Staff shortages have delayed the opening of Jean Jail's new menswear store but it's hoped a recruitment day on Wednesday will help attract people for at least 15 vacant positions across the business.
Jean Jail has been operating in Warrnambool for almost three decades and co-owner Casey Pearce said they'd never had trouble finding staff, with people dropping in resumes or hearing of employees' family or friends who were looking for work.
This year it's a different story with various vacant positions in its retail and online stores and cafe, as well as numerous gap-year positions.
Jean Jail will host the recruitment day on Wednesday with interested applicants able to call in to the Homemaker Centre store anytime between 9am and 6pm for a five minute interview.
It comes as almost every industry is experiencing pandemic-related shortages. At a Warrnambool jobs fair in May almost 1100 jobs and traineeships were advertised by 36 national and locally-based exhibitors.
The drive comes as The Standard reported this week the region had an unemployment rate of 0.9 per cent, the lowest in the state.
Mrs Pearce said its mass exodus was a result of the pandemic as students could now head off to university or relocate more confidently. Others have gained work in their chosen fields, with a number going into healthcare earlier than expected.
"We have retained a lot of staff for a long time due to the pandemic," Mrs Pearce said. "But they've all stayed instead of going off and studying over the last couple of years.
"We've probably got double the amount leaving than what we normally would.
"It is tougher now, since the pandemic but hopefully this will help."
Mrs Pearce said they had great staff and once they began working at Jean Jail they tended not to leave.
"But lately there's been less people walking through the door needing a job so the only way you can get someone is to ask. Are they wanting to move, wanting a change or wanting something fresh and different? That's something we've been doing of late. It's harder than it used to be."
The business employs more than 50 people, all based at its flagship Homemaker Centre store. The family closed its original Koroit Street store on June 9, consolidating its operations to the one location.
The business includes a new standalone menswear store that's scheduled to open at the Homemaker Centre in the coming months.
"We haven't been able to open that store due to staff shortages," Mrs Pearce said. "It's ready to go but we can't open it. We can't wait to open it we're just waiting for the right people to come along."
She said they chose the format to make it as easy as possible for people call in for an informal chat. "It'd be good to get some new faces and some energy into the business, which is always nice."
They're looking for hard workers who are interested in long-term employment who can learn and develop their skills to suit the needs of the rapidly growing business.
"There's a lot of people who started with us years ago and they've grown with the business," Mrs Pearce said.
"They're at management and supervising levels now because they've grown with us. We love that and we're very family orientated. We've got a lot of families who work within the business as well."
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