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Posts from the ‘Job Seekers’ Category

Including Inclusion

By: Megan Wickens

It’s easy to say that there’s a difference between diversity and inclusion, but drawing out the differences between these two goals is not as easy. In this guest post, Megan Wickens, head of our Alberta trades division and member of our Canadian Diversity and Inclusion Committee, looks at how inclusion policies are the next frontier in the corporate world.

There’s no doubt that we need to focus on building a culture of inclusion in the workplace and in the world.

What is diversity in the workplace? The dictionary defines diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety. And when we talk about diversity in the workplace, we’re usually referring to these 4 elements: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and age.

While diversity is buried in the corporate policy of most companies, I would argue that it’s worth so much more than that. Our goal should be to create a culture of diverse talent. Instead of thinking of it as an obligation to meet diversity targets, to check off an item on a checklist, we need to reframe diversity so that it considers the inclusion of diverse viewpoints.

It doesn’t have to be hard. We do it all the time in business: diversifying portfolios and product mixes to stay ahead of the curve. Now apply the same to people – why wouldn’t we want to include diverse viewpoints from people who add value to our business and our lives? Inclusive policies can help us get there!

A little bit about me

I am on the Canadian Diversity & Inclusion Committee with the largest HR staffing company in the world and I head up the trades division in Alberta for our engineering brand (an industry that is predominantly male). I am married and do not have kids (none on two legs anyways #dogmom). I am considered a millennial, but I’ve spent almost a decade in the technical recruitment industry and another handful of years in the customer service industry.

I bring these things up because I want you to know where I’m coming from. In my career, I have not felt that my age (or lack of age) played a role in my ability to be hired. I have not felt that I was asked to do more work because I don’t have kids that depend on me. I have not felt that my opinion wasn’t valued or that I wasn’t being included. I’ve been lucky.

The truth is that many people do feel this way. And it can be hard to accept that we aren’t all inclusive leaders. So, thinking about the way that we are (and are not) inclusive can be a valuable exercise for all of us.

Focus on inclusion

My husband sent me a video created by Accenture that emphasizes the sometimes unconscious exclusion of people that can happen even when diversity targets have been met. The video highlights the ways that our differences can inform how we interact with each other, which can sometimes create uncomfortable (or even untenable) work experiences that prevent us from reaching our full potential.

The video raises questions about the ways that we treat our colleagues: what informs our expectations? How do we articulate these expectations? It ends with a call to recognize these biases and embrace change for the better – change that comes from refocusing on inclusion.

I urge you to watch the video at the end of this blog, sit back, think hard and decide — am I an inclusive leader? As leaders, we constantly need to be self-aware and empathetic; understanding our audience and showing emotional intelligence is an important part of the job. So, it’s important that we ask ourselves these important questions: Do we really know our teams? How can we know them better? How can we get the best out of everyone and not just from those who rise to the top out of sheer determination?

On our teams, everyone should be a top performer. Everyone should be valued and recognized for adding value. It’s clear that we’re better off when our diverse teams are able to contribute to our success, so let’s focus on building a culture of inclusion in the workplace and the world.


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

IT is where it’s AT

In the years Michael Fernandes has spent working and recruiting in the IT vertical, Roevin’s resident 360 IT Recruitment Consultant has worked with many talented individuals and organizations throughout Canada. Having successfully navigated through multiple market shifts, Michael is an expert on recruitment in the IT sector. In this guest post, he shares some of this knowledge by highlighting the top areas for career growth in the IT field and the skill sets that will help you succeed there.

  1. UX/UI design

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design focuses on creating useful, usable and delightful products and features that enhance a user’s interaction with the product. As companies pivot to customer-savvy, design-focused strategies, the ability to make products ‘user friendly’ to facilitate a better user experience is a valuable skill set, especially when many developers and designers can find it difficult to incorporate these elements in their products. Recently, we have seen an influx of candidates with UX and UI design skills, as well as many individuals successfully turning their knowledge into standalone positions such as UX Designers, UI Designers, Information Architects and Usability Specialists.

  1. Security

In recent years, information security and privacy has been a huge issue for individuals and corporations alike. From identity theft of individuals to large-scale corporate data breaches and data mining scandals, stakeholders are increasingly prioritizing security. In response, we have seen the emergence of certifications that enable individuals to hone their cyber security skills, including the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credentials.

  1. Cloud computing

With the evolution of IT, storage has always been an issue as companies look for ways to reduce their costs and save space in their databases and servers. Many organizations have been transitioning to cloud-based solutions, employing Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions as well as virtualization to reduce the costs of maintaining and supporting business operations. Among our clients, we have seen a large push towards using services such as Microsoft Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMWare for private cloud hosting, which has increased their demand for talent that has experience in integrating and migrating to cloud-based solutions.

  1. Programming

With growing digitalization initiatives, programming has become a definite skill to have in recent years. Most organizations want to land a “one-stop” resource, looking for people who can code in more than one language to diversify proposed solutions. In our experience, the top languages we see organizations recruit for are JavaScript, Python and .NET. And, as mobile development continues to grow, we also see organizations look for talented coders with experience in Java, Objective-C and HTML5. The most striking trend I’ve seen is the expansion of development skills to roles outside the development team. Many marketing departments, for example, now include front end developers with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript experience to manage their websites.

