Northeastern Minnesota

Home to 326,649 people in 2014, just 6% of the state’s population resides in Northeastern Minnesota–the beautiful Arrowhead Region. St. Louis County is the region’s largest county by size and population with approximately 61.5% of the region’s population. Jobs are highly concentrated around the region’s largest city, Duluth, which is located in St. Louis County. South and western counties of the region are growing at the fastest rates (Carlton and Itasca), while northeastern counties have seen steadily declining populations since 2000 (Koochiching and Lake).

Healthcare jobs account for 29% of the 41,516 jobs advertised online in the region this year to date. The second most common types of job advertised in Northeast Minnesota were transportation-related, specifically for heavy tractor trailers and heavy truck driving. Manufacturing, construction, engineering, and marketing each saw notable decreases in job posting volume between 2015 and 2016. Some unique industry niches of the region, though not significantly represented in online job postings, include forestry and logging, paper manufacturing, electric power generation and transmission, and mining.

For more information on the Northeast’s unique labor market, view the report here.

 

Minnesota’s 7-County Twin Cities Metro Area

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The 7-County Twin Cities Metro Area is the most densely populated region of Minnesota. With 2,985,405 residents, it composes over half of the state’s population (54.7%). Similarly, 54.6% of the state’s currently advertised jobs are found in the Metro region. It contains five of Minnesota’s most populated counties and two (Scott and Carver counties) of the fastest growing. The population is generally younger than the rest of the state, with only 11.8% of its population being over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2014 estimates).

The Twin Cities has become a hub for Information Technology, accounting for 15% of all jobs advertised in the region to date in 2016 (90,888 jobs out of 601,920 total). Information technology positions span a number of industries and verticals, with healthcare IT rising as a clear need in the region.

The table below highlights the top hiring employer, most in-demand occupation, median advertised salary, and number of people per job in the Metro’s ten largest communities.

For the full report on the 7-county Twin Cities Metro, visit our Reports page.

 

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Southwestern Minnesota

 

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Today we released the report on Southwestern Minnesota’s online job market.

Southwestern Minnesota’s economy is dominated by production manufacturing–particularly in agricultural production–and healthcare.  About 25 percent of jobs in these industries were held by workers 55 and older in 2015.  Home to 7 percent of the state’s population, the Southwest is sparsely populated.  Mankato (pop. 41,040) is the largest city in the region, ranking as the 22nd largest in the state in 2014 (US Census Bureau Population Estimates).

The top five job titles advertised online in the Southwest since 2012 are 1. Registered Nurse, 2. Class A CDL Truck Driver, 3. Physical Therapist, 4. Owner Operator, and 5. Licensed Practical Nurse.  Of the 6 major regions, the Southwest had the second highest median advertised salary  in 2016 at $56,100/year.  No major local or regional job boards could be identified in our research, and overall job posting volume is low in the region, but proportionate to its population similar to the Southeast and Northeast. In contrast, the Northwest and Central regions have many more people competing for fewer jobs, and the Twin Cities Metro has fewer people per job opening.

Recruitment for truck drivers is booming in the Southwest, with 30 percent of jobs advertised in the first three quarters of 2016 being transportation and shipping positions–tripling in number since 2015. Healthcare practitioners are also in high demand, making up 12.5 percent of the total 51,464 jobs advertised in the region between January and the end of September this year. The number of job postings seeking sales, business development, and information technology professionals declined since 2015. In demand certifications include a commercial driver’s license, HAZMAT, nursing certifications, and CPR.

Download the full report here: rtt-2016-regional-labor-market-southwest

 

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Southeastern Minnesota

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The latest report on Minnesota’s southeastern region is up on the RealTime Talent website.

Regional strengths of the Southeast include healthcare and social assistance (25% of employment) and manufacturing (35% of the region’s output). Healthcare positions is concentrated around the regional center in Rochester, while manufacturing jobs are distributed broadly across the region. Temporary agencies, staffing, and other employment services are abundant in this region, contributing to a higher job posting rate than other regions. With 500,923 inhabitants in 11 counties, the Southeast is currently Minnesota’s third fastest growing region. Its population is slightly older than the rest of the state, with 15.6% over the age of 65 compared to 13.9% statewide.

