Trying to Get a Job Now in Hawai‘i?

Local experts have some tips for job-hunting, even during a pandemic.

Applying for a job during this difficult time can be overwhelming and stressful. Here is advice from staffing professionals and from job seekers who recently found employment:


1. Don’t get discouraged, says Lisa Truong Kracher, president and CEO of Staffing Solutions of Hawaiʻi and Kahu Mālama Nurses. While many companies have frozen hiring, there are jobs available, so keep searching and applying, she says.


2. Make sure your résumé and contact information are up to date. Truong Kracher says recruiters don’t like to see outdated résumés or chase after hard-to-reach candidates.


3. Be open to jobs outside your field. “Everyone will understand why there was a break in service and why they’re delivering or whatever instead of being an office personnel or something like that,” Truong Kracher says. “So try different jobs at this time to kind of weather out the storm.”


4. Use your free time to learn new skills, says Neetika Rana, a temporary employee at Staffing Solutions of Hawaiʻi and a UH Mānoa student majoring in accounting. With the help of the staffing firm, she recently found work as a claim examiner. 


5. Try working with a staffing agency, says Angela Todd, a licensed practical nurse who found work through Express Employment Professionals in early March. She also worked with several staffing agencies as a traveling nurse outside of Hawai‘i and says they “take all the pain points out of the process of finding work.” 


Nakisha “Tini” Tauvela-Waltrip, operations manager at Express Employment Professionals, says one of the benefits of working with a staffing agency is they work with many industries and clients, so they can help applicants find employers and roles that fit them.  


6. Trust the process. Truong Kracher says this advice comes from one of her recruiters: “Trust the process. When Hawaiʻi is able to flatten the curve and get up and fully running again, we as recruiters will have you prepared and ready to hit the ground running in your future roles.”


Find where the jobs are right now in our special report.