Today’s tight labour market requires new approaches and flexibility to attract talent with shifting jobseeker and employee expectations. A new toolkit from CERIC highlights 10 ways that career development professionals (CDPs) can partner with employers to meet their recruitment, retention and training needs. The toolkit was created by the CDPs who work with employers every day within their communities.

It is a compilation reflecting input from more than 100 CDPs with advice for helping to mobilize local labour markets. This resource is the result of Virtual Community Roundtables with career development professionals held this past June. Organized by CERIC, the roundtables were hosted in partnership with two provincial career development associations, ASPECT BC and the Ontario Association of Career Management.

During these roundtables, CDPs discussed with their peers the results of CERIC’s Environics National Business Survey of 500 Canadian employers released earlier this year. Discussions focused on five themes: Challenges for Canadian Businesses, Recruitment, Skills Gap, Soft Skills and Professional / Career Development.

The toolkit that emerged is intended to be a brief resource that conveys the most impactful approaches for CDPs to work with employers. Some of the 10 ways to partner range from #4 Find Untapped Talent Through Non-Traditional Hiring to #9 Focus on Employee Retention, Engagement and Wellness. CDPs can use this document to identify new or enhanced ways to support employers or can share it directly with employers.

The goal is to provide ideas and a tool to raise employer awareness of the value of career development and the role and services of career development professionals. The National Business Survey showed that while 53% of employers are aware of CDPs, only 12% have worked with one in the past.

Recognizing that the role and services vary by type of CDP, organization and sector (e.g., post-secondary institution vs. community agency vs. private practice), this document aims to be as inclusive and flexible as possible. Anyone is welcome to use or modify the content as part of their communications materials.

Building on this work, CERIC will host two more Virtual Community Roundtables this fall with the Career Development Association of Alberta (registration now open for the Nov. 2 Alberta roundtable) and with Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ) (to be held Dec. 1 in Quebec.) The roundtables will continue this important conversation on employer engagement and the contribution of CDPs to workforce and workplace strategies. The employer toolkit will be updated to incorporate additional insights from CDPs in these other provinces.