Aussie entrepreneur Warwick Levy has copped theft and abuse from staff who regularly show up late — or not at all. And he’s not alone.
A Sydney business owner has hit out at a series of unreliable, entitled and downright dodgy workers and jobseekers who have turned his working life into a “real nightmare”.
Warwick Levy, who owns the Lonely Kids Club clothing brand, hired his first staff member around three years ago — but it didn’t take long for the cracks to appear.
And while he now finally has a hardworking and dependable employee on the payroll, the journey to get to that point has been a long and painful one for the 30-year-old.
He told news.com.au he previously had to fire one worker who he claimed had stolen from the company.
Another missed “multiple shifts” within their “first few weeks”, arrived late and did a “consistently pretty average” job.
“On their last shift they rocked up half an hour late, were standing around eating on company time, were on their phone every time I looked over and they yelled at me in front of a customer — that’s when it reached a breaking point,” the entrepreneur told news.com.au.
When Mr Levy published a new job add to fill the vacant store assistant position, he was pleasantly surprised to receive up to 70 applications “within a few hours” — although most of them also ended up being failures.
Of the applicants, only around one tenth had the relevant prior experience that was required of the job.
And out of the seven applicants who were offered interviews, one asked how long their interview would take as they “had other stuff on”.
“Another one said they were pretty happy at their current job, so I wrote them off, and another one came over half an hour late to the interview,” Mr Levy said.
One simply wouldn’t talk.
“I would ask them an interview question and they would stare at me blankly and not respond — it was an awkward moment in my life,” he said.
“I’ll never judge someone if they’re a bit nervous or anxious.
“But it’s totally an attitude issue — for a lot of people I think the idea of work is more exciting than the work itself and the reality is it can be hard. It becomes very clear when people don’t want to be there and when they’re just after an easy buck.”
He said there were even problems with people who progressed through the process to a trial shift.
“I saw quickly that certain people weren’t trying hard during the trial — they were just cruising and sending messages (on their phone) and if that’s happening in a one-hour trial, the last thing I want to do is extend that to an eight-hour day,” he said.
“I got the impression they didn’t want to be there. Their behaviour was begrudging, almost like they were doing someone a favour.
“It made me uncomfortable.”
While Mr Levy’s experience might seem extreme, it’s backed up by the results of a new Department of Employment survey released by employment minister Michaelia Cash.
The alarming research revealed 45 per cent of Australian employers struggled to recruit staff in 2018.
It was a marked increase from previous years, and was a trend occurring across all states and territories and all capital cities besides Hobart.
Around 60 per cent of employers like Mr Levy, who were specifically trying to fill lower-skilled positions, reported issues such as a lack of qualified or experienced applicants, jobseekers who were “not interested in the occupation or work conditions” and those lacking “employability” and “personal presentation” skills.
“We have an economy of opportunity and employers are screaming out for workers who are eager for a job,” Ms Cash said in a statement on Monday.
“Our focus will always be to get people off welfare and into work. Taxpayers expect nothing less.
“The Morrison Government strongly believes that the best form of welfare is a job.”
The findings coincided with a recent push to increase the Newstart unemployment benefit — a push the Coalition has rejected.