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Monthly Archives

September 2010

Finding the Fit: 3 tips on attracting the right person for the job

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From the July, 2010 Issue of CareerBulletin

In a competitive job market where candidates tout more credentials and technical skills than ever, fit is increasingly becoming the differentiator.

What is organizational fit? It means that above and beyond being “qualified” for the job, the employee’s goals, values and preferences are aligned with those of the organization. It means there is working chemistry between the employee and his or her team, and that coming to work every day is a pleasure and not a drag.

Here are a few things employers can do to ensure they are attracting, hiring and retaining the right people for their organizational culture.

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“HR under unprecedented pressure to lift its game”

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HR professionals carry the responsibility of championing progress and change in one of the most important areas of an organization – its people. One of the most challenging aspects of this is measuring the impact HR departments have on business performance.

This is especially true around CSR and issues like diversity and inclusion. Great HR professionals know that diversity makes good business sense, but if HR is not equipped with the tools to measure the impact, how will anybody else know?

In a recent discussion on LinkedIn’s HRPA group, Phil Johnson, an Organizational Change Coach, speaker and author, posted the following:

HR under unprecedented pressure to lift its game

HR departments face unprecedented pressure to lift their game and become more aligned to key strategic drivers of business performance. Measurement of HR performance is requiring practitioners to demonstrate their contribution to high-level corporate goals.

HR must deliver measurable returns that support strategic objectives and outcomes. Increasingly, HR practitioners will need to put aside the narrow metrics of HR activities and focus on broader business outcomes. HR practitioners will need to keep pace with dynamic change and articulate critical strategic issues that are of central importance to the business.

They will have to think about how “the people element” adds value at every stage of the organisation and consider factors that both “enhance and dilute” that value. Conversations with HR about HR are transactional. The new value chain for HR is conversations that are transformational – talking to business leaders about business issues.

His insights resonated with several other group members, who chimed in nothing the evolution of HR within organizations, “from transactional HR Managers to transformational HR leaders.”

Todd Humber of Canadian HR Reporter commented on the timeliness of this post, adding that an interview with academic John Boudreau in the upcoming October 4 issue will address the topic of “retooling” HR.

It seems that one of the biggest challenges that lie ahead for HR professionals in Canada will be measuring and communicating successes in a way that engages leaders outside the human resources realm.

Of course, some functions of HR are more measurable than others and metrics like turnover, absenteeism, recruitment costs, etc. are more evidently linked to business goals than others. Many HR professionals find the biggest hurdle to overcome is around championing diversity and inclusion initiatives.

While we know that inclusive organizations are employer-of-choice, attract top talent and relate best with the Canadian and global markets, not all organizations are measuring the impact of their diversity efforts or effectively communicating them across the organization.

Many HR departments are doing this effectively, but there are still challenges, and until the HR profession as a whole has the tools to demonstrate the link between inclusion and business performance, gaining alignment across organizations at all levels from front-line to senior management may continue to be an uphill climb.

What’s next in social media recruiting?

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In these high-tech times of constant change, it’s remarkable that over ten years since the advent of online job boards, they still have a significant presence online and in the world of recruiting, without many significant changes.

Few people know this about us, but Career Edge Organization actually put up the first electronic job board in Canada back in the 90’s.

Before electronic job boards, community newspaper classifieds was the best place for a job-seeker to look for work. In today’s globalized economy, employers need to reach talent on a global scale in order to stay competitive. Until recently, this has taken place in the form of posting jobs online. But we have to ask – what’s next?

As an organization that was an early leader in bringing together technology and recruitment in Canada, keeping our finger on the pulse is among our top priorities.

That’s why next week on September 22nd and 23rd, Career Edge Organization will be attending the “Recruitment Innovation Summit” held by the Human Resources Networking Group (HRNG). We will be among some of the most influential decision-makers in Canada’s business community as an exhibitor.

The summit will focus on the latest innovations in recruitment, including panel discussions on “Social Networking Strategies” and “Sourcing 3.0.”

I am hoping the summit will help address some of the opportunities and challenges around social media recruiting (or as some call it, “web 2.0 recruiting”). Growing numbers of hiring managers and HR professionals in Canada can be found online “creeping” the Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts of potential new employees.

