(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
Business Today:How do you spend the bulk of your time at Workforce?
Joe Rozier:Business development, marketing and professional staff development. Although every day we receive calls from potential new clients, many of our business partners have been with us for 12 to 15 years. Much of my time is to address the changing needs in their staffing and assisting in the development of programs that will meet those needs. We pride ourselves in the innovative programs we have developed for our customers. The changing nature of marketing and advertising over the last 10 years have made us rethink how we market and brand our company so applicants and potential new client companies understand the depth of our offerings. We have the greatest staff in the market today, with the collective desire to become better tomorrow than they were today. We must continue to provide opportunities for growth for our staff, as it is one of our greatest competitive tools.
BT: What all goes into matching the right employee with the right employer?
JR:Taking the time to listen to the needs of clients and the needs of applicants. We pride ourselves on becoming experts on the companies we represent, understanding the changing needs that they experience in order to stay competitive in their industry. Once you understand that part of the equation, we then spend time to provide the best match available. The key components of attitude, willingness and capacity to learn, skills, and work ethic are what employers are looking for in potential new employees. It is also important to find someone who will fit into the culture of a particular company.
BT: What is your ultimate goal at Workforce?
JR: My ultimate goal is to have the most respected company in the region and a place that our staff loves to come to work. Pretty simple.
BT: I understand you have a background in retail and marketing. How does this apply to your job now? How does it help you relate to your clients?
JR: I was raised in a family business and the expectation of customer appreciation and hard work was just how we were raised. I understand that viral or word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful tool on the planet. When you are able to create an environment that people want to tell others about your company or product, you are on the path to success. We believe at Workforce that creating an exceptional product is the most powerful tool in the market. We have been very fortunate in that regard. Over the last 18 years both applicants and clients come to us because someone told them that there is a big difference in the staffing industry, and it is Workforce Employment Solutions.
BT: How has the hiring process evolved in your 15-plus years with Workforce?
JR: No longer do companies staff to 100 percent of capacity with permanent full-time people; in fact, 65 percent to 70 percent seems to be the norm. The volatile business climate and changing demands of customers means they must be able to flex their workforce in both directions. They now see staffing firms as their recruiting partner and are able to evaluate potential new employees during a probationary period before offering full-time employment. A great percentage of our employees are in a temp-to-hire program that will hopefully provide permanent employment in a short period of time.
BT: You mentioned in a recent interview that Workforce business increased 30 percent last year as more companies seek help filling open positions. Why do you think this is? And what are the biggest employment needs in our region right now?
JR: I believe being a regional company (started in Farmington, Mo., in 1994) with local ownership allows us to react quicker to our client needs. I believe that we have a greater footprint in the market and more companies understand the value of our partnership, so we are representing more companies every day. The economy is emerging and companies are hiring, but in a cautious manner. Companies are hiring for both technical and behavioral skills. They are looking for people who are able to make their company more effective, people who are flexible and willing to learn, and have a good attitude. There seems to be a shortage of technical or industrial maintenance areas, as many companies continue to invest in technology and they need people who can maintain that equipment.
BT: Can you tell me how your business has fluctuated with the ups and downs of the economy?
JR: Over the years we may have been heavy in a certain sector of the economy and a good example would be the housing industry. If a significant part of our business is related to a particular area like housing, where you represent window companies, truss companies, siding or many others, you may be impacted if that industry contracts. At Workforce Employment Solutions, we have worked hard to have a diverse offering in many different areas so we are not heavily impacted when a particular industry declines. Some of our companies are actually counter cyclical as their business improves in a tough or flat economy.
BT: This is our marketing and hiring issue of Business Today. What advice would you give to employers on finding the right employee for the job? What advice do you have for job seekers?
JR: First for the job seekers: No longer will you be able to bring below average attitude, effort and commitment and be successful in the workplace today. The bar has been raised and if you do not realize the expectations have changed, you may struggle to find stable work in the market today. Prove yourself in a positive manner and good things will happen -- no shortcuts.
Employers: You are slowing losing baby boomers in the workforce today. The Y generation are bright young men and women, but absolutely will need to be managed differently than the generation leaving the workplace. Take the time to understand and appreciate the differences in these generations because your success will be determined by how effectively these people are managed to success in your company in the future.