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James Rubec

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Generations Part 2: Gen Z, the world’s your oyster

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 02:43 PM

Generations Part 2: Gen Z, the world’s your oyster

James Rubec, Content Marketing Specialist at Randstad Canada,  shares his thoughts on the generational huddle he's grown his career within and his hopes for the new generation entering the workforce today.

Want to read part one? Click here. 

If everything I’ve read about this generation is true they’ll fit right in – but companies better invest in them and allow them to take their time to figure out what the organization actually does and how it works.

INMAGEBringing in Gen Z  for data entry, or to sort files that shouldn’t be printed anyway is a waste of their energy. What this generation has experienced is 15-years of rapid evolution of technology and social norms. They expect everything to move that fast and they might be right.

I started my career when using a cell phone in the office might get you a funny look, now I’ll be in meetings where we’ll all periodically pull them out to look at new messages; faux pas or status quo, who knows.

This generation will be more connected and will face more of the challenges that will come with it. There are so many channels for communication, which ever combination this generation chooses to use will win out.

From Generation Z? Here are tips on building your first professional resume.

They will be masters of their domain and if they have coding skills, building tools to make business easier will be second nature. No longer with there be a six month development project and a team of four – they’ll just work on it in an afternoon and Shazam you’ll have a new business application. Sure that might not be “focus” but it is more productive.

More than anything they want to learn and be certified – they know that knowing something is good, but showing that they know something immediately has more value. Of course not everyone can build applications in an afternoon but it could come to a point where building a solution to a problem replaces the Powerpoint presentation. This generation will expect society to come to the table with solutions or to not come to the table at all.

Disruption is the new productivity and Generation Z has grown up in a constant cycle of it.

Learn more about Generation Y, with From Y to Z: a guide to the next generation of employees.

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z

Generations Part 1: Gen Y is the Jack of All Trades

Posted by James Rubec on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 @ 02:12 PM

Generations Part 1: Gen Y is the Jack of All Trades

JAMESJames Rubec, Content Marketing Specialist at Randstad Canada,  shares his thoughts on the generational huddle he's grown his career within and his hopes for the new generation entering the workforce today.

I grew up with two older sisters and saw exactly how competitive, career driven and challenging life has been for Gen X. I’ve always looked up to those born in the early 80s, they’ve been my mentors, my leaders and role models, seeing their struggle taught me two things;

  1. Enjoy life – While #thestruggleisreal, is it only a struggle if you aren’t enjoying your journey – I also grew up with John Hughes movies, to quote Ferris Bueller’s day off;

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it."

I feel that a lot of Generation X missed it because they were terrified of the repeated crashes in the economy and the amazing longevity of the boomers. Getting out of school with debt is a great incentive to get your life moving, but what if you can’t?

  1. Network in real life: Back before Facebook my sisters had tons of friends and they did things, real things like car trips and dinners and back yard bbqs. They didn’t need a Facebook event to make it happen, they just got out and did stuff.  They followed through on their commitments not just on peoples’ Twitter handles.

Now I’m just happy to have them around to help steer the ship in real life while my generation is busy swimming in apps and technology.

Learn more about Generation Y, with From Y to Z: a guide to the next generation of employees.


Generation Y: Jacks of All Trades, but Masters of None

Growing up in Ottawa, I have a slanted view of my generation, there were a few fields people could go into – government, tech, pure academia or the trades. I know almost no one who works with their hands and that’s endemic of our society. I know one carpenter, one painter and they are experts in their trades – that’s also endemic of our generation.

Knowing how large the world is makes us demand the best from ourselves in all we do. Problem is we want to do everything and know everything. We all have a DSLR camera, we all have improvisational training, we all of degrees, we all have lofty dreams - we are unique just like everyone else. The Internet did this to us, at one point we’re DIY, at another we have no time to do anything ourselves. We work hard, probably too hard to be productive. We network well but know too many people to build on those relationships in substantive ways.

Provide valuable feedback to Gen Y

I think we’ll get better with age, with focus and a winnowing of our dreams. It is often said we’re constantly seeking praise and feedback, it's because we're asking the world around us “Is this any good, should I keep doing it, is it worthwhile?”

