Business people conversation. Technology at hand

The next generation of contingent workforce programs

The world has changed overnight.  The days of complacency and “status quo” are over Change is here, now, and is rapidly transforming the way companies think about and use contingent labor. 

First, a little history. 

30 years ago, ASPs (Application Service Providers) were designed to outsource the management of a wide range functions, often remotely, and generally within the IT vertical.   20 (or so) years ago, the MSP (Managed Service Provider) came onto the scene, under the ASP model, to outsource a broader range of business processes and functions as a bundled service.  Each stand up on the platform of reducing cost and risk, while improving quality, efficiency, and vendor control.  At that time, these services were revolutionary and companies like IBM, Accenture, and Cognizant stormed into the market, experiencing exponential growth in a short period of time. 

Cue the rise of the staffing service MSP, followed by the gamechanging technology of the Vendor Management System (VMS).  Around 2007, VMS technology burst into the US market and according to Aberdeen Research72% of US enterprise level businesses include a vendor management tool within their technology stack.  The SIA defines a VMS as:

“an Internet-enabled, often Web-based application that acts as a mechanism for business to manage and procure staffing services – temporary, and, in some cases, permanent placement services – as well as outside contract or contingent labor. Typical features of a VMS application include order distribution, consolidated billing and significant enhancements in reporting capability that outperforms manual systems and processes.” 

SIA – VMS Marketplace Profile, 2007 

In 2017, Terri Gallagher, President and CEO of Gallagher and Consultants published an article, Why Are Clients Moving Away from MSP’s to Internally Managed Programs, where she powerfully states:  

Increasingly, clients have been expecting and demanding other, incremental-value-adding services from MSPs (such as direct sourcing, strategic collaboration, and workforce planning). 

The MSPhave risen to power over the staffing industry and the enterprise supply chain based on a platform of cost reduction, vendor control (neutrality), limited accountability for the candidate experience, and constant threat of optimization—a ll while merely maintaining status quo through impersonal transactional relationships and healthy profit margins for the operators.  The graphic below shows where the current MSP model contains cost markups from at three layers before the end buyer.

What is the answer to a problem that is rooted in legacy, relationships, and an unwillingness to change?  Futurists and Innovators will say the answer lies in technology, traditionalists will suggest we return to working with the business directly, those who hold the lions share of headcount in a respective program will suggest that nothing is wrong.   

We believe the answer lies within connecting people in meaningful work.  This puts the focus back to the candidate and the experience through their contingent work lifecycle.  The change comes from leveraging ridiculously powerful technology, run by skilled people, to create a world class experience for the customer (both the business and the worker). 

A Managed Direct Sourcing program provides a higher quality of candidates, at a lower cost, and much faster by leveraging best in class technology and invested people working within a proven process.  Implementing a program within the business is risk free, has no up-front costs, and will not immediately disrupt your supply chain.  Doing this on your own is expensive, time consuming, and requires an immense amount of persuasion by supply chain leaders to involve TA and HR teams.   

The future is now, change is inevitable, so why wait? 


Recruiters Off the Clock: 4 Things Candidates Do That Drive Employers Crazy

They spend hours rounding up recruits, scoping out search assignments, consulting with their clients, and negotiating job offers. At the end of a long day, they’re ready to dish and we make sure we’re on hand to capture their very best insights to share in our Recruiters Off the Clock blog series.  


The Question: What are the most common complaints you hear from employers following a job interview that didn’t go well? 


The Recruiters: 

Nadiya Khan 

Nadiya has extensive experience as an IT recruiter and has been connecting candidates with Ian Martin’s direct and MSP clients in the engineering, telecom and IT sectors since she joined the company in 2015.  


Sriram Murthy 

Sriram has worked in technical recruiting since 2011 and has been helping Ian Martin connect skilled candidates with meaningful work since 2016. Currently, his recruitment focus is in the sectors of banking and government. 


Afrin Kammarched 

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, Afrin brings a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience to her role as IT Recruiter with Ian Martin.  


Ratheesh Manivannan 

Ratheesh has worked in the field of technical recruitment since 2012 and for Ian Martin since 2015. He is passionate about matching talented people with engaging roles to create long-term satisfaction for both company and candidate.   


The Dish: 

 “There seems to be a correlation between candidates who are late for the interview and the employer not being happy with the candidate. I don’t think it’s just the fact that they’re annoyed by someone not respecting their time, I think it’s related more to the fact that when a candidate is late they arrive feeling flustered and don’t have time to collect their thoughts before the interview. Things just go downhill from there. Some of my candidates probably think I’m acting like a mother hen when I remind them to factor things like traffic delays and parking availability into their travel time, but I do it for a reason. Getting to your interview well in advance is going to help ensure you’ve got a clear head to really knock it out of the park.” 

Nadiya Khan, Recruitment Manager 


“Well, this is another obvious thing, but it continues to happen, so I think it’s worth saying. Employers get really annoyed when a candidate leaves their cell phone on during the interview. Turning off the ringer doesn’t cut it. It’s completely distracting to hear someone’s phone vibrating away in their pocket or their purse. If you want all eyes and ears on you for every second of that interview, you’ve got to turn off your phone. Better yet, don’t bring it into the interview at all and completely eliminate the risk of it interrupting the flow of conversation.”   

Sriram Murthy, Recruitment Manager 


Employers are disappointed when candidates don’t take the time to learn a little bit about their company. Don’t get me wrong, employers looking for technical talent today know that there is a shortage and it’s their job to sell potential employees on the position, but they still want to see that someone is interested enough to get a basic level of understanding about what the company makes or does. And it’s such an easy way for a candidate to make a great impression. Find a recent news story about the company or the industry it’s in and work that into the conversation somehow. Showing the interview panel that you’ve taken a genuine interest in what they do goes a long way.” 

Afrin Kammarched, IT Recruiter 


“When an interview doesn’t go well and I’m discussing it afterward with the employer, one of the things I often hear is, “They didn’t seem like they were even interested in the position.” A candidate doesn’t have to go in and be a complete cheerleader, but showing the hiring team that you want the job is critical. If you know you’re not a really animated or enthusiastic person, have some questions prepared that will show them you’re interested in your own way. At the end of the interview, say something like, “I think this position sounds like a really great fit for me and I am definitely interested. Do you have any reservations about my ability to do this job?” It may sound direct, but it does a great job of letting them know you want the job and also gives you a chance to wrap the interview up by alleviating any of their potential concerns.” 

Ratheesh Manivannan, Staffing Specialist 


Are there other questions on your mind about navigating your way through the new world of work? Check out our Contract Work Compass blog series for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from candidates about contract work. 

Mixed Messages: 3 Physical Cues That Could Send the Wrong Signal in an Interview

In a recent survey of over 5,000 talent professionals from over 35 countries, LinkedIn uncovered some fascinating findings related to trends that are transforming the workplace. While hard skills still matter, soft skills seem to be taking centre stage in hiring efforts. Over 90% of Canadian and U.S. companies identified soft skills as very important to the future of recruiting and HR. While they may agree on the importance of soft skills, those companies are not so clear on how to assess for them. Over half of the companies surveyed reported that they struggle to evaluate soft skills accurately.  Behavioural-based interviewing was the go-to method for companies looking to assess soft skills, but the second-most popular method was a real shocker. Seventy per cent of companies reported that they relied on reading a candidate’s body language to assess soft skills. 

While it may not be an accurate or appropriate assessment technique, candidates need to know that their body language in some cases could make or break their interview. Here are three non-verbal cues that could send the wrong message. 


The Half-hearted Handshake 

A firm, confident and friendly handshake may go even farther than we think. In a study that involved having participants shake hands with a series of people before a mock interview, researchers at the University of Iowa found that applicants with firm handshakes had stronger “hire recommendations” from the local HR representatives who participated in the study. Even if your interviewer doesn’t offer their hand first, don’t let your interview begin or end without a handshake. Take the time and make the effort to extend your hand for a solid shake with a good grip, direct eye contact and a smile. 


Poor Posture 

Your interviewers may also interpret the way you sit as a not-so-subtle message about your interest in the position. Slouching over in your chair could be seen as a lack of enthusiasm. Sitting too far on the edge of your seat could be viewed as a desire to be somewhere elseSitting in the chair with your legs stretched out in front of you and your torso slumped could send a message that you lack respect for the interviewer or the job. Instead, sit up nice and straight, leaning forward occasionally to emphasize points in your conversation if that feels natural to you. 


Awkward Eye Contact 

Failing to make direct eye contact with your interviewers could have direct implications on their initial impressions about your trustworthiness. In one study that was conducted to assess this theory, researchers found participants were more likely to believe statements by a speaker who looked at them directly, compared to a speaker who averted their gaze. 

