July 2, 2011

Know Your Needs and Your Labour Force

Once you have an inclusive recruitment philosophy and policy, the next step of your recruitment strategy is to clearly understand your hiring needs and the characteristics of your available labour force.

By doing so, your internal and external environments will guide your recruitment decisions.

Conducting a Workforce Analysis

A workforce analysis helps you understand employment needs in light of your internal strengths, thereby informing whether you need to recruit externally.

Ask yourself:

  • In what areas are you under-resourced?
  • To fill these gaps, do you intend to create a new position, fill a vacancy or add to an existing position?
  • If creating a new position, what is the role and responsibilities associated with this position?
  • What are the skills, competencies and qualifications required to perform this job successfully?
  • Can you staff the position internally?
  • What are the long-term objectives for the position?

Measuring Your Needs Against Your Organizational Objectives

If your workforce analysis requires you to tap external recruitment sources, the next step is to weigh the hiring opportunity against your organizational objectives. After all, recruiting a new employee gives your organization an opportunity to move closer towards achieving a business objective:

  • Are you looking to deepen your understanding and engagement with your diverse, multicultural local community (for example, for sales opportunities)? If so, what cultures are represented in your community?
  • Are you seeking to tap international markets for greater operational or supply chain cost-effectiveness and efficiencies? If so, which countries?
  • Does your organization wish to sell its products and services in foreign markets? If so, which markets?
  • Is the available employment opportunity positioned to give others in my organization a chance to leverage that hire’s cultural knowledge?

In asking these questions, you may also examine whether your existing employee base reflects the diversity of your local or international markets. Your next hire may give your organization a unique opportunity to gain a resource that helps meet one or more business objectives.

Once you understand your organizational needs, you can develop recruitment goals for the position.  Labour market information, such as the 2006 Community Profiles from Statistics Canada, provide demographic details that can guide those goals.

Additional Resources

  • Webinar: Listen to a diversity and human rights advisor at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital talk about how you can design and conduct a workforce census.
  • Ottawa Police Service: Read how the police service changed their recruiting goals towards greater inclusion of skilled immigrants and the benefits realized.
  • Sample Workforce Analysis: This sample analysis from Human Resources and Skills Development is designed specifically for employment equity groups. While only federally regulated employers have to follow employment equity legislation, the format is helpful for any employer looking to increase diversity among employees.

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