Employers up incentives amid hiring challenges


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Employers are desperate to hire staff but are having a hard time. Now, they’re going to some great lengths to lure workers in. Fresquez Companies owns more than 23 food and drink establishments throughout New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. It said it still can’t open some of its New Mexico locations until it can hire more staff.

“I’ve been doing HR now for about 10 years and I’ve never seen anything this challenging. It’s been really hard. We have to get a lot more creative, involve a lot more people and it’s a lot like sales you know, what we’re experiencing. We really have to market and get out there a lot more,” Tamara Gandara, Director of Human Resources at Fresquez Companies said.

The company has always had referrals and sign-on bonuses but said it is increasing it by about $300 to make taking a job with the company more appealing. It is said it raises wages gradually but is looking into raises wages more now because of hiring challenges.

A quick search online shows employers in New Mexico offering hundreds of dollars in hiring bonuses. One company looking for truck drivers in the state is offering a $5,000 bonus. It all makes the already difficult hiring market more competitive.

“We’ve talked to a lot of other, you know, companies and stuff like that and they’re also having the same challenges that we are,” Gandara said. “There’s been so many people that also are, you know doing the same thing, so there’s a lot of competition out there as well.”

Gandara said the company has seen more job applicants since the state reinstated the work search requirement for people applying for unemployment. But, she said they are still struggling with people actually showing up for the interviews.

Fresquez Companies is hosting a hiring event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ABQ Sunport on Friday, May 21. It is hosting another hiring event for Village Inn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 29. The Cottonwood Mall is also hosting a hiring event for other employers on Friday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the upper level near Versona.

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