CEO Blog

Building Confidence – 10 Tips Beyond the Obvious

Colin Powell thoughts on successI can relate to Colin Powell’s quote and thought  I could share a few tips from some failures over my fairly long career to date!  Now all you have to do is (a) prepare and (b) put in the work!

We all have times when we are a little uncertain.  It could be because you are in a little slump, it might be a tough negotiation coming up, you might be giving a talk in front of an audience or you might have a job interview.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  Henry Ford

Whatever the situation, there are things that you can do to help settle the nerves, project an air of confidence and at a minimum put your best foot forward.

Of course the biggest and best thing you can do is to prepare, do your homework, know your material and think through how you will handle any tough questions.  Doing the work is not a guarantee of success, but not doing the work is pretty much guaranteed to be a disaster!

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”  Confucius

Beyond the obvious, there are things that you can do to bolster your confidence:

  1. Be well rested. Partying hard the night before a tough event is not recommended.  (Party after for sure!)
  2. Give yourself lots of time to be where you need to be, without the stress of missing or almost missing your event.
  3. Wear clothes that make you feel good! Better yet treat yourself to something new for the event!
  4. Get a haircut, a manicure, a pedicure … whatever works for you.
  5. If it’s a speech practice a lot … in front of a mirror, in front of your partner etc.  If it’s a negotiation or meeting of some kind practice answering the tough questions that you might anticipate.
  6. Pump yourself up by remembering all of your similar successes.
  7. Do not focus on any other issues or problems immediately prior to this event.
  8. Try to avoid any negative people in your life immediately prior to this event.
  9. Talk to as many of the positive people you know leading up to the event.
  10. Smile! Think of good things that make you smile … we always feel better when we smile!

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”  Francesca Reigler

Now … go get ‘em!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Rescuing Salespeople from a Slump

Quote start to be great by ZiglarOne of the things that makes the sales profession tough is that you are only as good as your current performance, which is very measurable!  It becomes very obvious when a salesperson is not being successful and in addition to the obvious lack of numbers there is a tendency to spiral downwards.

The formerly motivated, energetic and productive salesperson descends into a funk!  They lose that energy, they seem “adrift”, unmotivated and not sure what to do next.

Where they had previously been very focused on their role, they are easily distracted focusing on activities that are “busy” tasks, rather than delivering business!

Their productivity is easily measured, but it will be not just the bottom line that suffers.  There will be less phone calls, less meetings and less orders coming in.

Essentially they will give up, and either start a job search or  just wait for the axe to fall when their employer loses patience.

These times can happen for many reasons … it might be a general turn down in the economy, an impact on that salesperson’s specific territory or they just become too comfortable and neglect the fundamentals!

In sales we reap what we sow, and if we sow a little less this week we will feel the negative effects next week … that is the start of a really slow spiral downwards!

Luckily … a good sales manager will recognize the pattern and understand that action is needed!  They need to find a way to get their salesperson back into the rhythm, to move from Ineffective to Effective!

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”  Vince Lombardi

The first step is for the salesperson to admit to themselves that they are in trouble, but also they need to be willing to do the work that will get them back on track.  The “lucky” salespeople will inevitably be those who put the work in!

“The harder I work, the more luck I have.” Thomas Jefferson

The salesperson needs to have a plan that has clear activities, timelines and goals.  The way to get to these actions is to ask a lot of questions.

  1. How many key contacts does the salesperson have?
  2. Have they all been contacted lately?
  3. Is there a method to bring those contacts value over and above the service they pay for?
  4. Where are the opportunities?
  5. What are the key messages that will resonate in today’s climate?
  6. How many meetings can the salesperson generate?
  7. Who else could get in front of clients to generate interest?
  8. What networking does the salesperson do? Is it enough and in the right places?
  9. How many ways does the salesperson keep in contact with their prospects? Email, phone, in person, hand written cards, social media?
  10. What can the salesperson do differently that will spark a different and motivating approach?  This could be a change in hours, work location, even a change in look (a new wardrobe can help with confidence).
  11. Is there training/coaching available that will keep the salesperson motivated?

A good manager asking these questions can help the salesperson to identify many ways in which they can get re-motivated.

Get some new crisp shirts and start wearing a tie … just to feel good about yourself.   A female rep might buy some new clothes, shoes, accessories … whatever makes them feel good!

“Today is always the most productive day of your week.” Mark Hunter

Change up your hours, come in a little earlier/stay a little later to get the momentum going!

