SLO Guide to Local Jobs
WHY THIS MATTERS: Jobs created by your company provide an important opportunity for local people to benefit from economic development in their communities. Local jobs are one of the biggest contributions your company makes to the local economy and can help to strengthen your relationships with local people. A company job builds a sense of pride, achievement, involvement, ownership and empowerment as well as providing access to cash and all the benefits money can buy. However perceptions of unfairness, opaque recruitment practices and disparity of expectations often lead to jobs becoming one of the biggest sources of community complaints about you. This is particularly so when local people see outsiders being hired for jobs they think they can do or feel they are entitled to. Too much attention on you as the provider of jobs and not enough on you as provider of employability opportunities doesn’t help.
|WHAT TO DO:
||HOW TO DO IT:
|Build trust in the employment process
- Define the company drivers and short and long-term objective for local employment in a way that everyone on the project can understand and that you can explain to the local community;
- Define the rules for employment at all levels - unskilled, skilled and professional; casual, fixed-term and permanent; company and contract; local, national, third-country national and expatriate - in a way that everyone on the project can understand and that you can explain to the local community;
- Define local using whatever criteria make sense for the site (see What else? for some ideas);
- Ensure all the players on site – Owner, EPC and other contractors – consistently apply the rules.
Remember: Geography and Impact are commonly used criteria, often as a combination.
|Maximize the employment of local people
- Create a shared register of all potential opportunities to employ local people with the owner’s team and with contractors and track actual performance against the potential;
- If possible, conduct a local skills and qualifications survey;
- Demand that all unskilled labor is hired from the local communities and report performance as a project KPI;
- Include bonus / penalties for local employment performance in contract terms & conditions.
- Talk about your performance – on your website and in locally used forums. Radio, TV, social media and the tried and tested community noticeboard are all possibilities;
- Explain to your local staff how and why you do employment the way you do. As with health, peer education is one of the best ways to get results;
- Prepare a frequently-asked-questions sheet for everyone to use. Keep it simple, focus on the top 10 and aim for a single page;
- Use the opportunity of site visits by senior managers to share employment related information with staff and community alike. One-on-one meetings, small groups and larger gatherings can all work;
- Listen to the ‘youth’. Don’t ignore them because you are worried that they won’t like what they hear. It is quite possible they won’t, at least not at first, but it is equally likely that they will come to understand and accept the reality if they understand the process and see that it is fair. They are also likely to have some ideas of their own which won’t necessarily cost a fortune to make happen.
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO:
Define Local: The more local involvement in defining local the better. As a minimum, you need to include the views of national and local members of the site team. If you already have well established relationships with the community you could canvas views from as wide a range of people as possible. Gaining the support from the local traditional leaders is an important part of the process but needs to be done in such a way that other interested and affected parties are not excluded. Be prepared to review and revise the criteria as you gain more insight into the community. There is nothing inherently wrong with changing criteria but you do need to be clear about why, what and how and to be able to explain the process.
Improve internal coordination by:
- Nominating a champion: one designated person, provided he or she has sufficient seniority and expertise, can be a key driver for local employment programs. The champion’s role is to provide high-level endorsement and to motivate others to help promote and implement the program.
- Integration into business systems: modifying business processes, for example using selection criteria that favour local people over equally qualified outsiders, can improve local employment outcomes.
- Performance incentives: personnel sometimes see attempts to modify existing procedures as interference. To counter this, many companies include local employment criteria in staff performance objectives.
- Information flows: staff need to understand the capabilities of local jobseekers and how to reach them; local jobseekers need to understand when and where opportunities will become available.
Partner: Initiatives to build local skills and develop a pool of trained operators, tradespeople and administration and professional staff often require, and will benefit from, collaboration with government and non-government service providers. However taking the partnership route does not automatic guarantee a successful and happy outcome. A clear set of objectives, agreement on contributions from each party, good communication, flexibility and goodwill all play a part in delivering a good result.
Recruitment and management policies and practices can significantly affect migrant settlement patterns. Key workforce policy and management issues, including workforce targets, a local-first recruitment policy, the location of recruitment centers, use of worker transport, hiring policy and practice for day/casual laborers, medium-to-long-term localization plans and construction phase mobilization and demobilization strategies, provide processes for effectively managing expectations and need to be defined at an early stage.
Track performance: Getting started can be as easy as doing a few extra calculations using data you already collect:
- Value of local payroll;
- Number of applications from local people in your employment database;
- Number of local people hired by job category;
- Number of local people as a % of total workforce.