Provide that feedback, that input and give Gen Y all of the opportunities you can. They'll make it worth your while.

Click here to read part 2Gen Z, the world’s your oyster.

What do you think of your generation? What are you doing to be your best? Ask me anything on Twitter @JamesRRubec.

From Generation Z? Here are tips on building your first professional resume.

Tags: Randstad Canada, Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z

Indigo: an employee experience of storytelling and culture

Posted by James Rubec on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 @ 08:42 AM


Indigo: an employee experience of storytelling and culture

Walk into any Indigo and speak with the employees on the floor. They are smart, knowledgeable, inter-connected and above all helpful and Canadians have noticed.

For the last four years Indigo has placed within the Top 20 most attractive Canadian employer brands. What that means is that when asked during Randstad Canada’s employer branding survey, the Randstad Award, an overwhelming number of Canadians have said they want to work for Indigo.  Indigo has achieved this through storytelling.

“We think of Indigo as a cultural department store … and at its heart it is all about storytelling.”

Laura Dunne, Indigo’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources knows the brand its product line and people. With over 6,500 employees working out of 91 superstores under the brand names Chapters, Indigo and the World’s Biggest Bookstore and 130 small format stores, under Coles, Indigo, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company,  selling everything from books, ear buds, sheep skin throws and premium children’s toys –  that’s a lot.

That story is found in the products Indigo sells and the people they employ. Whether it is wellness, technology or housewares, Indigo shifts with the culture around it, adapting the product line and team to suit the needs of their customers.  To do this Indigo taps its national network of employees and their experiences.

Digital community connecting national teams

“We’ve built a virtual community called Galileo that allows our employees to engage with each other and our brand, overtime we increased its functionality to include a section called Galileo Ideas,” said Dunne, who found that the platform was being used to share best practices on employee experience, financial performance and other innovations “This is the grassroots for change. We have thousands of participants sharing ideas for improvements in store and in every area.”

Indigo’s brand has been closely tied to creativity and innovation and this platform grew to be an embodiment of that value.

That change and adaption has given Indigo’s talent team the opportunity to reimagine the employee experience which allows them to bring exciting partnerships into the brand and the in-store day to day.

“We partner with brands that share our values, we try to preserve their mystic as they grow with us, and we want them to be complimentary,” said Dunne.

If you go into any Indigo you experience multiple brands at the same time. You can go to a Starbucks, or into an iStore where you can buy headphones or iPads and you can shop for children’s toys like the American Girl line which Indigo recently brought to Canada. Each is catered to its own audience and each requires its own specialized team.


“American Girl is a brand of toys, dolls and dolls accessories,” Dunne explained. “We needed to build a customer experience that was engaging for children and their parents so we launched a recruitment campaign asking people to apply for an ‘audition’ to represent the brand.”

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

Indigo didn’t just post a few job ads with a catchy title, in the spring and fall of 2014 they launched a full social recruitment campaign with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

“We received thousands of applications and the quality of these candidates was amazing,” said Dunne explaining that the auditions were held in groups of carefully selected candidates to amplify the experience for everyone involved. “We were able to put some people in Indigo Tech, or Home in on- site sales.”

American Girl’s brand builds the self-esteem of young girls, helping them find their passions and to embrace diversity. They also have a particular service model that Indigo needed to replicate in the employee and customer experience.

One brand thousands of stories

“You need to bring that story to life. We flew down to the States and learned directly from their teams, we brought the training methodology back and rebuilt it,” said Dunne.

With an Indigo-ready training program the teams went to work and launched internally and externally. The buzz around the launch was enormous, on October 10, 2014, parents and their daughters in the thousands lined up outside waiting to get their hands on the dolls and Dunne’s new teams of American Girl representatives were ready.

And their story continues, this year Indigo has again been voted one of Canada’s leading employer brands by over 9,500 Canadians.

To find out where Indigo placed in the 2015 Randstad Award stay tuned for April 22, when we announce this year’s winners and other exciting results and insights.

