Written by Bruce Hein, Owner at Express Employment Professionals

As local economies slowly recover from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some business leaders are looking to start bringing jobs back to meet anticipated demands in their markets. With unemployment at near-record highs, hiring managers have a large talent pool to choose from these days. But with so many qualified individuals, how can you make sure you choose the right employee for your company? Poor hiring can cost an employer up to 150% of a workers’ salary, so before you decide to hire your next employee, it’s important to know what to look for in a perfect hire.

Organizational Needs

The most obvious focus your company should have when hiring is aimed at specific organizational needs. Just because your business has the capital to bring back employees, doesn’t mean that hiring for the same positions you once had is the best move going forward. The world has changed, and businesses are changing with it.

Analyze your current needs and decide the best way to fill them. For example, some businesses are deciding to add more of a remote workforce in lieu of a traditional office to allow for social distancing and to save money on office space. Other organizations may have discovered new needs during COVID-19 shutdowns, including contact tracers and temperature screeners. Decide what fits your organization and focus your hiring around your needs.

Experience and Expectations

Assuming the candidates you are screening for your next position have the skills needed, you also have to decide what level of experience you want in a new hire. As the past few months have shown us, businesses have to be agile enough to move from in-person to home-based work back to in-person. This type of movement requires employees with strong autonomy skills, as well as those who are self-starters and can be trusted to do their work without direct supervision, which comes with years of experience.

Training during this time can also be tricky with social distancing requirements. Experience in your company’s industry is a great way to know the candidate not only has the skills for the job but can perform them with little to no training, allowing for an immediate boost in your workforce. It’s important to also understand the candidate’s expectations with the position. With a large amount of job seekers in the talent pool, it may be difficult to decipher between those looking for a permanent position with those looking to “bridge a gap” in employment. Ask the candidate for their expectations of the position and if they are wanting to grow and develop with the company.

Cultural Fit

Finding employees who share common values with the organization is one of the best ways to build a strong company culture with loyal workers who bond over a common mission. Every organization has a unique cultural fit that distinguishes it from others in and out of its market. When reviewing resumes, look at what specific organizations and nonprofits the candidates have partnered with to see how their values line up with those of the company. If your business puts a large emphasis on local neighbourhood outreach, look to see if that type of value comes through with the candidate’s volunteer work or through the tone of their cover letter. While skills and experience are needed to ensure the candidate can perform the job at a high level, cultural fit is imperative to find an employee who will thrive in your environment and help continue to build on the company’s values.

About Express Employment Professionals

If you are looking to add new team members during these unprecedented times, contact Express Employment Professionals. We’re in the business of people. Our international network of franchises offer localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve, employing 552,000 people across North America in 2019. For more information, visit www.ExpressPros.com.

The Sarnia Express office is located at 347 Christina Street North and serves the Sarnia-Lambton area. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to visit www.expresspros.com/sarniaon or call (519) 336-7962.

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Please join us in welcoming Rustic Scoops Ice Cream Bar to the chamber community!

Located in Corunna, Rustic Scoops Ice Cream Bar was created out of a passion for spending time with friends and family, warm summer nights, and of course – ice cream treats!

Check out their website to learn more about Rustic Scoops and to help you decide which ice cream flavour to get when you visit them next.

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The Lambton Federation of Agriculture Membership would like to thank the Ontario Government and Lambton County Council for partnering with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) and Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) to bring our rural areas quality broadband internet. 

Recognizing this issue, which affects community advancement, will lead to important improvements and impacts to our rural areas. 

To read more details about the Rural Internet Projects, click here.

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Ontario is creating opportunities for young people through the inaugural work and membership of the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity. To further support disadvantaged youth and job seekers from underrepresented groups, the province is investing $2.2 million to help them develop the skills they need for successful careers. 

“Our government is committed to breaking down barriers and ensuring everyone from all walks of life get the opportunity to achieve their full potential”, said Premier Ford. “To help turn lives around, I am looking forward to receiving the advice of the impressive members of our new Council and seeing the results of our investment in critically important training and skills development programs.” 

