CEO Blog

Category Archives: Staffing

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to staffing and recruitment.

Get The Critical Tasks Done!

Golda Meir quote about governing the clockEffective time management will make a difference in almost any job. As a salesperson I would credit time management with playing a huge factor in any success that I had.

Good time management will focus you on the most important tasks, prioritise your time, eliminate time wasters and make you your most productive.

The use of “To Do lists”, effective calendar use, a strong focus on prioritization of tasks, eradication of the dreaded procrastination and a strong work ethic will work wonders.

“The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.” Franklin Field

Today I want to focus on one particular aspect of time management that people seem to have trouble with. It is about plugging time into your calendar for high return activities, especially when you are already busy.

In the staffing business that might mean recruiters finding time to interview great people, who might not be a fit for the jobs they are currently working on. It is difficult to take time away from a current search that seems to be the top priority and spending time being proactive with other candidates. The lifeblood of any good staffing company is access to a pool of great people who are ready or almost ready for their next assignment. If you don’t keep that pool fresh you will see declining results. This is a critical activity!

The same kind of situation holds true for a salesperson who needs to find time to meet new prospective clients when they are already busy servicing their existing clients. If a salesperson relies solely on their existing clients and does not keep growing, then ultimately, and sometimes very quickly, the situation can change. Key contacts leave or change jobs, a contract might be lost, the client may compete the business or the supplier company loses the good graces of a particular client. Any of these situations might leave the salesperson with a dilemma, a reduced income stream and no way to replace it. A good salesperson knows that looking for new clients and contacts is a critical activity.
 
“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” Barry Werner

There are many such situations in all professions, where even though the impact is not immediate, the task is still critical. Find time to do those tasks. Let everything else fill in around those time slots, but treat those activities like gold.

If you have heard the parable of filling the jar with big rocks, small stones, sand and water (or coffee) then consider these tasks to be big rocks. Get them into your calendar first or the calendar will fill up with all those other things (sand, small stones) leaving no room for your most important activities!

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
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What Exactly Do Staffing Companies Do?

Recruiter interviewing a candidate at a deskStaffing companies are tasked with finding talent, when the client needs them at a price to fit the client’s budget.

For those who have never worked in the industry it doesn’t seem that hard. Run a few ads, interview a few people send them over to the client and another sale is done. Of course if it were that simple then staffing companies would not exist, particularly in an age where technology is so pervasive. Yet … here we are.

I thought it might be useful for those who are not in the know to get a sense of why we exist.

  1. Recruiting is, of course, a people business. People are not widgets and hence, particularly with professionals, people are not interchangeable parts.
  2. Receiving a ton of resumes applying for a job is not a good thing. Most often the culling and screening process to find the best candidate is difficult. If you have to read hundreds of resumes it can be mind-numbing, but experienced recruiter can handle this more quickly than most.
  3. My company is a mid-sized professional staffing company in Canada. We maintain a database of more than 200,000 candidates (professionals) and receive roughly 4,000 resumes every month.
  4. The way that staffing companies are successful is by maintaining relationships with the best candidates, and always adding to those lists of great people. That means interviewing people every day just to maintain an inventory of available talent.
  5. Salespeople in our industry work with their clients to understand their needs. That means lots of meetings, lots of conversations and asking the right questions.
  6. Where this all comes together is a planning process that ties together the type of demand we expect from our clients with the type of people that our recruiters are meeting. In a perfect world we will have qualified candidates to meet our client’s needs, as those needs arise.
  7. Recruiters therefore will be juggling the multiple responsibilities of:
    • Building inventory, requiring them to meet and interview prospective candidates; keep in touch with people who are available for work;
    • Working on job orders, requiring them to understand the client’s needs, evaluate the available inventory, discuss the job with multiple applicants, negotiate rates, check references, submit the best candidates to the client and keep applicants informed of where things stand;
    • Managing existing candidates currently working with their clients. Checking on how they are doing through the life of the contract, keeping check on their future availability, handling any billing issues that might arise, ensuring time sheets are received etc.
  8. Salespeople will be working closely with their recruiting team to ensure the client is being well served, building relationships across existing clients and into new prospective clients. They will be managing expectations, spending time on site as appropriate to be visible and available to both clients and candidates working at those sites. They will be involved in ensuring the quality of the submissions, rate negotiations and candidate management.
  9. This is a hyper competitive world, where competitors might range from a one person shop to multi-national global companies, and everything in between. Tools and process have made the industry extremely productive, existing on razor thin margins, with Statistics Canada reporting the average profitability in the industry between 3% and 5%.
  10. When a client gets their candidate they see the end result, which might not look like much work, but like the proverbial duck all the action happens below the water level!