If you’re unsure of how long to look your interviewer in the eye, research suggests that just over three seconds at a time seems to be the sweet spot. Eye contact under one second can appear shifty, while gazes that go on for longer than nine seconds can feel awkward. If multiple people are interviewing you, be sure to make eye contact with everyone on the panel regularly. Having a pad of paper and pen to take notes can serve as a helpful prop that will allow you to naturally break your gaze as you glance down to make notes. 


Combine the trifecta of a solid handshake, confident posture, and natural eye contact with these interview tips for stronger soft skill storytelling, and you’ll be well on your way to knocking your next interview out of the park 

Prêt-à-porter or Made to Measure? Upgrade Your Resume for a Custom Fit

In fashion circles, the term pret-a-porter refers to clothes that are ready to wear when purchased. While there’s nothing wrong with off-the-rack clothing, there are several reasons why made-to-measure garments command a premium price: 

  • They offer a better fit
  • They demonstrate a commitment to quality
  • They allow the wearer to showcase their personal style better
  • They reduce the amount of time spent shopping

When it comes to finding work, many of the same benefits of made-to-measure clothing apply to tailoring your resume for each and every position. If you want to ensure you earn a place amongst the shortlisted “Chanel” candidates instead of having your resume relegated to the ready-to-wear pile, careful customization is critical. Here are four simple steps for “Geppetto-ing” your way to a beautifully tailored resume. 


Step 1: Compare Your Current Resume with the Job Description 

Print out a copy of your resume and the job description and grab a highlighter. Highlight every matching skill, responsibility or keyword that you can find in both documents and give yourself a point for each. If your score seems a little on the low side, look for similarities that can be easily tweaked for a better match. For example, if the job description says problem-solving is a priority skill, and your resume lists creative thinking as one of your skills, tweak it to read creative problem solver.  

If your resume includes a list of key skills, ensure those you have that the employer is looking for are featured at the top of the list. If your skills are highlighted in your experience section, ensure bullets that include the priority skills for the position appear first. 


Step 2: Grab Their Attention From the Top 

The best way to grab the gaze of busy recruiters and hiring managers as they scan your resume is to make your skills and your potential fit for the job stand out fast. Look at the top third of the first page of your resume and assess whether it will get the job done. If not, consider rewriting your profile to include keywords from the job description or adding a bulleted list of key skills before jumping into your work history. 


Step 3: Enlist an Opinionated Proofreader 

If you’ve been looking for a new position for some time, you’re probably getting sick of staring at your own resume. Often a fresh set of eyes can help identify opportunities for improvement that you may not see. Don’t just ask the person you’ve chosen to assist you with the task to look at your resume. Have them look at the job description first and then ask for their candid feedback on whether your resume is doing it all it can to sell you as a great candidate for the position. 


Step 4: Ask For Your Recruiter’s Input 

If you feel confident that you are a strong candidate for a specific position, but are concerned that your resume may be missing the mark, connect with your recruiter. Your recruiter knows the position inside and out and has a strong understanding of the priorities of the hiring company. A brief conversation can help identify opportunities for simple tweaks that will highlight your fit for the position. 


If you’d like additional tips and tricks for creating a winning resume, check out: 

The Most Common Resume Mistakes 

Four Things to Eliminate From Your Resume Right Now 

7 Resume Tips That Will Help You Stand Out to Hiring Managers 

Keen to Work Green? Clean Energy Jobs Options You May Not Have Considered

The North American clean energy sector is booming! In Canada alone, there were 298,000 clean energy jobs in 2017. That is almost 100,000 more jobs than there were in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas sectors combined! 

Today’s clean energy career options go far beyond installing solar panels and repairing wind turbines. Job seekers who are committed to a career that’s good for the planet have never had more options available to them. In the recent report, “Missing the Bigger Picture,” Clean Energy Canada categorizes today’s clean energy jobs into four outcome-based clusters: clean energy supply, clean transport, grid infrastructure and energy storage, and clean buildings.  


Clean Energy Supply 

The production and distribution of clean energy are likely the two areas that come to mind for the majority of people when they think about clean energy jobs. Surprisingly, jobs related to the production of hydro, nuclear, solar and wind power account for just 20% of Canada’s clean energy jobs. Search Ian Martin’s current power and nuclear job openings to get a better sense of the type of positions available in clean energy supply. 


Clean Transport 

Getting people and goods from point a to point b in a clean, green fashion currently accounts for almost 60% of Canada’s clean energy jobs. This includes the manufacturing and design of hybrid and electric vehiclesas well as employment in the public transit industry. Examples of Canadian companies in this category include electric vehicle manufacturers, like Quebec’s Lion Electric, which makes all-electric buses and trucks, and BC’s Electra Meccanica, which makes the SOLO electric car. Automotive parts manufacturer, Linamar, also has clean transport jobs as it produces hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicle components. Search Ian Martin’s current automotive and manufacturing job openings. 


Grid Infrastructure and Energy Storage 

The storage and distribution of all the green power that gets created when the sun shines and the wind blows is a critical part of the clean energy equation. Jobs related to grid infrastructure and energy storage account for about 16%, or 47,000 Canadians working in the clean energy sector. Ontario is home to several leading manufacturers of clean energy storage, including Hydrostor and NRStor. Read this blog post for more detail on the vital role of storage in the clean energy industry. 


Clean Buildings 

Whether they’re designing LEED certified buildings, producing green construction materials, or designing energy efficient smart home monitoring systems, 7%, or almost 20,000 Canadians working in the clean energy sector focus their efforts on clean buildings. ecobee, which produces smart thermostats is an excellent example of a Canadian company in the clean buildings category. CarbonCure, another Canadian company in this category, has developed a technology that allows concrete companies to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete they produce. Browse Ian Martin’s current job openings in the construction industry. 


The growth of Canada’s clean energy industries means that whether you want to work at a large global company, or a small startup, in a big city, or a rural outpost, there’s likely an opportunity available for you to build a career that also improves the health of our planet.  

Supercharge Your Soft Skill Storytelling

When it comes to proving skillset proficiency, many technical freelancers find selling their softer side a struggle. Technical skills can be demonstrated with proof-is-in-the-pudding results like quantifiable project measures, experience using specific programs and tools and the completion of related courses and certifications. Soft skills, on the other hand, like communication, teamwork and leadership can be a little harder to talk about and prove.  


Candidates who feel lost when it comes to convincing employers they’ve got what it takes in the soft skills department can flip the switch on the situation by jacking up their storytelling in four simple steps. 


Step 1: Pick your best problems 

Every great story has an obvious problem. Ferdinand the Bull wanted to smell the flowers instead of fight. The Cat In The Hat trashed the house. The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate too much. Create a list of four or five of the biggest problems you’ve successfully tackled in your career to date. Even though you probably used technical skills in solving them, chances are you relied on some soft skills too. Take another look at the job posting and identify the specific soft skills that have been called out as qualifications. Now, think about which of those soft skills you used in solving those problems. 


Step 2: Craft stories that will leave them seeing STARs 

Now that you’ve identified the problems that you’ve solved in the past using your soft skills, it’s time to polish them up to truly impress your interview panel. Today, many interviewers rely on a technique called Behavioural Interviewing to get a sense of how candidates have behaved in previous relevant situations. In Behavioural Interviewing, the interview panel will be listening to your story to identify: 

The Situation you faced 

The Task or goal you set related to that situation 

The Actions you took to achieve that goal 

The Result that you ultimately accomplished, including what you learned through the process 


Rather than make them search for these elements in the stories you tell, make their job easier by really shining the spotlight on them. Here’s a sample STAR story that illustrates the soft skill of communication. 


Last year, I was involved in a situation where my team had to roll out a complex technical solution to a group of people who didn’t have a lot of technical skills. Each user was going to have complete a series of steps to install new software on their computer by a specific date. In the past when we’d had to do similar install exercises, we saw a spike in support calls, and a lot of users got really frustrated. I knew communication was going to be critical, so I set a personal goal of doing everything I could to ensure a better rollout to our users than we had done in the past. Some of the key actions that I took to achieve that goal included creating a hard copy step-by-step guide using really simple language that users could have at their fingertips to walk them through each action they had to take. I also asked my manager if we could have extra staff on the support line in the final days leading up to the install deadline to handle any spikes in support calls. I also created a piece of code so that when a user’s install was taking far longer than it should, our team would get an alert. This allowed us to reach out to the user and ask them if they needed a hand. The results of my actions were really positive. We had 30% fewer calls to the support line, 100% of our installs were completed by the deadline, and we got so much positive feedback about the step-by-step printable that we now do that for all major installs. I also learned that looking at a technical rollout from a communications perspective can really improve results. 


Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice 

Once you’ve crafted your collection of stories that highlight the soft skills that will be most critical for the position, rehearse them until you’re comfortable telling them without referencing your notes at all. Tell them to a few people and check that they’ve understood the key STAR points you’re trying to communicate. The goal is to be able to share these stories in a way that feels calm and confident. 


Step 4: Prepare for the Pivot 

When you’ve become really comfortable with your STAR stories, think about what other soft skills those same stories could be used demonstrate. This will allow you to repurpose a story quickly should the interviewers ask you to speak to a different soft skill than the one you initially built your story around. For example, the communication story from above could easily be tweaked to be a story about teamwork, time management, problem-solving, creativity, work ethic, or leadership. 


Are you interested in reading other blog posts to help you ace your next interview? Check out: 

The One Question Every Candidate Should Ask at the End of Their Interview 

Four Interview Costumes That Will Haunt Your Job Search 

Bizarre Interview Questions: Decoded 

Nuclear Attraction: 4 Ways to See If a Career in Nuclear Could Be For You

With half of the nuclear industry’s workforce eligible to retire within the next ten yearsthe field will become even more of a job-seeker’s market in the decade ahead. Canadian energy stakeholders are offering a growing collection of creative initiatives to inspire more people to consider a career the field. Here are four cool ways to dip a toe into the water to see if this powerhouse of a sector could be right for you. 

Visit the world’s largest nuclear facility
Bruce Power is the world’s largest operating nuclear facility, providing 30% of Ontario’s electricity. At the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre  visitors can take a simulated tour inside a reactor or try their skills as a nuclear fuel operator on replica control room panels. Another exhibit in the Visitor Centre lets guests take control of a console to select different generation sources – wind, solar, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear – to power an imaginary city. The Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round as well as Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in July and August. If you like what you see, let the staff know and they’ll be happy to provide you with career information. 

Spend the summer with a medium flux nuclear reactor
McMaster University’s nuclear reactor was the first university-based research reactor in the British Commonwealth. Today, the medium flux reactor is still by far Canada’s most powerful research reactor at a university and it conducts hundreds of thousands of neutron irradiations each year.  McMaster is the only university in Canada where undergraduate students get the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a medium flux nuclear reactor as a part of their educational experience. Each summer, the McMaster Nuclear Operations and Facilities group hires undergraduate students to work as research assistants at various campus nuclear research facilities. 

Chalk up some experience at Chalk River
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. There’s an exciting $1.2 billion, 10-year transformation endeavour currently underway at its Chalk River Laboratories. Summer job positions and four-eight-twelve and sixteen-month co-op opportunities are available for college and university students.  

Upgrade your engineering skills with a part-time nuclear engineering education 
Recognizing that engineers who have already graduated may want to acquire nuclear sector knowledge, the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering offers a graduate-level diploma and Masters in Nuclear Engineering that can both be pursued on weekends. The courses are offered by McMaster, Waterloo, Western, Queen’s and UOIT. The UNENE M.Eng. consists of 10 courses, or 8 courses plus a project, and must be completed within 5 years. The UNENE Diploma consists of 4 courses and must be completed within 3 years.  

Ian Martin works with nuclear suppliers across North America and has been placing candidates in the industry for over 50 years. In that last two decades alone, we’ve coordinated over 7,000 job placements in the nuclear industry. If you’d like to browse our current opportunities in the power and nuclear sector, click here 

Upgrade Skills and Stay Relevant With This New Canadian Tax Credit

With today’s rapid rate of technological change, predicting the skills you’ll need to stay at the top of your career game can seem like a daunting task.  Some estimates predict that 400 million global workers could be displaced as a result of automation by 2030, and that’s just assuming the pace of automation adoption is in the midrange of forecasts!   

While an Internet search of tomorrow’s most in-demand career skills will turn up a variety of answers that vary based on the expert being asked, there is common thread that runs between these diverse perspectives. Life-long training and skill shifting will be absolutely mandatory to stay relevant in the new world of work.  

For workers who don’t have access to corporate training and tuition reimbursement programs, the cost of courseto help ensure your skillset stays in demand can quickly add up. A new program announced in the Government of Canada’s 2019 Federal Budget is aimed at providing some relief. 

The Canada Training Credit is a refundable tax credit that will provide financial support to help cover up to half of eligible tuition and fees associated with training. Starting in 2019, Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 who file tax returns and have employment income, including self-employment income, between $10,000 and ~$150,000 will begin to accumulate $250 each yearThe balance will be tracked by the Canada Revenue Agency and up to $5000 can be accumulated in your tracking account over your lifetime.    

Beginning in 2020, the balance in your account can be applied against occupational skills training fees at colleges, universities and eligible institutions. Upon completion of the course, up to half of the course fees can be claimed when you file your income tax return for the year the course was taken. 

For example, suppose you chose to let your $250 credit accumulate beginning in 2019. By 2023, you would have a Canada Training Credit balance of $1000, which could be claimed fully against training and tuition fees of $2000 or more. If you enrolled in training with tuition fees of $1,500, you would receive a $750 refundable credit for the 2023 taxation year. The unused $250 in your account would continue to accumulate with ongoing annual $250 credits. By 2024 you would have a balance of $500 to apply against additional training fees.  

If you’re wondering if your current skillset could use some upgrading, browsing our current job opportunities is a simple way to get a better sense of the types of skills that are in high demand in your industry right nowYou can also sign up to receive regular job alerts for positions and sectors that are of interest to you so you can see shifts that occur in desired skillsets over time. 

5 AI Jobs For Tech Candidates Ready For A Retool

Have you been thinking it might be time to refocus your technical skills to take advantage of the growth that’s taking place in the field of artificial intelligence? Findings from a report from consulting firm, KPMG, could serve as a helpful trail of breadcrumbs to lead you to some of the sector’s most in-demand roles. 

Based on its own projects scattered across the globe and also several that it advises on, KPMG has singled out these five AI roles as the jobs companies should consider creating if they want to effectively build their AI capabilities.  

AI Architect
The role of AI Architect is focused on identifying opportunities where AI can help a business. In addition to measuring performance of AI initiatives, those in this role are charged with ensuring the company’s AI efforts help build the bottom line.  

AI Product Manager
The AI Product Manager works between various organizational teams to ensure productive relationships between humans and machines and that AI efforts can be implemented at scale.  

Data Scientist
Data Scientists turn an organization’s data into actionable business insights. This involves cleaning data to ensure different collections of data can play nicely together, building models and algorithms to extract patterns, interpreting those patterns and communicating insights to organizational stakeholders. Although the term Data Scientist was first coined just a decade ago, the increasing importance of extracting value from rapidly growing vaults of organizational data has made the role one of the world’s fastest growing jobs. In 2012, Harvard Business Review celebrated the title of Data Scientist as the sexiest job of the 21st century and since then the field has exploded.   

AI Technology Software Engineer
AI Technology Software Engineers are often charged with solving one of the biggest AI problems facing businesses right now: transitioning projects from pilot phase to scalable deployment. 

AI Ethicist
An AI Ethicist tackles the ethical challenges that unfold as AI technology develops by creating guidelines and ensuring the company has systems in place to encourage compliance.  

According to KPMG, many of the skills required for these positions require specific technical know-how that may not currently exist within a company. Surging demand for these AI skillsets means that it will be a job seeker’s market as business leaders race to build their teams so they can win at the AI race.   

Some of the AI-related positions we’ve been recruiting for recently at Ian Martin that confirm KPMG’s predictions are on the right track include Data Sciences Analyst and Cloud Data Engineer. To browse the most recent postings, search our current Information Technology job postings. Use the keyword “data” to in the search bar to narrow down your options. 

If you’d like the latest job postings in the industries that are of most interest to you sent directly to your inbox, you can sign up to receive alerts here. 

So, It’s Not About the Money?

Digging into the bigger whys behind corporate social responsibility efforts


New research confirms that small and medium-sized businesses, like Ian Martin, aren’t just taking on social and environmental causes in an attempt to indirectly boost their bottom lines.

A recent research article by a team of academics from the University of Waterloo raises some interesting observations about the motivations at play for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who choose to invest in the greater good of their communities and the world.

In doing the research for their article, Conceptualizing businesses as social actors: A framework for understanding sustainability actions in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises, the authors looked at the underlying drivers of social and environmental efforts of SMEs . They dove deep into data from over 1,600 Canadian SMEs and conducted complementary in‐depth interviews with a variety of companies, including Ian Martin. What they discovered was that the motivations of SMEs paint a picture that’s got many more shades than just the green of cold, hard cash.

Traditionally, SMEs have been viewed by society as “rational actors,” a term used to describe organizations that calculate costs and benefits in a deliberate pursuit of profits. The overarching goal of efforts for these types of companies is growth and profit. If rational actors choose to invest in environmental or social causes, the assumption is that they are doing so because there will be some sort of economic gain as a result of their efforts. Costs savings from energy reduction initiatives and greater employee engagement as a result of charitable giving campaigns are two examples of this type of thinking.

