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Job fair aims to fill local industry

Published 3:45pm Sunday, August 12, 2012

There will be a free job fair from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday in Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce’s lower-level conference room, 321 E. Main St.

Express Employment Professionals, 3260 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, will be taking applications for a variety of jobs in the Niles-Buchanan area, according to Jacob Brown.

Brown said Express works with six large companies in Niles, Buchanan and Cassopolis.

“There is hiring going on in Niles,” Brown said. “There are jobs available out there.”

Brown said many companies are trying to expand with specialized positions available, which prove hard to fill, sometimes because candidates are not qualified.

Another reason, Brown said, is what “we call the war on talent,” where certain skill pools are depleted by workers leaving the area. Remaining companies resort to cannibalistically poaching employees from competitors.

Express is not a temp agency, Brown said. “We go out and scout for particular talents” through remote locations, including library job fairs in surrounding towns, he said.

The hiring outlook in all regions of North America for the third quarter sees the greatest growth in commercial and light industrial jobs, according to a hiring trends survey Express conducted.

According to 665 employers across the United States and Canada, 37 percent of respondents plan new hires for commercial and light industrial jobs, up five percent from the second quarter.

“We have clients who are experiencing increased production and the survey results are indicative of what we are seeing in the marketplace,” said Steve Murray, owner of the St. Joseph Express office. “Employers are adding to their workforce.”

Eighteen percent of employers who responded to the survey also plan to hire administrative and office clerical staff.

The hiring trends survey indicates that eight percent of respondents plan to hire for engineering positions, while seven percent plan to hire for accounting and finance. Five percent of respondents anticipate hiring for marketing and information technology positions.

“Hiring and retaining top talent is critical to every business’ success,” Murray said. “Despite the high number of job seekers looking for work today and the increasing number of employers hiring, many employers report they can’t find the right person.”

Given the current economic climate, 51 percent of employers who answered the hiring trends survey indicated they have difficulty recruiting for and filling positions.

When considering new hires, employers who responded to the hiring trends survey said an applicant’s job experience, attitude and work ethic are the most important characteristics they look for in a candidate.

The St. Joseph Express Employment Professionals franchise began operation in 2007 and serves Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties businesses.

Worldwide, Express Employment Professionals put 335,000 people to work in 2011 through 570 offices in three countries.

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