BC’s tourism industry is booming. Your business has been experiencing significant growth in the last two years and you have had trouble finding staff. You’re not alone. Our industry is projected to fill more than 111,350 new job openings in the next 10 years (2017 – 2027), and there is a shortage of skilled people to fill these jobs. Where and how are we going to find these people?
We asked Robin Sauvé, former Vice-President, Strategic & Creative Services of Midlyn HR Communications, a communications agency specializing in recruitment and retention marketing strategies, what employers could do to prepare for this skills shortage. Robin has applied her creativity and capacity for strategic thinking to the most pressing issue Canada’s employers have faced to date – the need for employers to distinguish themselves in order to attract and retain top talent.
Robin says that, “organizations have to find a way to develop and market their employer brands. It involves positioning the organization as an employer in the marketplace and seizing an opportunity to create a competitive advantage. Companies that catch onto this will be ahead of the game when the worst effects of the skill shortage are felt.”
It is crucial to attract the best people to work in your organization. The critical downside is that if you are unable to attract the best, your service quality will be compromised. And those people who are good at their jobs will have lots of choices.
ASK YOURSELF HOW YOU CAN BECOME A PREFERRED EMPLOYER. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED:
- Take a good look at your team and determine if they are unmotivated, negative and toxic. If there is even the slightest hint of this, ask yourself how you are perceived as someone to work for, and how your employees feel about the business. Consider conducting an anonymous employee survey to find out if you are competitive with your competition in the areas of salary, benefits, vacation time, job duties, hours of work, and their work environment.
- If you are not competitive, then you need to ask yourself the difficult questions. Why are you not competitive? Does it affect your ability to market your company from a recruitment perspective? How will you change this?
- Be conscious of how you are perceived externally. For example, are your employees radiating, “come work for us?” They are your best recruitment tool.
- Allow employees to be part of your interview process and let them explain how your company cares about its employees. Ask them to come to the interview prepared with some examples of what they value most about your organization.
- Analyze your employee turnover. Is it low, or is it a revolving door? Turnover not only negatively affects your bottom line, but is also detrimental to branding your company as a great place to work. Try to determine the causes of turnover and aim to put employee retention strategies in place.
- Know what sets you apart from your competition. Determine your company’s unique strengths and communicate them. Keep in mind that your competition is often in your immediate surroundings, such as the restaurants in your neighbourhood or the hotels down the street.
By following some or all of these tips, you will begin to position yourself as a preferred employer in the marketplace. Now it is time to start thinking of how you can create a competitive advantage so that you will be ahead of the game. What are you going to do to become a preferred employer?