A Q&A with Tri-State Regional Director, Clayton Owens
Today we’re kicking off a new series here on the blog. While BelFlex Staffing Network is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, we actively partner with clients and secure work opportunities for our candidates in 10 different states. Our geographic presence is broken out into six different regions. Each is led by a regional director who oversees the operations of multiple offices and represents BelFlex in their local communities. Through this series, we hope you gain a better understanding of the work we do in each of our six regions.
We asked Clayton Owens, who heads up our Tri-State region, to give us a view into BelFlex’s operations there, as well as the workforce trends and community initiatives. Clayton oversees three BelFlex offices, which are located in Lawrenceburg, IN, Florence, KY, and Louisville, KY. Though he has only been in his current role since January, he is no stranger to the company, or the industry. Clayton has been with BelFlex for over 10 years and has worked in many different roles, from recruiting, to special projects in sales and operations and more recently managing onsite accounts across the company. His experience is very relatable to BelFlex’s candidates, as he actually got his start with the company as a temporary worker.
1. Give us a sense of the manufacturing industry in the Tri-State region.
Our client base here is very diverse, with both longtime and brand new customers across the manufacturing industry. Demand for workers in our region is very high, due to a combination of the talent shortage and strong growth in the manufacturing space.
Each of our offices has a similar customer dynamic, with a combination of a few large customers and dozens of smaller ones. In general, there is a lot of opportunity in this region, with an abundance of manufacturing companies. BelFlex is very established in northern Kentucky in particular, having had a presence here for quite a few years. We have a great reputation and know our customers’ needs well.
2. Speaking of customer needs, what workforce issues are you helping solve?
The talent shortage has really left many manufacturers with their backs against the wall. The pendulum has forcefully swung and remained in the worker’s favor, and as a result many companies are paying higher wages and focusing more on creating a great worker experience. Across the region, we’re seeing more direct hire opportunities for our talent base, as companies aim to attract and retain quality workers with benefits and the potential of longer employment.
We’re definitely having more strategic conversations with our clients about their total workforce needs. With such a low unemployment rate, companies who only focus on their in-the-moment needs will always find themselves a step or two behind the competition.
3. How would you characterize your efforts to recruit the workforce in the Tri-State region?
With a shrinking pool of available talent and an abundance of opportunities, we’re working hard to attract passive candidates, or those who are already employed, to our clients’ open roles. While having a strong reputation here works in BelFlex’s favor, we also pursue candidates in a variety of ways. We partner with organizations and schools in our communities and we’re active on social media—we leave no stone unturned to widen our talent base as much as possible.
4. What initiatives is BelFlex currently driving or involved with in the local community?
Our biggest initiative right now is our involvement with the LIFT the Tri-State program here in Northern Kentucky. It’s a free, 12-week job training program that helps local participants learn valuable skills and connect with viable career opportunities. Our communities have really rallied around this great program, and our customers get involved by hosting plant tours and participating in mock interviews with the participants. Unrelated to the LIFT program, we’re also active with the local trade schools in our area, helping educate them on manufacturing careers, helping students develop resumes and prepare for interviews, and more. When possible, we like to partner with our customers who have specific causes that they are involved with in the community. An example that’s coming soon is our contribution to and hosting of a golf outing where proceeds benefit the Special Olympics.
5. What’s next for BelFlex in the Tri-State region?
This one is hard to sum up, but I think we’re really laser focused on three things: customer service, recruitment and growth. First, we’ll always make customer service to both our clients and candidates a priority. It’s really the foundation of our company, and always will be. Second, due to the talent shortage, we’re really pushing to create awareness for BelFlex in our communities as well as online. Third is growth, in a variety of ways. From an innovation standpoint, we see the value in investing in technology to be more efficient and better service our customers.
From a people standpoint, we must always remember that, in our business, if we don’t have people then we don’t have anything. That said, we must invest in people. We’re also making a push to expand in to different staffing verticals to become more robust and further serve our customers. We’re always on the look out to widen our footprint as well, and we see a lot of opportunity to do so in the near future.
Stay tuned for the next post in our series, where we sit down with Jason Schafer who heads up our Carolinas region.