What employer brand do you think will win? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter by tweeting @RandstadCanada with #RandstadAward

Find out more on www.randstadaward.ca.

What is the Randstad Award?

The Randstad Award is presented each year to the most attractive employer in various countries throughout the globe.It’s not just another prize for the trophy cabinet because the winner is based on the outcome of the world’s largest survey into employer branding. And unlike other best employer awards, it is ‘the people’s choice’, based on the views of a representative sample of employees and job-seekers in each of the participating countries. 9,500 respondents per country between the ages of 18 and 65 are asked for their views on a country’s 150 largest companies through an online questionnaire.The companies are selected through national statistics agencies. This means they cannot request or subscribe to be included in the survey. The winners are selected solely based on the appeal of their employer brand. Such careful measures ensure that the survey remains completely objective.

Tags: Canadian Business, IT recruitment, Employer branding, Training, Talent management

Ontario’s Engineers Building Bridges across the Skills Gap, one Popsicle Stick at a Time

Posted by James Rubec on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 @ 09:06 AM

bridgeOntario’s Engineers Building Bridges across the Skills Gap, one Popsicle Stick at a Time

May be STEM education is a bridge too far; despite efforts by industry and government, there are too few Canadians children being educated in the STEM (science, technologies, engineering and mathematics) fields. The Conference Board of Canada this past April, gave our provinces and their educational systems a D on their annual STEM education report card; the question is how do  you bring more youth into these studious fields?

For Bruce Miliken  P. Eng, the Vice-Chair of the Professional Engineers of Ontario’s Quinte Chapter, who is part of an organizing committee that sets up an annual Popsicle stick bridge building competition, the trick might be getting them while they’re young.

“A couple years ago, a girl in Grade 6 won. She built a bridge that could withstand over 250 lbs.,” said Milliken, an electrical engineer for over 30 years. “That was just in the Standard competition; in the Open Class, her bridge withstood over 550 lbs. of pressure.”

What your worth on the market? Find out with  Randstad Engineering's Compensation Guide.

Every year, 25 or 30 competitors from the Quinte region come his way, with bridges of varying complexity and design. The rules are simple, you get 100 Popsicle sticks and simple white glue – build a 24 inch bridge that can span a 20 inch gap and it must be thick enough to drive a Matchbox car across.

“You see a lot of triangles, and that’s a good thing,” explained Miliken. “They work on them on their own, or in some cases, in school with some supervision by their teachers. Competitors are from grades four to eight”

Are you looking for work in Canada?

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There are two classes for the competition, the traditional Standard Class, with 100 Popsicle sticks and white glue and the Open Class, with 200 sticks and any glue the competitors can get their hands on.

“We’re not the only region that does these competitions, they happen across Ontario – organized by the Professional Engineers of Ontario and other similar groups. We’ve been doing it for at least the past 10-years,” said Miliken.


While Canada is leading the OECD in education attainment, we lag behind many in terms of PhDs in the STEM field, we also have few foreign nationals seeking education in Canada, which is seen as an indicator of quality.

As Bruce sees it, the bridge building competition is a great tool for educating young minds.

“It is a great lesson in geometry, and in Newtonian mechanics and the idea that forces and failures interact.”

The Quinte competiton is being held in March as part of National Engineering Month, to learn more about engineering acitviites in your region, visit, their event listing. 


Tags: Engineering, National Engineering Month

Daylight savings time: spring forward safely

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Mar 04, 2015 @ 12:29 PM

DaylightThis weekend on Sunday March 8, we’ll be turning our clocks forward an hour and while the boost of evening light will be make our commute home more enjoyable you have to make sure you “Spring Forward” in a safe and productive way.

In a study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers from Michigan State University looked at reports of accidents that have occurred in mines from 1983-2006. The Barnes and Wagner study has found that when we lose an hour of sleep, like we will this upcoming Monday, we are more likely to be injured at work, and more likely to be hurt more severely. So, yes, daylight savings time gives us more-light but we need to be careful while at work.

How to save yourself during daylight’s saving time:

  1. Go to bed an hour early, on Friday and Saturday night: This will help your body become accustomed to the time change and prevent life threatening fatigue.

