NORTH CANTON, Ohio (PRWEB) February 18, 2013
Manufacturing is facing unprecedented staffing challenges as it strives to contain costs while at the same time struggling to find qualified labor to meet increasing business demands. MPA Companies, Inc., President Mike Aquino believes that contract staffing can address many of those issues and is increasing the recruiting firm’s focus on placing contractors as a result.
“It’s a significant change in attitude for me personally,” Aquino said.
MPA Companies provides direct and contract staffing services nationwide in the Rubber, Plastics, Polymer and Chemical Industries for R&D, Manufacturing, Engineering and Technical Sales positions. The firm prides itself on being an extension of its clients’ staffing programs. A key component of that is the on site visits they conduct to learn more about their clients’ products, people and job requirements.
Aquino, a 25-year veteran of the recruiting industry, said he had a “pre-conceived notion” against contracting, associating it with low wage, short-term assignments and administrative headaches. So when he established the North Canton, Ohio–based MPA Companies in 2002, the firm initially focused only on direct hire placements. He reconsidered his perspective five years ago when his client companies starting requesting engineers for contract assignments lasting nine months or longer at higher pay rates.
Utilizing the contract staffing back-office services of Top Echelon® Contracting (TEC), he found contract staffing to be much easier than he expected. TEC becomes the employer of record for the contractors MPA Companies places, handling all the legal, financial, and administrative tasks associated with the contract placements.
“It’s the same process,” Aquino said. “It’s identical to permanent employment. You need to find someone who can do the job, you present them, and they do the same interview process. It’s just the pay structure is different and everyone goes into it knowing it’s temporary.”
Now, Aquino is planning to promote the firm’s contract staffing services more heavily as the demand for skilled contractors grows in the manufacturing industry.
“What it’s all about is the headcount,” Aquino said. “It’s a way for companies to get around the headcount. When they need one or two engineers but can’t hire permanently, they can get approval for a contractor.”
Contract staffing also gives companies the flexibility to adjust their workforces to their current and future workload. Companies can increase their staff for spikes in business and projects and ramp back down when things slow down.
Many companies are using contract staffing to deal with the growing labor shortage in the manufacturing industry as well. At a time when manufacturing is up overall, companies are losing some of their most experienced and skilled workers to retirement, Aquino said. Many companies are also bringing work back from overseas because due to the lack of quality.
While this may be good news for the economy, it’s deepening the labor shortage. Contracting can help by allowing companies to bring in talent from other areas of the United States, Aquinio said. For example, he recently had a company in Houston call asking him to send skilled workers from Ohio. Because the positions are temporary, workers from other areas may be more willing to relocate for contract assignments.
Aquino says these issues are not going away anytime soon, so he expects the demand for contractors to continue to increase and plans to position his firm to take advantage of that demand.
Debbie Fledderjohann, President of TEC has worked with Aquino for the past three years.
“Mike has excellent insight to the technical side of the employment market and focuses on what the companies need," she said. "His ability to place direct hire, contract, and contract-to-direct hire candidates, based on each company’s specific goals or objectives, shows his desire to focus on what works best for each client.”