HIGH POINT – Following the recent announcement that Klaussner Home Furnishings would wind down operations later this month, businesses in and around the Asheboro, N.C., area began reaching out to news agencies and government agencies to recruit workers shocked by the news that the company would be no more.
Jamestown-based Furnitureland South, contract and hospitality upholstery maker Southfield Furniture, Trotters Sewing Co., and High Point Furniture Inds. were among those actively searching for employees.
Klaussner’s announcement on its website Tuesday afternoon and in a subsequent WARN notice filing with the N.C. Department of Commerce documented the closure with few details saying it all 884 employees would be terminated by Aug. 21. The company said its lender had stopped funding ongoing operations.
Karen Fishel, executive director of human resources for Furnitureland South, said the top 100 retailer currently has about 30 openings in a variety of departments including sales and design consultants, drivers, warehouse workers, customer service team members, maintenance crew, a marketing and social media expert and sales management positions. Positions are listed on the company’s career page.
“We started this week to connect with those impacted,” she said. “We’d love to be able to place some of the displaced workers.”
Fishel said the market for employees is interesting now, and companies can be more selective in hiring than in 2020 and 2021 when the labor pool dried up. “We want to be sure we’re placing the right people in here to keep turnover low,” she said.
At Southfield Furniture in High Point, the company is looking for a variety of new teammates, including cutters, sewers, upholsterers, project managers and more to help keep pace with increased demand in the company’s business.
Penny Smith, vice president of finance for the company, said the company’s doors had been swinging this week with former Klaussner employees looking for new opportunities.
“There is a large pool of candidates looking for jobs,” she said. “We are busy, and we are eager to find the best, most-skilled workers that can hit the ground running. We’re looking to fill the pipeline with strong talent.”
Lori Ellis, home furnishings practice leader for executive search agency Pinnacle Search Partners, has been speaking with former Klaussner employees about opportunities that her group is currently engaged in within and outside of the home furnishings space.
She said many people have been under the incorrect assumption that they are required to cover the cost of the group’s services, when in fact companies contracted with Pinnacle pay the fee. Candidates should never pay to be placed in positions.
Ellis will be hosting two informational Zoom meetings Tuesday, Aug. 15, dedicated to displaced Klaussner employees. During the meetings, she said she will share a variety of information to help guide employees in their job searches. She also offered some advice.
“All employees need to be active participants in their futures,” she said, adding that there are always signs when companies are floundering. “If you’re seeing signs, don’t be a victim. If you see red flags, get yourself ready. Update your resume; do things at home that you need to do. You control your future. No one would ever wish this on a company, but get yourself ready in case it does happen.”
To participate in one of Ellis’ Zoom meetings, interested parties need to email her for the details at firstname.lastname@example.org