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?
You’ve seen it before, someone has a brief discussion with their boss and a few minutes later they are packing their desk and being led out by security. They just quit their job badly.
This a guaranteed sign that things ended on less than ideal terms; you don’t want to do this. You want a departure to go smoothly, yes, you want a reference, you want your boss to want to keep you.
Change is a good thing, but a disruptive change can have a negative effect on productivity for you ex-team and will damage your job prospects in the future.
It is hard to leave a job, especially one with a good team but for whatever reason when you’re planning on making a departure there are a few things you should do, here are the 5 steps to leave your jobs on great terms.
1. Figure out what you’re doing
Before you tell anyone other than your partner in life, best friend or your parents figure out your plan. Don’t leave yourself in the situation where you are openly planning your departure without having a safety net in place. Telling people you’re planning on quitting is a sure fire way to end your career at a particular workplace, forget about that possible promotion, you might just get canned.
2. Discuss it with your employer
Once you’ve planned out your life around your job change, you should tell your boss. In that talk you should say why you’re planning your exit, when you are looking to leave and have a plan around the completion of your current projects in that time. Be prepared for a tough talk, this is never an easy conversation to have.
3. Break it to the team
After you’ve spoken with your employer about your exit, talk to the team, tell them where you are going and give them some information about your departure but don’t be negative about their workplace or about them – be professional this is their workplace too.
4. Finish your work
As best you can bring your projects to an end. Any projects that were planned to be continued provide a concise brief to the new project team or team members who are taking on the project. This is about knowledge transfer and it helps everyone. This is also a great way to build out your resume in the future.
5. Enjoy your goodbye lunch
You’ll have missed something along the way, some sort of project may be an email or two left unsent – but ending on good terms with your team is a powerful statement. These people are your friends, they care about you, let them give you a good bye and good luck.
If you are unhappy at your work you need to analyse whether it is your job, your work environment or the people you are having problems with. If it is all of the above you should absolutely plan your exit!
If it is only one person, or one element of your work that you dislike have some honest discussions with your employer and see if you can fix the situation. If that doesn’t work, have a backup plan in place first and if you are going over to the competition, good luck making that transition smoothly.
There is a saying, “Always clean the rungs of the ladder on your way up, because you never know when you’ll be coming back down.”
What was your favourite job that you had to leave? Share your story with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
What do Canadians think about the jobs market in 2014?
At Randstad, we wanted to know how employers and employees would approach the job market in 2014. We conducted, in partnership with Ipsos Reid, a study to gather the perceptions of over 2,000 employees and managers alike on the employment market. This survey focuses on the expectations of employers and employees from technical and industrial sectors.
Video has been a powerful tool to promote, propagandize, inform and entertain for over a century. Today company's are using branded online video content to help shape their public image.
Online video content like any content is most valuable when it is widely seen and when it is, it has a powerful effect. Whether you need to build a new brand, improve an existing one, or find specific candidates to work with your company - well produced creative video can help.
Here are some great examples of how.
1. Display Your Best Self as a Brand
Example - WestJet Christmas Miracle Video
This video displays that the owners of WestJet (who happen to be the company's employees) care about people. It also says that they recognize that the holidays are an important time of year and that they'll do whatever it takes to make the experience for their customers the best one possible. In this example, they brought Santa in and made it happen.
WestJet was last year's Canadian Randstad Award winner, which highlights Canada's leading employer brands. They were deemed by over 7,000 Canadians to be the most attractive employer in Canada by an indepedant survey performed last year.
2. Entertains and Informs
Example - John St. Catvertising
John St. managed to display that it understood online culture, (peoples' general affection for feline cinema) while showing off their offices, their internal experts and their ability to produce quality content. For an advertising agency displaying culture is more important to attraction and retention than showing stability, this ad essentially says "If you want to work with forward, creative thinking people who may or may not periodically bring 30 cats into work, this is the place for you".
3. Give Your People the Attention They Deserve
Example - The Canadian National Railway Company Recruitment Videos
Sometimes just showing people the work they'd do and the environment they'd work in is enough to generate discussion and applications. CN produced a series of videos which have generated tens of thousands of views on Youtube and the comments are all extremely positive. They did use cats, or presents but they are getting an effective message across and an article or diagram wouldn’t do it as well.
The Canadian National Railway Company ranked 13th in last year's Randstad Award.
Learn more about employer branding and the Top 150 employer brands at www.randstadaward.ca.
How Games Like Flappy Bird and Candy Crush Create Jobs
Sure it is just one little game on your iPhone but the little games living in the space between your hands and your head are creating jobs and helping drive the new economy.
Flappy Bird today is a one man operation but would it be that hard to imagine a day when the shell-shocked creator of the viral hit game becomes the next Mark Pincus of Zynga fame?
Do you remember when you saw Farmville popup in your Facebook newsfeed? What about Mafia Wars? Well those little games represent a user base of almost 300 million people a month. Zynga started with a small team of fewer than 10 staff; in 2013 the company had over 3,000 full time employees.
