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5 - Things you didn’t know before starting the job


5 - Things you didn’t know before starting the job

Job hunting tipsTo 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

Do people 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.

questions resized 600 Go school resized 600

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Go back to school or start your career?


Is it better to go back and study, or go into the career, and learn the skills along the way?

Introducing Advice@RandstadCanada – Advice for Canadian Employers, Employees and More

Randstad Advice

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.

Please submit your questions to, we’ll try to get back to everyone with some advice and will publish questions and answers that are of the greatest interest to the public.

Our first question comes from a Linkedin user: Is it better to go back and study, or go into the career, and learn the skills along the way?

Education versus experience is a constant question for Canadian employees, employers and students. It is more than a philosophical debate about paying for education to learn opposed to being paid to do work and learn.

In a survey of 400 Canadians this past July, the 84% argreed to the following statement,  “I believe experience weighs harder than education in finding a suitable job,”  84% of Canadians agreed or strongly agreed." 

There are simply some skills and habits you can’t learn in class. If you’ve ever worked in an office before, there are cultural idioms, work reporting habits or knowing how to have your voice heard in a board meeting that you can’t necessarily learn in college or university.

The flip side of this is that university courses teach you methodologies for sharing, sourcing and organizing knowledge and thoughts in a more constructive and legible way than flying by the seat of your pants. There are also distinct career benefits when entering the workforce for having a degree. Yes a piece of paper (along with 4+ years of demanding at times gut wrenching hard work), will open doors for you if you know where to look.

The question is however, should I go back and study, or go into the career and learn the skills along the way.

If you already have a backbone of the required education, you should have the baseline skills you need to do the job and it is a matter of confidence in those skills and having evidence in applying them to the industry you’re seeking to work.

If you aren’t confident in those skills yet, that’s okay. Most people when they embark on something new are a little fearful of their abilities. Great writers, business people and athletes have a constant fear that they are in fact lying to the world while performing their work, it is called Imposter Syndrome.

I’m not suggesting that’s what is plaguing you at the moment, all I’m saying that is that fear of the unknown and some level of self-doubt is natural.

If you need new skills, or a certification go back to school. If you need to build your confidence up, apply to an internship or a temporary role and begin to demonstrate your skills, not only to your employer, but to yourself.  

Do you have a question for Advice@RandstadCanada, please submit your questions to, or ask us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.

We’ll try to get back to everyone with some advice and will publish questions and answers that are of the greatest interest to the public.

Lying to your boss

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.

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.

  1.      Managing your personal brand online
  2.      A good Linkedin profile can get you hired.
  3.      Linkedin job search strategy 
  4.      How to find a job using Twitter

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3 - Questions you must ask yourself before applying to a new job


3 - Questions you must ask yourself before applying to a new job

effective communication skills randstadWhether you are new to the job market, or have recently upgraded your skills applying to jobs for the first time, or the first time in a long time can be a challenge. To help new job seekers reenter the workforce, this is the first in a three part series, on ensuring you're ready for the roles you're applying to.

Everyone is capable of anything they put their minds to achieving. With experience, networking and hard work you can attain your career goals.

The question is, what are those goals and how are you going about achieving them?

Building work experience is key to growing your career and whether you are looking for your first job or a new job, or a new job in Canada it is important that you are putting your job hunting energies in the right place.

Before you apply for a job ask yourself these questions, and then think about the resources available to you.

1. Have you ever done this job before?

If you have, then you are a probably ready to do it again. We’ve all made mistakes and learned from them so focus on the positive and get ready to talk about your success and failures. If you haven’t done this job before find out everything you can about the position you are applying to and try to see if there are similar work duties that you’ve performed.

Really think about if you are ready for the position you are applying to, employers don’t read every resume, they certainly don’t interview everyone after reading their resume. If you want to get a job you need to have a plausible experience set, or a very good story to explore how you are ready and able to  do the job you are applying to.

2. Do you know anyone who does the job you're applying to?

The best way to know about a position is to speak with someone who does the job. Search your network for someone that does the job and speak with them. If don’t know anyone who does the job, search online forms for stories from team members or people in similar roles and get a picture for the work realities of the role.

