Growing up my parent’s had a great general contractor for our house. By general contractor, I mean a man named Jean who was capable of building an entire-house with his bare hands, a large double-double and a blue Chevy Astrovan filled with tools.
On his hands and knees he’d lay tiles in the kitchen, with a sore back he’d put up dry wall, fixing the 1940s home.
Jean was a great contractor, with more skills than you could believe. He was his worst own enemy and his work destroyed him. His system for success was himself and he alone could do what needed to be done for the price he was charging.
With sore knees he had to move away from doing tile work, with a sore back he stepped away from putting up dry wall.
What is your system? What is your organization’s way of reducing labour required to recruit or retain talent?
Systems and your business
In terms of organizational development and team management, building systems and processes is key. It isn’t the business that is valuable, but the system that functions within it.
Think of a bakery. Baking bread is about careful measurement, the precise management of a process to produce the perfect loaf. You can’t have great sourdough without adherence to a strict process.
Processes are repeatable; you can have different teams in different places duplicate your successes. That way teams from across the globe can learn from each other.
If one team in the USA has had success reducing costs through a modification of a process they’ve tested and developed over a year, a team in Canada with a similar base system can gain from those advances – they can share knowledge – the DNA of the new process.
The creativity + process Boogeymen
Some people will say, “Process stifles creativity!” and they aren’t wrong, it absolutely can if the process is an unchanging, sluggish and awkward thing. Processes in management people and projects need to be fluid.
In business, process is the canyon that shapes the river. Well that’s the appearance of it. In reality over the long term, it is the river that shaped the canyon, digging into the rock and forming its path.
Creativity is the natural tool that erodes and shapes a great process – experimentation gives us the knowledge we need to find efficiencies and sell them to our teams and managers.
I use systems to complete projects, write articles and build presentations. Randstad uses systems to connect a network of over 3,000,000 candidates and 250,000 managers and businesses together. It is adherence to that system, while being creative within it and growing it over time that brings success. We let the needs of the market carve out our services and we share the load.
Jean was a great contractor, if he had built a repeatable process that he could have passed on to a team he would still be laying tile today.
Are you carrying the burden of your hiring process? Learn more about systems that can help your recruit and retain your team on Twitter @RandstadCanada
With statutory holidays, summer festivals and children being home from school attention at work can fade. Mix that with a loss in productivity due to that heat your short staffed, overwarm teams’ efficacy can grind to a halt.
Can you beat summer vacation attention disorder?
Planning around the summer goes beyond keeping that AC on high, you need to think about what excites your teams and motivates them to work during the best days of the year or during oppressive heat while parts of your city are in full-blown celebration mode.
1. Set realistic short term goals
Nothing flags peoples’ attention like an overly complicated project that requires the integration of multiple departments within a company and external vendors and lots of buy in.
In the summer, more people are on vacation, they are spending more time with their families. Before some holiday weekends even getting someone to answer their phone can be challenge. There are some projects you can’t accomplish during this time – but there are elements of larger pieces that can be completed.
Break these tasks down into my manageable chunks that you know a project team can complete with few limitations. When attention wanes, smaller tasks can be completed more easily; this may require more project management on your part but it can go a long way in helping your teams keep at it.
2. Be flexible with hours of work
With greater familial obligations and sweltering commutes home, giving your teams that opportunity to leave work an hour early, or come to any other work hour’s adjustment, can be a life saver.
This sort of flexibility has been seen by Randstad Canada’s employer branding research as a key metric for ensuring older workers’ stay engaged and can even keep them working with a company longer.
3. Leading by example - relaxation
This doesn’t mean you need to wear a Hawaiian shirt three days of the week but showing your teams that it is okay to work from home one afternoon, leave early to be with your family or yes, something as small as not wearing your three piece suit can help your team feel the summer without clocking out. This includes when you answer emails – try not bombarding your colleagues at night or on the weekends.
The summer is a time for regeneration and if your office can be a place where that process can continue to occur, your teams will feel less antsy when the sun is shining.
4. Help plan peoples' vacation
More Canadians are going without their paid vacation than ever before. That’s because they have too much work, they feel as though if they leave the office their world will fall apart. This is terrible! We’re going on vacation less than anywhere in the developed world.
While vacations pull elements of your team away they are integral to productivity. Plan around peoples’ plans, discuss what needs to be done to make those vital vacations work for everyone.
This will also help you plan your projects - knowing who is away and when is a big help.
