Update Nov. 8, 2017 — USAA will hire up to 1,000 additional people at its Norterra campus over the next three years, the company announced today. The new positions, all in technology, will add to a workforce of some 3,800 at the North Phoenix office complex and about 700 in the area who work from home, said USAA spokesperson Laura Propp. [Full Story]
Jobs were once relatively scarce north of the Loop 101. No more. The North Phoenix job market is booming with hundreds of open positions, from entry-level to highly skilled. To name a few:
- Part-time courtesy clerk
- Accounts payable associate
- Marketing specialist with experience in thoracic products
- Insurance claims adjuster
- Cheese monger
And there are more jobs on the way as major employers move into North Phoenix and others expand their footprint here.
“It is a challenge to find associates,” said Fry’s spokesperson JoEllen Lynn. Fry’s Food Stores is in the midst of hiring 400 people, including more than 200 part-timers, for its new location on Dove Valley Road. Many of the hires will be high-schoolers looking for a first job, Lynn said. There were 189 positions still to fill as of this writing.
W. L. Gore & Associates, the maker of Gore-Tex, medical implants and other high-tech products, has about 20 openings at its facility off North Valley Parkway. They range from manufacturing jobs to leadership positions. Gore seeks “quite a diversity of people with expertise from various countries,” said spokesperson Jana Kettering. “We recruit people from all over the world.”
USAA, the area’s largest employer, employs 3,800 people at its Norterra office complex and another 700 in the region who work from home, said company spokesperson Laura Propp. USAA has openings there and at all its locations, press officer Matt Hartwig told In&Out. The Norterra office complex is surrounded by 398 acres where the company plans to break ground later this year on a large master-planned community with a thousand homes and additional office space. When asked whether USAA’s payroll will grow, Hartwig didn’t want to be boxed in: “There are no plans to share at the moment, but we are always evaluating our needs at all of our campus locations.”
Farmers Insurance is targeting a March completion on its new building at Pinnacle Peak Road and I-17. Farmers spokesperson Trevor Chapman said 1,000 employees will occupy the new building, and more than 100 employees have already been hired. He said the company plans to hire an additional 400 in 2017 and hiring is expected to continue into 2018. Current job openings include full-time customer service representatives and in-office auto and property claims adjustors.
The growth is Valley-wide. Intel recently announced plans for a semiconductor factory in Chandler expected to create 3,000 jobs directly and another 7,000 through impacts on other Arizona businesses. The state added 76,000 jobs last year—sixth highest in the nation—according to a report from W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. The Arizona unemployment rate dropped from 6.4 percent in December 2014 to 4.8 percent in December 2016.
Smaller companies are hiring, too.
Anthem-based Workamajig, developer of project management software used by Fortune 500 companies, is “a steadily growing company” that has filled new positions “almost every year,” said Mike Wang, the company’s director of training and support. Workamajig targets Anthem-area residents in its recruiting, Wang said. “We’ve been able to fill open positions very quickly and have not had difficulties finding good talent.”
Other signs of growth:
- The Freddy’s burger joint in Anthem is hiring about 85 people.
- Several new businesses, including AutoZone and Pet Planet, will open this year at Canyon Crossroads, (Dove Valley Road Fry’s plaza).
- Help-wanted signs are posted in several Tramonto-area businesses.
“In my 30+ years in business it has always been a struggle to recruit good people,” said Aaron Eubank, owner of Titan Pest Control. “You always have to be in the market for talent/good people whether you need someone or not.”
What Employers Want
Beyond spit-shined shoes and a spell-checked resumé, here are some job-hunting tips from companies that hire:
“Be prompt, thorough and professional in delivering applications, resumés, and CVs to those asking, and don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call or in-person. Hearing someone’s voice or seeing their face is still better than getting an email, and HR managers and owners remember you for that above others.”
— Aaron Williams, President & CEO of OSR Physical Therapy
“Provide clear examples in past positions that demonstrate the skills we’re looking for. For example, give us a resumé focused on the position you’re applying for and not a resumé that seems to be broad and generic. Also, research the company and the position that you are applying for. Be prepared to show your interest in the company and the position.”
— Mike Wang, Workamajig
“Friendly, caring associates is the number one thing. If employees aim to be managers, have a degree. We’re looking for leaders.”
— JoEllen Lynn, Fry’s
Lots of Jobs
Some of the largest employers in North Phoenix and the number of jobs they have or plan to have:
|USAA||1 Norterra Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85085||3,500||www.usaa.com/careers|
|Farmers Insurance||Pinnacle Peak Road & I-17||1,000||www.farmers.com/careers|
|W. L. Gore||32360 N North Valley Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85085||600||www.gore.com/careers|
|Fry's Marketplace||Dove Valley Road and North Valley Parkway||400||jobs.frysfood.com|
SOURCE: Self-reported by the companies
Editor’s Note: This article was updated Nov. 9, 2017 to reflect more detail of USAA’s Phoenix-area workforce, some of whom work from home.