North Shore business finds success with employment centre

Diana Arn is an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with. As the owner of the sales agency, SBO Distributors Ltd., she uses her business savvy to source home accessories from overseas and sells them to independent retailers across Canada. With a background in international trade and accounting, Arn heads the sales and business development of her 22-year-old business. She evolved her company to source new lines, find new products, and follow the latest trends for retailers.

However, when it was time to hire new employees after her business inevitably expanded, Arn was stumped.

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“Because we were originally working out of our house, it was an awkward situation,” Arn explained. “We didn’t feel comfortable about bringing in random strangers into our house.”

After trying to connect with potential employees through her own personal network, Arn resorted to using a head hunter agency. “We found that it was really quite expensive for the talent we were getting,” she said. When all hope seemed lost, Arn was referred to WorkBC North Shore.

WorkBC North Shore provides free employment services for job seekers and supports local business owners with their hiring needs. As the community hub for “all things employment,” they support job seekers and employers by providing not only personalized services, but also a range of free hiring events, industry panels, and job fairs.

Now, just over a year later Arn works alongside her two employees, Jason Lin and Sally Kemp, both of whom were WorkBC North Shore matches. Kemp, who has been working with Arn for five months, was a recent UBC graduate who knew she had potential but was not sure where. Lin, who was a newcomer to Canada, found that WorkBC North Shore was helpful because it took the time to find out what job seekers were looking for and what their skillsets were. Arn’s company is no longer the home business it used to be, now it has a brand new office space located in a heritage building at the foot of Lonsdale.

“As we’ve worked with WorkBC, they have become excellent in understanding what we need, what kind of business we are, and what our corporate culture is and they were really able to bring people in front of us to increase the probability of finding a fit,” Arn said.

To learn more about WorkBC North Shore, visit http://www.ywcajobseeker.org/find-a-job, call 604-988-3766, or email workbcnorthshore@ywcavan.org.

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