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Deloitte reduces barriers to employment for recent graduates with disabilities

By Employer

Having been recognized as one of the country’s Best Diversity Employers in 2012 and Best Employers for New Canadians in 2013, it is obvious that Deloitte takes its talent seriously. Whether it’s developing women in business or welcoming newcomers into the Canadian workforce, Deloitte has maintained a steadfast commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment.

In recent years, Deloitte has launched a number of initiatives to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace. “We are always looking for top talent at Deloitte and hiring people with disabilities is an area that we need to continue to focus on,” says Sarah Boon, Senior Manager of Talent Advisory at Deloitte. “As a business we are finding that this is really an untapped talent market.”

Sarah Boon, Senior Manager of Talent Advisory at Deloitte

In her experience of hiring through Career Edge Organization’s Ability Edge program, Boon has realized the business case for hiring recent grads with disabilities, noting a few key benefits:

Reflecting the marketplace

“Deloitte is the largest professional services firm in Canada. We want to be reflective of the diverse communities in which we live and work. There is a positive impact on morale and team spirit as our workforce becomes even more reflective of our communities.”

Innovative problem-solving

“Our clients expect our teams to be high performing with diverse perspectives, and the global economy requires a broad set of skills and increased innovation to serve the global marketplace. Greater diversity at work means that a wide variety of perspectives are utilized when solving problems.”

Competitive advantage

Alexander Bergen, a current Ability Edge program intern in Deloitte’s Marketplace Services and Digital Marketing department

“We prefer to focus on their abilities; we hire people with the right competencies, diverse skill sets, and talents that will enable them to excel in the job. Having diverse people and an inclusive workplace that supports them gives us a competitive advantage.”

But connecting with the right talent isn’t always easy. Boon explains that it is Deloitte’s goal to be recognized internally and externally as a leader in diversity, and to effectively leverage partnerships in the business community to support this initiative. “If Deloitte wants to remain in a leadership position in Canada, we need to seek out the best talent and be innovative with our hiring practices. We can’t do this alone, so our relationship with Career Edge is very important.”

Businesses aren’t the only ones to benefit from partnerships that serve as a catalyst between employers and diverse talent. Candidates that face employment barriers are given the opportunity to get a foot in the door at leading organizations, allowing them to jump-start their career shortly after graduation.

“I registered and someone from Career Edge emailed me out of the blue, notifying me about this opportunity at Deloitte and that my resume was a good fit,” said Alexander Bergen, a current Ability Edge program intern in Deloitte’s Marketplace Services and Digital Marketing department.

In partnership with Career Edge, Deloitte is making a significant impact on reducing barriers to employment faced by recent grads – particularly those with disabilities – looking to gain meaningful work experience that is consistent with their education and career aspirations.

“This internship allowed me to gain valuable marketing experience with one of Canada’s leading professional services firms. Deloitte is a really strong brand and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”

Sarah Boon and Alexander Bergen outside Deloitte`s Toronto headquarters

What Makes an Internship a Success? 4 Things Employers Should Know

By Recruitment

Internships seem to be a perennial “hot topic,” resurfacing every fall in conjunction with “back-to-school” time. Prompted by growing youth unemployment in Canada and increasing controversy about unpaid internships around the globe, the topic was featured on a recent episode of CBC Radio’s “The Sunday Edition” with Michael Enright.

Click here to listen to the program

Click here to go directly to the “4 Keys to a Successful Internship”

Read More

internships

Internships: Low risk, big return

By Employer

The Maytree Foundation’s blog, “Maytree Conversations,” posted an article by Shannon Klie, Writer and Content Developer, hireimmigrants.ca, ALLIES, entitled “Internships: Low risk, big return,” highlighting innovative programs for bringing qualified international talent to the workplace.

Career Edge Organization’s paid internship program was cited as “a novel approach” for businesses to test out potential candidates for fit and expertise.

The Regional Municipality of Halton has addressed this concern by centralizing the cost of internships. Individual departments don’t bear the cost of an intern, providing further incentive for managers to bring in skilled immigrant interns.

