Our Business Roundtable Series is sponsored by APS and presented in partnership with Mayor Brigette Peterson, Gilbert’s Office of Economic Development, and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.
Individuals from the Business and Professional Services industries joined us for a roundtable discussion. Hearing directly from our businesses is important to us and helps us understand the emerging trends and disruptors businesses face; plans for growth or expansion; workforce successes and challenges; and how the Chamber and Town can assist businesses now and in the future.
The following are key takeaways from the discussion:
Regarding the business and professional services industry, share some current market or industry trends that immediately come to mind.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to impact businesses significantly, and major telecom businesses have been acquiring AI.
- Recruiters are seeing more resumes for high-level executive positions that AI is writing. There is also increased use of automation in recruiting processes.
- Quiet quitting is a growing concern for organizations. Low engagement can be due to poor leadership as well as generational issues.
- Specialization of fields is becoming more extreme, creating a lack of seeing the bigger picture. This can also make it challenging to gain new perspectives on our work.
- Longevity in a field or organization is important; it allows time to develop connections with each other, which helps us become better leaders and employees.
Businesses shared more about their current employee recruitment and retention efforts.
- Sharing clear beliefs and core values can attract the right people for your organization. Work to keep people by investing in their personal and professional growth.
- Creating a great organizational culture can help you scale your business.
- Use of behavioral assessments can help place people where they will flourish and help identify areas where an employee may need additional support.
- Remote work can impact spontaneous collaboration when colleagues connect in the workplace. Remote workers tend not to progress at the same rate as in-person workers. Remote work options can also be a great retention tool, providing additional flexibility.
- The construction industry can be very competitive. Encouraging employees to get engaged in the community can help with retention.
What do you perceive to be the most significant skills gaps between job requirements and the abilities of applicants? Is there a need for additional workforce-related training?
- Employers feel that entry-level job applicants lack soft skills such as communication and time management.
- Text messaging is gaining popularity as a preferred communication method with employees and customers and may even replace phone calls and voicemails soon.
- Students are not exposed to automotive programs in high school. While programs like EVIT provide exposure in various fields, many feel it is too much of a commitment. There is interest in other options that would give the students exposure to multiple areas of interest.
- The emphasis on the need for a college degree is changing.
What works well when operating your business in Gilbert, and what challenges are you facing?
- Commercial leases can be challenging to interpret.
- Affordable commercial space is difficult to find.
- Length of time from concept to build can be an additional challenge.