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The Hiring Blues

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 653
edited March 2021 in THE MAIN WALL
imageThe Hiring Blues

There’s never a need to make this stuff up. Nowadays, it seems to be everywhere as employers search for good help among the endless parade of knuckleheads who show up for interviews. Is it any wonder employers have the hiring blues?

Read the full story here


  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 167
    edited March 2021
    The pampering of children has led to a plethora of people without any work ethic. They want it all right away because they got it all along. Give them credit and they crash and burn. Get a dirty job as a plumber? They work too hard. I want to push buttons sitting in a comfy gamer chair.
    My SIL's company, a large electrical contractor had a surprise drug test just for their location for everybody. Out of 110, 12 were told good bye. They still didn't weed out the closet boozers.
    I retired at 58. I went to work everyday. Packed my lunch. Tried to watch my P's nd Q's. Kicked myself when I screwed the pooch.
    My SIL says applicants are weeded out when either past history of drugs or a new hire won't pass.
    We're really in trouble when it's hard enough to find someone to fix your faucet. My SIL builds high voltage lines and substations.
    It used to be you could hire some "farmboy" off the farm and get great results. Now they have been replaced by low skill immigrants. The pool of potential workers that will even show up for their first day is amazing.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
    I hate to mention this, @bucksnort , but I can't even find a farmboy to hire to work on the farm. Low skilled immigrant or otherwise. We have a neighbour who does a big and thriving business in the nearby rich folks towns in locally grown vegetables. He does hire "furriners" -- the same crew give or take a few, have been coming here to work for him from Jamaica for the past twenty years or so (and last summer, with the quarantines, was a bi__h), and they are hard workers and very highly skilled. It would be easier, and he'd love to hire local young people, but they won't work hard enough to warrant their pay, and they won't work the hours. So... he'll hire people who will.

    But for another neighbour -- one of the biggest dairy operations in southern New England -- not so much. He can't hire help who are willing to work, never mind work hard enough to earn the wage he's forced to pay, so what he's done is invest millions (literally) into machinery and buildings which let him (he's a spry young feller of 75), his two daughters and their husbands, and one unrelated couple manage the place -- milking somethng like 300 head.

    And then the brats with their X boxes or whatever complain that there's no jobs...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 167
    Jamie, Yep, farmboys are disappearing fast. I've thrown a few bales myself in my dumb and young days. I rmember about 15 years ago making a delivery to a farmer. Conversation turned to the fresh bones in the yard. One of his Bossie's died and instead of calling a dead and down company and getting $20 he let his hired help from who knows where go at it. I think he got his $20 worth watching them go to work on her. They probably got 400 lbs. of meat free just by putting their "idle time" to it. I'm sure that parts were saved and eaten that most would thumb their noses at. It made an impact on me. Compare that to some soy today in some office that their "feelings" are what's important. We're screwed.
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 110
    Maybe it's time to hire and train those hard working immigrants. Most of our relatives were just that many years ago and look what they accomplished.
    I had a Haitian kid work for me for a while. Ha showed up on time, clean, smiling and ready to work. He got a job at the Ship Yard in Portsmouth, NH. I'm happy for him as he will do well.
    Great Kid. We still chat once in a while.
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
    The hiring crisis is very real and I have felt it myself. I am decidedly a millennial (34), but grew up in the trade and learned early what it is to actually apply yourself and work. I count myself as lucky. Today I am running the business by myself (my father is finally mostly retired at 70), and have tried to find help, to no avail. I have resigned my self to working alone, and when I need help moving something heavy, I have a few people who I can call to do that.

    I would like to discuss a few aspects of this crisis though. I think we collectively need to stop blaming 'The darn, lazy kids' and start looking at the actual source of the problem. Our public education system has been for decades actively discouraging entry into the trades. Kids are brought up having the idea that a four year college degree is the ONLY possible path; that working in the trades is no different than flipping burgers. And believe me, I know of what I speak. My better half has been an educator for going on 8 years now. She currently teaches higher Ed at the local college, but her first few years were spent in K-12 education. All of her jobs in K-12 had some sort of 'You should all go to college' kind of week where there were special presentations, projects and such related to college stuff. (Keep in mind, this was in Kindergarten through 5th grade, they start early!). My wife was EXPLICITELY and on several occasions at different schools, told that under NO circumstances was she to encourage, or even mention the idea of trade schools. All kids HAD to go to a standard 4 year college. PERIOD. Needless to say I was furious about this. What I found out is that it really comes down to the fact that certain large companies (Pearsons in particular) have a rather disturbing amount of political and fiscal influence in education as a whole. Pearsons publishes college textbooks amongst a TON of other things and has a financial incentive to get more kids to go to 4 year colleges). I could go on and on about how they use this influence to siphon money out of the education system to their gain and the detriment of the students, but I won't. Feel free to research the topic at your leisure, there is a wealth of information out there. The bottom line is that we need to make political headway with the education system to make trade school more attractive, accessible, and to rid itself of the stigma with which it was been burdened. This is a generation long fight, and I myself fear that it may already be too late.

