Spokane Journal of Business

Worksource’s Talent Solutions team evolve

Organization changes name of unit to reflect focus shift

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-—Kevin Blocker
Robert Duron and Dani Kaschmitter hope the Talent Solutions Team can serve employers and recruiters more effectively.

In an ongoing shift to modernize, Spokane’s longtime employment and worker retraining agency WorkSource has revamped the duties of its former Business Engagement Team.

Now dubbed the Talent Solutions Team, the eight-member unit has been structured to serve employers, their recruiters, and human resource professionals more effectively.

Talent Solutions is an updated version of the Business Engagement Team, which before that was called the Business Services Team.

Previously, those business service units had more contact with job seekers and tried to help them secure employment. Now, Talent Solutions has made a pivot and turned its attention to having greater engagement with businesses in order to help them find appropriate talent.

“Business owners perhaps don’t have the time or resources to do all that comes with making the right hire,” says Robert Duron, who serves as a board member on the Spokane Workforce Council and helped oversee the creation of Talent Solutions.

Duron is a local business owner who has owned and operated several businesses. Currently he owns and operates Pet Vittles and Wild Bird West.

It’s important for Talent Solutions team members to know the “culture” of the employers they serve, Duron says. Just because a job seeker’s resume matches an employer’s job description doesn’t mean that they’re a compatible fit for each another, he points out.

The goal, ultimately, is to reduce costly employee turnover. Last year, the Talent Solutions team helped serve a total of 1,500 employers, an increase from 1,100 the year prior, according to statistics compiled by the unit. Talent Solutions was previously the business services department of WorkSource.

WorkSource employees offer job skill training assistance, provide customers with job search services via use of its free computer resource center, and can provide resources for access to personal assistance.

Talent Solutions team manager Dani Kaschmitter says the team’s goal is to continue to help strengthen and grow the economy and support job creation.

“We’ve expanded on our effort to connect employers with high quality talent,” Kaschmitter says.

The Talent Solutions team has dedicated specific office space for area businesses – at no cost to employers – to host their own hiring events and job fairs, workshops and training, and other networking activities. Talent Solutions team members also have the ability to offer online job posting assistance to employers, Kaschmitter says.

WorkSource director Kevin Williams says the Talent Solutions team now has more interaction with  other parts of the WorkSource system.

“For years, employment and training units ... departments, they were all working in their individual silos,” Williams says. “We’ve gotten away from that structure and think we’ve done a good job of creating better and more effective pipelines of resources for businesses and job seekers as we do more collaboration with each other,” he says.

Williams described past approaches by business units in pairing job seekers with employers as “transactional.”

“The company had an opening and we looked at our pool resumes to try and fill the opening,” Williams says. “But now, by getting to the business at a deeper level, Talent Solutions is thinking more outside of that transactional box.”

“If we know the job seeker and the business on a more intimate basis, then we can have a more effective pairing between two,” he says.

Talent Solutions serves the greater WorkSource system, which includes the Spokane Workforce Council, WorkSource Spokane, the Next Generation Zone, and the Spokane Resource Center, which also is called the EnVision Center.

Talent Solutions is located on the third floor of the Gateway 5 Building, at 140 S. Arthur, east of downtown Spokane. The Next Generation Zone is next door at 901 E. Second, and WorkSource is across the parking lot from the two, at 130 S. Arthur.

The Spokane Workforce Council leases 7,660 square feet of office space at 140 S. Arthur for its business offices, Talent Solutions, and an events center. After months of renovations, the Talent Solutions team will host a grand opening on Dec. 11.

The council leases 10,000 square feet for the Next Generation Zone in addition to 40,000 square feet at 130 S. Arthur for WorkSource Spokane on the first floor and the Spokane Resource Center on the second floor. WorkSource serves approximately 8,000 customers annually.

WorkSource is a conglomeration of employment specialists from employment agency Career Path Services, the Washington state Employment Security Department, Community Colleges of Spokane, the state Department of Labor and Industries, and its Department of Social and Health Services and its Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Kevin Blocker
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