But business is changing and things are no longer so black and white. Realizing this, the authors of the article set out to identify some of the other factors that motivate SMEs to become involved in environmental and social causes. The research findings challenge the common assumption that SMEs primarily see sustainability as a way to cut costs. Today, many SMEs are even more powerfully motivated by building a good reputation within their community and aligning business operations with their personal values.

The authors rely on the concept of “social actors” to characterize organizations that are capable of seeing beyond the balance sheet as they define their business, set intentions, make and act on their decisions and hold themselves accountable for their actions. They identify four dimensions that influence the actions of social actors:

  1. The intentions, identities, beliefs and aspirations of individuals within the organization
    In interviews conducted for the research, every single respondent referred to personal values as an important factor behind their company’s adoption of sustainability goals, including aspirations to address climate change, advance social and gender equality, reduce waste and promote sustainable food production.
  1. The internal social relationships within the organization
    When asked what value they placed on internal social agendas at their company, 89% of the firms surveyed perceived employee well-being as important.
  1. The network of external social relationships at play in the organization’s day-to-day operations
    Of the firms surveyed for their research, 75% sited building good relations in their local area as either important, very important or extremely important. Whether through encouraging employees to be involved with local organizations and their causes or ensuring social and environmentally responsible sourcing through their supply chain, social and environmental agendas are shaped through strong external social relationships.
  1. The social environment, including the institutional landscape and social norms of the organization
    Building a good community reputation was most often cited as the most important benefit associated with acting on sustainability found in the research.

While there’s no doubt that businesses must operate competitively in order to survive, this type of research helps increase awareness that growing the bottom line is no longer the sole objective for a growing number of companies. At Ian Martin, we believe business can and should be used as a force for good. As a Certified B Corporation, we are working with 1,600 other companies from 42 countries across the globe to redefine success in business. In addition to being financially successful, our B Corporation status means that we hold ourselves to the world’s highest standards for positively impacting our employees, our customers, our community and the environment.

If you’re currently looking for work and wondering if there are advantages to employment with a Certified B Corporation, here are some blog posts that will give you a better sense of how our B Corp status inspires us to do things a little differently at Ian Martin:

Be a Gift Giver: Apply for a Job, Change a Life

Meaningful Work in Cambodia: One IMG Contractor’s Story

BCorp Day 2018


If you’re an employer and you’re curious if social responsibility is really on the radar of potential candidates, this blog post is well worth your time:  Do Candidates Really Care About Corporate Social Responsibility?

Translate Oil and Gas Experience Into a New Clean Energy Career

What do a job in an oil field and a job at a wind farm have in common? Perhaps more than you might think. For oil and gas workers interested in a career change, a significant number of transferable skills can create alternative paths into the renewable energies sector.  

The Winds of Change 

In Alberta alone, the wind energy sector is poised to deliver $3.7 billion in spending between 2017 and 2030, according to a 2017 report from the Canadian Wind Energy Association. That spending is being driven by the Alberta Government’s plan to add 5,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity within that same timeframe. In addition to the environmental benefits that strategy will drive, it is also expected to create almost 15,000 job years of employment. According to the report, many of the skills required to develop wind projects, in occupations such as engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance, are quite similar with occupations in the oil and gas sector. 

Key wind industry occupations that have been identified related to project development include: 

  • Land Acquisition Specialist 
  • Civil Engineer 
  • Power Systems Transmission Engineer 
  • Environmental Scientist 
  • Project Engineer 
  • Resource Scientist 
  • Meteorologist

Jobs in construction that are expected to be created by Alberta’s wind energy sector projects include:  

  • Project Manager 
  • Industrial Engineer 
  • Electrical Engineer 
  • Quality Engineer

There will also be a need for construction workers to prepare project sites and trades such as cement masons, crane operators, welders, millwrights, electricians, and powerline technicians to assist in the installation of wind turbines. 

The ongoing operation and maintenance of wind energy sector projects will create a need for skilled experts to fill positions that will include: 

  • Asset Manager 
  • Site or Plant Manager 
  • Environmental Science Technician 
  • Wind Technician 
  • Meteorological Technician

The manufacturing of wind turbine components is probably the area with the most specialized positions that offer the least amount of skills overlap with the oil and gas sector. These positions include: 

  • Welder and related machine operator 
  • Structural metal and platework fabricator and fitter 
  • Fibreglass manufacturer 
  • Logistician 
  • Assembler and fabricator 
  • Aerospace Engineer 
  • Electrical Engineer 
  • Industrial Engineer 
  • Quality Engineer 
  • Design Engineer

Growing employment in the wind energy sector isn’t just happening in Canada. Across the border, Wind Turbine Technician is one of the fastest growing jobs in America, reflecting the fact that more and more of the country’s electricity is coming from wind turbines. 

The Sunny Side of Solar  

Wind isn’t the only renewable energy creating new job opportunities for oil and gas workers. The International Energy Agency predicts that the sun will be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050.  As the solar sector grows, so to do solar-related jobs including occupations like electricians, electrical engineers, and power engineering technologists. The Canadian Solar Industries Association anticipates that by 2020, solar electricity will employ approximately 10,000 people per year in construction, manufacturing, operations, and maintenance occupations.  

In the United States, where the decreasing cost of solar panels has spurred record-setting industry growth, the solar workforce grew from 209,000 in 2015 to more than 260,000 in 2016. This is the fastest growth the Solar Foundation has seen in the seven years it’s been publishing this data. There are now nearly three times as many people working in the solar industry as there were in 2010, which is more than the number of employees at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon combined. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the top-growing job classification over the next nine years will be solar photovoltaic installers. 

Take the Next Step 

If you’re interested in learning more about Ian Martin’s job opportunities in the renewable energy sector, view our current postings here. You can also sign up to receive regular job updates here, to ensure you’re informed about the latest opportunities in the sectors that align with your interests. 


Contract Work Compass: Who can I turn to for support?

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

What support is available to me as an Ian Martin contract employee or independent freelancer supporting an Ian Martin client? 

The Directional Assistance:

At Ian Martin, it’s important to us that all of our team, whether they are Ian Martin contract employees or providing their services to companies through Ian Martin as independent contractors, feel supported in the work they do. Since they typically work on location at our client companies, we provide a virtual human resources support service that workers can easily access should questions or concerns arise about their assignment. 

Our Contractor Success Team is a group of experienced human resources professionals who work directly with our contractors to ensure they hit the ground running when they start a new contract and get timely support to address any questions or concerns throughout the duration of their assignment. You will be able to reach out to a Contractor Success Representative at any time by phone, email, or text to get answers to questions and guidance on things like pay, invoicing, and expenses. Your Contractor Success Representative will also periodically reach out to you to ensure everything is going smoothly for you in your assignment.  

Here is some direct feedback we’ve received from our contract employees and independent contractors when we asked them to characterize the support they’ve received from our Contractor Success Team. 

  • “Excellent, attentive and professional service.” 
  • “Rabib & Marisse are terrific representatives of your company! I have had nothing but positive experiences with both of them thus far … they should be commended on all that they do for us.” 
  • “…I would not just rate them “Good, I’m satisfied” but rather “Outstanding, I’m very satisfied and grateful.” 
  • Everyone I came into contact with at Ian Martin is awesome … The words professionalism and trustworthy would summarize it all. Thanks guys!” 
  • “I’m really enjoying working with Meaghan. She’s been really prompt replying to my requests and questions.” 
  • “Connor is professional and easy to work with. He made the onboarding process seamless and organized. I am very pleased with the service I received.”

Read the other blog posts in our Contract Work Compass series to get answers to questions that we often hear from our candidates: 

Contract Work Compass: Contracting services through your own company

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

If I would rather not be a contract employee; do I have the option of offering my skills through my own company on a freelance basis through Ian Martin? 

The Directional Assistance:

In most cases, candidates who go through the interview process and are ultimately chosen for an Ian Martin contract position are given the choice of taking on the assignment as an Ian Martin contract employee or as an independent contractor. 

Thanks in part to the rise of the “gig” economy, a growing number of technical freelancers are choosing to offer their services to Ian Martin as independent contractors.  

