Springfield's top employers weigh in on Talent Attraction Initiative

Posted by Maggie Kost on Mar 07, 2014

Top human resources professionals from Springfield’s largest employers emphasized the purpose and importance of the new Talent Attraction website at the annual meeting of the Springfield Business Development Corporation last month.

Representing Bass Pro Shops, CoxHealth, Mercy, and O’Reilly Auto Parts, a panel of four discussed the workforce challenges facing their companies and the ways they hope the Talent Attraction Initiative will address those issues.

“The challenge is simply that the skill sets and the numbers needed are not in the area,” Jonathan Andrews, vice president of human resources at O’Reilly Auto Parts said.

Andrews and others on the panel highlighted the lack of experienced candidates, specifically in the IT, accounting and health care fields.

“We could continue to compete against each other for talent here in Springfield, but at some point that talent pool is going to run out,” Paul Shore, vice president of human resources for Bass Pro Shops, said.

That is where the Talent Attraction Initiative comes into play. Born out of the feedback that the Chamber and SBDC received from area employers, the Talent Attraction website, liveinspringfieldmo.com was designed to help companies make the case to experienced professionals that Springfield is a great place to live, work, play and learn.

“It’s important that when we ask candidates in, that we’re able to sell not just the company, but the community as well,” John Hursh, vice president of human resources for CoxHealth, said.

Months of research went into the making of the site to determine exactly what it is these kinds of candidates are looking for as they consider relocating to a new community. What the research found was that Springfield met the criteria - it’s safe, has a vibrant economy, quality health care, affordable housing, and it’s easy to get around.

“There’s a lot to offer here and I think if we can get candidates to take a look, we can sell them on Springfield,” Shore said.

To view the new Talent Attraction Iniative website, go to www.LiveInSpringfieldMO.com.

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