Archives for Qualified Candidates

Challenges of a shrinking workforce…

There is a shrinking workforce in Wisconsin and a recent BizTimes publication highlighted that fact.

WFA Staffing is in the business of locating qualified talent for our client employers, and have been doing that for a long time.  We know the difficulties in searches since we live it day-in and day-out.   Our recruiting staff has come to understand which searches will require a longer time frame, and we have had the opportunity to see what the going rates are in some of the toughest recruiting categories.

WFA views ourselves as partners with our client employers.  Our company has always thought in those terms and we find that many of our client employers are also thinking along these lines.  Our seasoned staff can help employers gain a feel for what timespans ought to be planned for in recruiting.  They can also advise on going rates for the talent being sought.  We know that some positions will simply be tougher to fill. We also want to be open with our clients in that regard.

Frankly, if you are not having those same discussions with our competitors, you might want to give us a call.

We are all looking for the right talent at the right price.

That may sound a bit crass but that is often the name of the game in today’s market.  Especially in certain sectors of employment, available people are in very short supply.  Even though it might be tempting, we do not reach out to former employees whom we have placed.  That is simply not the way we choose to operate.

Given the shrinking workforce, we have had discussions with good long-term clients who are re-thinking their staffing plans. Some are even at the point of relaxing their standards a bit just to be able to continue to serve their clients.  Gone are the days when an employee performing at 80% of requirements could be released.    Finding a good replacement in a few weeks, no longer is an option, at least in certain categories of positions.

Another critical aspect adding to this shortage of talent quite frankly is the numbers of candidates who fail the requisite drug tests.  That seems to be an increasing issue rather than simply being better some months and worse other months.

The laws of supply and demand are active in today’s marketplace.

 

The skill sets in greatest demand carry the highest costs but will also deliver profits in return.  Profits don’t flow if product quality or service is degraded, or if delivery times stretch out to untenable lengths of time for customers.

If you know you’ll have needs over the next few months, please let us know what those are likely to be so that we can be aware and get those wants into our system soon.  A new hire a week or two early is far better than a new hire a week or two or more too late.

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

 

Interesting Times…

 

imagesThe business of finding talent has gotten considerably more difficult of late, and it does not appear that will resolve anytime soon based upon what we see locally and nationally.

With that reality upon us all, there are things prospective employers need to consider.  In some cases, if the desired talent and experience can be located, more money may solve the dilemma but the “more” may be a significant amount given the demand in certain sectors of employment.  There is a distinct shortage of high level, broadly experienced talent.  This may be a time when some decisions need to be made.

Does my company really require a top level person with tons of experience, or is this the time for my company to think about bringing on board a quality person who might not have quite the level of experience we’d love?  Would operating short-handed be better or worse than waiting for, or paying more for the right person?

There is a cost to be paid for not filling positions just as there is a cost to be paid for providing some OJT, but while providing the OJT your company will be gaining the benefit of that employee’s production or sales.  Will every one of those people who were hired with a bit less experience or a bit less education than desired be long term employees?  Maybe not, but they will have contributed something even while you were deciding if they were ‘keepers’ or not.  You may have to refine the training process or the score-keeping process or both.  And you will need to be willing to pull the trigger on termination decisions if that is required; and, that isn’t always an easy thing to do.

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On the other side of the coin there are also the intangible feelings of loyalty that may be created within the person who was given the opportunity to learn on-the-job that might not otherwise be present.   If you are fully staffed or nearly so, you have the opportunity to work through these tight hiring periods.  If you are short-staffed, you are probably going to suffer on production or sales or both and that can’t be offset.

 

Interesting times indeed.

Alan Campbell, Account Executive

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To the Class of 2015- Attitude is your key to success

GraduationGraduation ceremonies are occurring or have recently occurred across our state and nation.  Many young men and women will walk away from high schools and colleges with diploma in hand.  Some will move on to the next higher step in education while others will have reached the point of seeking employment or marriage or both.

Employment is something with which our firm is intimately familiar; we are involved in that world daily.  We see the wants and needs of individuals and recognize that employment is among the keys to the satisfaction of those wants and needs.  We also are exposed to the wants and needs of employers and we learn daily from that exposure.

Regardless of the level of education attained, there are important criteria that determine, or help to determine, employability.  Employers seek some basic things in prospective employees almost without regard to the level of education attained.  Employers seek honesty, good judgement, a set of solid human values, and the willingness to work hard, be reliable and be able to perform the duties that are part of the position.  Employers expect that we will be at work on time, that we will do our level best every day, that we will be cheerful with others with whom we work; and, very importantly, that we will be conscious of what the customer expects.  All of these attributes are important no matter in what position we are working from the delivery driver to the company president, the receptionist to the surgeon.

