Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Workforce resouces can be invaluable

An educated, skilled workforce from which to draw is important to companies looking to attract and retain the best talent. Proximity to higher education institutions makes a big difference in the location decision, especially when they are clustered in a desirous area where students can enjoy a lower cost of living. It really becomes advantageous to companies when those colleges and universities work together to produce graduates in high demand fields, such as computer science and engineering, and support small business development through incubator programs. State universities in particular are turning out the best workers and often providing incubator space that is a tremendous asset to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. Learn more in this interview.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Follow careful process to evaluate relocation options

Relocating a company involves much more than finding affordable, available real estate for a new location. Companies considering relocation have a lot at stake and should take their time making a decision – whether they ultimately stay or move. Ongoing operating costs have to be considered as well as key employee retention. Following a carefully laid out process will produce the best results.

Get to know each other. Spend time getting to know a community and what it has to offer. Companies should expect to be visited a couple dozen times by community representatives as part of the information gathering and diligence process. This allows both sides to determine if it is a good match.

Compare costs. Communities should be upfront about the cost of doing business and willing to compare them against several other locations if necessary. Typical comparisons include basic bottom-line considerations, such as workers compensation, labor costs, utility rates and unemployment insurance.

Consider key employees. Small-to-medium-sized businesses, especially manufacturers, have key employees they need to be successful. Identifying those key employees and involving them in the relocation process is a big issue. Some companies bring key employees on community visits and site tours to gain their input and buy in.

Friday, November 5, 2010

WSJ: State schools turning out best workers

Corporations and site selection consultants consistently rate workforce considerations of high importance in the relocation and expansion decision. Factors such as availability, cost and training programs are always critical to companies evaluating a location.

Jennifer Merritt, career editor at the Wall Street Journal, explained that recruiters value the work readiness of state school students even above the elite private schools. The WSJ asked the nation’s largest employers which schools produced the most academically prepared students with the most relevant training and best ability to succeed and grow with their companies. Recruiters indicated they found state schools produced the best students and were most eager to forge corporate partnerships, according to Merritt.

The six-month WSJ survey reaffirmed the Inland Northwest’s reputation for having a high-quality, available workforce. The newspaper ranked Washington State University graduates among the Top 25 most sought after by corporate recruiters.

WSU was the only Washington school on the WSJ list. The data is based upon 43,000 hires made by public and private corporations, government agencies and nonprofits over the past years in high-demand areas like engineering, consulting and finance.

WSU has strong business, engineering, and science programs, making its students a good fit for those needs. WSU has four campuses, including its main location in Pullman, Wash. and a large branch in Spokane, with 12 colleges, 200 fields of study and more than 100 majors.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Many issues affecting California businesses

In 20-plus years of recruiting companies in California, times have never been worse in that state. Workers compensation costs are skyrocketing again. The state pension fund is not sustainable and in serious trouble. Companies are struggling, especially in the aerospace industry. The situation is really out of control.

That kind of instability is difficult on companies in the best of times. Against the backdrop of broader economic struggles it can be devastating, which has companies considering their options. Watch this interview for more about the California business climate.