Yes, that means Flappy Bird could be employing more people than most manufacturing plants.
The team who made the addictive time-sucker the Candy Crush Saga over at King has been in the game business since 2002 and employs over 600 people in six offices.
And Fruit Ninja the adorable finger swiping fruit destroying iPad game that has been downloaded over 300 million times? Its creator, Halfbrick based in Australia has been making indie-games since 2001 and employees over 60 people.
Games makers hire developers, project managers, marketing leads, copywriters, translators and more. The digital upstarts that built the platform gaming industry started small too.
Think about Nintendo, while it was founded in the late 19th century as a gaming company today it employs over 6,000 people.
Ubisoft, makers of the Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed fame, has offices in 26 countries and employs over 9,200 people, including a team of 2,100 in a studio in Montreal.
So with the announced return of Flappy Bird to the iOS App store, may be Dong Nguyen, its creator and founder of www.dotgears.com, will be upscaling his business and joining the ranks of the above mentioned gaming icons.
Or, may be his game will fade away to be replaced by another finger frustrating mind number.
What industry do you think will have the most growth this year? Tell us about it on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
Want to get your career in gear, may be even in gaming? Register with Randstad Canada today.
5 Reasons Culture Eats Strategy
You wake up feeling groggy, your throat hurts and your nose is running and every time you sneeze your get a shooting pain down your spine and leg – should you go to work?
A rule to follow is if you have to ask, then the answer is no.
Lots of press has been made of governments and organizations cracking down on sick days, but what they are missing is that people staying home is wise, conscientious and in the long term a cost saver.
1. Can your job be done at home? Think about it this way, if a workplace is judging people solely based on their attendance, they are doing it wrong. It is another thing entirely if you work with your hands; you truly need to be there as your attendance is required for the completion of work. Reasons not to go are if you’re actively contagious, groggy to the point of impairment or if what is ailing you will prevent you from effectively completing work in a remote location – things like a stomach illness.
2. Do you have a loud cough? People can have a cough for many different reasons, if you’re cough is distracting you should absolutely stay home, if your cough persists loudly for more than a couple of days go to the doctor! Coughs can expel contagious materials and can reduce the work efficiency of an entire team. Take a day or two off let whatever it is that’s affecting you run its course.
3. Is your lifestyle damaging your credibility? Some people stay up late playing video games, other people imbibe too much in the evenings. If you’re running into work, 30-minutes late exhausted and your productivity is slagging, consider taking a day off, recuperating and assessing your habits. It is better to take a day to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and what you should do differently than burning the candle at both ends for pleasure and productivity. Work life balance needs to balance both ways.
4. Are you in serious pain? What I mean by pain, is persistent unceasing agony. Tooth pain can be terrible unless you get yourself treated; the same goes for untreated injuries or illnesses like ulcers. If you need to take a couple of days off to get diagnosed, or treated take the time – don’t wait. Pain is your body’s way of tell you that something is wrong. Listen to it and fix the problems.
5. Is what you have contagious? This is a hard thing to tell on your own, most people can tell the difference from a cold and the flu but what about a chest cough and a strep-infection? If you have a fever, or you are vomitus stay home. If you’re on antibiotics safe bet you should be home until your more aggressive symptoms subside.
How do you fight the common cold? Let us know @RandstadCanada.
You've gotten an interview good going!
If you've gotten far enough into the recruiting process that you're sitting down in front of a hiring manager, this is your shot to get the job.
The pressure is on, you're in the hot seat, this is your moment to shine - but hey, don't sweat it because you're reading this post you're going to do just fine.
Honesty is the best policy, be confident in yourself and try to carefully listen to what you're being asked. When you have a question - ask it, there is no such thing as a stupid question; what there are, are questions that you can answer yourself.
You won't be led to every question you should ask - but the following five questions should help you get the information you need while not making you out to be too nosey or simple.
5 Best Interview Questions Ever
1. Who will I be working with, what are they like?
This is something you should always ask. When it comes down to it, understanding the team dynamic that you'll be working in is key to your potential success in the role. Asking this question might help the hiring manager think about you as part of the team - it will also bring up opportunities where you can add an experience story about a time working within a group or with people as they've described.
2. Who do you report to, how does the work I do impact your KPIs (key performance indicators)?
This only works if you're being interviewed by the manager you'll be working with. If this is the case, then it will tell you a bit more about the pressures and motivations of the person who is hiring you. It can also give you a strong impression of who your future boss is and how they handle pressure. If they can't explain what impact they're hoping you'll have it isn't a good sign.
3. What upcoming projects would I be working on, should I get the job?
There always specific projects on the go in a given department. May be tax time is coming up, or the Anderson account which comes annually is looming. Understanding what you might be thrown into helps you gauge whether you want the job or not. It also tells you a bit more about why they are hiring.
