Local News

Retailers Get Creative To Attract Employees

Posted January 9, 2000

— It is an employee's market in the Triangle, where low unemployment rates have some employers willing to go the extra mile to get and keep good people.

B.J.'s Warehouse Club, which is new to the Triangle, needs to fill more than 140 retail positions. The company says it is not just filling jobs, but also promoting careers.

"Eighty percent of our management team is promoted internally," says human resource manager Margo Anderson. "Our regional manager here that covers the North Carolina market started as a cashier."

The low unemployment rate is forcing many employers to work hard to attract potential employees. Wake County's unemployment rate is 1.3 percent. In Cary, it is an even lower .9 percent.

As a result, minimum wage jobs may become a thing of the past. Stock clerk jobs, for example, that used to pay $5.15 an hour are now paying almost $4 more in the Triangle. And anyone with experience can tack on another $2 an hour.

Employment officials also say many employers are going after a non-traditional workforce.

Labor market analyst Robert Cottrell says stay-at-home moms are one of the new targets.

"You're seeing companies offering information about the availability of child care, and in some cases they're offering bonuses, allowances or some other compensation to assist with child care," he says.

Some companies are even looking for help in adjacent counties and offering free transportation to work.

As many employers are finding out, even these benefits are not always enough to get some people to the table.

Workers at B.J.'s Warehouse Club will be at the Embassy Suites in Cary until Wednesday night.

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