  1. Soft skills

Of course, we can’t forget the following perennial soft skills: eagerness to learn, willingness to persevere in a role, ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with teams, and the ability to troubleshoot issues. These skills are not as easily taught as technical skills, yet they are vital for workers in the IT sector.

The need for qualified IT talent is high. Expanding your knowledge base to include the skills mentioned above is likely to secure your next job in these growing career areas.

 

BIO – Michael Fernandes has demonstrated success in the sales, talent acquisition and technology solutions industries. A certified Scrum Master and PMI member, he is dedicated to transforming individuals into energetic team members working productively. Michael is a recruitment expert and account executive at Roevin (https://www.roevin.ca/).

 

 


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

Cannabis – The New Economy

With predictions[1] for cannabis demand in Canada reaching $22.6 billion a year, the Canadian economy can expect a huge boost from its legalization.

Impacting the labour market, post-secondary education and tax revenue, cannabis legalization is set to have far-reaching effects on the Canadian economy.

New marketplace, new jobs

The obvious contribution legalizing cannabis will make to the Canadian economy is job creation. Thousands of jobs are destined to emerge, including hands-on positions such as research and development, production, packaging, and security, as well as positions required to run a new enterprise or corporation including clerical, legal, marketing, and accounting roles. We can expect mass hiring of employees to staff these developing new enterprises from the ground up.

Building an industry

Alongside growth in jobs, other infrastructural changes are inevitable, including the need for new growing facilities[2] and supply chain improvements. As a result of increased demand for cannabis, we will also see growth in demand for complementary goods and services.

Cannabis and higher education

With a new industry comes increased demand for qualified professionals in an unexplored field. To accommodate these needs, new post-secondary courses and fields of studies are emerging,[3] providing students and young professionals with the skills and background knowledge required to be successful in this budding business. As production and legal recreational consumption becomes normalized, it’s expected that students will increasingly explore professions and post-secondary programs in the field.

Tax and fees

Finally, legalization is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars[4] in tax and fee revenue for Canada — which includes taxes, retail markups, producer licences and private retailer licences in select provinces.

With the birth of the legal cannabis industry in Canada, the far-reaching impact on the Canadian economy is unfolding in front of us. The effects of increased demand of both the product and other elements in the supply chain will become clearer as the regulatory framework is established and market demand comes into focus.

This is the last in our series on the legalization of cannabis. You can find previous posts by visiting our Employer resources page on our website.


[1] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/marijuana-ontario-price-market-sales-1.4298311

[2] http://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/property-post/the-rush-is-on-for-grow-ops-as-canada-heads-toward-legal-weed

[3] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-universities-colleges-expand-course-offerings-for-careers-in-marijuana-industry/article37847833/

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/305790

Cannabis and the Impact on Employee Health

With legislation set to pass and legalize cannabis, the intricacies of its usage may change. To keep health and safety at the forefront in the workplace, employers will need to set clear boundaries regarding its use.

Although consumption of cannabis during work hours for medical purposes is not a new phenomenon, recreational use has the potential to affect an employee’s health, and, the health and safety of a company’s workforce.

Use in the workplace

The Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) extends to allow disabled workers the use of medical cannabis when prescribed. Although under this act, employers must accommodate these workers, this code does not permit the worker to be impaired at work or endanger their safety or the safety of others.[i] Should a worker show signs of marijuana impairment, an employer must assign the individual tasks considered safe. For recreational users, employers still hold the right to set rules for the non-medical use of marijuana in the same manner they set alcohol consumption restrictions. Increasingly, employers will need to prioritize their workplace policies and clearly outline and communicate their policy regarding the recreational use of cannabis during work hours.

Employee health and safety

Similar to alcohol, the effects of cannabis will vary from person to person. The THC in marijuana can affect coordination, reaction time, focus, decision making abilities and perception.[ii] This means that there may be potential effects on an employee’s body, brain and overall mental state. For that reason, cannabis consumption in the workplace can be particularly dangerous for employees in fields like construction and manufacturing — or any position requiring the operation of a vehicle or heavy machinery. To prepare for its changing legal status, employers should revisit drug workplace policies to identify whether a change is required to reflect the change in legislation, in addition to outlining disciplinary action for substance abuse in the workplace.

Benefit plans

With more recognizable medical benefits and the normalization of cannabis as a treatment option for symptoms ranging from arthritis to cancer, the number of medical marijuana patients across Canada nearly doubled by the end of September 2017; reaching more than 235,000.[iii] As this number continues to grow, so does the pressure on benefit providers to include cannabis coverage in their health plans. Sun Life is the first provider to accommodate, providing members with the option to add medical cannabis coverage only for set conditions and symptoms. With the pending legalization, it is only a matter of time before other benefit providers follow suit and normalize cannabis coverage options.

