One of the most pressing challenges facing Penticton employers is finding the right employees according to a 2016 Labour Market Research study in the South Okanagan.

One of the most pressing challenges facing Penticton employers is finding the right employees according to a 2016 Labour Market Research study in the South Okanagan.

Small Business Week: Recruiting staff in Penticton

How do you find and keep the right people for your business?

One of the most pressing challenges facing Penticton employers is finding the right employees according to a 2016 Labour Market Research study in the South Okanagan.

Like most things in life, the process of finding the right people has changed over the recent decades. To find people, companies need to expand their traditional recruitment strategies in order to access an increasingly global labour force who use social media and online job board platforms. To retain them, companies need to find match new recruits (and their families) with both the job and the local community.

Read more: Summit to discuss Penticton labour issues

Historically, people moved to Penticton for one of three reasons: they grew up here, they discovered it through travel or they are returning home. As a result, people with existing links to Penticton have a strong likelihood to want to rediscover the lifestyle.

Job seekers are increasingly interested in workplace culture, and they are researching the communities they are considering living in. Consider how to position your online brand and presence to attract potential hires.  Recent work indicates that the best prospects are often those people currently living in larger centres where the costs of living, the crime, and commute times affect quality of life. Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and even Toronto are responding well to Penticton’s online presence. Furthermore, job seekers who value outdoor adventure amenities, and our safe, mid-sized city, with our great schools, access to sports, and second languages are the most likely to relocate to Penticton.

Read more: Video – Waking up to opportunity in Penticton

Many highly skilled people will continue working into their mature years if the right flexibility can be built into the job offer. Consider blending the workforce and flexing compensation packages to appeal to both those just starting out as well as those with greater experience.

In September, the City of Penticton polled some local employers who highlighted nearly 100 postings for skilled jobs that are currently or regularly open. This survey showed that we need people across a suite of industries and professions from engineering, healthcare, trades, project management, transportation, manufacturing and hospitality.

To help fill these positions, representatives went to a Lower Mainland career fair for newcomers. Many people had only heard of the Okanagan as a ‘pretty place’ or somewhere to holiday. Very few had considered looking for work in the region.

As the need to find talent increases and the search radius widens beyond the local region, employers who apply the same techniques to talent recruitment that they do when marketing their products and services will find success:

•Use online approaches as well as traditional recruitment formats to reach the audience you need

•Manage your online brand and image

•Differentiate your business, based on the opportunity of working and living in Penticton to attract talent

•Target your efforts to where the talent is browsing

25 Fun Facts about Recruiting and HR in 2016 (source: Aspire Recruitment)

Mobile has made looking for jobs easier. Did you know that:

• 41 per cent of job seekers search for jobs while in bed

• 38 per cent search during their commute

• 30 per cent search for new jobs while at work

• 18 per cent search for jobs from a restroom

• Social media is becoming the go-to for recruiters and candidates:

• 79 per cent of candidates are likely to use social media in their job search

• 38 per cent of those surveyed consider employer branding to be one of the three most essential and long-lasting trends in recruiting for professional roles in 2016

When evaluating employers, there are three things that matter most to Millennials:

• Growth

• Opportunities

• Retirement

• Benefits

• Work culture

Written by Colleen Pennington and Jennifer Vincent with the City of Penticton Economic Development.