By Hannah Wallace August 31, 2008

Will you be hiring more employees in the next six months? 

Steve Walter, partner, Partner, Method Factory


Yes. Our budget calls for hiring 10 percent more people in the coming months. We do Web-based application development and have 24 people right now, computer programmers for the most part, a couple of sales and marketing people and operations people. Our clients are about 35 percent city and county governments and 65 percent for-profit businesses, mid-market—anywhere from $20 million to $2 billion in gross revenues, not Fortune 500 but not the kind of mom-and-pop businesses you generally see in SarasotaCounty. About a third of our clients are in Florida; the rest are from all over the country. We recruit [employees] from Tampa to NorthPort. We try to recruit from Sarasota and Bradenton. It’s not easy; one of our greatest challenges is finding qualified people here to do the work.  

Mark Becker, general manager, Hyatt Regency

A: As we move on into fall, as business picks up, we will be hiring positions here in limited quantities, primarily banquet servers and front desk agents. Of course, we’re always looking for room attendants. Year-round [the number of employees] is fairly static—we have 30 management positions and 125 full-time associates. The biggest way for us to recruit is on our Web site through and Hyatt Careers. We have no international efforts, although some hotels do; we always have found qualified applications locally.

Jan Mauck, chief nursing officer, Sarasota Memorial Hospital

A: Yes, we plan to continue hiring nurses, but like everyone else we’re feeling the effects of the economic downturn and we’ll always be looking at how we can be more efficient. We employ 1,500 nurses, from patient care assistants to RNs. Recruitment is still an issue, no question about it, and certain areas—ER, OR and critical care—have more vacancies than others. Some of it has to do with age; OR nurses tend to be older and retiring, for example. Over the last two years, we’ve [also] found that a lot of our nurses are leaving this area and going to Tennessee and North Carolina; they’re able to find jobs easily there and the housing market is much different. We are countering that several ways. We have internships, [whereby] we train people to go into that specialty. And one of our biggest strategies is taking on new graduate nurses. Primarily they come from USF or MCC. We pair each of them with a mentor who loves to train. That’s been very successful; we have a waiting list for people who want to get in here as new grads.

John Cannon, president, John Cannon Homes


 Possibly. While we have pared down our staff to about 57 employees from 100 over the last six months, mainly through attrition, our expansion of services into the commercial construction, remodeling and property management arena remains strong. I am optimistic that we’ll start to see more home buyers commit by the end of the year.

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