Shannon Bowen-Smed, president and chief executive officer of BOWEN. Wil Andruschak © 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

The times, they are a changin’.

That’s certainly true with respect to today’s labour market.

And at the forefront of the new normal for employment in Calgary is one of Canada’s most innovative workforce solutions providers —  BOWEN.

“Our organization provides contractor workforce management and recruiting solutions for organizations across the country,” says Shannon Bowen-Smed, president and chief executive  officer of BOWEN.

But what sets the small company of about 45 employees apart from its larger competitors is its  focus on innovation.

“It’s one of those things where you put your money where your mouth is,” she says.

“If we want to be an innovative and agile company that can consistently shift gears in a fast-moving economy, then we have to create a culture that fosters an environment that not only encourages but celebrates innovation in our own business,” adds Bowen-Smed.

So just how has the labour market changed in Alberta?

Well, besides significant cooling following a slump in the oil and gas sector, companies and workers alike are demanding more flexibility.

Rather than taking the risk of hiring full-time  employees, companies are looking to hire skilled workers on a contract basis for projects — particularly in oil and gas.

The new generation of skilled workers — millennials, for the most part — are increasingly seeking this kind of relationship, too. 

And that’s where BOWEN really flexes its innovative muscle.

Not only does BOWEN help individuals find contract and term work for their skills — generally lasting six months to two years — but it looks for future opportunities, too.

“So when one job ends, they are lined up for another,” Bowen-Smed says.

On the employer side, BOWEN serves some of Calgary’s largest employers, often helping Fortune 500 companies contract out the dozens, if not hundreds, of skilled jobs required to scale up for large projects.

“We often literally sit on site with an organization to augment their existing HR infrastructure, so in many ways we might look, talk and act as though we are part of that organization,” she says.

Because BOWEN plays both sides of the field, it is an important linchpin in  today’s labour market.

And it will continue to be in the future because of its focus on innovation, Bowen-Smed says.

“It boils down to our ability to adjust quickly to market conditions as they change — without that, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.”

This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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