View the entire report on the Reports page of our site.

Foundational Research on Minnesota’s Regional Labor Markets is Released

RealTime Talent has been busy developing a series of regional strategies to help academic, workforce, government, and economic development professionals across Minnesota better use data to respond to local job markets and labor force needs.  The executive summary of the 40-page report on Minnesota’s diverse landscape of job opportunities was released publicly today, November 30th, after being shared with colleagues and stakeholders closest to the data.  Throughout the month of December, RealTime Talent will post segments of this larger report that highlight each region in its own blog post.  At the end of the month, we will close with the full, 40-page report and a special statewide workforce gap graphic that we have been developing for several months with support from our partners.  We can’t wait to share the insights we have uncovered in this rich online job posting data from TalentNeuron Recruit, and hope this work supports your own professional practice wherever you work in our wonderful state.

We encourage you to get excited for the release of these unique reports by reviewing the executive summary and tuning in December 2nd for the first regional installment on Southeast Minnesota!

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Online Labor Exchanges: What makes an Advanced Matching Platform different from an aggregator?

Ever wonder what makes a job board different from an aggregator or exchange? We did too, and we found that there isn’t a lot of literature that defines differences in functionality clearly for the common user.  In this post, we’ve compiled a brief summary of four types of online labor exchanges and how applications, social media, and recruitment technology interact with them.  We hope that it helps to clarify some of the strengths and weaknesses of these different kinds of platforms.

Job Boards
An online job board (or job bank) is a site on which an employer may post a job opening directly to be seen by active job-seekers. The exchange occurs as jobs are advertised (jobs go out) and candidates apply for openings (applications come in). These sites may require payment per job post, by subscription, or access to a candidate database, although some are free of charge to employers (in many cases obtaining revenue from the sale of advertisements). Some companies are experimenting with fully app-based job boards that operate on a swipe left-right basis.
Some job boards are password protected and hidden from public view, as is the case with many professional associations, colleges, universities, and unions. By restricting access to a membership group that pays for the service in the form of tuition or membership fees, these organizations focus on providing a high value to their job-seeking constituents. Although this exclusivity can be a drawback to employers who wish to reach a large audience, value can be demonstrated if the quality of candidates is consistently higher than from the general population.

Examples: CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Jobr, University of Minnesota Student Job Portal

 

Job Search Engines
Also called aggregators, job search engines have many of the same visual and functional characteristics as job boards, but instead of receiving direct postings from employers they “scrape” jobs from multiple job boards, corporate sites, and other sources. Job search engines are more likely than job boards to sell ads through a pay-per-click model rather than requiring employers to subscribe or pay for job posts, although some do follow this model. Job search engines were first developed in 2005 and although they are in one sense competitors to job boards, they are also another means of attracting high traffic to job boards and corporate sites. A large proportion of jobs on search engines come from job boards, meaning that the two overlapping systems have become somewhat symbiotic.
In 2011, Indeed surpassed the job board Monster as the most visited job site online, although consumer studies suggest that job-seekers are often frustrated by the user experience of bouncing between different sites. Standard search engines, such as Google are now providing similar services. This report does not include research done on job search engines.
Examples: Indeed, SimplyHired

 

Classic Online Labor Exchanges
RealTime Talent has identified “classic online labor exchanges” as job boards that have added functionality to match talent to opportunities going beyond keyword searches. For example, these systems may scan candidate profiles or resumes for education, skills, and experience and pull job postings that make reference to the same. They almost always offer other services to employers such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) or “push out” postings to job aggregators. They may also offer career planning tools for job-seekers, back-end access for career counselors and workforce centers, or data dashboards that can be used in labor force analysis. Like job boards, most sites require payment from employers, however statewide labor exchanges, customized and launched by government bodies, often establish a no-fee system to encourage employers to use their site.
Examples: MinnesotaWorks, Monster

