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Odd job market: Staffing agency seeing leverage for job seekers

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 19, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — COVID-19 has even infected the desire of many to collect a steady paycheck. The people working at Remedy Intelligent Staffing in Lexington have learned all about that in recent months.

“Going home, being forced to stay at home during COVID led people to re-evaluating their lives,” said Lynn Braker, who co-owns Remedy with her husband, Tom. “They’re saying, ‘what do I really want to do with my life? Do I really need to work all of these hours?’” she continued to explain.

Remedy’s website has listings for all kinds of jobs, and filling the remote work opportunities hasn’t been a problem. It’s filling the opening for jobs that require in-person attendance that’s been a challenge. For that, there are many reasons, most of which can be attributed to COVID.

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“People have made adjustments to their lives based on things like child care,” Mrs. Braker said. “We see constantly that it’s not worth it for someone to try to go out and work right now because the minute they do, their child could be exposed to COVID,” she added.

The lack of personnel is causing this rise in prices we’re seeing in most of the everyday products we consume. And it’s requiring employers to mandate overtime of their current and new personnel, which is also a turnoff for prospective employees. And that’s not the only deterrent.

“We haven’t seen a big resistance of people who won’t get vaccinated, but anytime you make an extra step for that person to get employment, it’s always going to become more challenging,” Tom Braker said of vaccine mandates.

The Brakers also said “gig” employment, like driving for Uber, is now something many are gravitating to as it offers scheduling flexibility. Many people have become so much more inclined these days to opt for remote work, and flexibility that they are turning their back on high-paying jobs that require in-person attendance.

“We’ve never seen a situation where our clients go from $12 to now almost up to $19 per hour,” Tom said of the pay increases he’s been seeing all year.

It’s a job-seeker-friendly market right now, and that in and of itself is somewhat unprecedented. While that has hurt most industries, the Brakers have seen the opposite. Because they can normally fill positions quickly and have a robust pool of applicants from which to choose, they’ve been able to add clients in recent months. But that doesn’t mean their job has become any easier.

“Our goal is to fill every job by the end of the day,” Lynn said. “And we were able to accomplish that goal before COVID hit.”

The Brakers also said transportation is another issue they confront when placing an applicant with an employer. While someone in Lexington might want to accept the job offer in Georgetown, they can’t do it due to a lack of transportation.

“And Uber is really expensive right now. If you go from Masterson Station to Midway, it could cost $35 each way just to get to that job,” Mrs. Braker said while adding that Lexington could really use a form of mass transit between the city and Georgetown.

The Brakers said there are many job openings in Georgetown but not enough people in Scott County to fill them.

If you’re interested in viewing the job openings Remedy Staffing is looking to fill, click here.