Twenty-three years ago, Aumsville Animal Clinic opened its doors with two doctors and two staff members. Today, after concentrating on small animal medicine, the business is growing and now has three doctors and 15 support personnel.
Where does a business turn when they need skilled workers? When Aumsville Animal Clinic needed a receptionist they turned to a new recruiting tool called iMatchSkills. The Web-based job-matching system helps businesses find qualified workers based on the skills they posses, in addition to the more traditional searches based on occupations held and prior experience.
"I think that pre-screening has helped to get the types of people that we need," explained Dr. Jay Stewart. "Saves us time, saves us effort, saves us money - obviously - and we ended up with a really dynamite employee. And she wasn't the only one. There were many others that really would have fit our bill very nicely. So I think it was a very pleasant surprise to have as good a response, as rapidly and effectively as we did."
The Aumsville Animal Clinic learned about the recruiting tool through Business Services Specialist Debra Giard of the Winema Job & Career Center at Chemeketa Community College. She explained the system's advantages and teamed up with Terry Rich at the Employment Department to help the clinic's staff use it. Within a matter of minutes, the clinic's Cathy Michaelson was able to set up an iMatchSkills job listing and begin the recruitment process.
The team approach and online matching system are services of WorkSource Oregon, a network of public and private partners working together to help businesses and workers. It's an effort to provide services from a variety of local workforce providers in a unified and seamless fashion.
At first, Dr. Stewart had reservations about getting involved in the public - private partnership of services. He figured there might be a downside to something involving government. "Yet, when we did, we had nothing but a pleasant experience with it. The quality, from the top to the bottom, the people - like Deb Giard that came, she just did a fantastic job and we felt like we had gotten support from A to Z."
Employment's Terry Rich helped the clinic with the iMatchSkills process. To him it's almost like a perfect circle. An opening creates an opportunity, the process searches for the best candidates, and the result marries an employer to a qualified worker. "When I see that complete, it means that not only have we helped a job seeker - we've helped an employer; we've done what we're supposed to do."
In this case, the successful candidate for the job was Sandy Shook. The journey to her new career started by creating an iMatchSkills account with some assistance from Employment Department staff. Then, after using the system for awhile, she got the referral that made the difference. "They've always been nice when I've called them - very helpful," she said. "It was the right job at the right time - very good fit - very nice."
The iMatchSkills site is available to businesses and job seekers at no additional charge by visiting www.workinginoregon.org