Finding Workers

Here are some tips to help you find the right people with the right skills at the right time.

Finding workers

Attracting qualified candidates

Create an enticing posting, free of industry jargon and terminology, which gives potential candidates a feel for your workplace culture as well as the job. Your job posting should be clear and honest, allowing potential candidates to weigh it against their own background skills and competencies, interests and ambitions when deciding to apply. Ask yourself:

  • What competencies are required for the position? Competencies (such as leadership, communication, and problem solving) are the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to understand and do the job. A credential such as a degree or certificate identifies what a candidate has been taught or trained to do, whereas competencies represent what a person is actually capable of performing and to what degree.
  • What is unique about your company and environment?
  • What is your ideal candidate looking for? Is it:
    • advancement opportunities
    • work-life balance
    • the chance to make a difference
    • a socially responsible employer
    • workplace diversity
    • job security, competitive wage, benefits
    • other incentives, such as working remotely
    Reaching labour pools

    There are a variety of ways for you to reach out and recruit for positions. Your plan can include a mix of promotional approaches, including:

    Recruitment strategy


    Job fairs and industry events

    Setting up a booth at job fairs, trade shows, conferences and meet potential candidates.

    Employee referrals

    Offering rewards to existing staff who recruit new employees.

    Third party recruiters

    Using employment agencies to refer candidates. The agency will charge a job placement fee which must be paid by the employer.

    Campus recruiting

    Posting and/or recruiting in post-secondary and private training institutes through job boards, career fairs, co-op programs, and apprenticeship programs

    Community job boards and newsletters

    Connect with pockets of new potential employees in the area where they live.

    You may also consider posting job opportunities at your local Alberta Works and Alberta Supports centres to advertise directly to job seekers. These centres organize job fairs which will provide employers with immediate access to available job seekers.

    Immigrant serving agencies

    Connecting with staff to raise awareness of job opportunities and offering placements to newcomers with various levels of international education, skills and experience.

    Rehiring past employees

    Opening your doors to former employees who may not have considered opportunities exist to return.

    Online recruiting

    Posting job ads on your website, job boards, industry and professional associations websites, job search engines and business networking sites.

    You can also post your employment opportunities on the Government of Alberta’s social media job sites to reach job seekers or respond to job seekers looking for work:


    The Government of Canada Job Bank is an option to post your job advertisement. Use the job match service and be notified of candidates in the database that match the skills and experience you’ve outlined in your posting.

    Print ads

    Ad placement in a newspaper, magazine or trade journal, newsletters, etc.

    Recruit from within

    Promoting and/or retraining a motivated, underused or overqualified employee (you may qualify for training funds through the Canada-Alberta Job Grant)

    Selecting the right candidate

    Transferable skills

    When screening applications, look for:

    • While education and qualifications are a significant factor in selecting the right candidate, consider the candidate’s transferable or soft skills as the foundation for a strong employee. Communication, research and planning, liaison skills, management and leadership skills that can be verified through situational interview questions.
    • Essential skills such as computer literacy, numeracy and languages that are valuable in every industry.
    • Technical skills that could be enhanced to your requirements with some re-training. Check the Canada-Alberta Job Grant to see if you qualify for a training grant to help with costs.

    A good orientation is critical in ensuring your new hire starts off on the right foot. In addition to getting paperwork completed, a thorough orientation should instill confidence and motivation in your new employees. It will also provide them with the information and tools they need to be successful in the job, integrate with their coworkers, and contribute to the organization.

    To learn more tips to recruiting, read Recruiting Staff - this guide provides information on how to develop a recruitment plan and gives advice and tips gathered from Alberta businesses operating in a variety of sectors and locations across the province.