Do you need some help this summer to fill long vacations? Message us on Twitter @RandstadCanada or tell us who you need here!
As an employer, where you spend your money on recruitment can be a minefield; there are so many questions to ask.
- If I buy space in a newspaper how do I know who will see my ad?
- What job board should I post my job on?
- Should I trust people who find my job posting on Craigslist or Kijiji?
- How do I properly vet a resume and do a background check?
The truth of the matter is every technique can work and every technique can fall flat on its face.
In the end your personal network is first and foremost your most valuable tool in recruiting. The people you know will likely know the people who you want to hire. Job ads are in effect, a tool for you to market your company.
They need to reflect as much your organization’s or department’s brand as it does the message of who you want to recruit.
1. Think about what audience you want to target
If you have a large network, both digitally and interpersonally that’s a great first start for your new-hire search because you know your network and its benefits. Beyond that, demographics are your first hint at what audience you’ll reach.
Newspapers traditionally have an older audience; they may also help you reach the parents of people you are seeking to hire.
Craigslist and Kijiji are free digital classifieds that have an audience that represents a lower skill set than other paid job boards like Workopolis.
2. Your money and time matter
Taking calls, answering emails, fielding questions from job hunters and review resumes can be an enormous use of your time. If you put job ads in a newspaper you are going to be receiving resumes by email and taking calls. When you post on a job board digitally you might get resumes from everywhere that you’ll have to sift through.
Think about what amount of time and effort you are willing to put into finding someone and what format you’d like to receive applications in.
3. Quality over quantity
One great candidate is leagues and bounds more valuable than 100 OK candidates. Keep track of where you’ve had success before – what job board or agency that has helped you in the past, or the person who was able to refer you to the best people. Remember that when you place your job ads, you don't need to be everywhere, you just need to be where your talent is hiding.
If you need help in your talent search, we know all of the ins and outs of job marketing. Whether it is job boards, or newsprint, open houses or direct recruitment we can help you find the people you need today. Contact Randstad Canada by registering your vacancy here.
Who would think it, Canadians are becoming job hunting apex predators - seeking out more pay and greater opportunities.
Canada today has a relatively low unemployment rate at 7.1 per cent, despite a poor month on month jobs' number from Statistics Canada the job market continues to creep up quarter over quarter. Like a tortious it has been beating the hare of the global banking and jobs market for the past four years.
One thing that a recent survey we conducted of 400 Canadians shows is that while some parts of the job market may be tepid, Canadians as a whole are willing to leave their jobs for new opportunities.
That isn't the recessionary fear that would make an employee feel indebted and joyful at the idea of having a job. We're absolute sharks right now.
What this graph shows is that Canadians overwhelming willing to leave their current workplace for a new job if the pay is better or they have more opportunities for growth. You can read more about these numbers in our press release here.
Paradoxically 56 per cent of our respondents said they have the perfect job, so may be the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence, but there is a house down the street with a trampoline and a hot tub.
Read more about this story in, Employer loyalty - it's not dead yet!
IT teams today play a role as innovators and in many cases business drivers. Businesses today move too fast for the traditional model wherein a plan was made and then IT is brought in to see how it can be delivered - that's why it is so important for IT leaders to begin to grow the soft skills of their teams to help organizations get the results the need.
Are you looking for other ways to develop your career, check out these 3 Career Fitness Tips.
Being able to do something is great, having the skills to see it is done with accuracy and efficiency is incredibly important - but can you direct people to do the same. Project management is about following through on your promises, following up with your team and keeping everybody on track. IT teams have more projects, with tighter deadlines than ever - building the skills of your teams so they can take some of project management burden off your shoulders will improve your department.
Long tail thinking
Knowing what impacts will be made from your efforts downstream, farther up the chain of work can be a real benefit. Having foresight the foresight to know that if A occurs, then B, C, F will likely occur as well and planning those eventualities shows that you’re not only smart but you have the best interests of your department or the organization.
Know your audience and get acquainted with PowerPoint, table making and the brand guidelines of where you are working. Knowing your audience is key, whether you are speaking with your manager, a colleague or may be the VP of the company you will be speaking a bit differently to each.
A VP wants to know top line knowledge, your manager about the assignments they’ve assigned you and your colleagues may be about the game. It is okay to have different types of conversations with different people.
