One tweet and ten minutes later, ClearPicture had met their newest hire, Jacqui Dean, a young marketing and communications professional who recently moved to Halifax from Australia.
On November 17, 2015 the Halifax Partnership launched the Game Changers program, challenging the business community to invest in youth retention by hiring young talent, offering more co-op opportunities and becoming Connectors.
As part of the launch, the Partnership showcased the wealth of young talent in Halifax by encouraging soon-to-be graduates and young professionals to Tweet their photo, name and degree using the hashtag #HireMeHalifax.
Over 50 university and college students and graduates started tweeting.
ClearPicture CEO, Scott Murray saw this as an opportunity.
Scott Murray posted a job ad on Twitter using the #HireMeHalifax hashtag and within ten minutes Jacqui Dean had submitted her application.
“Halifax has got a great ecosystem for youth talent,” says Scott. “The amount of raw talent coming out of the several local universities and colleges is strong.”
“It’s important to understand as a business, that our best employment opportunities can come from co-ops and new grads,” says Scott.
Since 2000, his company has hired 27 new graduates and of the nine co-ops ClearPicture has had, eight of these co-op students were hired as full-time employees.
“These employees brought new ideas and points of view to our business,” says Don Smith, Vice President of Operations at ClearPicture. “In every case, we were very satisfied with the quality of work they did and the value they brought, their work-ethic and contribution to the culture at ClearPicture.”
The Halifax Partnership launched the Game Changers program to encourage and support more businesses to hire young.
Youth retention is our best opportunity to grow our city, our province, our economy and our reputation.
Each year on net, 1,300 youth leave Nova Scotia, taking their talent, income, drive, education and future with them.
But companies like ClearPicture are helping to reverse this trend.
“There is always a risk that people might leave, but that’s where corporate culture comes in,” explains Scott. “If you create an atmosphere of growth and contentment, people will want to be there and will stay.”
To create a positive corporate culture, Scott recommends:
1. Be upfront about the role
“Open and honest communication is key when it comes to hiring in general. As much as you ask them about themselves, you should present the same about the company.”
2. Be clear on your roadmap
“As a business, it’s important to be clear on the desires and goals of the company – the “roadmap” for the next 10 years and beyond. Make sure your road maps align with your new hire, articulate your success and where you are going, share the success along the way.”
3. Enhance corporate culture
“As a technology company, you hear a far bit about the entertainment aspect of the job, foosball tables, free food, etc, but it’s about more than the stuff. It’s about focusing on the people and a culture focused on them more than being entertained,” says Scott.
“Unite as a team, bring your new hires into the group and have a clear definition of success to be able to articulate to the group.”
Every business and employer in Halifax has a role to play in youth retention.
Be the next company to change the game:
1. Hire young talent. It’s is the best thing businesses can do to make a difference
2. Offer co-op positions to help youth gain experience
3. Become a Connector to help young people build a professional network
Visit halifaxgamechangers.com for more information on hiring young in Halifax.