One of the Council’s initial tasks will be to gather feedback on the Black Youth Action Plan from individuals and organizations in Ontario’s Black communities, including current program partners, business owners and executives, opportunity-minded community groups, organized labour, employment services, and more. In addition to Council outreach, individuals and organizations will be invited to submit their feedback, recommendations and experiences on the Black Youth Action Plan and how to improve economic success and opportunities for Ontario’s Black communities via email to DYAPfeedback@ontario.ca.

To read more about the Opportunity Council and Skills Training Investments to support underrepresented groups, click here.

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Ontario is pleased to announce that long-term care residents can once again leave their residences for short-stay and temporary absences. 

Effective immediately, residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences. For short-stay absences (those that do not include an overnight stay) homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures such as physical distancing. When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate. 

Residents may also leave for “temporary absences of one or more nights. Temporary absences will be at the discretion of the home and decided on a case-by-case basis based on safety factors like the risk associated with the absence (i.e: for a family weekend vs. a large gathering) and the ability of the home to help residents self-isolate upon return. For protection of their neighbours, residents who leave on a temporary absence will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to the home. 

Read the full statement by the Government of Ontario by clicking here.

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The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) found that 29% of accommodation and food service businesses cannot operate at all with social distancing measures in effect. A further 31% will only be able to remain operational for up to 90 days with distancing measures in effect. In other words, up to 60% of the industry risk having to close their doors permanently by November. 

While the economy is slowly beginning to recover, to date the federal government has not offered help tailored to the needs of the hardest hit industries like food services, which will take a long time to recover. That’s why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 15 food service businesses/organizations are launching the “Our Restaurants” campaign. 

The campaign puts a spotlight on the current situation faced by Canada’s restaurants amidst COVID-19: high costs, fewer customers, and government programs ill-equipped for the unique, long-term challenges faced by the industry.

To learn more about who is leading this campaign & the details, click here.

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The federal government has announced additional funding to support safe and full-time return to school policies. 

The Canadian Chamber’s Council for Women’s Advocacy (CWA) issued a statement on the five things the federal government can do right now to support women and foster economic growth. The first of these is contained in this announcement: 

A call to work with provinces and territories in their respective efforts to ensure there is safe full-time return to school policies for September 2020 that take into account international experiences, learnings, and best practices to date.

The Canadian Chamber and the CWA call on all stakeholders to act collaboratively and swiftly to make safe, full-time return to school a reality for all Canadian students. To do so ensures women can focus on work and fully participate in the recovery process that is essential for widespread job creation and sustained economic growth. 

To read more about the announcement details, click here.

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The fallout from the global pandemic has had a huge impact on Canadian SMEs and we are seeing them rise to the challenge in so many ways. Many business owners adapted quickly, where they could, to find creative and necessary ways to survive. As the economy reopens, the good news is, week after week, business owners say they are less worried about their own business and the Canadian economy. 

Across the country, there are many shining examples of resilience, but in difficult times the way ahead isn’t always clear. 

Planning now for the future is essential. To be able to continue to easily reach and service your customers requires a website and online sales strategy but getting your business online isn’t always as simple as it sounds. There are many things to consider and BDC is here to support Canadian entrepreneurs on the road to recovery. 

BDC has partnered with the Retail Council of Canada and Shopify to help retail business owners learn how to move their business online. Join the first webinar on September 3 to learn more about how to launch online sales, plus hear first-hand advice from women entrepreneurs in retail who have successful e-commerce stores. 

To read more about how the BDC initiative works, click here.

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Recently, Shell employees and summer students coordinated with Lambton Elderly Outreach to visit three local Sarnia-Lambton nursing homes to offer positive encouragement and spread some cheer as part of their “Fuelling Kindness” initiative.

Fuelling Kindness is a Shell program that encourages small acts of kindness knowing these can have a positive impact on health, relationships, and our communities as a whole. 

To read more about this Shell Initiative, click here.

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