Hard-knock hiring in area | SierraSun.com

Hard-knock hiring in area

Joanna HartmanSierra Sun
Ryan SalmSierra SunSarina Bruno of Syds Bagelry hangs a help wanted sign in the Syds window Thursday. Employers in the Tahoe-Truckee area are struggling to hire long-term workers.
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Now Hiring and Help Wanted signs are posted in business windows around the North Shore, but many employers report difficulties either finding employees or hiring responsible, quality workers.Syds in Tahoe City has a sign in their window soliciting new employees, just like they did last season. Its easy to find employees, said manager Dave Velasquez, but its hard to find good ones. People just want the paycheck, he said.Barista Alesha Hinckley agrees that dependable people who want to stick around are hard to come by. A number of young people move to Truckee-Tahoe just to have fun, she said.Cabonas in Truckee also understands the pain of hiring good employees. Stefanie Olivieri has four shops around town, had a classified advertisement in the newspaper for three weeks and has received only two applications.Its very difficult when you lose staff to replace them, Olivieri said.Still hiring, Cabonas offers many benefits, including health coverage, bonuses, discounts, vacation time and a competitive salary, Olivieri said.She said she thinks that great employees are hard to come by because of the limited labor pool, as well as a serious lack of affordable housing.[Because of housing] people are not here and they are not applying for jobs, she said.US Bank in Tahoe City, Truckee and even South Lake Tahoe has been unable to find suitable employees to fill vacant positions.Were continually struggling with finding career-oriented applicants, said Terri Arnold, the banks district manager and marketing president.Arnold attributes the seasonal nature of the lake communities, as well as the population of retired persons and second-homeowners as reasons the job pool is so limited.More importantly, she said, are problems with cost of living. In an effort to remedy the hiring challenges around the lake, US Bank advertised with Monster.com and received numerous applications. However, none of the qualified applicants were willing to relocate, mostly due to unaffordable housing and the elevated cost of living around the Lake Tahoe area.Currently, Arnold is conducting research rent, home prices and wages around the lake, and comparing those to other resort communities with US Bank branches, such as Vail, Colo.It comes down to cost of living, Arnold said.Switchback Public Relations and Marketing in Truckee combats hiring struggles with an internship program. Owner Brinn Wellise said she recruits and retains high-quality employees, and that people apply from all over the country. Wellise said she understands the challenge in finding motivated employees in a place like Tahoe. Her staff is comprised of people hired following internships, or who were interested parties from other area marketing departments.