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Insights For Action

How the MSP Region is Addressing the Growing Talent Crisis with Analysis of Real-time Labor Market Data

In the last few years, a range of online analytical tools has enabled a clear view of our dynamic and constantly changing labor market. For the first time, this data is available to job counselors and planners not just as information for reflection, but as a real-time action tool to direct jobseekers to the best opportunities. This report outlines our approach to taking the first step in addressing this crisis: documenting the labor shortage and skills gap, identifying the impact that our programs and initiatives could have on closing those gaps, and building a strategy for a more systematic and employer-led long-term solution.

We believe workforce development must now be based on a real-time feedback loop. Without a clear line of sight into the current labor market realities, it is impossible to advise job-seekers effectively, meet employer talent needs, or plan effective educational systems. We have learned that in a program-rich, systems-poor environment, context in real dataand short-term outcomes can help move out of the spin-cycle of planning and into systems change.

However, a strong report alone will not lead to systematic change, better programs, or improved outcomes without engaging the necessary leaders to take the next step. Even after reviewing the wealth of LMI, job postings, and educational data at our disposal, it is still essential to get out in the field and talk to employers, training program managers, K-12 educators, and postsecondary directors get their take on the accuracy and relevancy of the data and your conclusions from it.  Only then can we identify solutions that ensure employers have the workers required to sustain and grow Minnesota’s economy.

Real Time Talent and MSPWin will continue to promote and expand demand-driven solutions that are grounded in the realities of talent supply limitations and opportunities. We hope that this implementation guide is an important step toward building the next generation of cross-sector, employer-led education and workforce collaboratives to address the workforce challenges of our time.

Click HERE to read the full report.

RTT Joins Center for Workforce Solutions

As a Program of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, RealTime Talent Joins the Newly Created Center for Workforce Solutions

St. Paul, MN (05/08/18): The Minnesota Chamber yesterday announced the creation of the Center for Workforce Solutions, an innovative initiative under the leadership of the Chamber Foundation. Through collaboration and key partnerships, it offers research and programs to confront the state’s growing worker shortage and will help solve critical workforce challenges to sustain and grow Minnesota’s economy for the long term.
A key component of the Center for Workforce Solutions will be the work of RealTime Talent.  RealTime Talent seeks to increase workforce alignment throughout the state of Minnesota by bringing together education, workforce, economic development and private sector leaders.  RealTime Talent provides real-time labor market data to inform and affect market-oriented decisions made be these key stakeholders in Minnesota’s workforce and education system.  Recently, RealTime Talent published a series of reports detailing sector-specific occupations with high growth, middle skill, and livable wage opportunities.  These sector analyses have become critical data points used in workforce solutions conversation across the Twin Cities, and RealTime Talent is working to scale this work state-wide.
Along with RealTime Talent, the Center for Workforce Solutions will consist of three other solutions-focused components:

  •  MN Job Match is a job-to-candidate matching platform that helps employers find the right fit in qualified candidates. This platform’s unique capabilities matches modern skills with the changing needs in the marketplace, helps bridge the gap among job-seekers and employers, and identifies new opportunities.
  • Business Education Networks (BEN) seek to narrow the skills gap by helping students understand the career opportunities and complete necessary degree and certificate programs, thus helping employers find highly-skilled workers. BEN is already connecting businesses and local chambers with students, educators and workforce training programs in Winona, Brainerd, Waconia and White Bear Lake, with plans to accelerate networks throughout the state.
  • Educational opportunities bring together community and business leaders facing these challenges and offering solutions to ensure long-term economic success. The center offers resources and information that can expand employers’ knowledge base and offer new, innovative approaches to recruitment and retention. On May 9, the chamber will host the “Workforce Solutions Forum: Growing through Hidden Talent and Automation.” This half-day program will help employers tap the underutilized segments of our workforce and delve into how automation impacts all levels of production, and adapts how business is done to stay efficient with a shrinking workforce.

RealTime Talent is a public-private collaborative with a goal of increasing workforce alignment in Minnesota. We introduce tools and innovation to address labor force needs and support our higher education and workforce systems.  Our partners provide services to employers, job-seekers, planner and educators, using the tools and research we provide.  In January of 2018, RealTime Talent became a program of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that shares in the mission of driving workforce solutions. For more information, contact Phil Arellano, RealTime Talent Training & Communication Specialist
651-201-1774 or email phil@realtimetalentmn.org

Big Data Speaks Up for Soft Skills

Ask employers what they seek in new hires and “soft skills” rise to the top. Yes, it is a squishy buzz word but it covers a lot of what matters, including communication, teamwork, creativity and problem solving. For the new grads from our colleges, this is good news — they can show that they’ve got what today’s hiring managers want.

