Officials discuss job market outlook during Bossier Chamber Chat

By Stacey Tinsley | BIZ. Magazine

Bossier Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Lisa Johnson spoke with local employment experts Jacques Lasseigne of the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Kandis Thomas, a local career coach and professional recruiter with Magee Resource Group during Monday’s “Chamber Chat” to discuss the LWC virtual job fairs and what jobs and opportunities will look like for employers and employees in this time of COVID-19.

Lasseigne stated that there will be two virtual job fairs coming up. The next virtual job fair will be on July 23rd, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m..

“We had our first virtual job fair last week on July 9th. We have two left. Our vendor has given us 50 employer slots per virtual job fair. So we are 50 on July 23rd, and then 50 on August the 12th, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The one we had last week was our first one and we only had 30 companies,” said Lasseigne.

Lasseigne went on to mention the ending of the $600 a week unemployment benefits.

“We cannot get applicants to apply for jobs. It is unfortunate and it is nationwide. As of today that $600 extra a week will end on July 25th. That should be an incentive for people to return to work who are refusing to right now,” said Lasseigne.

Following Lasseigne’s remarks, Thomas then discussed what employers should look at when advertising for jobs as well as ways for bringing employees back to the office, work-from-home options, evaluating which job positions were paying too much or too little, and using the words “preferred” and “required” appropriately on job descriptions.

“I’ve been doing a lot of consulting with employers trying to figure out how to bring people back. And one of the things I asked them to do is to evaluate their PTO plan, evaluate their retention strategies and also think about compensation. Meaning what positions can be combined, what roles were you underpaying and what roles were you overpaying,” Thomas said.

“With those who desire to come back, we have to think about the school system. Some of these candidates are juggling daycare, trying to figure out if they’re going to put their child in virtual learning or the hybrid program. And then trying to decide if they are going to work part-time or full time. Be a little lenient during the first 60 to 90 days. Only because they don’t know. Employees who are eager to get back to work just don’t know how they are going to manage their household at that time,” she added.