Competition for Top Talent Rises; Proactive Approach is Recommended

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While unemployment across the country might be high, employers around Northeast Ohio might be surprised to learn that isn’t necessarily the case locally.

For example, the city of Mentor reported an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent for September, according to an article published in November of 2011 in The News-Herald.

“There’s a perception out there that the unemployment rate is so high,” said SueAnn Naso, President of Staffing Solutions Enterprises in Mayfield Heights. “The federal rate is what everybody hears, but when you drill down into different pockets in Northeast Ohio, we’ve got a lot of people back to work, and our rates are much better.”

For employers across the region, a lower unemployment rate means a more competitive market for top talent. Employers looking to hire the right talent for their organizations can no longer afford to sit back and wait for talent to come to them, said Dan Barnett, owner of Integrity Staffing Services in Twinsburg.

“Companies should be very proactive in planning,” Barnett said. “Most companies are reactive when it comes to hiring. Being proactive, understanding the marketplace, knowing what you’re looking for - organizations should take a look at their hourly wages and salary structures, especially in the manufacturing and distribution level with minimum wage going up at the beginning of 2012. Companies need to start reconsidering pay levels, even if they’re above  minimum wage. Otherwise, they’ll miss the opportunity to attract the top talent in the marketplace.”

For employers looking to improve their recruiting efforts, local help is available from such firms as Staffing Solutions and Integrity Staffing, which together comprise the Northeast Ohio Talent Alliance (NEOTA). Staffing Solutions primarily works with organizations to fill positions in the administrative, office, accounting, professional, and human resources sectors, while Integrity’s focus is on manufacturing , distribution and light industrial.

“Recruiting can be a very time-intensive process,” Naso said. “Many companies don’t experience a steady or constant need for recruiting – it goes up and down. Companies tend to staff internally at a certain level, but they need help when they hit those spikes. That cyclicality creates a need to have a solution. Recruiting firms are constantly recruiting because there’s always somebody who has a need. 

“We’re constantly building a database, constantly adding to the pool. That gives organizations a resource to tap into when they have those peaks.”

A local manufacturer recently found itself in that exact position. Having just ended a hiring freeze, the company didn’t have dedicated recruiting support internally and was uncertain about the number of hires it would have in 2011.

“Our client brought Staffing Solutions in to manage all their permanent hiring as an outsourced solution,” Naso said. “We ended up filling more than twice as many positions as originally estimated in half the time it would have taken them to fill the positions on their own.

“They also decided to outsource the management of their temporary staffing to us because it was becoming increasingly more challenging for one agency to fill all their needs. We’re currently managing five agencies to ensure we’re bringing the quality talent needed to meet their fluctuating temporary needs.”

Staffing Solutions and Integrity Staffing are Preferred Partners of ERC. Click here for more information about our partners.