Las Vegas continues to be one of the hardest hit markets in the United States with unemployment reaching 11.1 percent and seven out of 10 homeowners nursing negative equity. But even as Las Vegas has begun to see unemployment claims decline and home prices start to stabilize, there may be another challenge to overcome.
Several employment sectors such as health care (medical, mental, and dental), teaching, and specialized labor continue to face the reverse problem — labor shortages. Despite attractive relocation packages, sign-on bonuses, and even employment placement for spouses, people are not to quick to pick Las Vegas.
Why? Social media.
If the constant buzz about how bad things are in Las Vegas and Nevada overall isn’t enough, the only neutral-to-positive returns on searches for most employers in those shortage sectors are bad. In fact, in some sectors, almost 80 percent of the posts and forum reviews are bad.
With no social media programs of their own, the net deficit seems to fall on recruiters. After days or weeks searching for a candidate to fill a position, they might pique someone’s interest with perks and relocation incentives only to be undermined by a few key strokes when the prospect searches for the name of the new employer.
Amplified, but not exclusive.
Las Vegas might be unique in that the problem is amplified, but as the rest of the nation races toward economic recovery, recruiters might be sensitive about what their corporate clients say or perhaps not say on Internet. Sooner or later job scarcity and overqualified candidates dumbing down resumes will dry up.
And then what? Discriminating employees might think twice about taking positions with companies that have a net deficit with online public sentiment.
The question recruiters might ask is no longer whether trees make noises in the forest when no one is around to hear them fall. The real question to ask in regard to employers is what will future employees think when they arrive at a forest that resembles the aftermath of the 1908 Siberian explosion. They might not have heard the sound, but the unaddressed wreckage is hard to miss.