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Labor shortage forces employers to get creative to attract workers

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 4:51 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - If you want to know just how hard it is for businesses to find workers, consider this: some employers are now ready to give you bonuses just to take a job.

Help wanted signs just aren’t getting the job done anymore.

“We have tried to take an approach with employers to say, set yourself apart. Tell your candidates what you have to offer that’s different,” said Cheryl Mayforth, The WorkPlace executive director.

Approaches like sign-on bonuses, showing off your company on social media, and listing a pay range.

Samaritan Health, Jefferson County’s largest private employer, is looking to fill about 350 positions.

“It is not uncommon for hospitals and healthcare systems to struggle to find clinical positions, like nurses or specialty areas, but it is uncommon to be searching for entry-level career building positions. And we’re facing that today,” said

Leslie DiStefano, Samaritan spokesperson.

The shortage is causing Samaritan to close the cafeteria to staff members two days a week.

“We’ve had to close our cafeteria at the medical center on the weekend to staff members, because it’s critical for our kitchen staff to be fully staffed, so they can serve our patients,” said DiStefano.

At The Arc of Jefferson-St. Lawrence, there are 44 positions that need to be filled.

Without them, it could hinder the amount of people they help.

“As we get back to life as normal, unless we enhance our staffing pattern, some of those opportunities will be jeopardized and that is of grave concern to us,” Michelle Quinell-Gayle, director of community relations, The Arc of Jefferson-St. Lawrence.

In an effort to find more people looking for jobs, the WorkPlace will set up its own booth at the farmers market in Watertown when it opens up for the season next week.

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