Call clients at specific times and see which times work best for which clients.  Some people like to start early and others like to stay late.

Start a campaign of hand written cards with simple messages.  These should be hand written (no excuses about poor writing … slow down and write nicely!) and have a personal note.

“Stop selling.  Start helping.”  Zig Ziglar

Share valuable information with these people … industry articles and white papers, statistics and facts, book summaries and market data are just some ideas.

Establish a rhythm for meeting with people and track it in the company CRM.  Some clients should be contacted more often than others.  Some like mostly email, others prefer voice.  Establish a regular face to face routine.

Re-establish links with old contacts.  Former clients of the salesperson or the company.  Alumni from school or previous jobs, or even ex-employees of this company.

Find new contacts.  Get referrals, network more, cold call (yes I suggested the “cold call” … but in the 21st century that may be through outbound/inbound marketing techniques).

Establish a routine that ensures the work happens without interruption.  Do not take unrelated phone calls, or address unrelated emails … be very focused on this activity.

Set goals for numbers of calls, meetings and expected outcomes … new orders, and closed business!

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Abraham Lincoln

This level of activity should develop a tangible momentum, resulting in some successes.  This in turn will give a confidence boost, which will be seen in a return to the successful salesperson you knew they could be!

“Confidence and enthusiasm are the greatest sales producers in any economy.”  O B Smith

The trick once the momentum is going, is not to slack off!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Is It Really ALL About You?

Mohammed Ali quote about service to othersMost of us go through life very focused on our goals, our desires, our “things”, our experiences, our careers and our personal life.

That’s OK.

We make plans and try to better ourselves.

We make lists and try to check off items from those lists.

We set interim tasks to reach our bigger goals.

ALL of that is good. There is nothing wrong with ambition.

So … what is the problem?

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Nelson Mandela

If our life is so consumed with those things then we run the chance of missing something very important.

I believe that to be truly happy we need friends, we need family and we need to find ways to give to others who are in need of a hand up.

If we don’t have friends and family then who will we share those “things” with?

If are not willing to help others then we have lost our humanity.  I truly believe that people who give get just as much from their giving, as the recipients.

The danger in the journey to financial success and career success is that we lose some or all of those other important aspects of our lives.

“Money often costs too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we are self-absorbed then people will not want to be our friend.

If our selfishness alienates friends then it will most likely also alienate family.

If our selfishness means we don’t give to others, then we miss out on that significant reward we feel through the act of helping out.

I often suggest that if people are feel unhappy or down that they should find ways to give back to others.  The gift of time or money or better yet both!

We can learn a lot about happiness through the simple act of finding ways to give back.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou

So … as you pursue your career and add to your toys remember that ending up rich and lonely is not going to feel good.  Yes, it is probably better than ending up poor and lonely BUT I would suggest it is far worse than ending up less rich and happy!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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It Is More Important to HAVE Goals Than to Reach Them!

Aim for the moon!That seems like a contradictory thing to say, why would it be OK to miss our goals?  What is the point of having goals if we are not going to meet them?

Goals are a way to focus our efforts, in a direction that makes sense to us … today.

Along the way “stuff happens” some of which we plan for, some of which we do not.  Some of that stuff will be negative and some of it will be positive.

THAT “stuff” will determine where we go next!

I believe that if you asked ANY super successful person today whether their goals looked exactly like where they ended up they would have to admit that the result looks very different than what they expected.

I also believe that for many of them, they far exceeded their expectations.

When I left school I wanted to be a car mechanic, and that quickly morphed into an aircraft mechanic when I joined the Royal Navy.  My plans at that time saw me moving up the ranks, but did not even contemplate a move into the officer ranks.

When I became a computer programmer my goals would have seen me move into the management ranks, but not even an executive level.

My move into a sales role saw my ambitions grow, as I saw that as a chance to reach an executive level.

Never in any of these transitions did I see myself as a business owner.

Stuff happens along the route of life that we can take and use.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  Charles R. Swindoll

We use goals to have somewhere to aim, that is hopefully a better place than where we are today.  Some people will naturally aim higher than others.

“If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

So, as you go through life you should set yourself some goals.

  1. The more specific the better.
  2. Put a time frame on them.
  3. Be ambitious with your goals.
  4. Expect change.
  5. Review your goals regularly to see if you are going in the right direction and adjust your tactics.

