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Jobs available, but finding qualified candidates is a hurdle for some

CEOs were asked: The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady clip. How many job openings does your company currently have, and what obstacles have you met in filling these roles?
CEOs were asked: The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady clip. How many job openings does your company currently have, and what obstacles have you met in filling these roles? Getty Images/iStockphoto

CEOs were asked: The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady clip. How many job openings does your company currently have, and what obstacles have you met in filling these roles?

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At MBAF, we are constantly hiring as we continue to grow at a fast pace; we have consistently had about 30-40 job openings over the past year. Because the employment rate is very low, it is a challenge to find skilled accountants or high-level talent at the rate that we are growing. To continue to recruit qualified employees in the competitive marketplace, we’ve developed employee benefits that go beyond the basics of typical accounting firms, including flexible schedules mindful of millennials, volunteer days, opportunities to participate in company sports like yoga or softball, professional development clubs like The Women of MBAF and much more. We’ve created a family-like culture committed to providing employees an environment where they can grow and succeed, and we are proud to be a Best Place to Work.

Tony Argiz, chairman, CEO, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC (MBAF)

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Our production work ebbs and flows more based on the seasons. We always need more people in the fall and winter than the spring and summer. Any people we have hired for the busy times have always stayed through the quiet times and we haven’t had to lay anyone off. We also have had success hiring through work-release programs and think it is important to give a second chance to people who are transitioning back into the workforce. We have found excellent, loyal employees through these programs.

Jennifer Cramer, CEO, co-founder, The Spice Lab

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    We are always on the look out for the best talent in the industry and make it a point to regularly keep certain job postings open. Our exciting projects and supportive culture, combined with competitive employment packages, have allowed us to fill open roles from an impressive group of candidates. In fact, most of our hires have come from internal referrals and word of mouth, which tells us that the people who come to us truly want to work here and that our current employees enjoy their work environment.

    Adriana Jaegerman, senior principal, managing leader, Stantec

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    We currently have one opening. Finding qualified personnel with the requisite international expertise is very difficult in Miami as there is much demand for those skill sets.

    José E. Latour, founding partner, LatourLaw

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    We have two job openings and we are having a difficult time filling the positions. As a nonprofit, it is hard to compete with the salaries and benefits of for-profits. A potential employee has to love our mission to join the organization. Many potential employees are not as prepared as they should be and some lack the people and customer service skills needed to work with a large number of clients.

    Beatrice Louissaint, president, CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council

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    We currently have two job openings. We have received hundreds of applications, many of which meet or exceed the qualifications we are looking for. I have been very pleasantly surprised with the interest in these available positions. We are holding out for the candidate who not only has the qualifications, but who also passionately believes in our mission and is ready to be a part of a dynamic team.

    Melissa Medina, president, eMerge

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    At any time, about 5% of our full time positions are open — both for faculty and for non-academic staff. The U is known as a high quality, stable employer and Miami Business School is in growth mode so we have no shortage of applicants.

    John Quelch, vice provost, University of Miami Dean, Miami Business School and Leonard M. Miller University Professor

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    Office Edge has a couple of openings due to expanding our sales and marketing efforts, and it is difficult to find the right candidates. Some of this is because many companies now rely on online sales, and the live “feet on the street” has morphed into the anonymous “live chat” assistant on their websites. In addition, the low unemployment in Miami makes it difficult to hire administrative professionals. We are currently looking for two new hires and have started to work with local educational programs to create internships for business administration.

    Kelly Ramsden, managing partner, Office Edge and Legal Edge

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    MOCA North Miami is currently in the process of hiring a Director of Communications, a key member of the museum’s leadership team, responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of the museum’s communication and marketing efforts. There are a number of factors that affect an inclusive hiring process. Higher-level roles have a tendency to be more difficult to fill. We are dealing with a smaller pool of qualified candidates. Additionally, I also believe that finding candidates who have a genuine interest in working at the museum is a challenge. More than finding qualified candidates, it is separating the job applicants that are interested in a “job” — from those who want “your” specific job.

    Chana Sheldon, executive director, MOCA

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    THE MIAMI HERALD CEO ROUNDTABLE IS A WEEKLY FEATURE THAT APPEARS IN BUSINESS MONDAY OF THE MIAMI HERALD. Meet the current members of the roundtable.

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    RECENT QUESTIONS TO THE ROUNDTABLE HAVE INCLUDED:

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    ▪ Efforts to boost low wages may ease affordability crisis

    ▪ Local and state governments must do more to address affordable housing

    ▪ Find your passion and own your career path, CEOS tell job seekers

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    ▪ South Florida CEOs offer suggestion to address America’s student loan debt

    ▪ Supervisors often were the greatest influence on CEOs’ careers

    ▪ CEOs address Miami’s racial wealth gap

    ▪ CEOs discuss transforming healthcare in America

    ▪ Is the job market as good as it gets?

    ▪ CEOs split on encouraging marijuana sales in Florida

    ▪ Unlocking state funds for affordable housing is the right move, CEOS said

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    ▪ CEOs agree that tax breaks are needed to lure businesses to Florida

    ▪ Technology led to significant changes in 2018 for most CEOs

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    ▪ Most CEOs say salaries will increase in 2019

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    ▪ CEOs: Amazon’s strong look at Miami for HQ2 made the region look hard at itself

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    ▪ How CEOs address hostility in the workplace

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