According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), over 42,000 workplace injuries are caused by fall type accidents. Most of them over 65 % are falls on the same level due to slips and trips; winter ice and snow aren’t going anywhere soon. They just make a relatively uncomfortable season, into back, neck, wrist and knee nightmares. Sidewalks, walkways, staircases and roadways that are left unsalted or snowed in become their own worlds of danger.
Check out this list of winter survival and safety tips to keep yourself and your team in good form through these final months of winter.
Tips for Surviving Winter
- Keep walkways and stairways clear. Remove hazards like water, powercords, or tree debris from your floors floors and stairs, paths and driveways.
- Mark hazardous areas with signage as often as you can. Use signs, cones, barricades, or floor stand signs to warn workers, pedestrians and the often forgotten mail carriers.
- Wear sensible footwear, this is not the time for flats without traction, boots with grip and warm socks are a better fit.
Tips for Snow Removal
- Shovel your walkways and driveways. Yes, it is cold, yes it is heavy, but pull out that shovel and clear the snow. If you don’t it will become ice, and ice is bad.
- Clear the snow from the roof of your car, it is a hazard to other drivers and to yourself. Once you done that, clear the snow that you’ve dropped on the driveway, otherwise, see above.
- Apply salt, sand, or ice melter to keep the ice from forming longer, but try not get too much onto your lawn or garden, you’ll kill your plants or annoy your neighbors.
Tips for Walking Safely in the Wintertime
- If you’re walking at night wear bright clothing or a reflective vest.
- Sunglasses are you friends. Snow blindness can truly disable your vision and put you at risk in any environment including the city.
- When possible use your hands to stead your gate.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially around what could be hidden water sources, or on ground covered by fresh snow.
If you’re looking for information on human resources professionals, or
What are your safety tips for this winter?
are considering a career in the field look into Randstad National Compensation Survey
, where you can compare starting salaries for thousands of roles in 57 Canadian cities, or if you are attending HRPA 2014 in Toronto visit us at your booth.
Share them with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
Donna Diebel, Carly Kuntz the Randstad Women Shaping Business award recipient, Mary Zilney CEO of the Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region stand with Randstad Canada's President Tom Turpin and Kitchener-Waterloo's Randstad Engineering's branch manager Marc Bardwell.
We had such a rewarding day today at Randstad Canada, and were honoured to meet the team at Women's Crisis Services of the Waterloo Region, as we presented a $10,000 donation to them as part of the Women Shaping Business Program.
Through the Women Shaping Business Program Randstad wanted to build a platform for new female leaders to be recognized, and to do that we build a contest, wherein Canadians would nominate female leaders that they knew personally for the Women Shaping Business Award. Canadians wrote stories about how women they knew impacted the businesses they worked for, owned, or engaged with and their impact in their communities through charity work, coordination or inspiration. From that contest and by an independent panel of judges, Carly Kuntz the owner and operator of the Water’s Spa, in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario, was selected. She was nominated by an associate, a woman named Donna Diebel.
Donna wrote a touching recount of Carly’s own entrepreneurship story, but also of the dutiful impact she’s made in the community she lives in. It was the growth of her business and her vision for the expansion of her community impact that swayed the judges to choose her.
As the contest stated, the nominator was given the choice of which charity Randstad Canada would donate $10,000 to, and Donna chose the Anselma House, also known as the Women’s Crisis Services of the Waterloo Region.
Keep on the look out for more from us on Women Shaping Business, while the campaign has ended for this year, we're already planning 2014's exciting activites.
Share your ideas on Women Shaping Business with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada, with the hashtag #Womenshapingbiz.
4-Management Lessons from Movies You Must Learn: Edition 1
These tips will help your company thrive; they will improve your brand and help you keep your people happy. In the first edition of Management Lessons from Movies, we explore The Wolf on Wall Street and Office Space.
If you don't need tips on management, check out our tips on interviewing.
