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With the Louisville job market continuing to increase, employers are searching for ways to find qualified candidates. A company may look to outsource its recruiting needs to a recruiting agency. 

Patricia Turner, senior executive recruiter at HR Affiliates, has been doing external and internal recruiting for more than 20 years and is in her third year at HR Affiliates. Patricia shares what it takes to match qualified candidates with ideal employers. 

Q: What is the greatest challenge companies face in filling their positions? 

A: They are having trouble finding qualified candidates for all job levels. They need a process to filter out the pipeline of resumes and sources. Job search engines will not typically find qualified candidates. This means candidates are being passed over due to the lack of time from companies to go through all of the candidates. Our agency meets with the companies and defines the qualified key points they are looking for in a candidate. There is no charge to place a candidate. 

Q: What do job seekers need to focus on to become a qualified candidate? 

A: Make sure to read the job descriptions to ensure you meet the minimum requirements, then adjust your resume to speak to that specific job. Use key words and key points to make it pop. Everything is automated now with systems, so keywords are essential. Candidates can no longer have one resume. They need to have two to three resumes that are constantly being catered to each position they are applying for. Also, make sure to give details of previous job duties that pertain to the position you are applying for. 

Q: Are agencies necessary when job search engines make applying for a job as easy as one-click? 

A: When we call candidates in, we take the time to get to know them. Most candidates lack interview skills. They may have bad posture, inappropriate interviewing attire, or are not good at speaking highly of themselves. It is important that candidates research the potential employer, too. Companies love hearing about themselves. We are able to coach candidates on these things so they go into the interview as a marketable candidate. At the same time, agencies need to be honest with clients so they can build a relationship of trust. So many job seekers get frustrated with some agencies because there is no follow-up. The communication has to be open between the agency and candidates. 

Q: What are the biggest trends in the greater Louisville area for staffing needs? 

A: The production industry. Companies can’t keep employees due to the lack of competitive wages. Most of the production companies only pay $10-11 an hour, not a livable wage. So, employees are having to work two jobs while looking for another company that pays $14 an hour or pays medical. Employees need medical insurance. Other industries that really have a need are administrative, healthcare (nurses and aides, in particular), accounting, finance, and corporate candidates. 

Q: Is there a population that needs more workforce focus? 

A: Individuals who are incarcerated are my passion project. Elizabethtown has a work release program that needs to be implemented here in Louisville. Companies in Kentucky can actually get tax benefits for hiring those with an imperfect background. I was able to successfully get programs started through vocational organizations such as Seven Counties. There are enough businesses in Louisville to market candidates to.

P.S. See what will help you land your job.

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