Salaried job growth, South Carolina economy strengthening?

· by Herb Dew

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This time last year our clients around the Southeast had less than 50 jobs open in salaried areas like accounting, engineering, purchasing, quality assurance and other fields related to manufacturing. Recently, we have seen industry growth at a promising rate.

What a change in just one year! To date we have been filling jobs at a rate that exceeds our 2007 pace and every month 30-40 new salaried jobs are being released, in addition to positions budgeted last year. Great news! In past recessions a good sign that the economy was strengthening was when companies began budgeting and adding new salaried positions. Typically companies go through various stages of hiring: add temps first, than add hourly full time, next add skilled hourly, and finally add longer term salaried positions. Industry has begun this final stage. HTI has record job openings in a variety of fields in all types of industries.

What are companies looking for? Value. Attitudes are somewhat different than they were in 2007. Back in 2007 the market was tight and companies were forced to compete hard for candidates. Now companies are at an advantage. Our clients continue to pay a good salary, but they are looking for things now that they didn’t look at closely before. Versatility. Loyalty. Teamwork. Companies are shopping for values now as well as specific experience. Why? Because the people they kept during this recent cataclysm represented the values they wanted to protect. And as new team members are added that synergy needs to be protected.

Recently I was qualifying a high level financial position for a regional company. The first 2 major requirements involved relationship requirements. After about 15 minutes we FINALLY talked about the accounting experience my client needed.

Versatility. Loyalty. Teamwork.

I think that is a good starting point for both companies and applicants. I like those qualities.

Herb Dew