While it has been nominated for several Oscar awards, I wouldn’t be nominating the corporation at the centre Scorsese’s Wolf on Wall Street for the Randstad Award on for employer branding, anytime soon.
Yet despite the fact Stratton Oakmont, the felonious investment firm brought down in the real world in the 1990s used a party atmosphere, crooked books and devious sales methods to get ahead, there are still lessons to be learned, other than how to properly use a 156-foot pleasure craft.
1. If your team is behind you, anything is possible
The film’s protagonist, Jordan Belfort motivates those around him by leading by example. He’s able to achieve all he does with the help of his team. It is their belief and buy-in, that gives him power.
It isn’t enough for you to have a good idea, or a vision, you need the people behind you to act on both. Cracking a whip and decrying the glory of your plan will only drive people away from you. Prove your ideas to your team get their buy-in and move forward with them. You can’t drag a team of 20 through the door; they have to walk through on their own.
2. Communication matters
Jordan ’s team was located in one large office space, where he could see and be heard by his entire team all at once. That made it possible for him to announce a policy change, or share a new technique with his team immediately. Direct person to person communication is a powerful tool.
Today, we have more tools available to us to make that possible, but if you have multiple teams in multiple offices how can you be sure that your message is being heard, and more importantly being listened to?
Think about your communication plan, how do you track your teams' adoption of process shifts, how do you know they’ve read your memo, short of a megaphone or a handshake?
It might not be enough to say something once, it can take an entire communication's plan to make your word law. If your change is a matter of tone, it can take entire shifts in corporate culture to make the change - so set your tone and stick to it.
Whether it is from TPS reports, micromanagement, obscure hierarchies or general workplace malaise, Office Space, the Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butthead fame) creation is a film that epitomizes poor office management.
3. Disengaged, unmotivated, un-empowered employees can be destructive
The characters in Office Space are disengaged to the point of subterfuge and sabotage, something that happens more often than you’d think.
If your team is afraid of losing their jobs, as one of the film’s main characters, played by Ron Livingston says “But you know Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."
Instead of burdening employees with 10-layers of management, see what they can do on their own. If they can’t maintain the minimums of their employment agreements, why are they on your team?
4. Speak to your employees about their goals and motivations honestly
The character Livingston plays, Peter, is unmotivated and it takes a transcendental experience to snap him into making changes in his workplace. This increased confidence provides him the opportunity for promotion. Sometimes employees need a change in their work dynamic to spurn novel ideas and their latent engagement. Speak to your team about what they want out of life, work and their careers. If you know what motivates them, help them achieve those things and they’ll be willing to work hard for you.
If you haven’t seen Office Space, let’s just say Peter and his team had burning desires.
Did you like this post, check out our piece, 9 Films Featuring Strong Empowered Women.
What are some of your favourite office movies? Tell us about them on Twitter @RandstadCanada
What does salary actually mean?
Salary, an age old concern: The Randstad National Compensation Survey
Salary is an ancient idea; the word itself predates the Roman Empire, which used the term “salarium argentum” for the salt rations that soldiers were paid. You can see where the saying, not worth their salt comes from.
It is a matter of perception; if offers are too low will strong performers choose to work elsewhere. If they are too high can you afford to keep your staffing levels where they need to be?
This all depends on where you live, what industry your business is in, or what role you play in an organization. If you work at a coffee shop, it would be hard for you employer to pay you $50,000 with a complicated and comprehensive benefits package, or if you run an company in ICT, you’d be hard pressed to pay your staff minimum wage and expect to keep them around.
New valuable resource for the Canadian labour market
Randstad Canada has commissioned a comprehensive analysis of our own internal numbers and data from an external partner, the Economics Research Institute, to establish a more broad based assessment of salary in Canada.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing a series maps, and guides that will Canadian’s and companies navigate through this important this is piece of the employment puzzle. The tool is called Randstad’s 2014 National Compensation Survey.
