The demand for human resources in the commercial transportation industry fluctuates based on the economy. During boom years, hiring to meet this demand can represent a significant challenge for large national companies such as CN Rail, particularly when unemployment is down and a large percentage of the workforce is heading into retirement.
This was the situation CN Rail found themselves in when they were faced with the reality of thousands of positions that were going to be open over the next few years—it was clear that a bigger effort was required.
As CN Rail had previously attended a workshop on employer branding led by MGM, they approached us to help them improve their employer brand and assist them in a nationwide recruitment effort.
The goal was to hire over 2,500 new employees for a wide variety of available positions across Canada and parts of the U.S. within a 12-month period.
An initial discovery session with the client brought our team up to speed on the CN Human Resources landscape, their existing brand and the demographic makeup of candidates that were best suited for the positions in demand.
A three-part strategy was developed, which consisted of strengthening the CN employer brand by promoting CSR efforts, delivering recruitment messaging online to reach a broad geographic audience and supporting recruitment events taking place across the country with promotional materials.
In addition to creating online and offline ads and posters promoting recruitment events, we helped improve CN’s hiring process through a technological solution. Realizing that one of the biggest barriers for CN recruitment events was the application process itself, MGM proactively proposed and created a web app that helps pre-assess applicants to match them with the most-relevant available positions. This solution significantly reduced backlog and wait times.
Execution of the three-part strategy helped CN Rail hire the required number of employees to fill all available positions.