Amid layoff news, many companies are still hiring
Some positions require advanced degrees, but a variety of skill levels are in demand.
(Page 2 of 3)
High-tech companies, including Epik, are especially looking for workers. In Needham, Mass., HiWired Inc. is planning to add 50 to 100 new employees to its staff, which provides US-based technical support for consumers. The company is gearing up partly because during downturns, consumers tend to keep their computers longer. "What happens is the computer slows down, and people want to know if there is anything they can do to make it run like new again," says Singu Srinivas, company president.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
VistaPrint, an online provider of graphic services for small businesses and consumers, views the downturn as an opportunity. "We are looking at this as a case of talent on sale. There are a lot of good people out there," says Austin Cooke, vice president of global recruiting for the Lexington, Mass., firm, which is planning a "significant" increase in its head count.
"We are hiring in all our offices, and we have a 26-person recruiting office that is very busy right now," he says.
Ironically, during a downturn, it can be harder to get good people to leave their jobs, says Olivier Chaine, CEO of magnify 360, a high-tech company in Los Angeles. "Those people who are happy with their paycheck are not quite as willing to jump ship."
Mr. Chaine just filled two positions and has six more openings, whose salaries range from $30,000 to $250,000.
Green-tech businesses are also adding to their payrolls. Take Rick Ector, president of TVIG, which is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and is involved in the wind industry. Mr. Ector bemoans the shortages of people with the expertise he needs. "We are doing a big project in Big Spring, Texas, and it's hard to find engineers and professionals who want to take on that construction lifestyle," he says. In the past few months, he has hired 20 people, but he still needs more.
In Los Angeles, Green Life Guru is busy recruiting people who can go into homes and businesses to analyze energy usage and water and air quality.
Founder Gregg Steiner says he advertises on craigslist and goes to local schools such as University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. "We're trying to get young people who are fresh out of college and passionate about the environment," he says.
Even some traditional businesses are expanding. Con-way Truckload in Joplin, Mo., is hoping to add 300 drivers this year, including 100 "teams," drivers who put in longer hours on the road. The company's expansion is partly the result of a merger, but it's also due to high turnover, despite relatively high wages of up to $150,000 for each team.
The company is hoping the downturn in construction will send workers its way. "We have a contest every quarter for the driver who recruits the most new employees," says Bruce Stockton, vice president of maintenance and asset management. "Our best recruiters are our current drivers."