Our goal is to provide a contextual start to your discussions on salary. We’ve collected and curated data for thousands of roles for positions in over 50-cities in the country.
Do you have questions regarding your salary, ask away!
We will be publishing interviews with Randstad business leaders, people who help candidates negotiate their salaries with employers and who work with employers to provide persuasive offers to those candidates.
We’ll also be fielding questions from our readers on ways to better leverage their experience to help them find work and about ways to request raises, or influence a possible promotion decision.
You can also contact Randstad PR and Communications team at email@example.com for more information on other public release dates or to arrange interviews with Randstad stakeholders regarding salaries and the guides themselves.
Have a question about salaries or the world of work? Ask us on Twitter @RandstadCanada, and we’ll connect you to an expert who can help.
Employment News January 15, 2014: Alberta projects, enormous labour shortage and Git Hub leading in female recruitment
CBC News is reporting on the Alberta government’s recent shift in its government to address a growing labour shortage and its impact on the resource rich province’s economy. The shortage is something Randstad has addressed, in 2011-2020 Engineering Labour Market Conditions study compiled in part with Engineering Canada, where we found similar numbers.
“The Alberta government is forecasting there will be 114,000 more jobs than people to fill them in coming years.
This shortage of labour will slow economic growth, costing jobs and reducing government revenue, said business groups.
The coalition is asking government to:
Change the Federal Skilled Worker Program to place greater emphasis on labour demands.
Make it easier for temporary workers to become permanent immigrants.
Change National Occupation Codes to reflect employer needs and recognize a broader range of skilled positions.
Streamline the Temporary Foreign Worker application and approval process”.
This is flanked by news that the Federal Government is realigning its planned, but not yet enacted Federal Job’s Grant program, which was announced years ago and promoted heavily by the government. The plan calls for a shift in already allotted federal funds that are given the provinces to train Canadians. The shift comes with a demand from the Harper Conservatives that the provinces pay 60% of the costs of the new programming, which was planned to give only working Canadians opportunities for training, but is now proposed to help those unemployed and eligible for employment insurance.
Tech Community Git Hub doing is doing some amazing stuff highlighting female leaders all-year round
In a profile from readwrite.com, the influential tech community Git Hub is highlighted for starting passion-projects.github.com, which is the long tail of a series of talks that inspiring female leaders in technologies give on their efforts, success and passions in their workplace.
The series now in its eleventh month, has increased applications from and engagement with women in Git Hub’s community and is having a positive business outcome.
Women Shaping Business is one of Randstad’s pillars of thought leadership and we try highlight the successes and importance of female leaders in our community and around the world. You can learn more about Randstad’s female leadership efforts at www.womenshapingbusiness.com
Have you read any important Canadian business news that you think we should share? Let us know on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
Trends in Resumes for 2014: Resumes dos and don’ts
If you've been following Randstad's 2014 Checklist series this is fourth installment in our 2014.
1. How to dress for inteview success
2. Three keys to acing the this year's interview
3. Learn from past mistakes with the Randstad blogger's worst interview ever.
Resumes evolve! Here are three tips for an update and refresh for today's the job market
1. Customize your resume to the job you’re applying to
This sounds simple but it isn’t. It is a lot of work to rewrite your resume for every job you are applying to, or even to the specific person you are sending it to, but it is worth it. As I wrote last week you should be researching who you are going to be sitting down to in the interview with. Think about the story you are trying to tell with your resume and who is going to read it. Use intuition about their role and how you’d work under them to scope out the experience points you write into your resume.
If you are sending your resume in blind most likely you are sending your resume into an automated resume reading program that is going to dig keywords out of the job description that the company has provided online. Use keywords found in the job ad. If you know who you are writing the resume to then write your resume to that person and to their boss, don’t include their name or anything crazy but know your audience and write to them.
