Local service helps connect employers and employees

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – With more and more help wanted signs popping up in Morinville shop windows, Charmin Rockwell, a career counsellor with Career Employment Counselling Services (CECS), is hoping local businesses looking to hire help will take advantage of her services – particularly since they are free to use.

Rockwell said when businesses are looking to hire an employee, all they have to do is fill out a simple form at the centre or online to take advantage of CECS’s job posting board. The listing will then appear on the CECS website as well as on the job board at the career and employment centre, located next to the Mac’s Convenience Store on 100 Street.

In addition to offering free job postings, Rockwell said CECS has other services for businesses looking to hire.

“We have lots of publications that are free for business owners on retention and recruitment, on workplace rights, on workplace conflict – a variety of resources,” she said, adding the career centre even has material on generational issues, including hiring mature workers and dealing with youth.

Rockwell said she has noticed an upturn in the hiring market recently. “I think there is still a need for qualified employees,” she said. “It’s just how do employers market that?”

The career and employment counsellor said during Alberta’s last boom statistics showed only 10 per cent of employers advertised for employees. Whether a business advertises for help or not in the current economy, Rockwell said putting a help wanted sign in the window as the sole means of attracting an employee may not be the best method for long-term relationships.

“There are a couple factors with that: It doesn’t give you an opportunity to showcase what you are looking for,” Rockwell said, adding a job posting allows a business owner to put in the qualifications they are looking for. “I’ve seen sometimes the help wanted [sign] and you go into the organization and the front line person might be busy. So they are not always a good screening tool.”

Rockwell said she feels many employers overlook some of the options at their disposal because of time constraints and the survival mode many businesses have had to go into to weather the economic downturn.

However, Rockwell believes those businesses who are now in hiring mode need to spend the time to make sure they get the right employees because it is estimated a bad hire can cost an employer 50 to 200 per cent of the employees salary in terms of severance, training and lost revenues.

“I think what employers don’t understand is if you don’t get clear about who you want to hire, it costs you more time in the long run,” she said, adding employers should sit down and determine what the position being offered entails and what the ideal candidate for that position looks like in terms of qualities and qualifications. “I’ve been guilty of not doing that as well, but what I’ve done in the last couple years is I got crystal clear about all the positions I was hiring for. It took time to craft a good job description. It took time to craft a good ad. But you get the type of people you are looking for.”

For more information on the services available to employers and job seekers, call 780-939-2353 or visit CECS at www.cecscareers.com.

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