This is a great industry, and in an age of increasing skills and labor shortages it is becoming even more important.

More people will gain employment through the staffing industry than through any other means, which is good for people, for companies in search of talent and the economy too.

What else would you like to know about the staffing industry?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
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Do Your Values Match Your Employer’s

quote about living your valuesIt is normal for a company to have a set of core values, used to aid in decision making and to establish a culture that is developed purposefully rather than by accident.

It is normal that the employees of that company will have similar values, in fact if their values are not aligned then it is rare that a person would stay working for a company with very different values than the individual.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney

Companies will take time to develop their core values, they will probably have a strategic planning exercise involving key stake holders, perhaps with consulting advice.  The process will be structured and given some importance, because at the end of that process the core values will define the very nature of the company.

How often do individuals really think about their “core values’?

I would suggest that most of us come to know and understand who we are as we mature.  We may surprise ourselves from time to time, but generally we have a good understanding of what our limits are and what is important to us.  It is also fairly natural that these change over time, as we are exposed to different influences, but at our very core (good word) we know what we stand for.

So … do you try to align yourself with an employer that has similar values to you?

“Find people who share your values, and you’ll conquer the world together.” John Ratzenberger

Is one of your core values earning as much money as you can, above other considerations?

Are you content to earn a wage, and receive no training … or is personal development and lifelong learning important to you?

Do you choose to work at the most convenient employer, with no thought to their community involvement … or is that even a factor when you look for your next job?

I am not suggesting that people compromise their earning potential for other factors, but I am suggesting that a balanced look at your fit with a potential employer should be a part of your employment considerations.  If you are totally unaligned with your new employer’s core values then it is unlikely that you will be very content no matter what you are being paid, or how short your commute is.

Take some time to really understand what is important to you.

Ask yourself whether you really believe in the environment, supporting charities, training, team based environments … or is the size of your pay cheque the only consideration?

Can you “muscle through” the BS of an abusive boss, the micro management of a “hard nosed” corporate culture or the inequity displayed by companies that don’t value diversity?

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” Elvis Presley

Do you really know what you stand for?

Once you do … for those who are fortunate enough to choose their employer, try to make sure you are somewhat aligned with their core values.

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
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10 Reasons Clients Use Staffing Companies

CEO of Pepsico on the value of talentThe staffing industry continues to grow and provide value to clients across every level of government and every type of industry. Our services are used for many and varied reasons, so here are just ten reasons why we exist.

“Thirty-six percent of global employers are having difficulty filling jobs. This percentage has increased for the second consecutive year and is at its highest level since 2007.” Manpower 2014 Global Talent Shortage Survey

  1. Broad reach. The staffing industry spend their days looking for talent, talking to talent, receiving resumes from talent and building databases that track that talent. Our clients take advantage of that reach which most would have difficulty achieving themselves.
  2. Focused. We find great people for our clients … that is our core competence.  Our clients are focused on their core competence. I don’t try to build pipelines, provide telecommunication services or manage people’s money. Our clients get professionals to help them with their staffing needs.
  3. Fast. Our clients need talent now, and that is exactly what we do.
  4. Cost effective. Some people have trouble with this, but paying a staffing company is an extremely cost effective way to recruit. Your people stay focused on what your company does. A fast hire means faster productivity. The cost of the client’s time and the improved productivity of their teams makes it a no brainer from a cost perspective.
  5. Strengthen teams. Our clients use our services to proactively improve the quality of their teams. They replace poor performers with top talent… a huge win.
  6. Fill a gap. One of the most obvious uses of staffing services. A maternity leave replacement, a project that needs to be done, a short term increase in demand… all serviced by your staffing provider.
  7. Flexibility. Clients just can’t staff up with full time employees to meet all their needs.  We give them flexibility in their staffing levels, to meet short term or project demands. There are any number of reasons why a well run company wants to have this kind of flexibility.
  8. Market knowledge. Staffing companies know what people are making in the market, know who else is looking for those people, understands what their client needs to do… and brings that knowledge and expertise to the table.
  9. Anonymity. Clients sometimes need to strengthen their teams through “head hunting”. They don’t want their name associated with the calls going out into the marketplace, so they use staffing companies and search companies.
  10. Easy. Like any services industry, we need to make life easier for our clients. They give us their hiring problems and we make them go away. Easy.
  11. Industry knowledge and activism.  Employment laws are changed regularly, and this can cause issues for our clients.  We bring a deep knowledge of these issues, and actively lobby and educate regulators at every level of government to avoid harmful legislation.