If you are excited about the prospects of a role, getting some first-hand knowledge is valuable in resume writing, interviewing and will help you learn if the job is actually for you.

This will give you insights into the path that your friend or the post writer has taken to get the job and the experience required to get it. There might be qualifications you don’t have that have not been written in a job description but are generally accepted as standard. There also might be screening methods you should know about like drug tests, credit checks or reference requirements you can’t meet or pass. Look into it and don’t apply to a job that you can’t get based on these requirements. You can add experience or fix your credit before you drop a resume off, not after. 

3. Do you have the experience required for the role you're applying to?

There are a few basic things you need when you are applying to a role. Every role will ask for some amount of the following;

  1. Education: You need some sort of education for almost any role in the Canadian marketplace. If you don’t have a high school education you need to consider taking an equivalency. There are resources in your region that can help adults get certificates that are certified as high school equivalency. This can help you get into a college and can help you grow you skills, abilities and confidence

  2. Experience: We all have experiences, but sharing the ones that are applicable to the job you’re applying to is important. If you have no professional experience and no training then you should be applying to a job where training is provided and experience might not be nessessary. If this is your first job time applying to a job and training is provided that’s amazing, otherwise you may need to find training externally, from an educational institution or through an internship.

  3. References: You need someone to vouch for your abilities and character, they can’t be family member or a spouse; that’s the foundation of it, but it goes deeper than that. A reference can be a professor, a valued community member or someone of authority. You don’t necessarily need a letter of reference, but it doesn’t hurt to have one on hand if you’ve got it. Remember to contact your reference in advance of applying to the job to ensure they are available and ready to provide your reference.

Need some honest advice? Ask us your employment questions on Twitter @RandstadCanada.

Looking for a job?

Read our 2014 Job Hunt Checklist to give yourself a head start this spring.

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.

4. Trends in Resumes for 2014, the Dos and Don'ts 


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Denver over Seattle, the heart breaks either way, Super Bowl XLVIII


“Denver over Seattle, but my heart breaks either way.”

Tom Turpin President of Randstad Canada, makes his Super Bowl XLVIII prediction.

Tom Turpin, President Randstad CanadaI love football, I love football, I’ll say it again I love football.

What you get with football, especially the Super Bowl, is a game of incomparable complexity, where power meets precision and speed is matched only by sheer cunning.

You can have a strong offense, or a strong defence but you can’t win it all in the end without the other. It is a symmetry of forces.

A player can make a difference, absolutely, but what he can’t do is do it on his own. No one player dominates, you need the players to your left and right. Peyton’s a hero and he’ll be a legend for a century to come but if he doesn’t have his left tackle by his side he’d knocked out before he’d even thrown one of his much loved ducks downfield.

Look, you have two interdisciplinary teams working together against and a comparable opposing force; they’re prepared, motivated and have crossed all the same roads as you have, to get where they’ve gotten to.

Some players are great at blocking runners, others catching balls; the difference is they are all the highest performers in their respective fields. Punters, running backs or linemen they are the best of the best; unquestionably tested by the rigours of a decade or more of gruelling practice and play. They put it all on the line, maybe even cutting their life expectancy short to compete. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmoveable object? That’s the gridiron, that’s business, that’s life.

My heart goes out to the Seahawks and I’m rooting for them with everything but my wallet.

If I had to put skin in the game I’d go Denver, strongest offensive effort in the history of the game this year and they have a respectable defence to back that up.

The Super Bowl is a great way to cap off the start of a great year and from everyone here at Randstad Canada I hope you all have an exciting and safe Super Bowl weekend.

Go Seahawks!

Tom Turpin

President of Randstad Canada

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Is your salary too low? May be it is time to move.


Is your salary too low? May be it is time to move.


Salaries accross Canada 2014 - Click to see the full mapsSalaries in different cities vary. What someone makes as an accountant in Levis, Quebec, isn't the same as someone in the same role in Montreal. The same goes for a warehouse worker or Barrie, Ontario or Toronto. Where you live affects how much money you make – and while that says nothing about quality of life, it is good to know.

