The Washington Post looks at it from the point of view of a manager who can’t get qualified applicants to apply — and a number of those who do apply don’t bother to show up for their interviews on time, if at all. Excerpt:

The interviewee doesn’t show at 10:10, either. He doesn’t show at all for a job that pays $50,000. “This never happens,” Bernie says.

A few hours later, it happens again.

“We had two no-shows,” Bernie says to Roberta Staugler, the village’s fiscal officer, whose desk is in the town hall’s lobby.

“You’re kidding me,” she says.

“And these are good management jobs.”

“I don’t believe it.”

Bernie does a few sums: From the original 14 planned interviews, there were two no-shows, plus the person last week who declined an interview, plus the two who never responded to e-mails at all. Here, in this town, where people from Rancho Cucamonga claimed they would move if only it meant a good job, Bernie is down to nine candidates for four positions.

The two interviews Bernie does conduct today are with good people who aren’t quite qualified for management roles.

“Tell me a little bit about Barry. Tell me what makes you special,” he encourages one, a moon-faced 37-year-old with two young daughters.

“I just want to better myself,” Barry says shyly.

“Tell me what makes you special,” he asks Ruth, who admits she doesn’t think she’s right for the job but, at 54, just wants a job with some security.

I don’t get it.

A friend of mine owns a business. Says he has trouble keeping employees to do non-skilled labor. They just don’t show up dependably. The idea that they need to turn up, do a full day’s labor, and then come back the next day, and the next, is beyond the ability of many people to imagine. It’s very frustrating to him, because, he tells me, he knows there are lots of people in his town who need work. He works 70 hour weeks to keep the business going, and takes maybe two weeks of vacation a year. And he struggles to find help.