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Posts from the ‘Corporate Culture’ Category

Persistence and You

By Andrea Mancini, Adecco Canada National Account Executive


Success is all about persistence and doing the right thing for the long term.
-Bruce Rauner

 

In a world where it often feels like all your problems could be solved with one app click, I have found that the formula for success requires more effort and good old-fashioned persistence. Any successful sales champion will tell you that they did not reach the top of their game by hoping for success to knock at their door. Instead, they’ll probably tell you that sales success requires patience, confidence and grit–all qualities that are part of being persistent.

You either have what it takes to make it in sales or you don’t. Why? Because sales requires you to face yourself and your brand every single day—a difficult task when your brand is intangible. Sales also draws on your own innate characteristics. However, while you cannot “teach” sales, you can develop your innate skills and combine it with a positive, persistent attitude, to become a sales champion that is resistant to any economic conditions.

Here’s how:

Don’t take it personally
You will hear “no” many times in your pursuit to be a sales champion. The key is to hear it, acknowledge it politely, and remember, it’s not personal. The receiver is not saying “no” to you, they’re just saying “no, not now.” And there could be many reasons why they’ve responded this way. Your job is to persist and find out; why not now. It could be because you haven’t given them a reason to say yes.

Knowledge is power
Understanding a prospective client is fundamental to being able to present them with something they’ll want to say “yes” to. Be persistent and thorough when approaching a sales lead or prospect. Your job is to explore and understand who they are even before you get your foot in the door. What are their objectives, what is new in their world, why would they want to talk to you and allow you in their space?

So what?
With the rise of customer sophistication combined with all of your competitors knocking on your client’s door, you need to give them a reason to let you in. You need to persuasively present a compelling value proposition that demonstrates that you understand how you can add value and make it easier for the buyer. Otherwise, you’ll be faced with a literal or figurative “so what?” Until you can answer that question, be persistent.
A useful exercise is to refer back to how you buy. Take the example of buying new shoes. If you go into the shoe store knowing that you need running shoes, but the salesperson keeps showing you a hiking boot, they can describe its benefits all they want—that it’s on sale, made of good quality leather, how fashionable it is—but all you want is someone to point you to the best running shoes, at the best price, so you can run that 5k. Know what your buyer is buying and you’ll be able to anticipate and meet their expectations.

Be Authentic
We all know that buyers buy from people they trust. And the way you build trust is to be persistent in communicating your interest in helping your buyer, have the knowledge to back it up, and be yourself. Posturing, “sucking up”, or “buying” your client may work in the short-term, but you may suffer negative consequences in the long-term. Trust your abilities and your main objective to help your client and everything will eventually fall into place..

Grit with a cherry on top
Don’t underestimate the delicate balance of being persistent while remaining kind and professional. In my early years of selling, when I asked my prospects why they agreed to meet with me, they would affectionately comment that it was because “ you wouldn’t stop calling.” I took that as a semi-compliment, interpreting it as: “ you were persistent but not pushy, and I don’t know why but I like you, so now what are you going to do for me?” The art of not being pushy but still commanding attention comes from practice and the confidence that you have done your homework, you know why you want to sell something to a prospect, and, you love the chase!

Persistence is achieved by having an unwavering faith that your efforts are going to translate into a win one day. This requires patience, confidence, and a support system you trust. The process will require practice and possibly even reinvention, but if you stay positive and remain persistent, your goals will be within reach. Happy winning!

 

As a National Account Executive for Adecco Canada, Andrea Mancini’s primary focus is sales and contract negotiation for medium and large sized organizations. Her diverse background in the staffing industry has positioned her to create holistic solutions for her clients. Her many roles include Recruitment Management, Business Development, Field Manager, and National Sales. For over 10 years, Andrea has created long lasting client relationships by helping companies in the changing world of work. Many of her solutions have included implementing successful Master Vendor programs, creative Permanent Placement initiatives, and Large Volume solutions for employers of choice.  As a result, Andrea is a three-time recipient of prestigious sales awards in the staffing industry.

Andrea holds an Honours B.A. in Media Communications from Brock University.

Automation Gives as it Takes

By: Federico Vione, CEO of Adecco General Staffing and Pontoon, North America, UK and Ireland

Improvements in technology are the catalyst for amazing innovation, but the level of fear over how recent improvements will affect the workplace has never been higher.

Fear is in the employee, who reads that half of all North American jobs are at risk of being replaced through automation and worries their job may soon be obsolete.

Fear is in the employer, who takes risks and incurs costs by embracing and implementing new technology.

And yes, fear is in the staffing industry, as agencies witness clients replace jobs with automation and robotics.

