Warehouse Setting-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter August 2017

Service Spotlight-Workforce Event Highlights Competing for Talent

Workforce Event Highlights Competing for Talent 

Want to know what it takes to attract and keep the top talent in a tight employment market?

Northern Colorado’s foremost workforce experts will share best practices at the annual Workforce Symposium “Be the Employer of Choice” on September 29 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins.

Breakout sessions throughout the day will focus on what it takes for your organization to effectively recruit and retain the best employees.

“Be the Employer of Choice,” with Our Presenting Sponsor, Skillful showcases experts on the following themes:

  • Recruitment as marketing … and vice versa;
  • Skills-based recruitment, hiring, and training;
  • Purpose-driven recruitment, engagement and retention; and
  • Leadership development and work-based learning models.

Attendees will learn from model employers of choice, such as major sponsor Columbine Health Systems, in breakout sessions throughout the day. Other participating sponsors include the City of Fort Collins Office of Social Sustainability, Career Solutions Group and BizWest.

Register NOW for just $39 for an entire day of learning and networking, including two meals and prize drawings. Group discounts are available in packages of 5 and 10 tickets. Visit our Symposium 2017 site to register.

Business Insights-“Find a Professional Talent Pool at the NoCoNet Job Fair

Find a Professional Talent Pool at the NoCoNet Job Fair 

Summer vacation season hasn’t ended, yet some retailers are already promoting Halloween specials. So it’s not too early for you to “save the date” for the October 16 NoCoNet Job Fair in Fort Collins.

NoCoNet, northern Colorado’s premier professional networking group, is a great sourcing alternative for employers seeking highly-skilled job candidates.

Founded in 2004, NoCoNet is an all-volunteer networking organization that builds and maintains pathways connecting its highly-skilled members with area employers, all free of charge to both members and employers. A few of the employer benefits offered by NoCoNet include:

  • Job fairs twice annually that directly connect exhibitors with attending professionals.
  • Speed interviews in a private room adjoining NoCoNet’s weekly meetings.
  • Up-to-date job board and announcement of opportunities at the weekly meetings.

Recent survey results indicate employers are looking for candidates who offer higher retention probability, proven ability to orchestrate multiple tasks and immediate availability. NoCoNet is the place to find candidates matching that profile.

Again, all NoCoNet services are available at no charge to both members and employers.

The Fall NoCoNet Job Fair will be held October 16 at the site of its weekly Monday morning meetings, Faith Church at 3920 South Shields in Fort Collins. To be a part of this popular sourcing event, contact NoCoNet at employerliaison@noconet.org or visit their site at www.noconet.org.

Elevate Your Workforce-August Training Workshops Address Core Business Essentials

August Training Workshops Address Core Business Essentials 

NFL training camps are under way, and 32 teams are pretty sure they’re in the hunt for a Super Bowl title. Realistically, though, the New England Patriots are the odds-on favorites to reign again.

What sets them apart from the pack? It’s their dedication to disciplined practices with hundreds of repetitions of core fundamentals. Sure, having Tom Brady at quarterback doesn’t hurt, but his superstar status doesn’t excuse the Pats from hours of focus on fundamentals.

That’s why August is Core Fundamentals Month in Elevate Training.

The August schedule starts with “Street-Smart Recruitment Strategies” on August 17, a workshop that includes hands-on brainstorming among participants about the most effective “outside the box” methods for finding and keeping top talent.

On August 24, “Essentials of Crisis Planning” addresses a blind spot that most organizations have. We all know we should have a published plan in case of emergency. So why does it remain a back burner item? This workshop covers the basics that can reduce emergency to urgency and urgency to routine.

Finally, on August 30, simplyHR Partners will compare and contrast the ongoing hiring debate in “Employees vs. Contractors.” HR experts Nikki Larchar and Tina Todd will help you make sound business decisions about employment classifications.

Visit Elevate Training Registration today for a closer look at these workshop. Join the dialogue!

Psst! And while you’re there, you’ll notice the return of our most popular offering, the three-part series “Becoming a Highly Successful Manager.” Register your aspiring leaders today!

Adam Crowe (1)

The Big Picture-What Does "Overqualified" Really Mean?

What Does “Overqualified” Really Mean?    

