Ector County Commissioners Court is looking for more ways to get the long list of job vacancies in the county filled.

Tuesday morning the court voted to approve paying Ector County employees $300 for every applicant they refer who later becomes an employee for the county. 

“We’re very anxious for anyone to come in and complete an application,” said Pat Patton, Ector County Human Relations Director.

Everything from county clerks, to jailers, attorneys, to the library, to the cemetery and everything in between needs more employees.

“Currently we’re about 80 positions vacant so we desperately need to hire some more employees,” Patton said. 

Patton says this has been the worst she has ever seen it.

“I’ve been with Ector County 37 years, since 1990 I’ve been the HR director, and we have more vacancies right now then we’ve ever had. We really need employees. We’re happy to have anyone come in and apply with us.”

In an effort to get more people to apply for Ector County jobs, the commissioners court voted to approve an employee referral program.

“It’s $300 that an existing employee would get for every employee referral, if those employees become employed and stay for at least 90 days," Greg Simmons, Ector County Commissioners Court, Precinct 2, said. 

"You know we would hire consulting firms, we would put ads in newspapers, in online and so we pay fees for those things and yet word-of-mouth is the best, probably our best bet and form of advertising.”

Simmons says the county’s been hit with a double-edged sword.

“The county is growing so therefore the needs and services that need to be provided are growing, which means we need more employees, while at the same time keeping the same positions filled because a lot of our employees are seeking better fortune in the oil field right now."

According to Patton working for the government may have its perks, but it can not compete with the oil field.

“I think all entities, private or public suffer whenever the wages are higher out in the oil field," Patton said.

The referral fee program for Ector County employees is effective immediately. 

For more information on how to apply for those job vacancies you can visit here.