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Word on the street

BY HBSDEALER Staff

As summer comes to a close, our industry welcomes good news and confronts bad news. The good: Companies are fighting their way out of the recession through ingenuity, superior product development and clever marketing strategies. The bad: Skilled talent is in short supply. In fact, the old adage “finding good help is hard these days” has never been truer than it is today. As companies fight to emerge from the recession and begin the long process of hiring top talent, they are discovering a shortage of skilled (and experienced) individuals.

I saw this firsthand several weeks ago when I spoke to the Southern Building Materials Association (SBMA) at the summer conference in Virginia Beach. At the conference, I was approached by countless industry leaders who told me how difficult it was to find top-level talent to lead their businesses out of the recession. It is a function of years of stagnant economic activity combined with a shrinking pool of experienced people, and it is a very real concern for the industry. Some industry leaders have resorted to hiring inexperienced millennials (their own kids!). What a scary proposition! In fact, studies show that the millennial generation will comprise 46% of the workforce by 2020.

So how do you, as an industry leader, navigate the growing talent gap to find the right people for your business? Start by acknowledging changes in the economy and the industry since the recession hit several years ago. Utilize technology and social media to recruit and retain experienced talent and identify the rising stars of the millennial generation.           

Be willing to make an investment in the human resources you bring to your team. Hiring smart is the quickest way to strengthen your company as it emerges from the Great Recession, so don’t be afraid to engage outside professionals to help you find the right job candidates.

Jim Schaffer is chairman at Schaffer Associates, an executive search firm. He can be reached at [email protected] or (704) 535-9939.

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Michael Finn joins Axalta Coating Systems as senior VP and general counsel

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Axalta Coating Systems has appointed Michael Finn to the post of senior VP and general counsel. Finn will bring his extensive legal experience to bear on the company’s legal functions, which include corporate legal matters, litigation, intellectual property, privacy and ethics.

Previously, he served as VP and general counsel for the Advanced Information Systems division of General Dynamics Corporation. During his time with the company, he oversaw a team of attorneys as well as contract, subcontract and export compliance professionals.

Finn also held positions as VP, general counsel and assistant secretary at Sideware Corporation; associate general counsel at Teligent.; appellate litigation attorney with the Office of the General Counsel at the FCC; and law clerk to two federal judges.

In addition to carrying out the aforementioned functions, Finn will also provide support to the company’s board of directors.

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Limoneira CEO receives Sustainability Award

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s president and CEO, has received the Sustainability Award from the Captain Planet Foundation for his leadership in developing an eco-conscious agribusiness.

“The Captain Planet Foundation is internationally recognized for its outstanding work providing the next generation of stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live,” said Edwards. “I’m thrilled that they have acknowledged Limoneira’s extensive efforts on the stewardship and sustainability front.”

Limoneira’s sustainable practices include (but are not limited to) solar-powered orchards, water waste prevention, maintenance of crop diversity, scheduling production at non-peak energy hours, recycling natural waste as mulch, providing work force housing and benefits for staff, utilizing integrated pest management, and partnering with community-centric organizations.

Limoneira is an international agribusiness based in Santa Paula, Calif., and is a major producer of lemons, avocados, oranges and specialty citrus crops, among others.

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