2. Experience: What to keep and what to ditch
First off, organize your experience chronologically. It isn’t as unusual for people to have gaps in their experience, or shorter roles that use to be unacceptable. It used to be frowned upon to have less than two-years of experience in role, but for many industries today, that’s not the case. If you’ve had a series of contracts with employers that are shorter, or have been doing project based work share that experience; you’ve probably learned a lot and you can demonstrate that learning and the skills you’ve gained.
Keep irrelevant job experience off your resume. What is irrelevant experience you might ask? If you volunteered in a student association in college or coached a youth sport’s team unless you are looking to work with students or youth it isn’t suitable to go on a professional resume. Think about the industry you are applying to and only put items on your experience that apply to that industry. If you did work with a charity and you were the treasurer for a number of years and you are applying to a job in accounting as your first job, it might be relevant and only if you have a reference from the charity’s president (caveat is that the president is a respectable, older member of your community).
3. Send your resume as a linked word document or a PDF. Link to your Linkedin account and keep your address off your resume
Resumes are a task in brevity and editing. Your address is clutter that isn’t relevant. Don’t make the resume reader pass through four lines of something that only matters when you’re being sent a termination notice or your T4-slip.
What is important is providing a link to your Linkedin account. If you save your resume as a word document the links you input over the text will be live in your resume. Most people read resumes on their screen first and print them later. If they like your resume they will check your Linkedin, make it easy for them.
You can also save your resume as a PDF from Word. The links will be live on the PDF, this is great if someone is reading your resume on their mobile.
What has worked for you recently? Share your resume tips with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
Women Shaping Business – Janet Yellen Confirmed as new Fed Chair
The stakes couldn’t be hire and the position couldn’t be any more important. Janet Yellen has been confirmed by the United States Senate as the new Federal Reserve chair. To put this role into perspective, this is the highest ranking position in the most important central bank on the planet. The US dollar, while by no means perfect, is still the most valuable currency asset in the world. Janet Yellen now controls the levers of power that allow her to print money to fuel the US economy, and depending on how look at that it I could replace US, with the whole world.
With over 36-years of Federal Reserve experience Yellen is absolutely qualified, it is reported she styles her management to that of a CEO and is a consensus builder. While she’s the first woman to take the reigns of the important institution, the impressive part of her confirmation wasn’t the debate around her sex, but that she was judged by her experience and pervious decisions. Hopefully more high ranking policy and power positions will be decided similarly in years to come.
All of this comes to form when you consider the roles that more and more female political appointees are taking. With Hilary Clinton taking a turn as Secretary of State, and Canada’s Chief Justice The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, it is hard to imagine a time where women have had more access and opportunity. There is still a lot of work left to do, the patriarchy in corporate Canada still exists, but when the highest reaches of appointed power are held by women, signs of the turning tide could be no more clear.
For more news, employment & career tips, follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
9 Email Tips That Will Save Your Career
Before you hit send on that scorching critique of your colleague’s fridge maintenance habits, or that hilarious chain letter you found, or that glib response to a less informed contemporary’s question - be sure to read these 9-email tips, which will certainly save your career.
You also might want to check out our guide on interview attire, or how to build your online personal brand.
1. Use your words, pick up the phone.
It might be a novel idea for some, but a conversation on the phone can sometimes more effectively deliver the appropriate tone needed to discuss an important point. A hastily written email can miss some of the nuance that makes a quick chat so effective. If you have already sent an email and someone is responding with a level of confusion, diffuse it by giving them a call promptly.
2. Emails shouldn’t be a stream of your consciousness.
If you’re trying to open a discussion on a new topic, unless you specifically outline that you’re shooting ideas around in your message, readers may take what you’ve written in an email as your final thought on a subject. If there is very little frame of reference around what you’re writing, consider calling a meeting, or using a digital meeting format to bring ideas to a group or individual collectively.
