Staffing Smart Series: post 1 of 6
How to recruit young Canadians to fill labour shortages
Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have effectively shut down international recruitment for the hospitality, tourism and restaurant industries. Bringing in foreign talent is a political hot button – and not one that politicians or industry associations are willing to touch. The change is here to stay.
Those of you who can afford to pay an international worker from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program $24+ an hour and live where unemployment rates are low still have a few options. For the rest of us, it’s time to rethink the Temporary Foreign Worker Program model and look within our own borders for the people we need. But how do we do that?
Two words: underemployed millennials.
Youth 18-30 living in Canada’s eastern provinces are our largest untapped labour source. They’re educated but underemployed. Unsure about what steps to take in their careers, but keen to gain experience and build skills. In our next few posts, we’ll go through everything you need to know to recruit and retain this unique group – and resolve your labour shortages with homegrown talent instead of relying on international workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
What we know about millennials
There’s a misconception out there that millennials are an entitled, lazy bunch that don’t want to work hard or make a commitment. In truth, it isn’t laziness or entitlement. It’s about the fact that they were raised in a different world and want different things out of a job than older generations. Millennials are fiercely creative. They can make or break your brand with a few tweets or snapchats – and as employees, they can contribute to the long-term success of your business. So how do we harness this demographic? How do we tailor roles to attract Canadian youth?
Let’s start by talking about what we know. Canadian aged 18-30 are one of our largest untapped labour resources.
- 40% are still living with their parents (50% in Ontario)
- 74% have post-secondary education (up from 49% in 1990)
- Most admit to having enrolled in post-secondary education before researching industries they actually want to work in
- 60% work in customer service at some point in their lives
So how do we leverage this highly educated, underemployed group as a viable alternative to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
Insights from our first deployments
After placing 160+ motivated young workers in resorts, restaurants and hotels in the west, here’s what we’ve learned:
- The experience has to be exciting. If we offer millennials an adventure, they’re in.
- It needs to be educational. You’ll be surprised by their thirst for knowledge and desire to build skills.
- It needs to provide the opportunity for career advancement. They don’t plan to spend their lives in entry-level jobs – there has to be room for growth.
- The experience needs to be structured. They want something with concrete start and end dates that isn’t a permanent commitment.
- It needs to be low-hassle. They don’t want to have to be interviewing all the time or having to look for a place to live every few months.
An alternative to all the red tape of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Let’s not forget what we used to spend on staffing through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. LMO/LMIA fees, recruitment fees, airfare, visas and more added up to $30,000 or more for four workers. That’s a lot of cheddar. With Mobolize, you’re saving money – and showing your commitment to Canadians. The PR alone is worth the effort.
This is the first post in our Staffing Smart blog series on recruiting Canadian youth. Over the next few posts, we’ll share details on the insights we’ve learned to give you the knowledge you need to recruit great talent from within our borders and lessen reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. It’s a whole new world – and a whole new breed of employee. We’ll attract millennials by understanding what they need, how they work and giving them an experience with real value.
Mobilize is a unique work and travel adventure program that’s attracting growing numbers of young Canadians to roles in hard-to-staff industries across the country. We recruit millennials from parts of Canada with low youth employment. They are carefully screened and placed in four-person pods, and sent on seasonal placements to fill labour shortages. The program is designed to keep them motivated and working successfully to ensure Canadian businesses run smoothly all year round.
Want to know more about Mobilize and reduce reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program? Get in touch with us!