Vernon spending $50,000 on temporary staff... to hire more staff | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon spending $50,000 on temporary staff... to hire more staff

Staff shortages have led to the city spending $50,000 in an attempt to fix the issue.
September 06, 2018 - 4:30 PM

VERNON - The City of Vernon is spending $50,000 to bring in more staff in an effort to deal with a shortage of staff but it's not exactly as it sounds.

The money - approved by council at their Sept. 4 meeting - will go to the human resources department to cover the cost of bringing in temporary personnel to help ease the volume of work the department is currently facing. 

The city currently has 17 job vacancies advertised with another 14 positions closed to applications but still going through the interviewing process. The city needs more human resources people simply to process and review all the applicants and hires.

City of Vernon spokesperson Nick Nilsen said the number of open vacancies was a "slight blip on an otherwise normal course of events."

Vernon stands out compared to other Thompson-Okanagan cities with its number of unfilled vacancies. While Vernon has 17 advertised vacancies, the City of Kelowna currently has four jobs advertised, Penticton has three - one of which is for a temporary election official; and Kamloops has three open vacancies.

Despite the outlying numbers, Nilsen said the situation in Vernon wasn't unusual.

"For the number of employees that we have and the number of vacancies we have, we're not actually in a bad a position," Nilsen said, "it's not like we're having difficulty finding people."

The current vacancies range from a long-range planning and sustainability manager, which requires applicants to have a master degree in planning, to clerical positions and part-time lifeguards.

Nilsen said the $50,000 would help the human resources department speed up the hiring process and help get the vacancies filled as soon as possible. The spokesperson said the city had a rigorous hiring process which takes time. After a job had been advertised for one month it often took four to six weeks before a new employee started with the city.

Nilsen said as far as he was aware none of the current vacancies had come about because an employee had been fired.

"Usually people leave because they get what they think is a better opportunity. That's why we all leave jobs," he said.

He said Vernon had a lot to offer potential employees.

"Vernon's a great place to live and for that reason alone we will attract people," he said.

The city's current vacancies can be found here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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