Setting a goal gives you something to aim for … even if you hit something else, it is likely to take you in the right direction!!!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?————————————————————————————————————————————

Momentum Helps ALL Aspects of Your Life

Momentum quote from Anthony RobbinsAs a young salesperson I would be told that I needed to create and maintain a momentum for each sales situation.  What that actually meant  was a bit of a mystery to me for a while, but over time I began to understand the power of that advice.

Very often you will hear an old salesperson say that they “feel” something wrong.  What they are actually feeling is the loss of momentum in a sale.  The client response is no longer urgent; their interest does not seem as strong; decisions are not happening; and it is difficult to get answers.

The best salespeople understand that it is their responsibility to keep the interest high, but also to quickly recognise when the sale is slipping away.  The earlier you understand that the sale is not going to happen, the less time will be wasted by everybody concerned.  That is all about understanding the momentum of a sale.

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. “  Denis Waitely

That same philosophy applies to many situations in our lives.

Certainly starting and running a business requires there to be a momentum … and that momentum needs to be nurtured and grown.  A loss of momentum is a sign that things are not right, hopefully an early enough warning that there needs to be change.  The best business owners try to create and maintain momentum without ever reaching that point!

Relationships need momentum .  When we start to take relationships for granted they start to wither, and if we are not careful we find ourselves losing friends and even getting divorced.

Our careers need momentum.  We need to be growing and learning, getting better at what we do.  The world is changing around us, new technology, new competitors, new people entering the workforce with new ideas … and we need to keep working at our skills to stay competitive, and even to remain relevant.

Creating and maintaining momentum requires effort.

We need a plan.

We need a series of action items that will get us to our target and by executing on those action items we create and maintain a momentum.

It may seem a little weird to approach relationships that way, but it works!  We have many ways to invest in our important relationships.  It can be as simple as spending time with people, or doing some small thing to show you appreciate them.  It could a regular date night or a special gift.  We don’t think of these as tasks, or as creating momentum … but it is a way to make sure we are investing in those important relationships.  By thinking of it that way we can stay alert to the momentum in our relationships!

Salespeople build momentum in many ways.  They need to find ways to bring value to their clients, build on their relationships, keep building credibility and truly solving their client’s needs.  Things go off the rails when salespeople are not well entrenched in the client’s decision process, don’t understand who the influencers are, don’t know their competition, make assumptions about client needs etc.  There are always a million things a salesperson can be doing to create and build momentum.  A salesperson wondering what they should be doing next is a salesperson in need of some training!  They should be running from task to task, keeping as much momentum in as many sales situations as possible!

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you?  Not much.”  Jim Rohn

The whole concept of momentum can be applied to every aspect of our lives, every day … and if we can keep all of the important parts of our life moving in the right direction we feel more in control and the result will be good.

Are you keeping the momentum in the important parts of your life?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Tech Industry News for July 2015

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2015. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of July in previous years …

Five years ago, in July 2010, NTT paid $3.2 Billion for Dimension Data and Nokia Siemens paid $1.2 Billion for Motorola’s wireless network equipment unit. IBM bought data compression company Storwize and in the same space Dell bought Ocarina Networks. EMC bought data analytics company Greenplum, Google added to its semantic search capability with the purchase of Metaweb Technologies,  Adobe paid $240 Million for a Swiss web software maker, Day Software Holdings and SAS increased its presence in the US Federal market through its purchase of Vision Systems and Technology.  July 2011 saw continued economic concerns in Europe and a game of political chicken in the US over the dell logoUS debt ceiling, meanwhile M&A news was relatively low key in the pure tech world.  Dell’s move into networking with the purchase of Force10 is possible the most significant tech deal, with Google (Punchd), Twitter (Backtype) and Adobe (EchoSign) all picking up smaller players to help move their agenda.  Three years ago in July 2012 Marissa Mayer became the new CEO at Yahoo and Dell bought Quest Software for $2.4 billion; Apple picked up Authentec for $356 million and Socialcam acquired Autodesk for $60 million.  Oracle was on a roll, buying (i) the assets of Skire (capital assets and facilities management software), (ii) Involver (a social marketing tools company) and (iii) Xsigo Systems (Network Virtualisation).  Vmware was also busy, picking up Dynamic Ops (virtualisation software) and Nicira (a start-up in the networking software space).  One interesting deal saw Digg bought for $500,000 by Betaworks, when Digg had been valued at $200 million just four Cisco logoyears ago. July 2013 was quiet for  M&A activity but there were some interesting deals, with the big deal involving perennial acquirer Cisco shelling out $2.7 billion for security vendor Sourcefire.  There were some other big names out shopping with EMC buying identity management company Aveska, Intel making an acquisition in Israel (a trend) of Omek a company specialised in the perceptual computing arena.  Apple bought Locationary, a Toronto company that is expected to be involved in improving Apple’s maps for iOS (remember when Apple dropped Google Maps!)  Finally, Ottawa’s Shopify bought a Toronto based design agency Jet Cooper. Last year July 2014 had a lot of M&A activity but no real blockbuster deals.  Blackberry bought encryption company Secusmart GmbH; Twitter logoOracle bought cloud services company TOA Technologies; Twitter bought a startup Madbits, a company that focuses on the media space; Yahoo also bought a startup Flurry in the mobile apps space; Teradata bought a couple of smaller “big data” companies, Hadapt and Revelytix; Apple bought a couple of smaller “books & podcast” companies Booklamp and Concept.io; Qualcomm bought education company EmpoweredU; and finally Nokia continue to rebuild after selling its devices and handsets business to Microsoft, this time buying Panasonic’s 3G and LTE base station operations division.

