KIOSK SERVES UP JOBS A NEW EMPLOYMENT WRINKLE AGENCY BRINGING MACHINES TO MALLS
(Record Northern New Jersey; 07/15/98)
It used to be that job hunters were the ones who had to go out and "pound
the pavement." But these days, during the best job market in 25 years,
recruiters are having to do some of that themselves.
Adecco, a California-based employment agency, is hitting shopping malls
nationwide in its effort to recruit employees for its clients' job openings.
The company is in the midst of rolling out high-tech kiosks, similar to
automated teller machines, that link job hunters to jobs.
The kiosk, called Job Shop, is being brought to malls, as well as to
colleges and other high-traffic areas. One is going up at the Menlo Park Mall
in Edison this week, and plans are in the works for one at Garden State Plaza
in Paramus later this summer.
Adecco, which has had Job Shops in Europe since 1996, introduced its first
one in the United States in October in the San Francisco area. It began the
nationwide rollout last month, said Bonnie Olmsted, communications director for
Adecco, which has 3,000 offices worldwide and 800 in the United States.
Job Shop is a response to the tightening labor market and the growing
difficulty in recruiting employees, Olmsted said.
"This is probably the most challenging recruiting time that we have ever
seen," agreed Ginny Scaduto, senior area manager for Adecco in North Jersy.
Chris Dowling, president of the New Jersey Staffing Association, a
professional organization of staffing firms, said agencies need to be more
proactive in recruiting in today's economy. This applies not only to employment
agencies but to companies, said Dowling, who also is president of a Wayne-based
executive recruitment agency.
Job Shop provides a high-technology link to Adecco's network of jobs. A
prospective employee steps up to the kiosk and, using self-guiding instructions
and touch-screen technology, enters information about the kind of job he is
looking for and his experience, education, salary requirements, availability
for work, and other data.
The information is then processed, and, based on the candidate's
information and ZIP code, his qualifications are matched with the skills needed
for specific jobs. If there is a match, the prospective employee receives a
message that an Adecco recruiter will call to set up an appointment at the
nearest Adecco office for the next step in the hiring process, Olmsted said.
There is no charge for using Job Shop.
The type of positions that Adecco has available varies with the geographic
area, Olmsted said, but the company primarily targets people for clerical,
sales, and marketing, administrative, or technical positions. In North Jersey,
some light industrial positions also are available, Olmsted said.
If someone gets a successful match with Job Shop, he then goes through
Adecco's customary screening process, which includes filling out a computer
application, an interview with an Adecco manager, and skills and personality
testing, Olmsted said.
After that, those seeking temporary employment are given a list of
positions that are available and are sent on a temporary assignment. In the
case of someone seeking a full-time job, the individual's resume is sent to the
employer's hiring manager.
Job Shop is a good way to attract job candidates who might otherwise not
have heard of Adecco, Olmsted said. "It also makes us available to people in
the nights and the weekends when our offices are closed. They can use the Job
Shop kiosk at their own convenience."
Job Shop was scheduled to go up today at the Menlo Park Mall, said
specialty leasing manager James Whalen. Adecco also is negotiating for a
location at Garden State Plaza, said Randy Smith, executive vice president of
California-based Westfield Corp., which operates malls including the Garden
Job Shop is similar to kiosks that the state Department of Labor set up
around the state _ in a few shopping centers and community colleges _ several
years ago. Through the kiosks, job seekers could access the list of available
jobs that the Department of Labor maintained, said spokesman Kevin Smith. Those
kiosks are no longer in use, and the Department of Labor is now making the
information available on the Internet, Smith added.
While Olmsted said Adecco is the first employment agency to offer
something like Job Shop, it is not the first example of the greater lengths to
which those with jobs to fill are going to recruit employees.
For instance, more employers are offering signing bonuses in an attempt to
recruit new employees, according to a recent study by the National Association
of Colleges and Employers. Other employers are shoring up their internship
programs so college students become familiar with the company sooner, and
others are offering current workers bonuses if they successfully recruit
someone to work for the company.
This spring, the Simon DeBartolo Group, which operates malls nationwide
including the Bergen Mall in Paramus, announced a partnership with Olsten
Staffing Services to operate employment centers in six DeBartolo shopping
centers, including the Bergen Mall.