Making the choice between having a businesstobusiness relationship or an employeetobusiness relationship with Ian Martin requires some careful consideration. Here are some of the things you should consider if you are thinking about offering your services as an independent contractor: 

  • You will be operating as your own registered business if you choose to provide your services as an independent contractor to Ian Martin.  
  • Rather than receiving a standard paycheque from Ian Martin as our contract employees do,you will invoice Ian Martin and payments to your company will be processed through our Accounts Payable department.  
  • It will be your responsibility to register for, collect, and remit taxes in accordance with provincial/state and federal government guidelines. 
  • If your work takes place in multiple provinces and/or states, it will be your responsibility to be aware of and ensure compliance with different regulations. 
  • Standard employment practices do not apply in a business-to-business relationship, which means: 
    • You will not receive a Record of Employment at the end of the contract period. 
    • You will not be entitled to maternity/paternity leave, or other benefit coverage through Employment Insurance.  
    • You will not be entitled to vacation pay or overtime or receive payment for statutory holidays.

Another important consideration for technical professionals who chose to offer their services as an independent contractor is the prevention of employment misclassification. You will need to have documented proof that the relationship you have with both Ian Martin and the end client is a business-to-business arrangement and not a business-to-employee relationship. Should your working relationship ever come into question by government authorities, not being able to prove that you are operating as a true, independent business can have serious tax and financial implications. Repercussions can include the cancellation of tax credits you were entitled to, business expenses being deemed as null and void, and being required to pay unpaid taxes, penalties, interest, and CPP and EI premiums.  

Should questions arise, having easy access to the items in the list below will help you prove your independent contractor status: 

Business Process and Documentation 

  • Certificate of incorporation 
  • Business Information Number  
  • Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (If you have registered your business for GST/HST, you’ll have been assigned this 9-digit number by the CRA) 
  • Federal Tax ID Number 
  • Proof of your GST/HST account 
  • Copies of any licences or certificates required for carrying out your business 
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (Ontario) Clearance Certificate (if you have registered) 
  • Proof of coverage and amount of business insurance 
  • Proof of your own benefits coverage (e.g. disability, health and dental, life, critical injury orsimilar benefits) 
  • If you have employees, proof of any benefits coverage purchased for them 
  • Proof of how you market your business to the public (e.g. business cards, website, social media accounts, paid advertising, sponsorships, industry group memberships, trade fair participation, etc.) 
  • Sample business invoices 
  • Evidence of corporate banking and bookkeeping 


  • Written contracts that clearly identify you/your business as an independent contractor and ideally: 
    • Are for a fixed term or based on completing a specific project vs being open-ended 
    • Outline the services to be performed or the project or product to be delivered 
    • Have an indemnification provision that requires you as the contractor to compensate the client for any losses related to any negligence or other factors 
    • Permits you as the contractor to provide services to other organizations

Proof of Control Over Services 

To help prove your status as an independent contractor, authorities will want to see evidence that you exercise a significant degree of control over the work you perform for your clients. Asyou complete projects for clients, gather examples that help illustrate: 

  • Discretion you’ve had in determining how your services are provided and the order in which they were performed 
  • Latitude you’ve had in setting your own hours and schedule 
  • Instances when you’ve contracted other people to provide services to your client

Tools and Equipment 

  • List of all equipment you supply to perform your services (including computer hardware and software, cellphone, specialty equipment)
  • Details around any fee-for-service arrangements for tools you use to perform your work 
  • Details on office space you own or lease

Choosing between working as an Ian Martin contract employee or offering your services as an independent freelancer is an important and very personal decision. It’s wise to discuss your options with aaccountant if you’re unsure. Ian Martin’s Contractor Success Team can offer suggestions for a reputable accountant in your area if you’re in need of a recommendation.Learn more about other ways Ian Martin’s Contractor Success Team can support you here.

Contract Work Compass: How are contract employees paid?

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

As an Ian Martin contract employee, is the way I get paid for my work different than if I was working in a salaried position? 

The Directional Assistance:

As an Ian Martin contract employee, you will be paid for your service by Ian Martin, not the end company for which you will actually be performing the work. For example, if you take on a contract position as a Software Engineer with ACME Systems, you’ll report to work there and be responsible for helping ACME Systems achieve their business objectives through your role. The difference is ACME Computing will pay Ian Martin for your time, and Ian Martin will be responsible for paying you. Each week you’ll record your time in an easy-to-use time collection tool that you’ll receive training on at the beginning of your contract. Should you have any questions, Ian Martin’s Contractor Success Team will be able to guide you through every step. Our Contractor Success Team is comprised of friendly human resources professionals who are always just a call, text, or email away to answer any questions you might have about timekeeping and all the other ins and outs of your contract assignment.  

As an Ian Martin contract employee you will be:

  • Entitled to maternity/paternity leave and other benefits coverage through Employment Insurance. 
  • Entitled to an overtime rate based on provincial legislation (unless a professionally exempt role), statutory holiday pay and vacation pay. 
  • Reimbursed for eligible work-related expenses incurred for the end company (e.g. tools, authorized work travel). It is always best to speak to a Manager about the expense before incurring the cost. The end client that you are working for will likely have an expense policy and best practices that you’ll want to follow that offers guidance on things like preferred hotel partners and eligible mileage expenses for travel using personal vehicles. 
  • Provided with a Record of Employment at the end of the contract with Ian Martin.

Rather than becoming Ian Martin contract employees, some successful candidates opt instead to take on the contract as an independent or freelance contractor through an incorporated business. In this type of arrangement, the relationship between Ian Martin and the contractor is business to business, vs business to employee. As a result, there are some key differences to consider. To learn about the difference between working as an Ian Martin contact employee and contracting your services to Ian Martin as an independent or freelance contractor, read this blog post.

Contract Work Compass: Deciding between contract and salaried work

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

What factors should I consider when deciding between a contract and direct hire (permanent) position?

The Directional Assistance:

At Ian Martin, we’ve been recruiting for both salaried and contract positions for over 60 years. Over those six decades we’ve seen a real shift in thinking in relation to contract and salaried work. While taking on a contract position was once often viewed as a stepping stone to securing a full-time, salaried position with that company down the road, that’s no longer always the case. Contract work has become a preferred career path of its own right for a growing number of technical professionals. Answering the following series of questions will help you weigh the pros and cons of contract and salaried work.

What do you value more, flexibility or stability?
When you are hired for a permanent position, the contract you sign does not have an end date. Assuming the employer is pleased with your performance and there continues to be a demand for the role that you serve for the company, you will likely remain in that role for a significant period of time. This provides a certain sense of stability.   

When you are hired for a contact position, it is for a fixed-length period. It could be as little as a few months, or as long as a year. While that may not be ideal for people who place value on a having a strong sense of stability, it’s great for people who are looking for some flexibility and might want to get a better sense of a position, a specific skillset, a company, or even a new city before making a long-term commitment. 

Where do you want to be in the next five to ten years?
Are you an entrepreneur at heart with aspirations to be your own boss one day, or do you like the idea of being a team member who is directly linked to the company you’re working for? Contract work is a great option for those with an entrepreneurial spirit as there is often an option to offer your services as an independent contractor to companies through Ian Martin. If you elect to take on contract work as an independent contractor, you will be responsible for all the things that go along with operating your own business, including invoicing, submitting HST and taxes, and banking. If that’s not something that appeals to you, you can also opt to serve the end company as an Ian Martin contract employee and our team will take care of all the details related to things like invoicing, deductions, taxes, and employment paperwork. 

If you prefer the prospect of one day having a permanent position with a company, contract work may still be a great option to help you gain valuable resume-building experience. Contract positions can help you get your foot in the door to prove your value to a great company who may be looking to add permanent employees to its staff in the future. 

Do you prefer to fly solo or be part of a bigger team?
As a contract employee, your role is to supplement a core team to help the company achieve a series of specific objectives. This type of working relationship can make it easier to steer clear of office politics, which some people view as a valuable advantage. Because you are not a permanent fixture of that core team, however, if you’re someone who values running with the pack, your role may result in you feeling like a bit of an outsider at times. Professionals who are placed on contract assignments through Ian Martin always have access to our Contractor Success Team, a friendly group of virtual colleagues whose sole purpose is to support our contract workers in their assignments. Should questions arise or you find yourself in need of support on the job, they’re always just a phone, email, or text message away. 

For those professionals who ultimately want to secure a permanent position with a company where they can be a core member of the internal team, strategically choosing contract work can help build your resume and a pathway to a long-term permanent position.  

How important are benefits in your overall compensation equation?
In most cases, compensation for contract positions does not include things like health benefits, pension programor tuition reimbursement. If having those types of perks is important to you, then you might want to consider a permanent position. If a permanent position with benefits isn’t available, contract work is a great way to help strategically build your resume to become an in-demand candidate for a permanent position with a company that offers an attractive benefits package down the road. 

 Whether you opt for a contract or direct hire position, you will be fairly compensated for your work. To learn about some of the compensation differences for contract employees, read this post.

Contract Work Compass: Contract vs direct hire positions

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

What’s the difference between a contract position and a direct hire position?

The Directional Assistance:

As you browse through Ian Martin’s current job opportunities, you’ll notice that at the top of each position posting there is an information key. Each posting is categorized by job type as either “Contract” or “Direct Hire.”

