Meet Eric Watson of Express Employment Professionals
- Express Employment professionals works with 70 companies in Gwinnett and in DeKalb Counties to help them find top talent.
Eric has utilized the BETTER WORK portal to help job seekers streamline the application process.
- Workers are getting multiple jobs to cover all these expenses to sustain their quality of life amidst inflation.
A BETTER WORK Partner who helps job seekers find positions where they can thrive
Eric Watson and his wife started Express Employment Professionals almost two decades ago. They focus primarily on long-term contract staffing in manufacturing, warehousing logistics, office administration, and professional placement. Express Employment professionals works with 70 companies in Gwinnett and in DeKalb Counties to help them find top talent.
“Once we’ve helped these companies find good people, the company will either hire them immediately as a direct hire, or they’ll attempt to hire,” Eric says.
For employees who aren’t brought in as immediate direct hires, Express Employment professionals takes them on temporarily for a 90-day period, after which they’re released and hired full-time by their respective companies.
Helping a diverse job seeker base find employment
Eric and his team work with a wide range of individuals, communities, and organizations to place strong job candidates with the companies that need them. They partner with nonprofits in both Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties. Some of these organizations include Goodwill, resettlement agencies in Clarkston, and Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) in Chamblee.
Additionally, Eric works with Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries in Norcross, who ultimately referred him to BETTER WORK. Since our partnership with Eric began, he has utilized the BETTER WORK portal to help job seekers streamline the application process.
“It’s very easy for us because BETTER WORK applicants apply on the portal,” Eric says. “We get emails periodically from folks who are interested in applying for our open positions.
“We have someone designated in my office who determines if we’ve got a position, and whether applicants match the skill set and experience there we’re looking for. Then, we schedule them for an interview, bring them in, and hopefully get them placed very quickly.”
Eric and his team provide a monthly flier highlighting the top job openings available through BETTER WORK. It’s a one-page sheet listing positions they’re trying to fill, including jobs in office administration, accounting, human resources, manufacturing, warehousing, specialty staffing, and more.
“It’s very easy for us because BETTER WORK applicants apply on the portal.”
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Common employment obstacles in Gwinnett County
In the current environment, both employers and job seekers alike are facing a plethora of obstacles. According to Eric, Gwinnett County’s greatest employer obstacle is finding workers.
“Our biggest challenge is finding workers who are work-ready,” he says. “There seems to be a huge shortage of folks who are available and willing to work. I think we’re very close to, if not at full, employment. It’s just very, very difficult.”
Eric says that it’s common for workers to leave the jobs they’re placed in within days to weeks of beginning work. Company loyalty has become a thing of the past, and workers are more prone to moving from one job to another rather than staying in one place.
“I think workers are trying to seek out the best compensation package,” Eric says. “A lot of times, that includes more benefits. On the flip side, I think employers are starting to offer more flexible work schedules to attract folks.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eric says it was more difficult for workers to find flexible jobs. However, he’s observed that employers are more willing to consider flexibility these days.
For workers, the greatest roadblock is making enough money to sustain their quality of life amidst inflation and skyrocketing prices of gas, food, and necessities. Since disposable income is dropping, Eric says workers are getting multiple jobs to cover all these expenses.
“Workers may have a primary job,” Eric says, “but then they have a secondary job after hours or on the weekends just to make ends meet.”
Because of companies’ need for workers and workers’ need for flexibility and a stronger income, Eric says this is a workers’ market. One of his most memorable job placements was a woman from Lilburn who was looking for a company that would accommodate the schedule she needed.
“A packaging company in Stone Mountain, about 15 minutes from her home, accommodated her on the schedule she asked for,” Eric says. “It’s not a traditional 8-to-5, Monday through Friday. She was able to work in the middle of the afternoon till the early evening hours.
“The company was able to accommodate her in order to be able to get her. She’s very happy and is working toward permanent employment.”
BETTER WORK is proud to partner with businesses and community organizations like Express Employment Professionals. This collaboration in the Georgia communities of Gwinnett County in metro Atlanta and Columbus prepares lower income populations for a better future through meaningful work and upward mobility. Businesses, nonprofits, community providers, religious institutions, and job placement agencies all come together to provide a local safety net.
Learn more about Express Employment Professionals here.