HALIFAX – Steele Auto Group, headquartered in Dartmouth, needs to fill 59 positions immediately, so it launched a campaign that includes a financial incentive to attract talent to its Atlantic Canadian locations.
The group’s Come Home campaign offers up to $7,500 for those wishing to relocate from outside Atlantic Canada and up to $2,500 for those moving within the region for a job with Steele. The value of relocation assistance depends on the role.
The company also shared links to provincial websites about life in Atlantic Canada.
HR director Ruth Meagher says this is a way that the group is doing something different to attract talent in a challenging labour market.
“The labour pool [in Atlantic Canada] is a little bit smaller and there are a lot of organizations vying for the same candidates, so we need to think outside the box to get people to understand the types of opportunities that we have within our company,” said Meagher in an interview.
“We want to stand outside of what our competitors are doing so that people understand it’s a different place to come and work. It’s not a job, it’s a career…This is an opportunity to entice people to do a little bit of research into the auto group and see what potential there is.”
The campaign targets mainly people who have moved out of the region and want to return, but to fill the roles the company will also consider any qualified candidates.
“We know through personal experience as well as reviewing stats that there are a lot of people who have had to relocate out of this area and move out of their home provinces to get work elsewhere. We thought there would be a market for people who may want to come back to Atlantic Canada for all that Atlantic Canada has to offer,” Meagher said.
Steele Auto Group is comprised of 39 car dealerships, two powerhouse equipment stores and eight collision centres. It currently has around 2,100 employees. It continues to grow, recently acquiring Tristar Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Moncton and Saint John. In the next six to twelve months, it will be looking to hire over 100 more people.
“We’re a large group and we’re busy,” Meagher said.
Approximately one-third of the jobs currently available are for technicians at dealerships – 22 per cent are for sales representatives, and the rest are for various roles, including management. Meagher says for management positions, the company usually tries to promote from within.
Approximately 16 per cent of the job openings are in New Brunswick.
“We’d love to fill [the jobs] immediately … We’ve got a team in place as soon as resumes are coming into our [email protected] email. We’re reviewing them on the spot immediately and getting back to candidates as quickly as we can,” said Meagher.
Aside from this campaign, Meagher says the group actively recruits through various channels, including networking, job fairs and online postings. It’s also a designated employer through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.
It’s not set in stone whether the company will continue to use the campaign to fill other jobs once its immediate needs are met.
“We’ll see how the program runs. It’s open-ended for now,” Meagher said.