“More than 50 percent of global employers reporting talent shortages say the shortages significantly impact their ability to meet client needs. Forty percent of employers say shortages reduce their competitiveness / productivity.” Manpower 2014 Global Talent Shortage Survey

At a time when staffing levels are being impacted by globalisation, demographic pressure, skills shortages and technological advances this industry brings huge value to our clients.

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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Proactively Strengthening Your Team

Douglas McArthur quote about leadershipEvery leader knows that “people management” has the potential, (and often fulfills that potential), to be a huge part of where you spend your time. You deal with poor performance, complaints of all kinds, ego stroking, breaches of rules, motivation issues and politics. On the positive side of the equation you coach and mentor, you guide and share your experience.

If you look at a typical team in a typical large company it might look like this:

  1. There will be some percentage of “A” players … who I will categorise as highly productive.
  2. There will be some higher percentage of “B” players who get the job done in a good way.
  3. The largest percentage of your people will be “journeymen (and women)” … they get the job done, are not particularly efficient and they take too much of your time.
  4. You will probably also have some small percentage of “problem children” who are not productive, who cause you to lose sleep, who are perhaps on some kind of performance plan and they most certainly take way too much of your time and mind space.

If your company culture is a positive one, then you accept some responsibility for the success of your people. You will invest in them, give them time and guide them to success. However with your “problem children” you have thoughts such as. “This seems to be taking way too long”, “will they ever get there?”, “It seems like they should be good and maybe just a little longer…” .

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” Phil Jackson

You have read all of the management books … have heard the theories, “Hire slow, fire fast”. “Build a team with A players”. “Get the right people on the bus”. It is never quite that easy! You are busy! There are (growing) skills shortages. The hiring process is tough, and takes time (and did I mention … you are busy), you don’t have a budget to hire more people! There are a lot of reasons to adopt the “hope and a prayer” strategy that your “problem children” will make it! Here is the deal … they won’t!

Ask yourself these questions …

  1. If I could replace one of my “problem children” with an “A” player, what would the impact be?
  2. If I could replace ALL of my “problem children” with “B” players what would the impact be?
  3. If I could replace one, or more, of my “journeypeople” with an “A” player what would I be willing to pay?

If you are honest with your answers you will know that the positive impact would be huge … on productivity in general, on group dynamics and on your time! If you want to do something about it then you can.

“You put together the best team that you can with the players you’ve got, and replace those who aren’t good enough.” Robert Crandall

The role of staffing companies is to find their clients the best resource, at the right time and for the right price. Very often our clients have a project or some other reactive need for those resources, and we find them.

There is real value in also having a proactive strategy that says, at its most basic level … “If you can find me great people, that will strengthen my team, I will act on that.”

You need to have a good rapport with your staffing company (or search company) and work with them to define what an “A” player looks like. They should be able to do all the “heavy lifting”, providing you with a very short list of people when you are ready.

You should explore your own networks too, and build your own pipeline of potential employees that you can “tap into”.

You need to work your internal system to figure out how you will logistically make it work. It may mean a business case showing the impact of replacing underperformers with top talent. It may mean getting approval to pay fees. It may mean understanding severance packages for those who need to go.

  • It is not easy, but the end result will make your life easier.
  • It is not easy, but it is good management.
  • It is not easy, but your team will thank you.
  • It is not easy, but it is what your company deserves.
  • It is not easy … but nothing worth doing is easy!