But where there is fear—where there is a challenge—there is opportunity.

We are in a period of transition, not extinction. Yes, automation is gradually reshaping the workforce, and today’s jobs will not be identical to tomorrow’s, but there will be jobs. And while it is the responsibility of employees and employers to prepare for that next chapter, we are here to help. Adecco is partnering with organizations across the globe on job training programs designed to prepare workers for this opportunity.

The University of Phoenix recently presented an ad that is a great example of promoting this opportunity, highlighting a modern “Rosie the Riveter” living through the pain of losing her job to automation. How does Rosie overcome this? Through education of course. Particularly by developing a new skill set and applying it to an industry which had not yet been affected by automation.

It is an uplifting story, but where do we go from here—where do you go? As an employee, identify if the work you do is likely to be impacted by automation. If so, be proactive and prepare yourself for the future. Just like Rosie, develop an array of skills that will make you an asset regardless of technology’s impact. As an employer, recognize the power you have to invest in your employees for the future of your company. Offer opportunities to build their resilience and grow skills that will be a necessity in your evolving workplace.

My colleague and Adecco Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Stephan Howeg recently published an article for the World Economic Forum titled “Why robots should inspire hope, not fear.” We share the same optimistic sentiment for the future and it trickles down throughout our organization.

We are just as confident in our ability to help prepare the workforce to work alongside new technology as we are proud to partner with governments, businesses and job seekers to fulfill that mission.

 

Federico is the Regional Head North America, UK & Ireland, Adecco and Pontoon.

Federico Vione joined Adecco in 1999 as Branch Manager and was subsequently appointed Manager of the Abruzzo-Molise area. In 2001, he became the National Key Account Manager for the Chemical and Pharma sector, and subsequently for the Large-Scale Trade sector. In 2002, he was appointed General Manager of the Professional Staffing business Ajilon S.r.l., and in 2004 he became General Manager of Ajilon Switzerland. In 2005, Federico Vione was appointed Project Leader Global Account Management Adecco Group and subsequently Head of Eastern Europe. In January 2009, he was appointed Country Manager Adecco Italy. Federico Vione was Vice President of Assolavoro (Assoziazione Nazionale delle Agenzie per il Lavoro), Italy, between 2010 and 2012.

The Future of Women in STEM: A Multifaceted Approach

 

Katie Bieber is an IT Recruitment Consultant in Roevin’s Edmonton branch. She brings over three yearKatieBiebers of professional experience to her role and in Edmonton’s tech sector.  Katie focuses on clients in the IT realm and has developed exceptional connections and a network of candidates in the STEM field. She works with many passionate and pioneering candidates who overcome impressive hurdles as the only women applying for a role or being the only women on a team. Their perseverance and success have inspired her own passion for promoting women in the tech arena.


With March being National Engineering Month – coupled with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th — Adecco is continuing our look at the underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The topic has become an increasingly important point of discussion. Various government bodies, reports, studies, organizations, mission statements and think tanks have explored it in recent years.  The problem has almost unanimous support — both from diversity advocates and the STEM sector itself. In 2010,  Natural Sciences and Engineer Research Council of Canada (NSERC) released an 84-page report on Women in Science and Engineering in Canada which explored the “under-representation of women in the various fields of science and engineering” and noted that this long-recognized problem was “of concern to the…NSERC”.

Are women really underrepresented in STEM?

Undeniably, yes!

WomeninSTEM_infographic

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, women accounted for only 39% of university graduates aged 25-34 with a STEM degree, compared with 66% of university graduates in non-STEM programs.  Moreover, the percentage of women working in the fields has barely changed in 30 years. In 1987, 20% of the STEM workforce were women. Today, it is still only 22%.

And as NSERC pointed out in their report, “Virtually all countries in the world, to varying levels, have fewer women than men studying in the NSE” (natural sciences and engineering).

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Webinar: How to answer the 15 most common interview questions

  This year marks a significant shift in the workforce. Millennials now represent the largest percentage of the workforce for the very first time, with 28% already sitting in management positions and 2/3 seeing themselves in management roles within the next ten years. As more millennials assume management positions, you may be noticing changes in […]

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Webinar: Millennials in Leadership Roles

 

millennials-webinar_dec7

This year marks a significant shift in the workforce. Millennials now represent the largest percentage of the workforce for the very first time, with 28% already sitting in management positions and 2/3 seeing themselves in management roles within the next ten years. As more millennials assume management positions, you may be noticing changes in the nature of the workplace. Why? Because there are distinct differences between the work styles, expectations, and career perspectives of this generation compared to their predecessors.

