• Bruce Malcom

Kicking The Can Down

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

Knowing there aren’t going to be enough people … BUT UNABLE TO TAKE ACTION…

… a classic example of IRONY!

It is a “classic” definition of “IRONY” … How it is that mayors, councilors and administrative personnel throughout the country can know for certain that there simply aren’t going to be enough ‘Top Talent’ people to fill all the jobs … everything from Public Works to Planning and Corporate Services to CAO … yet, for some reason, seem unable or unwilling to take action?

Could it be the “this won’t happen to us” syndrome, otherwise known as denial?

Another possibility is they are simply “kicking the can down the road” the thinking is that it will happen, but it will “happen later”… maybe we could call this the “not now” syndrome.  One of the best ones and I hear it quite often – is, “You don’t understand! Getting people isn’t a problem for us – people just love it here, and they really want to work in our municipality. They’ll even take less money.”

It’s a mystery alright, but perhaps it’s just human nature to procrastinate. On the one hand, we have men and women who can deal with almost any tough municipal issue. Yet on the other hand even when presented with the facts they quite often can’t seem to see the “forest for the trees”!

Whatever the reasons, the facts are clear and have been widely discussed.

Canadian Baby Boomers are leaving their jobs in record numbers, as 1000 of them every day turn 65! And to make matters worse, municipal staff retire even younger (the last time I checked the stats, the average age for a municipal employee to retire was 57).

An exacerbating factor is the recognized shortage of GenX candidates. These are the men and women who are set to replace many of today’s Boomers. They represent a much smaller group than the older retiring generation … GenX is about 60% the size of the Boomer generation, so even if they each took a Boomer’s job, there would still be a 40% shortage!

You are left with several choices: If you decide to solve the problem yourself, in the traditional way, you will likely advertise. But, be careful, because it’s proven that advertising most often attracts unhappy and unemployed people, and often both. And it’s only going to get worse as the number of available and viable candidates falls. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone who is unemployed … lots of good people have been unemployed at one time or another, and this includes me and perhaps even you! Nevertheless, caution is recommended.

What I am thinking here is that you wouldn’t necessarily want to hire someone who has become unemployed for what may be questionable reasons. Perhaps they messed up in their last municipal job, or they were victims of the ‘Peter Principle’ promoted beyond their capabilities. It’s not likely that your first choice would be to import dysfunction or misery into your municipality, is it?

Another way to approach the problem of not having enough people to go around, and one that would be almost be guaranteed to create even bigger problems for you, would be to have your HR staff poach from a neighboring municipality. That sort of scenario could inadvertently send out a message that you have declared out all-out war! No … that approach won’t work, either!

At Ravenhill Group, we believe we have an answer for you that will really work to your advantage. Hire us as a Recruiter of Record. This a concept that formalizes a standing arrangement between us, and is limited to a small number of select municipalities.

Take a look at THIS short video presentation on the subject:

Here’s why I think Ravenhill Group can help: Because of our vast network of municipal contracts, we know more people throughout the country than you do. We have municipal contacts from coast to coast, in every size city, town, county, and township. We have made it our business to know these people through the vast number of municipal trade shows we attend every year. We have also been publishing the Municipal Recruiting Report for almost seven years now, and boast well over 6,000 subscribers.

These are municipal professionals we stay in touch with on a monthly basis. Not only that, but we can give you a list as long as your arm of satisfied clients. To top it off, we have developed an excellent reputation for fair, honest and ethical head hunting … in other words, we know where to find the people and we know how to help them ‘get their minds open” to your opportunity.

So it’s up to you. As you consider the possibility of a Recruiter of Record arrangement for your municipality, just bear in mind that the opportunity is limited because, by its very nature, this kind of exclusive arrangement will work best for you and for us if it’s limited to a small number of municipalities.


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