If you’re curious about the bottom line made by your contemporaries in different cities across Canada, or in different professions, Randstad Canada’s National Compensation Survey has the information you need to start your career, or move into another.

We have two ways for you to review this data – one is a set of infographics, which scope out some of Canada’s most actively hired roles in cities across Canada and the other is the a series of salary guides which include our full data sets.

With the maps you can quickly scan the country and give yourself a picture of the differences between Vancouver, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

randstad Canada Salary Guides - Click to get themThe guides give you a more comprehensive look at roles and salaries in 57-cities for roles from information technologies, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, human resources , office administration, manufacturing and logistics.

Either way, before you pack your boxes, or your desk, review our guides and give yourself the information you need to make a wise career move.

Looking for a job?

Read our 2014 Job Hunt Checklist to give yourself a head start this spring.

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.

4. Trends in Resumes for 2014, the Dos and Don'ts 




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6 – Things Great Employers Do While Interviewing Candidates


6 – Things Great Employers Do While Interviewing Candidates

IT recruiter randstadInterviews aren’t easy for anyone. They can be fun, incredibly awkward, highly engaging, or complete wastes of time.

It isn’t just how an interview is conducted that matters, but what happens afterward that has an impact on whether the interviewing process was valuable or not, for both the interviewer and the candidate. 

So what do Canada's best employers do during the interview process?

1. They follow up with great candidates who don’t get the offer

The strongest candidates, the top two or three will be considered for a job. The one or two who aren’t offered the role, still have strong qualifications but for some reason they haven’t been selected. This shouldn’t immediately disconnect an employer from a candidate.

Following up is great protocol and as a candidate expands their experience, education or improves in other ways, they become more valuable to an organization. When an employer is hiring for a similar role again, calling up previous strong candidates should be a best practice. They might also know other strong candidates who are available.

2. They will let strong candidates meet the team, or at least see the office

Letting strong candidates meet parts of the team can help make team members feel involved in the hiring process; they can also tell an employer right off the bat their team doesn't feel comfortable with the candidate. If an employer doesn't want a candidate  to meet the team, that might be saying something. Giving a candidate a tour of the office can help them imagine working with a company and will give them the opportunity to judge if the atmosphere they’ll be asked to work it is really for them.

3. They'll be curious about the long-term aspirations and goals of candidates

More and more, workers are looking for employers who have values that support, or run parallel to their life goals and values. When an employer is looking to hire, it should be about more than a question of whether can they do the job, but whether they will thrive and grow in the position. Broad but important questions like “Where would you like to be five years from now?” might seem difficult to answer and to some unfair, but a hiring manager is honestly trying to gauge what a candidates goals and dreams are. 

4. Quick turnaround between offers and interviews

Interviewing a strong candidate and hiring are two different things. Companies have procedures to follow regarding on-boarding and recruitment. Sometimes this can take months; and in that case, they often lose the strongest employees to their competitors.

The quicker an employer can conduct their due diligence and make an offer, the greater the likelihood they’ll get their first choice. if they can't make an offer quickly, they are upfront with their candidates about the recruitement process, what it entails and how long it can take. If the candidate really wants the job, it will be worth the wait.

5. They’ll ask questions relevant to provided experience and based on interview responses

When interviewing candidates, it is important to listen to them. This sounds simple, but when a decision has already been made and a role has already been filled attentions and can wane. Think of interviews as opportunities to ask someone any question. It is like a free outside consultation. Everyone’s time is valuable all side during an interview should make the most of eachothers'. 

6. Most of all, they make informed respectable offers

Finding a balance between what a candidate would like and what a company can afford is a matter of respecting the candidate’s skills and the potential value they’ll bring to a department or role. The whole compensation plan comes into focus, what are the benefits provided? How much vacation time is being offered and of course what is their requested salary range? If there isn’t as much room on salary, but there is flexibility on vacation time, or may be a higher valued job title great employers will provide candidates offers that excite them and will make them feel respected.

How has a company impressed you? Share your experience with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada

What does salary actually mean?


For help making better offers today, download your copy of the Randstad Canada 2014 National Compensation Survey.


