ORAM’s 4-part recipe for a winning recruitment and retention strategy

December 21, 2022


ORAM’s 4-part recipe for a winning recruitment and retention strategy

On top of recent labour shortages, higher turnover rates, and supply chain issues, many companies are struggling to recruit and retain workers, especially in construction. The right strategy is key to overcome these challenges, keep growing, and stay competitive.

It might seem like we’d have a leg up at ORAM when it comes to the current labour shortage gripping the construction and other industries. After all, we were named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in both 2021 and 2022 and won the Mercuriades award for training and workforce development in the SME category in May 2022. We also have a proud reputation as an employer that truly cares about our employees.

But rather than rest on our laurels, we’ve gone all out to create and implement a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention so we can pursue increasingly bold, innovative projects. Read on to learn more.

Putting recruitment front and centre

A stimulating workplace, great benefits, advancement opportunities, work-life balance, and a sense of belonging are the tried-and-true formula for successful recruitment. Having a strong employer brand is the icing on the cake. But in the current environment, even the best companies have to be bold and forward-thinking to make candidates an offer they can’t refuse. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Strong employer branding

During our 50 years in business, we’ve built a strong brand we use to recruit future team members. ORAM is a progressive, inclusive company that values respect and balance, and these values make us an attractive place to work. We make new hires feel like they’re part of the ORAM family right away, so they get the ORAM Experience from the inside and thrive in all kinds of ways.

2. Guts, vision, authenticity, innovation

We clearly have guts and vision, as our many successes and awards can attest. But authenticity and innovation are just as important when it comes to hiring, because we have to be able to deliver on what we promise. To recruit the best, companies also need to focus as much (or more) on retaining their valuable new hires and building their loyalty.

An effective employee retention strategy

Over the years, ORAM management has learned that the best ways to retain top talent are to be available and attentive to employees and to implement a cohesive strategy aimed at recognizing, developing, and upgrading their skills so they can reach their full potential. Our employees are critical to our success, and we want them to feel engaged, enthusiastic, and empowered in helping us build excellence and reach our goals, no matter how ambitious.

3. Empathy and an open door

The open-door policy at ORAM means we keep the channels of communication open, encourage discussion, and foster collaboration to create an environment that is respectful and transparent. Then we take it a step further, because being empathetic to our employees is the best way we as a company can demonstrate just how seriously we take our commitment to them.

When everything is going swimmingly, promoting employee wellbeing seems like a walk in the park. But it’s when times get tough that a company’s best intentions and core values count the most. Despite its challenges, the pandemic was an opportunity for ORAM to show just how committed we are to our people. It was also a chance for them to see how their own commitment made all the difference, strengthening their sense of belonging in return.

4. Development and levelling up

A great employee retention strategy also requires implementing a coaching culture—something that has become even more firmly embedded at ORAM over the years at both the HR and management levels. According to Stéphanie Savard, our vice president of operations, “A coaching culture benefits hiring indirectly because job seekers want to work somewhere they can advance and grow.”

At ORAM, we help our team develop and level up their skills through an incremental continuous improvement program that includes:

Annual training plan for apprentices and plumbers

A training plan designed specifically for apprentices and plumbers that helps them hone their skills and gain new ones. It’s an opportunity to teach them how we do things here and ensure consistent processes and quality work. We’ll be launching version 2.0 in early 2023.

Training plan for office personnel

This plan includes a variety of courses to help staff develop essential skills and improve institutional knowledge of industry-specific technical concepts and management techniques.

Individual development plans (IDPs)

ORAM employees create long-term IDPs with their managers based on the key job skills they need to master, their strengths, and areas of improvement. IDPs leverage a variety of approaches: traditional group learning, coaching, mentoring, and psychometric and talent development assessments (MPO).

Job-site management coaching

Through this coaching program, current forepersons learn to manage larger teams and more extensive projects. Organizational development coaches work with them to develop their management, planning, and communication skills. Having this day-to-day support can also be a real confidence boost.

ORAM Academy

In 2022, we delved even deeper into teaching technical, management, and people skills at work by launching ORAM Academy. The goal is to improve our onboarding, continuing education, management, and succession planning initiatives by combining them under one umbrella. ORAM Academy includes training for hard and soft skills, coaching, and continuous process improvement.

This recent launch sets us way apart from our competitors in the construction industry. By recruiting, developing, and retaining the best and brightest, we will be ready for next-level growth without compromising efficiency.

Success is a two-way street

A successful company will clearly be more of a draw for job seekers in a hot labour market. But remember: employee engagement is the key to a company’s success. It’s a two-way street. To create a strong, mutually beneficial relationship, employers have to recognize, value, and nurture their team’s vital contributions as much as their own accomplishments. This important aspect of our corporate culture isn’t merely part of a winning strategy, it’s the cornerstone of our past, present, and future success.

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