In an ’employee market’, companies make their presentation at mega job fair

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Hundreds of job seekers flocked to White Oaks Mall on Tuesday, seeking to participate in the city’s largest job fair that has drawn more than 50 companies looking for talent as labor shortages hit businesses. from the entire region. Jonathan Juha spoke with some of the employers at the fair about the jobs they are trying to fill and the biggest challenges they face in recruiting workers.

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Dylan Hache, District Manager, Auto Parts Center (APC)

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For APC, which was participating for the first time in the job fair organized by the London Economic Development Corp. (LEDC), one of the biggest challenges in recruiting workers is having enough people applying for available positions, Hache said.

“We are a growing company. Our main goal is to try to get more bodies for ourselves. . . and the most important thing right now is trying to find people who are going to apply and want to join,” he said.

Although it is a company that specializes in the automotive sector, the types of job openings at APC are wide-ranging and require different levels of experience, Hache said. These include positions in information technology, warehousing, and delivery.

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Being able to explain that to job seekers is one of the reasons APC participated in the fair, Hache said.

“We seek to diversify and do different things to attract workers. We want to tell people what we do and how we do things and explain how people can grow and move up in the company,” she said. “So having that one-on-one conversation that we think helps us do that.”

On Tuesday, the company was looking for candidates to fill five positions in London and six more in the wider region.

Laura Froggett, Regional Recruiter, Cintas

Across the London region, Cintas is looking to fill 15-20 jobs, including drivers, sales, manufacturing and service managers.

But the talent pool in the region seems so limited that the company is having a hard time recruiting even recent graduates for its management training programs, Froggett said.

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“I would definitely say it’s been an ongoing issue, but it’s definitely been something that we’ve found great success in the London market,” he said. “The quality and quantity of talent is just not available right now.”

Froggett said the company is also having a hard time filling entry-level positions, adding that in some cases, there aren’t enough people applying for the positions.

“Even today, people are getting quite frustrated that we only offer full-time opportunities and they’re looking for part-time work,” he said, adding that the company is looking for different ways to engage with potential workers.

“We’re actually developing a talent acquisition department so we can go out and proactively look for candidates. . . tap on their shoulder and actively recruit people,” she said.

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Karen Rampersad, Recruiter, Clinical Research Dental (CRD)

Rampersad described the London region job market as an “employee market”, meaning that people are more selective about the jobs they are willing to take.

For this reason, he says, for companies like CRD, a company that distributes equipment and technology to dental clinics in the region, retaining talent is increasingly important.

“We find that the best people (that work for us) are often referrals, so that’s one of the reasons we’re here, to show that we’re a great employer,” said Rampersad.

He said CRD was looking to fill about 10 jobs in areas such as marketing, account management, graphic design and warehousing. Being at the fair also allowed the company to find out which candidates were interested in joining their company.

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“We want to make sure the people we’re hiring are personable, that they’re genuine, and we think if they’ve taken the time to come to the job fair, then they’ll definitely be interested in that position. ,” she said.

Arianna Pilolli, right, of the Pathways to Employment Help Center, says it's often the first stop for job seekers and newcomers to Canada.  Pilolli speaks to people attending a job fair on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at White Oaks Mall organized by the London Economic Development Corp. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
Arianna Pilolli, right, of the Pathways to Employment Help Center, says it’s often the first stop for job seekers and newcomers to Canada. Pilolli speaks to people attending a job fair on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at White Oaks Mall organized by the London Economic Development Corp. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press

Melissa Atkinson, Human Resources, Timberland Equipment Ltd.

Although its headquarters are in Woodstock, a lack of skilled workers throughout the region is one reason Timberland Equipment Ltd. decided to participate in Tuesday’s fair, Atkinson said.

“We are trying to attract more people,” he said. “For some of the positions we have, we just need a larger pool to get the right candidate. . . and this way I think you reach a wider variety of people instead of posting an ad online.”

Positions available at the company that designs and manufactures specialist handling equipment for the construction and energy sectors include jobs for welders, machinists and senior design engineers.

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The specialized training or experience required for some of those positions can make filling vacancies more difficult at times, Atkinson said.

“We are always receiving new projects, so the bottom line is that we need people, for current and future projects. But I think that, in general, everyone has problems filling vacant positions.

Arianna Pilolli, Employment Specialist, Pathways Employment Help Center

Even employment agencies like Pathways Employment are seeing the scale tip in favor of job seekers.

Pilolli said her agency is actively recruiting workers for a variety of industries, ranging from construction to technology companies in management, administration and office work positions.

A large pool of talent the agency has been focusing on, as was the case during Tuesday’s fair, are newcomers looking to develop the right skills to enter the Canadian job market, he said, adding that workers who job seekers have many options to choose from. .

“Right now, we have more jobs than people,” Pilolli said.

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