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Posts from the ‘Employers’ Category

The State of Canada’s Skills Gap

As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement and the technology sector continues to grow, the labour market is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The skills gap in the labour market created by these changes has made it clear that to remain globally competitive, we need to address the growing skills gap.

Although the unemployment rate has recently dropped to its lowest point in 40 years, candidates still lack the skills to meet changing labour demands, especially as automation revolutionizes the labour market by replacing much of the repetitive, manual work currently performed by humans, and as technology creates new jobs in completely new sectors. These joint developments point to an increasingly mismatched labour market, where the workers displaced by automation are unable to move into new jobs created by technological advancements because they don’t have the new skills required.

With one estimate of Ontario’s lost potential GDP at $24 billion (which is worth about 4% of that province’s total GDP), it’s clear that the costs of leaving the skills gap unaddressed are significant. So how do we work towards shrinking it?

Increased collaboration

One way is to start with the workers of tomorrow. In their 2016 report Strengthening Ontario’s Workforce for the Jobs of Tomorrow, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) points to the need for more comprehensive data collection and reporting on labour market trends to enable students to make better-informed decisions about their fields of study based on current and future in-demand occupations.

While many of HRPA’s recommendations require government action, the report highlights the role of collaboration between industry and educational institutions to help bridge the skills gap of the future. Through outreach programs and workforce development initiatives such as internships, co-op placements and apprenticeship programs, organizations can help guide students and young workers into occupations that are in-demand.

Retraining the workforce

When it comes to today’s workforce, it’s important to recognize the role that lifelong learning plays in maintaining competitiveness. As technological innovation changes the skills demanded — and as the emergence of freelancers and the gig economy puts pressure on traditional employment models — businesses will have to respond quickly to keep their workforces competitive.

One way is to consider free online courses or microlearning applications to make the most of your employees’ time and your budget. You might even consider partnering with a local educational institution to offer accredited training programs to train your most motivated employees with the specific skills your business needs. With so many training opportunities available for different needs at various price points, it’s both cost-effective and incredibly easy to introduce these options to your employees.

Culture shift

Underlying the above suggestions is the necessity of reorienting employee development as a competitive advantage. As shifts in technology rapidly change the skills employers require, continual skills upgrading becomes a necessity. As a result, a business that is seen to prioritize education can attract top talent who are intrinsically motivated to stay ahead of the curve.

Looking for some assistance filling those challenging positions? Let our recruitment consultants help! With access to some of the best talent in the country, combined with thousands of free training resources, let us provide you with the best candidate to complete your workforce!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

Re-focus on Customer Service

It may be strategic marketing and advertising that draws customers to your business, but it’s the level of customer service that keeps them coming back and referring friends and family. Don’t let your business’s lackluster customer service affect your profits. In honour of National Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, we’re sharing our tips to raise awareness of the importance of customer service within your company.

Customer service is an under-valued yet essential function for your organization’s success. Not only does it help you grow customer relationships, a good customer service strategy also gathers important feedback from customers about your services and products, while building customer confidence in your brand. It’s a win-win-win situation!

However, not all organizations have the capital to invest in a call centre or customer service department. So how can you increase your company’s customer service focus without a full-scale reorganization? Check out Adecco’s 4 tips and watch your customer relationships grow!

Hire service-oriented employees across all departments

“It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.”

Whether it was past experience in a call centre or even a previous retail job, hiring staff with prior customer service experience can yield great benefits for your organization’s customer relationships. Not only will these employees bring an array of customer service skills to their new position, they will likely already have a customer-first focus that won’t go unnoticed by your clients or customers. These employees will act as an example for colleagues lacking customer service experience and skills, and they can help build a stronger customer service focus within your organization.

Schedule mandatory customer service training for all staff

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”

Customer service is more than just handling customer complaints. It requires product knowledge, clear communication skills, positive language, empathy and so much more! Given how multi-dimensional good customer service is, helping your employees develop these skills can dramatically improve your organization’s customer focus. Make it a priority within your organization by scheduling mandatory training sessions with all colleagues annually. In these sessions, emphasize company policies on product or service warranties and role-play a variety of potential situations to help develop your employees’ customer service skills. By preparing colleagues for those tricky interactions, they will feel more comfortable and confident in handling any customer issues that come their way.

Provide a desktop cheat sheet

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”

Customer service skills take time and practice to develop and they don’t necessarily come naturally to your employees, especially those who work in departments that wouldn’t normally interact with customers or clients. Provide staff with a cheat sheet of the best words and phrases to use in challenging customer service situations. By providing your employees with this tool, you help them take control of the customer interaction, while working towards a positive outcome.

Incentives and rewards

55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.”

Recognize colleagues who have maintained a strong customer service priority within their daily work. This will reinforce your organization’s commitment to a high level of customer service and influence colleagues to focus on their customer service skills. However you choose to acknowledge your high-achievers — think an extra vacation day, gift card, or employee of the month certificate — providing employees with an incentive can be the push they need to make customer service a priority within their daily work load.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Pursuit of (Workplace) Happiness

It’s no surprise that employees appreciate a “happy” workplace, but the benefits to employers are sometimes overlooked. In this article, we take a look at the positives of creating and maintaining a happy workforce. 

We all know that employees want to work in a place that makes them happy – who wouldn’t? But what might get overlooked is that employee satisfaction can also have a significant impact on organizational performance. From productivity to brand promotion, a happy employee makes your organization better  by just being happy.

But what affects an employee’s happiness? It might be surprising to note that salary isn’t the only factor. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that, at all income levels, compensation was the least significant workplace priority for workers — lower than culture and values, senior leadership, career opportunities, business outlook and work-life balance.

It’s clear that employers have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, and it’s often through factors other than compensation. While it may be daunting, it’s also increasingly obvious that employers must consider employee engagement as an official part of their corporate mission.

At Adecco, we’ve taken this to heart. We know that employee satisfaction is a fundamental part of our success, so annually, we measure it through the Great Place to Work® survey. And for the second year in a row, we are proud to be recognized as a Great Place to Work. Given our experience, we believe employers will benefit in the following ways when they focus on creating and maintaining a happy workforce.

Better employee retention

With frequent turnover, an organization can face considerable hiring and on-boarding costs. From job postings to interviews, on-boarding to training, the costs of replacing an existing employee can add up! These expenditures combined with a competitive candidate market can make turnover challenging for any organization. Happy employees are more likely to stay and grow within the company — increasing their value and reducing your costs. Encourage open dialogue with your employees so to continually assess employee engagement and make adjustments as needed.

Improved productivity

Cultivating a work environment to promote employee satisfaction can have a dramatic improvement on your staff’s productivity. A study conducted at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% improvement in productivity. And with employee engagement falling in Canada, it’s clear that there are productivity gains to be made by championing employee satisfaction in the workplace. With happier employees more likely to come into work everyday and fully engage with their tasks, employers can expect increased productivity and less lost time from sick days. Plus, with increased levels of energy and creativity, happy employees are also more likely to go above and beyond during peak business periods, resulting in overall greater company performance. At Adecco, we firmly believe that one of the ways to improve employee satisfaction is by cultivating a culture of transparency. Whether it’s through our quarterly company-wide call, weekly president’s message, or in-person visits from the leadership team across our branches, we’re dedicated to connecting people to important company information so they feel included in our organization and well-prepared to perform their jobs.

In-house brand ambassadors

Happier employees increase the success of your brand for one reason: they become brand ambassadors! The goal is to have employees who are invested in the success of your organization thereby helping to increase sales and maintain better client relationships. You can encourage loyalty by highlighting each employee’s contribution to business success. At Adecco, we’ve seen a positive effect on engagement through setting aside time in every one-on-one review to identify the business impacts of tasks. By doing so, our Operations team can map their contribution to company success, which fosters each employee’s motivation while also providing a way to prioritize tasks according to value.

Improved collaboration

Improving collaboration within the organization is often on the strategic to-do list. What can be overlooked, however, is the effect of a stressful work environment on this goal. It can be easy to let the stress of peak business periods go unchecked and permeate the workplace, but this can weaken the relationship between management and staff, and foster departmental silos. Prioritizing a work environment that engages colleagues and keeps them motivated to come into work every day encourages collaboration amongst employees and inspires creativity and problem-solving. At Adecco, we take full advantage of opportunities to encourage camaraderie amongst our employees. Whether it’s through our open work spaces that allow for continuous sharing and collaboration, or the social committees who organize events that allow colleagues to get to know each other and have a little fun at work — we are dedicated to promoting collaboration throughout the organization.

A happy workplace is equally beneficial to the employee and employer. By creating a happy work environment, you are creating a work culture equipped to reach new levels of success, while ultimately achieving a better place to work.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

The Rise of 3D Printing

3D printing is becoming increasingly common and revolutionizing the Canadian market. With this new industrial revolution, Canadians can expect to see some changes to the labour market as we rely less on outsourcing production to other countries.

Though 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, its progression has been slow. The concept was originated as a toy, developed into a prototype and only recently, considered a solution for cost effective production. 3D printing is finally set to revolutionize the way we produce, with implications on where, how and when we manufacture.

A shift in manufacturing roles

Although the emergence of 3D printing will potentially reduce the requirement for certain manufacturing roles, it will result in the creation of new technical and creative roles. 3D printing will lead to a multitude of new, skilled positions including technicians, engineers and creative/graphic designers — creating an even greater need for applicants in the STEM related fields. 

Production assistance

There are many positives that cannot be ignored, including reducing costs, increasing opportunities and encouraging innovation. With factories pairing 3D printing technology with traditional manufacturing processes to accommodate custom and on demand production, many industries have reaped the benefits, such as: healthcare, consumer goods, aerospace, architecture, automotive and government, military and academic institutions.

Inventory management

The evolution of 3D printing enables companies to only produce goods when needed. Businesses no longer need to keep a large inventory on hand to prepare for an order, instead, this technology now allows them to produce on demand — which helps to reduce inventory management costs and store the product digitally instead of physically. Not to mention, as 3D printing relies on additive manufacturing, layering thin layers of materials atop one another to create the final object, the waste generally associated to traditional production is virtually non-existent!

The rise of a new industry

With 3D printing evolving into an industrial staple, a new budding industry is on the rise. As with the conception of any new industry, there is a boost to the economy as new businesses fill specialized, as well as professional positions, furnish office spaces and set logistical contracts. Ultimately this process benefits the surrounding economy and applicable industries.

In 2013, President Obama referenced 3D printing in his State of the Union address as having the potential to revolutionize the way we make everything. As the reliance on this technology grows, so will the positive impact on our economy. With companies less likely to outsource production to countries with cheap labour, 3D printing has the potential to increase Canadian production and efficiencies, while contributing to a labour market growth.

 

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

A Guide to Hiring in Your Peak Season

Seasonal fluctuations within the retail and manufacturing industries can leave organizations treading water trying to meet high demands. Hoping to successfully navigate the current? Implementing a temporary workforce can ensure your team adapts to the demands of your busy peak season.

Seasonal hiring is an essential practice for industries such as retail and manufacturing that ramp up to peak periods. Not only do temporary hires help organizations meet hard deadlines, they assist in filling personnel gaps for vacations, while reducing burnout and turnover of full time staff.

To help you capitalize on this seasonal solution, check out our guide to peak season hiring for retail and manufacturing.

Plan your training

Regardless of whether the seasonal support contract is for two days or two months, to enable the additional staff to fully contribute to your organization’s needs, it’s imperative that you provide sufficient training. This ensures that new hires feel welcome and valued, while also preparing them for the work ahead by giving you an opportunity to outline their roles and responsibilities. You may even consider implementing a mentorship program for seasonal associates with full-time staff to give them the support they need to find success in their position.

Be clear about expectations

Despite their “temporary” status, seasonal workers depend on an income to meet financial obligations and responsibilities of their own. Being straightforward about potential issues such as contract durations and benefits will help avoid disappointment in the long run, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.

Treat employees fairly

Though they may not be part of your team for long, they’re still part of your team! Encourage regular employees to reach out and mentor seasonal staff and include seasonal workers in any staff gatherings or team-building events. This will demonstrate to your temporary employees that they are valued, while building team camaraderie through your busy period. Plus, with the new “equal pay for equal work” regulations now in effect in Ontario, this is a good time to review your Employment Standards Handbook to ensure that you are properly compensating your seasonal workforce.

Stay connected

The end of the season doesn’t have to mean goodbye forever. Make sure to gather the contact information of your seasonal workforce, discuss availability and keep them posted about your peak periods. Not only are they trained employees ready for the next seasonal fluctuation, but they can create a strong candidate pool for your next permanent hire — saving you time, effort and financial resources in the long run.

Seasonal staff may be temporary, but it’s still your responsibility to train, support and encourage temporary workers while under your management. By following these pointers, you’ll be on your way to your most successful peak season yet.

 

Let Adecco manage your seasonal hiring for you! With the world’s largest network of candidates at our fingertips and experience meeting the tightest of deadlines, we’ll ensure your organization exceeds your peak season goals! Contact your local branch today to get started.

 

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

How to Boost Your Workforce Mobilization Strategy

Workforce mobilization is an essential tool in an organization’s ability to quickly and effectively adapt to changing business needs. A successful mobilization strategy identifies, develops and leverages employee capabilities — empowering them to seamlessly take on new roles and responsibilities to support the organization’s changing needs.

To help you achieve a mobilized workforce ready for success, consider the following four tips.

  1. Delegate a colleague to prioritize talent mobility

Talent mobility is such an important part of an organization’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions that it should be a top priority. To maximize the effectiveness of your talent mobilization strategy, it’s best to appoint a colleague whose top responsibility is facilitating talent mobility. This will enhance the strategy’s visibility and accountability throughout the organization.

  1. Enhance talent management skills

To maximize your workforce mobilization potential, it’s essential to reflect on your talent management strategies and make changes where necessary. Ensure that management has ample opportunity to practice their coaching skills and career conversations. Provide colleagues with cross training opportunities. Encourage one-on-one training during slow periods. These tactics will provide management with the leadership skills needed to empower employees to meet their personal and professional goals, while promoting the organization’s ability to meet changing business demands.

  1. Maximize performance reviews

Performance reviews provide an ideal opportunity for employers and staff to further talent mobilization strategies. Management should reflect on the employee’s performance over the last year while comparing transferable skills to growth opportunities and career development. Not only does this promote better analysis of employees’ capabilities to assist in workforce mobilization, it motivates them to further their professional development.

  1. Empower employees

Encourage employees to be proactive and take control of their career development. Offer guidance on professional development and provide resources for colleagues to better understand the responsibilities of various open positions. By empowering your employees, you are reaffirming their value to your company and encouraging a more dedicated workforce.

When you achieve a mobilized workforce, the benefits are endless. Not only have you provided your staff with the tools they need to meet their career aspirations, you have enhanced your internal recruitment pool. By effectively mobilizing your workforce, you gain the ability to deploy talent based on business needs without the restriction of your talent allowance.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.