Don’t buy it? Start with the hard data. Sara Johnson, employer and alumni relations manager at Concordia College, has looked at full-time job postings from the last two years for new bachelor’s degree holders in our five-state area. Using TalentNeuron Recruit, a big-data tool that pulls together and analyzes job postings, Johnson’s search identified more than 390,000 postings in that period. She looked specifically at the skills required.

“When you look at the most listed skills, both hard and soft ones, almost all are soft skills,” she said. “These are really people skills. Employers are looking for a good quality candidate with problem solving abilities who can be creative, who can be analytical and who can take that information and articulate it.”

The top sought skill was oral and written communication. “That’s always number one. Looking at our data from job postings, we see demand for communications skills is two times more in demand than any other skill,” Johnson said. “It is about that ability to articulate ideas and information; it is extremely useful across all industries. If you dive in to what it means, it gets at expressing yourself in all sorts of ways.”

Ten of the top skills sought in new hires with bachelor’s degrees

Skill
# of postings that mentioned skill
Oral and written communications 148,238
Marketing 68,820
Detail-oriented 57,632
Problem solving 57,192
Integrity 43,938
Organizational skills 43,486
Creativity 40,049
Work independently 35,847
Self-starting / self-motivated 34,784
Team-oriented 33,721
Source: TalentNeuron Recruit

Data for period from May 31, 2015 to May 31, 2017 for full-time, entry-level positions for those with bachelor’s degrees in Minnesota and bordering states

Good news for grads

For college students who’ve been immersed in coursework and campus experiences and apprehensive about moving into the job market, this is a rare view into what employers are seeking. “For a student, they often don’t give themselves enough credit for those skill sets that they bring,” Johnson said. “So it is important to see the value of those skill sets — ones like integrity, working independently and working in a team.”

From Johnson’s perspective, students at Concordia College and Minnesota’s other private colleges have benefitted from educations focused on the liberal arts with opportunities for invaluable hands-on experiences, from internships to undergraduate research.

“The liberal arts colleges really have an advantage in helping students develop these high demand skill sets and preparing them for the workforce,” she said. “There’s always a transition — when you’re a new employee. These soft skills, they’re people skills and they give an advantage to liberal arts students, helping them be productive sooner. That’s a huge value to an employer, they’re a quick learner.”

And looking down the road, with the labor force expecting significant changes as more Baby Boomer retirements happen, the importance of these soft skills will only grow, Johnson predicts. With her analysis of the recent job postings for new college graduates, she also looked for where expectations are changing. The strongest increase was in management and leadership skills.

When employers hire new grads they worry about what soft skills are missing, as research has shown. Hiring managers were most concerned about a lack of critical thinking skills in recent grads. Next up was attention to detail and then communication. So as students apply for those first post-graduation positions, these data about the importance of soft skills can help them prepare. Johnson recommends students highlight these skills on their resumes and prepare to speak up during interviews about their experiences using these skills.

New graduates have what employers are seeking — now’s the time to be sure they let the decision makers know.

By John Manning

John Manning is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Minnesota Private Colleges Council, a partner of RealTime Talent.

Successes of 2017

RealTime Talent closed 2017 with a large and growing impact on Minnesota’s education-workforce ecosystem. Here are a few of the accomplishments from 2017 that we are proud of:

