by Heidi Riley
Integrated Staffing, a staffing agency with offices across Atlantic Canada, recently opened an office in Charlottetown.
“There is a current labour shortage on the Island and businesses are flocking to us to help fill their vacancies. We have the ability to offer a variety of work opportunities to job seekers with a variety of backgrounds and skill sets,” says Justin Smith, Client Service Representative for Integrated Staffing.
“Travel restrictions that have been in place for much of the past year were a significant driving force of this labour shortage. As a result, we have even heard of situations where employers have been impacted by other companies visiting their work sites directly and poaching their workers.”
There was an increasing trend towards labour shortages throughout Atlantic Canada prior to COVID-19. For the most part, Integrated Staffing was able to quickly fill the vacancies they were presented with on the Island. However, this trend shifted during the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, the workforce changed significantly. There is as big a demand for staff now as there was before the pandemic, but now there are fewer people working. Some of our candidates have commented that it is more advantageous for them financially to rely on government subsidies rather than work. These individuals are often surprised to hear that wages have increased significantly over the past year. As a result, we have jobs that pay very well and we have been very successful in encouraging these individuals to return to the workforce.”
What positions are most in demand?
Companies come to Integrated Staffing for temporary-contract personnel as well as permanent-full time staff. Justin says the biggest need right now on PEI is for temporary workers in areas such as industrial labour, administration, hospitality and technical trades. “Most job seekers are looking for permanent full-time work, so temporary jobs are harder to fill.”
“General Labour positions in construction come up most often and are by far the hardest to fill. We may receive three resumés for every six positions we post. There is also a big demand for people to work on remediation projects such as flooded basements and property restoration. These companies are always looking for temporary workers when things get busy.”
“Positions for Receptionists or Administrators are very easy to fill – We could receive 40 applicants for one position.”
Services for employers
“For smaller companies which do not have an HR team, Integrated Staffing can take on the role of posting jobs, screening resumés, following up with candidates, booking interviews and processing payroll. We can also process criminal record checks and conduct drug testing if necessary.
“Employers can also use our services to offer temporary work to try out a number of different people and find a good fit without having to hire and fire someone which is time consuming and costly,” says Justin.
Services for job seekers
The company offers mostly temporary employment with weekly pay, fair wages with vacation pay, and the opportunity to work casual, part-time, or get a full-time/permanent placement in many cases. “We employ the temp staff directly. We pay them and we cover insurance and workers compensation, and then charge the client a fee for our services.”
Justin says temp work can also help people determine a career path. “We see a lot of people who don’t actually know what they want to do. For these people, temp work is perfect. They can try many types of jobs and decide which one they are best suited for, and then pick jobs based on their preference.
“For example, one young man who signed up with us is a student who needed a summer job. He had never done temporary or labour-intensive jobs before, but he loved it. He worked for a remediation company and then moved to construction renovation. At the end of the summer, he thanked us for the opportunities.
“He said he would never have considered these types of jobs, but we encouraged him to try something different. He thanked us for putting him into jobs that gave him a better workout than his football training. He was able to try different things, so that in the future he will know what types of jobs he should be open to.
“Many temporary staffing requests come in on a regular basis. You could end up working temp jobs a few days a week or almost full-time hours if you so choose.”
Job seekers can contact Integrated Staffing to be connected to temporary, part-time or permanent work. “Students are welcome. I would love to speak to high school graduates who are not sure what they want to do. I can give them temp work and they can figure out what type of work they are suited for.”
For more information, contact Tami or Justin at 902-201-4400.