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Paying attention to recruitment matters now more than ever

Tech companies and other highly-skilled industries in Canada continue to experience workforce shortages. So why can’t we simply recruit the workers we need? While hiring seems like a straightforward process, the reality is that it isn't an easy task in the current climate. Hiring new staff can be a long and expensive undertaking, so we'll highlight some challenges many recruiters face, and look at how to deal with them.
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Recruiting and hiring new staff can be tedious and costly. Learn about some real challenges—and how to meet them!

Tech companies and other highly-skilled industries in Canada continue to experience workforce shortages. Skilled trade workers are in urgent demand, with job vacancies growing by 62.1% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Experts expect the situation to get worse in the next decade, as approximately 700,000 trade workers reach retirement age.

So why can’t we simply recruit the workers we need? While hiring seems like a straightforward process, the reality is that it isn’t an easy task in the current climate. Hiring new staff can be a long and expensive undertaking, so we’ll highlight some challenges many recruiters face, and look at how to deal with them.

Talent shortages

One of the reasons behind the current labour shortage is that baby boomer retirement is on the rise. To remedy this, companies, including some big tech names, are working hard to hire new staff to replace retirees.

An obvious benefit to this kind of hiring is that new—and younger—employees bring a different perspective to the team. On the other hand, hiring from the ground up brings all kinds of risks, including a high turnover rate that can be a financial pain for most organizations. So, before you put that want ad out into the world, we think there are three questions you should be asking yourself:

Is the company brand clear and attractive?

If an applicant can’t tell what the organization stands for, they probably won’t apply. You can avoid this by doing more to highlight the values and ethos of your company by using authentic videos and photos on your website, and social platforms. Get creative, and don’t be afraid to communicate your organization’s values. 

Is the job description clear?

It is to your advantage to make sure that potential candidates understand the role you expect them to play in your organization. First of all, it will narrow the field and save you time by attracting only those people who understand what you’re looking for, and who are excited to get on board. Secondly, you can avoid a situation where a new recruit decides to leave soon after being hired, because they aren’t doing what they thought they would be doing. 

Is the screening process up to par?

Let’s face it. The hiring process is not only tedious, it’s risky as well. For example, if your human relations team aren’t on top of things, they’ll might hire someone with all the right technical skills, but who lacks the all-important interpersonal, or soft skills. One solution could be to introduce behavioural interview questions to identify well-rounded candidates who will fit better into your organization’s workplace culture. At Palette Skills, we screen all of our candidates and assess their workplace readiness, communication abilities, and problem-solving skills to ensure that our graduates are ready for in-demand roles.

Devote the right amount of time

Sometimes a vacant position may need filling almost immediately. This urgency may motivate hiring teams to fast-track the hiring process. At other times, a company may choose to speed up hiring simply to save costs, since training, on-boarding, and orientation are lengthy and expensive.

How long it takes to find the right person for the job depends on internal and external factors. The hiring process can be completed in as little as one month, but may also take up to six months. And if the recruiting team can’t agree on a great candidate, it can mean a delay, which might result in your applicants seeking jobs elsewhere.

It’s important to give the right amount of time and resources to hiring, and for all sorts of reasons. Note that if you rush the hiring process, you might miss out on candidates who are enthusiastic and open to upskilling. Either way, it’s essential to be thorough to avoid additional re-advertisement and re-hiring costs. 

If you are looking to save time in the hiring process, consider becoming an employer partner with Palette Skills. We vet candidates and upskill them to immediately take roles after our programs, reducing the amount of time you need to find great talent.

Expectations versus reality

There’s nothing more frustrating than looking through hundreds of applications, and not finding the person you’re looking for. There are lots of potential reasons behind this kind of scenario, but one of them might be that that your recruiters aren’t looking in the right pool. If this is the case, you could receive hundreds of resumes with none of the applicants meeting the desired credentials, which is a poor return on your investment. How does this happen?

If an organization doesn’t sufficiently invest in advertising its vacancies, it probably won’t achieve the desired results. One way to overcome this hurdle is by widening the search. Make sure the job is being posted on all the various platforms, websites, and locations. It sounds tedious, and it is. But the truth is, great candidates don’t always look for job ads in the places where we think they should. And widening your scope will attract qualified candidates from other regions willing to relocate, or venture into remote work.

Part of Palette’s mission is to create a system where employers can address talent shortages as they arise. A key part of developing that system is to build a framework for program development that factors in the risk management lens of a company as well as their limited capacity, while recognizing that unlocking new talent pipelines requires new indicators that provide new perspectives on talent without lowering business standards. After we understand what standards employers are looking for in a particular role, we build a program that will deliver on those standards helping you ensure you are finding the right people for the job.

The new job market

Today, many people know what they are worth, and they know how to communicate this, too. And since hundreds of jobs are available at the click of a button, applicants can filter through the advertisements until they find what suits them best.

This means that a smart organization has to offer attractive packages to compete against rivals. Companies that offer medical benefits, flexible work schedules, competitive salaries, paid time off, and growth opportunities are naturally more attractive. The recruiter should also be open to negotiations; otherwise, applicants may happily jump ship and try their luck elsewhere.

High cost of acquiring and recruiting talent

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, most employers will typically spend $4,129, and up to forty-two days to fill a vacant position. Training costs to address skills gaps are also on the high side, at approximately $1,000 per person.

Hiring new Canadian tech talent is costly as it entails advertising, salaries, employee benefits, pension plans, as well as training costs. But great companies invest in employees to build a strong and reliable workforce. At this point in the game, they can’t afford not to—and neither can you.

Going forward: protocols and upskilling

Can we say this one more time? Hiring new staff is not easy. However, you can ensure the process runs smoothly and within budget by establishing a protocol. Before you say the word bureaucracy, remember that a good hiring protocol ensures transparency, accountability, and results. And a well thought-out hiring protocol can help your team periodically reassess existing methodologies, and incorporate new ones. Ultimately, the more thought and resources you and your organization commit to hiring, the more likely it is that you and your team can get ahead of the country’s talent crunch, and move ahead with great personnel.

So what about upskilling? At Palette Skills, we think companies need to look at new and different ways of getting great people hired. Now more than ever, old ways of doing things aren’t working like they used to, and it’s easy to see why. With so many disruptions in the work world, tried-and-true recruitment strategies don’t map out well in the current environment. The truth is that talent is everywhere, including in places we just haven’t looked before. That’s where Palette Skills and its innovative upskilling programs can help. Palette Skills builds industry-led upskilling programs that help feed new talent from Canada’s diverse workforce into jobs that matter.

If your organization is growing fast and needs great Canadian talent, maybe it’s time to meet with a Palette Skills Employer Partner Lead and see if one of our upskilling programs is the answer you’ve been looking for.

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