Christchurch baker Diane McPherson has had an "absolute nightmare" trying to find staff for the past four months.
One applicant turned up for an interview in pyjama pants, another was texting during the interview and another flicked her tongue piercing in and out of her mouth and indicated she was not prepared to remove it during work hours.
McPherson, who owns the Brumby's Bakery and Wendy's Supa Sundaes stores at the Hub in Hornby, said many others did not return messages inviting them for an interview, or, having been offered a job, failed to turn up for work.
"I've had ones from [Work and Income] who just want me to sign a form to say they have been for an interview but don't want a job through the summer," she said.
One applicant for a job at Wendy's Supa Sundaes decided he did not want the job because he did not want to mop the floors, and another did not want to have to wash dishes.
A 22-year-old applicant for a job at Brumby's Bakery arrived wearing a T-shirt, flannelette pyjama pants and socks, but no shoes.
"I thought people aren't going to believe this, but my staff saw him," McPherson said.
When she queried his choice of outfit, he said: "I'm not working, I'm just looking for work."
"And I said, 'To be honest, first impressions really go a long way; that doesn't really impress me'.
"And he said, 'Oh, that's how I am", and take it or leave it sort of thing."
McPherson approached the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology to see whether any recent graduates were interested, but "not one of them put their hand up".
The jobs McPherson is advertising all pay $14 an hour or more, with the bakery job starting at $20 an hour.
"I've had a couple of guys tell me, 'Oh, it's easier on the dole but we've got to be seen to be applying for work'," she said.
McPherson has placed advertisements saying applicants could say when they wanted to work, but has still not found staff.
"There's a whole different attitude to working. It's all about themselves and if it doesn't fit in with what they want to do, they don't want to do it," she said.
McPherson is now looking to advertise overseas.