Hard to Fill Jobs Series -2

The next job category featured in our seeker blog series is: Laborers, Freight, Stock, and Material Movers

 Job Summary:

  • Manually move freight, stock, or other materials or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

Primary responsibilities

  • Move freight, stock, or other materials to and from storage or production areas, loading docks, delivery vehicles, ships, or containers, by hand or using trucks, tractors, or other equipment.
  • Sort cargo before loading and unloading.
  • Attach identifying tags to containers or mark them with identifying information.
  • Read work orders or receive oral instructions to determine work assignments or material or equipment needs.
  • Stack cargo in locations such as transit sheds or in holds of ships as directed, using pallets or cargo boards.
  • Record numbers of units handled or moved, using daily production sheets or work tickets.
  • Install protective devices, such as bracing, padding, or strapping, to prevent shifting or damage to items being transported.
  • Direct spouts and position receptacles, such as bins, carts, or containers so they can be loaded.
  • Attach slings, hooks, or other devices to lift cargo and guide loads.
  • Maintain equipment storage areas to ensure that inventory is protected.


  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without ‘giving out’ or fatiguing.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.


  • 70% High school diploma or equivalent


  • Median wages (2013) $11.52 hourly, $23,970 annual

Job Outlook

  • Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%)



Employer Branding- How to Attract Candidates to Your Organization


Effective, ethical, employer branding is what gets talent in through the door. A company’s reputation is the first thing one should address when trying to attract talent. Through branding, the marketplace learns about company values and culture. Actually, the fact is, all companies already have a brand- a reputation and public perception. If that is good, you are all set, if not, you need to revamp your brand.

If you need to build your brand still below are some considerations:

Identify Yourself:

As an employer brand, you need to figure out what attributes and emotions you want to be associated with your company. There should be a list of words and themes you want people to identify with your business. Common themes are work/life balance; family/community oriented, fun work environment, attractive salary and benefits packages, personal development, career growth and green /environmentally conscious. A good way to develop the company image is to have HR and marketing teams develop appropriate material and messages for public consumption. You do need to make sure that the company’s overall product/services marketing strategies are in sync with such messages.

Smooth application Process:

An easy and effective way to build positive branding is to be vigilant of the applicant experience.  When candidates apply for a job, they expect to hear back from the company within a reasonable time. Often, though this does not happen. Many companies do not get back to candidates in time or ever. One of the ways to attract talent is to make sure that all applicants receive a response within a reasonable time that acknowledges their job application and when and how they will be contacted about their application.

Interview process:

Candidates who apply are obviously seeking an interview. Granting an interview should never seem like a favor. The right protocol is to contact the candidate by phone and then follow up with a letter.

Managing unsuccessful candidates:

A way to enhance a company’s reputation and image is how the company manages candidates that were not chosen. A professional and courteous letter thanking the candidate for applying and wishing them luck in their future endeavors is important. Sometimes candidates call to get feedback as to why they were not chosen. A thoughtful and caring response is needed at this time.

Consider the employee life cycle:

Think through the employee life cycle. Check to see that the employee experiences along the way are consistent with the brand. Every day, employees can be your most powerful advocates. They are the living proof of how great your brand is- when they display how good their job and work environment are. What people see is what they will believe over any number of advertisements.

Train recruiters:

Recruiters are the initial as well as the critical face of the company. They should be able to explain your brand and understand how their actions contribute to the brand or undermine it.

A brand is a promise- in this case a promise to candidates. So therefore, your promise should reflect the best of your company, and appeal to candidates who fit the values and aspirations of the company. Communicating your employer brand promise can be done through various channels: online, print, radio and so forth. Building a valuable employer brand is a great investment. It could be small efforts to national campaigns, depending on your needs and resources. The payoff is worth the effort in quality and interest of candidates.

Check out the branding solutions we offer at AJE.

