TAMPA, Fla. - The supposed labor shortage is a frustrating concept for some job seekers who say they're applying but getting nowhere. A Florida man's job search is getting attention after he says he applied to 60 entry-level positions but only got one interview.
For people like Tonia Azzam, the job search has been a never-ending cycle of submitting applications, following up with calls, but getting no responses.
"It’s like really frustrating. I know myself. I used to work at Ann Taylor as a sales lead, so why now is no one accepting me in the same sales lead position?" Azzam wondered.
Azzam also worked as a medical assistant and has a bachelor’s degree, but has been out of work for the last five months after her former employer reduced her hours. Now, she says no job is off the table.
She’s applied for entry-level jobs at Target, Walmart, T.J. Maxx, McDonald's, Outback Steakhouse and anywhere else that’s hiring, but hasn’t received a single interview.
"They just say, ‘We are waiting for the hiring manager to come and they can call you back’ or ‘You have to wait a couple of days so we can see your application online,’ but no one calls me back," Azzam said.
Like Azzam, Joey Holz – a former food service worker and charter boat crewman – is running into the same problem.
"This doesn't make any sense. If everybody's hiring and everybody's so desperate for employees, then why aren't they even responding to an email?" Holz asked.
He started an experiment: apply to two jobs a day for 30 days. Of the 60 positions he applied to, he got back nine emails, one follow-up phone call, and one interview for a construction job advertised as a full-time position paying $10 an hour, but he turned it down when he learned it was actually only part-time and started at Florida's minimum wage of $8.65, before the minimum wage was upped to $10 last month.
"If employers raised the bar for what they're offering, the people working for them, the quality of how those people treat them as an employer will also be right. This is a ‘lift each other up’ situation," Holz said.
Neither is sure what's behind the hiring hesitation, but hope it changes soon so they can get back to work.
"We have good skills. They have to consider all people. They have to get an interview with employees and maybe then we will get some luck," Azzam said.