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Move fast (and maybe move): Timing and location can be keys for companies

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 24. 2018 9:19PM
Marlana Trombley, director of marketing for FlowTraq, gathers with Ian Gregorio-de Souza, John Murphy and Dan Carpenter at the company's offices in Manchester's Millyard. The software company moved to Manchester from Lebanon last year to be more readily accessible to potential employees. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Move fast on making job offers - and maybe move your entire company - if you want to hire new workers in a tight labor market.

"Get them into an interview process and through an interview process as quickly as they can," said Shannon Herrmann, recruiting manager at Alexander Technology Group, a staffing agency in Bedford.

Some companies are losing out because they are taking too long to make offers in a market that clearly favors job seekers.

"In general, it's a great market to go look for a job," Herrmann said. "Even if you're mediocrily happy where you are, there's probably other good opportunities out there for you."

If you can't convince job candidates to commute to your location, maybe you should move closer to a larger pool of potential applicants.

Software firm FlowTraq did just that last year, relocating from Lebanon to Manchester's Millyard.

"They simply wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to just capture stronger candidates in the area without requiring people to commute," said Marlana Trombley, the company's director of marketing.

The eight-person firm, which develops cybersecurity and forensic software, has three finalists for a sales engineering position - all from Massachusetts. "We noticed people were coming up from Boston to apply for the position," Trombley said.

The job market is getting even tougher for some companies.

"You probably need to sell more than ever before," Herrmann said. "What makes your company worth coming to?"

The state's unemployment rate in December stood at 2.6 percent, among the nation's lowest.

Dover economist Brian Gottlob crunched government data for New Hampshire covering February 2017 to last month that showed two occupation areas with mere 1.1 percent unemployment rates.

Business and financial operations showed only 415 unemployed workers with more than 37,000 employed in those fields. A second grouping - education, training and library occupations - had 534 people unemployed with more than 49,000 employed.

Those figures are "suggesting that jobs in those fields would be hardest to fill," Gottlob said.

Of nearly 16,000 advertised help-wanted online ads from October and November, almost 3,000 were in health care occupations, according to Gottlob.

He said growing demand or high retirement replacement rates make it especially hard for hiring managers in some fields to find workers. He pointed to nursing, with "a combination of high growth and replacement needs," as well as computer and tech positions and skilled production workers.

The need for larger skilled production workers is "largely because of an aging workforce and retirements and a couple of decades where everyone was told they needed an Ivy League degree to earn a decent living," Gottlob said.

Franklin Savings Bank has found it more challenging to hire workers and has promoted about a dozen people since October.

"There's so many jobs out there and not many individuals," said Dawn Beers, vice president and marketing officer. "Finding that next generation to fill out the gaps for those leaving the workforce to retire also is difficult."

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