Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on the Goodwill Career Centre
Jim Vergunst admits he was initially skeptical when approached by the local Goodwill Career Centre last year about using its service to hire a new employee at his Sarnia-based marketing and communications firm, Grafiks.
Not entirely too familiar with the program, Vergunst says he questioned whether Goodwill could find him a college-educated, business-oriented professional to take on a much needed sales representative position with his growing business.
Nevertheless, he took the leap and was soon interviewing the program’s selected candidate, a young college grad by the name of Kyle Kavanaugh.
A year later and Kavanaugh has become a invaluable member of the team at Grafiks, Vergunst says
“Kyle turned out to be an excellent employee. (He’s) a hard-worker…and he’s now doing our sales for our publications,” he said of the hire. “We’re very happy with (Kyle).”
For Vergunst, the hire was made all the more easier by the work of the Career Centre, which offers almost another layer of candidate vetting for prospective employers.
Typically, a potential Grafiks employee would have to undergo a thorough interview, as well as a review of their references, before being considered. If the candidate is seen as a good fit, they would come in on a three-week trial to see how they handle the job, Vergunst says.
“It’s quite a process,” he notes. “Anytime during the three-week process, it could be a fail.”
The Career Centre aids employers, Vergunst explains, by preparing candidates for the interview process, familiarizing them with the job and company and checking with references.
A lot of that homework was (already) done,” Vergunst said. “There are a lot of unknowns on both sides (employer and employee). This eliminated a lot of that.”
“Kyle … knew what he was getting into to a large degree and we knew what we getting into.”
As for concerns that the Career Centre doesn’t boast highly-skilled candidates, Vergunst stresses that this isn’t the case.
“They have people coming in of all types,” he said of the diversity of the talent pool offered at the Career Centre.