Tuesday, October 02, 2007


According to the all-wise Werner Patels, there is no such thing as a labour crunch in Calgary.


In my own workplace, finding capable people to fill positions has been extremely difficult to say the least; and close friends of mine that own businesses have been experiencing great difficulties hiring staff.

Unlike what Werner seems to think - namely that in a tight market that anybody can be hired in ten seconds or less, businesses are still looking for people who are qualified, capable and willing to do the job. Resumes that are so poorly written that they might as well have been in crayon are not going to get you hired. Neither is an attitude of entitlement. Handing over a poorly written resume and a cover letter that barely reads "Your hiring, I iz looking fer job" isn't going to get very far - even for entry level positions.

Businesses are still looking for the right people to fill the positions. Those with experience hiring poor staff in the past are unwilling to hire someone simply to have a warm body present, nor will they beggar themselves by overpaying for unskilled jobs.

Werner is right about one thing - we do have a housing shortage. That shortage is bad enough that the rental vacancy rate has been hovering below 1% for a couple of years now - and rents have skyrocketed. But that's a different problem than the shortage of good labor.


Werner Patels said...

Well, then how come a well-educated person doesn't even get a callback? Mind you, we're talking "easy", entry-level jobs like answering phones, sitting at a front desk and such. Explain that to me.

Either there's no labour crunch, or employers in Calgary discriminate against immigrants. It's one of the two.

Grog said...

I haven't seen their resume or the associated cover letters.

What I have seen a great many of are "well educated" people whose resumes are barely legible, and the cover letters disappointingly unrelated to the posted position.

Why doesn't someone get a callback? You'd have to ask the employers. I know that I won't hire people who are substantially over-qualified or unqualified - one example I can think of is an electrical engineer who applied for a graphic arts industry job doing pre-press prep.

The person might be "well educated", but from the employer's perspective, they're likely to be gone almost as soon as they learn the job.

As for someone's status as an immigrant - who knows? You'd have to ask the businesses themselves. All I can say is that I've seen a lot of very disappointing resumes.

A person with an engineering degree applying for a pre-press job had better have some kind of "reason" for their interest in the job, or the employer is going to look and say "you're going to leave as soon as something better comes along".

It's not discrimination, Werner, it's businesses looking out for their own interests. (and there are cases where having an empty seat is actually better than having a bad fit)

Grog said...

BTW, Werner - you might want to chew on the 3.1% jobless rate in Calgary - possibly the lowest we've seen since the late '70s - like the sub 1% vacancy rate for rentals, that's a pretty good indication that there's a serious shortage of people out there.