Salary Guide Job Hunting




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Youth Talent Search: What Does it Take to Recruit and Retain?


Youth Talent Search: What Does it Take to Recruit and Retain?

HRPA2014-YouthEvery generation has a habit of grumbling about the one that comes after, yet every business has no alternative other than to work with younger employees. Youthful workers are the destiny of the company’s future. It’s imperative to recruit and retain the generation known as the Millennials.

The Millennial “start date” isn’t as solidly defined as those for Generation X members, or Baby Boomers. Most people consider anyone born in about the early-to-mid 1980s until around the year 2000 to be Millennials. Now, those individuals are graduating from universities and tackling the adventure of beginning a career path. The best and the brightest are ready to contribute today, but it takes a very savvy business to attract them.

When I attended Jerry Zhang’s live session on this topic at the HRPA 2014 Conference in Toronto, I was captivated by his messaging and starting realizing how lucky I have been to work with and mentor many youth entering the workforce. I definitely learn a lot by working with this passionate crew and their fresh outlook can be insightful and inspiring. I agree with Jerry’s key points about the benefits and advantages to hiring youthful workers who are fresh out of school, including:

 7 - Keys to engaging talented youth

  • Their positive perspectives. They haven’t been around the block 1,000 times, so they often see old problems in new lights.

  • Their cost-effective salary expectations. The Millennials will work for less money than you might expect. Yes, they should be compensated, but they aren’t asking for six-figure starting salaries and they often value ongoing learning and growth opportunities more than salary.

  • Their ability to absorb information rapidly. Maybe it has something to do with all the electronic gadgets they grew up with, but younger workers seem to grasp ideas quickly and then run with them.

  • Their inherent energy levels. Remember when you were 23? You could pull “all-nighters” without suffering week-long consequences. Millennials have that kind of go-getter attitude, and they’ll work hard if they believe in a cause.

  • Their dreams and beliefs. The hopes of young people always fuel innovation. Today’s youth are no different than the youth in decades past. Millennials want to change the world, so companies need to have passionate visions to woo them. 

  • Their philosophy of life integration. Millennials believe in balance in all areas of their lives. They seek out workplaces that value them as people as well as employees. No wonder so many of the Millennial-heavy companies have onsite fitness and gym areas, ping pong tables and generous personal time policies!

  • Youth today must be inspired. They want to work, and will give an employer their all if they feel they are respected and needed. By offering young recruits a culture that appeals to their intrinsic natures and general characteristics, businesses can expect to grow a loyal, passionate and engaged Millennial workforce.

Did you know?

According to Millennials around the web, some of the best companies to work for include: CareerBuilder, Orbitz, Dell, St. Jude’s Hospital, Walt Disney World and Starbucks. Ironically, the list of favorite employers spans across all industries. This reveals just how versatile Millennials are when it comes to their preferred skill sets and talents and, more importantly, that any company has the opportunity to inspire their next generation of employees and win in the youth talent search.

By Social Media & Employer Brand Strategist Lauralee Guthrie

How do you engage younger talent? Share your ideas with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.


If you enjoyed this article, read 6-Tips for Networking at Conferences, and 4-Management Lesson you Can Learn from Hollywood.



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5-Tips for Asking for a Raise


5-Tips for Asking for a Raise 


With more than half of Canadians asking for a raise this year, arming yourself with the tools and a plan that will benefit your request are key. Be prepared to discuss the value you add to the company and if  you have that value in a tangible dollar figure, even better.

In the second part of an eight part series on Randstad Canada’s Labour Trends Study 2014 -Demanded Skills and Expectations, we take a look at how to ask for a raise in 2014. 

Part 1: Canadians are optimistic on the economy

In our study conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of Randstad Canada, Canadians said they were optimistic about their opportunities to get a raise. Asking for a raise isn't easy and if done wrong can delay or even scuttle your career. Of those polled more than half (51%) of those polled said they expect to receive a raise in 2014, with those in Quebec (58%) and Alberta (57%) feeling much more confident in receiving a salary increase than those in Ontario (46%) or British Columbia (48%).