We’ve all heard enough World Cup analogies, so here’s a cricket one. There couldn’t be a bowler without a wicket and a batsman. Working well with others sounds easy but it is a more complex. You need to know how long something will take for you to do, you need to know when to ask for help and when to make yourself available to help others. This take intuition, it is more than the idea of a group project, because every day when you are at work you are cumulatively working toward the corporate goal.
Leadership is the backbone of good project managers. It is easier to get people to do what you need them to if they believe in you, if you inspire them and there is a positive connection of both energy and work ethic between you and those you are directing. Leadership doesn’t need to be a top-down thing - you can show leadership by being an example of work ethic, by being a social connector within your organization and by even knowing when to pick up the cheque.
Calgary gains 1/3 of the population of PEI every year
Remember when you were a child and every six months your parents had to buy you new shoes? Your feet would grow to fast, your jeans were always too short - that's what has been happening to Calgary but for the past 100-years - Calgary has been having another growth spurt and it is shooting to play as a gaurd in the NBA.
Year on year, Calgary's growth rate in population is around 4.3%, the City of Calgary is adding about 45,000 residents every year. In context that's a large community in the City of Toronto, or a third of the population of the entire province of Prince Edward Island.
To get a hold of what that growth means in employment I've built out two graphs made from Statsitics Canada Data.
The first is employment growth by industry, by per cent of the size of the industry. It doesn’t come to much a surprise that between 2009 and 2013, Calgary’s oil and gas and resources extraction industry saw enormous gains with an increase of over 30%. That's impressive over a decade and mind blowing in four years. Over this period of time Calgary’s working population grew by almost 10%. That’s like adding a city the size of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, and sending them all to work – I mean everyone, children and all.
Source: Statistics Canada
The second gives you the full picture; it shows you what that growth actually represents in people. While the growth in the oil and gas industry is impressive, the 20% growth in the professional, scientific & technical services sector has been the leading driver of Calgary’s employment growth. These jobs support the oil and gas industry and are seeing a real boom todate. Last week we shared a piece on some of the other support jobs in the oil and gas industry in Calgary's hottest jobs: part 1. Below this graph is part 2.
Source: Statistics Canada
Want more insight into Calgary, book a meeting with one of Randstad's Western Market Experts and benefit from our valued experience and insights.
3 Roles that are booming in 2014
Business analysts straddle the worlds of digital and business – connecting data to decisions that can have close-to-immediate impacts in all types of industries. Between 2009 and 2013, Calgary saw a growth in the number of companies in the information and cultural industries of 12.7%, as well; the scientific, professional and technical sectors grew by 17.8%.
With more businesses hiring more people the demand for these roles will continue to be strong in the coming years.
Project managers are helping coordinate the construction of the skyscrapers being erected in the city of Calgary, or working within the oil and gas sector planning new extraction projects.
Projects managers are consistently in high demand in Calgary; Randstad Canada’s internal numbers have shown consistent growth in these roles since 2009 with growth in demand for these roles by about 20% by year – so far in 2014, that growth has accelerated faster than in previous years, with growth being closer to 40% indicating more projects are being started; more shovels are in the ground.
Support this growth are financial analysts, helping companies position themselves and assessing the financial value of their activities. Calgary is seen as an attractive place to invest and is considered the third Canadian financial centre, after Toronto and Montreal – and the mainstay representative of the oil and gas industry in the country.
Because of the size of the market, jobs for these roles are projected to grow in the future. The City of Calgary’s own projections foresee growth in the finance industry by 13% between 2014-2018, so while in the previous four years total growth in this profession was slow, it will be making a greater impact in the coming years.
Today is Canada's 147th birthday, well to be precise it is the anniversary of Canada becomng a new federation with its signing of the Constitution Act - formerly known as the British North America Act.
To help celebrate, we took a look at 5 Reasons Canada's Workers Are the Best.
Canadians are among the longest living and hardest working people on Earth surviving on average into our 80s, so when we looked at data from our latest Workmonitor survey which asked Canadians about their fitness and who’s responsibility is it to maintain it – we weren’t surprised that 96% of Canadians said fitness and wellness was their own responsibility.
Canada is the second largest country and it is filled with dedicated, creative and incredibly well trained people. Here are the 5 Reasons Canada’s Workers Are the Best.
1. Canadian’s are the best trained in the world
Canadians are rated highest by; meaning college level or higher post-secondary degrees with 51% of our population receiving graduation papers beyond high school. What is even more impressive is that scales predominantly female, as almost 80% of female students who enter post-secondary education complete their degrees.