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From New Immigrant to Superstar: promoting diverse talent is a business advantage

Even though Canada’s Employment Equity Act was instituted 30 years ago (1986) and diversity in the workplace has certainly improved since[i], we as employers still have a long way to go.

Several studies have shown that while “[o]n average, immigrants arrive in this country better educated, in better health, and at similar stages of their careers as those born in the country…the evidence suggests that…they have been much less successful in achieving success than earlier waves of immigration.”[ii] Access to job opportunities, upward mobility, earnings, and income have been poorer for visible minorities than non-visible minorities in Canada.[iii]

While visible minority men and women have higher educational qualifications (more visible minorities have university degrees than their non-visible minority counterparts in Canada), fewer are reaching top income levels. The earnings of visible minorities simply do not match their educational achievements.[iv]

And while we’re making progress in female leadership (women currently hold 19.5% of board seats[v]), other minority groups are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles in Canadian organizations– visible minorities hold only 4.6%, persons with disabilities hold only 2.7% cent, and aboriginal people hold only 1.1% of board seats.[vi]  The corporate sector is the worst offender, with only 4% of leadership roles being filled by visible minorities.[vii]  While companies may place a great deal of importance on hiring visible minorities, it is clear that they do not do enough to retain them— often creating a higher turnover rate among visible minorities when they see no opportunities to advance or feel they do not fit in.[viii]

These disappointing statistics do a disservice not only to thousands of highly qualified professionals from minority groups but also to the very companies who are failing to promote them: diverse workplaces have more satisfied workers and lower absenteeism, they tend to be more innovative and less prone to groupthink, and are able to reach a more diverse customer base (i.e., there are tangible financial benefits to having a more diverse workplace).[ix]

Canadian companies need to have effective programs for building and utilizing the talents of a truly diverse workforce and recognizing their hard work. Attracting and hiring diverse talent is only a first step.

shutterstock_344201303Adecco doesn’t have all the answers to solve this systemic problem, but we do have a Diversity Committee who is working on awareness, advocacy, outreach, research, client education and having a multiplicity of voices represented in decision making. We also promote the Power of Workplace Diversity to our clients— some of Canada’s largest employers.

Most importantly, we practice internally what we advocate to clients. Hiring and promoting diverse talent is not just a “best practice” for us; it’s our standard practice and commitment.

Today, Sohail Dossani is the manager of Adecco’s Central Order Management and Corporate Recruitment Centre divisions— but he started a long way out from a managerial role in an office environment. He came to Canada in 2002, and within a decade, worked his way up from a fast food restaurant to leading 2 important departments and being the overall “go to” person for the world’s largest Staffing firm. Below is his story. We hope it inspires employers to recognize the benefits of hiring a diverse and talented workforce and giving new immigrants a real opportunity to succeed.


Hope

Sohail grew up in Pakistan, where he earned a degree in Computer Science and landed a job with IBM— first working in Karachi and then Dubai.

One day, his boss announced that he was moving to Canada. This got Sohail thinking about his own career and future. He decided that he too would apply to immigrate to Canada for better opportunities. His former boss had been successful in getting a job in the IT field, and Sohail was optimistic and hopeful about replicating his success. In fact, he wasn’t the least bit worried about it.

Disappointment

Unfortunately, his hopes were deflated soon after his arrival in Toronto. He applied for job after job in the IT field but came up empty. His degree was of little help for getting hired, and his lack of Canadian experience was a hindrance to landing a job that matched his qualifications—(a bottleneck many new Canadians face, but has since been banned in Ontario and successfully opposed in court in other provinces). Being new to the country, he didn’t know what employment resources were available to him or where to start; he didn’t know the processes for working with various agencies and community groups, or which were reliable.

“There were plenty of electronic resources but hardly anyone you could sit face to face with to get information,” remembers Sohail.

He decided to just go door to door to businesses to try secure work. “It was very hard,” he recounts.

He eventually ended up getting a job at a factory and was responsible for labeling fire logs. Unfortunately, he saw many health and safety violations going on around him but continued to work there as it was the only job available to him at the time— an unfortunate choice many people in similar circumstances are forced to make.

Promise

Sohail approached a popular fast food restaurant for extra shifts to supplement his income and gain field experience. The manager hired him on the spot; after all, a man with a university degree was standing in front of him asking for minimum wage work. While continuing to work at the factory, Sohail lead the night crew at the restaurant.

Before he moved to Canada, he never imagined himself working at a fast food restaurant, but he appreciated the safety and managerial training they company had in place. The role also helped him make an important decision: to go back to university to attain his master’s degree. He soon became the closing manager at the eatery and was eventually able to leave his factory job.