 

Advanced Matching Platforms
A new brand of online labor exchange has surfaced in the past five years that uses complex algorithms to customize the job search results to individual candidates. Catering to passive candidates and those working on developing a long-term career goal, these platforms reduce the noise in the job market by filtering for only those candidates that have the optimal match of interests, hard skills, soft skills, experience, and educational background for a position. Their algorithms go far beyond the resume or keyword searches to understand subtle differences between candidates that make for stronger matches and more valuable employees. In some cases, they factor in preferred work environments, office culture, and schedule. Advanced matching platforms level the playing field between job seekers and employers, allowing either party to initiate the selection process once a match has been determined by the platform. This approach is successful in overcoming common hiring biases, removing from the process the candidate’s name, gender, address, or other traits that can be deduced from a resume or cover letter.
However, this unique approach may be frustrating to some active job-seekers accustomed to sifting through traditional job boards. Most advanced matching platforms require the completion of a questionnaire to match to positions, ranging in time commitments from 5 minutes to 45 minutes to complete – depending on the platform. Upon completion, few or even no matches may be presented if the answers do not match a currently open position.
Examples: Anthology, Elevated Careers, WhiteTruffle, WorkFountain

 

Applications and Social Media Technology
Social networking and app-based labor exchanges function as job boards, classic exchanges, or include some degree of advanced matching. However, they are typically highly simplified for a mobile environment and often do not operate well on desktop systems. Not a discreet category in and of themselves, and because functionality in both a desktop and mobile environment is critical for this pilot, sites that solely operate in a mobile environment were excluded from this study. LinkedIn Talent Solutions was reviewed, however, as it operates like a classic labor exchange that is able to leverage the data and connectivity of professional networks in the job search.
Examples: Jobr, JobandTalent, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

 

Recruitment Technology
Recruitment technology assists employers with passive recruitment of top candidates, sometimes serving the role that staffing firms and temporary agencies fulfill in larger companies. These technologies use marketing and communications as a means for “selling” positions to candidates directly. There is almost always a subscription fee for service paid by employers. The platforms are almost always candidate-facing, with recruitment companies performing all of the recruitment needs for a company including advertising jobs, researching passive candidates, reviewing applications, and screening potential hires. These systems feature large candidate databases with advanced capacities for searching, evaluating, and contacting them directly. They may connect to an ATS, or provide tracking services themselves. As these are not true labor exchanges and did not fit the functional needs of this pilot, recruitment technology were not evaluated beyond Phase 1.
Examples: Vettery, JobVite

AgriGrowth Highlights RealTime Talent Research in Agriculture’s Labor Force Needs

An article was published in AgriGrowth’s member newsletter on the recent findings of a study done by RealTime Talent on trends in agriculture hiring and recruitment.  The article, written by Erin Olson of RealTime Talent, notes that data suggests an industry-wide shift in hiring demand as well as supply of available workers.  Below you will find the text of the article and some graphics depicting the findings:

All signs point to a need to elevate the agriculture related workforce needs and opportunities that exist in Minnesota as well as the United States. Dramatic mechanization in agriculture has increased efficiency and reduced the need for farm labor over the past century and opened the door to new types of jobs in agriculture, including more high-tech and high-wage opportunities. Agriculture companies, trade associations, and higher education in Minnesota have witnessed this shift, but in many cases theses employment opportunities have not effectively reached the general public.

