‘Now Hiring Hamilton’ seeks to help small, medium-sized businesses with worker shortages – Hamilton

Hamilton’s small and medium-sized businesses are getting some help tackling worker shortages.

Mohawk College and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to launch Now Hiring Hamilton, a provincially- and federally-funded initiative that looks to help those companies with fewer resources improve their long-term staffing outcomes and find people to work in difficult-to-fill positions.

Keanin Loomis, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said Hamilton’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential to the city’s economic landscape, but they often face challenges finding workers with the right skills.

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“Historically, SMEs in Hamilton have had limited resources and ability to maintain the successful recruitment, onboarding, and retainment of employees … largely due to a lack of human resources staffing,” he said during a media availability on Wednesday.

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“And I know that just from our own organization, where I’m not just the CEO, but I’m the top human resource professional as well.”

According to a literature review compiled for the project, about 95 per cent of Hamilton businesses fall into the category of an SME, with fewer than 50 employees.

The review also cites a report that found the city has lost about 46,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, a decrease of about 36 per cent.

During the first phase of the project, which began last April, it was determined that the most in-demand entry-level positions that were most difficult to fill were jobs like material handlers, customer and information service representatives, sales and accountant representatives, and labourers in manufacturing, processing and utilities.

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This latest phase of the project involves getting feedback from SMEs through focus groups and a survey on the project’s website.

In April, all of the findings will be compiled into a resource guide that will help those companies with hiring, onboarding, and retention.

Ron McKerlie, president and CEO of Mohawk College, said the college will have a crucial role to play in addressing any gaps in training that employers highlight during the consultation phase.

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“This partnership will contribute to the sustainability and the vibrancy of small to medium-sized enterprises that serve as the foundation of our economy, and to support job growth across our community,” said McKerlie.


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