Employment Summary for January 2015


Employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, February 6, 2015, shows strong data.  Employment increased by 257,000 and increases were seen in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. However, the total unemployment rate was unchanged remaining at 5.7%. The great news is that there were more numbers in the labor force in January. More people are looking for work now as they see others get employment. Since Nov. 1, employers have hired more than one million new workers, the best performance over a three-month period since 1997. More jobs were created in 2014 as a whole than in any year since 1999.

The long-term unemployed, people who have been jobless for more than 27 weeks were at 2.8 million in January 2015. Over the last twelve months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 825,000.

Part-time labor force, was at 6.8 million essentially unchanged in January. Also, people marginally associated with the labor force, meaning that they do want to work and are available for work but are not considered unemployed as they have not looked for jobs for at least 4 weeks were down 358,000 and at 2.2 million. In this group, the discouraged workers were down by 155,000 from a year earlier.

Job growth was seen in retail, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, information, and government showed little change.

So the employment numbers look great and shed an encouraging light on the job market potential for 2015. As job seekers get ready to seize the labor market you can look to America’s Job Exchange for assistance. Get ready by sharpening your skills or acquiring new ones. Also, register with www.americasjobexchange.com to upload your resume to a database that is widely accessed by hundreds of employers looking for talent. You can also avail of our resume writing services. Additionally there are a wealth of seeker resources on our site like blogs and career articles and education resources and job scouts that you can access for a successful and fulfilling job search experience!





Hard to Fill Jobs Series – Blog 1

The unemployment rate has dropped since 2008, but there is no doubt that there are lots of people without jobs and are looking hard to find one. Despite the current unemployment rate, many good jobs go unfilled. The main reason seems to be greater number of jobs in certain fields and not enough talent to fill those positions.

Each year, human resources consulting group named ManpowerGroup releases its Talent Shortage Survey, geared towards determining which professions are struggling the most to find the skilled professionals they need to carry out their business functions. 45% of employers surveyed this year reported that talent shortages resulted in a reduced ability to serve clients, while 37% reported reduced competition and productivity. Topping the list for the fifth year in a row is skilled trade workers, a group of professions that have been on the list every year since 2008, and topped it every year since 2010. Rounding out the top three are restaurant and hotel staff and sales representatives as economic recovery continues and spending on restaurant meals and vacations grows.

The areas that are facing the shortages the most are:

Skilled trade- Skilled Trades occupations are jobs that are prevalent in manufacturing and construction. Skilled trades can provide a promising career path. Electricians, are by far the largest of all the skilled trades with more than 600,000 jobs in the U.S. Also included under skilled trade are a host of production occupations such as welders and industrial machinery mechanics. Nearly 60 percent of all skilled-trade workers are employed in manufacturing, and another 17 percent work in construction.

We at America’s Job Exchange are starting a new series where we will focus on one hard to fill job each week and show you what skills it entails and other details like salary and projected growth outlook.

This week we will take a look at the job of an electrician.

Title: Electrician


  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Primary responsibilities

  • Plan layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, based on job specifications and local codes.
  • Connect wires to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components.
  • Test electrical systems or continuity of circuits in electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, using testing devices, such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or oscilloscopes, to ensure compatibility and safety of system.
  • Use a variety of tools or equipment, such as power construction equipment, measuring devices, power tools, and testing equipment, such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, or test lamps.
  • Inspect electrical systems, equipment, or components to identify hazards, defects, or the need for adjustment or repair, and to ensure compliance with codes.
  • Prepare sketches or follow blueprints to determine the location of wiring or equipment and to ensure conformance to building and safety codes.
  • Diagnose malfunctioning systems, apparatus, or components, using test equipment and hand tools to locate the cause of a breakdown and correct the problem.
  • Work from ladders, scaffolds, or roofs to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures.
  • Advise management on whether continued operation of equipment could be hazardous.
  • Maintain current electrician’s license or identification card to meet governmental regulations.

Skills Needed:

  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something



  • Post-secondary certificate


  • Median wages (2013) $24.28 hourly, $50,510 annual

Job Outlook

  • Projected growth (2012-2022): faster than average (15% to 21%).





