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The staffing industry: Where opportunity thrives

The following article was in today’s National Post

This time each year, thousands of staffing services companies across the country celebrate Staffing for Canada Week, to recognize Canadians pursuing employment opportunities through the medium of staffing and recruiting firms. This year, ACSESS (The Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services) sponsored the Staffing for Canada Week Exceptional Experience writing contest, for Canadians to describe their occupational journey.

After receiving more than 80 submissions in March alone, it was clear that Canadians were having positive experiences finding employment through the staffing industry. From gaining valuable exposure to the workforce to discovering new fields of interest to getting a break in a desirable career choice, stories described experiences that spanned an array of sectors and job types.

For many, their experience with the staffing industry was a departure from preconceived notions. Contest winner Christina Starr initially feared that the staffing industry was limited to work that would not suit her. When she discovered she’d be working in a Toronto-based homeless shelter, she realized that staffing firms, with whom she continues to work, have the “openness and flexibility” needed to help people from different backgrounds find a good fit.

Others described how, contrary to expectations, the permanent and temporary roles the staffing industry led them to were a relevant extension of their experience. Formerly a governance program associate for a youth-based human rights organization in Rwanda, second place winner Abena Amoako-Tuffour learned of the role of co-ordinator for the Global Health Elective and the Rwandan Resident Program through Dalhousie University’s Global Health Office of Anesthesia the day she stepped foot into a staffing firm. She then met with her new employer first thing the next morning.

Third-place winner Jenn Lively has a long relationship with her staffing firm. From her first administrative job out of university to a number of supervisory and managerial roles along the way, Jenn now works with the same staffing firm as a human resources professional. With such a strong understanding of both sides of the staffing and recruiting process, Jenn understands full well how the industry’s “ability to fill the required positions within a quick time frame is nothing short of amazing.”

For each contest entrant, there are hundreds of similar tales. So as we celebrate Staffing for Canada Week, let’s rejoice in knowing that there’s a role for each of us, and the staffing industry exists to help us find it. To view the top three contest submissions in full, please visit