Kelowna Employer Forum Recap: Recruitment and Hiring (June 2017)

In 2016, Kent Employment Law introduced its Employer Forum series in Vancouver. An in-house resource for forward-thinking business owners and HR professionals, our Forums offer an opportunity to connect and learn from each other in a casual, relaxed setting.

Earlier this month, we were delighted to introduce our Employer Forums to the Okanagan business community. Hosted by lawyer David Brown, our inaugural Kelowna Forum focused on the “promises and pitfalls” of recruitment and hiring. Our guest speaker, Elysia Knight, HR Manager at Strawhouse, shared her experience and expertise, David offered an employment law perspective, and the group engaged in a rich discussion about their own successes and challenges.

For those who weren’t able to join us, we asked Simon Kent to share some takeaways from the morning. Here are his top 4:

  1. Good people find good work. The employers in attendance generally agreed that when they come across a desirable candidate but aren’t able to find space for them within the organization, that’s not the end of the story. They will do what they can to connect the prospective employee with another job opportunity, often referring them on to their HR colleagues.
  2. Lean on technology. Being organized is key to effective recruitment and hiring. One of the best ways to keep your ducks in a row is through the use of technology, and the group discussed various different types of HR software that are available to support your business and maximize efficiency.
  3. The best recruitment strategy is also the least expensive. One topic of particular interest was cost-effective ways to market for good people, particularly given the high fees charged by professional recruiters. Elysia shared an approach that has worked well for Strawhouse: this rapidly growing technology company makes their existing employees into recruiters, inviting their staff to encourage their contacts to apply for new openings. This is another one of those win-wins: the employer is able to add pre-vetted, quality people to its team and the referring employee not only gets to work with people they know and like, they also receive a “finder’s fee” if the new hire stays with the company past the probation period.
  4. The millennial mindset. Finally, it’s likely no surprise that many Forum participants were interested in discussing the unique issues that arise when hiring millennials and what appeals to this demographic when it comes to career. Consistent with much that you’ve likely read out there…it’s more than just a paycheque!

Overall, our feedback about the event was overwhelmingly positive. It seems that Okanagan employers appreciate the opportunity to have an open, candid discussion about their employment experiences.

If you missed our June Kelowna Forum, you’re in luck – we will be providing these opportunities to support and learn from your peers (and our lawyers) on a regular basis. The next event in this quarterly series happens in Fall 2017. Stay tuned for details…


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