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Career Edge Organization Year in Review: 2012

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2012 was a truly momentous year for Career Edge Organization. We forged a number of innovative partnerships with organizations that share our commitment to advancing employability. These partnerships have supported and advanced our programs and initiatives, further adding to over 11,000 careers launched through the unique Career Edge Organization internship onboarding model.

In the spirit of the New Year, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of our newsmakers, share a few success stories from 2012, and also address a few challenges that we see as opportunities in 2013.

NEWSMAKERS

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Career Edge Organization welcomes Naguib Gouda as new President

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The Board of Directors of Career Edge Organization is pleased to announce the appointment of Naguib Gouda as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Naguib will be officially joining Career Edge Organization next Monday, December 17th, 2012.

“Naguib is a highly skilled executive with extensive corporate experience and a lifelong commitment to volunteering for community organizations,” says Matt Holland, Chair of Career Edge Organization’s Board of Directors.

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CEO-CIIP Success: In conversation with Rizwan Kalim

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Three weeks ago, we blogged about our partnership with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), which has already benefited both internationally qualified professionals joining the Canadian workforce and the employers looking for their skills and global experience.

Last week, Career Edge Organization was proud to be the latest employer benefiting from the CEO-CIIP talent pipeline as we welcomed Career Bridge intern, Rizwan Kalim, to the team. Rizwan has joined the team in a Technical Writer/IT Support role, and brings with him extensive technical writing, business process analysis and IT support experience with some of the world’s leading consulting firms, including BearingPoint/KPMG and Mazars.

We took this opportunity to sit down with Rizwan to learn more about how he found out about the partnership, and how this internship is contributing to launching a successful career in Canada.

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Building strong partnerships to support immigrant success

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Career Edge Organization, along with Skills International is pleased to support an exclusive partnership with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), a program funded by the Government of Canada, developed and implemented by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

CIIP provides pre-arrival orientation workshops to Federal Skilled Workers (FSWs) and Provincial Nominees (PNs) while they are still overseas during the final stages of the immigration process to help prepare for their economic success in Canada.

Currently under this partnership, job ready and top talent candidates are identified by CIIP Overseas Officers before their arrival in Canada, and are referred to Career Edge Organization.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Zombie Recruitment

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Last year, we shared our 3 tips for employers looking to develop a diverse and inclusive workforce by bringing employees with vampirism into their organizations. Many employers have already started to recognize and value the skills and (literally) hundreds of years of experience that vampires bring to the workplace.

More recently, the team at Career Edge Organization has been proud to support a similar diversity recruitment trend lurching into Canada’s HR community. Unlike the popular depictions seen in films and television programs like AMC’s The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later, zombies actually represent a remarkably skilled and highly qualified group of professionals.

However, as the 2006 film Fido noted, “Good dead are hard to find.” As this talent pool is largely underground, employers often face challenges when it comes to the three R’s (Resurrection, Recruitment, and Retention). To address these challenges, we have developed the following Do’s and Don’ts as a guide to support employers looking to unearth this unique source of talent.

DO
Leverage zombie-serving community organizations to connect with the undead. Zombies often face barriers to employment and frequently turn to agencies that help them connect with employers that value their experience and “flesh” perspectives.

DON’T
Overlook qualified candidates based on appearances. Showing up for an interview having recently emerged from the grave can make some zombie professionals look a little worse for wear. Assess candidates based on skills and attitude to get the right fit for your company.

DO
Consider flexible work arrangements. While zombies have exceptional attendance records due to being oblivious to injury and illness (with the exception of decapitation), they fear bright lights and often prefer to avoid daylight.

DON’T
Mistake non-zombies for zombies. It can often be difficult to differentiate between zombies and other colleagues that haven’t consumed enough coffee. Make reasonable accommodations to optimize performance for zombies, and non-zombies alike.

DO
Celebrate the diverse skills of individuals that positively impact achieving business goals. Build recognition programs to incent those individuals who contribute to both personal and team performance.

DON’T
Build formal (or informal) employee reward programs that include elements that could offend or terrify workers, including zombies. As zombies have a strong fear of fire, think twice before lighting up the candles to celebrate a colleague’s birthday.

The key to developing a truly diverse and effective workplace is taking everyone’s needs into consideration. Whether your team includes zombies, vampires, ghosts, or werewolves, it is critical to have recruitment and retention practices that are accessible and that build on differences to achieve success.

