Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is Winnipeg’s lead economic development agency, driven by the needs of the business community and private sector funding. EDW’s mission is to position Manitoba’s capital across Canada and globally by highlighting the Winnipeg advantage. This includes its four seasons, vibrant cultural scene, low cost of living and diverse neighbourhoods, each within a short commute from the city’s downtown core.
Besides livability, there’s opportunity, too. Yvonne Kinley, EDW’s Director of Talent and Workforce Development, says Winnipeg and Manitoba are rich in opportunities in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, as well as information and communications technology.
Kinley’s team was created in 2019 in response to high vacancy rates in those sectors. “Businesses came to us and said they had a challenge filling vacant roles with the right talent, so our team was created to ensure that key sectors had a sustainable talent pipeline,” Kinley said.
After conducting a comprehensive analysis of vacancies and employer demands, it was clear EDW needed to prioritize talent recruitment locally and internationally. In addition, the Manitoba government heard from many employers that they are struggling to recruit skilled job seekers to grow their businesses.
To help overcome this barrier, the province launched the Work in Manitoba job portal on November 14, 2022, which represented a targeted action Manitoba has taken to grow the provincial economy and promote positive outcomes. The province designated EDW to be the administrator of the province-wide portal, which is EDW’s primary tool for facilitating connections between employers and job seekers on a global scale.
Before job seekers even consider applying to a role, EDW has to sell Winnipeg. Through various marketing and branding campaigns, EDW has promoted Winnipeg across the world, attending conferences in Hong Kong, France, UK, USA, Germany, Austria, Morocco and elsewhere.
Once job seekers see Winnipeg as a viable option, they’re offered the opportunity to connect with local employers. That’s where the Work in Manitoba job portal, powered by Magnet, comes in.
“We send job seekers to the Work in Manitoba portal to create their profile,” Kinley said. “We’ve added 42,000 profiles to date. Once we connect job seekers and employers through the portal, we facilitate the in-person connection and let the businesses conduct the interview.”
As a testament to the effectiveness of EDW’s campaign, Kinley mentioned that in June 2023, EDW conducted 117 interviews based on connections made during missions in Munich, Germany and Vienna, Austria, with 54 of those interviews resulting in a job offer.
Kinley added that Magnet’s analytics tools ensure opportunities aren’t missed. For example, the Community Engagement Tool allows administrators from EDW to see when job seekers in their community are matched to jobs and whether or not they’ve applied, providing follow-up support if necessary.
“We use the Work in Manitoba portal every day to see when an individual matches an opportunity, but doesn’t apply,” Kinley explained. “We follow up by using Magnet’s targeted message feature to create awareness of these opportunities and encourage applications.”
EDW’s global engagement efforts and Magnet’s matching technology have made the Work in Manitoba job portal a trusted recruiting solution. Employers view the portal as a reliable place to post opportunities and reach talent locally, nationally and internationally, knowing their postings will reach skilled candidates that match their needs.
Work in Manitoba also makes finding work easier for job seekers, who don’t have to look for work and apply to vacancies through multiple job boards. Instead, the portal provides a single destination to view and apply for opportunities across Manitoba.
“We know the portal is working because people are matching and applying, which shows that we’re providing the best advice and solution for businesses,” Kinley said.
Finding a job is just one step in moving to a new country. Kinley explained how EDW’s additional partnerships help newcomers find a pathway to settlement and build the community connections they need to truly make Manitoba home.
“Pre-mission, we arrange a meeting between the business and immigration officers, so they get the advice they need to help a candidate immigrate to and settle in Canada,” Kinley said. “We also build relationships with organizations that focus on welcoming individuals to the community, from meeting them at the airport to advising on registering their kids in school.”
Solutions to help businesses recruit international talent are essential to ensuring Canada’s future workforce is skilled, diverse, and positioned for growth. Magnet is proud of how our technology has been incorporated into EDW’s efforts to show the world what Manitoba has to offer and create pathways to success for newcomers.
Since the Work in Manitoba portal launched, employers have testified to its innovative capabilities.
“Work in Manitoba has transformed our talent search,” said Priscila Voloshyn, Senior Corporate Recruiter at Big Freight. “It’s a game changer for efficiently meeting our skilled labour needs, and the portal has been essential to our international recruitment.”
For Alan Tay, co-founder of Illumia Labs, ease of use is one of the portal’s primary benefits. “The candidates who applied for our jobs were qualified, the missions were well organized, and the Work in Manitoba job portal is intuitive and easy to use,” Tay said.
With more than 1,200 employers currently hiring through the portal, Magnet and EDW’s partnership, as well as EDW’s engagement with government and community organizations, stand as a testament to how technology and collaboration can help shape a prosperous and inclusive future for Manitoba.
Job seekers and employers can create free accounts on the Work in Manitoba portal. Get started today!