Hiring has already started for General Electric Co.’s new shared services center opening in downtown Cincinnati, which was Ohio’s biggest job announcement in a decade.
The multinational manufacturer of jet engines, washing machines and light bulbs announced plans earlier this year to open a U.S. Global Operations Center in the region, one of five centers worldwide. About 2,000 people will be employed there once it opens in 2016-2017. Of those jobs, 1,400 positions will be new to Ohio.
GE is opening these centers in China, Hungary, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United States to consolidate back-office functions such as finance, human resources, legal and information technology.
“Really what we want as a company is two things: We want a competitive cost structure. We want to operate at the speed that the market needs us to operate at,” Shane Fitzsimons, senior vice president of global operations for GE, said. He’s leading the new global operations division for the company, and was on-hand in Cincinnati July 1 to celebrate.
The $90 million operations center will be built at the Cincinnati riverfront development The Banks, between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium. Construction is set to finish by the end of 2016.
But GE won’t wait until construction finishes to start staffing.
Until then, employees have started working at a temporary shared services center that opened in July. Temporary quarters were established at the Atrium II building on East Fourth Street in Cincinnati, with a view of the permanent center’s construction site.
Job seekers planning to apply to work at one of the world’s largest companies will want to know these key facts:
• All jobs will be posted online at www.gecareers.com. GE is looking to hire top managers first, before filling positions in other functions such as benefits and payroll, data management and accounting.
Check the website regularly for new job listings, as not all positions will be posted at once.
Average pay for all jobs at the Cincinnati center will be $79,000 a year, according to GE.
When GE was staffing for its Budapest center, the company recruited about 40 people a month, for example, Fitzsimons said.
“It’s really about bringing those processes together in a standard way to operate the company,” Fitzsimons said. “There’s going to be a variety of functions under the umbrella of the center here.”
• Estimates are that GE will have about 2,000 employees at the Cincinnati center once it’s fully staffed for opening. That includes a mix of workers to be transferred from other GE sites, as well as new jobs.
Global operations is essentially a newly-created division of GE, and “all jobs are posted internally and externally,” Fitzsimons said. That means all candidates, including those who already work for GE in- and out-of-state, will have to apply.
Already, GE has nearly 16,000 employees in Ohio working for its aviation, lighting and capital divisions, some of whom may be interested in working at the new Cincinnati center.
“We are confident in Cincinnati. I lived here for four years so I know what the town is and we’re confident we can staff 2,000 jobs we need to deliver here,” Fitzsimons said.
• Diversity is important, said Joe Allen, manager of the U.S. Global Operations Center, reporting to Fitzsimons.
“I want to create the most diverse team,” Allen said.
In fact, GE will be accepting applications at an upcoming career and networking fair as part of the National Urban League Conference in Cincinnati from July 23 to 26, Allen said.
• A variety of positions will be available, ranging from entry-level to management.
At minimum, GE is looking for applicants with an associate’s degree, Allen said.
“We’re not going to be uber picky, but we do want talented folks that are going to fit and be a part of the GE family because what we’re really looking for, to be honest with you, is not just someone who’s in for a job,” Allen said. “We’re looking for someone who wants a career.”
“We’re such a big global company that the opportunities are so great and so we want folks that have the ambition,” he said.