People First HR Services

Top challenges for businesses in 2013

Colleen Coates

As we ring in the new year, it is often a time to pause and reflect on past successes and maybe some transgressions with hopes of improving in the coming year. I asked three of our resident wise men and women what troubled our clients the most over the past year and how they planned to reduce their woes. Our industry experts provide uniquely valuable insight to help business leaders attract and reward the people who will ensure they continue to succeed by enabling their employees to do well at every stage of their career. Here are the top three common challenges our experts saw in 2012:

Rosie Jacuzzi of Misericordia Health Centre on maintaining core values

People First

From the major construction work outside of Misericordia Health Centre, it is obvious that big changes are underway. Once renovated, the complex will house expanded community programs, including the four flagship programs not offered anywhere else in Manitoba: the Buhler Eye Care Centre, Provincial Health Contact Centre, Sleep Disorder Centre and Urgent Care Centre, plus the Ambulatory Diagnostic Centre and a new, one-stop health care centre for seniors called PRIME.

“This dynamic redevelopment project is designed with the future of care in mind,” says Rosie Jacuzzi, president & CEO of Misericordia Health Centre. “These specialized programs complement our vision and reflect a move toward community-based care.”

Jim August of Forks North Portage Partnership on building a diverse organization

John McFerran

Jim August relishes the opportunity to promote Winnipeg whenever and wherever he can. In fact, the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership has been talking up his organization’s mandate to “contribute to making Winnipeg’s downtown a better place to live, work and play,” and people around the world are taking notice.

“I’m a member of The Waterfront Center (an international, non-profit urban planning organization focused on enhancing communities’ waterfront resources), and recently did a presentation to the group on our winter river trail, with its skating and its warming huts. It blew them away, mainly because most had never seen ice on a river before,” August says with a laugh. “But they were very impressed by what Winnipeg is capable of doing despite our climate.”

Firms need to develop talented female managers

Colleen Coates

Men are still more than twice as likely to hold a senior management position as their female colleagues — a ratio that has not changed much within the past two decades despite the fact that women have made tremendous progress. Those who have achieved a greater gender balance in senior management ranks are to be applauded.

According to a 2009 report from the Conference Board of Canada, women make up almost 48 per cent of the talent pool and yet, only 0.32 per cent hold executive positions. It’s concerning that women are still significantly underrepresented in the upper echelon of the workforce. Although most organizations say they support diversity and the development of future leaders, women in top leadership roles seem to still be the exception, not the rule.

Keep keen eye on employee attendance

Colleen Coates

Supervisors need full support of manangement, proper training to manage absenteeism

It’s five to nine in the morning when the phone rings. Before the supervisor answers it, they instinctively look around and take a head count. Who’s calling in sick today?

Whether they want to or not, the responsibility for monitoring employee absences falls to immediate supervisors, who are often the only ones aware when an individual is away from work. They have a good understanding of their staff members’ work habits and are often empathetic to any extenuating circumstances surrounding an individual’s absence. This also puts them in a position to identify patterns of absence and flag potential abuses of the system.

Ensure reference helps you to No. 1 spot

Colleen Coates

High-quality recommendation important in job selection

Have you ever thought you were a sure winner for that new job and then found out you were second choice? Do you know why? It could very well be because of your references.

High quality reference checks are an important part of the selection process when organizations are seeking to hire a candidate according to Jenna Buckley, HR recruiter at People First HR Services. “Reference checks rule out candidates with phoney qualifications and when done right, act as a security measure against hiring mediocre candidates,” explains Buckley.

Ted Sherritt of FloForm on Cornering the Market

John McFerran

Floform continues to grow by knowing its product and its people

Unlike some businesses tempted to diversify as part of their growth strategy, Ted Sherritt’s company has expanded simply by staying true to the one and only product it has made since 1961 — countertops.

“Making post-form, laminate countertops is where Floform started more than 50 years ago. It was an innovative product that the founders truly pioneered and championed and it helped them dominate the industry,” says Sherritt, who took over as company president and CEO in 2000.

Bob Brennan of Manitoba Hydro on the power in numbers

John McFerran

 Opportunity abounds in large Hydro workplace

One of the largest employers in the province, Manitoba Hydro employs 6,300 people from Churchill to Emerson, a fact that president and CEO Bob Brennan never takes for granted.

“It’s a sobering thought to know that you’re accountable for the welfare and safety of 6,300 people, especially when they’re working in an environment like a generating station or on a hydro pole,” says Brennan, now entering his 22nd year as head of Manitoba’s electrical power and natural gas utility, where he has spent his entire career.

The Quest for the Purple Squirrel

Karin Pooley

So the Recruiting team has adopted a purple squirrel.

Our squirrel doesn’t have a name (yet) but it does have a persona –    confident, an excellent work history, always learning, passionate and above all a positive attitude.  We add value and earn our fees by finding our clients a Purple Squirrel, the “elusive candidate,” the hard to find candidate, the candidate that fits that critical role in your organization.

We’ve gone social – for us and for you

Karin Pooley

I am one of the lucky ones.   I have a career that I absolutely love and am truly passionate about.  I work for a great company and my colleagues are talented people that I enjoy seeing every day.

I have been recruiting for 22 years, long enough to remember when fax machines were introduced and how we marveled at its efficiency.  Long enough to remember when computers became a mandatory skill and how shocking it was to learn so many people did not have even a basic computer understanding.  At that time there was no talent shortage, you only needed print advertising to find candidates.

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