Survey: Training crucial to filling jobs
Local companies struggle to fill positions

By John Holman - Special to The Freeman

August 21, 2014

BROOKFIELD - A recent survey conducted by the Brookfield-based staffing agency, QPS Employment Group, concluded that half its clients cannot fill positions due to a lack of qualified candidates.

One philosophy that 27 percent of surveyed companies have bought into is to increase wages, whether to attract new talent or keep existing employees.

QPS President Scott A. Mayer praised such a philosophy.

“While the majority of companies are not planning to implement wage increases, our local office staff say their most forward-thinking employers are bucking the trend to do what it takes to stay competitive,” said Mayer. “Unless more employers think this way, the industry will not be able to close the demand and supply gap you currently see.”

Conversely, 70 percent of surveyed companies plan to hire up to nine employees this quarter. These positions are skilled-trade in nature, and by default, require highly trained candidates to be filled.

Those companies are also considering adding training programs to address the issue head-on.

Officials at the Waukesha County Business Alliance, including President Suzanne Kelley, have taken note.

Kelley said while raising wages is one action that would attract good employees, training is more important.

“There are employers who will see 30 percent of their employees retiring over the next one to five years, so it is critical that as many people as possible get training for these skilled-trade jobs,” Kelley said.

QPS Employment Group conducted this survey on 263 of its clients spanning across five states: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin.

There is also a demand for general labor workers, including positions in assembly, packaging, warehouse and logistics, food manufacturing and machine operators.

Job seekers with a high school diploma or GED and above are encouraged to apply at www.qpsemployment.com.