  2. Change your clocks earlier: If your schedule and sanity can withstand it, start your time change early. Your cellphone will change itself, but your habits of waking up an hour early won’t.

  3. Take a care day: Some people experience sleep fatigue differently. If you don’t feel that you are well enough rested to perform your job safely, take the day off. Your safety and the safety of the people around you is more important than being on time.

  4. Be aware: Your morning commute will be darker than usual. Are your headlights clean, are you prepared to interact with cyclists and pedestrians differently? With early March comes early spring, and the melting conditions will bring more people onto the road – watch out for them!

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Workplace safety is part of the productivity puzzle. Managers should be cognizant that changes in time can affect people’s performance. If you work in an environment with FlexTime, or work from home, don’t be surprised if some of your team members use that option on Monday, March 9.

For more workplace trends, or talent management advice, follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.

Tags: health and safety, Daylight savings time, workplace safety, safety, health, Spring, management, fatigue

5 Creative Hiring Tactics for IT

Posted by James Rubec on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 @ 10:56 AM

5 Creative Hiring Tactics for IT

If you have a smart phone, a TV, a thermostat or even a field full of cows, developers and IT professionals are connecting you to the world. Recruiting these talented team members can be a challenge, here are 5 Creative hiring Tactics for IT. 

psg-general-cover.en1. Hiring young: Generation Y has already entered the workforce in a real way, their skills are competitive, but their experience may not be where you need them to be fully productive. There are members of Gen Y who are running start-ups successfully, they are being promoted to senior ranks within teams – this year give them a shot or you’ll lose out on the leaders not just of tomorrow but may be today. 

Generation Z, is younger but they are in some cases midway through their undergraduate programs. If you haven’t started talent marketing to this group you might already be behind the Grade 8-Ball. You don’t need an Instagram account to attract either generation Y or Z, recent research conducted by Randstad Canada has found that both groups are attracted by community engagement. Promote your Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, announce large hirings through the media and raise your profile with two generations at the same time.

2. Use contractors and contingent labour: While you need to build internal teams to help deliver this year’s business solutions, onboarding team members won’t solve immediate burning issues. There is an opportunity cost to not deploying new tools, or systems that improve efficiencies today. Contractors, or a contingent labour solution, can work with your team and immediately deliver on projects that can set up new hires for success this year.

Are you making enough? Find out with Randstad Technologies Compensation Survey.

3. Retention and promotion of women: There is a talent crisis in IT, and it is in how few women stay in their positions over the long term, with fewer female leaders in positions to act as sponsors or as powerful voices who can bring more women into the ranks – IT and Technical services have some of the lowest levels of female directorships outside of the natural resources industry

This can be a chicken and the egg problem, if an industry has few women in it, it is perceived as unattractive to women and fewer women apply to roles. There are still challenges, if are looking to fill a position for senior IT manager with 10-years of experience the reality is that there just weren’t that many women enrolling in IT programs in 1998 who can apply for that job. This year, break that cycle in 2012/2013, women represented more than half of the working population and as many as 25.5% of graduates from programs in IT are women . Bring them into your company now and support them as they grow – over time that will improve your employer brand and make you a more attractive employer.

group-24. Offsite teams: In IT, there are many roles that can be done offsite. You can have a development team working on projects in Calgary, when your head office in Toronto. This can help you in a couple of ways. One, it lets you manage the costs of your employees more effectively, knowing that some markets have lower rates than others and two, it can increase the hours of your team’s response and capacity with multiple team members in a variety of time zones. This flexibility means that if one team is bogged down in a weather emergency the whole team isn’t impacted.

5. Redundancy: Many managers are forced by budgets to run programming with a tight ship, but there is a strong argument in having redundancy built into your team structure. Hiring an extra team member gives your team some breathing room on productivity; it can improve the team cohesion, reduce stress and if a team member leaves unexpectedly you’ll have the added work capacity not reduce total output.

One greatest key to success in the talent war and in employer branding is competitive salary and benefits as found in Randstad Canada employer branding research in the Randstad Award. Make the best offers to your star candidates and be ready for your teams’ performance reviews with up to date information on what candidates are looking for today.