If you missed my recent “star turn” on NBC Nightly News, I hope you’ll find this segment on the national job market skills gap informative.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at record lows, and with Colorado leading the way in terms of full employment, the NBC news crew came to the Larimer County Workforce Center to find out why a job market skills gap is leaving millions of U.S. jobs unfilled.

Nowhere is the skills gap paradox so greatly magnified as in northern Colorado. On one hand, population growth clearly is not our issue. Houses are filled as quickly as builders can build them. Instead, the issue is whether our population possesses the skills employers need to grow their businesses.

That’s why, as I mentioned in the NBC interview, our Business Services Team is devoting increased focus to helping employers learn creative new methods of sourcing, selecting, training and retaining qualified workers.

In that context, the “hidden talent pool” is the new “hidden job market.” On the Career Services side of the Workforce Center we commonly hear about well-qualified jobseekers whose applications are unsuccessful based on what may be flawed assumptions by employers. For example, more seasoned professionals suffer the “overqualified” label due to factors like their experience and past salaries.

Frustrated candidates tell us they grow weary of the questions and concerns raised about salary demands or job satisfaction.

Yet some of those same employers share frustrations with us about lack of loyalty, lagging work ethic and absence of soft skills.

Our message to all employers is to “widen the net” and consider the skills and talents of candidates whose resumes don’t pass the infamous 8-second scan.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Elevate Training Events

Learn more at our Business Services Page.

August 8                              SBDC Healthcare Panel                                 Innosphere

August 17                            Street-Smart Recruitment Strategies          Fort Collins

August 24                            Core Fundamental: Crisis Planning            Fort Collins

August 30                            simplyHR: Employees vs. Contractors       Fort Collins

September 1, 8, 15           Becoming a Highly Successful Manager     Fort Collins

October 16                           NoCoNet Job Fair                                            Fort Collins

Vision Image-blog

SAVE the DATE! Workforce Symposium 2017

The 32nd Annual Workforce Symposium returns this year with its best lineup of keynote speakers, interactive breakout sessions, and popular Elevate Bytes! This year’s themes: recruitment as marketing … and vice versa,  skills-based recruitment, hiring, and training, and purpose-driven engagement and recruitment. Mark your calendar NOW! We’ll convene from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on another fabulous 5th Friday! Keep a sharp eye out – Registration will open soon.

Save the Date Symposium 17

Click to download flyer [pdf]

Warehouse Setting-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter May 2017

Service Spotlight-Fully-Funded Internship Helps Healing Warriors Solve Problems

Fully-Funded Internship Helps Healing Warriors Solve Problems

Charissa came to the Workforce Center to turbo-boost her job search. With her Bachelor’s Degree and a desire to work, she hadn’t identified opportunities in her areas of interest. Also, her specific needs in terms of hours, workspace, and contact with others offered a challenge to some employers.

She successfully applied for the ReHire Colorado internship program, and that’s when her momentum picked up. Internship Coordinator Theresa Zabala worked with Healing Warriors to offer Charissa an internship, fully funded by the Workforce Center, that utilized her skills and recognized her needs. The local nonprofit was a job site empathetic to providing accommodations to their clientele and staff.

After a successful internship, Healing Warriors, which serves area military veterans, was able to offer Charissa an employment contract. Realizing that they could not do without her administrative and accounting skills, they raised adequate funds to offer Charissa a full-time position.

Charissa says she couldn’t be happier with her employment and the opportunities she’s been given to grow and heal. Her site supervisor, Ana Yelen, stated that Charissa “always works from integrity and doing the right things. I wish everyone had Charissa’s positive, can-do attitude.”

For more information about how your organization can benefit from a fully-funded internship, contact the ReHire Colorado program at (970) 498-6665.

Elevate Your Workforce-The Common Business Blind Spot: Crisis Communication

The Common Business Blind Spot: Crisis Communication

When do many businesses think of developing their crisis plans? Right after they’ve had a crisis. That’s a shame, considering how easy it can be to prepare a crisis communication plan and how long-lasting that critical business continuity document can be.

And it’s why the Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training program offers this core essential course regularly to employers throughout Larimer County.

“This is the last planning piece that should be pushed to the back burner,” said Elevate Training Coordinator Mike Kohler. “Jokes are often made about strategic plans that gather dust on the shelf, but a crisis communication plan is no joking matter.”

