Unemployment claims have skyrocketed in the past few weeks but Hire Dynamics regional director Laura Moody reports a BMW Manufacturing supplier is scouting new hires with plans to meet new product demands.
It’s one example of new opportunities awaiting employees laid off from other sectors — and staffing companies — in a rapidly evolving economic climate.
As auto manufacturers put the brakes on their production lines, some parts suppliers ramped up production before the impending shutdown, but now, to stay afloat, manufacturers like Moody’s client are charting unknown waters.
“I didn’t even think about them being able to do some of this stuff,” Moody said. “They haven’t done it yet, but they did call to say ‘Hey, we are thinking about doing some of this. Can you provide people if we do it?’ I think everyone is thinking outside the box a little bit.”
If her client redirects its BMW supply line to produce critical need or high-demand goods, she expects at least 25 to 50 initial hires and potentially more over time.
S.C. packaging companies, textiles and food manufacturers are also hoping to attract talent laid off from other sectors as they shift gears to meet current demands.
“In the past, when we had downturns in the economy, it was a slower downturn, and we would have a little bit of time to prepare. We were losing people slower. This, day to day, has changed. It’s really odd,” Moody said.
One Upstate packaging company that usually has a need for 20 new hires now works with Hire Dynamics to vet candidates for at least 60 new openings.
“They are a private company, and they do a lot of smaller runs for customers, a lot of alcohol sales — beer and wine boxes and inserts — and now, they are heading more toward the paper companies and medical supply companies. They have switched pretty quickly,” she said.
While some staffing companies have dismissed their sales force, Moody believes that the high demand for immediate manufacturing hires will prove to be a boon for the sector as few industries have the time to vet hundreds of candidates and reroute production routines.
As other industries screech to a halt and are forced to lay off their workforce in the interim, she encourages employers to steer them to employment opportunities through staffing partners.
“Most of our staffing partners are trying to keep folks busy,” Moody said.