Want more insights in your market or for your job hunt? Download the 2015 Randstad Technologies Compensation Guide.

Tags: Technologies, TECH recruiters, IT recruitment

Five trends that will shape the labour market landscape in Canada this year

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

Op-Ed, Originally Published in the National Post, By Tom Turpin, President Randstad Canada

Tom_Turpin-v1Many factors are shaping the year ahead for businesses and their employees across Canada. Falling oil prices are expected to continue for some time; consumers and government will carry even deeper debt loads and Generation Z will begin entering the job market while Boomerang Boomers continue to fill the void in various skilled trades.

While we saw flat job growth last year, economists and organizations have shown optimism for the year ahead. Here’s what we’re predicting will happen in 2015 across the Canadian labour market landscape and what companies, employees and job seekers should be paying close attention to:

Canada to see movement from West to East Discussions with clients from various industries confirm that the demand for skilled engineers and technical workers is far from drying up. We predict a rise and move in the second quarter. With a lower Canadian dollar, the manufacturing industry will have a strong start to the year, and we can project higher demand in manufacturing professionals working in this export rich market environment.

Want to hear more from Tom Turpin? Listen to this podcast!

All regions and sectors will need an influx of highly skilled workers, specifically the manufacturing centres of Southwestern Ontario, prospected liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia, mega-hydroelectric construction in Manitoba and Quebec, and Western Canada’s vigorous energy sector in spite of the stated lower energy prices. Recent investments in aerospace will return benefits in employment in this sector in 2015.

Technical fields will be in high demand That will be spurred on by manufacturing, aerospace and warehousing and logistics. Approximately 80% of the provinces’ total exports are made by Ontario manufacturers and throughout 2014, even when certain sectors weren’t hiring, the manufacturing sector was booming. In addition to the work that will be required this year, Statistics Canada says, there are also unfilled orders across the machinery industry, engine and power transmission equipment and agricultural, construction and mining industry, which will mean huge job gains.

Skills gap and youth unemployment will remain a challenge Last year we saw heightened conversation around contributing factors to youth unemployment: unpaid internships, a mismatch in skills and graduates having to work part-time jobs because their chosen industry is over-saturated. This is still very much a problem. Managers say a huge portion of today’s graduates aren’t thinking about the jobs of the future, causing them to not have the skills necessary for the jobs available. And when it comes to skilled trades, a shift in thinking needs to be made in schools and at home that the blue collar jobs of yesterday are the white collar jobs of today and tomorrow.

Employers want an all-in-one employee Employers will want to see more out of their employees like never before. With companies increasingly understanding the value in training and hearing from employees about the need for up-keeping skills to retain staff, they’re looking to see these new skills in action. Companies are thinking about the needs of the future and certain skills are going to be necessary, such as being new-media literate, being able to understand concepts across multiple disciplines, being affluent in a variety of tools and techniques, virtual teamwork, and the ability to problem solve in creative and non-traditional ways.

Gen-Z will bring in changes in the workplace This generation is all about out-of-the-box thinking and using multiple channels and tools to find solutions. These workers have been brought up with access to everything through the touch of a fingertip and it’s because of this that they won’t feel the need to wait for direction or instruction like generations before. They also don’t measure productivity by being constrained to a desk and will want to see flexibility as they view themselves as valuable freelancers.

Although we may be off to a rocky start when it comes to the economy, there are opportunities within different sectors across the country and we’ll most likely see a positive change come Q2.

Tom Turpin is president of Randstad Canada, the country’s largest staffing, recruitment and HR services provider. Listen to Randstad Canada’s The Workstation podcast, to hear Tom Turpin discuss 2015 trends for the Canadian Employment market.

Tags: Randstad Canada, Jobs and economy, Skills Shortage

Women Shaping Business a Year in Review; #Womenshapingbiz

Posted by James Rubec on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

What we've learned, what is coming next?

