Results of the Léger Marketing Omnibus/HRlearning.ca survey - Recruiting the
right employees is leading concern among small business executives

With the economic recovery, half of small business leaders want to improve their recruiting skills and 39% believe that the labour shortage is the greatest threat to their company.

MONTREAL, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The results of a Léger Marketing Omnibus/HRlearning.ca survey, conducted among leaders of Quebec small businesses, indicate that almost half of respondents (48%) consider recruiting good employees to be the main issue in improving their management of human resources. And for 39% of them, the biggest threat in human resources is the shortage of qualified labour.

Managers of larger small businesses also identified two other issues that merit their attention: employee recognition (21%) and employee retention (16%).

"It is interesting to see the point to which companies are concerned about the quality of recruiting and retention of employees," said Sylvie Gagnon, general manager of TECHNOCompétences, the Sector Committee for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce. "Qualified personnel are the sinews of war for Quebec small businesses, even more so against the backdrop of an economic recovery that must be carefully negotiated. Developing innovative recruiting practices and retaining skilled employees is a strategic competitive advantage."

This is the perspective TECHNOCompétences took in designing and launching the free web-based learning solution HRlearning.ca. The site includes 17 practical training capsules on different topics for managers, no matter their field of activity. Most HR basic notions are covered by the capsules, such as recruitment planning, day-to-day recognition, managing teams remotely, conflict management, and other important issues.

"Many small businesses do not have a HR department," Ms. Gagnon said. "More often than not, the task falls to professionals who are competent in their field of activity but who are not necessarily trained to manage personnel. This is what guided our design of HRlearning.ca, which also offers video examples, summaries and complementary practical tools in Word format to successfully perform all HR-related tasks."

"The survey data reflect our challenges," said Dave Marcheterre, director of human resources at Nstein, a Montréal small business in the information and communication technology sector. "Yes, there are threats, but by preparing for them, we can better take advantage of opportunities. The training capsules provide very practical advice for our project managers precisely when they need it, so it's the perfect formula for us."

    
    Executives of small businesses want to improve their HR management
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    - Recruiting good employees:
        - Almost half of respondents (48%) indicated that this was the main
          area for improvement in managing their human resources.
        - This trend is even more marked among businesses with between five
          and 49 employees, with 60% of managers reporting that they face
          challenges in recruiting good employees.
        - Young managers (44 years and under) are the most concerned by this
          issue (57%).

    - Employee recognition and retention:
        - Businesses with sales over $5 million are the most concerned by
          this issue (21%).

    - The reconciliation of work and family life:
        - For 12% of respondents, this is an aspect of HR to keep an eye on.

    - The management of intergenerational conflicts in the workplace:
        - This was a concern for only 4% of respondents.

    The greatest threats identified by small business executives

    - The shortage of qualified labour:
        - This is by far the greatest threat facing small businesses
          according to respondents (39%).
        - For companies that employ between five and 49 people, this is a
          particularly serious threat (59%).
        - The same was noted (56%) among leaders of companies with sales
          between $1 million and $4.9 million.

    - The retirement of baby boomers and changes to the workplace culture:
        - These issues are more infrequently identified as a threat by small
          business executives (9%).
        - They are more frequently identified as a threat (22%) by managers
          of businesses with 50 or more employees, along with employee
          resistance to authority (11%).

    - Maternity and paternity leave:
        - This represents a threat for only 6% of managers surveyed.


    About HRlearning.ca
    -------------------
    

HRlearning.ca features 17 training capsules, 12 of them available in English, covering basic concepts in human resource management. It is an "HR 101" course for improving the day-to-day practice of professionals for whom human resources are not the main field of expertise. HRlearning.ca is a go-to site for practical everyday HR questions facing companies.

    
    About TECHNOCompétences - www.technocompetences.ca/en
    -----------------------------------------------------
    

Making the Quebec information and communication technology industry a world leader through the quality of its workforce is the vision of TECHNOCompétences, the Sector Committee for the Information and Communication Technology Workforce. Its plan is to achieve balance between supply and demand of qualified human resources. Since Its very beginnings, TECHNOCompétences has heard entrepreneurs talk about the reality of an ongoing labour shortage. HRlearning.ca is a simple, effective solution that meets the day-to-day needs of ICT professionals. For the past 12 years, TECHNOCompétences has been wielding information about the labour market, ensuring that skills are upgraded among the human resources needed for the industry and helping companies improve their management practices.

About the survey: The Léger Marketing Omnibus/HRlearning.ca survey was conducted online from February 1 to 4, 2010 among 206 French- and English-speaking leaders of Quebec companies. The maximum margin of error for a sample of this size is +/-6.8%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE TECHNOCompétences

For further information: For further information: or to arrange for an interview, please contact: Simon Falardeau and Sébastien Boudreau, Capital-Image, (514) 739-1188, ext. 231 or 228, Cell (514) 755-5831 (Simon), sfalardeau@capital-image.com, sboudreau@capital-image.com

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