“A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.” Swahili Proverb

Start your proactive planning today, and reap the benefits tomorrow.

Support Your Industry Association

I have blogged before about the need for every company to “do its bit’ for the particular industry with which it is involved!  Your association works on your behalf, and just one of the areas it gets involved with is regulatory issues, which obviously affects us all.

Eagle is a member of two very active industry associations in Canada related to the Staffing Industry.  ACSESS is the larger organisation representing all areas of the recruitment and staffing industry across the country.  The map below shows just the latest files that ACSESS is working on behalf of its members (and of course all the non-members who get the benefit of that work too).

 

ACSESS on the map

 

My message to you … associations rely on volunteers and on membership dues!

Are YOU doing your bit?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

Canada Job Market Review Second Quarter of 2014

General Observations:

newspaper job sectionThere was not a big change in Canada’s economic circumstances between Q1and Q2 of 2014.  The unemployment rate has been hovering close to the 7% mark for some time and finished the quarter at a disappointing 7.1%.  Over the previous 12 months Canada has added 72,000 jobs, which is 0.4% growth.  After 2 quarters, 2014 is certainly not shaping up to be a banner year for the Canadian economy.

When writing this market review I use a number of “indicators” and try to factor in Eagle’s own experiences, as one of Canada’s larger professional staffing companies. The intent is to give the reader a view “from the trenches” to support the bigger picture view from the statisticians.

I have chosen the TSX as one indicator of the state of Canada’s economy, with the assumption, a healthy economy increases demand for people.  If the TSX were the only indicator we would have no problems because it has continued to rise over the last 12 months.  The index was at around 15,000 at the end of Q2 which was up about 800 points over the previous 3 months.  One could reasonable argue that those TSX companies enjoying this growth will be good targets if you are looking for work.

oil rigsDespite the environmental challenges facing Canada’s oil sector, the price of a barrel of oil appears to remain fairly healthy ending the quarter at around $108 which was unchanged from the previous quarter. At this price point the sector is typically continuing to invest and grow, which creates job opportunities.  Obviously it is not quite that simple with pipeline companies continuing to face political challenges with their projects.  Should some of those resolve we can expect another mini boom in this sector.

Canada’s financial sector, centred primarily in Toronto but with a healthy presence in Montreal, continues to be huge employer and a sector to explore if you are a professional looking for work.  Regulatory change, innovations in banking, technological advances and the need to address the retiring boomers are all reasons why the banks continue to hire.

The telecommunications sector is another very large sector that is always looking fo talent.  The big players are in a very competitive environment, with a need to innovate to attract customers.  The demands on their infrastructure, technology advancements, retiring boomers and expansion into new markets are all drivers of their need for people.

ConstructionLook around the skyline of any of Canada’s larger cities or attempt to do our own renovation project and you will quickly understand the demand for the trades here in Canada.  If you add the big oil projects in Alberta and the infrastructure projects across the country this is clearly a sector where the demand seems to be insatiable.

The three levels of government across Canada have always been huge employers and despite the recent focus on reductions in spending and cut backs on headcount there is still opportunity.  In addition to the big projects that will result in savings, such as Shared Services and technology projects there is the ticking time bomb of the retiring boomers, who in this “attractive pension” environment, will take retirement.

The Canadian Staffing Index is an indicator of the strength of this sector, which is the largest provider of talent in any economy and an excellent barometer of the health of Canada’s economy.  The index has reflected the very slow growth over the last year, and indeed ended Q2 at a reading of 108 which is actually down 7 points from a year ago.  Here are Eagle a quarter 2 over quarter 1 comparison saw a 7% increase in people applying for jobs and a 4% decrease in demand from our clients which would suggest a softening job market.  This does not tell the whole story however, because there are still shortages of the most in-demand skills

More Specifically:

cn towerThe GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is Canada’s largest metropolitan area and has the most demand for talent, representing 60% of Eagle’s business.  The sectors that create the most demand here at Eagle would the the telecommunications sector, the financial sector, the insurance industry, the retail sector and the municipal and provincial governments.  We don’t service the construction industry but, it too, is a hot sector in the GTA.  We anticipate, with a provincial election done and a majority government in place that there will be an icrease in demand from the provincial government as it settles on its major priorities and addresses the impact of impending retirements.