Editor’s Note: Women Shaping Business is a program dedicated to shining a spotlight on diversity in the workplace of all types. Since 2012, Randstad Canada’s Women Shaping Business program focused on a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid of women working in Canada both executives and employees, to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that women face in the world of work. In the last three years, this has expanded to discuss progress all workers can make to help them achieve their personal goals and career objectives.


On November 4, 2014, Randstad Canada held a panel discussion on mentorship and gender equity in Montreal, Québec as part of this year’s Women Shaping Business program. The panel featured; Nancy Venneman Présidente et fondatrice de l’entreprise Altitude Aerospace, Elizabeth Alves Vice-Présidente, Audit interne et gestion des risques chez Cogeco, Présidente du CA du chapitre du Québec de l’Association canadienne des femmes en communication et technologie (FCT), Ryan Hillier Avocat chez Blakes et président de la Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal and Ruth Vachon Présidente-directrice générale du Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec.


On November 12, 2014, Randstad Canada held a panel discussion on mentorship and gender equity in Toronto, Ontario as part of this year’s Women Shaping Business program. The panel featured five great speakers including Spencer Saunders the President of Art & Science Digital Experience Design, Katherine Dimopoulos the Head of Marketing and Brand Experience at SCENE, Fawn Annan President & Group Publisher IT World Canada & Chair, Canadian Channel Chiefs Council, Ingrid Macintosh the Vice President of Portfolio Advice and Investment Research, TD Bank Group and Michael Kyritsis the VP of People and Values, Bond Brand Loyalty and was moderated by Linda Galipeau, the CEO of Randstad North America.
On November 13, 2014, Randstad Canada held a panel discussion on mentorship and gender equity in Calgary, Alberta as part of this year’s Women Shaping Business program. The panel featured; Anna Murray, Founder Young Women in Energy, Dr. Rebecca Sullivan, Professor, Department of English Women's Studies Program, University of Calgary, Chris Marks, Global Talent Acquisition Leader for Ensign Energy, Farah Mohamed, Founder & CEO G(irls)20, Kelly Norcott, Sales Director, Telus Business Solutions; Regional Chair Connects - The Telus women's Network and was moderated by Linda Galipeau, Randstad North America’s CEO and Randstad Canada’s founder.

Men should have a seat at the table in the discussion about gender diversity

On the face of it, it sounds counter intuitive. The He for She solidarity movement put forward by UN women make a case for men to be part in the discussion on female leadership – and the reasoning is sound. First, you have to identify that men aren’t the root cause of the problem – traditional organizational structure, unconscious bias and advancement strategies are. By bringing men into the discussion whole heartedly, it opens the door to a broader discussion about not just how to bring more female leaders up the ranks – but into how to improve organizational efficiency, find better leaders and improve the business.

Accommodate is not enough - organizations need to adapt 

In one discussion held on our Toronto panel this year, the word ‘’accommodate’’ was used to describe what organizations can and should do to help women reach work life balance or workplace harmony. The problem with accommodation is that it implies there is solution for a punctual, limited or short-term problem. But as organizations need more and more skilled workers, and women form a huge proportion of this workforce, while still struggling to juggle job and family responsibilities, accommodating will not be enough. And where accommodate fails, adapt supersedes – it implies that a system will change and evolve to address the problem permanently. In the case of gender diversity, organizations should not accommodate half of the working population, they should adapt to an imbalance that need to be solved.

Gender and family issues aren’t just women’s issues, they are workplace issues

In all of our panel discussions held this year, we had stories that highlighted diversity issues that could have been prevented with training. One story was about a senior professor at a university who was looking for a way to improve the work life balance for this teachers who had children. He instituted a new mandate, stipulating that teachers with parents would no longer teach afternoon classes, thinking that in doing this, he’d make their lives easier.

He was wrong. His change placed a burden on everyone – teachers who had arrangements for afternoon care for their children no longer needed it, teachers who didn’t have children were now forced to teach more afternoon class, which impacted them in uncounted ways. The lesson in the story: family issues are workplace issues, not specifically ones of gender, and they impact everyone whether you have a family or not.