Opportunity

While studying during the day and working in the restaurant at night, Sohail was living next to a large electronics manufacturer in the north of the city and saw workers coming and going day after day. He decided to drop off his resume and learned that the company was using Adecco to fill open positions.

Sohail wanted to be proactive, so reached out to a counselor in the Skills and Employment program (SEP) at his local mosque for assistance in finding new job opportunities. Serendipitously, an Adecco recruiter had been working with the mosque for community recruitment and job support. When the counselor heard about Sohail’s interest in the electronics firm, he quickly put him in touch with us. At that time, the firm was only hiring for an entry level production worker— a role Sohail was overqualified for. Our recruiter advised him to stay in his supervisory fast food role a little while longer, while she searched for a better-suited position for him.

Success

Soon after, the same electronics company was looking to hire a functional tester and debug operator, which was much better suited for Sohail’s credentials and qualifications. He was hired! While the salary was lower than his previous position, he was grateful to be working in a discipline that let him use his resident skill set and put him closer to his primary field of IT. He was confident that he’d be able to work his way up!

Sohail worked in production at the firm for 2 years until Adecco needed a new on-site manager to supervise our staff working there. While he didn’t have much HR experience, he was skilled and highly respected by his colleagues. We interviewed him for the new role and were convinced of the same: he was experienced enough to manage the on-site staff and could learn any HR skills he was lacking. We hired him as the supervisor for the weekend and night shifts. This was one of Adecco’s largest accounts, so to entrust him with this important responsible really demonstrates his competency and our confidence in him. He exceeded all expectations: he became a full-time Adecco colleague and was quickly promoted to Partnership Manager, supporting 4 of our large partnership clients across Ontario along with multiple service delivery teams. Perhaps most rewardingly, Sohail was able to hire other deserving people in this role.

Leadership

When Adecco had a vacancy for an Operations Manager to support the SW Ontario Region, we didn’t think twice. Sohail had proven his commitment, drive and quick learning abilities. He served as the Ops Manager for over a year and was then given yet another opportunity: becoming the manager of Adecco’s COM department in London, ON. The Central Order Management team provides centralized services for Adecco’s national accounts, particularly those who operate across multiple geographic locations.

Sohail has now led the team for over a year and has worked hard to restructure the team’s responsibilities, processes and customer service delivery. His initiatives have not only streamlined team support across the organization but have also allowed us to pursue and deliver exceptional service to large accounts which we simply would not be able to do without a well-run COM department.

Sohail is in charge of many large accounts, yet still has time to answer questions from across Adecco’s 40 offices, and always seems at ease. He tackles his growing responsibilities and occupational challenges with optimism, tenacity and a smile— much like he did when he first arrived in Canada.

Superstar

It was this attitude and disposition that lead Sohail’s colleagues to nominate him for Adecco’s prestigious Superstar Award—which he very deservingly won. The award is given to 11 colleagues who demonstrate excellence across our core values and comes with an all-expenses-paid trip with a guest.

Despite all his success, Sohail is still humble about his achievements. “I did not ever expect this in a field that I was not primarily educated or trained in,” he says. “It truly feels like success. I feel that the hard work has definitely paid off in building my profile from the ground up. My family is very proud.”

Sohail got an opportunity from Adecco when he was just starting out, but he has earned his career growth since then by taking advantage of training resources (such as Adecco’s free SkillBuilder application offered to all Associates), and by going back to school. He also took courses in HR to improve his skills when he found himself in an unfamiliar profession. And he turned to his co-workers for advice and support when he needed it.

It’s the same advice Sohail gives to new immigrants today:

“Use the value-added resources available to you and make them work for you. Improve your skills and education in any way possible. Just keep seeking opportunities to learn and grow your skill set. Don’t wait for them to be offered to you.”


Sohail was given an opportunity by an employer who did more than just “value” diversity. We recognized that the talent we hire should be based on merit and commitment, not credentials or stereotypes. When an organization eliminates candidates based on prejudice, they not only break the law, but also hurt their own organizations by smothering varying viewpoints, hindering a diverse workplace culture, and limiting connections to a multiplicity of client groups and talent pools. When they take the time to get to know applicants— and look at what they can do— the organization benefits exponentially.

When asked what has made him so successful in a field he never imagined being in, Sohail cites the same reasons many successful people do— whether new immigrants or seasoned veterans: like what you do and who you work with. “The colleagues within Adecco really helped give me the support that I needed and helped me stay motivated as they believed in me.”

Sohail is such an integral part of the Adecco family, we couldn’t imagine it any other way. We saw the possibility he held, and he has continuously worked so hard to live it up to it. We encourage and advise all our clients and Canadian employers to do the same. Do more than just “value” diversity; practice it and it will reward your entire organization.