The Saddledome in CalgaryWestern Canada has been enjoying a strong resource fuelled economy for some years now, and despite a slowdown in the “boom” it still represents one of the best areas to find a job.  Calgary, which has the second most head offices in Canada, and is the hub for the oil patch, is the economic engine of Western Canada.  Other cities that have seen decent increases in demand include Regina, Saskatchewan, Vancouver and Winnipeg … although they are much smaller centres and therefore the demand is relatively small.

Eagle’s Eastern Canada region covers Ottawa, Montreal and “the Maritimes”.  Montreal continues to be fairly busy, particularly in the financial sector, the telcos and the construction industry.  There is also some demand in St John’s, NFLD (population about 200,000), and in Halifax (approx. 400,000) but everything is relative and they are not big markets.  The Federal Government in Ottawa is moving ahead on some large initiatives which is creating some demand and this market is looking healthier for professionals than in some time, however the National Capital Region has seem an increased unemployment rate over the last while.

The types of people that seem to be in constant demand from our clients has been fairly consistent.  We see a consistent demand for Program Managers and Project Managers while Business Analysts are also always in demand.  It might just be our focus but Change Management and Organizational Excellence resources are in relatively high demand too.  Big data, analytics and mobile expertise are specialisations 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:

While 2014 started with some promise it has not proven to be a boom year.  The second quarter saw no appreciable gains over the first quarter, other than in the stock market, which might actually have an impact on upcoming retirement plans as people’s portfolios recover and improve following the recession.  We will see more skills shortages in our knowledge economy, partly by fuelled by an increased number of boomers retiring.  The US recovery seems to be progressing well which should cause a drag along effect here in Canada too, although Canada/US relations are a little strained currently.

The unemployment rate around 7%, (7.5% in Ontario) is more a reflection of Canada’s move from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy, and the demand for professionals remains high.  Having said that it is not an easy time to find work for anyone, unless you are have a high demand skill set.

For those people willing to go where the work is we see continued opportunity in the oil patch, with obvious demand in Fort McMurray and all areas related to the oil sands.  The cities with higher talent demand include the GTA, Calgary, Regina, Montreal, Edmonton and to a lesser degree Winnipeg, Vancouver and Saskatoon.  The industry sectors that have the most demand have not changed and include banking, insurance, construction, telecommunications and the sectors that serve those industries.

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 Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Ace That Job Interview With These 5 Tips

Job interviewJob interviews can be stressful. It doesn’t matter how experienced you may be there is always an element of doubt about your chances of getting the job.

Am I the best candidate? Is there someone more qualified? Have I put my best foot forward?

Here are a few facts about the hiring process…

1. It is not always the person best qualified on paper who gets the job.

2. The people doing the hiring are not always good at hiring. It is usually not their profession.

3. The people doing the hiring will be influenced by the fact that they will be working with whoever gets the job, on a daily basis. They won’t want to work with someone they don’t like.

4. The right impression created in an interview can open doors, even if this job is not “the one”!

Therefore you have a few goals with your job interview…

1. Prove that you have the technical abilities to do the job. This is pretty much a given, if you don’t have the skills to do the job then likely you won’t get it, BUT you probably would not be having an interview if they did not think you could do the job. Therefore this is really confirmation of what they think. Take it seriously. Do some preparation so that you can answer the technical part of your interview. Don’t mess up!

2. Demonstrate that you really want the job. Do NOT go into an interview with the attitude that they need to convince YOU to take the job. No matter how good you are. No matter how much you think they want you. Be humble… work for the job and show you are keen. Remember that until you formally accept the job you can always decide… but your JOB at interview time is to get the offer!

3. Try to CONNECT with the people interviewing. Show an interest. Remember you might be working with them, so make an effort to establish rapport. Smile. Be interested… ask questions (be prepared with good ones). Be open and honest. Treat them like friends.

4. Create a good first impression. Be there in plenty of time. Dress appropriately… which probably means a little smarter than you might wear on a daily basis. Be smart, clean and looking like a keen applicant. Be in a good mood! Be prepared having done your homework on the company and the people you are meeting if possible.

