Staffing challenge only expected to get tougher

I manage a local hotel and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners? — Hopeless Hotelier

Dear Working Wise: I manage a local hotel and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners? — Hopeless Hotelier

Dear Hopeless: Alberta’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.5 per cent — the second-lowest rate in the country — and there are 10,000 more Albertans working today than a year ago.

While this is good news for job seekers, the ongoing challenge of attracting, training and retaining staff in a competitive labour market can be exhausting for hiring managers. And the staffing challenge is only expected to get tougher as waves of our most experienced workers begin to retire.

Due to our growing economy and aging workforce, Alberta is expected to face a shortage of up to 114,000 skilled workers within the decade.

Fortunately, there are a number of free and low-cost services available to help Alberta employers.

• Try posting a free job ad on the Canada-Alberta Job Bank website at www.jobbank.gc.ca.

• Take advantage of free local job fairs and hiring events. Employer Connections events, for example, are mini job fairs that allow you to profile your business and job opportunities to local career counsellors and job seekers — http://humanservices.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

• Check out the staff attraction and retention tips in the Employer Tool Kit — http://eae.alberta.ca/labour-and-immigration/employer-toolkit.aspx.

• Post a free job ad or find out about upcoming job fairs and staff-recruitment workshops for employers on local Alberta Works social media channels, including:

– http://twitter.com/@CalgaryJobFeed;

– www.facebook.com/calgaryjobsfeed;

– www.facebook.com/CentralAlbertaJobs;

– www.facebook.com/fortmcmurrayjobs;

– www.facebook.com/Lethbridgejobs;

– www.facebook.com/MedicineHatJobs.

Or get in touch with your local business and industry liaison. Alberta Human Services has business and industry liaison staff who specialize in helping employers tackle staffing challenges and navigate all of the available employer services.

A business and industry liaison can you help by:

• Providing information on how you can tap into hidden labour pools;

• Offering helpful publications full of staff attraction and retention tips;

• Informing you of upcoming low-cost staff recruitment best-practice workshops;

• Guiding you toward useful statistics like wage surveys and labour market forecasts;

• Explaining how the Disability Related Employment Supports program helps employers hire and retain employees with disabilities; and

• Connecting you with local hiring events and opportunities.

To speak with a business and industry liaison, call your nearest Alberta Works office. You can find it at http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.

Working Wise is compiled by Charles Strachey, a manager with Alberta Human Services, for general information. Strachey can be contacted at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glen Carritt organized a United We Roll Canada convoy around May 2019 that travelled in 2019. An independent review said he breached council code of conduct rules multiple times. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Former Innisfail town councillor breached code of conduct many times, says review

Consultants say 29 of 36 alleged breaches by Glen Carritt had merit

Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).
Two peace officers are training to join Red Deer’s downtown police patrol unit

This “integrated” unit will be the first in Alberta

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

A homeless shelter was promised Red Deer to help the city deal with downtown issues. The city and province finally released a signed agreement on what the facility will offer, a year after a $7 million commitment was made for the project by the province. (Advocate file photo).
City and province take next step in bringing a 24/7 shelter to Red Deer

It will include a detox and counselling services

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta's COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, government house leader and environment minister, after Nixon is sworn into office in Edmonton on April 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta eyes recall legislation, focuses on COVID-19 aid in spring sitting

Alberta eyes recall legislation, focuses on COVID-19 aid in spring sitting

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie attends a a news conference in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The CFL faces more challenges in its 2021 return than it did last year when it was forced to cancel its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
CFL will have to appease more levels of government to get 2021 protocols approved

CFL will have to appease more levels of government to get 2021 protocols approved

European Union Ambassador to Venezuela Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa meets with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza at his office in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The meeting was called after the EU sanctioned an additional 19 Venezuelans for "undermining democracy and the rule of law" in Venezuela and the National Assembly declared the EU ambassador "persona non grata." (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Sanctions prompt Venezuela to expel head of EU delegation

Sanctions prompt Venezuela to expel head of EU delegation

Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman departs a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor on a black-draped table at the center of the Capitol Rotunda, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Relatives of inmates cry outside the Centro de Privación de Libertad Zona 8 prison where riots broke out in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Deadly riots broke out in prisons in three cities across the country due to fights between rival gangs, according to police. (AP Photo/Angel Dejesus)
Gang clashes result in Ecuador’s deadliest prison riots ever

Gang clashes result in Ecuador’s deadliest prison riots ever

El Chapo’s wife goes from obscurity to celebrity to arrest

El Chapo’s wife goes from obscurity to celebrity to arrest

This combination photo shows notable cast members from the musical "Rent," from left, Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Daphne Rubin-Vega. The New York Theater Workshop will celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Rent” with a gala on March 2 that will be available to stream through March 6. (AP Photo)
La Vie Boheme: ‘Rent’ musical celebrates 25th anniversary

La Vie Boheme: ‘Rent’ musical celebrates 25th anniversary

Most Read