PEI: Increasing Quantity and Quality of Applicants / New Hires

October 8, 2019 Joan RichardNew Brunswick & PEI 117 Views

Participants in PEI took advantage of an opportunity to discuss and gain tips on the tremendous challenge of attracting applicants, and further to that, on-boarding employees in a way that will set them up for success.

Thanks to Tim Kelly of Workplace Health Outcomes and Rachel Vidito of Murphy Hospitality Group for sharing expertise and best practice information.

Excellence in Manufacturing, Prince Edward Island, Hospitality, attract staff

The challenge of recruitment is not a new one and is common across all regions. But, for the first time in many years it has surpassed productivity as the #1 challenge. Prince Edward Island is truly booming when it comes to employment opportunities, making it a ‘job hunters’ market.

In such an environment, how does a company set themselves up to be a choice for applicants and what does integration and orientation look like? Many of us have had the experience of starting a new job and, at the end of the day, weren’t sure anyone knew we were there. Thank goodness we were able to locate the washroom on our own!

Here are some thoughts and practices from Tim and Rachek - proven practices that have helped with that competitive edge:


  • Strive for an application ratio of 10:1 (ten applicants for 1 position) Not an easy task in today’s environment but get as close as you can.
  • Culture plays a significant role in the number of applicants you receive. Word of mouth is very powerful whether is negative or positive.
  • Use various recruiting channels; Schools, social media, local radio, universities, company closures, employee referrals, etc..
  • If people aren’t applying, go to the source. Find a forum, such as a university class, school; ask them why they are not applying to your company.
  • Focus effort to build recruitment, even when you’re not looking.
  • Watch for resume warning signs such as gaps in background, multiple short jobs, lots of education vs experience, lack of preparation. Look for results.
  • If your probation period is less than 6monts, change it to six if possible (collective agreements may make this more difficult)
  • Know what you are hiring for; skill, ability to learn, work ethic….
  • Develop a structured interview that assesses behavioural, situational, skills and abilities.
  • Use pre-hire assessment tools. There are some good ones out there that can assist in making decisions…based on your clear picture of what you are hiring for.


  • Define your company values, live by them and communicate them from the start…. actions speak louder than words. The role of recruitment is also to preserve the company culture.
  • On-boarding is critical to engagement, make new hires feel welcome, valued, and prepared to succeed in their role.
  • First impressions have a lasting impact
  • Not just a couple of weeks
  • At MFG new hires cannot start their job until they have their company and location orientations.
  • They receive support from management the first 30 minutes of a number of days so get comfortable and are able to learn.

Points to ponder:

  • MFG refers to a direction of preserving their culture and core values (
  • The HR function is a necessary strategic aspect of your business…it’s all about people!

This event is the first in a series of events discussing aspects around hiring, keeping, engaging and developing people in a culture that supports change and improvement…stay tuned.

Thank you to all for being part of this discussion.