The term “Direct Hire” means that an outside company has contracted Ian Martin to do their recruiting on its behalf. When a person is hired for a Direct Hire position, they become a direct employee for a company other than Ian Martin and, in most cases, it will be a full-time, salaried position.  

If a position’s job type is listed as “Contract” it means that, in addition to hiring Ian Martin to recruit for the position, the outside company has contracted Ian Martin to oversee all aspects of that position. The worker that is ultimately hired for the position will be placed on contract for a specific job, for a specific pay rate. While they will likely work on-site at the outside company, they will not be a permanent employee of that company. Instead, they have two options: they can choose to become an Ian Martin employee, or they can choose to offer their services to Ian Martin as an independent contractor, and then Ian Martin, in turn, will contract their services to the outside company. Either way, Ian Martin manages the contract with the company, pays the worker, and the worker provides their services to the outside company for the duration of the contract.  


Wondering what factors to consider when deciding between a direct hire and contract position? Click here for more direction.

Accessibility in the Search for Meaningful Work

The big why that drives the team at Ian Martin is connecting people with meaningful work. We believe people who want to work should be able to find employment that is important to them. Perhaps that’s why some research pointing out the degree to which inaccessible workplaces are holding people back from work caught our attention. 

The Conference Board of Canada’s 2018 report, The Business Case for Accessible Environments, puts some hard numbers around just how deal-breaking poor workplace accessibility can be for thousands of people who navigate their day-to-day life with a physical disability. In Canada alone, it is estimated that ten per cent of the population, or 2.9 million people, have disabilities that impair their mobility, vision, or hearing. As Canada’s population ages, that number will grow quickly. While Canada’s population as a whole is expected to grow by an average of less than one per cent between now and 2030, the population with mobility, vision, or hearing disabilities is expected to rise at nearly double that rate.  

Unfortunately, that equates to a growing number of people not able to find work. According to research from Statistics Canada, employment rates for Canadians with disabilities are only roughly two-thirds those of the general population. Those that are employed also tend to work a slightly shorter work week.  

The Conference Board of Canada asked almost 500 Canadians with physical disabilities to identify the factors that are creating barriers for them and to assess the changes that could improve inclusion. Roughly 60 per cent said their disability prevented them from finding employment that allows them to use their skills, abilities, and training. When asked to select from a list of workplace modifications that would allow them to take on the kind of role in the workforce they would like, it wasn’t just physical modifications that were top of mind. More accommodating management practices, including modified work, telework options, and flexible scheduling were frequently mentioned.  

Respondents asked to describe what they felt were the key features of a truly accessible workplace reported that it is about creating a space that allows them to perform their roles and interact with colleagues easily, comfortably, and with dignity. That sounds like meaningful work to us! The study suggests an ideal environment integrates three things: 

  1. Physical accommodations, like ergonomic workstations 
  2. Accessible building features, such as wheelchair accessibility 
  3. A sense of inclusion that lets those with disabilities access the same facilities and perform the same functions as their co-workers 

Accessibility for the win-win-win 

Workplace accessibility improvements like these could go a long way in allowing Canadians with disabilities to participate more fully in the workforce. In their research, the study authors ran an economic model to estimate potential labour market improvements if Canadian employers invested in better physical access and enhanced inclusive practices. Their estimate found that by 2030 about 552,000 people with disabilities would be able to add about 301 million hours a year to the workforce.   

And the positive impact of those increased levels of employment would have an overflow effect on the national economy: Canada’s real gross domestic product could be increased by $16.8 billion, which would spark a $10-billion increase in consumer spending.  

In addition to being positive for people with disabilities and positive for the economy, tackling workplace inaccessibility also creates positive outcomes for employers. It can significantly expand the pool of qualified talent available for new positions. Companies that have established proactive approaches to accessibility, including Sodexo and TD Bank, have also experienced higher retention rates, driving savings in recruiting and training costs. 

Simple Ways to Initiate an Inclusion Mindset 

Creating a workspace that is more accommodating to employees with physical disabilities doesn’t have to start with a multi-million-dollar renovation. In fact, 34 per cent of survey respondents said basic workspace upgrades, such as ergonomic aids like special chairs and back supports, would improve their ability to enter the labour market or work increased hours. For companies wondering where to start their efforts, simple actions like removing clutter from workspaces can improve access for everyone. Transitioning to an open office space can make it easier for employees with physical disabilities to move around and create an environment that is more conducive to collaboration at the same time. Inexpensive technological solutions such as ergonomically designed keyboards and voice recognition software can make computers more accessible and also improve the lives of employees without physical disabilities that may suffer from repetitive strain injuries. 

If you are a candidate with a disability, Ian Martin’s Hiring Experts are always available to discuss options for accommodation in the recruitment process. And if you are a company that would like to improve the inclusivity of your recruitment process, our Hiring Experts can offer impactful strategies for getting started. Connect with us today.

You can also ccess the complete report that inspired this blog post here.

3 Resolutions to Help Rock 2019 as a Technical Freelancer

Do you provide your technical skills on a contract basis to companies as an incorporated business or sole proprietor? Getting yourself organized in January can help save you time and headaches for the rest of the year. Here are three things every technical freelancer should add to their to-do list to start off 2019 on the right foot. 

Resolution #1: Create an Employment Status Proof Portfolio 

If someone from a government agency knocked on your door and asked you to prove that the working relationship you have with the company you’re providing your services to is truly as an independent contractor, could you do it with confidence? Employment misclassification can have serious financial penalties for both the company and the independent contractor. Having easy access to the items in this list will help you prove your independent contractor status should it ever come into question: 

Business Process and Documentation 

  • Certificate of incorporation (if you have incorporated your business) 
  • Business Information Number  
  • Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (If you have registered your business for GST/HST, you’ll have been assigned this 9-digit number by the CRA) 
  • Federal Tax ID Number 
  • Proof of your GST/HST account 
  • Copies of any licences or certificates required for carrying out your business 
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (Ontario) Clearance Certificate (if you have registered) 
  • Proof of coverage and amount of business insurance 
  • Proof of your own benefits coverage (e.g. disability, health and dental, life, critical injury orsimilar benefits) 
  • If you have employees, proof of any benefits coverage purchased for them 
  • Proof of how you market your business to the public (e.g. business cards, website, social media accounts, paid advertising, sponsorships, industry group memberships, trade fair participation, etc.) 
  • Sample business invoices 
  • Evidence of corporate banking and bookkeeping 


Written contracts that clearly identify you/your business as an independent contractor and ideally: 

  • Are for a fixed term or based on completing a specific project vs being open-ended 
  • Outline the services to be performed or the project or product to be delivered 
  • Have an indemnification provision that requires you as the contractor to compensate the client for any losses related to any negligence or other factors 
  • Permits you as the contractor to provide services to other organizations 

Proof of Control Over Services 

To help prove your status as an independent contractor, authorities will want to see evidence that you exercise a significant degree of control over the work you perform for your clients. Asyou complete projects for clients, gather examples that help illustrate: 

  • Discretion you’ve had in determining how your services are provided and the order in which they were performed 
  • Latitude you’ve had in setting your own hours and schedule 
  • Instances when you’ve contracted other people to provide services to your client 

Tools and Equipment 

  • List of all equipment you supply to perform your services (including computer hardware and software, cellphone, specialty equipment) 
  • Details around any fee-for-service arrangements for tools you use to perform your work 
  • Details on office space you own or lease 

Resolution #2:  Add Contract End Dates to Your Calendar 

Time flies when you’re working on technical projects. If you lose track of contract end dates, you could be left scrambling for work. Conversely, if you continue to work for a company after the contract end date, it can work against your case should your employment status ever come into question. Set aside some time to locate your current contracts and review their end dates. Set a reminder in your calendar to speak with your recruiter six weeks prior to the contract end dateto explore having it extended or discuss new projects to pursue when that contract ends. 

Resolution #3: Conduct Your Own Performance Review 

As an independent contractor, you are your own boss. As you focus on providing your technical services to your clients, it can be easy to lose sight of goals for yourself and your business. Carve out a few hours to spend reflecting on your 2018 performance and developing professional development objectives for the year ahead.  

  • Are there courses you could take to upgrade your skills and make your services more relevant for the future? 
  • Are there industry audio books or podcasts you could listen to on your commute to help take your business to the next level? 
  • Could a conversation with your recruiter help you identify exciting new work opportunities that might not be on your radar? 

Rocking 2019 as a technical freelancer might also mean landing a shiny new gig! Sign up to receive our job alerts here.

