Best Practices

Attracting & Retaining Employees

Employee Friendly Workplaces

By taking action now to adapt to the labour shortage, entrepreneurs will build the foundation for a stronger and more productive business in the years to come.

Did You Know?


of businesses who adopted a formal hiring process find it very easy or somewhat easy to hire*


of businesses that offer elements of a total compensation
package finds it very easy or
somewhat easy to retain*


of businesses who adopted new
technologies and automation find it very easy or somewhat easy to hire*

Labour Solutions
for your Business

  • 1. Adopt New Technologies and Automation

    “Automation” is the use of any technology that can complete repetitive and easily replicable tasks with reduced human input, freeing up workers for more value-added tasks.

    A 2018 study by the Business Development Bank of Canada found that businesses that were slow to implement new technologies were at the greatest risk of falling behind.

    Below is a starting point of applications to consider for your business.*

    Affordable Customer Relationship Management Programs (CRM)

    CRM software captures and organizes information from current and prospective customers in an integrated system. All employees gain a single view of prospects and customers, allowing them to better cooperate and coordinate activities.

    The Fish Tank

    All in one Canadian-based CRM and small business management tool allows you to work in and on your business more efficiently. It is web based, so you can access it from your computer, tablet or mobile, allowing you to manage your sales pipeline, projects and cash flow from anywhere. It’s like having sales, marketing, project management, and administrative help all at once


    Calling all financial advisors, brokers, consultants, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, creatives and more: here’s everything you need to keep tabs on the clients you have, and build your pipeline of new ones. With a completely customizable dashboard, integrations with Outlook, Gmail, and Zoom so your communications and calendar are always in sync, and a prioritized task list, you’re always in control and ready to tackle whatever the day brings.

    Less Annoying CRM

    Designed from the ground up specifically for small businesses and praised for its simplicity, this CRM is customizable and lets you create reports tailored to your needs. It is entirely web based, enabling you to access it from any computer, tablet or smart phone.

    Maximizer CRM

    This Vancouver based CRM comes with modules for sales management, marketing automation and customer service. The web browser and mobile apps allow you to access your client data anywhere, anytime.

    Employee Management Programs

    Workforce management software applications help you manage your workforce effectively by automating daily processes to make employees and contractors as productive as possible while keeping costs down.


    This program provides employee scheduling, time and attendance, and employee communication software to help small and mid-sized organizations manage their labour workforce more efficiently. Export time and attendance data to well-known payroll and various accounting software.  

    Apex Time Solutions

    This Canadian company offers tools to manage all aspects of employee deployment, including employee scheduling, workforce time and attendance, employee self-service, absence planning, job costing, payroll and more.  


    This Vancouver based software allows office employees and field workers to clock in and out of the system. It’s detailed reporting ranges from simple payroll and job costing summaries to detailed customized reports. 


    British Columbia based workforce management software that includes timekeeping, employee and work-order scheduling, leave management and workforce analytics. It integrates with HR management systems and payroll systems.

    Daily Management Systems

    According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, Daily Management Systems (DMS) are a set of processes through which team members evaluate their progress towards accomplishing the company’s strategic objectives on a daily basis.

    Here are some of the many benefits of using a daily management system:

    • obtain real-time visibility into the status of every task, access or process
    • monitor the execution of important tasks
    • graphically see performance at all levels
    • make sure roles and responsibilities are clear
    • automate workflows, task assignments and reminders
    • receive problem alerts to take early corrective action
    • expedite problem resolution

    *Hyperlinks to external sites do not constitute endorsement by the Sidney BIA of those websites or any information, opinions, products or services expressed or described on them. All findings are from the Business Development Bank of Canada.

  • 2. Use a Formal Hiring Process

    A formal hiring process minimizes the time needed to recruit and hire employees and it helps find strong matches and high-quality employees, which, in turn, boosts business performance and reduces employee turnover.

    A hiring process refers to the process of finding, selecting and hiring new employees to a company. This process has three key segments: planning, recruitment, and employee selection.

    Consider implementing additional tactics, such as an employee referral program, working with a professional recruiter, human resources professional, partnering with education providers, joining a hiring fair, and/or leveraging hiring support services (such as WorkBC).

    PRO TIP:

    Add a “careers” section on your website with your open job postings and formal job descriptions. Writing down exactly what you’re looking for does not take long, but it will help you find the right employee for that role.

    Additional Resources

  • 3. Offer a Total Compensation Package

    A total compensation package helps to make employees feel valued and appreciated and, therefore, acts as a strong retention tool. Compensation refers to all forms of pay and rewards received by employees for performance in their jobs, including all forms of payment, benefits, services and perks. 

    Consider creating a combination or variety of elements in your compensation program in accordance with your employee demographic and budgetary constraints.

    Paid leave and flexible work schedules

    Employee paid leave and schedule flexibility to meet the needs of work and life demands including:

    • Vacation
    • Illness
    • Family Illness
    • Healthcare Appointments
    • Family Care
    • Family Committments

    Flexibility may refer to the scheduling of hours worked, in the number of hours worked and the place of work.

    This study by FlexJobs states that 84 percent of millennials desire to achieve a better work-life balance and 67 percent would prefer a more flexible work schedule so that they could have more time to spend with their families.

    Further Resources:

    Health and Wellness Support

    Employer sponsored healthcare benefits and wellness programs to support and improve the well-being of the employee and the employee’s family. Many organizations choose to subsidize well being programs such as employee yoga or fitness passes. These are small, affordable options for small businesses that help distinguish themselves from competitors.

    A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association also shows that feeling valued at work is very intrinsically linked to an employee’s physical and mental health. The APA survey also finds that people who do not feel valued at work intend to or are already looking for a new job.

    Further Resources

    Mentorship and Growth Opportunities

    Employees, especially Millennials and Gen Zs, want to work for businesses that give them opportunities for guidance and growth.

    Research conducted by The Hartford shows that 50 percent of millennials want to receive training and development from their employers. Even when it’s not offered by their employers, many young workers want to be able to continue learning even when they already have jobs.

    The following list is a small example of training themes to consider when looking at what type of training your leaders could participate in when it comes to developing their skills:

    Additional Resources

    Attracting Generation Y Employees (Millennials)
    Google Digital Garage Free Online Certificates
    B.C. Employer Training Grant Program 

  • 4. Work with a Human Resources Professional

    Human Resources professionals may include service such as:

    • Employee manual and written job description
    • Establish a policy for a formal hiring process
    • Help you create competitive compensation and benefits
    • Career development and training
    • Mentoring of less experienced employees
    • Anti-harassment and/or non-discrimination policy
    • Safety and health policy

    Regional organizations focusing on Human Resources to contact:

    Further Resources

  • 5. Checklists for Hiring, Retaining and Exiting Employees

Expand your reach

Explore Job Boards

Expand your reach and utilize multiple job boards to highlight your current career opportunities. Thanks to the options offered by job boards, the recruitment process is made easier and faster. 

Google Digital Garage

Free Online Courses

Discover a range of free learning content designed to help your business or in your career. You can learn by selecting individual modules, or dive right in and take an entire course end-to-end.

Regardless of your familiarity with the topic, you’ll get insightful tips, portable handouts, lively demonstrations, and personalized assignments to bridge and enhance your own knowledge.

Available Support Systems

*Source: BDC, Survey on Labour Market Conditions, June 2021.
Base: All respondents who provided an answer (n=2,998). Between March 2020 and June 2021