WILLMAR - It can be difficult to find that perfect job, or find that perfect person to fill a job.
While there are many websites, listings and job searching programs to help with that conundrum, the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, hopes it has something just a bit more special - the Willmar Lakes Area Talent Exchange.
"To help our employers find employees," said Ken Warner, president of the Willmar chamber. "The biggest challenge they have is finding workers."
The talent exchange uses the new online employment platform from the Minnesota Chamber - MN Job Match - to match Willmar area employers with the most qualified candidates for the available positions.
"We are excited to be one of the first chambers out of the box," Warner said.
Job Match asks job seekers about their skills and interests. The program then matches them to employers with jobs that specifically match those skills and interests, instead of just giving job seekers a long list of jobs based on keyword searches.
"It is a really good collaboration effort between employee and employer," Warner said. "It streamlines the search process, laser focuses it."
Employers can list a job for $39 a month, or an internship for $19 per month, and benefit from the scoring, screening and stack-ranking of candidates Job Match provides. Job seekers can post their resumes and search for jobs free of charge
To introduce the new program, and teach people how to use it, the Willmar area chamber is holding a free MN Job Match workshop from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 29 at the Willmar Conference Center. RSVPs are requested by Monday to the Willmar Chamber.
"This isn't just for chamber members, it is open to any employer or employee," Warner said.
Warner added that the chamber is not trying to compete with employment agencies in the area. Instead, Warner sees the Talent Exchange as complementary to the services agencies provide and he invites them to attend the workshop.
"They can learn and use it themselves," Warner said.
Warner knows the Talent Exchange won't be able to solve all the problems employers face when seeking new workers, but he feels it will help.
"If we can help one employer or employee at a time, we are making a difference," Warner said.
When a successful match is made, it helps the employee, their family, the employer and the community.
"It helps the community in many different ways," Warner said.