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Economists Talking about a Labour Squeeze are Wrong

(March 22, 2010)

Economists Talking about a Labour Squeeze are Wrong: Survey Reveals That Finding Work Isn't the Issue - Training Is

Economists say that there will soon be a labour shortage in Alberta this year, but a survey reveals that nationwide, it's more a question of employers, not will to train new staff

Walk down any busy street in Canada, at any time of year, and you will see Help Wanted signs. The want ads in any paper- online or print are always full, but economists are proclaiming a labour squeeze is impending.

When CEO of ActionCOACH Canada, Greg Kopchuk surveyed over 1,000 business owners across the country in November of 2009 about what was most challenging about running their own businesses, one of the top answers was -'finding good people'. So is there really a problem with unemployment, or is it that businesses can't find the people who are willing to train and work hard?

Recently quoted in the Globe and Mail, Brian Vaasjo president of Capital Power Inc. in Alberta noted that "We are about to start running into, believe it or not, another labour shortage . . . It is going to be significant again," he says, adding that the labour squeeze could happen within a matter of months. "I don't know how to deal with that."

In response, Greg says, "Why bring in people from other countries with the skills you are looking for? Canadian employers need to take the time to train people in their industry. That will help strengthen all of our businesses. Almost a third of all Canadian small businesses would gladly take people on- if they could find them. Employers have to take a more active role in the recruitment process."

So how do employers find the best employees? Greg has some suggestions that will help employers find the right employee:
  • Look for attitude first. If you find talented/hardworking people hire them right away. And they are out there if employers put effort into recruiting them
  • Offer to give them the skills they need- that way you'll get the employee you want and skills that will benefit your business
  • Don't hire skills over attitude. One person with hustle is worth ten people who don't care
  • Check references - so many small businesses just hire based on an in person interview. You MUST check their references; it will save you time and money in the long run.

Greg Kopchuk and ActionCOACH Canada is the small business friendly company that has the tools, experience, and expertise for the small to medium business owner. Visit to find out how you can better your business.

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