The economy’s slow recovery presents a daunting challenge for anyone looking for a job.
A Tribune survey of some of the East Valley’s largest private and public employers presents a snapshot that reflects the strengths and weaknesses of the current economic landscape.
For example, high-tech manufacturing has little to offer job seekers, as Intel and Motorola, the East Valley's two largest private-sector employers, are not hiring.
Health care, however, has lots to offer. Banner Health, the East Valley’s third-largest private-sector employer, and Scottsdale Healthcare, the East Valley's 10th largest private-sector employer, will each be hiring about 200 people this quarter.
“The demand for skilled health care workers, particularly nurses, has remained strong in recent years and it will remain strong into the foreseeable future,” Banner Health spokesman Jeff Nelson said.
According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the third quarter, 17 percent of companies in the Valley interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 21 percent plan to reduce their work force.
“Really, right now it's still mixed,” said Manpower spokesman Joseph Tuerff. “You've got finance and health care that still seem to be the strongest individual industries where hiring is taking place. Some educational systems do some hiring in the summer months for the fall season, so we would expect to see that.”
A variety of employers across the East Valley will be hiring this quarter, in sectors such as hotels and leisure, utilities and financial services. But most employers said their hiring plans are down somewhat compared with the third quarter of last year.
Wells Fargo will be adding to its 9,000-member work force in Arizona throughout the quarter, spokeswoman Marjorie Rice said.
“Wells Fargo is growing despite the slow economy, and that's because of the full-service organization we've created, so there are more jobs available during this period,” she said.
Marriott International will start recruiting people next month, particularly at its Camelback Inn and Mountain Shadows resorts in Paradise Valley, in anticipation of increased business this fall and winter, said spokeswoman Jane Fletcher. Also, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in northeast Phoenix will start hiring this summer, instead of in October, which was the case last year, she said.
In Scottsdale, General Dynamics will be looking for systems software and hardware engineers in its Decision Systems division, spokesman Len Gutman said. Earlier this year, the division won a contract potentially worth $304 million over 10 years to provide an improved communications system for U.S. Air Force cargo and troop-transport planes.
Also in Scottsdale, AdvancePCS will be hiring pharmacists, as well as customer service and clinical service representatives to man its call center, said spokesman Dale Thomas. Its hiring outlook is down slightly from the third quarter of last year because of greater stability in the industry's marketplace, he said.
As for supermarkets, Albertson's and Fry's stores plan to hire around 100 employees this quarter, while others either have no hiring plans or didn't respond to the survey. Among other retailers, Target has no significant hiring plans, while Home Depot did not respond to the survey.
Among public employers, Arizona State University averages about 25 to 35 new hires per month, while the Mesa Unified School District, the state's largest school system, will be ramping up its work force in preparation for the new school year.
Mesa won't be hiring as many people as it did during the third quarter of last year because of budget constraints, said spokeswoman Donna Salemi. Most cities are hiring few people because of budget constraints.
Tuerff said job seekers should not only post their resumes on the Internet, but also submit them to 10 to 15 recruiting firms. But Gilbert has 10 openings now, including fire positions, recreation leader, wastewater quality technician, utility workers and chemist.
“I would build a relationship with 10 to 15 recruiters that I would get to know over the phone,” he said. “They’re paid to find people jobs, and if your resume came up in a word search if they're searching for a specific skill . . . when those orders come in to those recruiting firms, the fastest computer on earth is the human mind and you want that person thinking of you.”
These recruiters should not be those that charge job seekers, but those that are paid by employers if they make a placement, Tuerff said.
“Call those people once a week and touch base,” he said. “It can be just maybe touching base over the phone and being mindful of that recruiter's time, but still having the finesse to have that person say ‘hey, I'll be sure to do what I can to help you find something.’ ”