Workings on demand
Companies looking for labor quickly, struggle to find skilled employees

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

April 18, 2015

WAUKESHA - Businesses are increasingly calling Nissen Staffing Continuum with an urgent need for workers, company President Scott Nissen said.

“Businesses’ lead time has shrunk. There is a push for an on-demand workforce,” he said. “There is no doubt that it’s difficult to find talent.”

With businesses having gone lean during the Recession, they want to bring in workers they know can perform at the level they need and have the right skills to get the job done, Nissen said.

Sherry Douglas, business development partner for SEEK Careers/Staffing, agreed.

“That lead time has been shifting depending on what the job requirement is,” Douglas said. “Indeed companies do want people faster.”

Workers with higher skill levels are in also high demand.

“The clients know these people will not last a long time (on the open market),” Douglas said.

At SEEK Careers/Staffing, Douglas said it’s not always easy to meet that quick lead time for a company because SEEK performs an extensive process to learn about the employee and whether he’s a good match for the company. In addition, any new company client is toured by SEEK staff before it becomes a client, she said.

Some of the workers in highest demand include high skills positions like CNC programmers, while assembly and shipping and receiving workers are in less demand, Douglas said.

Job-to-job work 

A result of the Affordable Care Act has been a more confident worker, Nissen said, adding that people who are now able to get health insurance through the marketplace are feeling more freedom to freelance or work on a job-by-job basis.

“Individuals now are able to work with a project-based attitude knowing that they have quality health care,” he said. “Individuals love the freedom and flexibility.”

A quote that Nissen heard the other day strongly resonated with him.

“‘Talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people,’” Nissen said quoting Dan Pink, a best-selling author on business and management.

“It’s an appropriate quote; the tide is turning,” Nissen said “Businesses really do need the talent.”

Workers appreciate having flexibility, getting to work on desired projects and being selective in what they want to do or how many projects they want. In addition, by working on a job-by-job basis they don’t face the fear of being laid off, Nissen said.

Douglas said a company still appreciates a worker’s experience.

“They are still looking at the length of time they worked for a different company,” she said.

What SEEK Careers/Staffing is hearing from company clients is that they are very busy.

“The forecast is to continue to be busy,” she said. “We are seeing people who are being hired on now. That is always a nice result.”

SEEK was founded in 1971, Douglas said, and since then has grown significantly, adding offices as far north as Eau Claire and in a town near the Twin Cities. The company recently opened an office in Stevens Point as well.

Working on Demand 

WAUKESHA - As the economy continues to improve, the need for employees has increased and so have requests for Nissen Staffing Continuum to match workers with companies’ needs. In fact, the Waukesha staffing company had a 30 percent increase in revenues in 2014, said Scott Nissen, president of Nissen Staffing Continuum, Inc. This year is already off to a great start, he said.

“We are projected for more growth in 2015,” Nissen said, adding the first two months of the year were very strong, but then the past four weeks have gotten a little soft. He said things are picking up again and should soon be at the same levels as January and February.

In particular, Nissen said there has been an increase in demand for workers in the food and beverage industry, as well as manufacturing, print, warehouse and logistics.

“The country is moving goods and products,” he said.

Despite the economic growth, the United States has witnessed in the past couple of years, Nissen said employers are “optimistic paranoid.”

“Everyone feels good, but they are looking over their shoulders,” he said.