Right now, there are about 31,250 people locally who could work but are excluded from processes for recruitment and retention in eastern Ontario. This group of people might feel discouraged by the job seeking process, they may be living in poverty, or be affected by other factors like age. Regardless, this hidden workforce is a group of residents who can start working for eastern Ontario employers like you. If you didn’t know about this hidden workforce and are wondering how to hire employees like these right now, read on.The Problem: We’re Stealing Employees From Each Other
If you’re an employer in eastern Ontario, chances are you’re stealing the same labour force from other employers in the region. Don’t worry! The police won’t be showing up at your door.
With immigration and inter-provincial movement slowed because of COVID-19, it closed the hiring pool for many of us interested in recruiting new Canadians and limited the hiring pool. This may make it seem like employers can only recruit from one group of job seekers in the region, but that’s only because you may not be aware of a hidden workforce living and available to work right now.
What - Or Who - Is the Hidden Workforce?
Chances are every region in Ontario, in Canada, has a hidden workforce. A hidden workforce are people, locally, who could work but are excluded from the workforce, from recruitment and retention processes due to intersecting factors such as poverty, age, and gender. If you can hire this hidden workforce, estimated to be about 30,000 people currently in the region, not only can you find the talent you need, you can help people in your community overcome barriers to employment.
The Solution: How to Hire Employees Now
Take a look at your current hiring practices. Chances are when you need to fill a position you put a job posting up in places you know job seekers will see it, on job boards or social media. In other words, you’re going where the job seekers are.
To hire the hidden workforce you have to do the same, find residents where they are, just know that residents living in poverty might not be on job boards. Other factors, like a person’s age, will affect where they might be looking for jobs and how they look for jobs.
How Does Poverty Affect the Workforce?
Residents living in poverty value relationships strongly. Take a look at your employee retention policies, are there policies that might exclude residents who have to drop everything to babysit for their neighbour? Or help a friend move? Putting value in communication in those kinds of situations can help you retain employees in the hidden workforce who have had to value relationships with their communities over everything else.
Many residents within eastern Ontario’s hidden workforce can be classified as discouraged workers. They’re tired of not being successful in job applications and so they bow out of the workforce completely, self rejecting from job postings. One way to reach this workforce is to rethink job postings. In an effort to optimize the process, sometimes job postings reflect the ideal candidate. But an ideal job posting can intimidate even the most qualified of candidates. Instead, focusing on the core competencies of the position allows for more inclusion in the hiring process.
To find youth members of the hidden workforce, casting your net into the depths of social media include joining Twitter, Instagram, especially Reels, Snapchat, and TikTok to hire. Recently, the trucking industry in Maine took to TikTok to hire new drivers.
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes elders in your community might also be looking for work but not on the same full time schedule as youth. Consider providing more flexibility in work hours to reach more elder job seekers in your community.
Programs like Elevate Plus gives job seekers soft skills to help bridge communication gaps with employers. To successfully hire the hidden workforce in eastern Ontario, bridging the gap in communication and understanding now goes both ways.
Check Out More Tools Recruitment and Retention in Eastern Ontario
Show candidates and employees that you’re invested in their skills development and professional growth with these skills training programs.
External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.