Here are 5-Tips for Asking for a Raise

1. Be prepared with numbers to back up your request: One of the strongest ways to prove yourself to your boss and their superiors when you begin discussions about receiving a raise is to include your key performance indicators or KPIs in your argument. If you can say that because of your superior work you’ve helped the company achieve more, it is easier for you to argue that you deserve to be paid more. If your role doesn’t include data-based metrics try to get creative in how you communicate your value to the company - even if it is just communicating your division's broad success and touting your stellar attendance record.

2. Come with a plan: It isn’t enough to just prove that you’ve done great work in the year prior to your meeting, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to continue to improve those numbers, benefit the business and grow personally as an employee. Include a quarterly and year-long plan for the programs you are developing, or ideas on how you are going to continue to add value to the programs that your managers are conducting.

3. Self-learning, certifications and new skills: If you’ve developed new skills and you’re able to demonstrate them, or you are using skills that are outside of your job description this is the time to remind your employer that you’ve grown in your position and you contribute a lot. If you have new language certifications, can perform new digital tasks, or have displayed the ability to conduct media interviews or public relations, or anything new that has business value; this will be a great discussion point to bring up with leadership.

4. Brand ambassadorship: Marketers often say that the greatest tool a business has in marketing its wares, or services is word of mouth. That word of mouth starts from your brand’s best ambassadors, who should be their employees and partners. Showing that you are a positive brand advocate and your voice has helped grow the brand within your networks and community shows that you’re not only a good employee, but that you are a dedicated and influential brand ambassador; loyalty is important.

5. Update your Linkedin profile, build new connections, network: There is nothing wrong with continuing to network for your career even though you’re happily employed. Networking has many benefits, it shows your employers that you aren’t complacent, you can build contacts that can benefit your current role and it is a tidy way to remind your employer that you’re a desirable employee without have to flat-out saying, “other companies are looking to hire me,”, which is something you shouldn’t’ say to anyone. Businesses rise and fall, your network is your safety net, it can be your future.

Randstad's National Compensation Survey

If you are aiming for a raise it is important to know where your salary stacks up against the competition. To help you gauge what to ask for as your raise this year, review Randtad Canada’s National Compensation Survey. Download your guide today.


Do you expect to get a raise this year? If not, why not, share your thoughts with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada

 Articles you might also be interested in.

3 tips on interview attire 3 keys for job interview




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Market Trends: Canadians Cautiously Optimistic - Economy


Market Trends: Canadians Cautiously Optimistic - Economy

Randstad Canada Labour Trends Study 2014 - Demanded Skills and Expectation Series



In the first of an eight part series on Randstad Canada’s Labour Trends Study 2014 - Demanded Skills and Expectations, we take a look at some of Canadian’s expectations have regarding the future of the Canadian economy.

Part 1: Canadians Cautiously Optimistic Regarding Economy

Employees Vs Managers

Despite a slow year for full-time employment workers are still reasonably confidence in the Canadian economy, with near perfect splits of those who are less and more confident in Canada’s growth. The divide exists more so between regions and work position, with Canada’s eastern provinces showing signs of waning confidence, and employers or managers indicating they see more of silver lining than their employees.

Slowdowns and job losses in Canada’s most populous province seem to be having the greatest effect on overall confidence, with Ontario being the least confident through much of our data.

Men are also considerably more confident in both the job market and the economy than women, expanding on a trend that while women may be more educated, men believe they have either advantages regarding the labour market, or are patently more confident regardless of ability or experience. This is something we’ve found in other reports and through discussions from our Women Shaping Business program.  


Management more optimistic than employees

The Strength of the Canadian economy

  • 37.5% Managers vs 21.8% Employees – more confident

  • 22.3% Employees vs 18.4% Managers – less confident


The Canadian Job Market

  • 30.3% Managers vs 19.2% Employees – more confident

  • 29% Employees vs 25.2% Managers – less confident


 West more optimistic than East


The Strength of the Canadian economy

  • 35.4% Alberta – High regional – more confident

  • 32.2% BC – High regional – more confident

  • 26.1% Quebec – Low regional – more confident

  • 19.6% Atlantic Canada – Low regional – more confident


The Canadian Job Market

  • 31.3% Alberta – High regional – more confident

  • 30.4% BC – High regional – more confident

  • 22.6% Ontario – Low regional – more confident

  • 18.1% Atlantic Canada – Low regional – more confident


Where do you feel the Canadian Economy is going? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.