Which brings us back to the present …

Microsoft logoJuly 2015 saw no billion dollar deals, but there was some activity with some big names out shopping.  Microsoft made two acquisitions, paying $320 million for cloud security company Adallom and also picked up customer servicing software company FieldOne Systems. IBM picked up database as a service company Compose; Cisco paid $139 million for sales automation company MaintenanceNet; HP is buying a cloud development platform Stackato; Blackberry bought AtHoc which is a crisis communication tool; and DropBox bought messaging company Clementine.

EBay logoOther acquisitions saw Cisco as a seller, with Technicolor paying $600 million for Cisco’s set top box division; Level 3 bought security firm Black Lotus; Amadeus bought travel software company Navitaire (a subsidiary of Accenture) for $830 million; eBay sold its Enterprise unit for $925 million, having paid $2.4 billion for it 4 years ago.  In the continued blurring of the lines between technology companies and other industries, Capital One bank acquired design, development and marketing firm Monsoon.
US GovernmentAlmost every indicator from the US was positive again this month, with another 240,000 private sector jobs added in June.  The Canadian indicators were not as good with a loss of 6,400 jobs in June and a continued unemployment rate of 6.8%.  A Federal government report also suggests that Canada is headed for an IT skills shortage of approximately 182,000 people by 2019.

In other news Microsoft, already mentioned for two acquisitions this month, also announced layoffs of 7,800 people related to its phone hardware business.  Final word goes to online “marital affair” dating site Ashley Madison suffered a major hack and the hackers have threatened to “out” its users.  I guess that slogan “Life is short” could be seen differently for those who get outted!

That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website.  Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the August 2015 industry news in just about a month’s time.

Walk Fast and Smile.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Are You Achieving Your Potential?

Be amazing quote by Maya AngelouWe are all born with certain talents.

We all have the ability to improve those talents through education, practice and effort … and we can do this at any time in our lives.

Some people will take full advantage of those talents and others will not.

Robert Schuller asked the question, “What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

The intent of that question was to make us think about why we are not chasing our dreams or reaching for goals.  If the fear of failure were eliminated then would we have some goal in mind?  If so, then why not go for it?

Here are a few thoughts on this subject:

  1. When humans are forced into situations they can accomplish incredible feats.  Think about the stories of people who survived great hardships, or the heroic stories we hear about people who found themselves in tough situations.
  2. When we decide to “go for it” we are proven to be able to achieve great things too … think about professional athletes or even very successful entrepreneurs.
  3. Failure is not a terrible thing. Through failure we learn invaluable lessons.  Each new attempt will bring us closer to our goal.  There are many people who have achieved great things, before which they had many failures … think Abraham Lincoln.
  4. We can fake ourselves out easily … by focusing on all the things that can go wrong and the possibility of failure. OR we can focus on making it happen.
  5. Why do you need to be forced? Why do you need circumstance to push you?

We all get one go around at life.

Why not take our talents and make the most of them?

Why not give ourselves goals, and go for them?

Why not achieve our potential?

