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WorkSource Oregon Rolls Back Welcome Mat for Wal-Mart
Always Easy Hiring - Always
John Clifton
John Clifton, manager, Wal-Mart
Even if you are the nation’s largest retailer, it’s a daunting and expensive task to open a new Supercenter from scratch. And that’s what faced the Wal-Mart organization as it broke ground for its third store in the Salem market.
Wal-Mart needed workers, but didn’t know where to find the facilities and recruiting help they needed. In fact it took a friendship between a Chemeketa Community College faculty member and a Wal-Mart executive for the retailer to get on the right track.
That faculty member referred Wal-Mart to Ron Hulett at the Training & Economic Development (TED) Center located on the Chemeketa Campus. Ron and the TED Center had just helped Salem’s Wachovia Customer Contact Center to open, but couldn’t provide the facilities and skilled workers Wal-Mart needed quickly, so he recommended the services of WorkSource Oregon at the Salem Job & Career Center.
Wal-Mart manager John Clifton was soon talking with Danell Butler, from the Oregon Employment Department, who manages the Salem Job & Career Center, and together they figured out how to provide recruitment space and assistance for the massive project.
“We were looking to employ between 400 and 500 people for a brand new, ground up supercenter in Salem. When you need that type of help, you need to find an organization that has the capabilities, capacity and experience in developing that type of workforce,” says John, General Manager of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Wal-Mart needed a one-stop recruitment center where they could attract workers with the skills necessary to operate their one-stop retail outlet. Supercenters feature 36 departments including apparel, jewelry, lawn & garden, grocery, pharmacy, electronics, vision, photo processing, and even a tire and lube services. In order to run successfully, Wal-Mart needed people with good interpersonal skills and experience in supervision, office, sales, stocking, and maintenance.
WorkSource Oregon and the Salem Job & Career Center responded by listing Wal-Mart’s positions on iMatchSkills, its new online recruiting tool, and organizing the recruitment process to fit the retailer’s needs. Wal-Mart moved its personnel operations into much of the top floor at the center to conduct the new-store recruitment.
“The services have been wonderful,” John says. “The facilities for starters, have been wonderful. We’ve been given a location where we have areas for people to fill out applications, areas for interviews, areas for just basic administrative space. Also, we’ve been given some latitude on the hours - they’ve extended some hours of the office to accommodate our applicants who may want to fill out an application after normal business hours and also on Saturdays.”
“Right now we appear to be on target with meeting the staffing need of the store, and the quality of the candidates has been excellent. We couldn’t ask for more than what we’ve achieved at this point.’
What would John say to other businesses needing recruitment or training assistance?
“I would highly encourage (other businesses) to get involved with this organization simply because they have the expertise in hiring; their willingness to assist in whatever needs a business has for getting people to work has been extraordinary.”
Whether businesses are looking for workers with skills or skills for workers, WorkSource Oregon is a ready workforce resource.
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