Opening the Door to Growth

By exploring a community career program, a young company discovers a valuable talent resource

Photo: John Galbraith, co-founder of Tripsi

ONE OF THE toughest challenges facing small businesses is taking the first steps to begin scaling up. For an enterprise that may still be in the nascent stages, it can be difficult to find the resources necessary for hiring more staff.

Enter the Goodwill Career Centre, which operates a ­number of employment programs through partnerships with Employment Ontario, the City of London and the Ontario Disability Support Program. The common goal is to provide employment services to all job seekers and businesses.

“We accomplish this for job-seekers by providing employment counselling and resources to assist people in their career search,” explains Andrew McMurray, business development manager at Goodwill Industries. “For businesses that are ­hiring and onboarding new staff, we have a specialized team of employment solutions consultants and job coaches supporting these businesses to find the right person to hire, support the individual and the employer throughout the onboarding phase and also, where applicable, bring financial supports to the employer to help offset the costs of the hiring and training.”

“As a young company, receiving funding to support training is a tremendous help, but not our only consideration. We’ve all heard the stories about it being difficult to find talent in London, so why limit yourself to only traditional methods?” —John Galbraith

One of the centre’s challenges, says McMurray, is awareness. Many small- and medium-sized businesses in the community that are hiring do not have the knowledge of what is available to help support them.

“Our employment programs and employment solutions staff are engineered to specifically assist this segment in our ­community,” he says. “Best of all, these resources are ­completely free and easy to access compared to other government programs and services.”

Some local companies are already making good use of this opportunity. For example, Tripsi, an online group travel ­experience business, recently had success growing their team with Goodwill.

“The Goodwill program spoke to us on several fronts,” says Tripsi co-founder, John Galbraith. “As a young company, receiving funding to support training is a tremendous help, but not our only consideration. Part of building a company is developing a culture, and as Londoners we’re passionate about making a positive impact on our community and building that into Tripsi’s DNA. I believe that partnering with Goodwill on this program is one great step in that direction.”

According to Galbraith, working with the centre also provided staffing connections and solutions that stretched beyond their described mandate. “We’ve all heard the stories about it being difficult to find talent in London, so why limit yourself to only traditional methods?” he asks. “Goodwill introduced us to a whole pool of folks who are engaged in Goodwill employment services and made every effort to find candidates that they see as a good fit.

Photo: John Galbraith of Tripsi with Andrew McMurray and Golam Ahmed Khan of the Goodwill Career Centre

“We’ve been lucky to add a teammate who will have a ­position with us as long as he wants it. He’s proving himself more than capable and certainly contributing to a great place to work.”

“Working with Tripsi has been great,” adds McMurray. “As we take the time to learn and understand Tripsi’s business and culture, we get a deeper understanding of their needs and increase our ability to help them find the right person to bring into their company.

“Attracting and hiring talent in today’s landscape is as ­difficult as it’s ever been, so maximizing all the resources that are available is critical for businesses to succeed—especially those with limited reach or brand identity in the community,” McMurray continues. “Partnering with the Goodwill Career Centre does just that, and together we are building a stronger community along the way.”