Job Shop Chain Aims to Extend Employers' Recruiting Range Through Computerized, Mall-Based Application Centers

By Amy Joyce

Sunday, January 17, 1999; Page H08

Need some cash? All you have to do is go to the ATM, punch in a few details, and out shoot a few twenties. Need a job? It's just about as easy, if you have an Adecco Job Shop nearby.

Adecco, a career services company that specializes in temporary placements, introduced the Job Shop in hopes of tapping another source of possible workers to fill the tight job market that has been forcing placement companies to come up with more innovative ways to recruit.

With the Job Shop -- installed mostly in shopping malls throughout the country -- job seekers punch in personal information, including job experience and skills, and get a call back from Adecco within 24 hours, possibly with a temporary job opportunity. The Washington area's first two Job Shops will open later this month at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax and Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick.

Mylene Aponte, a general clerk at H.B. Fuller Co. in Edison, N.J., happened upon the Job Shop kiosk at the mall in Edison. She was frustrated and bored with her position as a security guard and knew she wanted to begin a job search for something more fulfilling, but wasn't sure how to start, and she didn't know whether her skills would be applicable anywhere else.

She saw the Job Shop and entered some basic information. "I needed to find something quick," Aponte said. Job Shop's procedure was just like filling out an application and took just a few minutes. Within a week, Aponte had an interview with Adecco and was placed in a temp position at Fuller, a specialty chemical company based in St. Paul, Minn.

"If I didn't come across [Job Shop], I'd probably still be sitting [as a security guard] reading a book," she said.

Beth Shapiro, a recruiter with Frank Russell Co., a Tacoma, Wash., based international pension consulting and investment management company, finds the Job Shop to be another useful tool in economic times that make her job a little more difficult.

"With the unemployment market as it is, it's hard to find temps or regular associates," Shapiro said. "The use of the Job Shop is yet another way . . . in terms of getting people into Adecco's doors that a lot of people haven't thought of before."

Shapiro cited a placement her company got through the Job Shop and Adecco -- a woman who had just gotten out of the Army and didn't know which of her skills were transferable to a civilian job. Two days after inputting her information in Job Shop, she was working at Frank Russell using her computer database skills.

"The market is so tight right now. You really have to be creative" to find workers, Shapiro said.

Placing the Job Shops in public areas such as shopping malls and universities introduces companies to potential employees who normally would have missed job listings or may not have even applied for a new job. "I never went through a temp agency before," Aponte said. "I didn't even know Adecco was a placement agency."

Shapiro knows there is a need for job opportunities to be placed at the fingertips of those who wouldn't necessarily walk in the door of a placement agency. The Job Shop finds people "that others are not paying attention to," she said, including people who have just moved to the area or moms looking for part-time temporary work.

"You can use it on your own time, during the weekend, and you don't have to take time off from your current job" to do a quick job search, Shapiro said.

To date, 60 kiosks are up and running in 18 states. Of the 486,000 people who have at least begun the application process since Job Shop's initiative started in May, about 29,000 have been qualified applicants.

Adecco has placed about 12,000 people who were found through the Job Shop. Last year Adecco placed about 800,000 workers.

Linda Tucker, the national Job Shop manager, said kiosks are placed in areas where recruiting might be a little tough. Some of the kiosks even include a specific key for a certain client of Adecco who is constantly looking for employees in that area of the country. A potential employee can hit that key and look for job openings with just that company.
Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company