  • Created a movement to align talent development, workforce services and Minnesota’s labor market
    • RealTime Talent developed 21 career pathway guidance reports in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Finance, and Business, Finance, & Administration for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Perkins Consortia, rolling new demand-oriented approaches to career decision making across Minnesota State and CTE secondary programs. Over 2,000 students in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources career pathways across Minnesota State, in secondary CTE tracks, and participating in Future Farmers of America received reports filled with data from TalentNeuron Recruit to be used in career planning; 80% of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources educators across Minnesota State received the same CTE reports to use in their classrooms and were connected with local, trained TalentNeuron Recruit users.
  • Established RTT as a recognized leader and resource for driving the use of real-time data analytics to align talent development and workforce services with Minnesota’s labor market
    • 98 organizations and institutions of higher education that work with students, job-seekers, or employers received access to TalentNeuron Recruit and training.
    • Between 345-415 people currently use TalentNeuron Recruit regularly in service to students, job-seekers, or employers.  Broader reach of potential license use is estimated at about 800-900 people.
    • Over 75 unique training sessions in the TalentNeuron Recruit data tool have been held this year to date, with over 240 people participating.
  • Ensured the daily decisions and services of education and workforce providers are guided by current data and comparative analysis
    • Working with Job Seekers
      • 100% of workforce centers and employment services providers that shared data with us in our recent survey said that they use TalentNeuron Recruit data directly with job-seekers in the past 6 months.
      • Between 1,385 and 2,015 job-seekers statewide received job search assistance that included data from TalentNeuron Recruit in the past 6 months.
    • Working with Students
      • In the past 6 months, about 715 students (10% of all students served by partners sharing their usage) directly received career or academic advice from TalentNeuron Recruit data over the past 6 months.
    • Research, Curriculum, Program, and Economic Development
      • 68% of partners using TalentNeuron Recruit for research and workforce analytics found that it led to greater knowledge of local or regional workforce needs over the past 6 months.
      • 57% of users that are involved in curriculum development said use of TNR “increased alignment of curriculum to employer needs” over the past 6 months.
  • Improved the results and longevity of sector-based collaborations in meeting employer demand by integrating RTT tools and outreach
    • Working with Job Seekers
      • A reported 356 job-seekers developed an improved understanding of how to express their skills, experience, and education as a result of advice based in data from TalentNeuron Recruit in the past 6 months.
    • Working with Students
      • A reported 605 students developed an improved understanding of how to express their skills, experience, and education as a result of advice based in data from TalentNeuron Recruit over the past 6 months.
      • 66% of users working directly with students said use of TalentNeuron Recruit “increased student awareness of opportunities” over the past 6 months.
      • 53% of users working directly with students said use of TNR “increased the frequency of use of labor market data with students” over the past 6 months.
    • Research, Curriculum, Program, and Economic Development
      • 80% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data “increased knowledge of current workforce trends” over the past 6 months.
      • 50% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data led to “increased total number of employers engaged” over the past 6 months.
      • 56% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data led to “improved knowledge of hiring needs of employers” over the past 6 months.

New Year, New Location, Same Mission

The new year marks several exciting new beginnings for RealTime Talent.

We are pleased to announce that we completed our transition and are now operating as a public-private collaborative program within the Minnesota Chamber Foundation. We are thankful for the generosity and support of The Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations that we have called home for the first two years of RealTime Talent’s existence.  The Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations have provided a firm platform for our work to advance workforce alignment across Minnesota.  We look forward to continuing this important work with the MN Chamber Foundation, driving a statewide strategy to bring businesses, education providers, workforce planning, and economic development efforts together to better align education and training pathways to meet Minnesota’s workforce needs.

We also welcome our new Executive Director, Deb Broberg, to the RealTime Talent team.  Deb comes to RealTime Talent from a successful 25+ year career with Northwest Airlines and Wells Fargo where she held positions with responsibility for Inflight Operations, Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, and Talent Management.  During her tenure with Wells Fargo she gained a keen appreciation for the importance of talent management and workforce planning.

Deb received her MA from the University of Minnesota’s HRIR program and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Macalester College.  She serves on the board of the Human Resources Executive Council and has had a longstanding interest in education and the critical need to plan for future market needs when considering options for post-secondary education and training.  Deb is active on the Alumni Board for Macalester College as co-chair of the career development committee, and served on the Carlson School of Management Undergraduate Advisory Board for nine years, where she gained insight on the early Itasca Project research which fueled her interest in workforce readiness for the state of Minnesota.

Deb brings a strong sense of community, commitment, and collaboration to RealTime Talent.  Deb is originally from Minnesota and spent her youth in multiple geographies as the daughter of a military family.

You can reach us at our new address at the MN Chamber is 400 Robert Street N, #1500, Saint Paul, MN 55101, or www.realtimetalent.org.   We look forward to working with you in the new year and beyond!

Northwestern Minnesota

 

The Northwest region of Minnesota is mostly rural and has an economy dominated by agriculture. With a population of 595,370 in an area of 29,904 square miles and 26 counties, it contains wide expanses of agricultural land and 29.5% of the state’s farms according to the USDA in 2012. The region contains only 8% of total employment in Minnesota based on DEED’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Some of the largest cities in this region include Moorhead (pop. 42,005, #21), Bemidji (pop. 14,594, #70), and Brainerd (pop. 13,371, #78).

DEED identifies three distinguishing industries of the Minnesota’s Northwest: pipeline transportation; fishing, hunting and trapping; transportation equipment manufacturing. The Northwest contains over 40% of the state’s jobs in these three industries. This is reflected in the industries that saw the most job postings online during the first three quarters of 2016. The vast majority of jobs were posted by freight trucking companies – both long-haul and local – or by temp and staffing agencies hiring for drivers, manufacturing, and agricultural labor.

