In the past two or three years, “when we’ve put ads in the paper, I mean, we’ve gotten a few responses, maybe half-a-dozen. But this time was so many responses, we couldn’t get back to them all,” he said.
Several applicants have said they’ve been looking for work for a year, said a woman who works at the dental center, but asked not to be identified.
“I didn’t have any clue that there were that many people out there wanting to work as receptionists,” she said. Some applicants “seem to be very qualified to do work beyond what we’re requiring,” she said.
Butler said some applicants have “removed themselves when they find out what the pay is. They want a higher amount. This is a common problem in this area because so many people commute to Frederick County and Montgomery County,” where the wages are commonly higher.
“When you tell them, ‘I’m sorry you don’t make this kind of wages in this area,’ they’re not happy,” he said.
Few applicants, one job
Rassa, the owner of Commercial Services in Martinsburg, has heard the same sorts of objection to area wages.
The company, which has been in business for nearly 20 years, does service, repair, installation and maintenance work on refrigeration, heating and air conditioning, and restaurant equipment.
He wants to hire a full-time repair technician, giving the company a total of eight employees, counting Rassa.
In addition to a sign-on bonus and health insurance, Rassa is offering paid training and a “competitive wage and benefits package” that includes a retirement plan, up to three weeks’ vacation, and paid holiday and sick time.
But few people have applied.
Asked how much the job pays, Rassa said it depends on the person’s level of experience. In general, the pay range for this position is “$18 to mid-$20s per hour,” he said.
Trying to find a new employee has been just part of the problem.
The other part was trying to decide whether to replace both of the employees who gave notice recently that they are leaving. With the economy still slow, Rassa said he decided to advertise just one opening.
“I’m going to replace the two (who are leaving) with just one person — if I can find somebody qualified,” he said. “And if I can’t, I guess I’m just doing more hours myself.”
Seeking more applicants
Another company feeling hard-put to find new employees is Charles W. Karper Inc.
The trucking company, which is based in Chambersburg, Pa., and has a terminal in Winchester, Va., has been advertising for people who own tractor-trailer rigs to pull its flat-bed trailers throughout the region.
The advertisement, which says drivers will be “home every night” and receive “top pay with full fuel surcharge,” has drawn “quite a few phone calls, (but) I’m not getting as many as I would like,” Karper President Tom Smith said.
The company has about 50 employees, including independent contractors, he said. In business since 1929, Karper mostly hauls building materials, such as blocks and steel beams, for manufacturers, he said.