March 15, 2018
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartThe single-most common topic of conversation I’ve heard among LO members this January and February were centered on the topic of staffing. Discussions range from how to find new staff, how to entrench the new ones, and how to keep the good ones.

In response to these questions, the LO Peer to Peer Network set their winter agenda and focused on recruiting, onboarding and retaining staff. We gathered for two days, asking great questions, sharing tried, tested and true techniques, and worked on a series of best practices to apply this year.

On Jan. 25, our session involved a panel discussion with three HR managers from leading companies in our profession. They openly shared great information, and techniques their companies are using to find and keep new staff. The discussion centered around the generation gaps between Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials, and how to effectively connect them together.

For the past three years, I’ve been researching the topic extensively, and added the context of national trends to the discussion. The resulting break out sessions were productive, effective and helped all of our peers to leave armed with fresh ideas and cutting-edge techniques. The topics of discussion ranged from how to get recruits to respond to ads, to actually show up to interviews, eagerly engage in their new jobs, and new ways to get them off to a great start.

Two weeks later on Feb. 8, the next session focused on the important topic of on-boarding: the process of integrating new staff into your company culture, working safely and really set up to succeed.

This era of HR management is different in every way. By the same measure that health and safety protocols and due diligence have been introduced in the past 20 years – from zero to full on … so now has the concept of onboarding. Gone are the days when an employer could hold an orientation meeting in spring with whomever was ‘on the roster’ at the time, and consider the seasons’ training complete.

To coin a phrase from Sally Harvey, LO’s Director of Education and Labour Development, we must now become ‘Employers of Choice.’ This includes attracting young people from outside our industry into our profession. Statistics show Millennials (presently between the ages of 20-35) will change jobs every THREE to FIVE years. They might come into our profession for a career, but they’re not coming to work for you as a career. Some might stay with you for five to 10 years or longer if you’re lucky, but that will be the exception, not the rule.

With this in mind, employers must accept and adapt more quickly to this current reality. Employers must create a line item under their overhead expenses for onboarding and recruiting. Given the demographic shift in our target employee market (Millennials being the most challenging to attract and the most fit for the work we do), employers who don’t change with the times are being left in the dust and severely short staffed.

Employers who have staff-experience videos on their website, internal company Facebook and Snapchat pages for staff to connect and engage, signing bonuses and strongly-articulated company cultures are leading the pack, hands down.

If you’re struggling with challenges like this in your business, and you’re a business owner or manager of an LO member company, you can join the conversation in our Peer to Peer Network.
To join, simply email

Do you have a topic, issue or question to ask your LO member peers?
Contact Jacki Hart at