According to the USDA, the nation will see an average of 57,900 food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment job openings every year between 2015 and 2020—that’s about 231,600 openings over the next four years—the result of a wave of retirement that has begun to roll through the U.S. labor force.  Unfortunately, we only expect to see an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates trained in food, agriculture, and natural resources. If they all go straight into work, only 61 percent of those expected openings will be filled.[i]

This job gap is already presenting workforce challenges for many companies, which started to post job openings online in greater numbers starting in the summer of 2013. Job posting volume in this sector has been creeping up ever since, with agriculture industry job banks, like AgCareers.com, seeing posts in the Midwest rise as much as 49 percent between 2014 and 2015.[ii] graphicsfornewsletterarticle1

In the first six months of 2016, AgriGrowth member organizations had 47,837 open positions that required experience or knowledge of food, agriculture, farming, the environment, or natural resources, matching similar counts from 2015.[iii] About 7,000 (or 15 percent) of these jobs were in Minnesota.  While AgriGrowth members consistently sought drivers, sales workers, production supervisors, and engineers over the past decade, the majority of job postings in Minnesota during the first six months of 2016 were for marketing managers, management analysts, and financial positions.  The demand for these kinds of workers is growing.

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This increasing need for management and financial professionals is consistent with the message AgriGrowth has heard from the companies it works with. This summer, AgriGrowth partnered with RealTime Talent in a comprehensive survey of member organizations. The survey sought to identify the greatest challenges and opportunities in agriculture hiring, recruitment, and workforce planning. When asked to indicate their top three most difficult positions to fill, the word “manager” was the most frequent.  Service technicians, animal care providers, and sales associates ranked as the most challenging positions to fill, with 23 percent of all organizations anticipating hiring new employees in sales, business development, management, or information technology between April and October.

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More than half of companies said the biggest problem is that there are simply not enough applicants to fill vacancies, and that those who do apply lack either the soft skills, character traits, or experience in agriculture necessary to do the work. Most companies feel neutral or satisfied with their ability to find candidates with relevant education or certifications, but candidates still tend to lack necessary experience and skills.

There is consensus on the reasons positions are difficult to fill, but the workforce challenges faced by agriculture companies are extremely diverse. The concerns expressed by companies vary by size, type, and whether or not the company has staff designated to human resources activities. The top three workforce concerns among large companies—particularly those with human resources departments—are employee acquisition, perceived drops in youth interest in agriculture jobs, and employee retention. Agribusiness and food companies of all sizes are also particularly concerned about local non-agriculture competition when it comes to finding future candidates. Farms and smaller companies without human resources professionals on staff are less focused on future recruitment and tend to focus on current workforce gaps, targeting efforts in employee retention, compensation and benefits, and training.

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All of these insights allow AgriGrowth to better understand the workforce needs of its membership. “This survey was extremely useful in helping AgriGrowth better understand the various workforce challenges facing our members in recruiting and filling their employment needs” said AgriGrowth Executive Director Perry Aasness.

Judy Barka, Program Manager at AgCentric, says that the survey findings remind her of conversations she has had with employers around the state. “I have been hearing from a variety of Agriculture Industry partners about the importance of soft skills. This report confirms everything that I have heard in the field,” Barka said. She asks agriculture companies “if lack of youth interest in jobs in agriculture was identified as a top workforce concern, what are you doing about it and how can we work together on this issue?” AgCentric and the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture have used the findings from AgriGrowth’s survey to guide discussions around what the agriculture industry wants from graduates, to help Future Farmers of America (FFA) encourage high school students to explore jobs in agriculture, and to develop new partnerships with the Department of Agriculture.

The Centers of Excellence and other academic partners were pleased to learn that about 80 percent of AgriGrowth members participating in internship or dual training programs report that candidates that come to them through these programs are “consistently better” than those who do not. It appears that internships, on-the-job experience while undergoing training, and direct referrals from schools lead to the greatest employer satisfaction with candidates—second only to internal employee promotions.

With these findings, the future work of RealTime Talent will focus on developing career pathways in agriculture that match changing industry needs, reviewing curriculum to incorporate important experiential and soft-skill elements, and improving the connections between employers of all sizes and skilled, experienced candidates. As a result of this survey, AgriGrowth has a stronger understanding of the talent needs of its membership and a renewed energy to drive the public message of the agriculture industry’s important place in our growing economy.