What is stopping you?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Develop Your Curiosity

Curiosity quote by EinsteinWikipedia describes curiosity as: (from Latin curiosus “careful, diligent, curious,” akin to cura “care”) is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and animal species. Curiosity is heavily associated with all aspects of human development, in which derives the process of learning and desire to acquire knowledge and skill.

I would suggest that curiosity is an under-rated trait that is present in almost any successful person that I know!

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”  Voltaire

This is one “skill” that can be developed … and can be hugely useful in both your career and your personal life.

For example, it is a strongly held belief that great leaders do not accept the “status quo”.  They are continually looking for ways to get better, to improve the process, to reduce the costs and to be more efficient.  A great way to do that is to be curious, and to truly understand why things are the way they are, because when you understand it well you have a decent chance of improving it!

“It is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Max De Pree

Let’s talk about relationships, both business and personal.  The number one way to start a relationship is to be curious about the other person!  By asking questions we get to know people better, and conversation flows easier leading to an easier relationship which might develop into friendship.  So, whether you are networking for business or meeting socially … being curious is a great way to “get ahead”!

“You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than in two years of trying to get people interested in you.”  Dale Carnegie

Work at it!

Consciously start to ask more questions.

Work at developing better questions.

Set yourself a goal to learn something new every day … by asking questions.

If you are hiring people, look for those who are curious … they will WANT to learn!

Are you good at getting people to open up, by asking good questions?

Do you agree that curiosity is a valuable skill?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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CANADIAN JOB MARKET Review Second Quarter 2015

jobsGeneral Observations:

The first half of the year has been a challenge here in Canada, driven largely by the struggling oil sector, which tends to ripple through the economy.  The general feeling is that Statistics Canada will announce a recession, given that Canada will have experienced two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Target LogoFollowing a tough first quarter of low oil prices, mid-$40 range, and layoffs in the retail sector (Target, Sony, Mexxx) the second quarter has continued to see the effects of a depressed energy sector.

The employment rate at the end of Q2 is unchanged from the end of Q1, sitting at 6.8%.  There has been a loss of about 11,000 jobs in the oil sector however Canada has actually added 33,000 jobs in Q2, and 176,000 jobs over the last 12 months.

TSXAs another economic indicator the TSX has been fairly steady, despite other volatility in the markets.  At the end of Q2 the TSX was at about 14,500 which was down about 500 points from the 15,000 reading at the end of Q1.

As already mentioned the price of a barrel of oil has plummeted and is currently sitting around $55 a barrel, but at the end of Q1 was below $50.  This had a significant impact in the oil patch, resulting in cut backsOil can, reduction in spending and layoffs.  When coupled with a low Canadian dollar however it is not ALL bad news, and Canadian manufacturers and exporters are benefiting.

The financial sector is one of the largest employers in Canada and continues to be a busy user of talent.  This sector is centered primarily in Toronto, but with a significant presence in Montreal. There are many reasons why this sector remains busy including its highly competitive nature, evolving technologies, regulatory change and volatile markets.

Mobile antena. Communication conceptThe telecommunications sector is another big employer in Canada in a very competitive world.  Differentiation is achieved through infrastructure, technology advancements and new offerings.  In addition they are dealing with the effects of an aging workforce and the retiring baby boomers.

ConstructionThe construction industry is a large consumer of labor and remains a great place to find work, both in the trades and in the head offices of the large companies. You can see cranes dotting the landscape in most major cities with infrastructure projects, office towers and condo developments. The drop in oil prices has cost jobs in the oil sands and other large projects but in general, if people are willing to travel there is work to be had.  There continues to be high demand for “trades” in the home renovation and small scale construction world.

Despite the need for governments to contain costs we have seen a fairly steady demand in Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments.  They are huge employers, and people with the right skills are always in demand. The required downsizing is generally achieved through attrition and there is always work to be done. Regulatory change, policy development and general administrative needs dictate the need for a large and skilled workforce that receives competitive incomes and very attractive pensions and benefits. As we get closer to Federal and Provincial elections the projects are slowing down and funding is harder to get.  I would expect to see a slowdown in this sector over the next six months At least.  It is difficult to say what will happen in Alberta with an NDP government that has no experience governing.  The general consensus seems to suggest a steep but fairly long learning curve that will cost jobs.

The Canadian Staffing Index is an indicator of the strength of the largest provider of talent in any economy (the staffing industry) and an excellent barometer of the health of Canada’s economy. The index suggests that the slowdown in the demand for talent we saw in Q1, continued into Q2.  Increased demand for staff augmentation resources is often the first sign of recovery, and we are not yet seeing that.

