Getting the Right People on Your Bus
By Pamela Nabors
In the first week of March alone, there were 605 jobs posted and 33 new businesses in Central Florida registered in the Employ Florida Marketplace – Florida’s statewide jobs database. This, and an unemployment rate of just under 4.5 percent for our region, show we have an abundance of available jobs. But with so much qualified talent from which to choose, how do you find the “right” talent for your business…when you have hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes to vet?
A New “Old” Business Model
The answer is…you have someone who knows you – and your needs – do it for you. Business models continually evolve; the market is currently experiencing a renaissance of those days when personalized customer service was the norm, rather than the cookie-cutter, one size fits all “techno-reply” in vogue of late. Today’s reliance on technology, one that allows absent, effortless, seemingly cost-effective self-service delivery systems, is giving way to what CareerSource Central Florida (CSCF) labels “concierge service,” that is, services tailored for each business. Businesses want to be the priority – and to be understood – so that the workforce system can better diagnose, and meet, their needs. As a twist to the old saying goes, “If less is more, think how much more more is!”
A Changing Perspective
In the national landscape, there is new workforce legislation which brings with it a fundamental shift in program and service delivery, one that encourages a renewed focus on the needs of businesses. That, coupled with the results of two studies sponsored by CSCF – one by the UCF School of Business Marketing Department, and a regional business survey conducted last year in partnership with CareerSource Brevard, CareerSource Flagler Volusia, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council – revealed the desire for businesses to get the “right” candidate.
“By customizing services to meet the needs of business, the system also meets the needs of the career seeker.”
This is the driving force that shifts emphasis toward the business community. But why businesses’ needs first? Because if we know what businesses need in terms of employee training, education and other skills, we can work with career seekers to tailor-fit them to meet those needs, thereby making them more competitive. By customizing services to meet the needs of business, the system also meets the needs of the career seeker.
Tailored From Every Angle
More than just a marketing tagline, “Tailored from every angle” is a business service template. Across Central Florida last year, CSCF worked with over 100,000 career seekers and nearly 9,000 businesses to help connect qualified talent with careers. That’s a sizeable pool – on both sides of the employment equation. And while we strive to increase both numbers, our goal moving forward is to shift our focus more toward quality of service.
One of the ways CareerSource Central Florida is providing tailored, concierge service is through its recruitment team, which connects one-on-one with businesses and mines the talent workforce pool to present only the best, qualified candidates for employment consideration. The system is also positioned, through grants and strategic partnerships with UCF, Valencia and Seminole State Colleges, and the school districts, to help develop the right talent through advanced education, training, and work experience programs.
Delivering Workforce Insight
One industry literally (re)building itself in Central Florida is construction and trade. During the recession of 2008, construction workers fled the state in search of jobs elsewhere. When big projects returned, like the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the I-4 Ultimate Project, Central Florida had a drastic deficit of qualified talent. Through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, paid internships, and partnerships with educational institutions, CSCF provides career seekers with opportunities to learn in the classroom – and on the job – while getting paid.
Other hybrid programs combine traditional classroom learning with real- world experience, like the Mid-Florida Tech Masonry program offered through Orange County Technical College, which provides eighteen weeks of classroom and worksite training to qualified individuals, and can be paid for through workforce grants. Businesses benefit by getting short-term, no-cost labor, yet can reap the rewards upon completion of these programs by having an employee they personally trained.
As you can see, tailored service means that you get what you need, when and how you need it. It’s a new “old” way to conduct business. Personalized service, meeting face to face, talking and listening to your customers to drill down to what they really need – a simple, classic concept put into practice. Perhaps there’s truth in that old adage, “everything old is new again.”