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Businesses try new hiring approaches and incentives

  • Category: Career News
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  • Written By: Allied Services Integrated Health
Businesses try new hiring approaches and incentives


As restaurants continue to struggle to lure enough workers, Denny’s restaurants are trying a new hiring approach that includes putting job applications on placemats.

Inside Denny’s in Wilkes-Barre, customers are encouraged to fill out the applications if they are interested in becoming cooks, servers, hosts, dishwashers or managers.

Chuck Boswell, manager at the Wilkes-Barre location, said it was a corporate decision to put the applications on placemats.

It’s part of Denny’s new hiring initiative called “Calling All Besties.” It involves soliciting people and their friends to apply to restaurant jobs in the hope of hiring and retaining more employees.

Denny’s is looking to hire 15,000 “#Friendployees who are seeking flexible work schedules in a friend-friendly environment.”

Applicants also can enter for a chance to score “the perfect weekend off,” an all-expense paid vacation for two to the U.S. destination of their choice.

Boswell said he doesn’t think the promotion is working, however.

He said he hasn’t been receiving applications for cooks and has been encouraging dishwashers to train to become cooks.

Although cooks at Denny’s are paid $15 an hour, Boswell said it has been difficult to attract and retain them.

“Society as a whole is changing,” Boswell said. “It seems a lot of people are demanding more.”

Restaurants aren’t the only ones struggling to hire, and businesses in the region are trying new approaches and offering higher wages and other incentives to attract workers. “Now hiring” signs and job fairs are common locally, and the use of hiring incentives has grown.

Allied offers multiple hiring incentives

Allied Services is holding job fairs June 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and June 11, 9 a.m.-noon, at its Scranton Campus, 303 Smallacombe Drive, and Meade Street Residence, 200 S. Meade St., Wilkes-Barre.

Human resources professionals will offer on-the-spot interviews at the job fairs. A wide range of job opportunities are available with many of them offering sign-on bonuses ranging from $250 to $30,000, according to Allied.

Charlotte Wright, assistant vice president of development and marketing at Allied, said registered nurses can earn sign-on bonuses of up to $30,000, and smaller bonuses are available for other employees.

Allied also recently took another step to attract nurses as a workforce crisis continues to grip the health care industry. It launched Integrated Staffing, a new division offering qualified nurses no-contract, temporary assignments at high pay rates.

According to Allied, registered nurses could earn up to $70 per hour, licensed practical nurses up to $50 per hour and certified nursing assistants up to $30 per hour to work at its locations in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

Judy Oprisko, vice president of human resources and compliance, said the initiative has led to hiring a dozen employees who will start by the end of the month.

Allied also has increased its hourly rates for other employees and offers tuition-free college for part- and full-time employees, tuition assistance and scholarships, benefits packages, career advancement opportunities and ongoing educational support, Wright said.

Oprisko said wages were raised across the board for entry-level positions to therapists, with increases ranging from $1 to $4.50 more an hour.

Allied also offers student loan repayment up to $20,000 for registered nurses and $10,000 for licensed practical nurses who received their licenses in the last three years, she said.

After six months of employment, Allied employees are eligible for up to $5,000 per year in tuition reimbursement for training or courses at an accredited university, college, business school, vocational institution or other facility recognized by Allied.

Full- and part-time Allied employees also are eligible for a Lackawanna College scholarship program. It provides up to $5,000 in tuition support per year from Allied with the remaining balance covered by Lackawanna College. Additionally, Allied provides paid training.

Michael Daniel, who joined Allied in February 2021 as a personal care attendant at the Meade Street Residence, is an example of an employee benefiting from paid training. He is taking the paid CNA training class and will graduate June 2. He will then begin working as a certified nursing assistant at Meade Street Skilled Nursing.

“He will have enhanced his earning capacity as a CNA and if he decides to further pursue a career in nursing, Allied Services will be there to provide financial assistance,” Wright said.
Gerrity’s sees rise in applications

Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity’s Supermarkets, recently announced the family-owned business raised the starting rates for all positions, leading to an increase in applications.

All full-time starting rates at Gerrity’s increased to $14 per hour. Skilled positions such as butchers, cooks, cake decorators and bakers start at $17; wages for butchers and cooks can go as high as $20 depending on experience.

Most part-time positions start between $10 and $12 depending on position and availability. On-the-job training is offered for all positions. Gerrity’s also rolled out annual raises early for most of its existing employees and, as an added incentive, offers a new-hire bonus of up to $500.

“We still have plenty of positions to fill but we are seeing an increase in applications,” he said.

PHOTO ID: Michael Daniel, who joined Allied Services in February 2021 as a personal care attendant at Meade Street Residence in Wilkes-Barre, is benefitting from paid training.

Careers at Allied Services

Allied Services is the region’s leading provider of healthcare and human services for people with disabilities, life-changing injuries, and chronic illness. We know that our employees are at heart of all we do, and that’s why taking care of our people is a top priority.