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As job requirements evolve, so do hiring techniques

by Tianna Grosch

The job industry, like everything around us, is rapidly and constantly evolving.

With new technology advancements and creations come different requirements and skillsets necessary to perform each new position.

One key task for Bucks County CareerLink®’s Business & Industry Specialists, Mark Solis and Debbie Sullivan, is bringing new employees into the workforce.

There are many invaluable resources provided by CareerLink® which Mark and Debbie bring to the attention of Bucks County employers.

Among these is On-the-Job Training (OJT), offering grant money set aside for training new workers.

“If you’re on the fence about hiring someone new, the OJT program allows an employer to receive 50% of the new employee’s salary,” explains Mark. “After training, if they are retained and stay in the position, the employer has a great benefit and half the risk.”

CareerLink®’s services extend further than hiring – they also help move employees up in their current position through the Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program.

In its first year, the IWT program trained almost 100 employees.

Mark and Debbie can also organize and host recruitment events for employers – picking candidates with proper qualifications, scheduling on-site interviews, and organizing everything so you don’t have to worry about it!

Let the potential employees come to you.

Business & Industry Specialists spend time researching their client basis to find skilled workers who match what an employer seeks.

They also organize job fairs featuring various employers for a single day of networking.

“We can pool info regarding career positions and outlook for certain occupations going forward with statistical data, wage data, etc.,” said Mark.

They can run a report for Bucks County to show the average wage, giving employers a ballpark for fair pay in each industry per region.

“This is designed to help employers make decisions when hiring,” Mark said.

Employers can post jobs on the workforce job board, Job Gateway, for free and jobseekers can search these jobs online.

CareerLink®’s Business & Industry Specialists are trained to help Bucks County employers utilize Job Gateway to post positions.

Employers who come to CareerLink® for assistance can also have a Business Services Representative assigned to them to assist with finding qualified candidates whose skillsets match the position requirements.

CareerLink®’s facility can be used by an employer for a hiring event, in which a Business Services Representative schedules candidates every 15 minutes for up to 2 or 2½ hours.

“There’s a misconception in the community that the bulk of the jobseekers we place are for entry-level positions,” Debbie said. “We actually have Professional Placement Services; for instance, if an employer was seeking an accountant or someone with specific skillsets, we can provide them with potential hires who possess those skills.”

The Business & Industry Specialists can also provide an assessment of applicant aptitude and academic skills as well as information about regional economic and workforce trends connected to specific industries.

While nearly every industry has seen changes and every industry is covered at CareerLink®, Debbie and Mark have chosen to focus on two respectively after realizing the demand in the manufacturing industry and the healthcare industry.

Mark is on the leadership team for the Manufacturing Alliance of Bucks & Montgomery Counties, whose main mission is to help manufacturers sell skilled labor positions.

“There is a tremendous shortage in skilled workers,” Mark said.

As mentioned earlier, manufacturing is one industry in which job positions have changed dramatically over the last 30 years due to the advancement of technology.

“It used to be a human would work on a machine and make a part, but today a computer does it all,” said Mark. “Companies need workers who can program machines. That requires different math skills, being able to read blueprints to pick up measurements from paper to machine and many other skills.”

The Bucks County CareerLink® works together with Bucks County Community College to offer two 12-week programs that address certain areas of manufacturing – Advanced Metalworks and Industrial Maintenance.

For more info about these programs, contact Bridget Hughes at bridget.hughes@bucks.edu.

Debbie Sullivan focused on the healthcare industry when she formed the Lower Bucks Healthcare Alliance.

One of the hardest human resource departments is healthcare – there is a tremendous turnover in the position, pay is low, and retaining workers is difficult.

In an effort to help alleviate some of these pains, Debbie hopes to show some of the employees a career path, fund assessments to help employers determine which employees have the skillsets to go into trying to identify where the gaps are and come up with solutions for these issues.

For those who have yet to discover www.jobgateway.pa.gov, an invaluable resource for jobseekers and companies alike, get involved today for your next opportunity.

If you’d like more info about CareerLink® and all they offer, visit their Bristol office at 1260 Veterans Highway, or call them at 215-781-1073.

Interested employers who want to take advantage of the numerous business services offered by Mark and Debbie should reach out to them.