Leadership

Your Next Big Thing: Staff recruitment

Written by Kara Aaserud

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In theory, the Great Canadian Labour Shortage has only just begun. Yet a recent poll by staffing firm Manpower Inc. suggests that two-thirds of employers are already struggling to fill job openings. As boomer retirements and a dearth of skilled new graduates intensify the shortage, forward-thinking entrepreneurs will find plenty of opportunities.

Referral job sites: A new generation of online recruitment firms such as Zubka and YorZ is giving established players such as Monster a run for their money. The upstarts promise employers access to so-called “passive” talent: well-qualified people who aren’t looking for a new job but would consider the right offer. The trick is to pay people a bounty for referring their talented friends, but only if it leads to a hire. Employers and staffing services are increasingly keen to use these sites, which Kevin Dee, CEO of Ottawa-based Eagle Professional Resources Inc., says will be “a big part of recruiting as we move forward.”

Foreign recruiting: Chris Roach, president-elect of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services, says finding foreign talent is a fast-growing niche. His own firm, Calgary-based Cadre Staffing Inc., has hired senior researchers trained in immigration law to target prime foreign prospects. In November, Ottawa fuelled this trend by announcing a plan to cut in half, to two months, the time it takes to issue permits to hire temporary foreign workers in B.C. and Alberta. Ontario immediately demanded to be included, raising the prospect that the feds will expand the plan nationwide.

HR outsourcing: Research company IDC Canada forecasts dramatic 87% growth in the value of HR outsourcing from 2004 to 2009, to $355 million, not including $1 billion-plus for payroll processing. But to gain an edge here, you’ll need to go beyond administering payrolls and benefit plans. The best bets include hiring and retention strategies, training, staff counselling, and designing and implementing employee-incentive programs.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com