REDwire How to attract skilled talent during a skilled worker shortage

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Alps Welding has developed a skilled and experienced workforce.

It’s no secret that Canada’s manufacturing sector is dealing with a shortage of skilled workers. In fact, one of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is finding the right people. But some companies are finding strategies to overcome the scarcity of skilled workers. One such company is Alps Welding. 

Woodbridge, Ont.-based Alps Welding has been providing custom fabrications for more than 40 years. It has experience making such equipment as stacks, pressure vessels, heat exchangers and more. The thriving company serves a wide variety of industries, can work with many materials, and uses more than 100 distinct welding procedures.

Co-owner of Alps Welding, Dennis Dussin, recently spoke with The Globe and Mail via live chat to give business owners some tips on how to build a skilled workforce.

The problem

According to Dussin, many manufacturers struggle to fill job vacancies for highly skilled workers. Part of the reason for the shortage is that while many manufacturing operations have been offshored, the production that remains in Canada is concentrated on specialized businesses that require workers with higher skill levels. 

Solutions

There are a number of ways companies can overcome this problem. Dussin says manufacturers need to change how they look at recruiting and retention, because the two issues are not separate. He says the same things that allow a company to retain workers — such as flexibility, work-life balance, engaging its employees, and valuing its employee’s time — will also attract workers.

According to Dussin, another key to attracting the right type of worker is by using the right channel for recruitment. Alps Welding recruits workers in a number of ways, including job ads that appear on the company website, online or in print. The company also utilizes professional recruiters. But Dussin says there’s one method of recruiting that beats all the rest.

“By far the most effective is through referrals from existing employees. If they enjoy working for the company and feel that it is a fair and respectful place to work, then they will bring their friends, family and other contacts to work here.”

An untapped resource

According to Dussin, there is a large pool of skilled workers who have recently moved to Canada and are being under-employed. Tapping into this immigrant pool is one way to find the qualified candidates manufacturers seek.

By using these strategies, Alps Welding has built and retained a workforce of skilled and experienced professionals.

For more information, visit the company website.

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