Hiring and Retaining the BEST

In British Columbia, many people in skilled trades, technical and management positions will be retiring between 2015 and 2020. Fact: it is going to become even tougher to find skilled workers in the future. Companies adept at recruitment and retention will have a competitive advantage.

Some Recruitment Basics

Below are some suggestions to help attract good people who will stay with your company beyond a couple of pay periods.

  • Set pay and benefits at market rates – Yes, it’s true that salary is not everything, but if your offer is below the norm for your area, job-seekers will likely look elsewhere. Assess your local market and match the going rate.
  • Develop a good job description – Think about the tasks associated with a position and the kinds of skills and attitudes of workers you’ve had in the past that were successful in the role. Also consider any essential certificates (e.g. safety related) that a potential employee must have.
  • Include two or more people in the hiring decision – It’s helpful to invite a supervisor or a potential co-worker in interviews. These people will have to work with the candidate and may be able to determine if he or she has the knowledge and skills needed for the job.
  • Create and maintain a positive workplace culture – Job satisfaction is key to retention. When opportunities are plentiful employees will leave bad workplaces. Think about tangible and intangible incentives to support staff like training and advancement opportunities, a collaborative work environment and promotion of work-life balance.

If your business is located in a rural area you may need to:

  • Highlight career advantages – Junior staff may be able to take on tasks that would normally go to senior colleagues in larger centres.
  • Highlight the benefits of living – Feature the advantages your community has to offer in your job posting. Some possible examples:
  1. Affordable housing
  2. Outdoor activities
  3. Good recreation facilities
  4. Friendly people with a strong sense of community

Recruiting skilled workers can be challenging. Follow these basics and increase your chances of success!

Ramona Materi

Ramona Materi, MPA, MEd is the President of Ingenia Consulting (www.ingenia-consulting.com). Ingenia consults on labour market and economic development issues. The firm has worked with First Nations, the natural gas, solid wood, mining and environmental sectors and developed workforce training strategies for the Kootenays, Northwest and Northeast BC. Ramona blends 20 years of experience in consulting with an instinctive ability to spot business opportunities and trends. She is the author of British Columbia’s New North: How to build your business, respect communities – and prosper. She tweets regularly on Northern BC issues @RamonaMateri and can reached at newnorthATingenia-consulting.com.

See all posts by Ramona

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