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Businesses struggling to hire new employees as they reopen in Redding

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On Friday, Cindy Lamkin, Owner of Tortilla Flats restaurant in Redding spoke with KRCR about their struggles to hire employees after having to reduce their staff size during state COVID restrictions.

"Some of the people that I have called that are past employees, I said are you ready to work and they said no we are just going to stay on unemployment right now," said Lamkin.

Paul Lehman, Area Manager for, Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI) in Redding says this is an issue that has been brought to their attention since the pandemic started.

"You've got all these layoffs you would think there are a lot of people out there looking for work," said Lehman.

BBSI is an organization that provides payroll administration, workers’ comp programs, staffing and recruiting, and a variety of HR and business consulting services.

From November to December of last year, Shasta county saw its unemployment rate jump from 6 1/2% to 8%, the state unemployment rate during that time was 9%.

Lehman says along with people living off unemployment, potential job candidates have a few more choices for places to work at since many places are starting the rehiring process.

"There are so many more people that are looking now there are a couple of companies that work well and are well-staffed, but now employees know they kind of can pick and choose to a certain extent," said Lehman.

Now restaurants like Tortilla Flats are seeing an increase in business and being forced to operate with staff working well over 40 hours a week.

Lamkin says she needs employees but isn't in the business of just filling spots.

"I ask people can they get to work, do they have their own transportation do they want to work any hours, can they work any hours?" said Lamkin.

"You know, you have got an opening and you are struggling and it's almost more detrimental to the company if you hire the wrong person than having the position open," said Lehman.

He says that presenting a clear job description and using social media is a great way to reach potential candidates and this is something Tortilla Flats says they are implementing as they continue to push past the pandemic.

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"We are gonna come out on top, but it has just been a struggle," said Lamkin.

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