Dougherty County offers higher pay amid employee shortage

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Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County is looking to fill almost 150 positions. One way they’re trying to get those filled is by paying people more money. Recently, they had a job fair to highlight their new pay scale.

County Administrator Michael McCoy said they’re already seeing the effects of the pay increase, adding that before people weren’t applying to county jobs because the pay was so low.

“They weren’t even applying. Friday, that was a very bright spot having 70 folks participate,” said McCoy.

Out of those 70 people, 44 completed applications that day.

HR Director Dominique Hall said that’s the largest turnout they’ve seen since January 2021.

Dominique Hall is the Dougherty County HR Director.
Dominique Hall is the Dougherty County HR Director.(WALB)

“We’re very excited about that. We’re trying to advertise the market and get qualified applicants,” said Hall.

The county has 135 vacancies out of the total 650 positions they have. Meaning they’re missing about 20 percent of their employees.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said that number is astonishing.

“When it takes 10 minutes to get a police officer, or we don’t have enough EMT’s, those are the things we deal with,” said Cohilas.

Hall said career fairs are their typical strategy to recruit employees, but they are looking at other innovative strategies.

“We have started looking at flexible work schedules for certain departments. We’re doing pilots in certain departments, so we are looking at ways to make changes to be more attractive, and now we have a more attractive salary so that’s going to help as well,” said Hall.

Commissioner Russel Gray mentioned one way they could fill more positions is through the courts and probation department. Adding that the hardest jobs to fill are the entry-level positions.

“Look at nonviolent offenders who may be on probation going from job to job but need something a little more stable in their life,” said Gray.

Now that the county has approved this pay scale, they’re looking at ways to fund it.

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