4. Was this position filled previously or is this a new position?
If the position was filled and is no longer there is probably a good reason. A good manager will answer this carefully but should provide some candor. If they fired someone, or the person quit, you might not get a straight answer in the interview, but use your intuition. If it is a new position, you have the chance to help build the role if you're hired, that's an exciting experience.
5. What sort of processes are in place for the completion of X?
Whatever the X is, is your job that you're applying for. Asking about the process shows you at least understand how X can be done or has been done somewhere else. The answer might surprise you, "We don't have a formal system in place for this," is a fun one, it is an opportunity for you to provide structure where there was none before.
What question got you a job? Share one with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
This St. Patrick’s Day Celebrate Workers Safety, Sláinte!
St. Patrick's Day is this upcoming Monday, March 17, I was thinking about what it meant to me and what it could mean to Canadian workers.
The roots of Canada's Irish immigrant population were like most Canadians during the 1800s and early 1900s - working class abourers.
Growing up in Ottawa near the banks of the Ottawa River, closer still to the Rideau Canal I knew the working class heritage that city held dear, Ottawa was still a lumber town back then. Long before NHL Hockey, or office towers, the workers who dug the Rideau Canal toiled away - dying in great numbers in the process. Canada's Parliament hadn't even been built.
Some 1,000 construction workers died while digging the canal, between 1826 and 1832, they were primarily Irish and French, but today we'd all call them Canadians.
We’ve come a long way as a nation and as providers of employment and drivers of industry since those dangerous days when workers would die of malaria or site accidents. Working with picks and shovels could be as dangerous as front-end-loaders and cranes and the explosives of the day weren't terribly safe.
This St. Patrick’s Day, during any celebrations of spirit, remember that our heritages’ deceives us if we don’t remember the past. For most Canadians who identify with their Irish heritage, it is of ancestors who worked in mines, or ships, scaffolds or rail lines. Construction work was the name of the day for the unskilled immigrant labour brought in to do the dangerous work the educated French or Englishmen wouldn’t do.
Much has changed but danger persists. Work sites need monitoring, workers need training and that’s why Randstad Canada has its own team of Health and Safety Managers reviewing job sites - training teams to conduct effective site orientations and in some cases rejecting work on the basis that the sites weren't up to code.
Everyone is somebody's daughter or son and it is the responsibility of all managers, employers, coworkers and friends to look out for one another.
Also related to St. Patrick’s Day is heavy drinking. During any given year in Canada about 1,000 people die as a result of drunk driving related incident. That’s year on year the same number of Canadian workers who die in incidents at work and the same number who died digging the Rideau Canal.
I’ll be in Toronto this St. Patrick’s Day and this is part of the heritage I’ll be remembering on March 17.
Please be safe, both on the roads and at work.
After all, sláinte, means to health.
Want a job that cares for your health and safety? Apply with Randstad Canada.
Would you work for the Decepticons just because they paid well?
Peter Drucker the Austrian born American management consultant said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast."
I first ran into this axiom when I was working at an advertising agency and today in the staffing and recruitment space, I see its relevance more and more.
The culture your brand (or you) espouse determines who listens to you, what they say about the work you do later and will in the long run will either help or hurt your hiring and recruitment efforts.
There is an art to all of this in the recruitment space, just as it is in advertising agency land – it is called employer branding.
Employer branding is a mixture of culture and strategy; it is the strategy of deploying your culture - while this is a chicken and the egg scenario, Drucker’s statement prevails.
5 Reasons Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Anyone can pay competitively: The Decepticons might be offering a competitive total rewards package, but would you want to work for Megatron? The culture you establish in your department or organization speaks volumes to quality of your management and the realistic opportunities for growth. If you run your organization as a despotic overlord, good luck!
Work environment and job stability are key and they are tied together: Last year Randstad’s employer branding research showed that a positive work environment and job stability were the second and third most important factors in building an attractive employer brand. You can build long term job stability by succeeding in your field and you build a positive work environment by being good to your people. If Canadians perceive job stability as key to a positive employer brand, then ensuring a positive work environment is imperative to that.
Social media becomes your best friend: Every employee in your company can promote your employer brand and they do, just in their own nearly uncontrollable ways. With a positive culture social media becomes filled with photos of interesting projects, fun activities and about positive brand-building statements your people will say about your brand – for free. Your people are your employer brand; they’ll live it and speak about it.
Positive culture builds a responsible company: Corporate social responsibility is seen as an important to most employees, a study reported that 3 out of 5 employees want to work somewhere that shares they values. If you don’t know what your values are and you don’t speak with your people about theirs how can you benefit from this? When you research your own employer brand and begin the process of building it you’ll discover what your perceived values are and you can adapt to where your people believe your company should go.
Culture builds organic process: Most importantly with culture comes natural actions that don’t need to be mandated, thought about or outlined in a process diagram and presented in a meeting. Strong culture just gets things done. Good people who feel good about the work they are doing happen to do outstanding work.
How do you build culture in your workplace? Share your ideas with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with the hashtag #RandstadAward.
Learn more about employer branding through the Randstad Award at www.randstadaward.ca.