Nova Scotia to workers: ‘Please come home’

Recruiting a difficult challenge in Atlantic provinces
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/11/2008

Finding employees the old-fashioned way has become next to impossible in Nova Scotia. Last year, despite spending $92,000 on newspaper advertising, Bedford, N.S.-based Dexter Construction couldn’t find a single suitable candidate, according to Stuart Gourley, the senior executive director of the skills and learning branch of the province’s department of education.

“Employers, particularly here in the province — because the unemployment rate was as high as it was over the past 10 years — became used to throwing an ad in the paper and you’d get 100 resumés. Now, you get none,” said Gourley. “Employers are beginning to recognize they’ve got to do this a different way.”

While unemployment is low across the country (it was 5.9 per cent at press time), employers in the Atlantic provinces have been hit hard because many residents have moved to Alberta to take advantage of the oil boom.