Hawaii HR company says some employers are looking to hire during pandemic

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — During the pandemic, Hawaii’s unemployment rate took a dramatic turn for the worse. But as the economy is opening up, KHON wanted to know what the job market is like and if it’s hard to find workers.

So who’s hiring?

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Kumabe HR, a recruiting and human resource consulting company, says they’re seeing a huge amount of opportunities in the accounting field, and there are even some glimmers of hope in hospitality.

For those looking for work, Kumabe HR says the opportunity is out there from entry level to leadership positions.

“One of the presidents of a very well respected accounting firm contacted us. They’re looking for 10 positions, which makes sense with all the changes in the tax law and what’s going to be happening with PPP,” said Marie Kumabe of Kumabe HR.

Kumabe says they’re seeing the job market turning around dramatically, but good help is always hard to find, even before the pandemic.

“The job market is slightly different in the pandemic but definitely not what most people think,” said Kumabe. “A lot of those folks that are on the unemployment market, they’re waiting to go back to the jobs that they love, you know, whether it’s hotel or airline, so they’re not really looking for a whole new career. They’re really just waiting for the, specifically, the tourism part of the economy to rebound.”

KHON is told hotels are currently operating with staffing levels from 30% to 50% of their pre-COVID workforce.

“Hawai’i has people coming to the state, but some of the mainstays of our industry, like food and beverage or banquets, have not yet been fully restored,” said Mufi Hannemann of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. “As a result, hotels are bringing back housekeepers at a faster rate than food and beverage or banquet associates simply due to the demand.”

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii says the pandemic has also impacted the healthcare workforce. For example, it has slowed the training process for some, which means people can’t fulfill the requirements and get a job.

“Because the hospitals and long-term care facilities, for example, were locked down for many months and did not have visitors on site, there were a number of individuals who were not able to get the training that they required because they couldn’t get into facilities,” said Hilton Raethel of the HAH.

Certification or training for many healthcare jobs require time and money which some may not have because they may have lost their jobs.

“So we are working on some programs to help provide some financial resources for some of these individuals,” Raethel said.

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