Oct 25, 2023

Part 1 Of Opening Minds and Building Futures: Star Buildings Materials Calgary Finds Untapped Talent

Star Building Materials Calgary is opening minds and building futures. In Part 1 of this two-part series, learn how the business unit is finding talent in unique ways to deliver quality services

Calgary, AB – Looking to find new talent, Star Building Materials Calgary is thinking outside the box and using a variety of recruitment strategies to reach potential new employees in untapped areas.

Recruitment in repetitive manufacturing, as well as inside and outside work, can be extremely difficult, which is why there is often a high turnover rate. The challenge is to find the right people to do the right job. That’s why Star Building Materials Calgary has shifted how it finds new employees, working outside the normal procedures and looking for different avenues of recruitment.

Flexibility is important – both in what hiring practices are used and what types of people are hired. Sometimes this means hiring part-time or casual employees, other times it means looking to newcomers who are interested in learning new skills.

Aside from posting job ads on popular recruitment sites, Star Building Materials Calgary now holds walk-in interviews, participates in job fairs, and works with newcomer organizations to find new employees.

According to Kim Engel, Regional HR Business Partner, Qualico Calgary, the job fair was very successful, and attendees had an opportunity to take a tour of the truss plant, ask supervisors and managers questions, and sit down for an interview.

Kim thought it would be useful to host an onsite open house at Star Building Materials Calgary to attract potential employees, including those who might not be aware of what Qualico or Star Building Materials does, or what they can offer as an employer.

To reach even more potential employees, Kim contacted the Calgary-based Centre for Newcomers about participating in their job fair which hosted approximately 1,200 job seekers in attendance.

“The Centre for Newcomers is a great place for our HR Business Partners to find potential candidates,” said Kim. “These individuals are keen, determined to work, come with the right attitude, and want to make a contribution. Star Building Materials Calgary has been extremely successful in hiring candidates this way.”

Typically, people hired through the Centre for Newcomers held significant roles in their home countries – such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants – but they lack the Canadian certification to be qualified to hold those roles here.

While these potential candidates may not have any experience in the building industry, Kim said she looks for people with good attitudes and obvious ambition when interviewing for roles.

“I believe that individuals can learn technical skills if they have the right attitude and ambition,” she said. “I will tell candidates, you can learn anything, don’t sell yourself short.

Another important recruitment method is Qualico’s referral program, which has been successful in attracting employees to Star Building Materials Calgary. According to Kim, 60% of the referrals Qualico Calgary receives are from Star Building Materials. 

Clearly, the work that Star Building Materials Calgary is doing to find and attract new employees is making an impact, as there have been more promotions in the last two years than there were in the past 10, the team has a low turnover rate, and training is taking less time than it used to.

In Part 2 of this Opening Minds and Building Futures series, find out how a newcomer employee is doing in his role and how Star Building Materials Calgary is supporting new employees’ success.


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