We live in interesting times. We have an economy that has retained a high level of unemployment since the recession yet one that also has skill shortages. The coming years will bring increasing pressures on our workforce as the Boomers eventually do retire, albeit slower than originally intended, and as our economy loses more blue collar jobs. The cost and availability of labor in other countries is a force that will not be denied.
Canada’s not too distant future is as a knowledge economy, complemented by a strong resource sector in the West.
Companies will scramble for talent, for a number of reasons;
(a) we have a shrinking workforce;
(b) the education system is not producing enough people with the skills to match our future needs; and
(c) while immigration may be one potential answer, we will be competing with the world for that global talent.
One industry that will continue to rise in this environment will be the staffing industry. Today this is a $9 billion industry that provides Canadian organisations with access to talent, both employees and flexible help. The value of our work will only grow as the talent landscape changes. This industry will be very involved with the bigger picture issues of immigration policy, international sourcing, technology improvements, strategic hiring advice, outsourced staffing and re-education of workers.
For a young person considering a future career this is an industry that can offer a host of benefits.
- The barriers to entry are not huge, and the right attitude can land an entry level job.
- Companies in our industry are willing to invest and train their people to position them for future success.
- The compensation in this industry is very competitive at all levels, and at the top it can prove to be as rewarding as almost any career.
- The skills within our industry are very transferable, making people very attractive in any geography. Making our workforce very mobile, an important aspect for anyone starting out in a career.
- Our people are paid to meet people, to build relationships and help those people find jobs. It is very worthwhile and rewarding work.
- Progression can come quick for those who demonstrate their capabilities.
- Today it is important for people to feel that they are contributing to a greater good. This industry bringing real value to the economy AND helps people to find jobs … so a staffing career is being a part if something good for the community.
There are probably a host of other benefits to working in this industry but one interesting tidbit is that almost everyone in our industry arrived here by accident. I don’t know anybody who went to school with the plan to become a recruiter!
As we approach the time of year when young people are leaving school to start new careers they should know about our industry and incredible opportunities that it offers!
Feel free to share this with educators, new graduates or anyone looking for an interesting, worthwhile and rewarding career.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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