The changing legal status of recreational cannabis use will undoubtedly impact the workplace in its early stages. With clear boundaries and rules in place surrounding the recreational use of cannabis, employers can mitigate any potential issues and maintain a happy, healthy workforce.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.pshsa.ca/cannabis-in-the-workplace/

[ii] https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/documents/services/campaigns/27-16-1808-Factsheet-Health-Effects-eng-web.pdf

[iii] http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/sun-life-financial-to-add-medical-pot-option-to-group-benefits-plans

 

The Evolution of the Administrative Professional

The Administrative professional role has evolved to mirror changing times. Expanded responsibilities and skill sets has given this vital role a new meaning and organizational impact.

 


The early days

Started by the Industrial Revolution, administrative assistants were first referred to as secretaries. As the industrial expansion caused office businesses to face a large amount of paperwork, the role of the “secretary” was introduced to resolve this influx of work.[i] The term itself had the eventual connotation of something private or confidential, as with the English word secret. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual. Initially, men held this prominent position, however, the introduction of women into the workforce allowed companies to hire females in these roles at lower wages[ii] Often designated as “personal” or “private” secretaries, the role was popular amongst women seeking a professional status.  At that time, secretaries were required to possess strong typography and communication skills in order to support such tasks as answering and dispatching calls, and, redacting documents on their typewriters. Although undervalued, secretaries played an essential role in the overall performance of the office.

Present day

Often referred to as Administrative Professional, Office Coordinator or Executive Assistant — gone are the days of a singular title to categorize this pivotal role. An evolving society and the introduction of technology has clearly changed all facets of the administrative professional role. Today, administrative professionals manage the day-to-day functions of an office and many even have the added tasks of managing budgets, bookkeeping, maintaining websites, travel arrangements and managing meetings. Many organizations seek administrative professionals with a varying skill set —  from typing at high speeds using technical or foreign languages, accounting to strong communication skills to interact with the public.

This profession has gone from being male dominated and entry level to a female dominated field offering full-time careers with competitive salaries and a potential for career growth. For every call you answer, document you prepare, spreadsheet you manage and of course the many other tasks you complete every day, thank you and happy Administrative Professionals day!

Looking to start your next administrative career? Look no further! With thousands of online training courses in applications such as Microsoft Office, we have all the tools you need to snag the admin job of your dreams!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html

[ii] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html

 

Legalizing Cannabis: What We Know So Far

After years of prohibition, cannabis is finally set to be legalized in Canada in the summer of 2018. Here’s our primer on what we know so far about the process of legalizing cannabis in Canada. 

Aiming to reduce illegal distribution and underage consumption, Canada is set to legalize the recreational consumption of cannabis by the end of the summer. As the final vote on Bill C-45 is set for June 7, 2018, Canadians have much to consider in a short amount of time.[i] From provincial policies, legal implications and regional differences, the legalization of cannabis is sure to affect the whole country.

Shaping policies

As Bill C-45 is set to legalize recreational use of cannabis in Canada, provinces and territories have an opportunity to shape policies to best accommodate users while managing negative responses and perceptions. With perceptions of cannabis as diverse as the people in Canada, creating policies for the legalization of cannabis use can be challenging. It will take input from government officials, health professionals and law enforcement to design policies to limit substance abuse while keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors.

Legal implications

With the goal of stamping out the cannabis black market in Canada, legalization sets to regulate distribution of the substance. However, though legalization intends to limit illegal sales and distribution, there are other legal concerns that arise from Bill-C45, including operating a motor vehicle while impaired. With no current consensus on how long it takes to be able to drive safely after consuming cannabis,[ii] and no 100% effective way to test for cannabis impairment in drivers, there are still many regulatory questions that have yet to be settled.

Regional outlook

Although the production of cannabis will be regulated by the federal government, individual provinces are responsible for determining age restrictions and seller regulations. Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick will rely on the provincial government for sales, while provinces including Alberta and Manitoba will provide licenses for private retailers.[iii] Provinces and territories will also control limitations for growing cannabis in personal residences, where cannabis can be consumed and personal possession limits.[iv]

Myth vs. reality

Though some may believe that there will be consumption of cannabis throughout the streets of major cities across Canada come summer 2018, this is not the case. Much like regulations surrounding alcohol, there will be rules and regulations not only surrounding sales of the substance, but also the end user’s consumption habits. Legalization is designed to better regulate the distribution of cannabis, keeping the substance away from minors and decreasing organized crimes.

Though Bill C-45 has its critics, with the co-operation of policymakers and law enforcement, policies can be formed with the best interest of the Canadian public in mind.

Join us as we examine the legalization of cannabis in Canada in our blog series examining organizational policy and job opportunities.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pot-could-be-legal-june-7-but-sales-delayed-until-at-least-august-senator-1.3808111

[ii] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/how-much-marijuana-can-i-have-and-still-be-safe-to-drive/article27897258/

[iii] https://globalnews.ca/news/3867467/marijuana-legalization-canada-progress/

[iv] http://www.opha.on.ca/getmedia/6b05a6bc-bac2-4c92-af18-62b91a003b1b/The-Public-Health-Implications-of-the-Legalization-of-Recreational-Cannabis.pdf.aspx?ext=.pdf