(News Tribune Tacoma WA; 08/14/98)

Care for a job with that new jogging suit?

    As local personnel managers struggle to fill vacant positions in this 
 climate of nearly full employment, one staffing agency has discovered a new way 
 to reach applicants: Mall-based "job-search ATMs."

    Shoppers looking for shoes or blue jeans can also search for jobs by 
 entering information at a computer kiosk. Adecco, a Swiss employment agency 
 with U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., runs the program, called the 
 Job Shop. Its job-search kiosks - free for job-seekers - are now in eight 
 states, and one is at the Tacoma Mall.

    The employment agency takes the information entered in the Job Shop 
 computers, then calls in clients to a local office for interviews. The company 
 links applicants to temporary and permanent positions, said Linda Tucker, 
 national Job Shop manager.

    With such a booming economy, "It is necessary for businesses to re-evaluate 
 their recruiting methods and become more creative," said Beth Shapiro, 
 recruiter for Tacoma's Frank Russell Co. She was at Seattle's Northgate center 
 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for Adecco's new job shops in 

    Shapiro said Russell recently hired Leanda Bevans from the Tacoma Mall Job 
 Shop, which has been open for two months. Another Job Shop has been open for 
 nearly three months at the SuperMall of the Great Northwest in Auburn.

    Bevans, of Steilacoom, was shopping with her husband when she spotted the 
 job-search kiosk - two back-to-back, fire engine-red columns with computer 
 screens that respond to touch.

    "It was just really convenient," she said. "It asked just basic questions" - 
 such as what type of work you're looking for, the pay range you are seeking and 
 when you can start work.

    Within a few days, someone from Adecco called, asking Bevans to come down to 
 the office on South Cedar Street for an interview.

    The same day Bevans went to talk with a recruiter, she was sent to Russell 
 to fill a temporary switchboard position. She has been at Russell for four 
 weeks, and was recently hired by another Tacoma company for a position she 
 begins on Monday.

    Bevans said the Job Shop streamlines the usual agency hiring routine, so 
 that when she met with an Adecco recruiter, the company already knew the basics 
 about her.

    The information customers enter into the job-search computers is routed via 
 phone lines to the closest Adecco office, based on the client ZIP code. Adecco 
 staff receive the information as a fax, said Paige Mead, Tacoma branch manager.

    Job Shop is just a screening process and applicants do not immediately get a 
 shopping list of employers with whom to apply, said Tucker, the national Job 
 Shop manager.

    "Before we send them (the applicants) out to a site, we want to make sure we 
 screen them. We want to make sure they're qualified," Tucker said.

    Adecco has received about 40,000 "hits" off of the job shops that opened so 
 far in Washington. The SuperMall site opened May 1, and Northgate Mall opened 
 about the same time the Tacoma Mall kiosk opened. Another job-search site is 
 planned soon for the Washington Expo Center in Seattle.

    Out of the Washington hits, about 6 percent are "matches," Tucker said - 
 meaning candidates meet the criteria for the positions sought. About half those 
 candidates are placed, she added.

    During 11/2-hour span on Tuesday, about 10 people browsed Tacoma Mall's Job 
 Shop, which is outside Papyrus. Amid the echoes of mall conversation and cheery 
 music from nearby stores, a few people said they were just curious, but not 
 looking for work.

    "I already have a good job," said Randy Marquis, an equipment operator for 
 Tacoma Public Utilities. He said he hopes to stay with TPU for "the next 30 

    Soliciting people who already are working is another benefit of the Job 
 Shop, Shapiro of the Russell Co. said. It's an untapped market that recruiters 
 can draw from in this tight labor market, she explained. The more traditional 
 recruiting methods, Shapiro said, do not reach everyone.

    "It is definitely a seller's market," she said.

    Office work and some blue-collar jobs are the anchors of the Job Shop, 
 Tucker conceded. The positions highlighted at the Tacoma Mall include cashier, 
 customer service, bookkeeper, solderer, machine and forklift operator. More 
 professional jobs include computer programmer, software engineer and technical 
 support. Tucker said pay ranges from $5.15 (minimum wage) up to $17 an hour for 
 the professional occupations.

    Bevans is sold on the service:

    "You can say, 'This is what my background is, this is what I'm looking for, 
 this is the rate of pay I want,'" she said. "So I'm not wasting my time going 
 in, filling out all this paperwork for something I may not have any interest in 
 or nothing they have to offer me."

Newsbit furnished by:

A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]

Thanks Tim!

Thanks Kinetic!

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