Capturing the job openings in agriculture, fishing, hunting, and related positions can be challenging, as many positions are not publicly advertised. The chart below shows the number of production agriculture, environment, fishing, and hunting jobs that were advertised online in the region during the first three quarters of 2016. Counts for farm workers, breeders, fish and game wardens, and equipment operators were likely significantly higher than what these counts reveal.

Although DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics found administrative support positions to employ the most people in the region in 2015 and food service to have the most vacancies, it was actually transportation jobs that were advertised much more frequently. Transportation jobs comprised 25% of all jobs advertised online in Nothwest Minnesota in the first three quarters of 2016. Healthcare practitioners and sales positions are also in high demand, making up 14% and 8% of the total 58,800 jobs in the region, respectively. Education, training, and library occupations are increasing in demand in this region, with job postings up by 66% since 2015. Hard skills in demand in the Northwest include pediatrics, quality assurance, geriatrics, behavioral health, and technical support experience.

For more information on Minnesota’s Northwest, view our new report here.

 

Sources:

TalentNeuron Recruit for online job counts.  www.wantedanalytics.com

DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) http://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/qcew/

DEED Distinguishing Industries https://mn.gov/deed/assets/sept-2015-trends-distinguishing_tcm1045-212016.pdf

DEED Occupational Employment Statistics https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/oes/

 

Minnesota’s 7-County Twin Cities Metro Area

metro_map

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.

 

metro_chart

Southwestern Minnesota

 

region_southwest

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

 

southwest_chart

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.

graphicsfornewsletterarticle

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.

graphicsfornewsletterarticle2

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.

graphicsfornewsletterarticle3

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

RealTime Talent is bringing WorkFountain to Minnesota

Today, RealTime Talent announced its selection of WorkFountain as the platform for a new kind of online labor exchange in Minnesota. Designed by Michigan-based company Digerati, WorkFountain “is a unique scalable platform that engages businesses of all sizes and creates greater efficiency in the labor market. The platform builds pathways for meaningful employment, ultimately creating jobs and strengthening the economy,” says CEO Brian Balasia.

WorkFountain is specifically built with the goal of reducing hiring bias and economic inequalities through blind-correlated matching of candidates to job opportunities. RealTime Talent evaluated 11 online labor exchange platforms, but what sets WorkFountain is the quality of the matches. Organizations that have implemented the technology share that they are seeing faster matches to higher quality candidates. By requiring both job-seekers and employers to complete job-specific surveys, the site goes far beyond resumes or keyword searches to understand subtle differences between candidates, including their preferred work environment, daily tasks, and leadership style.

Small and mid-sized businesses stand to gain from this new approach to hiring. Blind matching candidates based on compatibility means that brand strength doesn’t play as significant of a role in the job-seeker’s search. “As a board member of RealTime Talent, I am really excited to be bringing this innovation to Minnesota,” shared Scott Peterson, representative of the Itasca Project and chair of the RealTime Talent board. “WorkFountain has the potential to bring tremendous efficiencies to match job seekers with employers, as well as harness the power of our diverse workforce. “

The project received funding from the Minnesota Legislature in July 2016 through the leadership of Senator Terri E. Bonoff, chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. The Legislature dedicated funding to RealTime Talent to bring a 21st century web-based job and intern-seeking software tool that blind matches the needs of Minnesota’s employers with high school seniors and college students.

“While working on the MN PIPELINE Project, we heard loud and clear from employers that they are struggling to identify and connect with their future workforce” stated Senator Bonoff. “I always knew there had to be a way to harness technology to bring about more meaningful connections between employers and our youth, so we set out to find a solution for them beyond just creating an education and training program and I’m pleased to say today that we found it. WorkFountain is currently doing this connection work with great success in Michigan and Ohio, and I am thrilled that they are coming to Minnesota to unlock so much potential for our employers and students. Thank you to Jess Niebuhr of RealTime Talent and her board for being the engine of workforce solution innovation for our State and making this happen.”

RealTime Talent is working with the support of the Office of Higher Education to implement this pilot. We are seeking regional, education, and industry partners to build, use, and launch this new platform for the benefit of Minnesota employers and job-seekers.

For more information about this pilot project, access to the full report evaluating similar platforms, or inquiries on becoming a partner in this pilot project, please contact Jess Niebuhr at jess@realtimetalentmn.org. More information is available at http://www.realtimetalent.org/ and http://digerati.co/workfountain/.

Read the full press release here:
2016 08 24 RTT WorkFountain Press Release – FINAL

WorkFountainFullLogo

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