How to find more high quality staff for your organization
The Inclusion by IBEX team has been interviewing front line managers, program managers and program directors all over Canada. We were doing the research to help improve our software, but we ended up discovering a pattern that I think offers an important insight into how to attract more high quality staff into the sector.
Some of the questions we asked were pretty personal:
- How old are you?
- What is your educational background?
- Are you married?
- What is your social circle?
- How do you organize your life?
- What has your career progression been?
- Where else have you worked?
Many of those who had “moved up” into the program manager or program director roles, started as front line service workers, became front line managers and then were promoted into more senior positions. Many of these folks did all this in less than 5 years.
Going from front line role to senior manager in less than 5 years is pretty unique for today’s university grads. Many of the traditional sources of high growth jobs in Canada are shrinking due to computerization, offshore outsourcing, automation and the glut of boomers who don’t want to retire yet.
Canadian government statistics show that 1 in 3 university grads between the age of 25 and 29 end up in low skilled, dead end jobs. CBC did a great documentary on this called Generation Jobless.
Interestingly, most of these “fast trackers” we met took the front line support role because they needed a job. What they came to realize as they worked there was that there was a good career potential in this sector. They ended up finding a rewarding career out of what they initially thought was a dead end job.
There is a huge supply of highly qualified, underemployed people in Canada. Why not create a fast track program in your recruiting strategy? Advertise as always for the front line roles, but also create a uniquely named and targeted program to educate and attract recent grads to this field. Highlight the career potential but make it clear that you will first learn the field from the front lines. The front line learning aspects will repel those you don’t want anyway and appeal to those that are willing to pay their dues in order to have a chance at paying off their student loans before they retire.
I am willing to help any organization interested in this approach. I write a great job ad!
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