2. Longer working hours
Canadians work almost 40-hours a week and have ranked among the hardest working, and most productive workers in the world for the past decade. May be it is because Canada is the second largest country in the world and we only have a population 34.8 million; we're compensating.
3. We have great companies to work for
Being a great worker takes having great companies to work for, it is a team effort. Through generations of consistent management of our banks and governments, Canadian workers can work for almost any company in the world here at home. Canada consistently ranks in the top 10 best countries to work in; this gives Canadian workers the chance to gain international experience and the job mobility to build amazing careers.
4. Multicultural, multilingual and multitalented
Through decades of aggressive immigration Canada has one of the most multicultural populations in the world. Toronto, Canada’s most populous city is represented by almost 50% first generation Canadians, or people who were born outside of Canada, meanwhile Toronto is one of the most economically robust cities in North America. The cross cultural connections forged by immigration foster a culture of inclusiveness in our workplaces further benefiting that average Canadian worker.
5. We’re optimists at heart
It might be the winter that makes us this way we’re always hoping for spring, but Canadians are optimistic about their work, job prospects and the companies they work for. Earlier this year when we asked 2,000 Canadians (89%) of those polled expected their company/employer to perform better and more than 50% said they expected to get a raise this year.
How has working in Canada made you a better employee? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
Are you looking for a job in Canada?
Happy Canada Day!
Calgary’s hottest jobs: Part 1
When you think of Calgary, what jobs do you think are in highest demand? In the land of the Calgary Stampede and the Alberta Oil Sands the answers might surprise you. While the Oil and Gas industry is hot and continues to drive both the local and national economy the industries and companies supporting the resources sector are booming too.
The City of Calgary projects growth in almost every industry; with a population boom and no slow down the world’s demand for oil it is easy to see why.
Reach truck or forklift drivers
The warehousing and transportation industry in Calgary has seen impressive growth as companies ship materials to and from work sites and to support the city’s growing population.
It is projected by the Government of Canada that Calgary’s Transportation and Warehousing sector will see an growth of 13.5% between 2014-2018. This aligns well against the massive increase in companies that the region saw between 2009-2013; when the city saw its Transportation and Warehousing sector grow in number of companies by over 23%.
Forklift driver jobs are abundant and for workers looking for a pay increase and a new city to grow in, Calgary’s job market couldn’t be hotter.
Are you looking for help growing your company in Calgary, book a meeting with a western market expert today.
The Calgary Economic Development Forecasts 15% growth in the business services sector between 2014 and 2018. Supporting the professional services industry, like the financial industry which is projected to grow by 13.6% in the same period are business support professionals like administrative assistants and executive assistants.
These roles are important to inter-organizational efficacy and the productivity of large teams working in the professional space.
Extracting resources out of the ground, through mining, or steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) requires precise tools and custom machinery. On top of that is process for refining those raw materials that requires further measurement and adjustment.
Electrical Engineers are important in every stage of resource extraction and refinement. Monitoring the machines that make oil and gas refining possible and even power generation the transmission and distribution of the power itself requires teams of engineers.
Electrical Engineer Jobs are available in many fields, like manufacturing which is projected to grow by 13.8% between 2014-2018, the utilities sector which may grow by 13.5% and the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Industry which saw strong sustained growth between 2009-2013 with grow in number of companies over 17.8%.
Why is Calgary's job market so hot?
5 Tips for a flawless resume
A spelling error on your resume can hurt your chances of landing the job of your dreams. You’ve worked too hard to let a missing word stop you now. Follow these five tips and build a flawless resume.
1. Buy a style guide and read it
Today we are all writers and editors so we all need the right tools on hand to get the job done. Style guides are your writing bibles, the closer you follow their rules the nearer to perfection your resume will be. In Canada, if you were to purchase only two such resources these are the two you should buy.
1. Caps and Spelling the Canadian Press: This book is a guide on what words to capitalize, what not to and how to spell words in Canadian English; think labour, favourite and traveller.
2. The Canadian Press Stylebook, A Guide for Writers and Editors: Caps and Spelling you can fit in your back pocket – while The Canadian Press Stylebook would fit better in a nightstand. It contains all of the language rules that govern the media and insights into fact-checking and research that will benefit you no matter what your career is.
2. Have someone review your resume
The best eyes to look over your resume aren’t yours; while this is true of all writing when a job is on the line it is a must. A reader will catch more inconsistencies, misspellings and awkward syntax than you will.