5. Arrive in the right frame of mind. If you are prepared then you will feel more confident. If you are dressed smartly then you feel good about yourself. If you are in plenty of time then you will alleviate any undue stress. You should make sure you are smiling and in a positive frame of mind.

If you do everything right chances are you will get the job. Worst case you will have made a positive impression that might open doors anyway!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

4 Easy and Free Steps to Getting the Attention of Top Talent

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceApril’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll asked respondents what they feel is the most attractive feature of their company to new employees, aside from the work itself.  Not surprisingly, results of the poll and a simple Google search reveal that most companies have a mix of enticing qualities.  So, why are some companies still not receiving the amount of applicants they want?  

One obvious reason is the looming skills gap – especially in the technology sector.  Finding a person with your desired qualifications and experience can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  That person is out there; you just need to grab their attention.   Here are 4 easy and free steps to doing so: 

  1. Take some time to customize your job posting. Although most companies have a solid mix of perks and benefits, not many actually promote them.  Take a look at your standard job posting template. Do you really sell your company or does it focus mainly on the job, skills and requirements?  What’s really differentiating you from your competitors who have a similar posting? Check out this blog post from January that gives some tips on promoting your company culture and everything you have to offer.

  2. Post your job on your website. Having your job published to your own site is crucial.  Even if you use a third-party tool that publishes your jobs, make it easy to find them from your homepage.  Making a new, easy-to-remember URL that forwards to your careers page is also a great tactic (ex. Yourcompany.com/jobs).  From there, ensure your page is consistent with company branding, the content flows and contains key words, and the application process is simple and clear.

  3. Submit it to Aggregators.  Job Aggregators are a search engine for jobs.  They scrape websites to collect jobs and make them available to job seekers in one place – for free.  Statistics show that more candidates prefer these aggregators for searching rather than traditional job boards, so if you’re not posting there, you’re likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.  To get started, visit a site and follow their instructions for posting a free job. There are a bunch of aggregators out there including Indeed, Simply Hired, Eluta and Wow Jobs.

  4. Facebook logoShare your job on social media.  If your company isn’t taking advantage of social media yet, you’re behind.  Since you already have that job posted to your website, get onto social media and share it.  Add a comment to make it more personal and then ask others in your company to do the same thing. Also consider joining a few groups on networks like LinkedIn and Facebook that will let you share job opportunities for free.  

These simple steps will push your job out to a large network of people.  The right customized job posting will not only attract more candidates, but key words will make it easier to search on job aggregators, search engines and job boards.  When you add social media to the mix, you make it more personal which will make it more credible.  Share your free and simple tips to promote a job by leaving us a comment.

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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 Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Canada Job Market Review First Quarter 2014

General Observations:

Newspaper Jobs SectionThe new year started with some optimism and we have seen some good signs related to Canada’s job market.  Over the course of the first quarter the unemployment rate improved for a starting point around 7.2%, ending the quarter at a 6.9% unemployment rate.  Over the course of the 12 months ending March 2014 Canada added 190,000 jobs, adding 43,000 jobs in March alone.

In creating this summary I look at a number of “big picture” factors in addition to Eagle’s own experiences on the “front end” of providing talent to our clients across the country.  From these indicators we can see trends and understand where the opportunities are for jobs in Canada.

Positive movement in the stock market will result in investment by public companies, in projects, in infrastructure and other growth initiatives which at the end of the day means jobs.  I use the TSX as my guide and it continued its upward trend in Q1 ending the quarter with a reading of close to 14,200 which is almost 100 points higher than the start of the quarter.  This would suggest that we can expect these public companies to start to invest and hopefully that results in more Canadian jobs.

Oil canCanada’s oil sector continues with its challenges of gaining approval for much needed pipelines, which is somewhat restricting growth in that sector, however by most market standards the oil patch is strong.  The price of a barrel of oil at quarter end was around $108 as opposed to $100 at the start of the quarter, with a strong oil price being one indicator of an appetite for investment and growth in jobs.  It continues to be Alberta leading the charge, but Saskatchewan and British Columbia also benefit from jobs in the oil patch.  This sector employs huge numbers of people across all professions and trades and continues to be a big area of opportunity to job seekers.