Details on the upcoming study

Randstad Canada with the help of Ipsos Ried has undertaken a comprehensive study of Canadian employees and employers in regards to their expectations for the 2014. Through a survey, Ipsos contacted over 2,000 Canadians, 800 of which were managers and employers and 1276 employees.

The full report will be available to the public in February, but we felt it was important to provide the public with some of the initial findings as soon as we could.

Demographics of our study

Age and sex













British Columbia





Atlantic Canada









Less than High School

High School

Some Post-Secondary

University Grad







Household Income

Less than $40,000

$40,000 to less than $60,000

$60,000 to less than $100,000







Employment Status

Employment Status






For more information on this study, please contact Randstad Canada’s PR and Communication’s team.


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6-Tips for Networking at Conferences like #HRPA2014


6-Tips for Networking at Conferences like #HRPA2014

Not at the conference yet? Watch out for ice and snow and  follow our tips for staying winter safe on your way to HRPA2014 in Toronto this week.

salary guide canada map hr manager.en resized 600Well organized conferences are a brand’s best friend when recruiting, networking or trying to learn industry best practices. It gives you the chance to meet with your competition, to speak with their best and brightest and find people who are tapped into networks in your industry.
Brands and business spend millions of dollars each year at industry conferences; they act as a fulfillment piece for brands, new initiatives and other types of campaigns. If you’re planning setting up a booth or even just attend a conference in Canada, read up on some of these networking and recruiting tips and tricks before shinning your shoes and handing out cards.

First off, ask yourself and understand why you are attending the event:

  • Return on investment (ROI): If you’re recruiting or networking you are on the hunt for very specific people. Conferences let you target specific people with experience or interest in the skills or industry you are looking in. This is you have the chance to leverage the conference's scope, participate in important events and spend your money wisely. A newspaper ad might lead a few people to a website or to make a call, but attending an event can put you in front of people to let you directly sell your services, ideas or products to them.
  • Beyond the booth: Once you have a booth, what you do outside of it is almost more important. Conferences have side events, dinners, workshops and other types of events that break people into smaller more engageable groups. Find where you are most effective at networking and optimize you time by joining in and taking part.
  • Lists, profiles and preparation: It isn’t enough to just attend, you need to have a plan in place before you arrive. If you know which businesses are attending, it isn’t hard to find out who is attending or what information they are either looking for or distributing. Search the social media hashtag, or conference pages for people who are engaging, asking questions or sharing content – you can start speaking with them before hand and get the conversation moving before the big day.

Ways to participate:

  • Manning the booth: If you have a booth you need someone at it at all times. Otherwise, what’s the point? Being approachable isn’t as easy as it sounds, not spending time on your smartphone, slouching, or fussing with your booth arrangement will help make it apparent that you’re welcome to new discussions. 
  • Speaking opportunities: One of the best ways to reach a conference is to have the chance to speak at one. This isn’t as easy as asking, you need to often present your idea in the form of a call for papers, pay a great deal for sponsorship, and or, have a profile built in the community you are representing. Once you have some or all of these in place speaking opportunities will follow and your brand will benefit.
  • Volunteering: Another way to network and attend a conference is to volunteer at one. You are likely going to be working with other professional in your field, you are also going to build a contact base with the organizers and have a different level of access to them than you would normally. Volunteering has another benefit, it is free. You are going to start discussions with people about who you are and why you are there, and you’ll have a frame of reference laid out with everyone you meet. If you can manage to help move tables or direct delegates you might be connecting yourself to just the right people and spending little more than your time to do so.

If you are hiring for any role conferences can help you find the best talent; knowing what they want can help you bridge a conversation into a potential new hire. Learn more about what salaries Canadians are looking for with Randstad's National Compensation Survey. Download yours today.

How do you use conferences to find new recruites, or aid in your job hunt? Tell us on Twitter @RandstadCanada. 

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