Looking for leaders: Nominations open for TRIEC’s 7th Annual Immigrant Success Awards

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The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) is pleased to announce the call for entries for the 7th Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards, sponsored by RBC. Each year, TRIEC presents the IS Awards to recognize innovation and leadership in integrating skilled immigrants into the Greater Toronto Region labour market.

If you or your organization deserve to be recognized, don’t miss your chance this year. Employers and individuals are invited to apply or submit a nomination by Thursday, November 15, 2012 at www.isawards.ca.

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The Gold Standard in Partnerships Goes Platinum

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Last night, senior business leaders, human resources professionals and former interns of Career Edge Organization (CEO)’s paid internship programs gathered at the TIFF Bell Lightbox to celebrate the annual CEO Achievement Awards. This year, the awards centered on the partnerships with employers and community organizations that have supported and advanced the impact of CEO’s paid internship programs.

“Career Edge Organization is more relevant today than it has ever been,” said Matt Holland, Chairman of the Board for CEO. “The growing number of underemployed and unemployed youth is approaching historical highs, reminiscent of “jobless recovery” of the early 1990s when Career Edge Organization was founded, and requires the same level of response by our society.”

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Developing a Gen Y Coaching Culture

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From the insights we blogged in our summer series of Gen Y research findings, we have continued to endorse coaching as a powerful way to facilitate the professional growth of Gen Y/Millenials that are new to the Canadian workforce. But are there any specific approaches to mentoring Gen Y workers? What can Canadian employers do to effectively retain and develop this non-homogenous group of ambitious, tech-savvy employees?

Our Vice President, Donna Smith, knows firsthand the positive effects that come from coaching. Donna has lead numerous workshops on developing a coaching culture in organizations, becoming a subject matter expert and thought leader in the field. We sat down with Donna to get her top tips on managing the expectations of new Gen Y employees through effective coaching and onboarding strategies.

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The Driven Generation – Part II

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Last month we shared some of the most recent findings and  insights from our perennial Gen Y research, identifying that Gen Y workers at the early stages of their career have set their sights on quickly becoming managers while taking a collaborative and social approach to their projects. Although this strong desire for upward mobility is palpable, the results of our research also suggest that there are two distinct camps within Gen Y workers when it comes to career progression:

  • paying your dues
  • aggressively climbing the corporate ladder

Career Progression But regardless of the approach that Gen Y takes to career advancement, they realize that they can’t do it alone. Over 90% of Gen Y workers recognize on-the-job training, knowledge sharing, and networking as being important or very important in supporting the achievement of their career goals. However, we were surprised to see that fewer (77%) see having a coach or mentor as a valuable contributor to professional growth.

Coaching has been a critical element of Career Edge Organization’s internship model for the past 16 years. We know that coaching is an effective way to support recent grads as they transition from an academic environment to the Canadian workforce. Therefore, we continue to encourage employers and Gen Y workers alike to participate in mutually beneficial professional coaching relationships.

We learned from our 2010 research that although Gen Y do prefer a social working atmosphere, they look to their coaches for professional guidance and feedback rather than friendship. The way we see it, a coach’s primary role is to leverage their existing knowledge and experience related to their profession and organization’s corporate culture and pass this information on to a colleague that may be new to the Canadian workplace. When it comes to their ideal type of coach, Gen Y told us that they look for the following qualities in a professional mentor:

High impact qualities for coaches to possess

We believe that coaching is a powerful way to support the integration of Gen Y/Millenials into the workplace. With the top five coaching qualities listed above, coaches and supervisors can maximize their Gen Y workforce while providing a supportive and professional work environment that allows Gen Y to learn, thrive, and contribute.

Next month, our Vice President, Donna Smith, will be sharing her Coaching Culture hints and tips to teach new coaches how to support Gen Y as they head back to work instead of back to school.

Do you have questions about coaching Gen Y? Let us know! Leave a comment here or tweet us!

The Driven Generation

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This past spring, Career Edge Organization’s VP, Donna Smith, presented the results of our third installment of Gen Y research at Workforce One-Stop 2012, a new event for employers and educators looking to leverage the skills and knowledge of workers joining an increasingly diverse Canadian workforce.

Building on two successful years of employer targeted Gen Y research, Donna’s workshop explored “twenty something” insights for employers, enabling them to better attract, retain, and develop young Canadian talent in their organizations.

Working with Angus Reid Strategies and Porter Novelli in 2009, our first installment of Gen Y research revealed that one size strategies do not fit all, as we identified four distinct segments of recent grads that each call for unique recruitment efforts. In 2010, our research drilled deeper to gain groundbreaking insights to find out what Gen Y look for in a “great place to work.”

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