Guest Post: The 10 Best Reasons to Hire a Veteran

The transition between the military and civilian worlds can be tough to navigate, especially when veterans re-enter the workforce. It can be difficult for former service members to explain and employers to understand how military skills translate to civilian jobs. But what companies often don’t realize is that, due to the rigor of military training, hiring a veteran can net a considerable number of advantages for civilian companies.

Here’s how your business can benefit from hiring a veteran:

  1. Veterans are goal-oriented: Military members get things done. From the day they start basic training, they learn how to perform tasks in a timely manner. They’re trained to keep their eyes on the prize and reach goals as efficiently as possible.
  2. Veterans are quick learners: Veterans are used to thinking on their feet, gaining and assimilating new knowledge under shifting conditions. This problem-solving and acuity helps them learn new skills quickly. Also, as a result of dealing with complex command hierarchies and supply chains, many veterans often excel at logistics, customer relationship management, and other areas beneficial to the process-side of your company.
  3. Veterans have clearances and security screenings: Many members of the military have already undergone extensive background checks, even for upper levels of security clearance. This can provide your company a level of confidence and trust(especially in the HR department). And if your company requires security clearances, hiring a veteran who already holds such clearances can save your company money and time.
  4. Veterans practice sound judgment: Military personnel are required to make decisions in the blink of an eye, and that requires the ability to make solid judgments of prevailing conditions and their own assessments. Throughout their careers, military veterans gain a considerable amount of experience deciphering when and when not to trust their intuition.
  5. Veterans are eligible for government-paid higher education: If there are a lot of opportunities to advance within your company that require classes or training, hiring a vet would be a good idea. The government gives veterans financial assistance for pursuing higher education. This means that if they need to take any college classes to advance within your company, the U.S. government will foot the bill, or at least part of it. In Canada, the Veterans Affairs Canada office provides service members who served 6 years with $40,000 worth of education benefits and $80,000 for those who served 12 years or more.
  6. Veterans have a strong work ethic: “Determined” is a word often used to describe vets. In the military, they’re accustomed to working long hours, often in less-than-ideal places. They also know that their team’s safety and success ultimately depends on their own completion of a goal to the best of their ability. As a result, most veterans have a well-developed work ethic.
  7. Veterans thrive in diverse workplacesDuring their career in the military, veterans are exposed to a vast array of different races, genders, sexual orientations, places of origin, religions, backgrounds, and personalities. They learned to work with just about anyone, which means they’ll probably fit into your company’s team well and cut down on personnel issues within the office.
  8. Veterans are safety-conscious: Due to their training, veterans are continuously aware of safety protocols put in place for themselves and the people around them. If your company works with heavy machinery or potentially dangerous or hazardous materials, hiring veterans could be a great idea, as they often have a sharp eye for regulations and potential hazards.
  9. There are tax credits for hiring veterans: There are certain tax credits in the United States available to businesses that choose to hire military veterans. Online systems are available to help companies screen veterans to determine the best candidate for the job, as well as the related tax credits. Tax credits will be different depending on who you hire, and credits work on a one-to-one ratio for the employer’s income tax.
  10. Veterans are adaptable: Being in the military requires that members learn to adapt quickly, whether for job conditions, relocating to a new city, or myriad other changes. Situations can change at the drop of a hat, and military personnel are constantly required to be prepared for those changes. If the unexpected is liable to happen within your company, (and remember, unexpected things happen all the time!) hiring a veteran could help your organization maneuver through those situations with ease.

All in All

A plethora of benefits come along with hiring a veteran to work at your company: adaptability, work ethic, teamwork and leadership, efficiency, safety-consciousness, and sharp critical thinking. Veterans’ military training has prepared them for just about anything, instilling the skills they’ll need to obtain and succeed as part of the civilian workforce once their military career has ended. Fortunately, those are the same skills that will benefit your teams and companies, as well.

Connect with Brad Miller:

Be a Gift Giver: Apply for a Job, Change A Life

Raise your hand if any of the following thoughts have passed through your mind when hitting the submit button during the online job application process: 

  • “Will I stand out as a good fit for this job?” 
  • “Will the right person even see my resume?” 
  • “Will I actually hear back from a human this time?” 

If your hand is in the air right now, know that you’re not alone. At Ian Martin, we understand the job search process can sometimes leave candidates feeling like they’re a party of one in an uncertain and ego-challenging land. While we can’t promise all 10,000 of the candidates we receive resumes from each month a personal follow up call, we do feel strongly that the experience shouldn’t leave candidates feeling disconnected. 

That’s why when you apply for a position with Ian Martin you’re given an opportunity to connect with someone else on the planet who is also on a quest to find meaningful work. Every time a candidate applies for an Ian Martin posting, they’re given a $25 credit to make a loan to a entrepreneur of their choice through Kiva. 

Kiva is an international not-for-profit organization with a mission to alleviate poverty by connecting people through lending. By offering access to small amounts of capital, Kiva connects entrepreneurs who aren’t able to access funds from institutions, friends, or family, the way that many of us in the first world can. That funding, in turn, allows the recipients to do meaningful work to support themselves, their families, and their communities. Kiva loans are true loans, with interest fees and an expectation of full repayment. Kiva’s current 97% loan repayment rate illustrates that the entrepreneurs receiving these funds respect that. 

Since launching our Kiva applicant donation program in 2014, Ian Martin applicants have helped alter the lives of thousands of people across the globe. While not every single applicant elects to donate their $25 credit, the impact of those that do quickly adds up. Four years into the program, applicants’ efforts have already: 

  • Produced over $100,000 in loans 
  • Impacted communities in over 84 countries 
  • Created life-altering new opportunities for 2,776 female entrepreneurs and 900 male entrepreneurs 

To provide a better sense of the impact that applicants are making, here are profiles of just a few of the entrepreneurs whose loans were funded with $25 deposits from Ian Martin applicants in the last few months of 2018: 

  • Nena, an entrepreneur in the Philippines, received a loan of $575 to help buy fish trap materials like plastic screening, bamboo, nails and nylon string, and dried fish. 
  • Zaida, an entrepreneur in Uganda, received a loan of $150 to help stock her store with more tomatoes, onions, and avocados. 
  • Marame’s team of women in rural Senegal received a loan of $2100 to help them buy sheep. 
  • Arc secured a loan of $200 to purchase more hairdressing material and hair products for her beauty salon in Zimbabwe. 
  • Daniel, an agricultural entrepreneur in El Salvador, received a loan of $1,000 to buy supplies to grow corn and pay for labour. 
  • Kadiatu’s female farming collective in Sierra Leone received a loan of $2,375 to help them pay for improved seed, organic inputs, and tractor rental. This will allow them to transition from subsistence farming to working a larger area of land with a higher yield. 

If you’d like to apply for a new position and help change the life of an entrepreneur in the process with a $25 Kiva credit, browse our current job opportunities in: 

To receive alerts about new job opportunities in the industries that are of interest to you, you can also register to have a daily or weekly email with the latest postings sent directly to your inbox, here.

To learn more about kiva, visit


Delight a Job Seeker (and Support the #BEconomy) with these Black Friday BCorp Picks

Is there a job seeker on your holiday shopping list this year? If you’re stumped on what to get them, your search is about to get a whole lot easier. We’ve compiled a list of some favourite thoughtful items that may come in handy during their job search, but that’s not all. Every gift suggestion you’ll find in the list below is made by a company that is, like Ian Martin, a certified B Corporation. That means they’ve been independently audited and meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Corps aren’t just in for the bottom line –  they see business as a force for good in this world. B Corp companies compete to be the best FOR the world, the people living in it, and the natural environment. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! 


Job Seeker Gift Suggestion #1: A Great Work Bag 

For new grads, making the transition from lecture hall to boardroom can be tricky. Help them update their style with a classic bag that means business. 

Our suggestion: The Slim Briefcase by LeDaveed 

LeDaveed bags are made in Canada with Nixburg Bullskin full-grain German leather, which is durable, waterproof, and uses 80% less water than the average leather to create.  This classic briefcase is an investment piece, but they will use it for years to come. The bag was designed based on detailed feedback from 200 on-the-go professionals, resulting in an array of unique features. 


Job Seeker Gift Suggestion #2: A Classic and Comfortable Pair of Well-made Shoes 

There’s nothing that detracts style points from a new interview outfit faster than a pair of scuffed-up old shoes. Ensure they’re dressed for success from head to toe with a quality pair of shoes. 

Our suggestion: Nisolo is a direct-to-consumer shoe company that makes contemporary classics that transition effortlessly from work to play. The James Oxford is a great choice for women and the Luca Chukka Boot is a versatile choice for men. The skilled shoemakers who produce these shoes receive, at a minimum, beyond fair trade wages, healthcare, and a healthy working environment.  


Job Seeker Gift Suggestion #3A High-quality Dress Shirt 

A classic white dress shirt is a job interview staple that deserves a space in everyone’s closet, whether they’re currently looking for work or not. 

