French people

Employers offer workers more incentives amid staff shortages

With unemployment at historic lows, the demand for labor continues to grow, pushing companies to seek new ways to recruit and retain employees.

John Hennesey is on track for his planned Canada Day launch of Zups ByWard, which he calls a “slightly elevated” poutinerie. The take-out restaurant is also a mini grocery store offering artisanal French-Canadian foods and beverages.

“We hope to provide a destination where people can come and enjoy what we think is the best poutine,” says Hennessey. “We think we need about 22 to 25 different shifts to cover seven days a week and three shifts a day.”

And even at a time when it can be difficult to find staff, Hennesey says most positions have been filled.

“I’m offering $18.60 an hour, which tries to compensate and add some awareness to what it costs to be able to live in this town,” says Hennesey, who also uses a QR code to candidates submit their CV. “If you start with us and you’re bilingual, we’ll give you a bonus of $18.60, 40 cents to $19 an hour to start. We support it by offering free drinks and meals and all we offer by providing transport allowances to anyone who works.

Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in May, Statistics Canada reported earlier this month.

This is the lowest rate since at least 1976, which is as far back as comparable data goes.

The tight labor market is being driven by a robust pandemic recovery and changing demographics, which Tony Bonen, executive director of the Labor Market Information Council, says will create a very different situation than what has been seen in the past. during the last decades.

“Workers in general will have a bit more bargaining power in the labor market going forward,” Bonon said.

“This could mean that wages will continue to increase the particularity of low-income workers and help in some way to reduce the income gaps that we see. … In the longer term, there is also potential for companies to innovate around this new reality by finding more efficient ways to do business and more efficient ways to find retained and trained workers in their company.

The construction industry has also faced severe shortages and when skilled tradespeople are needed, John DeVries, president and CEO of the Ottawa Construction Association, says builders engage with these employees to ensure that they are satisfied.

“To make sure they’re on a good career path and being taken care of financially,” says DeVries. “These are the progressive employers and I think they are the ones who will succeed in retaining their employees and attracting new ones.

“But there’s also loyalty, and you, as an employer, have to cultivate that loyalty.”

Hennesey says having the right people for the job is important, and the added incentives help provide a better work-life balance.

“We may be new or I may have taken a different approach as I’m not a restaurateur,” he says. “It’s about creating a welcoming and open environment for people to come in and not feel threatened, intimidated or coerced into being hired.”