Here at Eagle we have seen significant impact on our Western Canada business however other markets remain fairly steady.  Following a first quarter drop of 30% in orders, we saw a further dip of almost 10% in Q2.  The impact has been almost exclusively in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  While other markets have been fairly stable there has been no offsetting increase in demand.

More Specifically:
cn towerWith more than 6 million people, and the largest number of head offices in Canada, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is by far Canada’s, and Eagle’s, largest market.  This market accounts for approximately 60% of Eagle’s business which comes from the major industries here, which include the financial, insurance, government and telecommunications sectors.  The retail sector and the construction industry also generate significant demand, in addition to the engineering space.  Despite a technical recession the GTA continues to demand talent.

The Saddledome in CalgaryIn Western Canada Alberta, and more specifically Calgary has taken the brunt of the hit from the drop in oil prices, and it has been a significant hit.  In addition to the hit in oil prices has been the uncertainty of an NDP government coming to power, who have already raised corporate taxes and have an environmental agenda that will impact big oil.  Companies are still evaluating whether their investment dollars should be redirected outside of Alberta!  It remains to be seen whether confidence can be restored to the business sector, and what affect that will have on jobs and the Canadian economy.

Parliament building in OttawaEagle’s Eastern Canada region covers Ottawa, Montreal & the “Maritimes”. Ottawa is essentially a “government market” and as such will rise and fall based on Federal projects and spending.  As an election nears we are seeing the typical slowdown in demand which will continue until well after the election.  Montreal is relatively steady but not booming, with demand coming from the financial sector, the telcos and the construction industry. There will be some impact from the oil price felt particularly in Newfoundland.  This region is typically slower for job creation at the best of times, so I expect it to be even slower than normal until we see an uptick in oil prices

At Eagle our focus in on professional staffing and the people in demand from our clients have been fairly consistent for some time. That would include Program Managers, Project Managers and Business Analysts who always seem to be in demand. It might just be our focus, but Change Management and Organizational Excellence resources are in relatively high demand too. Big data, analytics, CRM and mobile expertise are specializations that we are seeing more and more. On the Finance and Accounting, side we see a consistent need for financial analysts, accountants with designations and public accounting experience plus controllers as a fairly consistent talent request. Technology experts with functional expertise in Health Care is another skill set that sees plenty of demand

Summary:

The first half of 2015 has seen a wide difference in the economies of the East versus the West.  The West has suffered through the predictable fallout from a dropping price of a barrel of oil, the East has continued somewhat unabated.  The general consensus appears to be that oil prices will not recover to their recent highs, and will not increase significantly in the near term.  This outlook has companies taking a conservative approach to investment and growth plans.  The impact in Calgary has been most significant, and now we are seeing impact on other markets, including Edmonton and Saskatchewan, which was expected.

The other big verticals such as Financial, Insurance, Telecommunications and Construction have not been greatly affected by the price of oil. Demand for talent appears to be strong and we are seeing these sectors benefit from newly available talent, previously employed in the oil sector.

The recent lowering of the overnight interest rate was a sign that the Feds want to get the economy moving again.  With a Fall election coming they will hope things will improve, although the signs are that we are unlikely to see a much improved economy in the near term.

Despite the current crunch, we expect continued skills shortages in our knowledge economy, partly fueled by the boomers retiring, but also caused by our education system not turning out the right skill sets and the advancements in technology creating a shortage as the skills catch up.

The unemployment rate at 6.8% is not great but it is also not terrible.  Professionals are probably seeing an unemployment rate more like 4%, so companies are still having trouble finding the right talent, at the right time for the right price!

That was my quarterly look at the Canadian job market and some of its influences.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Don’t Stop Trying!

Success quote by Conrad HiltonGenerally speaking the best things in life come at a cost.

Whether it is money, or effort, or time; or some combination of those things, invariably there is some cost.

I would also suggest that very often that cost is greater than you expect!

So, when we want something or want to achieve something we need to keep that in mind.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  Dale Carnegie

The way we improve ourselves, and our lot in life is by investing in ourselves, by trying new things and by effort … a lot of effort!

More often than not, those ideas, projects or attempts at improvement will not work the first time.  They might even fail multiple times!

The biggest difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who do not is persistence … an unwillingness to give up on that dream.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

Are you willing to do what it takes?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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