3. Write meaningful subject lines.
Your recipient should be able to understand what your email is about by reading the subject line. For example, “Annual Report Draft - 146 – For Approval”. If action is required, indicate so in the subject line. Never leave the subject line blank, try not to use IMPORTANT, or HELP ME! All caps is a non-starter.
4. Keep to one subject per email.
By sending business email you are creating a record of correspondence that has some value to the business. That record is difficult to manage when it has more than one subject. It may seem strange, but send two emails in sequence rather than one. To that end, don’t start a new subject by replying to an old email, that can be annoying and can lead to information loss.
5. Ask, “Does this person really need to be copied?”.
If you remember Carbon Copies, then you’ll remember how fun they were to use. Think of the CC button in an email in a similar way. Only CC someone when you know if they aren’t informed of something they’d be upset. When you CC someone, you aren’t asking them to reply, you are providing them information they need.
6. Be concise. Start with your point or request
Start your email by stating the facts you need to outline, provide a brief frame of reference for your query or request and end with a call to action.
Example - Do this!
Subject: New Letterhead Required – Please Order
I found the four boxes of misspelled letter head in the office’s foyer.
We still need suitable materials for a new set of contracts that need to be printed, could you please make the attached corrections to the design file and resend the order to our supplier.
Also, if you could please remove the as-mentioned boxes from the hallway and bring them to the recycler that would be outstanding.
7. Pause. Pause again. Send. Never email when you are upset or angry.
If it is appropriate to respond in writing at all, wait until you have calmed down. Remember that your response will be permanently recorded. Even in less intense circumstances, you’ll benefit by reflecting on your emails rather than responding immediately. Mistakes happen, try to be understanding when they do. What you write can haunt you for a very long time.
Example Don’t do this:
HOW DID YOU SPELL THE COMPANY’S NAME WRONG!
WHO TAUGHT U 2 REED?
8. Don’t forward an email that will provoke a harmful response.
If you receive an email that is alarming or obnoxious, resist the urge to forward it to your colleagues. Yes, you’ll need to talk it through, but if you forward the provocative email to four others, you’ll cause at least one to react without thought, in writing.
9. Check your spelling and grammar.
It may seem unimportant, but if the substance of your email is later scrutinized, poor spelling and grammar might cause people to perceive you or your work as sloppy.
What are some of your tips for writing strong email communications? Share them with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.
My Worst Interview Ever
If you need some other job hunting tips, read the other parts of the 2014, Job Hunt Check List Series.
1. How to dress for inteview success
2. Three keys to acing the this year's interview
3. Six tips to managing your online brand
Have you ever had an interview so bad you knew immediately after that you weren't getting the job? I did and it was glorious.
I’ve had a few interviews in my life, probably no more or less than other communications professionals my age, but one stands out as the worst.
I’d applied for a position as a marketing coordinator at an Ontarian metropolitan newspaper that I’ve always loved. To say I knew this paper was an understatement, I’d grown up playing with it, I knew its inception date, its purchasing history when it bought another large important paper – I felt this job was mine and could be no one else’s.
Problem was, I didn’t really know what a marketing coordinator did, at least not the type of marketing coordinator the company was looking for.
There were four rounds of interviews. One that was over the phone with an HR manager, she was wonderful. I had a second with the HR manager and the outgoing marketing coordinator who was taking maternity leave.
Companies are going to test your skills, think through possible tests before hand
On both of these I sailed through, like a pirate returning to Cutthroat Island, I felt invincible. The third phase was on the same day, where I had 30-minutes to write a marketing plan. I used my own computer, mapped out the plan with full ideation and a great deal of copy. I was pretty happy with it, and after a review, the outgoing coordinator liked my stuff; I was into the last round of interviews.
I was to meet with the digital marketing director and the HR manager again. Both of these people I’d done a pretty good job of checking up on, I’d even checked up on the marketing director. I knew for instance he’d recently done a charity fashion show; something I’d be proud to speak about.