    That problem recognized, lets consider the experience of the average young person who you may want to hire. Look at it from their point of view. They have grown up being force fed the 4 year college BS dream. Many have never held a job before. It was standard practice 20 or 30 years ago (and even more so before that) to get a job wherever you could starting at the age of 13 or 14. Maybe mowing lawns, farm work, fast food, cashier, etc. If you didn't show up, didn't do your job, you got fired. Now you didn't have any gas or fun money, and you realized and learned from your mistake. Now the driving force is college, college, college. Don't go get a job, instead, study harder so you can get into college. Don't worry about getting one of those lowly entry level jobs, you won't need it because you will have a nice cushy job once you graduate college....

    Now, to be clear, am I defending the standing around on the phone all the time? HELL NO!!! I get it. It drives me nuts too. But would I fire someone over it the first time it happened? No. I would tell them that they will be fired on the spot if I see them using it at work while on duty. Lunch break? fine. Working? not fine. My point is, I dare anyone on here to say that they were born with a good work ethic. Work ethic, and attention to the task at hand, are skills. It took all of us growing up in it, learning early (like I said 13 or 14 for most people) and we all had our moments. I know I did. We all learned from them and moved on. I started in the trade working for my dad when I was 9. I would not say that I had fully developed work ethic and good working mindset until I was 17 or 18. Can you ask someone to start at 18 or 19 and have all that development completed immediately? Their life experience is very different than yours or mine. I'm not saying that their behavior is excusable, but just that they may have never learned that it is bad.

    I am not really defending either side of this debate, I just think its healthy to look at all angles of the problem and try and realize a different approach to solving this problem as a whole may be possible. We need trade schools. Lots of them. We to make a path from high school into the trades attractive and viable. We need federal funding for trade schools just like state universities receive. We need K-12 education to have specific feeder programs that send and encourage kids to go to trade school. Some of this is already happening, but it is a shadow of what it once was. It is fading. Fast.

    I fear for the health of the nation if this trend does not start reversing itself soon.

    And just for clarity, I have no employees, and am making no plans on hiring anyone any time soon. Possibly ever. Its just way too much of a headache!
    CanuckerLarry WeingartenPC7060kflory
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 929
    edited March 2021
    @DanHolohan, The story that started, "I was the most experienced service tech" was my story and it is true. I should have added that he quit after about 6 months because the work was too hard, with too many hours. He thought that we only worked an 8 hour day with a full hour for lunch, had all evenings, weekends and holidays off. When I told him that every day is the same and there is no such thing as a day off for holidays he quit.

    PS; thanks Dan for publishing me. I guess that I am now famous.

    @Bucksnort, We must be twins since we think alike. I tried to teach my younger grandson how to solder copper tubing and silver solder also. He did 2-3 solder joints then walked away to play X-BOX. I guess that the prep work was too hard and a waste of energy.

    When I was still working, I found one guy in 40+ years that really wanted to learn about what we serviced and installed.
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 167
    from a young age i was fascinated with how things worked. when they broke i tore into them. Maybe it could be fixed . If not it's already broke.
    there's a lot of pros and cons about the German method of separating the college bound and trade route by 5th grade.
    I probably could've gone either way but algebra and learning useless trivia got in the way. I almost jumped to HVAC at 19 when i was working temp jobs in between working towards being a chef. Well cheffing involves weekends, holidays and low pay. I chose trucking which did me well. A teacher told me I'd never make anything of myself looking out the window. Well I retired at 58 set for life until this ship sinks.
    I delivered thousands of tons of those Pearson textbooks to a major university bookstore. It is a racket. A big racket. These kids have racked up 1.6 TRILLION in debt for most of them will never be able to pay off or get a job they were "promised". Guidance counselors are rewarded by the amount of kids they send to higher education slaughter. My 2 kids succeeded. 1 has her MBA. The other his PHD which the Koch brothers paid for. 25% of freshman at my nearby prestigious university drop out after the 1st year. 15% after the second. That's 40% that wasted the crucial time they have to get a start. My sister went to tech school to be a hygienist. tough work but she doesn't work Fridays and make good money. Not 6 figures but how many actually do?
    My enabled neighbor 18 year old kid plays video games 12 hours a day. Gonna be the next millionaire. Can't bring the trash dumpster back to the house even though he's walking past it.
    Yep, we're f'd