Attitude is a simple thing, but it is a critical thing, too.  If our attitude is not what it should be, we will not be employed for very long…or we won’t be very successful in whatever it is that we’re doing.  Attitude is important regardless of one’s position in life.  With a good attitude, we attract people because they want to be around us.  With a bad attitude, we do the opposite; no one wants to be anywhere near us…and who could blame them?

Alan Campbell, Account Executive

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Employment Equation

02d06a5  “The strongest pace of job growth we’ve seen since 1997” was the statement recently attributed to Paul Ashworth, the chief U.S. economist with Capitol Economics.  The U.S. Labor Department advised that employers added 257,000 new jobs in January, 2015 besting the forecast of 228,000.  Job growth estimates in November, 2014 were upwardly revised to 423,000, the most in 17 years.  December job growth estimates were increased to 329,000 up from the original estimate of 252,000.

There was a slight increase in average hourly earnings of $0.12 per hour in January, 2015 and that suggests the labor market is tightening.  What does all this mean for you and for us?  It may well mean that our job of finding the talent you need is going to get a bit more difficult, and it might mean that the talent we are able to locate will expect a bit more money in hourly wage or salary.  Predictions are that wage growth will continue into 2015, and that this is likely to show itself across all sectors.

You and we all have been here before.  When jobs are plentiful and labor is tight, the cost of new employees rises while the supply is obviously diminished.  When workers are more plentiful, the cost of employees holds steady or reduces.  We usually think of an expanding economy as being good for most of us, and that is our feeling with today’s news.

We’d rather participate in a growing economy and most of our client employers would prefer that as well.  If you are seeking a better job, give us a chance to help you with that search.  This is a great time to be seeking to improve your situation.  If you are seeking to add employees, this is also a great time since employees recognize this is a better job search market than they have seen for several years.

If you expect to need more employees, this is a good time to begin that search.  If you would like to confidentially explore the market for a new position, this is a good time to begin that effort, too.  We are ‘matchmakers’ and we are good at it.  We have had a lot of experience on both sides of this equation.

Let us hear from you.

Alan Campbell,  Account Manager

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Good News/Bad News

goodGreat news!  The economy continues to improve and unemployment has gone down to 5.6%!  That ‘great news’ also brings a potential downside where WFA Staffing can help.    Unemployment standing at 5.6% means much of the formerly available talent is likely already employed.  That can limit the number of people you might be able to interest in your direct ‘help wanted’ advertisements, and that hits you at the very time your business is picking up and your need for new people is critical.

We can help with this ‘good news can be bad news’ situation.  We understand the needs of employers and have worked on delivering qualified talent for many years.  Those years have seen high unemployment as well as low unemployment.  Interestingly, we find that our business, the business of recruiting talent, isn’t necessarily adversely affected by these swings.

The growing economy helps to create an awareness in many of the already employed that there might be a more desirable position available given business expansion, and that helps us recruit some talented and experienced people that otherwise wouldn’t be in the marketplace.

The growing economy also helps by getting currently unemployed or under-employed people thinking that they might be able to find a better job even though they might’ve given up on that during the past year or two.  We find some very good people in this group who have simply become demoralized and given up searching.  They often blossom very quickly into some of the best people an employer could ask for.

We have ‘staffing’ in our name for a reason.  Give us a call.  We can help make ‘great news’ even better!

 

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

A Bad Time to Search?

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A Bad Time to Search?

We are in the holiday season and there is a significant concern on the parts of many as to whether a search for qualified candidates is worthwhile or not during this season.  We believe that this can be one of the very best times for searching out the ideal candidate.

We humans tend to become more focused on ourselves and our families during this time of year.  We are reflective; we think about the good and the not-so-good things that have been part of our lives in the year that is coming to a close.

That thought process coupled with an aggressive search mounted by WFA Staffing can hit at precisely the right time in the lives of the candidate and his or her family.  It is not unusual for the remaining vacation time to be used during this period and that makes out-of-town searches all the more possible.  Bonuses that might have served to tie people down even if they were unsatisfied in their positions will have been paid out thus eliminating another barrier to interviewing.

On top of that, we tend to think of things we’d like to change for the coming year as we move closer to year-end.  If we have no children in the home, this time is as good as any time for a ‘new beginning’.  Even with kids in school, this is a good time to have interviews and begin to make plans for later in the spring.  In some cases, employers may be willing to extend themselves to get the right person recognizing that he or she might need more time off given a family left behind until school is over.

All in all, we find this as good a time for interviews as any time in the course of a typical year.  We even find that the holiday spirit can have a solid effect on the results of interviews.  We are a bit more laid back and might be willing to spend more quality time in meaningful interviews as the year winds down.  We are more in tune with others and that can be nothing but good for the prospective employee and for the prospective employer.

Give WFA Staffing an order and let us find that perfect candidate no matter what time of year is upon us.  We’ll even put a bow around the whole experience!

Tom Krist

President – WFA Staffing

Tom Krist