‘Recruiting is about relationships’

Spark the North conference was held May 26 at Triangle near High Prairie. Left-right, are Big Lakes County grants officer Kimberly Moore, Community Futures – Lesser Slave Lake Region executive director Josh Friesen, guest speakers Kristen Cumming and Sheila Newel, and Alberta Labour and Immigration workforce co-ordinator Deanna Basarab. Missing in the photo is speaker Eric Termuende.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Challenged by a current national labour shortage, strategies to attract and retain employees were shared at a conference May 26 at Triangle Hall west of High Prairie.
Spark the North was organized by Community Futures – Lesser Slave Lake Region, Big Lakes County and Alberta Labour and Immigration with the help of a provincial grant.
“We got some really good insights,” Community Futures executive director Josh Friesen says.
About 50 people from throughout CF’s Slave Lake and Peace regions participated in the event for municipalities, individuals and organizations involved in employment.
Three keynote speakers shared their perspectives on how to attract employees in a changing world and workforce.
Eric Termuende says people want to work in a place where they are valued and can grow.
“To build tomorrow’s greatest workplace culture, enhance trust, remove friction, experiment and plant your flag,” says Termuende, founder of The Now of Work, author of the best-selling book Rethink Work and a global keynote speaker.
“If we want to attract top talent, we have to create places of work where people want to be.”
His mission is to empower companies to build better teams, establish deeper trust and create environments where people thrive.
Trust also helps to build employees teamwork and the workplace, he says.
“Those who trust each other are 15 times more likely to be engaged,” Termuende says.
Employees need to adjust to changing times.
“Small changes can make a big difference,” Termuende says.
He encourages employers to build an interactive culture to grow employees and the businesses.
“Bring our best ideas,” Termeunde says.
He suggests employers ask employees and discuss three questions:

  1. “What should we start doing?”
  2. “What should we stop doing?”
  3. “What should we continue doing?”
    Senior human resources consultant and employee management expert Sheila Newel says job matching is important.
    “It’s essential to match hiring to the job, to the supervisor and to the environment,” Newel says.
    “Match skills to the job.”
    Job matching refers to how well a person’s cognitive abilities, interests and personality traits match those who are wanted for the job, she says.
    “You should give a job to someone who can do it better, faster and cheaper and can produce high-quality work.”
    Attracting people to northern communities is another challenge she talked about.
    “What keeps you here?” Newel asked the audience.
    She says that’s what employers have to think about as they recruit and retain employees who have to relocate to northern parts of Alberta.
    “Thinking long term is essential, especially in areas that have lower populations,” Newel says.
    “Always check for mutual benefits.”
    Searching for workers, she encourages employers to look across Canada and to consider immigrants and refugees.
    “Lots of talented people are coming to Alberta,” Newel says.
    “Look far a wide for your people, never stop looking.”
    Communication, leadership and change expert Kristen Cumming says its all about relationships and viewing people for their value.
    “Recruiting is about relationships, build relationships,” says Cum- ming, a human resources consultant.
    “Retention is about growing people.”
    She also reminds employers people in various generations can offer much to the business.
    “See people for their strengths, not their differences,” Cumming says.
    “Truly welcome them and create a culture of belonging.”
    Friesen says he plans to turn Spark the North into an annual event to focus on timely economic and business issues.

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