. Additionally, Fraiser believes that many employers don’t give candidates the opportunity to learn and gain experience.
“A lot of places require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of years of experience. Everyone wants the experience, but there aren’t many places willing to offer that, and it ends up being like running on a hamster wheel,” Fraiser said. “Being able to talk to people in person and let employers get to know you is a big benefit of an event like this instead of them trying to get to know you through a computer.”
Another person who attended Wednesday’s job fair was Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak. She said she is convinced that the event can achieve the objectives shared by the participants.
“I’m so happy we’re hosting this,” Bublak said. “It’s super exciting because I know there will be relationships today that will be long-term professions for these people.”