Spherion Staffing in Brevard County is doing its part to keep the regional talent pipeline flowing in a healthy manner.

By Jack Roth

In the modern workforce landscape, where finding the right job, or finding the right employee, has become more and more complex, staffing agencies can play an important role in helping match candidates to companies for critical projects or roles without placing undue stress on human resource departments. The best staffing agencies, such as Spherion Staffing in Brevard County, are acutely aware of the skill sets required for the various jobs within growing industry sectors. By making potential employees and businesses aware of how they can either access or make available the proper training to fill skill gaps, they help enhance regional workforce development.

“We’re always looking at needs and fit,” said Marj Bartok, owner of Spherion Staffing in Brevard County. “We try to match job descriptions to resumes, but this can be trickier than you think in what have become fast-paced, constantly evolving, technology driven work environments.”

Spherion is a national, $2 billion staffing company that offers franchise opportunities across the United States. By doing so, each Spherion location has local roots and a strong desire to match people with jobs in order to benefit regional workforce development and growth.

Bartok, who services clients in Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Melbourne, took advantage of Spherion’s franchise opportunity in Brevard 24 years ago and has never looked back. Her goal is to help employers build a workforce that improves performance and help job seekers put their talents to work in positions that suit their skills and stimulate their success.

“Both businesses and applicants are my customers, and they’re treated equally as important because filling workforce needs is critical to the region,” she asserted. “It’s our responsibility to be a pipeline of skilled talent because each good hire helps companies thrive and spurs community growth.”

“It’s our responsibility to be a pipeline of skilled talent.” – Marj Bartok

Keeping Up With Current Trends
Recent studies, as well as the large majority of workforce development pundits, all agree that the lack of a properly trained workforce is already impacting industries such as healthcare, construction, manufacturing and technology. For Central Florida, where these are all high-growth sectors, it is critical that people are trained and have the right skill sets to fill these in-demand jobs. This trend has not escaped Bartok, who looks at resumes and sees good skill sets that simply need to be enhanced with some specific training.

“Technology has changed everything,” she stressed. “It’s always ahead of people’s ability to keep up with it from a skill set standpoint, so job seekers need to be trained in these specific skills, either by the company they currently work for or by trade schools and certificate programs.”

Bartok often reaches out to her business customers to tell them they need to provide free training in those areas where new technology has made older skills obsolete. Manufacturing companies, she added, are really challenged with this, which is why they constantly reach out to her to find qualified candidates.

“We show them the facts and figures regarding certain skills and come up with criteria regarding what they should do as far as training is concerned,” she explained. “The companies within these industries are growing, which is a positive thing, but without a skilled workforce, nobody benefits.”

Talent pipelines are different for each industry, therefore the recruiting process is different for each industry as well. Using this knowledge, Bartok and her team counsel job seekers on the specific type of training and/or certificates they can get to be better qualified for particular jobs and higher pay rates.

“When demand in a certain industry isn’t being met, we have to be part of remedying that,” she said. “We attempt to create a healthy talent pipeline for each industry and set individuals in the right direction for career success. In the end, however, it has to be a regional effort, with the right training and educational resources in place, companies who help themselves by providing free training, and agencies such as ours that offer sound advice based on the statistics and surveys we have at our disposal. The Space Coast has done a good job with this, but more work needs to be done.”

Specialized Industries a “Hire” Priority
A healthier job market has created new opportunities for workers with specialized skill sets and presented another obstacle for HR teams to clear in the retention race. In particular, employers continue to have trouble recruiting workers across high-value — and now high-demand — STEM fields, namely in the IT infrastructure and engineering markets. Notably, employers consider it more difficult to recruit qualified STEM professionals than to bring in younger workers.