Hiring firm to add new jobs in valley

A technology company plans to expand into Frederick County and add 100-300 jobs for the area.

Seattle-based TalentWise Inc. picked Fort Collier Industrial Park, north of Winchester, for its new East Coast operations center, the Frederick County Economic Development Authority announced Friday.

TalentWise is expected to hire approximately 100 employees in its first year, with an anticipated expansion to 300 workers over four years, according to information from the EDA. Starting salaries at the center range from $10 to $12.50 an hour depending on a person’s experience, according to information from Kristen Whitt, director of verifications for TalentWise.

The firm’s verifications team will work from the operations center in an existing building it plans to renovate, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing Karen Redetzki explained by phone Friday. TalentWise has started hiring for the center.

TalentWise aids companies and job candidates through the hiring process, Redetzki said. The firm focuses on the human-resources professional who conducts the interviews, background checks and drug screenings along with processing forms and other steps in hiring job candidates. TalentWise simplified the process, from the time the human-resources worker offers a position to a candidate to the new employee’s first week on the job, also called “onboarding.”

“So this is a key component of our business and I think the really unique thing about this is that we’re doing this ourselves,” Redetzki said. “We’re not siphoning this out or off-shoring it. We are doing it ourselves as a company because we believe that not only are we a tech company but we know our [human resources] customers so well that when they call us and explain a problem, they really don’t have to explain it, they just need to tell us what the problem is and we get it and that is very rare in this industry.”

The EDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to bring the project to Virginia. Through the partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program, TalentWise will receive resources and services to support company recruitment and training activities, according to information from the EDA. The program uses performance-based incentives, both direct and indirect, to attract companies. In exchange, a firm needs to hire a certain number of people and keep them employed for a specific time period.

TalentWise did its “due diligence” in searching for a location before the firm contacted the EDA this past summer, the authority’s Executive Director Patrick Barker said. The EDA then engaged the state agency to make sure the project went through. Barker said TalentWise is another “career-path oriented” employer for the area.

“Obviously it’s a good company,” Barker said. “It’s a great addition to the business-service sector that we have growing here in Frederick County-Winchester. It’s gonna obviously provide another option for individuals employed in that sector now and to those looking to get into that occupational sector as well.”

Redetzki lauded the EDA for helping the firm put its operations center in Frederick County and aiding in the recruitment process. TalentWise picked Frederick County because of the area’s skilled labor force and the “person fit,” Redetzki said.

“That is one of the most key, critical components of our company is we definitely have a culture of fun, warm, happy people,” Redetzki said.

As Redetzki explained, the hiring process can pose challenges and human-resource employees who do much of the work by hand run the risk of missing a step. A company can face hefty fines if a step is skipped, a form is filled out incorrectly or missing, or other mistakes in the process are made.

The average time it takes to hire an employee is 58 days and, in that period, a company runs the risk of losing a candidate to a competing offer, Redetzki said. Three weeks of that time involves the process by which an employer offers the job to an applicant. Setting up that offer letter also involves many departments and employees.

“So it’s so important not only to have a compliant hiring process, but a fast hiring process,” Redetzki said.

TalentWise is hiring for verification specialists with experience in customer service and a high attention to detail, according to EDA information. Candidates interested in applying can visit the TalentWise website at http://corp.talentwise.com/about-us/careers.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com