One of the biggest challenges for any company is finding and retaining talented workers. There is no shortage of applicants in the current economy, but how do you sort out who is truly talented, dedicated, and innovative?
SimplyCast's CEO, Saeed El-Darahali, read David K. Foot's book Boom, Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift. The book uses demographics to help predict changes in the workforce, and discusses generational change and the impact these changes have on the market and business environment. Our CEO realized that a talent crunch would happen around 2020. He wanted to make sure SimplyCast was prepared.
SimplyCast began to look to universities and high schools to recruit young talent. Our team has always been committed to helping our community and assisting to create a more stable economy and local workforce. Drawing workers from educational institutions in the area trains the next generation of leaders and strengthens our community. By keeping talented youth in the area, we ensure that they don't have to leave the province to find employment and we retain our strongest asset.
SimplyCast started to reach out to local schools and created several scholarships to help young people fund their post-secondary education. Each scholarship is named after someone who was instrumental in SimplyCast's growth, as a mentor, a supporter or a friend.
In addition to offering scholarships, SimplyCast also sponsors events including hackathons and other programming competitions. These events are ideal places to find passionate, talented young students seeking knowledge and work experience. The SimplyCast environment is a great place to gain both!
In 2013, we created the Next Star Program, a paid internship targeting high school students. We have brought in over ten students under the Next Star Program. These students develop their skills in a fun, open environment while contributing their unique ideas and collaborating on important projects.
Coops are also an essential part of our "training future leaders" strategy. Each semester, we hire 3-5 coop students from local universities and in the summer months we may have as many as 15 coops working with us. Bringing in students to work at SimplyCast helps develop the next generation of leaders and innovators. Hiring coop students and workers fresh out of university enables these talented youth to remain in Nova Scotia rather than having to seek employment elsewhere. Keeping these workers in our community strengthens the local economy and allows us to retain our most valuable resource.
Here's our advice: don't just look for workers who have traditional work experience. Often, the most passionate and talented workers are those who lack job experience but are determined to prove themselves. Hiring and training students is a great opportunity for your company, as it brings in fresh ideas and enthusiasm.