Sponsorship is key … self-promotion too:

The role of a sponsor is to help you develop your career, promote you internally, and help you advance in an organization. The mentor, on the other hand, is more of a coach, giving you advice and sharing their experiences on specific issues. Sponsors and mentors are very strong allies, but you also need to keep evaluating yourself and looking for ways to improve. 

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And while it is a good thing to assess your progress, you should avoid giving too much into self-criticizing and self-doubt. Display your ambition so other managers understand your goals, and speak openly about your success. Women have a tendency to minimize their successes - be proud of your accomplishments and do all you can to promote them. 

Women on boards, women in STEM: are we doing enough?

The question that we posed this year and is becoming more prevalent in the discourse around gender equity, is, “Is this enough?”Through research and our discussions, we see that female leaders advocating for more women in executive positions in their organizations have an impact – more women are given opportunities.  There has been great progress, as you can see below, in a graph published in the 2014 Board Diversity Report Card published by the Canadian Board Diversity Council. Organizations with more female 

board members have more female executive members. The impact of more women on boards means more women in positions of power.


The question that we posed this year and is becoming more prevalent in the discourse around gender equity, is, “Is this enough?”

In the fields of Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics that’s a resounding no. In IT and natural resources, again we’re seeing too few women entering the job market and when they get there, they are leaving too early. Here is an example: in Manitoba[1], only 8% of professional engineers are women. Another large proportion of women who are trained and have paid dues to their representative engineering association choose not to work as engineers.

Below is a graph of female engineering membership and due-payments in Manitoba, through the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists in Manitoba (APEGM). Members of the APEGM, who are women only 15% are practicing currently – versus 33% who are deferring their dues.


The challenges of training more women in STEM fields is real, as is the capacity for organizations and work cultures to keep them in these fields once they are in these careers.

This year we hope to explore why these dynamics exists and what companies are doing to improve the world of work for women



Get a copy of Randstad Canada's Women Shaping Business Research today.

This year will be an exciting time for diversity in the workplace and we hope that we can continue to provide you with valuable insights, research and advice on growing in the world of work.


Tags: Canadian employment, Womenshapingbiz, gender equity

Snow days: should you stay, or should you go?

Posted by James Rubec on Thu, Feb 05, 2015 @ 02:35 PM

Regardless of your commute, you probably didn't have to go through something like this in the last snowstorm.

Randstad Canada’s Snow Day FAQ

With much of Canada under a deep blanket of snow and ice, employees and employers struggle with the question, "When the snow falls when is it reasonable for a snow day to be taken?".

Tips for employees

How much snow is too much? 

In Canada there is no legislation on snow days or emergency weather scenarios. It is up to companies to make their own policies. Some companies have different types of days that employees can take for situations like a heavy snowfall or for heavy rains that make roads dangerous; these can be called Emergency Days, others are titled Care Days.

The onus is on employees to decide whether they can take the day off without damaging their relationships with their employers, or your team. If your company has a work from home policy this is great opportunity to use it. If the roads are closed, buses have stopped running or your city has declared an emergency you certainly have grounds to not make it into work.


What should employees do if they are staying home?

Employees should their managers and notify their teams as soon as they know they won’t be making it in. Of course, if conditions improve, they should make an effort to get into the office.

Tips for employers

What should or can companies do during heavy snowfalls?

In the case that the roads are truly dangerous it is best for employers to be proactive and communicate with their teams – telling them that it is OK to take a Care Day and not come into the shop.

Being too demanding can damage a company’s employer brand – while it may be within their rights as an employer to expect a team to brave the weather regardless of the conditions can be a dangerous policy. If a team does not have performance issues or attendance problems, accommodate the reality that commutes that are three or four times longer than usual or legitimately dangerous should not be made.

Can companies ask for proof that they couldn't make it in?

They can, but they shouldn't, companies should trust their team members and believe them when they say their commute was too hazardous. If you don't believe a heavy snowfall is preventing your team from coming into work then you are likely have an attendance and engagement issue that runs deeper than any snowfall.

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Want some more winter safety tips?


Tags: Jobs Canada, weather, snow day

5 Careers that are Defining IT and Finance

Posted by James Rubec on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 09:51 AM


Who are in most demand, why are they needed so badly and where can they make the most money? 

