The pawnshop industry dilemma: Where will the qualified workers come from to staff a growing business?

A July 14, 2010 story in the Philippine Star story tells us that “at least a million Filipinos have quit looking for work according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).  “Baldoz said jobseekers have difficulty finding jobs because they possess skills that are not needed by companies.” The story also noted,

“At this time, it take months or almost a year for employers to find the right workers to fill in vacancies in their companies and the situation could even get worse unless the mismatch problem is properly addressed,” said Criselda Sy, director of DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE). (Click here for the more on the Philippine Star story.)

There lies the dilema of the the pawnshop industry. There is a large pool of unemployed workers available for hire but they do not possess the skills needed for new work. Can a pawnshop owner in need of competent staff afford to wait a year in hopes of finding a qualified appraiser to hire? And due to the fact that pawnshops are one of the few growing enterprises in the Philippines, qualified appraisers may be in high demand and expect higher rates of pay – if they are available at all.

It is very doubtful that a pawnshop owner can wait a year in a growing business atmosphere to hire a needed appraiser. One solution is to try and use equipment such as precious metal testers to take some of the manual work out of the assessing business. (Click here to view the precious metals testers available from MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services Pawnshop Tool Catalog.) Another solution is in-house training. (Click here to view the training courses available from MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services.)

It is clear that assessing gold and diamond jewelry will become ever more important in the world of higher jewelry prices. Precious metals are now at the highest level in a decade and many projections have them going higher for years to come. A pawnshop cannot afford mistakes in jewelry assessments as those mistakes will come right off the bottom line of profits. It is also safe to assume that pawnshops will see more fake items as connivers try to pawn fake gold and jewelry to capitalize on the high prices. The only defense against fake jewelry is proper assessing.

Pawnshops owners may be at a sort of crossroad. Pawnshops require a skill set not easily found in the population of workers.  And even with the high unemployment rate in the Philippines pawnshops may not be able to hire qualified personnel to staff a growing business.

The solution to the problem may be that pawnshops have to take it upon themselves to ensure proper assessing either with tools that lessen the manual labor involved in assessing or with raising their present assessors’ skills. More than  likely pawnshop management will decide that the solution will be a combination of both. One thing for sure is that a pawnshop cannot wait a year or more to find the qualified workers to staff a solidly growing business.

One Response to “The pawnshop industry dilemma: Where will the qualified workers come from to staff a growing business?”

  1. Pawnshops need to be proactive about productivity and raising their employee’s skills « MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services Says:

    […] their employee’s skills August 15, 2010 — Ma.Isabel Salvador Mendoza Last week I posted on a report in the Philippine Star that highlighted the mismatch of skills of the unemployed and […]


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