Kohler, whose responsibilities for several large corporations included crisis planning, noted special concerns about smaller businesses who don’t contemplate worst-case scenarios. In a recent crisis comms workshop, attendees brainstormed case studies in which business disruption and even loss of life had devastated small businesses.

The next crisis workshop is scheduled for May 11 in Fort Collins. You may register for Crisis Communication: What Every Business Organization Should Know NOW .

However, Kohler notes that Crisis Comms and many other Elevate courses are now available to individual organizations or groups at any time, scheduled according to customer convenience.

For more information about Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training, contact Elevate at (970) 498-6658 or mkohler@larimer.org.

Business Insights-“A Layoff by Any Other Name …”Pick a name, any name. Reduction in force (RIF). Re-org. Workforce optimization. Layoff

“A Layoff by Any Other Name …”Pick a name, any name. Reduction in force (RIF). Re-org. Workforce optimization. Layoff.

Why so many euphemisms for what comes down to the same basic workforce challenge? No matter what we call these changes, they are common business realities, yet employers often struggle with the communication of them.

Sometimes those changes are seen as debilitating for both the company as well as the employees.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  The Larimer County Workforce Center (LCWC)offers a service to both parties called Rapid Response. If an employer is facing these adjustments, rapid response service helps change leaders minimize turbulence in the organization.

Many businesses recognize the fact that being proactive about changing situations can result in positive outcomes for their employees as well as themselves.  “We offer a no-cost option which is as good as or better than expensive outplacement services,” said Jackie Tuck, Rapid Response Coordinator.“Once an employer contacts us, we quickly provide information and even on-site visits. It is critical for an employee to leave the company with the best possible outlook and to know where to go for assistance.”

Using rapid response service positions a business as one that cares about and respects its employees.  In the case of workforce reductions, LCWC can direct employees to valuable resources and help them manage the stress of change.

For more information on rapid response, please contact Jackie Tuck at the Larimer County Workforce Center at970.498.6647 or tuckje@co.larimer.co.us.

Adam Crowe (1)

The Big Picture-Jobseekers are “Thinking Outside the Box” – Are Employers?

Jobseekers are “Thinking Outside the Box” – Are Employers?

Our career counselors often advise their job search candidates to “think outside the box” and break away from the confinement of past job titles. By broadening the scope of their career visioning, our talented jobseekers discover that their innate characteristics, not their titles, make them good matches for more types of organizations.

In fact, we have an example on our team. One of our employees is enjoying a work role that he hadn’t imagined before coming to the Workforce Center. Nothing in his work history suggested a match, but his personal traits and aptitudes shouted “perfect fit.”

I’ll suggest that area employers would be well-served to employ the same kind of recalibration in their thinking and their visioning as they compete for top talent. As I discussed last month, conventional wisdom and conventional methods may not be giving employers the full picture of available talent. Some of the overlooked talent pools are veterans, workers with disabilities, and young adults exploring career pathways other than four-year college degrees.

“Over-posting” and keyword matching too often play a part in hiding these talented people from hiring managers. We see evidence of these missteps in the work we do with well-skilled, seasoned workers who get lumped into the “overqualified” bin.

Our Career Services workshops are seeing tremendous success in coaching jobseekers who are bumping into various biases working against them. In fact, more experienced professionals in our workshops are able to laugh at some of the misguided assumptions made about them. These include MBAs who must counter wrong judgments made about whether they are technology-savvy.

Quite amusing, I’m sure, to the recent workshop participant whose expertise is in creating technology platforms that young workers love to use!

As always, the Workforce Center tries to make it easier for candidates and employers to find the right match. Our jobseeker and employer coaching can provide big benefit to both sides of the employment equation. We encourage you to collaborate with us.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Elevate Training Events

Learn more at our Business Services Page.

May 10  WY-CO Regional Partnership Job Fair Loveland

May 11  Crisis Comms: Prepare for Anything          Fort Collins

May 18  Keep Your Top Talent on Board
Estes Park

May 24  Managing Multi-Generations
Fort Collins


Unemployment Insurance (UI) Chat is now available

The Larimer County Workforce Office along with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Unemployment Insurance Office is now offering claimants the ability to chat with a customer service agent. This service is available Monday thru Friday from 8am to 4pmMonday thru Friday at the Fort Collins Workforce Center (200 W Oak Street #5000). For questions, please call  (970) 498-6600