Because the Region partners with Career Bridge, managers have access to many pre-screened, professional new immigrants to fill intern spots. That’s a win-win. And, employers are increasingly recognizing the power of internships, according to an analysis of organizations shortlisted to the Best Employers for New Canadians competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

What Employers Need to Know

Internships for skilled immigrants can help with immediate staffing needs. You can:

  • Hire a highly skilled and professional candidate on a low-cost trial basis;
  • Benefit from multi-lingual professionals who bring global experience to your company and can help you connect with new markets; and
  • Increase your staff’s cross-cultural communication skills and intercultural awareness.

Click here to read the full article

 

Read Next: What makes an internship a success? 4 things employers should know

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

By Recruitment

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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5 Tips to Set Your Intern Up for Success (From an Intern’s Perspective)

By Employer

Career Edge Organization has connected thousands of prospective interns with host employers for over a decade. I am delighted to be one of these fortunate job seekers to land a role that has allowed me to make leaps and bounds in my professional development after only a few months.

What constitutes a successful internship?

In contrast to my fellow 500-odd interns currently filling positions at host organizations across Canada, I believe I have a unique perspective by working with an intern’s success story from my role at Career Edge Organization itself. In my role as Project Coordinator and Sales Support Assistant, I interact with interns enrolled within the three different internship programs  and at all levels of participation. I assist initial job seekers with the registration process and the completion of their internship documents prior to their start date. I provide them with resources throughout their internship and continue communication once they have achieved alumni status.

Considering the extensive amount of Career Edge internships I witness on a habitual basis, I have been able to make a fair assessment of what an intern requires from their employer to succeed in their role, all while growing professionally toward the objective of a rewarding and progressive career.

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references

The Trouble With Giving Bad References

By Employer

Checking references is a critical part of the hiring process. At the very least, it is a basic form of risk management that allows employers the peace of mind of knowing they did their due diligence.

Reference checks can also act as a tie-breaker for an indecisive hiring manager, when two or more candidates are a qualified fit for the role and organization.

As employers, we know the importance and value of checking a candidate’s references and so when we’re called upon to give a reference, we know the stakes.

Today’s Globe and Mail features an article by Wency Leung warning employers about some of the potential consequences of giving a bad reference.

These risks can include lawsuits for defamation and privacy or human rights complaints.

In extreme cases dealing with issues like theft, fraud or workplace harassment, it’s understandable that an individual may want to warn an organization against a potential liability.

In fact, I would ask employment lawyers this: is their legal risk involved in not disclosing full details about a former employee? In other words, if you did not warn a company about hiring someone who committed fraud or is a potential danger to the workplace, can you be held legally responsible? This would make for a great discussion some other time but, I digress…

Outliers aside, it’s important to consider that employees who did not excel in one organization may still go on to shine in others.

The Globe and Mail article touches on this:

“…more often than not, friction between employees and their bosses are a result of a bad fit.”

You might recall that our recent quarterly e-Newsletter featured several articles on the topic of person-organization fit. This is because fit is our specialty.

We know from research that one’s fit with an organization impacts their productivity, engagement, satisfaction and retention.

This is important to keep in mind when either giving or receiving a not-so-glowing reference. Before bad-mouthing the former worker, consider whether you think the issues are inherent within the individual or if the negative experience might have just been a result of the situation.

When checking references, employers will often ask, “would you hire this individual again?” This is a safe opportunity to get your point across without splurging on details or venturing into the murky grey area between facts and opinions.

But then keep in mind the impact that answering no, or saying do not hire, may have on the individual. Even if you don’t provide any reasons or details, the employer will then likely be less-than-enthusiastic to hire the individual.

So take “fit” into consideration – the individual may be a real asset to another organization. Think of your own credibility as well. If a former employee succeeds and climbs the ranks in another organization while you were slighting them, you risk appearing unreliable.

Play it safe when giving references – make sure you are well informed of your organization’s policies and practices around it and of course, it doesn’t hurt to know the legal ramifications as well.

Creativity As the Single Most Important Trait

By Employer

I just stumbled upon a great article written for Bloomberg Businessweek by Frank Kern, senior vice-president of IBM Global Business Services.