A Look Back—2014 Compliance Year in Review-By: Lynn Clements

As we look forward to what is to come in 2015, it’s important to reflect on where we have travelled. The ride was bumpy for federal contractors in 2014, and perhaps best described as “under construction” for Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The agency implemented or proposed a series of new regulatory requirements, placed new directors in several regional field offices, and refined its investigative procedures to more aggressively root out unlawful discrimination.

Only the President may have been busier, issuing a whopping number of new executive orders or memorandums applicable to federal contractors in 2014, including:

o   Executive Order 13658, which established a minimum wage for a limited number of federal contracts (The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, not OFCCP issued regulations);

o   Executive Order 13665, which prohibits federal contractors from discharging or otherwise discriminating against their employees and job applicants for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about compensation;

o   Executive Order 13672, which amended Executive Order 11246 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation;

o   Executive Order 13673, which requires federal contractors to disclose recent labor law violations, including wage and hour, safety and health, discrimination, family and medical leave, and collective bargaining violations, as part of the federal contracting process, among other requirements; and

o   Presidential Memorandum “Advancing Pay Equality Through Compensation Data Collection,” requiring the DOL to evaluate and propose a rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to submit compensation data to the federal government.

OFCCP already issued final regulations to implement Executive Order 13672. These regulations, which require policy changes but no data analyses, will become final in April 2015. Final action regarding Executive Order 13665 and a pay data collection tool is expected this year, with proposals regarding both being issued in 2014.

This was also the first year federal contractors had to comply with the agency’s revised regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), both of which became effective on March 24, 2014. As promised, the agency’s first year of enforcement was more about educating federal contractors about the revised affirmative action requirements for Individuals with Disabilities and Protected Veterans and less about finding violations. However, the agency’s enforcement activity has been slowly ramping up in this area, and compliance officers are regularly asking federal contractors about the status of their efforts to come into compliance with these new requirements. To name just a few, we have seen regular inquiries regarding updated affirmative action policies, vendor notification and recruitment letters, purchase order language, EEO taglines, website accessibility, reasonable accommodation policies and processes, and pre- and post-offer self-identification forms. The agency continues to probe federal contractors’ outreach efforts, and we expect this focus to continue in 2015. The agency also is examining whether all required jobs have been listed with the state employment service delivery system by comparing the hires made during the plan year against available job listings.

OFCCP Director Shiu promised improving “efforts to eliminate pay discrimination” as one of her “primary goals,” and the agency continued to make good on that promise this year. In August, OFCCP issued a controversial proposal to require federal contractors to submit an annual, electronic “Equal Pay Report” providing W-2 wages and typical hours worked for all employees by EEO-1 job category and race/ethnicity and sex to the agency. The agency continued to fine tune its approach to compensation discrimination by issuing a revised Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing in September. Pending for more than three years, the new scheduling documents require federal contractors submit individual, employee-level compensation data (base pay or wage rate and other compensation) to OFCCP in every audit, among other changes. Already in use for a first wave of audits, the new scheduling documents are increasing the complexity and length of time audits remain open. Going forward, federal contractors can expect more follow-up questions about their compensation practices and the factors that influence pay at their organizations—and a greater focus on statistical testing of available data.

The new scheduling documents also require federal contractors to provide personnel transaction data (hires, promotions, and terminations) to the agency by each of the specific minority classifications, rather than total minority. While this change was expected, it firmly cemented a practice which began in the Bush Administration of “following the numbers” when enforcing the nondiscrimination principles of Executive Order 11246. The agency is routinely examining whether females or males have been disadvantaged, and reached several settlements this year where males were the disadvantaged group. When evaluating racial discrimination, the agency no longer limits its review to whether all minorities have been disadvantaged and regularly considers whether a particular race is being favored or disfavored over others.

