Future of Work
Technology changes job hunting
By Local Journalism Initiative
By Sandi Krasowski
Yes Employment Services has sailed into its 41st year with newly-appointed executive director Lorna Hunda at the helm.
Hunda is no stranger to the centre beginning with utilizing the organization’s services as a client in 1998. After 23 years serving as their accounting assistant, she moved on to the position of manager of finance in 2005 and eventually took on the position of acting executive director in 2019.
Welcoming new ways of working
“In reflecting on our past 40 years, some of the biggest changes we have seen are the changes in technology – innovations like our new hybrid workshop equipment have been a game-changer and allows us to meet people where they are and on their terms,” said Hunda.
“Clients can now book appointments by phone, email, chat, online form or through social media. Most application processes have moved online. Technology has really changed the landscape in employment and training.”
Hunda says the pandemic really emphasized the need for technology forcing them to “kick that up a notch.” In order to keep connected with their clients, and the community, she called the technology an “absolute lifesaver.”
Coming out of a pandemic, their first focus is on reconnecting with the community on a personal level. She said they were able to provide service throughout the pandemic, but restrictions sometimes prevented them from having clients in their building and visiting their community partners and employers in person.
“Creating a personal connection with the people we serve and support is at the heart of our success.” she said.
Utilizing technology to your advantage
The promotion of the skilled trades is another major change that the organization has seen. Hunda says an emphasis on post-secondary education really put apprenticeship and trades on the sidelines for a long time.
“With the need so high locally in the mining sector in particular, we appreciate that the focus is shifting,” she said.
“High-paying skilled labour positions are in demand, and we are focused on getting our clients ready to meet this demand.”
The overall worker shortage has also made an impact on Yes Employment Services where employers are taking on a new role by investing in training new employees who are willing to learn about the job.
Hunda says employers now are “opening their minds” towards helping educate, train and scale up the employees that they’re hiring on.
She called it “a big win” for both the job seekers and for companies because they’re getting people trained in exactly what they need them to do.
“[Worker to employer ratios] have definitely flipped from pre-pandemic to post-pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, it definitely was not a job seeker’s market. It was more of an employers market where the employers have the staff and multiple applications coming in the door,” she said.
“And now it’s the flipside coming out of a pandemic.”
“You definitely have it the other way around where it’s a job-seekers market now and if you want a job, you can pretty much walk into places now and be able to secure something.”
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