Archive for April, 2015

Are employers asking illegal questions about Jacksonville jobs?

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Managers are fessing up and admitting they may have asked illegal questions when hiring for Jacksonville jobs, according to a Careerbuilder survey.

About 20 percent of hiring managers indicated they have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.

The following questions are illegal for hiring managers to ask; yet, when asked if they knew if these questions were illegal, at least one third of employers indicated they didn’t know:

– What is your religious affiliation?

– Are you pregnant?

– What is your political affiliation?

– What is your race, color or ethnicity?

– How old are you?

– Are you disabled?

– Are you married?

– Do you have children or plan to?

– Are you in debt?

– Do you social drink or smoke?

Below are some of the most unusual – but still legal – interview questions hiring managers say they have asked job candidates, and what these questions really assess:

“How would you wrangle a herd of cats?” A hiring manager might ask a question like this to gain insight into a candidate’s ability to organize, lead and motivate others.

“Do you believe in life on other planets?” A question like this might be asked to see if a candidate has an attitude that anything is possible.

“What superpower would you like to have?” How candidates answer this question can provide insight into how they view their own strengths and weaknesses.

“If you were stranded on an island, which two items would you like to have with you?” Answers to this question could indicate a candidate’s ability to weather a tough situation with limited resources.

“If you did not have to work, what would you do?” This question provides a peek into a candidate’s values and interests outside of work, which can help assess for cultural fit.

Food service jobs in Jacksonville change very little

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The number of food service jobs in Jacksonville didn’t grow as much as in previous months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment in food services and drinking places changed little in March (+9,000), following a large increase in the prior month (+66,000). Job growth in the first quarter of 2015 averaged 33,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain in 2014.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

Employment in professional and business services trended up in March (+40,000). Job growth in the first quarter of 2015 averaged 34,000 per month in this industry, below the average monthly gain of 59,000 in 2014. Within professional and business services, employment continued to trend up in architectural and engineering services (+4,000), computer systems design and related services (+4,000), and management and technical consulting services (+4,000).

health care continued to add jobs in March (+22,000). Over the year, health care has added 363,000 jobs. In March, job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+8,000), while nursing care facilities lost jobs (-6,000).

In March, employment in retail trade continued to trend up (+26,000), in line with its prior 12-month average gain. Within retail trade, general merchandise stores added 11,000 jobs in March.

Employment in mining declined by 11,000 in March. The industry has lost 30,000 jobs thus far in 2015, after adding 41,000 jobs in 2014. The employment declines in the first quarter of 2015, as well as the gains in 2014, were concentrated in support activities for mining, which includes support for oil and gas extraction.

Employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.6 million in March. These individuals accounted for 29.8 percent of the unemployed.

Employers may be creating IT jobs in Jacksonville

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

A new survey from Careerbuilder points out that employers are creating more IT jobs in Jacksonville.

Industries expected to match or exceed the national average for adding full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter are:
•Information Technology – 49 percent
•Transportation – 44 percent
•Financial Services – 40 percent
•Health Care (50 or more employees) – 32 percent

While large organizations are adding staff at a faster rate, the increased confidence small- and medium-sized businesses have displayed in previous quarters is expected to carry over into Q2:

•50 or fewer employees – 23 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 18 percent last year; those reducing headcount decreased from 6 percent last year to 4 percent
•250 or fewer employees – 27 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 22 percent last year; those reducing headcount remained at 6 percent
•500 or fewer employees – 29 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 23 percent last year; those reducing headcount increased from 6 percent last year to 7 percent
•More than 500 employees – 38 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 32 percent last year; those reducing headcount decreased from 11 percent last year to 9 percent

Hiring in the first three months of 2015 outperformed the same period in 2014. Thirty-five percent of employers hired full-time, permanent employees, up from 29 percent last year. Those who decreased headcount dropped two percentage points to 9 percent. Fifty-five percent reported no change in their headcount while 1 percent were unsure.

The study also shows wages may get an upgrade as companies grow more competitive for skilled talent in the face of shrinking labor pools. Forty-three percent of employers have job vacancies that stay open for 12 weeks or longer. Nearly one in four employers (24 percent) expect to increase salaries at least 5 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year; among Information Technology employers, the number is 37 percent.