Under extreme pressure

Alberta recruiters must be speedier, more decisive and much more flexible
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/17/2006

With an unemployment rate hitting a 30-year low at 3.0 per cent and an anticipated shortfall of 86,000 workers by the year 2015, according to the province’s numbers, employers in Alberta have had to approach hiring differently from others in the rest of the country.

Signing bonuses are common, with employers offering $5,000 or so to new hires at the one-year mark, said Judy Harcourt of Edmonton-based Harcourt Recruiting Specialists. More companies are willing to pay for employees’ moving costs if they’re from out of town, she added.

Most often, though, companies are offering not just financial incentives but lifestyle sweeteners: flex time, four weeks’ vacation to start, telecommuting options, gym memberships, child-care support or on-site daycare services and parking — an increasingly lucrative item in Calgary these days, said Murray Bandura, recruiting manager at the Calgary office of staffing firm Robert Half.