HireNext tool can help employers attract new talent
March 31st, 2021 4:38 pm     A+ | a-

     By Amina Dibe

RESCON recently held a webinar with CivicAction, called Rethinking Your Next Big Hire, to walk participants through HireNext, a free set of tools that help employers expand their pipeline and come up with a roadmap to attract young and diverse talent.
The session offered strategies to better recruit, select, onboard and retain youth. To date, more than 600 organizations of all sizes and industries across Canada have registered for the assessment to receive tailored, actionable recommendations.
Sarah Harris, VP partnerships and engagement at CivicAction, led the session and detailed how to use the HireNext tool. The first step is to take a free assessment that gauges a company or organization’s sourcing and recruiting, screening and selection, and onboarding and retention of workers.
RESCON is now a HireNext employer. We took the assessment, were given recommendations and implemented them to improve our recruitment practices so they are more youth- and diversity-inclusive.
We feel this is an important tool for construction employers because, within the next 10 years alone, 100,000 skilled trades will be needed to offset retirements from the industry.
RESCON, government, and education stakeholders have made great strides in improving the promotion and marketing of careers in construction and the skilled trades, but more work remains to be done.
We find, for example, that young people are interested in the skilled trades, but barriers still exist to hiring interested youth. One of those barriers is the recruitment and hiring practices of companies. There seems to be a disconnect in the “pipeline” and getting the interested job seeker (youth) to a hired job seeker.
Our focus needs to be on getting those who are interested in a career in construction to an actual job in the industry. That is why we have partnered with CivicAction and are actively promoting the HireNext tool.
In a 45-minute session, Harris walked participants through the details of the program.
She noted that a post-COVID survey indicated that the youth unemployment rate in Ontario was the second highest in the country, at 23.2 per cent for males and 20.7 per cent for females, so there is plenty of opportunity for companies to hire young people.
She said hiring youth isn’t just the right thing to do, but it also makes good busines sense for a company because it brings diversity and different perspectives to the table.
The tool features made-in-Canada resources to support human resources practices of companies and worksheets, recommendations and employer case studies to increase the pipeline of talent, increase diversity and revenue, lower turnover costs and foster higher employee engagement.
Employers are provided with actionable and easy-to-implement steps to be able to hire more young people. As an example, employers are taught how to draw up job postings that will attract young people by laying out the basic skills that are required and what a new employee will learn on the job.
And, when posting a job, the title of the job matters. As Harris pointed out, titles that are unclear and inflated can really turn young candidates off from applying. It’s also important to differentiate between what an employee needs to have and what is nice to have when posting a job.
For the construction industry, for example, Harris said that it might be wise to show people the type of exciting career they can have in the industry.
Government and the industry have made it a strategic priority to increase the number of youth, BIPOC and women into the construction industry. This requires improved pathways with a focus on how people apply, are hired, and are orientated and supported as new hires. 
Small changes in the hiring, recruitment, onboarding and retention process can make a big difference in ensuring that we have a sustainable supply of labour for years to come.
Click here to learn more about HireNext.

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