Blog Category: General

Trent Severn Locks Continue to Open

The Trent-Severn Waterway 2017 Navigation Season will continue to open in stages. Increased precipitation created the requirement for additional time to reduce water levels and flows to a point that ensures safe boating conditions across the system. (more…)

Chamber Members Discuss HR & Hiring

Spring in the Kawarthas is a busy time of year. With that comes the need for extra help around the office, store, shop, or resort. For any business owner with more than one employee, hiring the right staff is something you will you encounter if you hire on a regular basis, seasonally, or as needed.

Many small-to-medium sized businesses don’t have a designated Human Resources Department, but HR is important, even with a few employees.

Matthew Savino of Savino Human Resources Partners teamed up with Workforce Development Board to create the Recruiting for Small-to-Medium Employers User Guide. This guide was specifically designed for small-to-medium sized businesses in our region.

On May 25th, the Chamber hosted a B.O.S.S. (Business Owners Sharing Solutions) Workshop focusing on Human Resources and Hiring. Matthew gave a short presentation highlighting some of the key pieces of the User Guide.


Lori Rork, Community Care; Leslie Nunes and Jillian Harrington, Clearview Cottage Resort

The guide provides clear steps for hiring the best candidates for your business. It covers:

  • Job Descriptions and Posting
  • Screening Candidates and Interviewing
  • Post Interview Evaluations
  • Presenting an Offer
  • Mandatory HR Policies and On-Boarding New Staff

An appendices includes examples and templates for job descriptions, reference consent forms, probationary performance reviews, and more.

Following the presentation, Matthew moderated a discussion with Chamber Members who gave tips and best practices that they use within their respective sectors.

Here is some of what they discussed:

Where do you post your job opportunities?

What is the most important attribute to look for in a candidate for hospitality and food and beverage?

In customer service, it is important to have a positive and outgoing attitude. Positivity is the most important attribute.

What do you consider when hiring an apprentice? (Trades Sector)

Apprenticeships are considered for employees long term. It  is a waiting process, and a commitment for the employer. There are costs and financial commitments involved, but there are also tax benefits to take advantage of. It is a win-win situation for the employer and employee.

What is the most effective question you ask while interviewing?

Do you know anything about us?

With the internet, there is no excuse for a candidate to not be able to answer this question. It reveals if the candidate has done their homework, and is taking the job seriously.

Another suggestion was situation questions. Give the candidate an example of a conflict situation they may experience, and ask how they would handle the issue.


What are some of the challenges you experience as an employer?

In the hospitality industry, it is a competitive market. Finding the right person for the job can be a challenge as the hours are often nights and weekends.

Many businesses in our region may also agree that it is a challenge to find employees when located in a rural area. There are less people looking for rural employment, and without public transportation, it is a challenge for staff to get to you.

Communicating these challenges to employment organizations like Agilec can help you find solutions to problems that many employers face.

What are some of the challenges you face when hiring youth?

A common challenge when hiring youth is a lack of on-the-job experience. When faced with a limited resume, look at volunteer experience, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities.

When working with the “millennial” generation, Krista says it is important to remember that it is a different generation. Instead of pointing out the generational differences, understand and work to accommodate.

Instead of offering staff a “smoke break,” Krista provides a “cell phone break.” Staff can’t carry their phones with them, so they are allowed a designated 15 minutes to check phones, respond to messages, and get their “fix.”

Millennials love to learn, desire information, and want instant gratification and positive and constructive feedback.

Mike from Agilec, gave the audience his perspective.

“We don’t have to work with millennials, we get to work with millennials.”

Useful Resources

The panel and moderator suggested these useful tools and resources:

  • CERP Community Employment Resource Partnership – A free, local group of employment and training organizations committed to enhancing service to individuals, businesses and the community as a whole.
  • KIRA Talent – Video interviewing service. Kira combines timed video and written assessments with your existing admissions requirements to identify applicants who are a great fit for your program.
  • AODA Requirements – Ontario laws to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Learn about standards employers need to follow and reporting deadlines for complying with accessibility requirements.
  • Recruiting For Small-to-Medium Employers User Guide – Designed to provide recruitment support for small-to-medium size employers in our region.
Guests enjoyed breakfast catered by Jacks Family Restaurant prior to the workshop.

Guests enjoyed breakfast catered by Jacks Family Restaurant prior to the workshop.

Thank You

We’re Hiring! Summer Staff Positions

The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is hiring for three positions. These positions are of interest to a personable, organized, self-starter who enjoys meeting people, a variety of tasks and providing excellent customer service in a busy, not-for-profit environment.

It is expected that the work week will generally be 30 – 35 hours, five days a week, with a start date between mid-May and early June. Saturday and Sunday will be required work days. Aboriginal students are encouraged to apply.

This position is dependent on funding, requiring the employee to have been registered as a full-time college or university student during the preceding academic year and intending to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year. Additionally, the successful candidate must be under 30 years of age when beginning employment.

Click on the links below for a full job descriptions:

  • Marketing & Tourism Assistant (Lakefield) – This position will be based primarily in Lakefield but travel to other communities is expected. Access to a reliable vehicle is necessary since public transit is not available.

  • Special Event & Tourism Assistant (Lakefield & Other Communities) – This position will be based primarily in Lakefield but travel to other communities is expected. Access to a reliable vehicle is necessary since public transit is not available.

  • Tourism Outreach Assistant (Buckhorn) – This position will be based primarily in Buckhorn at the Welcome Centre. Orientation and initial training will be conducted in Lakefield. Access to a reliable vehicle is necessary since public transit is not available.

Qualified applicants are invited to send a cover letter and resume by Monday, April 10th to:

  •, indicating the position name in the Subject line
  • OR Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, P.O. Box 537, Lakefield, ON   K0L 2H0, Confidential to the Attention of: General Manager

We are an equal opportunity employer. Only candidates invited for an interview will be contacted.