“I appreciate the time many AgriGrowth members took to fill out the Real Time Talent Survey”, said Aasness.  “Enhancing our awareness of the workforce recruitment and hiring challenges facing our members will enable AgriGrowth to better represent the needs of our sector as we continue to work with the Real Time Talent board and staff.  AgriGrowth looks forward to continuing to work with Real Time Talent and its other collaborators in support of private/public efforts to better align workforce development efforts that will benefit and support the needs of Minnesota’s agriculture and food sector.”

[i] The full article by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be accessed here: https://www.purdue.edu/usda/employment/

[ii] From the March 2016 edition of Agri Marketing: AgCareers.com report on agriculture candidates and job trends.

[iii] Counts of online job postings are from the real-time data source TalentNeuron Recruit, which extracts data on skills, certifications, salary, and other requirements from jobs posted online.  For further information on this data, contact erin@realtimetalentmn.org or visit www.wantedanalytics.com.

 

Download the original article here or view the full newsletter online on AgriGrowth’s website: http://agrigrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/AG-Newsletter-2016-October.pdf

Introducing RealTime Talent’s New Executive Director: Sandee Joppa

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RealTime Talent is experiencing new growth and a season of transition early in its second year.  Jess Niebuhr, RealTime Talent’s first Executive Director, has shifted her role to that of Director of the RealTime Talent Exchange, the innovative new online job matching platform brought to Minnesota through funding by the Minnesota Legislature.

 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sandee Joppa as Executive Director of Real Time Talent effective October 17, 2016. Sandee has over 25 years of experience in Minnesota-based companies, including 10 years as Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer for the Donaldson Company; a Minnesota-based industrial manufacturing organization with more than 12,000 employees in 44 countries. At Donaldson, Sandee led the creation of a global HR function and built organizational capacity, talent pipelines, and world class leadership development programs to meet the organization’s growth strategy. During her tenure, the Star Tribune named Donaldson a “Top 100 Workplace.” Before joining Donaldson, Sandee worked at General Mills for 16 years in corporate recruiting, human resource manager roles in manufacturing plants and in sales and distribution, as a corporate diversity manager, and finally as director of human resources for the foodservice, baking products, Yoplait, and marketing communications divisions. Most recently, Sandee ran her own executive coaching and leadership development consulting company and continues to serve as President of the Twin Cities Human Resources Executive Council, which is comprised of Human Resource leaders across the Twin Cities.

 

Sandee’s philanthropic efforts include serving on the Luther College Board of Regents, the Luther College Audit and Outreach and Gifts Committees, and the Make-A-Wish Minnesota Human Resources Committee. Sandee has a bachelor’s degree in English from Luther College and a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. Sandee is originally from Moorhead, Minnesota and is looking forward to working with the various regions across the state to lead and support regional work force development efforts.

 

Sandee’s collaborative style, passion for work force development, and skill set in strategic planning, change management and talent pipeline development make her very well suited for the Executive Director role at this critical point in RealTime Talent’s growth. Given the importance of more actively engaging employers in strategic work force planning, Sandee’s extensive experience and connections will be instrumental to delivering the RealTime Talent mission in building the world’s best work force for Minnesota.

Introducing the RealTime Talent Exchange

Our new job-matching platform finally has a name: RealTime Talent Exchange.

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This cutting edge, web-based tool is designed to blind-matching the needs of Minnesota’s employers with quality candidates at all phases of the talent pipeline. Under the leadership of Senator Terri Bonoff and building upon the successful Minnesota PIPELINE Project, the RealTime Talent Exchange seeks to further its momentum with this regional, tech-based partnership.

Powered by WorkFountain technology, the goal of the RealTime Talent Exchange is to engage key regional and state business associations, trade groups, governmental programs, workforce development and placement efforts, educational institutions and training programs in a centralized, “no wrong door” approach to connecting with compatible experiential-learning talent. This powerful network of data-driven web platforms allows employers, non-profits, and government agencies to band together to build talent pipelines that serve them individually, while simultaneously strengthening the region as a whole.

