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Staffing agencies see increased demand for skilled workers

Staffing and recruiting agencies are among the first businesses to witness broad-based job growth, seeing which sectors heat up the fastest and reacting to demand for employees.

When it comes to many jobs in the new Buffalo, they are the gatekeepers, providing the first level of employee vetting. For job seekers at various levels, these agencies provide opportunities that can lead to permanent employment.

Here are some of the staffing agencies matching people with jobs in Western New York’s growing economy.


Headquartered: Williamsville, but moving to Larkinville this summer.

Founded: 2005

Employees: 66

Specialties: Professional, managerial and executive, especially in financial, technical and business/headquarters.

Ownership: Ron Faso, John Baldo and Sam Russo.

Number of offices: 1

Number of placements: 300 in 2015. About 20 per month on average and growing.

SelectOne has seen increased demand for software engineers, specialty engineers, engineering managers with advanced manufacturing experience, business-to-business sales leadership and financial analysis. The advanced manufacturing, banking, tech startup and early lifecycle sectors are also growing, the company said.

But with the increased demand for skilled workers, the skills gap has widened, making it more difficult for growing companies to find the help they need. Several companies have relocated to Buffalo or expanded here, putting pressure on existing local companies to keep their people as competition for talent increases.

In order for Buffalo’s new growth to be sustainable, the region will have to establish a more effective pipeline of skilled workers and leaders, partner Sam Russo said.

“The companies we work with have a watchful eye on the waning population of workers trained in skilled trades,” he said.

Superior Workforce Solutions, a member of Superior Group

Headquartered: Williamsville

Founded: 1957

Employees: 1,100 locally, 8,300 globally

Specialties: Advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aircraft, banking and financial services, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, industrial gases, IT, life sciences, manufacturing pharmaceutical and professional/business services.

Owner: Closely held by a family that includes the company’s president and CEO, Lynne Marie Finn.

Number of offices: Three in Western New York, another 35 around the globe.

Number of placements: 2,000 in 2015. It places an average of 35 to 50 people per week.

According to Superior, there has been a fundamental shift in the local labor market favoring knowledge-based workers with specialized skills. Job seekers have more employers to choose from, making it a job-seekers market. Applicants are receiving multiple job offers and counter-offers by current employers. Salaries are increasing.

Job seekers are looking for more meaningful careers that give them flexibility to balance life and work, Finn said. Millennials in particular expect faster career growth and want to know how a prospective employer gives back to the community. Small companies and startups are becoming more desirable than large corporations.

Key Resource Group

Headquartered: Downtown Buffalo

Founded: 1983

Employees: 170

Specialties: Legal, medical, engineering, IT,accounting, general administrative

Owner: Carolyn Gala

Number of offices: 1

Number of placements: 299 in 2015

Key Resource Group does much of its placement in the engineering and legal fields. They’ve seen growing demand for employees in the engineering and medical fields, as well as IT and technical.

In the past five years, it has noticed human resource professionals have begun to rely more on staffing agencies to fill job openings. New companies have entered the market and existing clients have added jobs.

“We are definitely busy with the regrowth of Buffalo,” said Peggy Koch, the company’s vice president.

Innovative Placements

Headquartered: Buffalo

Founded: 2002

Employees: 6 subcontractors

Specialties: Health care/life sciences, human services, manufacturing, clerical and banking, engineering, sales.

Owner: Andrea Todaro, president.

Number of offices: 1, but meets with clients at one-stop employment and training centers in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester and Jamestown.

Number of placements: 90 in 2015, which is its average.

In the past few years, Innovative Placements has seen increased demand for employees in human services, health care, life sciences, retail, banking, education and hospitality positions. The company has seen more small and mid-sized start-up companies pop up around Western New York looking for skilled and technical employees. Retail and hospitality workers are in demand, too.

“With all of the construction projects downtown, the hotels, HarborCenter, the Carlo and Donovan Building projects, Buffalo has seen several hotel projects either recently completed or in the works,” said Andrea Todaro, president. “The hospitality industry will likely grow for at least several years to come.”


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