Some firms having trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests
The Job Quest September employment fair coming up Tuesday will feature more than 200 local and mainland businesses, organizations and government agencies.
"We have probably the most new employers that I've seen in awhile," said Mary Long, director of account services at Success Advertising, one of three sponsors behind the event.
Japan Airlines and Oahu Transit Services will be there for the first time.
"TheBus is coming ... they need drivers," Long said.
Hawaii's low unemployment rate has left employees begging for staffing, from entry level positions on up.
Some can't find people who can pass a drug test, Long said.
The usual suspects will be looking to fill minimum-wage jobs, but many employers want more experienced workers.
"Some of our employers are trying a new recruitment strategy," she said, such as recruiting retirees in search of another career. People who are already collecting retirement benefits won't demand high salaries, and employers need people with experience, Long said.
Bishop & Co., a Honolulu-based recruitment firm, represents clients such financial institutions, clinical medical institutions and some in the hospitality industry.
"Many of the positions that (businesses) request our assistance in filling are mid-level and upper-management positions," said Judy Bishop, owner. Additional positions, while not at a management level, are still considered professional employment.
Bishop's clients are offering salaries of $50,000 to $100,000, "so the hiring is being done at almost all levels in town," she said.
Bishop will discuss types of jobs available at types of companies, but won't divulge company names to applicants at the Job Quest event.
"What the companies want us to do is screen for them," she said. If an applicant is interested, they can make an appointment for an interview at Bishop's Bishop Street offices.
The company does not charge job-seekers a fee.
Meanwhile, the FBI is also hiring, for both of its career tracks.
One must be 23 to 36 years old and meet other requirements to be hired as a special agent. The agency is looking to hire agents because about 20 percent of its special agent population will be eligible for retirement in five to six years, said Kal Wong, special agent and applicant coordinator for the Honolulu FBI office.
Agents' starting pay ranges from $60,000 to $68,000 depending on where they are stationed.
Senior managers can earn $170,000 to $180,000, "plus, they get bonuses," Wong said.
The FBI is also looking to hire nonagents, from secretaries and accountants to information technology personnel, attorneys, engineers and others with degrees in the sciences, as well as intelligence analysts, to name a few.
"Our No. 1 need is those who can pass our diplomatic level foreign-language exam," Wong said. The FBI is particularly interested in people fluent in Arabic languages, Chinese dialects, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Urdu, "the major Far Eastern languages," he said. Proficiency in diplomatic level Tagalog would also be great, Wong said.
The agency no longer uses paper applications, but encourages those interested to apply online. Wong also travels around Oahu doing recruitment seminars, the schedule for which can also be found online.
The September Job Quest event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Neal Blaisdell Center. General admission is $3, but students, military personnel and seniors with a valid ID pay only $1. Organizers recommend that applicants come dressed for a job interview and have multiple copies of their resume.
The other two sponsors of the event are Oahu WorkLinks and Altres Staffing.
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