With the support of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in launching this pilot, RealTime Talent will leverage the technology platform to:

  • Create efficiencies in regional recruiting practices
  • Reduce hiring bias, which increases workplace diversity
  • Provide real-time data on candidate pools, industry activity, and skills alignments
  • Increase time- and cost-savings in recruitment efforts for employers of all sizes

With a variety of ways to participate, RealTime Talent is seeking regional partners in education and industry to promote and benefit from this new platform.  We are aiming to launch the site in November, with full functionality coming in January 2017.

For more information about the RealTime Talent Exchange, please contact Jess Niebuhr at jess@realtimetalentmn.org.

Survey Results: What Matters Most to Job Seekers

We asked our Minnesota community what they value most in a job, and overall the responses are what you might expect: compensation and maintaining a positive work/life balance are critical. However, we noticed some interesting differences between job seekers of different age groups that suggest compensation may not be the first thing that younger members of the workforce are seeking; many seem to value the flexibility to work remotely and working for a cause they can believe in more than money.

 

rtt-job-seekers-survey-pieFirst, it is important to note that we did not receive nearly enough responses to make broad assumptions about all Minnesotans.  Out of the 50 responses we received, 35 (70%) were from people between the ages of 25 and 44, 7 (14%) were between 16 and 24, and 7 (14%) were between 45 and 64. One person responded who was older than 64.  While we can’t draw any statistical conclusions from these results, they are still an interesting snapshot to consider and our results do
echo other studies on the topic. Please take our results as a fun, casual look at what job seekers in the RealTime Talent community value most in their place of work.

 

It would be wrong to assume that compensation is the first thing that all job seekers pay attention to when considering a new job. In fact, our survey suggests that maintaining a healthy balance between work and life activities and seeking a company with a positive mission may be more important to some young job seekers. Compensation ranked third overall for young people, with not even a single respondent in the 16-24 age group indicating compensation as their first consideration in a job.  Working remotely is also a unique value of young job seekers.  Every participant in our survey ranked workplace flexibility somewhere between #1 to #5 in importance. These responses may be tied to how people in this age group define a positive work/life balance. The least important consideration for survey participants in the 16-24 year old group was the leadership of the company they consider.

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While compensation appears to become more important to older job seekers, 25-44 year olds still report that maintaining a positive work/life balance is the most important consideration. Job seekers in this age group were more likely to indicate that opportunities for advancement in a job were a swaying factor in a job offer. Company leadership was slightly more important to 25-44 year olds than for younger job seekers, but having flexibility to work remotely was less important on average among this older group. Health benefits ranked as the least important factor.

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There was a high level of consensus among the few responses received from job seekers between the ages of 45 and 64. Unanimously, these participants indicated compensation as the #1 or #2 most important factor in considering a job offer, with maintaining work/life balance coming in second place on average.  Location was also important to all survey participants in this age group, with every participant ranking place of work in their top three. Job seekers between 45 and 64 years of age also report the importance of health benefits when considering a job, pointing to the increased need for medical services with age. Opportunities for advancement rank last in this age group with every respondent ranking it in the lower half of the options given. These limited findings may suggest that many workers over 45 are finished with trying to climb the achievement ladder and are instead looking to receive the benefits of their hard work.

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Based on these results and the few studies cited above, it is impossible to determine whether these differences in job seekers focus are a result of changing values and roles as workers age, or signs of broader generational differences. There have been many hypotheses lately on the differences between Millennials, Gen X-ers, and Baby Boomers in the workplace, with hundreds of firms fighting for their place in a $150 billion global HR consulting space.  However, other studies suggest that the generations may not be so different after all. IBM’s Institute for Business Value released a report in 2014 based on 1,784 employees across the globe that found workers across all generations share similar workplace values. Nationally, CNBC found similar results in 2015. Multiple studies have found that across generation, race, and gender, employees tend to want the same things out of their work. Instead, it seems to be the importance of each factor and the way that these factors are defined that shifts with age and life stage.

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