It’s no surprise that one of the key issues facing growing technology companies in London, Ontario and across the country is the recruitment and retention of talent. Progressive companies facing competitive markets know very well that they need talent to thrive and to grow and that they are only as good as their best workers.
Indeed, tech firms across the country are raising the bar in the way they approach the search, hiring and post-hiring onboarding process. While size and might may be factors behind the success of some firms, it doesn’t mean that smaller tech firms aren’t winning the talent game. On the local front, I have been impressed with the way in which some local firms are focused on building strong employer brands, cultivating relationships with active and passive candidates alike, creating unique recruitment campaigns, and my favourite, creating unforgettable candidate recruitment and onboarding experiences.
A case in point, recently I had the delight and privilege to work with a local firm who engaged CityMatch to deliver both an attraction and settlement program for a new recruit considering relocation from the United States.
This firm is no stranger to the recruitment game and have made some investments to ensure they remain attractive to top talent, but the assignment was unique in a couple of significant ways that are worth highlighting.
Marketing London & creating a lasting impression
Before an offer was made, the company made an investment to ensure that the city was going to work for the candidate. Relocating from a large centre in the U.S. would be a BIG change and they wanted to make sure it would work well for them and that it would work well for her. So they invited the candidate to come to London and spend sometime in the city and with the team. So when the Executive team engaged CityMatch to design and deliver our attraction program, I immediately went to work.
Following a Skype call and needs assessment, I worked with the candidate to plan an itinerary that would showcase all the great things London has to offer based on what was uniquely important to her. The itinerary was full and included such things as a pickup and drop-off service at the airport, in-person consultation about life in London over dinner at a great local restaurant, making introductions to meet local women in her faith community, touring the city, local neighbourhoods and facilities that addressed her lifestyle interest, as well as lining up viewings of a number of sample apartments to give her an idea of what living in London could look like.
We had a full day together and, while the employer was focused on showcasing their company and determining fit, I was focused on showcasing the city and demonstrating London’s offering. In the process, the company strengthened their employer brand in a significant way and created an unforgettable impression on a potential recruit as a top employer of choice in her sector.
Investing in retention in a big way
Once sold on the job and the city, the candidate left the city feeling hopeful to be offered a role with the Canadian tech company. So when a job offer came, she was thrilled but still had a few questions. I remained on hand via Facetime, email and texts throughout the decision-making process to support her and provide her with the information and guidance she needed to make an informed decision.
Once she accepted the offer, it is worth noting that this company could have stopped there and said “we’ll see you in 2 weeks” but instead they went the extra step to support her relocation and resettlement to London.
With CityMatch once again engaged to support her move to London, I worked closely with the new recruit and remained on-call throughout the length of the assignment supporting her every step of the way and delivered on her wish list which included finding a neighbourhood that was walkable, had the amenities she wanted, finding a great apartment that fit her budget requirements and ensured she felt safe and where people were friendly, among other things.
After I picked her up at the airport and brought her to her new home, I was on-hand to help her settle into her new apartment which included taking her shopping for her kitchen supplies, window coverings, and groceries; helping her register for her utilities and internet; lining up a moving company and Ikea furniture installer. We then moved on to the other elements typical in an International relocation assignment such as registering for OHIP and a Canadian Bank account. Without a car and with a quick start at the company, I made sure she was off to the races and able to settle in quickly and efficiently.
By book-ending the recruitment process with a customized and guided settlement program, this local technology company gave their new hire a great start and a successful landing in the Forest City. It was a great move on the retention front. Since she has moved to the city, I have been touching base with her regularly and it’s great to see how well she’s settling into her new job and life in London.
Showcasing that talent matters
It’s also interesting to note that when I launched CityMatch, I had imagined that my clients would primarily be comprised of people in senior positions but to my surprise and delight, I am finding that in our city’s competitive tech market, employers that are winning the war for talent want to ensure that their talent sticks and they are willing and prepared to make the small investment in the services we provide to support talent moving to the city.
Employers like this one recognize and understand that recruiting and supporting talent matters regardless where they are on the career-track pipeline. And it’s a take away that I hope many other local tech firms consider in their efforts to recruit and retain people that are central to their ongoing success.