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Great places to network offline, yes offline

 

networking
Fortune recently published an article titled,
How millennials can think beyond the selfie  written by Hootsuite’s CEO, Ryan Holmes.

In it, Holmes indicts multiple generations (anyone ranging in birth year from 1980 to 2000) by cherry picking examples of poor social media use like offensive remarks made on Twitter by one notable CTO and citing the debunked Time Magazine feature calling millennials generation Me, (every generations has called younger generations selfish).

Homles’ critique of 20-years of social media users is unfair for a number of reasons, one being that the way a 33-year old and a 13-year old use social media are completely different but that’s beside the point.

Where today’s networkers fall flat isn’t digitally, it is in real life where their skills need work.

The connections you make face to face are deeper, they carry more meaning and build greater mutual empathy.  In a study performed by reasearchers at the University of California, Berkeley, they found that even through video conferencing you elicit greater empathy than through text or phone.

Empathy is your ability to recognize and respond to others’ emotional state. Peoples’ emotions are important in networking and in business. Do people like you? Do they like what you are saying? In your responses to their statements or questions are you responding in a way that helps or hurts them? By meeting face to face you increase your chances of building strong connections.

5 great places to network offline

1. Alumni associations

If you’ve graduated from a college or university connect with your old classmates and get involved locally in events at your alma mater. You class mates; teachers and deans may have job leads for you.

2. Conferences, trade shows, and public meetings

Find industry or community events that interest you and take the time to get engaged. Don’t attend and tell people you are networking, attend and learn about your community or industry interest. You might not immediately find the job or business connection you are looking for, but you will be bridging towards that connection by meeting people and being interested.

3. Volunteering anywhere

Helping others is a great way to put your name out there. This is a way to put yourself in the best light possible. Charity events are seasonally abundant in almost any community and instead of paying for a conference ticket, see if you can volunteer. It can be a rewarding experience and the personal connections you’ll build help you in the long and short term.

4. Local intramural sports or other competitions

If you are so inclined, sports are a great way to get to know people and keep yourself healthy. You meet fun people and work with them over a period of weeks or months. Any type of competition where you are engaging with groups of people is a strong networking opportunity. Whether it is a poetry slam or a Scrabble competition you will meet people!

5. Tweet ups

Tweet ups blend real life and our digital lives in an exciting way. They give you a chance to meet people who you follow and engage with personally. Any time you actually connect with your followers in real life you build value into your social network, making those digital connections stronger and making the relationships you’re building more worthwhile.

 What's the best experience you've had networking in real life? Share you story with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada

 

 

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3 Job Hunting Life Hacks to Save You Time

 

Job hunting life hacks resized 600Job hunting online can be exhausting. Drafting cover letters, modifying your resume and waiting for responses from possible employers can drain you. How many times do you want to rewrite your own story?

Today with online profiles and digital applications you can apply to more jobs, more quickly than ever before – but blanketing your industry isn’t going to get you a job. Your time is valuable. Once you are treating your job hunt as a job in itself, think about your applications as a set of action items – you need to prioritize your efforts and put your energies in the right place.

Build templates

Templates make everything a little easier. Before you begin applying to anywhere, think about the type of businesses you want to work for and scope out your experience within those industries, organizations or regions.

  • Make sure each template zeros in on the specialized industry experience you have, write about your experiences that are closely tied to the industry you are building your template for.  
     
  • Once you have your templates built, you need only customize cover letters, or introduction emails as carefully, you won’t have to rewrite your resume when you broaden your job search.

Be pragmatic

Going back to “your time is valuable”, don’t apply to jobs where you are missing 50% or more of the job requirements for.

  • Education, years of experience, language skills or technical skills are major requirements, but there are minor ones you should pay attention to as well.
     
  • If the job description lists secondary or tertiary skills that are “nice to haves” and you are missing most of them, you need to bring something extra outside of those that the interviewer and employer will find very attractive and you’ll really need to sell it in your resume.
     
  • Use the time you have wisely, put your energies into jobs you have the best shot to get.

Focus on your email introductions

The 100 words anyone will read from you will be in an email make them count!

  • Be personal: Try to find out who will read your email first and direct the email to them; use their name. “Dear Future Employer,” isn’t a great way to start your email.
     
  • Keep it short: Hiring managers receive a lot of email, keeping your message succinct makes a huge difference.
     
  • Subject line: Make is obvious you are a candidate applying to the role they are looking for. JAVA Developer Candidate, or something more exciting like Outstanding JAVA Developer Candidate can help grab someone’s attention and get your email and resume read. 

 Job Hunting Advice


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5 Reasons Canada’s Workers Are the Best

 

Canadian Jobs

Jared Grove

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.

 

Feeling sick?

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5 Steps to leave your job on great terms

 

I quit

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.

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Jobs, Skills and Canadians: 2014 Labour Trends

 

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. 

Labour Trend 2014 - Randstad Canada


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3 Reasons Video Content Rules Employer Branding

 

Employer Branding Randstad Canada

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.

 

 

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How Games Like Flappy Bird and Candy Crush Create Jobs

 

Jobs Flappy Bird resized 600

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
for Breakfast

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Feeling sick? 5 things to consider before going to work.

 

should I go to work resized 600

mcfarlandmo

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.

 

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5 Questions Job Seekers Should Ask During an Interview

 

5 Questions Jobs Seekers resized 600

Bhernandez

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.


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