Facebook Profile copy

While this can be an incredibly powerful tool, there may also be unforeseen risks to employers. One of the issues is the potential to screen out candidates based on discriminatory grounds (either consciously or subconsciously).

Through social media, recruiters can access sensitive information about candidates such as age, marital status, appearance, race, religious affiliation and sexual orientation (just look any facebook profile page and you’ll see what I mean). Studies have also increasingly found that minorities are underrepresented in popular North American online social networking sites. These and many other issues are worth consideration and discussion especially in a Country as diverse as Canada.

At Career Edge Organization, we see the potential opportunities to be gained from social media recruiting and are committed to educating ourselves and staying on top of emerging trends – and most importantly, passing the info on to you! But, we do so with caution and upholding our ultimate values and mandate of helping to create and promote diverse workforces.

This Labour Day Career Edge Organization celebrates 10,000 internships!

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By guest contributor, Anne Lamont, President & CEO at Career Edge Organization

10000 cupcake celebration

It is truly a privilege to be part of an organization that has had such a positive impact on the Canadian business community as well as on individuals and families across the nation. Leading a passionate and dedicated team further enhances this experience.

While it is a pleasure, however, it is often a challenge as well – this is especially true in challenging economic times. So when the opportunity to celebrate arises, we embrace it.

As you might already be aware from our press release, our special edition e-newsletter or other announcements, we recently reached a significant milestone in our organization’s history and it is with pride that we can now proclaim that through our Career EdgeAbility Edge and Career Bridge paid internship programs, our internship numbers have surpassed 10,000.

Our small team recently gathered and celebrated with cupcakes – each one with an individual staff member’s name – a testament to the importance of each team member’s contributions.

Our internship programs have not only launched 10,000 careers, they have also provided employers with over 10,000 talented interns. Additionally, thousands of individuals have had the opportunity to be a mentor or a coach to an intern, which for many was an invaluable experience that contributed significantly to their own professional growth and development.

Our former interns or alumni, as we refer to them, represent individuals who came to Career Edge Organization, frustrated by their inability to secure meaningful work opportunities in their professional fields. Through the commitment and support of our valued host employers, who opened up their minds and doors to quality, diverse talent, we have launched the careers of engineering, marketing, human resources, operations, IT and business professionals across the country in a variety of industries such as financial services, technology, health care and telecommunications to public service, pharmaceuticals and the environment.

Career Edge Organization is proud to have uncovered such a wealth of talent by looking beyond mainstream candidates and tapping into under-utilized sources of talent, in order to help employers connect with the right talent who have the right skills and fit with their unique environments. It is our quality talent, our ability to adapt to change, our openness to new ideas and technology, and many other factors that have allowed us to stand where we are today.

We hope you will join us in celebrating this incredible feat as we celebrate 10,000 successful internships and look forward to achieving the next 10,000!

This September, try a virtual job fair

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If July is all about picnics and BBQ’s, September is about getting back to business. For students everywhere, it’s back to school. Around the same time, the pace seems to pick up at most organizations, as everyone returns from summer holidays.

September is also known to be a busy month for hiring, with a myriad of college, university, independent and niche job fairs for employers to participate in, giving them the opportunity to meet diverse job-seekers including a large cohort of recent graduates ready to launch their careers.

While nothing can truly replace the job-fair atmosphere and the opportunity to meet hundreds of candidates face-to-face, job-seekers have increasingly become tech-savvy researchers. Today, it seems the most dynamic job fairs are taking place online.

Your “virtual booth” might be the careers page on your website, or your profile on an online job board. These days employers can showcase their brand, people, community involvement and accomplishments all online, where job-seekers will know to look for them.

A word of caution though – grads are starting to become wary of online job boards noticing that many of the postings come from third party recruiters and offer little visibility to the actual employer. Furthermore inexperienced entry-level grads are competing with job-seekers at all levels for jobs that typically ask for at least 2 or 3 years of experience.

This is what makes Career Edge and Ability Edge such safe havens for both job-seekers and employers. Recent graduates as well as recent graduates with disabilities can apply to real jobs from real employers in an environment where they are only competing with other recent grads. Furthermore employers have nothing to hide in this niche environment – their postings are protected from the public and only visible to qualified registrants of our paid internship programs.

Today’s world is all about efficiency and connectivity – the best opportunities are at your fingertips, and talent is just a mouse-click away.

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