Networking is changing image

- Patrick Rojo

In my 15 years working at the Partnership I have learned so much about our business community and economy.

During my time on the SmartBusiness team, we identified and understood the challenges that employers face.

One of the top challenges, regardless of size or industry, is attracting and retaining the right talent for their business.

As my role evolved, we launched the Connector Program in 2009. We recognized there was a gap between employers looking for the talent they needed to grow their business and new immigrants settling in Halifax who were looking for employment in their field. These two groups were not connecting.

The Connector Program bridges this gap and creates opportunities for intentional networking. Employers (Connectors) who connect with these emerging professionals play a role in helping to grow our economy by building opportunities for these people to stay here, while also keeping a pulse on the local talent pool.

Immigrants and as the program expanded, local and international soon-to-be and recent graduates (Connectees), build their professional networks and increase their chances of finding employment by connecting to the hidden job market.

The Connector Program is stronger than ever, with last year’s results being our best to date — 218 new Connectors and 539 new Connectees joined the program. More than half of these new Connectees found jobs relevant to their industry and experience in Halifax.

In an increasingly competitive talent landscape, we are evolving the Connector Program to meet the changing needs of employers. That is why the Partnership has expanded the program to include Connector+, supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and Government of Canada, in partnership with the five Connector Programs across the province. Connector+ is a simple and effective digital networking platform, which creates opportunities for business leaders to connect with soon-to-be and recent graduates who want to live and work in Nova Scotia.

Like the face-to-face Connector Program, it’s a simple three-step process: match, connect and refer.

1. Business leaders and young talent are matched based on skillsets and industries of interest.

2. Next, participants connect through a video or face-to-face meeting.

3. Professionals then refer Connectees to three contacts, helping to quickly build their network. Connector+ offers flexibility to choose when and how they meet.

By becoming a Connector through Connector+, you are helping to build strong communities and keep talent in Nova Scotia. Networking is changing and one way to keep in touch with the latest trends is by visiting ConnectorPlus.ca to sign up.

This article first appeared in the June edition of Business Voice Magazine, produced on behalf of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

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