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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Dec 16, 2008

Not Enough Candidates? WHO SAID THAT?!

Steve Porter, who is an Outreach Consultant with JobsInRI, has been working closely with the Workforce Development Specialist, Amy Driscoll, at the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) to help connect employers and job seekers in that industry. Amy's role is part of the RI Hospitality Education Foundation. Together, they've developed and delivered presentations at netWORKri offices across the state to job seekers focused on Transferring Skills to new careers.

The reports I'm getting back have been eye opening, and provide tremendous insight into the struggles of both job seekers and employers. As you may already be aware, RI is now tied for the highest unemployment rate in the US. The presentation has been very helpful in showing candidates how to do their own skills inventory, and identify the soft skills they have that can transfer into new jobs. The target is really the recently unemployed, and those who have been out of the market for so long, they're out of the loop in the new job hunting world.

Great work and congratulations goes to the folks at the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) who have spearheaded this charge, and are out there making a difference!

In addition, the RIHEF lead a seminar to analyze how to find and train soft skills for the next generation workforce- high school students and teens. The idea here is to help develop the real world skills that are necessary to fill positions in the hospitality industry. (I have to say, focusing on this younger group is both forward thinking and creatively strategic. If more business leaders, association leaders, and community organizations were similarly focused, we could see a significant rise in apprenticeship style education, which I'm all for)

Any way, here are some bullets of the issues facing this one industry in this one state, as reported by the JobsInRI Outreach Consultant:

-- Many of the RIHA member restaurants and hotels have openings, but can't find good people.

-- In the business of hospitality, budgets will be cut and expenses reduced, but layoffs are usually the last option.

-- The RIHA doesn't feel the recession has affected the RI industry too deeply. Business at most restaurants and hotels are still down slightly, though.

-- The Newport business climate has not been hit badly at all, which is where the center of the tourism universe resides in RI.

-- The universal belief is that next year's tourist season will be excellent. Optimism is high.

-- The RIHA specialist maintains a folder of job openings from hotels and restaurants that she is personally trying to fill. Following the seminars, she speaks one-on-one with candidates searching for the right kind of people.

-- Many are frustrated with employment advertising options. The paper is expensive and online job boards result in too many desperate, inexperienced candidates.

-- In addition, while resume databases are exceptional for finding employees with specific hard skills (certifications, degrees, years of experience) they fail profoundly in finding candidates with strong soft skills (team player, customer service, friendliness, communication, etc.).

-- They are desperate for candidates with exceptional soft skills which is what fuels their industry.

Great work Steve, thanks for those insights!

Well, that's how it looks from the recruiting front lines at the intersection of Rhode Island and Hospitality!

Jason Blais on FoxNews

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