The Candidate Trends We're Seeing Today - An Interview With Julie Labrie

By Tony Restell

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Julie Labrie InterviewI recently had the opportunity to interview Julie Labrie of Blue Sky Personnel. Julie shares fascinating insights for any employers wanting to make hires - not just during the pandemic, but also in its aftermath. Whilst you might assume that the surge in unemployment and a reduction in vacancies would spell this being an employers' market, in actual fact candidates are very reluctant to move. They are reluctant to be the most recent hire in a company that may soon face problems of its own. They are reluctant to join a business that may not be embracing remote working and ensuring employee wellbeing as much as their current employer. So companies actually have a fight on their hands to really attract strong candidates - these are the candidate trends we're seeing today!

Watch the full interview

Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath

Interview Transcript - The Candidate Trends We're Seeing Today

Hi everyone and thanks so much for tuning in for today's video.

Really delighted today to be interviewing Julie Labrie, who is President of Blue Sky Personnel.

Julie, thanks so much for joining us today.

Do you want to just tell us 10-20 seconds about your company?

Well, thanks for having me.

My company, Blue Sky Personnel Solutions, specializes in bilingual French and English recruitment for candidates and clients across Canada, primarily So that's our area of focus for the business here.

Fantastic, and in terms of the kinds of trends that you're seeing in the market at the moment and trying to attract enough candidates.

What are you seeing happening with online resumes at the moment and people applying for jobs, are candidates more reluctant to apply? Are you seeing much greater volumes?

What kind of trends are you seeing?

Well, what we've noticed is that since the beginning of the pandemic a huge decrease in people posting their resumes online.

And initially, what we used to do is that we used to look at people that post their resumes online and contact them whether or not we had a position because we wanted to know what they were looking for just to get a feel for what they wanted just to see, you know that's how we get our network on our side.

So we did that.

But we've noticed that there was a huge decrease in candidates applying online.

So, what we've done on our side during the pandemic is that we've reached out to our network to reconnect with those candidates.

Just to see you know what they're doing, what they're thinking, are they thinking of moving?

Because at the end of the day, for us, what works and how we fill our position it's been through our network.

So it's really been important for us to reach out and get that network and grow it basically.

It's important to get that for anyone looking out online, right now to cultivate that network.

Because at the end of the day, that's how you going to win those candidates especially that there's such a decrease of people posting online their resumes right now.

Interesting, and when you are actually speaking to candidates, are you finding that they are more reluctant to move in this current climate, maybe concerns about, the stability of a job that they move into?

... or are you finding people are remaining very loyal to their current employers?

What kinds of things are you hearing from candidates?

Well, what we're noticing, first of all, is that candidates are scared.

They're not just scared for their health and safety They're concerned about the financial stability of the company that they're going to be moving to.

So that's the number one thing that we get is that they don't know.

But what we need to do is to educate those candidates that if an employer is investing and trying to recruit new staff, it's because they're financially stable.

Let's hope, and they wouldn't do all this because there's so much investment in hiring someone that we need to tell them.

Listen, the employer won't do this if you know they didn't have all the financial backing to help them.

So it's really important that we educate those candidates about that.

Now the other thing that we're noticing is that people they feel that they need to stay loyal to their current employer.

They don't want to leave them high and dry right now, they feel that they owe it to them because they're still working.

But what we need to do as a recruiter or a hiring manager is to ask them, before the pandemic what were the reasons why you wanted to leave?

Has anything changed now?

And most likely, nothing has changed.

So we need to remind them that if nothing has changed now, it's not going to change after the pandemic has passed. So we just need to educate those candidates and to remind them that the employers are there they're investing in hiring them not to be afraid of moving to the next company basically.

Absolutely, and so we've got these challenges of fewer candidates posting their resumes online.

Then when you do talk to candidates a greater reluctance, perhaps to move, fears about job security.

What are some of the tips you would give to employers who are wanting to recruit right now, and who are trying to overcome these challenges?

Well, the number one thing that employers need to realize right now is employees really enjoy working from home.

They got a taste for it, if they never had a taste for it before, Now they got a taste for it, and it's really the number one reason why now employees don't want to make a move too. Is that if their current employers are making them stay home now, even if they're not happy for the other reasons, they're still going to want to stick around.

We get so many candidates right now asking when the pandemic is done can I work from home? And if the response is no, they are not moving.

And what we're telling employers right now is that, why are you so firm about having them back in the office and don't work from home like it didn't work through the pandemic?

Most of them said, yeah, it worked.

But that's not how we do it.

Well, they're just going to lose because people really, really enjoy that part right now - the work from home.

So the employer needs to really sell the opportunity, sell themselves harder right now than they did before, because the employees they want to stay home.

So if they don't offer it, they need to be able to offer other things to their employees, to make them want to move and take their job opportunity, The other thing that the employers need to do now they still need to move fast, doesn't matter about the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate is only temporary right now.

There's not more people that are qualified all of a sudden they just didn't appear Yes, you see a lot of people online that have posted their resumes that could be, from retail, restaurants, bars, but it's because they can't return to work full time.

They are not a qualified worker for the office type of positions or anything that we recruit for basically on our side, on the bilingual side.

So it's really important for the employers that they need to realize that they still need to move fast.

They need to sell their company, and they need to offer the work from home right now because this is such a big selling feature, they will win over their competitor, if they do offer that right now.

Absolutely. It's not a time for complacency, is it? Even though the market may look more challenging for candidates, You've still got to play your A-game as an employer.

Julie, some really fascinating insights there, thanks ever so much for taking the time to join us today.

If people would like to find out more, should they contact you on LinkedIn?

Is there a web address?

Any contact details you'd like to share?

Yes, they can.

First of all, they can go to our website, which is

And they can find all the information on our social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

They can connect with us directly.

[email protected]

Very easy.


Thanks a lot for your time, Julie.

Great to have you on the session today and have a great rest of the week everyone.

Thanks for having me.

You too.

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