We don’t read our own words the same as we read the writing of others’. It isn’t that you aren’t a strong editor; it is that your brain fills in missing words, skips over misspelled words and understands your textual mannerisms too well - it doesn't need proper grammar to makes sense of what your wrote but other peoples' brains will.
3. Fact-check all names, places and things
There is nothing worse than spelling your own name, a company’s name or a city’s name wrong. If you include a proper noun (a noun that in its primary use refers to a unique entity) verify that it is correct.
Do this in emails with your interviewer, on your cover letters or in Linkedin messages. Using Google to verify the spelling of places or a business’s name takes a few seconds – spelling Xerox with a Z instead of an X, lasts a lifetime.
4. Avoid adverbs
Positively avoid including these clunky, undescriptive words. Instead of describing how you did something, spend time describing what you accomplished.
If it ends in LY, delete it and rethink how you describe yourself. Replace the adverb with actual results or write what you learned while in a role, or on a project.
With an adverb: I expertly deployed an integrated marketing campaign.
Without an adverb: With my team we executed an integrated marketing campaign that resulted in a 33 per cent increase in foot traffic, which generated $24,000 in new business in the month of June.
Which one has more value to an interviewer or an employer?
5. Re-read the job description
Resumes are not a one size fits all solution. Unless you are applying to roles with identical job descriptions you should be making modifications to your resume before sending it out. A Marketing Coordinator isn’t the same thing as a Marketing Manager. While you might have the prerequisite job experience for both, if you fail to highlight the right experience and use the right phrases in your resume you will be overlooked.
1. Three keys to acing the this year's interview
2. Learn from past mistakes with the Randstad blogger's worst interview ever.
3. Trends in Resumes for 2014, the Dos and Don'ts
Imagine you are building a deck. You have all the wood and all of the screws you need, but instead of a drill and a power saw you are given a screw driver and steak knife. How much more efficiently would you be able to build that deck if you had the right tools for the job - and if you were going to contract out the work but placed the conditions that a steak knife and screw driver must be used - who would honestly consider takign the work?
The same goes for recruiting developers. You might want the most talented developers and they are looking for work but if you are telling them in your job ads' to use tools (programming languages) that they have no interest in using you're going to have trouble bringing them on board.
Thinking a little bit longer term about how you build a new DEV can improve your hiring and retention.
After speaking with a leading expert in programming language design, Randstad Technologies hosted a webinar focused on helping companies hire top development talent.
To learn how programming languages can benefit recruitment, watch, Why JAVA Will Never Die, an IT Recruitment webinar.
5 Take Aways from the Webinar
1. Programming languages are products
While you might think that a programming language is an engineering tool, they are more like a brand or a product. You can build a deck with any type of drill, but will you choose a Dewalt, or Crafstman? The difference in choice for any single developer can be determined by market forces, the same as if you are going to buy an iPhone or a Galaxy phone – what your peers are using and what you’ve used previously has more to do with it than if it works well.
2. Programmers are consumers; languages are learned and used if they are attractive and popular
As a programming languages are a brands, that makes developers consumers. Any developer will know between four and six programming languages. They’ll be experts in between two or four languages and be proficient in one or two additional languages. Some languages are more easily learned than others ; if you are looking for a candidate and they are missing a language, it doesn’t mean they won’t be great for a role, it just means they might need two or three months to become highly proficient in the missing language. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
3. Coding languages are chosen by group think
Teams are more likely to choose a programming language based on their previous experiences with a language, what they are currently using and what has open source libraries available. If you are going to make a shift in what languages are used this can impact your current team in unexpected ways – you may need to retrain some team members, or look for new ones with some developers greatly preferring some languages over others.
4. Every language only needs one true expert
There are some tools within a programming language that are extremely specific. They may be rarely used or when they are used they need to be constructed with in such a way that it takes great skill. You don’t need a team full of people with that level of skill, you need one person on a project who can set the table up for a team, think of this as the difference between an artisan over a labourer.
5. Programming language choice can drive recruitment
Just like a brand, certain languages excite people. Some people are excited about shoes, others about a brand of beer – developers get pumped about coding languages and which ones your company uses regularly speaks to developers in certain ways.
New languages like Apple's Swift, Google’s Go, or Mozilla’s Rust are on the rise – while older languages like ELang or Ruby are beginning to show their age. Before you start your next major development project consider who you want to bringing into the company over the long term.
Watch, Why JAVA Will Never Die and get ahead of the recruitment curve.