Restaurants see more job interview no-shows

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Restaurants aren’t just struggling to find workers, they can’t even get applicants to show up for job interviews. Employers suspect that some people are taking advantage of the system to get unemployment benefits.

Check out more news from around Hawaii

The owner of the restaurant Sushi ii shared his frustration in trying to find workers. He said there’s no shortage of people applying.

“A lot of people apply and they just don’t show up for the interview, or if you do hire them they just don’t show up for the job,” said Garrett Wong.

Wong said in the past three weeks, he’s had at least 20 no-shows.

“It’s really frustrating because I usually set it up on my day off and five people at a time wouldn’t show up and I would just waste my time waiting for that,” he said. reached out to the Hawaii Restaurant Association and learned that Wong is not the only one.

“It is a very concerning trend where we see more candidates scheduling the interview and not showing up,” said Sheryl Matsuoka, executive director of the HRA.

Matsuoka said it’s likely that those no-shows are getting unemployment benefits and are taking advantage of the system. They’re required to show proof that they applied for a job from at least three different places each week. Some employers wonder if the state actually verifies them.

“Has the state ever contacted you to verify that somebody called for a job interview?” asked Wong.

“Never,” he said. reached out to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and a spokesman said the state does random checks.

He said it’s just not possible for the state to verify each individual claim. The chair of the House Committee on Labor and Government Operations said employers can report those who don’t show up on the Job Refusal form online.

“With this form it allows the employer to take the affirmative step in reporting to DLIR that someone did not show up for the interview,” said Rep. Scot Matayoshi.

The state is about to get some help from the federal government to track those who are taking advantage of the system, but Matayoshi said that’s still about 6 to 8 months away.

Matayoshi said a program called Tiger Team will use artificial intelligence for a more thorough audit.

“And the AI program can then be used to follow up with those employers to see whether or not the claimant showed up for a job interview or was even offered or accepted a job,” he said.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

Matayoshi said that’s why it’s important for employers to report if applicants don’t show up.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *