Loaned employees step up for Winter Games

Secondments provide employees with once-in-a-lifetime experience
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/15/2009

Over the last four-and-a-half years, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has had to recruit about 50,000 paid and volunteer workers. With the Winter Games fast approaching, the quest to secure final positions is reaching a critical point.

And with the economic downturn, a new employee loan program is being called a “creative solution” to keep the budget low and commitment high. The program is meant to fill 2,240 paid, full-time positions that will range from eight weeks to four-and-a-half months for events in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

“One of the ways we felt we could be creative is, rather than go to the market for all these positions we needed to hire and pay, that we would really ramp up our employee loan program and go to companies and organizations and say, ‘Hey, could you loan us an employee? And we will give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and give them lots of excitement and you’ll get an engaged person back.’ But we wouldn’t be paying them,” said Donna Wilson, executive vice-president of people and sustainability at VANOC in Vancouver.