Monthly Archives

December 2010

Happy (politically correct) Holidays!

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Here we are, Christmas Eve officially just hours away, and yet as our team at Career Edge Organization slowly trickle out one by one, “Merry Christmas” is seldom heard. Instead the message is, “happy holidays,” and “happy New Year.”

Like many urban, Canadian workplaces, our team is incredible diverse. For many of us, the “holidays” have passed.

Hanukkah for instance took place at the beginning of December this year. And Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, took place this last September! Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, took place September 10th.

For Orthodox Christians, Christmas doesn’t come until January 7th, so put your “Ho Ho Ho’s” on hold for your Greek and East European friends of this faith.

While many of us in Canada will be out hunting for deals on Boxing Day, others will be observing Kwanza, a week-long holiday honouring African culture.

But we can’t go wrong with “happy New Year,” right? Well actually, different cultures have different calendars. The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) took place back in February, and the Chinese New Year won’t come until February 3rd.

Whenever you celebrate your holidays, there is something undeniably special about this time of year in North America… Maybe it’s the cookies, the gifts, or the beautiful lights that illuminate our streets on these short, dark days; or perhaps it’s the multicultural potlucks that have allowed us to showcase our cooking skills and learn more about each other.

Despite our cultural differences, we all share one very important thing in common here at Career Edge Organization: The holidays mean more time with family and loved ones. So happy statutory holidays to you and your workplace as you lock your doors, shut down your computers, and enjoy some well-earned time off!

Paid vs. Unpaid internships: 4 reasons why it makes good business sense to pay your intern

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comments_blogTo pay or not to pay? That is the question. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

The debate was recently highlighted in the Globe and Mail. The article, The ins and outs of internships by Marjo Johne, features Career Edge Organization as their subject matter expert, and explores the benefits of internships in addition to the “paid vs. unpaid” debate.

Well, it’s not a simple choice. Clearly, a paid internship is better for the intern, but what about for you, the employers? What makes better business sense?

While in this post-recession economy, unpaid internships may make good business sense to employers, we can think of a few good reasons why paid internships are the way to go:

1. Motivation

While we are aware that money isn’t the single most important form of motivation, compensation is still a factor in getting the best results from your employees. If workers do not feel that they are getting compensated fairly for the work they do, they may not be giving you 100%.

You know what they say: you get what you pay for! Top talent are willing to work hard to get that much-needed first experience, but you’ll get the most if you pay them fairly. Even a modest stipend will do.

2. Talent Pool

Many people – including talented newcomers, persons with disabilities and recent university or college graduates – simply cannot afford to accept a job without pay. This is a scary thought because it means that your unpaid internship is cutting a significant population out of the talent pool.

One way of looking at it is that you could be systematically filtering out all of the dedicated, hardworking candidates who have to financially support themselves.

3. Retention

If you do bring on an unpaid intern, it may prove difficult to keep them. First of all, your unpaid intern may have to work a second job just to stay afloat – after a while they may find the balance too difficult.

Even if the person is being financially supported by family or loved ones during the internship, it may not be long before they start looking at job boards. Promises of potential paid opportunities “down the road” may not go very far either, as so many unpaid interns have been strung along by companies in the past, they may not take the bait.

4. Reputation and Ethics Considerations

Unpaid internships have a bit of a bad reputation. Some view it as exploitative and even unethical. In the comments that accompanied our Globe & Mail article, some even remarked that unpaid internships were “slave” labour! A bit of an extreme view point… but it’s not an uncommon one.

We’re not saying unpaid internships are all bad. For many job-seekers and employers alike, this has been a viable solution to their hiring needs. But there are countless advantages to hosting paid internships. We’ve been doing this for 15 years – we’ve place over 10,000 paid interns and helped over 1,000 employers find cost-effective talent solutions. Trust me, we would know!

Click here to read the full Globe and Mail article

What do you think about this? Leave a comment below!

Ability Edge in the Canadian HR Reporter!

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We are pleased to share the following article, originally published in the Canadian HR Reporter on November 29, 2010, which features host employer Kaye Leslie at Scotiabank and former Ability Edge intern, Elizabeth Novak.

Attitude top barrier to employment for the blind

Visual disabilities to double in 25 years, firms need to do more to accommodate

By Shannon Klie

Attitude is the number one barrier to employment for people with a visual disability, according to Kaye Leslie, manager of workforce diversity at Scotiabank in Toronto, who herself has only two per cent of her vision because of juvenile macular degeneration.

“It’s perceived to be the most difficult disability to accommodate,” said Leslie, who has worked at Scotiabank for six years.

People are afraid of blindness in a way they aren’t afraid of other disabilities, she said.

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Ability Edge JOINs in at the ACTION Makes It Happen 2010 Employer Conference

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By guest contributor, Rizwan Abdul, Client Relations & Human Resources Manager at Career Edge Organization

The 2010 JOIN 7th Annual Conference was held on November 29 in Downtown Toronto. The theme for this year’s conference was “ACTION Makes It Happen” The annually held Fall conference organized by JOIN is the employer-to-employer event that taps into the vast economic potential of people with disabilities. This conference brings corporate, government, disability-owned businesses and the JOIN BLN (Business Leadership Network) affiliates together to create workplaces and marketplaces where people with disabilities are fully included as professionals, customers and entrepreneurs.

The major sponsors of this year’s conference were Scotiabank, Province of Ontario and CIBC. Interestingly, all three organizations hire actively from the Ability Edge program for recent graduates with disabilities. Career Edge Organization participated in the conference as a Business Leadership Network member of JOIN and was represented by Donna Smith, Vice President and Rizwan Abdul, Client Relations and Human Resources Manager.

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