The upcoming 2022 Employer Conference - Recruiting and Retaining Employees is a must on the calendar for regional businesses and organizations. As the title suggests, a range of topics and ideas will be explored to tackle the mounting challenges related to the job market. The conference is a presentation of Sagehill Community Futures and features operations and human resource experts from across the province. The conference will be held on Tuesday, September 20 at the Humboldt Legion Hall. 

As well as these main keynote speakers, representatives from key local organizations will be on hand to meet with employers and discuss their ongoing programs and important upcoming initiatives. Among them is the Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre.
“We’re going to be presenting during the conference which is super exciting,” says Director Janine Hart. “We’re presenting about how we can support employers, particularly when they recruit and what our organization is about. We’re talking about how we can help with the settlement process, how we engage with other stakeholders in the community, all around employment and immigration through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).”  

Hart says it’s important for employers to recognize that their services extend beyond a recruitment role. Programs such as cultural bridging support immigrant workers navigating through a new system, but HRNC staff can work with individuals or work forces to help gain an understanding of some of the existing cultural norms that impact the workplace. 

Also on the agenda will be staff from Humboldt District Community Services (HDCS). The organization has worked in the employment services sector for over 20 years, and has a strong sense of the local labour landscape, says Director Juanine Korte. 

“We definitely know what’s going on and what’s happening. We see the ebbs and flows of the labour market, and we try to amend our programming to suit the job seekers, as well as the employers, based on that.”

That shifting market ground has the organization undertaking new roles and adopting new technologies to support their mission of helping employers connect with an untapped labour pool.  

“One of the things we’re really excited about is virtual reality,” says Coordinator of Supported Employment Niamh Menz. “Not only does the Oculus headset give people a really good chance to explore careers such as plumbing, welding, nursing, even farm labourer, but it also gives us a chance to do assessments with people and look at their soft skills and transferable skills.” 

Those soft skills are important to employers, says Menz, as most employers are willing to train entry level employees in their day to day work functions. The closer the work match is to the employee’s interests and aptitudes, the better chance of job satisfaction and retention.

The conference is not just about on-boarding the attitude and knowledge to acquire new workers. Employers will hear about and engage in conversations around retention and job satisfaction in an era where “turnover” and “quiet quitting” are buzzwords.

Keynote speakers for the event include Katherine Regnier, CEO of Coconut Software, the standard in online banking strategies and Tracy Arno, CEO and founder of Essence Recruitment, a business specializing in advertising to attract recruits for training and work. Human Resources Specialist Stephen Eger also weighs in on how attracting and retaining employees isn’t all about the money. 

To find out more about this practical conference designed to arm businesses with strategic advantage in hiring, head to the Sagehill Community Futures webpage.