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In Iowa, Jobs Are Plentiful but Workers Are Not



Workiva Charman and CEO Matt Rizai, contributes to this piece on the labor market in Iowa. He echoed a theme voiced by many Iowa employers: Here, someone can “live big” — find good schools for children and live in a comfortable house at a fraction of the cost on the coasts. Workiva, at Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, brings in as many as 50 student interns a year, with many of them later joining the staff.

As important as a paycheck is, it is just part of what attracts people to a company, Rizai. He pointed out that he must compete with Facebook and Google for talent, which is why he spends so much time catering to the desires of his employees. This week, Fortune magazine named his company one of the top 10 large technology workplaces in the country.

Unlike the indoor basketball court, foosball tables or fireside lounge at Workiva’s sprawling campus here, the oversize green prize wheel centered among a hive of work stations is not meant for break times. Only employees who refer new hires get a chance to spin it and win up to $2,500. “Thirty percent of our recruiting comes from that wheel,” Rizai said. The hunt for workers is unrelenting, he said. “We always have openings.”

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