Faced with a limited talent pool, Canada’s Dofasco invests heavily in training and development to engage young workers and quickly groom them for important roles. It supports one of the largest industrial apprentice training programs in Ontario, developed in conjunction with the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress and Mohawk College, a Hamilton-based institute of applied arts and technology.
The Montreal-based troupe’s rapid growth, far-flung presence and crush of aspiring performers raise unique challenges. Cirque also struggles with perplexing U.S. labor laws, and the business of dealing with high-wire artists and contortionists who refuse to accept that one day they’ll have to bow out of the spotlight. "Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil's founder) says that we reinvented the circus," says Suzanne Gagnon, vice president of human resources. "But sometimes you have to reinvent HR."
Employers have long complained about workers whose education has ill prepared them for the job market. Now companies are trying to fix the problem with the next generation of employees via after-school programs. IBM offers tutoring and mentoring sessions. Dell hosts courses in which students learn how to assemble computers.
The policies are legal when companies can make a case for English as a business necessity. That's a tricky definition. Just ask a casino that required its housekeeping staff to speak only English, and wound up paying a $.5 million legal settlement.
Hiring the wrong temp can leave ugly permanent marks on an organization--unhappy customers, plummeting productivity and high costs. The right temp can help increase revenues, whittle down labor costs and enhance productivity. Some companies have figured out how to find temporary workers that exactly match their business and culture.