Ken Veldman vice president, public affairs and sustainability, at Prince Port Port Authority on Jan. 21 addressed local employers in an online presentation about a new community recruitment program to attract employees to Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Ken Veldman vice president, public affairs and sustainability, at Prince Port Port Authority on Jan. 21 addressed local employers in an online presentation about a new community recruitment program to attract employees to Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

New recruitment campaign to be launched in Prince Rupert

Web platform will use community collaboration to attract new employees to Prince Rupert

More than 60 employers and members of the business community participated in an online presentation hosted by Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 21 pitching a marketing platform designed to attract and bring out-of-region employees and their families to the local area.

Prince Rupert – Make it Home, is a new employment recruitment campaign open to employers in the local region. The initial opening of the 12-week program is set to launch on Feb. 16. The main funding contributors being a partnership between Prince Rupert Port Authority, Government of B.C., DP World, Ridley Terminals, Raymont Logistics, Community Futures, and the City of Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert Port Authority Vice-President, Public Affairs and Sustainability Ken Veldman said the genesis of the project is through Redesign Rupert from where a major pillar is to attract and retain human capital to the city while working collectively and collaboratively to solve some of the challenges as the city grows.

The labour recruitment program is designed to combat perceptions of Prince Rupert being too remote and having limited services; to promote key jobs highlighted by employers; target potential employees in communities across Northern and Interior B.C., and Western Canada; and to communicate with potential employees regarding questions and concerns.

The website based venture will aggregate local job opportunities, promote the lifestyle of Prince Rupert, showcase community amenities, assist in finding homes, will offer entrepreneurial support, and community news. There will also be a portal for related questions.

In conjunction with the website a marketing program will be launched in rural northern B.C., rural Alberta, Greater Edmonton, Fraser Valley with target demographics being 22 to 44-year-olds, new graduates, couples and young families, as well as middle-income earners.

The program will rely on ‘a primary call to action’ from local employers’ submissions of job postings and feedback to the website so upgrades and improvements can be made to the algorithms as the campaign progresses. It will be of no cost to employers to post an available position. In return, local employers will be provided information such as click rates and analytics.

The PRPA has taken a behind the scenes lead on the project.

“This is outside of out the wheelhouse of the Port Authority. We don’t profess to be experts in the labour recruitment business. That being said, we recognize the problem and we want to be part of the solution,” Veldman said. “It is vitally important for us that the community as a whole, the business community, continues to grow successfully along with the port, and we recognize the importance of that match.”

“This program is not meant to replace any company’s HR process,” he said. “You still have to lead your own HR process.”

The digital marketing campaign and website will rely only on online advertising and digital market tactics such as video and digital display ads, programmatic ads, social media advertising, and search engine marketing. Traditional advertising such as print, billboard, bus, will be avoided, Veldman said. Everything will be linked through a key platform to deliver the message.

Veldman said the idea and implementation of a community recruitment project is not a new idea and has been accomplished by many other municipalities.

“We’re going to learn as we go and we think that we’ve got the ability, if this is successful, to expand this in various ways,” he said.

“But it starts with walking before we can run. We think that we’ve got a pretty good, plan here to walk into things.”

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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