In the last month Enterprise Saint John’s, Workforce Attraction & Retention Officer, Julia Udalych has travelled to Montreal and Toronto with employers, Opportunities NB (ONB), and Post-Secondary Education, Training & Labour (PETL) to try and recruit newcomers for jobs in the Saint John region.
“Personally, I spoke to more than 500 between the two hiring fairs. Some were willing to move their entire family to Saint John in a couple of months, but they also wanted to know if they could find a job in their field of expertise,” says Udalych.
It’s not always an easy answer. There are currently more than 650 jobs listed as unfilled in the Saint John region. According to third quarter Labour Market Information for the region, jobs ranged from retail representatives, registered nurses, financial auditors and analysts to transport truck drivers.
But, every quarter may be different and there is also the hidden market to consider.
“Sometimes, employers may have a plan to hire down the line, but the job isn’t posted yet. However, if jobseekers are networked properly and are qualified, they will be able to tap into that potential job or hidden job market, first. We are working with our partners including ONB to help make that happen,” says ESJ’s Chief Executive Officer, Ron Gaudet.
“ONB created its Workforce Strategy team, in partnership with PETL, to help clients find and recruit the local, national and international talent they need to succeed in New Brunswick. Working with provincial, municipal and academic partners we have had great success with this approach,” says ONB CEO Stephen Lund.
ESJ, ONB, PETL, local employment and settlement agencies want to help newcomers and employers connect better with an upcoming hiring fair on November 7th at Port Saint John. 19 employers have already signed up to be part of the event.
Last year’s Connect & Settle Hiring Fair for International Students & Newcomers attracted 203 jobseekers, with 22 hired in the first 3 months after the hiring fair.
“Our goal is also to support employers, so before the hiring fair, we will have a panel discussion with newcomers and HR specialist and Director of Immigration for J.D. Irving Limited, Susan Wilson. We want to talk about challenges and successes on both sides of the equation,” says Udalych.
Udalych says it may also be an opportunity for companies to hear how valuable newcomers have been to the bottom line of businesses that welcomed them.
“At previous job fairs, I have met many very talented professionals, who were born outside of Canada. They had fluent English and French, strong interpersonal skills and outstanding work experience. If I were the employer, I would hire them right on the spot. Being open-minded on employers’ part about bringing in such talent will add tremendous value to their teams. Those people will also be dedicated new community members which means so much to growing our economy,” adds Udalych.
Like last year, this hiring fair is open to everyone but is targeting newcomers in the hope that they will better connect with employers, find a job and settle in our community. People can register for the hiring fair through www.newcomershiringfairsj.eventbrite.ca . Employers looking to sign up for the event can contact Julia at email@example.com or Theresa at Theresa.Phillips@onbcanada.ca
Originally published in the Telegraph Journal, October 29, 2018