Cervus Equipment, a dealership with 72 locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, faced a challenge many equipment dealerships have: Finding quality applicants to fill open positions. When Patrick McKay joined the Cervus Equipment team about a year ago as the recruitment specialist, the company moved to a proactive sourcing model, and has found great success reaching out to individuals who would be a great fit for the company. This change has led to more diverse skills and perspectives and less money spent with recruitment agencies.
“Through proactive sourcing, we use online tools such as LinkedIn to find talent who may not necessarily be looking for a job today,” said McKay. “We actively reach out and notify them of the position and sell them on the quality of the company, turning them into candidates.”
Once these talented individuals join the Cervus Equipment team, the company works to illustrate to employees that there are opportunities to grow, said McKay.
“If an employer can’t provide a path for someone to move from parts manager to branch manager, or a sales representative role to a sales manager role, people can feel pretty stuck,” McKay stated.
One way Cervus Equipment provides employees a path for growth is the Cervus Leadership University (CLU), which allows participants to learn the skills needed to move into management positions. Not only does this in-depth program help train employees for prospective management roles, it shows all employees that the company wants them to succeed, which McKay said has been a success for the company.
“Knowing that we are actively training people to manage departments and branches is really exciting for employees, even those who don’t participate in CLU right way,” said McKay. “Through CLU, people believe and understand that we want them to progress in their career.”
Understanding employee satisfaction is another important part of improving retention. Cervus Equipment conducts an annual employee satisfaction survey. McKay explained the company partners with a third party to coordinate the survey so it is completely anonymous. Results are then tabulated to call out any trends or areas needing attention. McKay reports Cervus Equipment has seen employee satisfaction rise year after year.
“You need to provide an environment that nurtures employees’ ideas and ambitions,” he said. “You should also have a complete package of short and long-term incentives that allow people to buy in and get a piece of the company. Ultimately, you need to create an environment from the top down in which people respect and believe in their executive team.”
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