There is a fight between a large number of communities and companies for the same small pool of specialized workers.
Initiatives Prince George unveiled a technology-based toolkit Wednesday to help the local private sector win more of those potential employees.
The overarching message from IPG boss Heather Oland was for everyone to get on the same page with their recruiting campaigns. The toolkit IPG developed gives everyone in private business a chance to share the Prince George brand.
The main tool in the kit is a comprehensive website explaining the upsides to living in Prince George. It is also loaded with ways those potential employees can quickly and easily learn about the amenities and opportunities within this city.
Additional tools include a web-based hot button companies can use on their own websites to direct curious outsiders into the IPG portal.
Also provided is branding material to jazz up any company's want-ads used for searching out new employees in other markets.
These tools are free to use, easy to obtain, and creates a unified, cutting-edge sleekness to everyone's individual searches for workers.
It also reduces a lot of the burden on private companies to think up ways of pumping up the Prince George image when prospective employees give them a look. In the modern job market, it is often the candidates interviewing the companies instead of the other way around. If they don't have an accurate and positive impression of Prince George, they are less likely to pick this place to work and raise a family. Oland said this toolkit is the best chance local business has ever had at scoring good impression points, but it is only a starting point.
"It is our job to sell why Prince George is a great place to live," said Oland. "It's your job to sell why your company is a great place to work. We need common community messages, easy to use and remember, integrated into everyone's recruitment messaging, and we need to focus on qualities that competitively differentiate Prince George. To do that, you need a medium to get that message out."
"We have all been in meetings where we've heard 'woe is us, we haven't got enough people' and you are the first group to actually provide the tools to help us do that," said longtime local industry insider MaryAnne Arcand.
Mayor Shari Green said the toolkit could help blow up an internal culture that got established in bygone times - a way of thinking the modern resident has to now fight against.
"Good enough was good enough for a long, long time, but we just can't compete on that basis anymore," Green said. "And we deserve a place we can all be proud of. We have to drown out the negative, the noise, and not apologize for living here. Be proud of it."
The "Live Work Play" portal on the IPG website illustrates that pride, Oland indicated.
"If we are going to capitalize on the economic activity going on all over northern B.C., and capture that economic opportunity, we have to dramatically grow," Oland said. "When we grow, we expand the city's tax base, and that provides a better and better way of life in Prince George."