VERNON, BC—Community Futures North Okanagan has a new support system to help local employers combat the national labour shortage.
“Many employers are focused on just making it work right now,” says Johanna Currie, Community Futures North Okanagan’s new Business Services Advisor with WorkBC Vernon specializing in employer support. “It’s my job to help business owners identify needs and get back to work on the business instead of working head down in the business.”
Through WorkBC’s employer support services, Currie offers tools, resources and one-on-one coaching that supports small businesses throughout the employee experience. Currie brings to the team more than 20 years of management experience across a variety of industries and a background in adult education.
“There has been a shift in the market, and we realized we needed to elevate the employer support that comes with that,” says Currie. “Gone are the days of multiple applications. Instead, employers are looking to attract the same candidates and need support creating engaging job postings and an HR toolkit built to keep employees happy and engaged.”
According to the City of Vernon’s 2020 Community Profile, 52.8% of Vernon residents are employed. For local employers looking to hire, whether to fill vacancies or grow their business, Currie says selling your business’s culture and benefits is critical to finding success in today’s labour market.
“We have to get creative with the demographic pockets we don’t normally target, such as seniors supplementing their pension income and stay-at-home parents, and ask ourselves how we can encourage flexibility. There are people out there that we need to support, and it’s a great opportunity for employers willing to make the shift,” says Currie. “Employers need to ask how they can give the job seekers what they need. It’s not about finding the right person for the right job anymore. It’s about creating the right job to fit the right person.”
And, once employers have found the right person, Currie’s customized retention programs can help small business owners keep current employees happy and motivated.
“I’m passionate about helping people,” says Currie. “For me, it’s a win when I can help people make connections. It’s my job to make the employer’s job easier, and any time that happens, it’s a big win.”