Possible pay raise to entice and retain county employees in Catawba
“Obviously there’s not enough people to go around.” Brandy Evy said.
CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A plan could be brought before the Catawba County Commissioners soon that would increase wages for county employees up to five percent. An effort to attract and maintain vital workers in the area.
It’s a multi-layered issue. Experts say it’s everything from people jumping ship for higher-paying jobs to folks not willing to come back because of COVID.
“Obviously there are not enough people to go around,” Brandy Evy said.
If you’re looking for a job, they’ve got plenty of them here at Express Employment Professionals. They’re an agency in Hickory that connects those looking to fill positions with people who need them. But as some people will admit, these are really strange times.
“Our jobs definitely outnumber our applicant flow,” Evy explained.
In other words, there are more jobs than there are people willing to fill them, making it a real headache for companies looking to hire.
“It’s extremely frustrating.”
Brandy Evy is the co-owner at Express Employment and explains where everybody went.
“They call it the great resignation, where a lot of folks decided to retire early or to leave the workforce in the midst of COVID,” Evy told WBTV’s Ron Lee.
That’s making it a challenge to fill the over fifty jobs they have available. Catawba County is facing a similar problem. Not enough applicants to fill critical positions. At last Monday’s budget meeting, a plan was pitched about raising the salaries of county employees five percent and possibly some quarterly bonuses.
County officials say they’re getting some applicants, but not enough and many of those aren’t qualified for the position. To add to those numbers, the turnover rate is also up about sixteen percent. In fact, it’s in the red in many critical jobs in the county. Employees aren’t staying in their jobs very long either. So, is a pay raise the answer?
“I guess money talks. So, I think they think that’s the answer, they’re just increasing where they can to try to give more benefits to employees to come to work.” Evy said.
But will it work?
“There’s this trend of increasing the rates so employees are going to the next high-paying position so I don’t know if that’s a long-term answer,” Evy told us.
This idea was only brought in by a budget sub-committee. Officials say it’s got a long way to go before they get serious about actually making this happen.
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