3 Reasons You’re Missing the Best Candidates

Jessica Melnychuk | September-30-14



The environmental sector is highly dynamic, and green jobs are constantly emerging in areas where they wouldn’t have existed before. Because of the growing number of industries employing environmental workers, the number of environmental professionals in Canada has increased tenfold over the past decade. And with over 84,000 environmental workers reaching retirement age within the next few years, opportunities will continue to emerge for both young and experienced professionals.
But in Alberta’s strong economy, recruiters face unique challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. Are you missing out on the best candidates?
Check out these 3 top reasons:

1. You’re not reaching passive talent

It’s generally much easier for recruiters to fill entry level and junior roles, since those segments of the workforce are very actively engaged in job-seeking. Intermediate and senior roles that require individuals with more experience tend to remain vacant for longer periods of time. After all, only 25% of currently employed professionals are casually or actively looking for new employment. By not engaging passive talent, you’re missing out on the vast majority of potential candidates.
In Alberta, recruiters face an even greater challenge to reach and attract qualified candidates. As of June 2014, Alberta’s unemployment rate sat at 4.9%, the second lowest in Canada behind only Saskatchewan. This means there are even fewer skilled workers who are actively looking for employment.

2. You’re not developing strong brand recognition or demonstrating enough Corporate Social Responsibility

Both recruitment and retention are strongly influenced by your company’s brand recognition and demonstration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Being an Employer of Choice not only means treating your employees well and providing them with stimulating work, it also means ensuring your company’s values align with those of your staff. 
In 2000, the Conference Board of Canada found that 71% of employees want to work for companies that commit to social and community concerns, and in the UK, 75% of professionals take social or ethical considerations into account when changing employment.
Ensuring that your company brand reflects such values is essential in attracting new talent and keeping current employees engaged. It can even significantly reduce your recruitment costs, as Shell discovered after introducing their first global employer brand strategy in 2006. Not only did their Employer of Choice ranking increase from 45th to 15th, money spent on recruiting also decreased 75%.

3. You’re limiting your candidates by industry

A growing number of governments, businesses and consumers are committing themselves to conserving resources and reducing environmental impact, resulting in a proliferation of innovative new technologies and industries, such as renewable energy, green construction and wind power. Environmental workers are in high demand in many industries - soil reclamation technologists were even named as one of the hottest jobs in oil and gas this year.
Gone are the days when environmental workers were limited only to highly specialized, technical roles. While those jobs still exist, jobs in sales, health and safety, client services, communications, and many other areas, now require environmental knowledge and skills.  Industries such as construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, education, transportation and public administration employ environmental professionals by the tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands.  

How can you improve your recruitment and retention strategy?

The first thing you can do is make sure you have a clear and concise understanding of your company’s values and goals, and work to develop a branding strategy that will accurately reflect that. Once you fully understand your company’s brand, only then should you begin promoting it to others.
Participating in local events is one of the best ways to increase your company’s brand recognition, demonstrate corporate responsibility, meet qualified candidates, and network with peers face-to-face. These activities result in better long-term relationships and more successful recruitment. Not only that, current employees strongly value events and networking as professional development opportunities. They are more likely to stay with a company that invests in their training and development. 

Announcing Calgary’s first Green Jobs Forum

This December, ECO Canada and Green Living are excited to co-host the 2014 Green Jobs Forum in partnership with the Government of Alberta. The event, to be held at downtown Calgary’s Telus Convention Centre on December 3rd, will bring together today’s leading innovative organizations, thought leaders, and professionals in the environmental world for one inspiring day of networking, workshops and presentations.
“The Alberta economy is in a unique position to take advantage of environmental and energy opportunities, and the Green Jobs Forum will provide organizations and professionals a chance to connect with one another in a significant and stimulating way,” says Michael Kerford, President of ECO Canada. 
With sponsors such as Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), Devon Energy and the City of Calgary already signed on, the Green Jobs Forum promises to provide Calgary’s current and future workforce with the information they need to build rewarding careers in the environmental industry.
Both experienced and young professionals will have a chance to hear from some of Alberta’s top environmentally-conscious organizations, learn about emerging technologies and processes, and engage with peers in these industry rooms:
  1. Resource Management
  2. Blueprint for Clean Capitalism
  3. The Alberta Energy Opportunity
  4. Creating Sustainable Cities
  5. The Future of Environmental Employment
  6. Agriculture and Local Food Systems
Over 3,000 attendees are expected at the Calgary Green Jobs Forum, and speaker and exhibitor spaces are limited. Learn more about the event here or contact us to find out how you can participate!