Brand culture and regional appeal

Now that we’ve outlined issues facing the labour force, let’s look at different ways entrepreneurs can improve their recruitment strategies.

The first area of intervention we looked at was an organization’s culture and values, as discussed in the example of one of our manufacturing clients. Now let’s focus on the second area: regions.

Unite, not divide

When you engage in aggressive—dare we say desperate?—tactics to poach employees from other companies, you’re only gaining a temporary solution. Have you considered that, since most companies in your area are facing the same issue, maybe the ideal solution is to join forces?

More and more regions are aligning to attract the workforce. We’ve seen many examples of ads showcasing the quality of life in regions, especially since the pandemic such as this one. Called regional attraction, it has become a key tactic for organizations in economic development, RCMs (regional county municipalities), and tourist offices. Lack of workers = businesses closures, which leads to less ability to welcome and entertain tourists.

During the Forum Attractivité held in Estrie at the start of 2023, Vision Attractivité shared the results of their survey to understand workers’ motivations for relocating to the regions. They noted that 12 out of 15 workers already knew the region before deciding to accept a job there. Although this interview-style survey was conducted with only 15 workers, it nonetheless confirms what other data has been showing for quite some time. Plus… it just makes sense!

Regional attraction is still in development and faces many challenges, notably: playing a role that touches on regional, municipal, and provincial skills; providing equitable treatment; and offering meaningful accountability.  But don’t let this stop you from teaming up with other companies in your region or municipality to increase visibility in your industry and recruit new employees.

This is especially true if your area is particularly attractive and welcoming to immigrants.

Note too that, according to Vision Attractivité’s survey, workers’ perception of the job market now is rather low, especially when it comes to limited or incorrect knowledge of work conditions being offered. This is a great reminder to clearly communicate the benefits and salary you’re offering.

A few examples of collaborative recruitment strategies

Let’s end with a few examples of how collaborating can help you attain more financing or, at the very least, help split the costs.

  • Start a twinning program where your current employees can invite a friend or acquaintance for a free weekend in your municipality, including visits to local companies.
  • Organize free bus trips to your area that people can sign up for to enjoy a weekend without being paired via a twinning program.
  • Set up a promotion campaign for your region, highlighting employment opportunities and quality of life, and divide the costs between companies.
  • Set up a worker-exchange program with local companies to keep employees in the region and provide a diversified work experience.
  • Create a car-sharing service to facilitate travel, cut transport costs, and help people socialize with other workers in the area.

Regional attraction offers the opportunity to think about the reputation of a region, city, or destination as well as the quality of its positioning.

Have you tried any of the ideas above for yourself? What were the results? Let us know!

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