Written by Debbie Arnold
Opening Remarks: Jessica Pierce provided her background and reason for starting Career Connectors. Jessica then moved into the top five growing industries in Arizona:
- Advanced Manufacturing: Arizona is Top 5 in the nation for space & defense manufacturing. Hot careers include Industrial Engineering Techs, First Line Supervisors, Maintenance and Repair Workers, Computer Machine Operators, Machinists, and Welders.
- Aerospace and Defense: With a projected 18% employment growth, this category represents Arizona’s 4th largest employment with over 32,000 workers and more than 1,200 companies. Hot careers include Aerospace Engineers, Aerospace Techs, Mechanical Engineers, Software Developers and Electrical Engineers.
- Business and Financial Services: This includes insurance, banking and business services like data processing, hosting and related service companies. Hot careers include General and Ops Managers, Production Managers, Admin Assistants, Customer Service Reps, Training and Development Specialists, Research Analysts and Human Resources Specialists.
- Emerging Technology: We have more than 75 incubators around the state where technology is being developed in collaboration. Hot careers here include Computer Systems Analysts, Information Security Analysts, Computer Programmers, Software Developers, Web Developers, Database Administrators and User Support Specialists.
- Healthcare and Biomedical: Here we will see an estimated 54,000 new jobs in the next decade. Hot careers include Medical/Health Service Managers, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Records Techs, Nursing Assistants and Phlebotomists.
Jessica reviewed the Recruitment Life Cycle with attendees. Referrals are strong through those who are employed. Good employees tend to refer others who are the same. Reputational impacts are always top of mind. Jessica recommends getting to know people and always trying to speak to recruiters. Likability is a major factor in job selection for the recruiter. Often recruiters know whether you are compatible with them within a few minutes. Chemistry between the recruitee and recruiter is key.
Social media is another great option to identify potential employers. Ask friends how they like their companies. Find out if they know someone who is at the target company of which you are seeking. It is a fact that 90% of recruiters review a candidate’s social media online. Jessica recommended that candidates always maintain a current Linked In profile. Additionally, ensure the Linked In profile always aligns with the candidates’ resume.
Examples where recruiters may view the candidate in a negative light include negative comments the candidate posts about their current or previous employers. Avoid doing this at all costs. Jessica encouraged attendees at today’s event to jot down things they could do to connect with potential employers using social media. Secondly, Jessica explained that most recruiters leverage three areas to decide on the right fit for their company: character, competency and culture. PipelineAZ.com will provide a candidate with a roadmap to their desired end. It is going to be a free service. It was display upward and lateral opportunities whereas it takes a candidates transferrable skills and maps the candidate to a position or industry that fits them. Use this website as a means of finding the right steps to transition into the position in which you are interested.
Jessica encouraged ongoing learning and education by candidates. It can be as simple as showing a potential employer that a candidate is current by placing an iPhone on the table during the interview. On silent mode, of course. Jessica also reminded attendees that it is wise to ask those who are closest to candidates to provide insights they may not see in themselves. Document traits of the company and research the company prior to the interview. It is very important to understand whether a candidate is a good fit for the culture of the company. Individuals who are over 50 have excellent qualities to share such as; fewer distractions, and patience with experience. Lastly, Jessica offers the advice of dressing to impress for the interview, having a good firm handshake by matching the other person’s grip.
Jessica ended with validating that a potential candidate can and will land the right position. Stay positive and true to your brand. It will happen!
WebPT, Jessica Jackson, Talent Acquisition Manager’s opening remarks included her background in the 90s where she began working in an HR capacity as a result of a layoff. During this time, Jessica met Jessica Pierce who assisted her company with recruiting efforts. Jessica reminded attendees to consider all of their experiences and make the most of their networking opportunities at Career Connector events. Jessica moved into showcasing her current employer, WebPT. Within 3 years, this company grew to be the fastest privately held company. They employ over 500 team members and service 80,000 members. They are a casual company that is collaborative and fun. Toni Rucker is a recruiter for the technology positions. She explained the traditional IT helpdesk structure as well as other frameworks that she hires for at WebPT. This includes customer service, software engineering, and scrum master-type roles. Scrum master is described as the liaison between the stakeholder and the developing team.
Farmers Insurance presenter was Surrie Atkins. Surrie began her discussion with a video about the company where attendees learned about the culture of the company, what they value, and the message that customers are at the center of their work. Philanthropy definitely appears to be at the heart of the company. Surrie explained that Farmers is growing by 1,200 people in 2019. For today, Surrie has openings at the I-17/Bell Road location. Two positions are both in customer service at the contact center. Team members will need to obtain their license which is paid for by Farmers. Their philosophy is “low effort” on the part of the customer. Make it easy for customers to deal with their company. The second position is located in an inbound call center. It is heavy customer service and sales for inbound only. This role is base pay plus incentive. Surrie closed her presentation with a video, spotlighting HR recruiting efforts at the company. Attendees asked Surrie questions around number of calls, how a customer service individual is able to meet average talk times, and how the team member can be successful in progressing upward to higher level positions.
Allstate representative in today’s session was Steve Morin, Senior Sourcing Consultant. Steve described opportunities in HR, IT, and agency owner options. Allstate has over 70,000 employees who serve over 16 million households, making the 64th on Forbes top 100 employers list. Steve explained Allstate’s culture about fitting needs to customers. For the agency owner option, this is an “owned” business whereby an individual can transfer ownership to their family. It is 100k in initial liquid capital at lift off. They require this to sustain business the first year. Insurance is a need that everyone shares. It is in high demand and recession proof. There is repeat revenue through renewals of policies. Like Farmer’s, Allstate does have a national brand. The company is competitive with a takeaway of 20 percent of what agency owners write. They also receive 6 percent in marketing tools to be successful including social media. Annual income ranges from low hundreds up to 600,000, and beyond, depending on effort of the owner agent. Allstate moves beyond a selling company. There is variety such as claims, underwriting, and community relationship-building. Allstate does not require previous experience. They will develop their talent. Allstate is a strong supporter of veterans. They also offer a $6,000 bonus referral for owner-agent opportunities. Insurance is one of top five industries in AZ.
Grand Canyon University (GCU) presenter was Robert (Rob) Loy. Rob is the Head of the non-degreed Technology Programs. Rob provided his background in IT and Communications. When given the opportunity, he welcomed a change to something that he wanted to do for the rest of his career. Rob opened the floor by welcoming students to discuss their experiences at GCU. One attendee asked a student how they were trained to learn coding and prepare for job opportunities in this field. The student offered several helpful options that equip students for future employment. Further expansion of the demonstration included mock ups of the coding. It was extremely insightful for those who were interested in IT and interested in what occurs “on the back end” of a website. One of the students described coding applications such as Java that will “talk to” other databases.
Goodwill presenter Ron Mack shared Goodwill’s mission and resources. Goodwill provides career coaching through an advisor where they will review the process and conduct testing to see where a candidate best aligns. Top services are resume critiquing and mock interviewing.
At closing, Sheila Coulam welcomed attendees to take advantage of professional photos to update LinkedIn profile pictures. All in all a successful session on December 6, at GCU. Sheila thanked the volunteers. Sheila also requested the attendees complete a survey and thanked all attendees for coming today! Sheila ended the session with an inspiring quote: