Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #30
01172020Fri
Last updateFri, 17 Jan 2020 2pm

I read your article on job fair tips for job seekers and I’m wondering if you have any tips for employers?

Dear Working Wise:

I read your article on job fair tips for job seekers and I’m wondering if you have any tips for employers? I attend quite a few job fairs and I’ve noticed some employers making mistakes. Do you have any pointers for them? Signed, Veteran

 

Dear Veteran:

 

Job fairs are a great way for employers to pre-screen applicants and grab the attention of job seekers who might otherwise pass over your recruitment ads.

 

Don’t just collect resumes at your next job fair—use this unique face-to-face meeting opportunity to ask questions, get to know the applicants’ personalities, and create a short-list of your favorites.

 

Here are some tips to make the most of your next job fair:

·         Staff your booth with outgoing, enthusiastic and helpful people.

·         Stand up, move your table to the side and make your booth welcoming to job seekers.

·         Make the first move—smile, make eye contact with job seekers, welcome them into your booth, and ask them if they are interested in learning more about your company and job opportunities.

·         Wear a nametag and prepare a 15-second introduction explaining your company, industry and the types of positions and people you are looking for.

·         Attract visitors to your booth with a professional-looking display, interactive demonstration, interesting promo give-a-ways, and/or short video.

·         Bring lots of business cards and have a list of available positions handy.

·         Be sure you have enough staff to avoid long lineups of job seekers and give your booth staff some much-needed breaks throughout the day.

·         Be courteous of other employers, including volume levels on your audio-visual equipment.

·         Label and secure laptops and other valuable equipment so you can focus your attention on the job seekers.

·         Wear comfortable shoes and take a short break every hour to relieve sore feet and backs. Bring a rubber mat if you are standing on concrete all day. 

·         Take a tour around to other booths and borrow ideas you like for next time.

·         Don’t eat in your booth, leave your booth empty, or sit behind your table with your arms crossed and your eyes down.

 

The people in your booth make the biggest difference. Booth staff should be friendly ambassadors for your company who enjoy meeting new people. They should also be properly trained to answer job-seeker questions.

 

Staff working in your booth should be prepared to answer questions, including:

·         What positions are available and what do those people do?

·         What are the working conditions, hours and compensation?

·         What qualifications do I need for that position?

·         Do you have any entry-level positions available?

·         Will you provide training or support my training for this position?

·         How would you describe your corporate culture?

·         What do you like about your job / company?

·         What sets your company apart from other employers?

·         What is the hiring outlook in this field?

·         What is the growth outlook for your company?

 

Want to put these tips to the test? You can find out about upcoming job fairs in your community at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


As the manager of a small retail store, I’ve noticed the economy is starting to pick up again—sales are up, but so is my turnover.

 

Dear Working Wise:

As the manager of a small retail store, I’ve noticed the economy is starting to pick up again—sales are up, but so is my turnover. How can I find new staff and keep my current staff when other employers are offering more money? Signed, Rattled Retailer

 

Dear Rattled:

 

Staffing is one of the biggest challenges for any organization: large or small.

 

Alberta’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly over the past year to just over five per cent. Some employers are starting to have trouble finding workers with the right skills or staff willing to stay at lower-paying jobs.

 

Employee turnover is expensive—replacing an employee costs between 70 per cent and 200 per cent of their annual salary.

 

Staff retention is no accident—successful employers invest careful thought into what attracts jobs seekers and keeps their employees coming to work every day.

 

A great starting point is to ask them:

·         Ask new hires why they came—highlight and build upon these factors;

·         Ask current staff why they stay—highlight and build upon these factors;

·         Ask departing staff why they are leaving; and

·         Ask current staff for suggestions for improvement and how to retain staff.

 

Keep records and look for patterns that highlight areas of weakness that you can improve upon. You should also watch for areas of strength that you can emphasize in your job postings.

 

You can also try these low-cost staff-retention ideas from the Beyond Pay & Benefits publication in the Alberta Employment & Immigration Employer Tool Kit:

·         Reward cost-saving ideas;

·         Celebrate employee birthdays;

·         Offer flexible work schedules—support work-life balance;

·         Allow banked days / earned-days off;

·         Support job sharing;

·         Allow staff to work from home;

·         Begin casual dress days;

·         Offer an extra day off to work at a local charity of the employee’s choice;

·         Satisfy their hunger, organize a pizza day or pot-luck lunch;

·         Offer product discounts;

·         Provide free parking / subsidized parking;

·         Organize staff parties;

·         Give them a better job title;

·         Recognize staff achievements;

·         Offer formal and informal training;

·         Build a positive work culture by ensuring supervisors are properly trained and supported to manage staff;

·         Engage your employees—help them understand how they contribute to the organization as a whole and where the organization is headed—the vision.

 

Once you have lowered your staff turnover, you are going to need to replace the staff you have lost.

 

Be the first employer job seekers think of when they start their job search by becoming known for one or more of the following:

·         Providing training opportunities to staff;

·         Hiring from within – developing your current employees;

·         Offering a safe / healthy / positive working environment;

·         Having positive employee-supervisor relationships;

·         Recognizing employee contributions;

·         Supporting work-life balance;

·         Supporting the community;

·         Providing pay and benefits that are competitive in your industry;

·         Making the work personally rewarding for staff;

·         Providing job security.

 

For more information and tips on attracting, developing and retaining staff, check out the Employer Tool Kit at http://employment.alberta.ca/etoolkit.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm thinking of getting into trades field, but I'm not sure how to do that? How do I find a job as an apprentice?

 

Dear Ready:

 

The trades are an excellent career option for many reasons.

 

First, as an apprentice, you spend about 80 per cent of your time earning a wage while you learn on the job from a qualified tradesperson. First-year apprentices earn about half of a journeyman's wage.

 

As you take more training and get more experience, your pay increases. You spend the remainder of your time taking technical training at a college or technical institution. Apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from one to four years, depending on the trade.

 

Second, the trades are rewarding. Tradespeople tend to earn good wages and benefits plus they have the opportunity to move up into management roles like foreman, construction manager, quality-control inspector and superintendent. Many tradespeople also go on to teach apprentices or open their own businesses.

 

Third, tradespeople are eligible for grants of $1,000 per year for completing their first and second years. They are also eligible for a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant plus a $500 per year tools deduction on their tax return.

 

Fourth, there are so many career options within the trades that you are bound to find something you really like. The trades are not limited to Plumbers and Electricians. In Alberta, there are 50 different trades you can apprentice in from Appliance Service Technician to Chef to Well-testing Services Supervisor. For a complete list, check out: www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca.

 

How to get started

1.      Pick your trade. Get as much information as you can about your choices from the Internet, school career counselors, tradespeople you know, or your nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office.

2.      Talk to people working in the trades that interest you. Speak to employers – they might let you 'job-shadow' to see what the day-to-day work is like.

3.      Find an employer. Thousands of employers hire and train apprentices. Getting a job as an apprentice is no different than finding any other job.

4.      Apply. Once you have a job, you and your employer need to complete an Apprenticeship Training Application / Contract and return it to the nearest office of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Branch.

 

 

 

Tips for finding a job as an Apprentice:

·         Prepare a professional-looking resumé and cover letter that explains your career goal.

·         Dress your best when you go out to meet employers.

·         Be courteous and grateful for any help or advice employers provide.

·         Search job postings and job boards like the Canada-Alberta Job Bank http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/intro-eng.aspx using the keyword “apprentice”.

·         Use “job alert” features on job boards to alert you when a new apprentice job is posted.

·         Attend job fairs and talk to employers who hire tradespeople. You can find out about upcoming job fairs at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

·         Talk to tradespeople and get their advice on finding an apprentice position. They might even know someone who is hiring.

·         Knock on doors of businesses who employ tradespeople. If they are not hiring, ask if they know someone who is.

·         Visit your nearest Alberta Works office and speak to a Career & Employment Consultant. They can provide you with more advice. You can find the office nearest you by clicking on: http://employment.alberta.ca/433.html.

 
To get more information about apprenticeship and careers in the trades, visit www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 


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