IBM’s Institute for Business Value conducted a survey of 1,500 C-level execs to answer the question, “What do chief executive officers really want?”

Apparently, executives want creativity.

IBM put creativity at the top of the list of leadership qualities desired by organization leaders. The surprising results represent a significant paradigm shift. Creativity is seldom cited as one of the key traits of leaders. More common leadership traits, as Kern says, include “operational effectiveness, influence, or even dedication.”

According to the article (click here to read it), the study’s other key finding was that “global complexity” is emerging front and centre among issues faced by today’s enterprise leaders, so it’s easy to see why creativity is a trait held in high regard.

Kern goes on to say that creative leaders disrupt the status quo, challenge existing business models and make decisions quickly, avoiding “organizational paralysis.”

Creativity – once viewed as a nice-to-have-but-not-necessary trait, often over looked in intelligence testing – is becoming the most sought-after trait in corner offices everywhere.

This begs the question – how do employers test for creativity?

Many organizations require job applicants to write tests throughout the recruitment process but often these tests are designed to assess competency in the “3 R’s” (reading, writing and arithmetic) or software.

Behaviour-based interviewing can reveal a lot about one’s creativity if candidates provide examples that demonstrate their outside-the-box thinking to solve problems and address workplace challenges. But often, the opportunity to truly demonstrate one’s creativity is neither presented nor encouraged in the interview process.

A classic test of creativity often cited in university Psych courses is “Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task” dating back to 1967. Examinees are asked to list as many possible uses for a common item such as a brick, paperclip, string, etc.

Maybe one day, in the near future, this will be a standard test in interviews and leadership exercises – who knows?

gen y

Why Generation Y is often called Generation Why

By Employer

You probably have had a taste of how Millennials (which is another term for Generation Y, born between 1981 and 1996s) often feel at the workplace, especially recent graduates who are in their first real professional role.

This group is often referred to as Gen Y because of their tendency to ask why at every given opportunity. It is definitely a characteristic that – while not true for every single Gen Y individual – is a common thread among working youth that sets them apart from Gen X and Boomers.

At NATCON this past week we were privileged to be able to attend Dr. Karyn Gordon’s entertaining, energetic and informative presentation on Gen Y. We were thrilled to follow up with our own presentation the following morning at NATCON where attendees were able to ask pointed questions about some of the revelations about Millennials.

Many wanted to better understand why feedback and direct communication is such a critical factor for success in working with this generation.

Having recently conducted a comprehensive, nation-wide study on Canadian Gen Y, and having launched thousands of careers through our paid internship program for recent graduates, we like to consider ourselves experts on Gen Y as well, so I will attempt to answer this.

First of all, Dr. Karyn provides a great foundation for understanding this. In a recent blog post on www.rypple.com she wrote:

They grew up with constant feedback from parents, teachers, tutors, coaches etc., often telling them they can do anything. As a result, Gen Y’s need regular, specific and concrete feedback and I’m not talking about the traditional bi-annual performance review. One Gen Y told me that he started his job in September but didn’t get any feedback till almost January. In his frustration he told me “Karyn at university I’m getting constant feedback and grades about how I’m doing – right now I have no clue if I’m even close to what is required of me.” Getting regular, respectful and timely feedback is critical to engage and motivate this generation.

Considering that many Gen Y are such a team-oriented bunch, it makes sense that they crave feedback, because they want to know that they are doing a good job. Not just because they want to do well for themselves or because they want the recognition, but because they do not want to let down the team.

Some members of the X and Boomer generations will groan at the thought of a Gen Y in the office asking millions of questions while you try to get your work done. That would be a shame, because asking “why” is the first step towards process improvement, eliminating waste and inefficiencies, creativity, innovation and ultimately, growth.

Gen Y, especially recent graduates, bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the workplace that experience can sometimes be lost with experience.

It’s quite likely that every generation, upon entering the workplace, was filled with confusion, curiosity and even criticisms of their environment and perhaps the only difference is that Gen Y has the tools, the confidence and encouragement to come out and as why. After all, why not?