For IT professionals looking for work, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta offer the highest average salaries across the board, while roles in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Moncton, New Brunswick, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Niagara Falls, Ontario offer some of the lowest.

Today’s IT professionals do more than debug programs and solve network problems – they are making money for business teams and delivering the best customer experiences imaginable for financial intuitions. Here are the five roles that are shaping IT and Finance today.

Application Developers

iphone-cellphoneWhat do they do? Using code and APIs to build powerful tools that we use to do everything from book plane tickets, track weight loss, read books or download movies. Everything you do on your phone was built by an application developer. Soon everything you do on your TV will be to. Applications are the cutlery of our digital lives. In finance the mobile tools customers use to make transfers or deposit cheques have been the creations of project teams of mobile developers.

Why are they so valuable? A good developer can reduce the time it takes to build an application – faster, leaner, development costs less and makes companies more money That takes a level of ingenuity and skill – that’s worth a lot of money.

Are you looking for more information on salaries for your IT team or to help you make a career move? Request a copy of Randstad Canada’s salary guide today.


Senior Digital Project Managers

on-time-fastWhat do they do? An experience project manager will take on a large digital project and see it through to completion. Projects can be big and small but when a company is hiring a digital project manager it usually involves an owned asset website, or digital product. This can range from the development of a new site, the programming, server resources, art and copy requirements and consultation with stakeholders all play in the realm of the project manager’s role. In finance a project manager may take bring a new credit product to market, allowing users to transfer online from one product to another.

Why are they so valuable? A good senior project manager brings a system to complete project with them. They often have relationships with vendors or experience in negotiations that make everyone’s life better. With a strong project manager on a big project time and money can be saved, as well as reputations and stress.

Data architects

DATA_arcWhat do they do? Big Data didn’t get big on its own – it took Data Architects to build the systems to collect, sort and manager all of the information that we’re looking to understand. When you are asking for more information on anything, a data architect will work on building the method of collection and the storage of that data – they’ll also have a hand in designing the tools to read and interpret this information or plug it into other systems that do this for you. Managing everyone’s transaction records is a lot of data, a data architect built the system that allows that to work effectively.

Why are they so valuable? a well-built data set can be read faster – this affects everything from financial transactions to search results. Just as a well design application saves money – a well-built data structure can be accessed by applications and other tools more efficiently. Data architects build systems that allow data to be sorted intelligently, often autonomously, so if you are looking to collect more information from the world wide web, or anywhere where a lot of information may be coming at you, you should speak with a data architect.

Data and business analysts

Data_AnalystWhat do they do? With architects collecting and storing all of our data, we still need people to read it and gain value from it. Data and business analysts work with the data that companies and governments collect. They do this for hundreds or reasons; to find efficiencies, track demographics, solve crimes, save lives and track weather patterns. Analysts have experience not only working with data, but in the industries they specialize. A business analyst might have five years working in oil and gas, allowing them to not only understand the data they are reading, but provide context to those numbers that are important to business leaders.

Why are they so valuable? There are so many uses for data these days that being proficient in working with it is in high demand. Companies want results and answers from their data – analysts who can deliver those with confidence and the science and numbers to back them up are prized.

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UI / UX Designer

UX-UIWhat do they do? Sitting on top of the applications we use and the tools we love are systems that allow us to use them – the user interface, or UI, even deeper, is the overall user experience or UX of a program. UI and UX designers make life livable in the digital world – allowing us to find the menus, search bars, numbers and check out buttons on our websites – or providing the swipable, three finger taps and enlarging motions of our tablets and phones. Without designers skilled in these art forms our tablets wouldn’t be much more than the Etch Sketches.

Why are they so valuable? Companies and brands are pushing the boundaries of the digital world to the retail experience. UX and UI designers are also building out how we experience our world, as more digital tools are found in our day to day lives – from the self-checkout counter at a grocery store, to how we hail a cab or check in at an airport – the user interface that we use to do this and to live out our lives are managed by these designers.


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Tags: Women in Tech, Toronto, Technologies