The agency’s financial settlements in 2014 only serve to reinforce these policy priorities. The one exception is in the area of compensation discrimination, where significant settlements have proven elusive for the agency. One of the noteworthy settlements this past year involved allegations that 2,500 men were discriminatorily “steered” into more physical roles at a sandwich making plant—a signal the agency will continue to focus on this placement issue as a way to bolster its compensation discrimination initiative. The agency also resolved a hiring discrimination case involving professional-level employees in 2014—a relative rarity as the agency’s bread-and-butter hiring discrimination enforcement usually always involves lower-level positions.  

By all accounts, 2015 promises to be more of the same. OFCCP recently announced an ambitious regulatory agenda for the remaining years of the Obama administration, with final regulations regarding pay transparency, a compensation data collection tool, revised sex discrimination guidelines, and updated construction regulations potentially on the way.

To learn more about what’s in store for 2015, check out this free white paper, “The OFCCP Horizon—a Guide to AA Policy Trends and Updates.”

Republished with permission from Berkshire Associates, Inc.



How to Get a Raise in 2015


After 2008’s recession period, job growth has steadily been on the rise.  The growth has been slow but the statistics for a full year (2014) has shown steady growth in jobs every quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In November 2014, employers said that they had about 5 million openings, up 142,000 from October 2014.  In fact, employers have reported a higher number of openings that they can fill and this suggests that to make these jobs more attractive to fill, employers need to offer higher pay, improved benefits, better working conditions or a combination of these.

Short-term unemployment, which relates to workers out of jobs six months or less, is at its lowest since the start of the recession.  This indicates that there are workers available right now with readily available skills and who therefore can demand higher wages.

Furthermore, workers are more confident in leaving their current jobs if dissatisfied as they are more sure of getting hired based on their skill sets.  This “quit-rate” has hit its highest level in six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2014 job openings and labor survey.

Glassdoor’s quarterly Employment Confidence Survey, released Friday, January 9, 2015, reports that more than one in three employees plan to search for new jobs this year if they don’t get a pay raise in 2015.  Also, 48 percent of the surveyed workers feel confident that they can find a new job in the next six months in the event that they do quit.

If you are feeling that a raise is in order there are a few strategic ways to go about it to get the desired outcome.  Asking for more money is a sensitive matter so do not rush into it hastily and get disappointed but approach it carefully and consider the tips below:

Be proactive:

A raise will not fall into your lap.  You have to be proactive about it.  This means you need to start a conversation with your boss about your compensation.  Don’t come across as whiny and ungrateful for the compensation that you currently receive though.  Appreciate what you have and clearly state why you feel that you deserve a raise.

Timing is everything:

Timing takes on several layers.  Firstly, the timing should be right in terms of your track record.  You should have a sustained record of accomplishments you can point to.  A raise is a recognition that you are contributing at a higher level than before.  Secondly, you should choose the time to talk wisely, not when your boss is busy or having a bad day, or just back from a business trip and needs to catch up.  Reflect on a good time to have this conversation and set up a meeting.  Giving your boss an idea of what you want to discuss is also a good idea.  No one wants to be surprised or cornered or put on the spot.  You will never get a raise by springing the idea on your boss anyway.  He will ask for more time so why not give him the time before hand and let him be prepared for the meeting as well.

Remember too, that most employees do not get raises more than once a year, except in very unusual circumstances.  So if you have already received a raise in the last 11 months, then you might wait a little longer.

Build a strong case:

To present a compelling case for a raise, you need to show a list of achievements in the last year and the impact you have had on your team and organization.  If there are specific positive feedback you’ve received, now would be a time to showcase them.

Know your worth:

Before you ask for a raise, know the market rate for your position.  You cannot ask your employer to pay you significantly higher than the market rate so you need to research the fair market value for your position.  The best way to go about this is to ask recruiters, other people in your field and professional organizations in your field.

Finally, make sure to consider the noteworthy benefits your company provides like generous retirement contributions and unusual amounts of paid time off.

For more information, access our career tools here and read our career articles.

Good luck!