Diversity Champion: ATCO Structures & Logistics

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reflecting the Diversity in Our Community

“Alberta is not the same place it was 25 years ago.”

Several economic booms, and corresponding busts, and an influx of people from all over Canada and the world have dramatically changed the shape of our province over the last couple decades. Nobody knows this reality better than Alitta Tait, Recruitment Supervisor for ATCO Structures and Logistics (ASL), who is tasked daily with meeting the recruitment challenges of operating in Alberta’s ever-changing work environment.

“Calgary is a boom and bust town,” Alitta explains, “And there is not a lot of available talent with the skills sets and team dynamic we are looking for. Hiring in Alberta is difficult – there are a lot of good companies and a ton of opportunities out there.”

The nature of the economy in Alberta can be both a blessing and curse for ASL. A booming economy creates more business for the company, but also makes it difficult to fill much needed positions to meet the demands of their industry. The oil and gas industry takes up a lot of the workforce and their ability to offer high salaries creates challenges for non-oil and gas companies to find and retain talent.

To meet this challenge, ASL looks to mirror the diversity inherent in their company and in our community.

“The ATCO Group of Companies is very diverse as an organization. We operate on six different continents and have nine different operating companies making the opportunities in our company incredibly diverse.  At the same time, Alberta is a diverse community and reaching out to different groups of people and adapting new sourcing strategies helps us remain competitive,” says Alitta.

At ASL, individual members of the recruiting team have taken on the task of reaching out to various groups who may represent under-utilized talent pools. These groups include persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, immigrants, women and more. It allows each recruiter to focus on an area they are passionate about and to connect to possible gatekeepers and knowledge sources for each group.

Alitta explains this philosophy, “Being able to meet with organizations who are specialists, who can guide us and help us network in the right way with the right people is critical. For example, Champions understands our work environment quite well - our workplace culture – and they know how to send the right people who can succeed and enjoy it here.”

Andy Potton, one of our Employment and Retention Specialists at Champions, says it is refreshing to see the commitment from ASL. They have interviewed and hired numerous Champions clients, and are actively working with our team on building a diversity plan that can guide their workplace in the future.

“They really are a leader in the hiring and inclusions of persons with disabilities,” says Andy, “They look right past the disability. All they see are skills and talents and how a person might be the right fit.”

Even with a strong commitment, Alitta knows how difficult building a diverse workforce can be and that it isn’t done in a day. However, since putting a major focus on diversity the results have been more than encouraging.

“At first, it can be daunting,” says Alitta, “But getting involved with Champions, and other community agencies, helps us immensely. Giving us tips on best practices and showing us how to get involved really got the ball rolling and now it has taken on a life of its own.  We’ve always had a great workplace culture here but the amount of excitement, sharing and openness that has occurred since the organization really focused on diversity has been very encouraging.”

If mirroring and reflecting the many diverse communities in Alberta is the goal, then the dynamic and multi-faceted workplace they are building at ATCO Structures & Logistics is definitely moving in the right direction.

ATCO Structures & Logistics has more than 65 years experience providing complete infrastructure solutions to customers worldwide. They are your source for award-winning, innovative modular building solutions, remote workforce accommodations, lodging and site-wide services, noise abatement and air emissions control technologies. They have manufacturing facilities in North America, South America and Australia, operations on 6 continents and a global supply chain, allowing them to deliver a rapid, turn-key solution anywhere it’s needed.

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