Employer survey for local businesses

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie is rolling out its annual EmployerOne survey for the fifth time.

The survey, conducted Jan. 1 to 31, is a workforce barometer designed to identify and track trends in local labour markets. It covers everything from hiring in 2017 to projected hiring in 2018, skills, shortages, staff turnover, training and other human resources matters.

Employers asked this year for a question to be included on Bill 148 – the Ontario government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

“The labour market is constantly changing and evolving. EmployerOne serves as a yearly barometer that tracks and measures those changes at the local level,” said Jill Halyk, the planning board’s executive director.

“The survey gives employers a vehicle to share information on human resources-related issue they’re facing, such as if they’re having trouble attracting qualified people. It’s important for community leaders to know about the issues businesses face, while businesses appreciate knowing if others have the same challenges.”

More than 360 employers participated in last year’s survey, but the workforce planning board and its community partners hope to grow that number for 2018, Halyk said.

While the survey gets very strong response from the manufacturing sector – Grand Erie’s largest employer – more responses are needed in construction, agriculture, health care and in professional fields such as financial services, accounting and law.

“Each sector of the local economy can have unique workforce issues, so we appreciate hearing from a good cross-section from each,” said Halyk.

She pointed out that information collected in past surveys has led to action, including initiatives to boost the soft skills of job seekers and the launch of welder training programs to address the unmet demand for welders.

The survey is open to all employers in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit. All information shared is confidential and the names of employers are not released.

EmployerOne is supported by two-dozen community organizations, including local economic development departments and business, education, employment and community services groups.

It is funded in part by the federal government and Ontario government.

More information on EmployerOne is available by calling the workforce planning board at 519-756-1116 or visit its website: