3-Intriguing questions I'll ask at DX3
Mobile development is the future of program development, use, e-commerce and work tracking. The ubiquity of powerful handheld devices has made immediate data collection, sharing and interaction with each other, with brands, our colleagues and partners so simple we forget how ground breaking it is.
Only 10-years ago answering an email on your phone was tough if not impossible. Think about how easy it is to reply to a candidate, or to a job offer with a quick flip through your web browser on your phone. You don’t need to rush back anywhere to say, yes, to the job.
This week in Toronto, Ontario, is Canada’s largest conference on mobile development, it is called DX3. Randstad Canada is a sponsor this year, so come out and visit us and meet one of our technologies recruiters.
What does this mean for your job search, how companies will interact with you in the future and how you can use your phone to get more out life?
3-Intriguing questions I hope to answer at DX3
Job search: Where could this go? Are we going to set up the Google Goggles app so you can visually see which companies are hiring for where? Would that even help a job hunter? Today where you can apply to jobs through your phone on Linkedin’s app, or Randstad Canada’s own site (which has gone mobile if you’re on your phone you should check it out). May be the question is, how can job searching and application catch up to the rest of technologies, where people with the right skills can be more easily connected to employers in need?
Brand interaction and purchasing: DX3 is featuring the Retail Collective, which is looking deeply at how people will make purchases in the future from online sales to instore purchases. for the past five years we’ve been able to pay for things with our phones. It is only start to accelerate to mass market appeal recently. If you can pay your bills from you smartphone, accept payments in store with an iPad and track all of your purchases using RF tags in store when will we stop needing a wallet?
Digital self-tracking: There are many upsides to carrying a geo-locating-bank-camera in your pocket. If you want to see how physically active you are, or track every calorie you intake, your phone can help you do that these days. What are the potential downsides to this? We can quantify every human interaction, track it on a map, we can take images over every moment. Today we identify with our digital representations of ourselves as much as our physical entities. The question for an employer is what impact does the digital self-make on the actual self when it comes to capability, self-promotion and their promotion of their employer brand? Will companies begin hiring based on follower counts and what would that mean?
Are you going to DX3, say hi to our team on the floor or connect with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
Looking for a job in IT, apply today.
Last night, Randstad Canada's President Tom Turpin, entered into a conversation with Amanda Lang on CBC's Lang & O'Leary Exchange about the skills gap, how Canadians perceive the skilled trades and what a knowledge job really is.
You can watch the interview on CBC News, here, but I wanted to highlight one exchange between Turpin and Lang.
To a question about the value of trades jobs, "We have this conundrum, we know we want knowledge jobs that can’t be outsourced where wages don’t progressively get lower and yet we have this situation where our kids are supposed to go to college take a skilled trade and become something very mechanical and applied. These seem like totally different career prospects to me, what is the message we’re supposed to send to young people?” Lang asked.
Turpin replied, "I think they aren’t as dichotomous as they might seem. If you look at it, I mean, we’re in building someone needs to build it; someone needs to maintain it; all of the trades from the bottom to the top. Infrastructure can’t be outsourced. No one is taking this building to India, building it there and bringing it back."
Tom brought up a really interesting point highlighting a schism between Canadian's perception of education, training, skilled labour and university training. Trades jobs were the first “knowledge” jobs in society. Masons built roads and buildings, welders built ships and cars and today technical mechanics and skilled tradespeople are building the future economy of Canada and will over the next 20-years construct over $300 billion in capital spending for Canadian businesses and municipalities.
Sure a four-year degree has value and even further education has even more value - but that doesn't take away from the fact that it can take an enormous amount of training, testing and time to become a tradesperson.
If we can’t call skilled trades’ jobs “knowledge” jobs we’re doing it wrong. Becoming a journeyman takes, in some trades like for electricians, 8,000 hours of on the job work – getting paid 40-60% of the wage you’ll make as a journeyman. Tack on three years of classes, tests and certifications and you’re talking more than 15,000 hours of training and learning.
Of course, you might be working with wires, or pipes instead of a keyboard and flowcharts – but let’s stop denigrating skilled trade’s jobs as something lower than getting university degree because you might get your hands dirty and wear steel toes at work.
The reason our study shows negative perceptions is because of this conversation and questions like Lang’s. Trades jobs are knowledge jobs and they always have been.
Canadians might disagree with me.
From Randstad's Labour Trends Study: Lack of education, negative perceptions widening the gap
According to the study, Canadian workers believe that education and perception are core reasons that have led to today’s skills shortage. Four in five (79%) survey respondents stated they feel a lack of knowledge in skilled trades has led to less Canadians considering them a career option, while more than three-quarters (76.6%) felt that a perception of skilled trade work being less respected and more old fashioned in comparison to ‘white collar’ work has led to less interest for Canadians desiring these types of roles.
Ontarians (69.4%) most frequently stated that they experienced pressure by family to pursue more traditional ‘white collar’ careers when in school, while Quebecers experienced the least amount of familial intervention (52.2%).
Is a university degree as valuable as a journeyman's 15,000 hours of training? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
Are you looking for work?
Do you need more help in your job search, or developing your career? Register with Randstad Canada and get your job search started today.
Photo credit - Baytown Bert Marshall
Welders, electricians, millwrights and mechanics have some of the most rewarding and needed jobs in Canada, but a new study from Randstad Canada shows that perceptions about these trades’ jobs are one of the reasons these important jobs remain vacant.
A new study by Randstad Canada Labour Trends Study 2014, indicated that Canadians feel that trades work is less respected and older fashioned than white collar work.
“… 79%, survey respondents stated they feel a lack of knowledge in skilled trades has led to less Canadians considering them a career option, while more than three-quarters (76.6%) felt that a perception of skilled trade work being less respected than white collar work.”
If you’re considering entering the trades, or you have already, here are six things to tell your family about the value, importance and benefits of entering the labour force in the skilled trades.
But why is there such a shortage because we know that jobs in the trades are the best:
Working outside and with your hands is a rewarding and trades jobs pay overtime.
Structured training and mentorship programs, give you a clear idea of where you are at in your professional development.
A skilled trades job can’t be offshored, or outsourced.
Office jobs can kill you. Sitting in a desk by some studies is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.
International certifications through Red Seal Program can set you to work anywhere in the world.
Entrepreneurship and contractor opportunities avail themselves clearly.
Trades jobs often pay better, sooner and are also often represented by unions which further improve wages.
Are Canadian families causing the skill trade’s skills shortage?
The study also showed that families are pressuring those attending school to stick to white collar work over the trades. Regionally, Ontarians reported this most often with 69.4% responding they’d been pushed toward white collar work, while Quebecers saw this the least with 52.2% of families intervening.
Before you let anyone tell you that a job in the trades isn’t respected, or it won’t pay you well, or that you aren’t cut out for the work; remember that for more than a decade Canada’s federal and provincial governments have been pushing young Canadians into the trades. May be it our families or friends that are pushing back against them.
The jobs are out there, so are the training programs.
Were you pushed into white collar work? Tell us about it on Twitter @RandstadCanada
Do you need more help in your job search, or developing your career? Register with Randstad Canada and get your job search started today.
9 – Health and Safety Steps to Prevent Lift Injuries
This Olympic season we all cheered our team on as they risked life and limb to win gold, silver and bronze – but they shouldn’t be alone in this effort. Canadian workers and employers can help the economy save billions of dollars by reducing time loss issues from simple but preventable back injuries.
In 2012 alone, Canadian businesses reported 245,365 time loss injuries and 977 people lost their lives on the job. In British Columbia, injuries resulted in 2.9 million days lost from work. Time loss injuries affect everyone, in how they impact the Canadian economy, our healthcare system and in some cases push people into disability programs and other cost impacts to insurance programs.
The most common of all workplace injuries are lifting related back injuries. We lift things that we shouldn’t, to places we can’t reach and with techniques that almost guarantee injuries. It isn't just manufacturing or construction jobs, but health care, office work and child care. Back injuries happen to everyone, everywhere and all of the time.
Be a patriot, follow safe lifting procedures.
Step 1 - Keep the load close to your waist: Keep the load close to yourself for as long as possible while lifting. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to you.
Step 2 - Adopt a stable position: Your feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance (alongside the load, if it is on the ground). You should be prepared to move their feet during the lift to maintain their stability. Avoid tight clothing or unsuitable footwear, which may make this difficult.
Step 3 - Get a good hold: Where possible the load should be hugged as close as possible to your body. This is better than only holding it with your hands. Hugging it bring the weight closer to your centre of gravity, further reducing risk.
Step 4 - Start in a good posture: At the start of the lift, keep a slight bend in your back, hips and knees. This is prefered to fully flexing your back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees (squatting).
Step 5 - Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways: especially while your back is bent. Keep your Shoulders level and facing in the same direction as your hips. Use your feet to turn yourself rather than twisting and lifting at the same time.
Step 6 - Keep your head up when handling: Look ahead, not down at the load, once it has been held securely.
Step 7 - Move smoothly: The load should not be jerked or snatched as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury.
Step 8 - Don’t lift or handle more than can be easily managed: There is a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift. If in doubt, seek advice or get help. What is a struggle for one, can be an ease for two.
Step 9 - Put down, then adjust: If precise positioning of the load is necessary, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position.
Have you ever hurt yourself at work? How did you recover? Share your story with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
To help managers across North America facilitate team learning and workplace engagement here is our brief two step guide to Managing Hockey Lovers During the Olympics.
Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada for other tips on inspiring, building and managing your team.
5 - Canadian Defence Engineering Achievements
Canada's defence engineering industry has long provided Canadians with permanent roles as engineers, mechanics, designers and machinists.
Veteran Canadian engineering firm, General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLSC) announced last week that it was won a contract to produce armoured vehicles for a client in Saudi Arabia to the tune of $10 to $14 billion dollars over 14-years. The Canadian manufacturer and innovator has operated for the past 66-years, and this big-win, will translate into 3,000 new jobs in the Canadian economy. This is one of the biggest deals in Canadian history.
This is the perfect opportunity to look back on some of Canada's proudest defence engineering achievements.
1. Portable Walkie-Talkies
Warfare and the completion of large-scale engineering projects wouldn’t be the same without a tool that lets people communicate on the go. Long before cell phones, radio transmission was an effective way of doing this. Canadian engineering Donald L. Hings M.B.E., patented the first portal walkie-talkies in 1942. The system he engineered has undergone changes, but its fundamentals are still used by municipalities, construction firms and army units to this day.
In 1912, after the sinking of the Titanic, engineers in around the work began developing tools using sound to track incoming objects, vessels or munitions. Canadian engineer Reginald Fessenden worked on an experimental system at the time while working at the Submarine Signal Company in Boston. What he developed eventually became what we now know as SONAR. Application of this tool has impacted more than warfare, by improving transportation safety, mapping the ocean floor and impacting the study of plate-tectonics. Like the advancements of the portable radio, SONAR has undergone few drastic changes it fundamental technology since 1912.
In a few short decades after establishing the first human flight at Kitty Hawk, flight engineers began facing the limitations of the human body. We can only handle so many G-forces before we black-out. Losing consciousness is bad when operating any vehicle, let alone one loaded with bombs travelling greater than the speed of sound. Addressing this problem, was a team led by Wilbur R. Franks at the University of Toronto in 1941. The practical applications of this extended to spaceflight as well as jet fighting and rapid commercial transport.
4. The Avro-Arrow
Speaking of jet fighting, The Avro-Arrow was in development in the 1950s, while its decommissioning and later scrapping is a point of deep political contention, the jet-fighter’s importance to Canadian military engineering isn’t. The Arrow was the height of flight engineering at the time, breaking speed altitude records in the process. The engineering team which was disbanded when the project was scrapped went on to work for NASA, just in time to help put men on the Moon.
5. Advanced Artificial Limbs
Canadian companies and engineering teams have long lead the way in terms of prosthetic robotics. This continues with Dr. Kevin Englehart, P.Eng.,’s at the University of New Brunswick and his development of brain to body connections in the connecting prosthetics to the human body. His advancements in connecting muscles and nerve fibers to prosthesis have advanced how veterans and all Canadians recover from limb loss.
Engineering jobs in Canada
Randstad Canada features hundreds of employment opportunities for experienced engineers in all fields including defence engineering, telecommunications, aerospace and oil and gas engineering.
If you are an engineer and are looking for a new career,visit http://randstad.ca/engineering/ today and get your job search started.
5- Management tips great employers use when a team member resigns
Resigning from a role is never easy. This is especially true when you’ve built strong relationships and done great work for a boss and business. Resignation isn’t a time to be vindictive or curt, it is a time for great employers to solidify their impact with the exiting employee and to showcase their management and planning skills to new and existing team members.
1. Be genuinely interested in employee’s future:
Taking the high road and being polite and interested with the exiting employee will help you learn more about why they are leaving and how to change your management for the better in the future. Treating an employee like they are dead to you when they resign will only demoralize them, your remaining team and yourself.
2. Write a thorough recommendation on Linkedin:
Unless this employee was in the doghouse prior to resignation it can make a world of difference in their future job hunt, or to their long term memory of their experience with the business to receive a full recommendation from their manager. This benefits your employer brand and will help keep the lines of communication open with the resigning employee. People are more likely to shift jobs today and the time might come when they’ll be willing to shift back into a position with your brand.
3. Helps employees deploy a succession plan:
Whether this is just providing them with guidelines as to knowledge transfer of current projects or time to connect a new hire with existing internal and external contacts, giving the departing team member, and the remaining team some guidelines of what to prepare for will help the team and your sanity. Your best employees will have most of this mapped out already, but making the transition from employed to resigned as easy as possible will make them feel better and will give your team more support training the new guy.
4. Negotiates timeline to not overload remaining team members:
Unless the employee is moving to a direct competitor the timing of the full resignation should be negotiable. Most people have an idea of when they plan to leave and discussing this openly can make for a smoother transition for them and for the rest of your team. An abrupt ending to a work relationship can leave existing team members confused and will leave a good employer in the lurch asking them to take on extra duties for weeks at a time.
5. Host a goodbye, lunch, drinks, potluck … something:
Teams like closure and an event bringing to an end a strong healthy work relationship is cathartic. If you’ve planned it right, this can also be a chance for you to welcome the new team member on board and hash out the final steps in the succession plan.
Share how your best boss reacted when you resigned with us on Twitter RandstadCanada.
The world of work is full of questions, misconceptions, myths and mysteries. To help shed light and answer these, the Randstad Blog, is starting the Advice@RandstadCanada Series, where we’ll endeavor to personally answer as many of your questions on employment related topics as we can.
Read our first reply to, whether to go back to school, or start your career to grow your skills.
Submit your questions to email@example.com, on Twitter, or in a comment to this post!
Bluffing a new job offer when asking for a raise? No, don’t do it.
When you’re looking for a raise, you are entering into a negotiation. Relationships are built on trust, when you sit down with your manager and start speaking about a raise, lying to them to gain leverage is a terrible idea for three reasons.
You are helping your boss imagine living without you: The question is how valuable are you? If you believe you are worth X and they believe you are worth Y, if Y is less than X, then instead of getting a raise you risk being let go. Unless you’re a world leading heart surgeon, or someone with an extremely niched skill set you’re probably replaceable and your manager receives resumes all of the time.
Let’s say this bluff does work: Now you’ve lied to your boss and it worked. The question in their mind now is “Does this guy, really want to be here anymore”. The bluff might have work for a short term gain; it might drop you out of the running for a real promotion or future investment in training.
And then the bluff fails: You'd be surprised at the breadth and reach of your boss's network. Imagine how embarrassed you'd be if when you tell your boss that you have another offer, he asks with who? You can say "none of your business", you can lie and say the competition. In either case it doesn't look good for you. Take it a step farther, you have lied and he then asks you who you're speaking with at the competition, is it Bob or Jill? What are you going to say? What if he knows them?
If you aren’t able to get a raise by through your own merits it might be that you aren’t communicating your successes well enough. If you’ve gained new skills, or achieved something impressive and repeatable you deserve a raise; getting one is a matter of proving your continued value.
In the case you do have another job offer and you walk into a raise request and are bold enough to bring it up; be sure that job is a lock before dropping that bomb.
Don't lie to your boss; she probably has a better poker face than you do and if you’re threatening to leave in when the heat is on for your department, be sure to remember what goes around, comes around.
What have you done to get a raise? Share your stories with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
1 - Guaranteed way to get noticed in an interview
Interviewing for a job is hard, but there are ways to improve your chances and to gain from the experience. With honest advice coming from real personal stories, the Randstad blog presents our second real-life advice piece. Read the first, about one writer's worst interview ever.
Flexibility landed me my first job.
When I was 15, I attended the Ontario Education Leadership Centre, OELC. I’m not alone; I’ve met at least 100 people across Canada at various points in my life who have attended the institution at some point. The place is beautiful.
Students are invited to apply and attend by their high school teachers. One of mine thought it would help me grow as a leader. I applied and got in and I was to attend OELC for two weeks.
During the first week the administrators asked campers to apply for future positions as camp counsellors. I applied and I had to write my application letter by hand; my hand writing is horrendous I was sure I wouldn't even get an interview.
Of course, it being a leadership centre, they interviewed everyone who applied, lucky me. When it came time to be interviewed for one of the coveted positions there were at least 30 other bright kids in front of me in line; and at least 60 people applied for one of four positions. My interview was scheduled for 2:15 p.m., I arrived 10 minutes early and there were still those 30 other campers in line in front of me. I guess everyone had the same idea that I did. It pays to come early.
I could see nervous campers chatting in line, others returning from the meeting hall where the interviews were held. No one was crying and a few of the campers came and told us what the interviews were like.
I overheard one interviewee say “At the end of the interview, they asked me if there was one thing that I’d like to do or say, that they could remember me by ... I sort of froze.”
When it came time for my interview, I spoke to four adult camp administrators, they sat in a long lunch table, I sat in a white plastic chair about seven feet infront of them. It was a panel interview and it was nerve wracking.
I got through the basic questions about my leadership experience, it wasn’t very impressive. I made them laugh a couple of times making fun of my height and lack of a sports specialty outside of swimming and lifeguard training. All of the kids at OELC seemed like superstars to me.
At that point the question came to me.
“So James, how would you like us to remember you?”
Instead of saying anything I got out of my seat and did the splits. Not the side splits, not a strained awkward movement. I was basically Jean Claude Van Damme when I was 15. Not a muscle was torn, nor a grimace made.
I replied, “I want you to remember the kid who made you laugh, then did something you’ll never forget.”
With that I got up gingerly, shook a few hands and walked out of the room.
By dinner time I had an envelope with an invitation to be a counsellor. It included a note, that if I completed the two weeks with a group of 11 and 12 year olds, I’d get $500 as an honorarium.
That happened to be my first pay cheque.
Sometimes it isn’t just what you say, but what you can demonstrate that will make a lasting impression y on your interviewers. That impression matters.
Think about what makes you different, what can you share of yourself that will help your interviewer remember you? Of course, you can always just do the splits in a meeting room and see how that goes for yourself.
How did you get your first job? Share your experience with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
5 - Things you didn’t know before starting the job
To help new workers find jobs, this is the second in a three part series, on ensuring you're ready for the roles you're applying to. In part two, we’ll introduce five things you might not have known before entering the workforce.
Part 1: 3-Questions you must ask yourself before applying to a new job
School can prepare you for a lot, a university or college education can teach you how to learn, how to structure your thoughts and how to grow as a person. I replied to a question last week about the value of education over work experience and I wanted to expand on what might surprise someone entering the labour market.
1. Excel can be your best friend or your worst enemy
Depending on the field of study you chose you might already know this; spread sheets rule the world. Not only do these linear mathematical juggernauts help you make attractive graphs, they let you store vast quantities of data and make it manageable. If you confident in your skills using Excel, or have no skills using it whatsoever, consider following some tutorials online, or taking a course at a local college. Your local municipality may even have free basic skills courses through employment services.
2. People still use fax machines
Faxes are twentieth century technology that has wormed its way into the twenty-first. If you haven’t used a fax, learning how doesn’t take that long. They have limited memory capacity and feeding pages into them can take a great deal of time and patience. However, if the Internet is out and you need to send a proposal to a government your fax machine will still work (and yes many governments still require proposals and contract to be faxed in, or mailed as a hardcopy).
3. Time zones matter
Mountain, Pacific, Eastern, oh my! Depending on where you live you might be waking up two to three hours later than everyone else. That means if you live in Vancouver, and you’re getting up and going to work by 9 a.m. your colleagues in Toronto, Ontario will be on their lunch break. This sounds simple, but being conscious of the time constraints and realities in a global, or national company can make or break important projects.
4. Change is good, don’t fight it
If your department or employer has planned a major change a great deal of thought and planning (may be for years) has been undertaken. Change can be a scary thing, but standing in its way at all can bulldoze your young career. When you’re involved in the planning stages of major changes and you have all of the information required available to you, what might have seemed arbitrary or onerous to you previously will seem sound and efficient.
5. Packing a lunch saves you thousands of dollars
Brown bagging can save you $40 a week. Yes, making food takes time and you have to clean up after you make said food, but what comes out of your kitchen will be healthier and cost you less. If you’re eating out at lunch every day, five days a week, for a year it will cost you $2,600. Brown bagging can pay for a down payment on a condo after a few years.
What have you learned by getting into the workforce? Share your experiences with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.