Thousands of jobs open in Kansas, some owners say it’s hard to fill vacant positions

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A lot of businesses trying to reopen and expand after the pandemic are having trouble finding the workers they need. Some owners say that if you want a job, you could find one today.

“Everybody seemed to return to restaurants, almost all at the same time,” said Timirie Shibley, co-owner of Doo-Dah Diner.

A return of customers means a need for more staff. Shibley says while that is a good problem to have, filling the demand has been a struggle.

“We can get interviews scheduled, we were having a hard time getting people showing up for their interviews and if we did have somebody show up for their interview and hired for the job, they didn’t show up for the day of the job,” Shibley said.

She says this is an issue seen beyond Doo-Dah Diner.

“Our industry is having a severe shortage of people applying and coming back into it.”

Kansas Works is seeing an all-time high of job openings with more than 45,000 listed in their system.

“All industries are hiring right now,” said Amanda Duncan with the Wichita Workforce Center. “No matter what somebody is looking for part-time, full-time, seasonal, a skilled job, you know, professional level jobs.”

The hiring surge is creating competition for employers.

“If someone expresses interest we kind of jump all over it,” said Bill Rowe, proprietor of Blue Moon Caterers.

Rowe says Blue Moon Caterers is working to rebuild their team, as events make a comeback.

“I mean it’s pretty hard to run eight weddings on a Saturday night when you don’t have the people — so it’s just been a really important planning issue for us this year,” he said.

Some companies even throw in incentives to recruit employees.

“We’re seeing higher wages, we’re seeing flexible work options like work from home, and we’re also seeing things around various accommodating shifts,” Duncan explained.

Wichita Workforce Center works to post frequent job fairs. You can check for upcoming ones by clicking here.

Also, check the KSN job section where you can either look for a job or post a job.

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