Be prepared, but don’t necessary try to say everything you know
I got a call a few minutes before the interview from the HR manager, with a change in meeting time and that I was to meet with the marketing director. This is a good sign, no matter what if you’re meeting with the final line in hiring managers you have a good shot at getting the job. Just don’t screw it up like I did.
After bringing up the charity fashion show right off the bat, I’d outted myself as being a little over prepared. I always felt that knowledge was power and knowing as much as possible about the people I’d be meeting with would be of value. The key is, knowing how to speak about the knowledge you have.
Never correct your interviewers on matters of history
The next enormous failure was, I corrected my interviewer. The marketing director wasn’t exactly sure when the paper was founded; he was trying to impress upon me the depth of the paper’s character and its importance to the community.
The Black Pearl was sunk, and there would be no recovery. Within moments the interview switched from an opportunity for work into an interrogation. Bad sign.
Some ask why I wear ties so often, well, I’d worn ties in the previous two rounds of interviews. It was unusually warm for the time of year and I’d gone with a bare neck. For a week or so after the interview I blamed my tie, really it was because I was a bit of a jerk in an interview room and it ruined me.
Failure is a learning opportunity
Another issue was I’d never been a marketing coordinator in my life. I’d run marketing campaigns, I’d organized ad buys, but I’ve never kept an entire team in lockstep. It would have been a risk for them to hire me and I’m proud that I got that far in the interview process.
What have you learned from hard interviews? Share your stories with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada
6 Tips for managing your personal brand online
Digital Marketing Series for Job Hunters - To help you manage your online brand, Randstad Canada has produced a series of personal digital marketing tips and tricks.
Check out other pieces in this series.
1. A good Linkedin profile can get you hired.
2. Linkedin job search strategy
3. How to find a job using Twitter
Personal branding has great influence on your likelihood of getting a new job or being promoted. Your image online is your personal brand and might be the death knell of your employment chances. Follow these six tips and start building a stronger online brand today.
1. Google your own name: And set Google Alerts
This way you’re aware of what is being said about you, before the rest of the world is. Also, this is just good practice. Google alerts are a great way to keep up to date on many subjects, keep tracks of the activities of your dream employer. Knowledge is power.
2. Review your social media image: Check your brand on www.socialmention.com
Through social mention you’re able to again see what is being said about you. Social media is where your reputation is being built or dismantled. Being aware of that, as either a business owner or job seeker will have benefits.
3. Be aware of any networks that are associated with your name:
If you have that MySpace profile from six years ago that you never update, you should probably delete it. If you want to keep these profiles, make them active. A picture of you from high school might not be the best thing to promote yourself with. It is also a matter of relevance, sure, My Chemical Romance is a great band, but that might not be the first thing you need your potential employers to know about you.
4. Change your passwords every six months (use a capital & number for the best security):
Security is an issue, and while we’re more public with or information than ever there are some things, photos, files that you don’t want escaping into the world at large. Once something is out there, it is very hard to pull back from the Internet, so change you passwords often and be aware of your Bluetooth settings on your mobile devices.
5. Do not publish your year of birth throughout the web (Facebook, LinkedIn etc).
Employers don’t need to know this, and they aren’t allowed to ask. Randstad’s own research has shown that job hunting is harder for those under 25-years old and over 55-years old. Years of experience are incredibly valuable, as are youthful exuberance, you don’t necessarily need to tell anyone how exuberant, or experienced you happen to be.
6. Never publish anything you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard:
This sounds simple but just doing a scan of Twitter at any time of day you can see people forgetting about this rule and saying the dumbest things you'll ever read. You can use a number of rules to help you with this.
If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, don’t say it on Twitter!
If your boss wouldn’t like to hear it, don’t share it on Facebook!
Think of your children! Would what you’re pinning on Pinterest embarrass them?
If the answer is that it would offend none of the above, share away.
What would you add to this list? Share it with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.