October 29, 1997 in City

Employment Agencies Fall Down On The Jobs

Teresa J. White Special To Opinion
 

I recently moved to Spokane and have been looking for work for six weeks. I am disheartened by the fact that the majority of jobs that I qualify for are represented by commercial job agencies. Only a fraction of the listings are from the companies themselves.

Nevertheless, I registered with three agencies in the area because I was intrigued by their purported job listings. All three called me in and ran me through a battery of tests as well as a personal interview.

At all three agencies, I was told I was a well-qualified candidate and would be contacted if a good match came up. When I asked if I should call in each day, I was told no, they would call me.

All three agencies treated me professionally and led me to believe that I would be considered for any appropriate openings. To my chagrin, I kept seeing these same agencies list in the Sunday Spokesman-Review jobs I knew I was qualified for. When I called the agencies back and asked why I hadn’t been contracted for job X, I received less-than-satisfactory responses.

If these agencies have a pool of qualified persons like me on their books already, why do they need to list new jobs in the paper to attract even more applicants? I am not a rocket scientist; I am a well-qualified secretary with up-to-date computer skills and a good job history.

I would not be so frustrated if it weren’t for the fact that a good percentage of secretarial listings in the paper are under the banners of these agencies.

One recent morning I called an agency about a job listed in the previous day’s Spokesman-Review classified section. I asked if I could be considered for an interview for the job. Instead of getting a straight answer, I was told the agency would “keep me in mind.”

What’s going on? I don’t believe I am alone in being frustrated by these agencies and their lock on the competitive job market.

I wonder how many companies that count on these agencies to fill their openings know what capable applicants they’re missing?

Somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair.

MEMO: Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.

Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.


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