Applicants overwhelm staffing agencies |

Applicants overwhelm staffing agencies

Pat Patera
Nevada Appeal News Service

Rising unemployment stats mean staffing agencies are fielding applications from a growing number of highly skilled professionals.

Emily Ellison, Northern Nevada regional manager at Hire Dynamics, says the agency now sees many applicants who wouldn’t have considered temporary jobs in the past. They hold higher degrees and include professionals, managers and some with master’s degrees in business.

Most managers would like to stay in their field but will take a lower-level position. Meanwhile, Ellison said, “People with bachelor’s degrees are taking light industrial and manufacturing work.”

Brenda Harris, staffing manager at Applied Staffing Solutions, said she’s inundated with former controllers, accountants, and all manner of real estate professionals looking for part-time or temporary work.

Gary MacDonald, the firm’s direct-hire manager, said, “I’m seeing people I wouldn’t expect to see. People who have been on the job a long time and done a good job.”

Even the much-vaunted “no-collar” workers ” the technology professionals ” now go begging.

“Demand for consultants has dropped 80 percent,” says Kenneth Wener, chief operating officer at Technology Professionals Exchange. It serves Fortune 500 companies nationwide from its Reno office.

Meanwhile, with thousands of names of available workers already in the company database, Wener receives a weekly multitude of e-mails from those looking for work. Out-of-work top executives are among those scanning the job postings at the Nevada JobConnect center in Reno. But all is not doom and gloom.

“We’re still getting orders for support positions, clerical and light industrial,” said Harris. And few industries such as mining and alternative energy continue to hire.

The Reno office of Nevada JobConnect still gets orders for a few warehouse jobs, maintenance work and call centers, said center manager Kathy Holbrook. But those positions may be temporary.

Christy Clark, branch manager at the Westaff office in Carson City, said, “A few warehouses are talking about additional help because they don’t want to hire permanent people.”

Professionals, even those with advanced degrees, may now have a shot at those jobs, says Ellison.

“Before, employers wouldn’t want professionals for temp-to-hire jobs because they know they won’t stick. Now they don’t specify,” Ellison said.

“Everyone’s work ethic has changed given this economy,” Ellison said. “People are hanging onto jobs they would have turned their noses up at before.”

However, says MacDonald, “If companies are looking to fill positions, now is the time. You couldn’t find a better time to find a great person.”