Canadian dollar the LoonieThe financial sector is centered primarily in Toronto, but also has a strong presence in Montreal and is a huge employer here in Canada.  This sector continues to create a huge demand for talent and is one that job seekers would be wise to target.  The big driver of demand for talent in this sector will be regulatory change, competitive pressures, technological change, innovation and the impact of retiring baby boomers over the coming years.

Another big employer in Canada is the telecommunications sector.  Driven by technological change, competitive pressures, infrastructure growth, expansion into new markets and again, the impact of retiring boomers this is a sector that is always looking for talent.

ConstructionAs anyone who has done some renovation work, or bought a new home will know the trades are in big demand.  This is an area of opportunity with good mobility in the industry, competitive incomes and big demand.  In addition to the traditional housing type work and large building construction there are continuing major projects within various sectors such as the oil patch.

Governments across Canada are huge employers but in recent years have been under pressure to reduce spending and cut back on headcount.  That does not mean however, that there is no opportunity.  Government continue to invest in projects that will result in more efficient delivery of services, in client focused initiatives and will always provide support to certain regions and special interest groups.  While the opportunity may not be as clear cut as in the past, there is still a very large impending impact from retiring boomers, who because of their pension structure are very likely to take their retirement!

The staffing industry is the largest provider of talent in any economy and an excellent barometer of the health of our economy.  The Canadian Staffing Index would suggest that demand has fluctuated through 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014, but is generally headed upwards, albeit gently.  Here at Eagle, we saw an increase of 7% in people applying to us for jobs, however we saw a much bigger increase in demand (18%) for talent from our clients.  Put together with earlier data this would suggest that in the professional space we are seeing a consistent greater demand for talent, and at the same time a decrease in available talent.

More Specifically:

It is no surprise that with the largest metropolitan population, and the largest number of head offices, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) creates the biggest demand for talent.  Here at Eagle our GTA region typically represents 60% of our client demand. In addition to the obvious demand from the financial sector, the telcos, the insurance industry, the construction industry and service industries are all big employers in the GTA.

The Saddledome in CalgaryOut in Western Canada it is Calgary, with the second most head offices in Canada and the economic centre for the oil patch which is the economic hub.  The first quarter has seen an uptick in demand for talent and increasing shortages of key skills.  Clients are seeing this trend and realising that they need to move quickly in order to get the people they want.  The West continues to be a good place to find work particularly for engineers and people in the industries that service the oil sector.

Eagle’s Eastern Canada region covers Ottawa, Montreal and “the Maritimes”.  Montreal continues to be fairly busy, particularly in the financial sector, the telcos and the construction industry.  There is also some demand in St John’s, NFLD (population about 200,000), and in Halifax (approx. 400,000) but everything is relative and they are not big markets.  The Federal Government in Ottawa is moving ahead on some large initiatives which is creating some demand and this market is looking healthier for professionals than in some time, however the National Capital Region has seem an increased unemployment rate over the last while.

The types of people that seem to be in constant demand from our clients has been fairly consistent.  We see a consistent demand for Program Managers and Project Managers while Business Analysts are also always in demand.  It might just be our focus but Change Management and Organizational Excellence resources are in relatively high demand too.  Big data and mobile expertise are specialisations that are in demand.  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:

canadian flag2014 has started out positively, and I expect it to continue to improve.  We will see more skills shortages as we move through the year driven partly by an increased number of boomers retiring because their retirement portfolios have recovered sufficiently from the recession.  The US recovery seems to be progressing well which will cause a drag along effect here in Canada too.  Over all I am feeling optimistic for our economy.  With an unemployment rate under 7% we can extrapolate that the unemployment rate for professionals as being far lower, perhaps in the 4% or less range.  This bodes well for professionals of all types, in addition there is strong demand for skilled trades people.  The real impact of the unemployment rate is on the unskilled workers and those in the declining manufacturing industries.

For those people willing to go where the work is we see continued opportunity in the oil patch, with obvious demand in Fort McMurray and all areas related to the oil sands.  The cities with higher talent demand include the GTA, Calgary, Regina, Montreal, Edmonton and to a lesser degree Winnipeg, Vancouver and Saskatoon.  The industry sectors that have the most demand have not changed and include banking, insurance, construction, telecommunications and the sectors that serve those industries.

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)
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