Over half of Humboldt County employers say they've had difficulty in hiring. At the same time time, local job seekers, especially graduating college students, say they'd like to work locally but can't find quality jobs.
How can both of these things be true?
There is a disconnect between employers and job seekers and research into data by the Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) shows that. "Workforce Weekend" is a tool AEDC is hoping will bridge the divide.
"It's kind of a cross between Match. com ... and a job fair," says AEDC's Susan Seaman, "we're building a portal that helps everyone find their right fit."
Seaman described how the data gathered by the county workforce development board and HSU's school of business gave her the clues that led to creating the online platform.
"In the HSU research they asked employers how professional they thought applicants were and it was very low. And they asked applicants how professional they felt they were and it was very high."
One of the first questions Seaman had was, "how are they defining professionalism?" That became the first question in the platforms profile questionaires.
The "Workforce Weekend" platform gives employers a place to put there company profile, describing the types of jobs they have, their company culture and general information.
Job seekers create a profile, fill out a questionaire that is much like a job interview, but with more general questions about how they like to communicate, what they want to do with their day and what thay see as a fufilling job.
There is no cost for either employers or job seekers to put up a profile.
As job seekers see companies or jobs that interest them, they are asked to submit applications for those participating companies through the site.
Unlike a job fair, the event culminates in a weekend of job interviews March 2nd and 3rd at the employers locations. Seaman says the idea of having one weekend for the interviews was to encourage people who may have left Humboldt, but would like to work here to come back for multiple interviews.
While the interviews and applications often aren't for jobs that exist right now, they give employers an idea of who is interested in working for them and potential employees an idea of companies that fit their ideal.
More information, including background on the research, a place to create profiles and a "Why Humboldt" section are at the Workforce Weekend website.