Our suggestion: 

Tuckerman & Co.’s dress shirts are made with 100% GOTS-certified cotton, the gold standard for organic cotton. They also have thoughtful design details like non-toxic canvas interlining to help collars and cuffs keep their shape, real mother of pearl buttons and a slightly raised hem, so shirts looks good whether tucked in or untucked. The Men’s White Twill and Women’s White Twill are both timeless choices. 


Job Seeker Gift Suggestion #4A Caffeine Upgrade 

Whether they’re burning the midnight oil perfecting their resume or setting out early in the morning for a job interview, a great cup of coffee will be well appreciated.  

Our suggestion: 

Ethical Bean is a Canadian coffee company that has set a goal to compete with the world’s biggest growers and roasters on quality and taste, but only with fair trade, organically grown beans. Their Sample 6 Pack includes enough coffee to make three pots each of both their Lush Medium-Dark Roast and Classic Medium Roast. 


Job Seeker Gift Suggestion #5A Recommended Reading Collection 

In case their job search has left them feeling in need of a little inspiration, give them some reading material to remind them that it’s possible to have a great career and make the planet a better place at the same time.  

Our suggestion: 

Patagonia’s Business Library is a collection of three books that offers over 40 years of business wisdom, strategies, and practices from a company that was viewing itself as a shareholder of the planet long before it was cool. In Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, Yvon Chouinard, the founder and owner of Patagonia, offers insight into the persistence and courage that have gone into leading one of the world’s most respected and environmentally responsible companies. Tools for Grassroots Activists captures wisdom and advice from 20 years of the Patagonia Tools Conference, an event Patagonia hosts that brings together inspiring thought leaders. The Responsible Company shares stories from experiences at Patagonia as well as efforts by other companies to illustrate some of the key elements of responsible business for our time.


Did you know that just by submitting your resume to Ian Martin, you too can become a meaningful gift-giver? Every applicant to Ian Martin’s jobs receives $25 to invest in a microloan that helps an entrepreneur who does not have access to traditional banking systems via It’s just one way jobseekers can join our mission of breaking down barriers to meaningful work. Together, we are changing the way business is done by creating benefit for people and our planet. 

If you know of someone that is on a mission to find meaningful work, please encourage them to browse our current job openings and also check out BWork, the world’s largest job board for purpose-driven job seekers.


Four Interview Costumes That Will Haunt Your Job Search

The team at Ian Martin loves a Halloween costume. Need proof?  Just check out some of the highlights from last year when employees dressed up as the career they dreamed of pursuing when they were kids.  There’s a time and a place for everything, however, and the wrong interview outfit can be a truly scary thing. Here are some of the spookiest wardrobe mistakes that are haunting our recruiters’ dreams of late. 


The Mark Zuckerberg 

While many tech companies tend to opt for a more casual dress code, that doesn’t give candidates permission to adopt Mark Zuckerberg’s signature style of a t-shirt and hoodie for the interview. If you’re unsure about what to wear and worried that formal business attire may be too much, ask your recruiter for their opinion. They can provide you with insider insight into the company’s corporate culture so you stand out – for the right reasons. 


The Ghost of Footwear Past 

There’s nothing that detracts attention from a great business outfit faster than scuffed and dirty old shoes on your feet. A pair of smart shoes helps send a message that you pay attention to detail, which is something that will be appreciated by any employer. Even if your wardrobe budget can’t cover a brand-new pair of shoes, pick up some polish to give those kicks a new lease on life.  


The Count Distract-ula 

Before you depart for your interview, take one last look in the mirror to assess the distraction factor of your accessories. Multiple bracelets can create an annoying jingling sound with every gesture. While a Darth Vadar tie might be a great conversation starter at a cocktail party, when you only have a limited window of time to convince the hiring team that you’re a great fit you don’t want to waste precious minutes comparing favourite Star Wars characters. If it’s a sunny day, have a plan for stashing your sunglasses. Perching them on your forehead gives the impression the interview has interrupted your beach vacation.  


The Aroma Apparition 

A strength overdone can become a weakness and that’s certainly the case when it comes to fragrances from lotions, potions, perfumes, and colognes. A growing number of people suffer from fragrance sensitivities and allergies, which means the wrong scent can send them sneezing, wheezing, breaking out in hives or worse. To ensure you have the undivided attention of your interview panel, go easy on any fragrances on the day of your interview. 


Could you use some additional tips from our recruiters to help knock it out of the park at your next job interview? Check out these blog posts from our Recruiters Off the Clock series: 

Is Checking References Officially Extinct?  

The Most Common Resume Mistakes 

Four Things to Eliminate from Your Resume Right Now 

The One Question Every Candidate Should Ask at the End of Their Interview 

Nobel Laureate-worthy Lessons in Meaningful Work

There were many reasons Donna Strickland’s recent Nobel Prize win caught the world’s attention. Most news coverage noted that she was the first woman in 55 years and only the third woman ever to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. There was something in addition to Strickland’s gender and her game-changing work with lasers that caught our attention at Ian Martin. Strickland’s unique take on her career is what had us talking at the water cooler. For a company committed to connecting people with meaningful work, this scholar offers some lessons that we love. 


Lesson #1: Great things happen when work feels like play 


Strickland’s Nobel Prize was actually awarded for research she had conducted over 30 years ago for her very first scientific paper. In an interview conducted minutes after the announcement of her big win, Strickland relied heavily on one word to characterize her work with short-pulse lasers: fun. 

“… it was just a fun thing to do, and so I enjoyed putting many hours into it. It is the one time in my life that I worked very, very hard! And … but… you know, it was a fun time in the field of short-pulse lasers, and it was a fun group to be in and… I don’t know, I put in the long hours and it was fun most of the time. Most of the time!” 

Work that feels like fun most of the time doesn’t just make the day pass more quickly. Research suggests the act of play is like a fast-forward button for learning. When we’re not playing, it takes over 400 repetitions to create a synapse in the brain, or true learning. By incorporating play into learning, it only takes about 12 repetitions to create a synapse. The act of play engages the creative right-side of the brain and opens our mind to think in new, innovative ways. 

The Takeaway: All work with no sense of play can create lengthy detours on the journey toward meaningful work. While ping pong tables and free lunch on Fridays may contribute to a job’s sense of play, finding work that feels like fun when you’re in the trenches is when the real magic happens. 


Lesson #2: Sometimes it’s more about what you’re doing than what you’re called 


Strickland’s resume includes stints at Canada’s National Research Council, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Princeton University. The fact that she has had the same associate professor job title at the University of Waterloo since starting there in the 1990s ruffled a few feathers when news of her Nobel Prize win broke.  

When asked by one reporter why she wasn’t a full professor given her impressive resume, Strickland’s response was, “I never applied.”

When asked why she hadn’t applied by another reporter, she said, “To me, it just wasn’t worth the bother.” Not seeking out a higher title allowed Strickland to channel time and energy that she would have had to dedicate to building a case for advancement toward other priorities that mattered more to her. 

When asked if she would apply now that she’d won this prestigious prize, she replied, “I’m not sure,” with a laugh.   

The Takeaway: Strickland’s candour about her job title serves as a great reminder that an ever-evolving series of job titles isn’t a prerequisite for a meaningful career. It’s a matter of personal priorities. If the descriptor on your business card doesn’t carry a lot of value in your books, you’re wise to spend the time and energy on other pursuits that do.  


Are you feeling like it might be time to recalibrate your career route toward more meaningful work? Browsing our Ian Martin job openings and submitting your resume are great first steps.  

Pacific Coast Priorities: 4 Things on the Radar of Ian Martin’s BC Recruiters

*Feature image by Rob Nelson

British Columbia’s economy is hot and its unemployment rate certainly reflects that. Thanks to strong performance in industries including oil and gas, technology, tourism, finance and real estate, British Columbia wrapped up August 2018 with the lowest unemployment rate of any Canadian province at just 5.3 per cent. 


While this low unemployment rate is certainly something to celebrate, it also means that the labour market is heating up. Does recruiting in a job seeker’s market like BC’s require strategic shifts in approach to come out a winner in the war for top talent? We went straight to the source and asked some of our top recruiters in the province what they’re keeping their eyes on in the BC talent market right now. 


#1: Difficult-to-fill Positions 

According to a recent report by the BC Chamber of Commerce, two-thirds of BC businesses surveyed are struggling with difficult-to-fill positions, the majority of which are for higher skilled or senior positions. Nearly a quarter of those businesses had dealt with middle or senior manager positions being vacant for over six months. 


#2: Desired Skills and Experience 

The same report found that 45 per cent of BC businesses surveyed were only occasionally or even infrequently able to recruit candidates with the desired skills and experience over the past year. The two most frequent skills or experience found to be lacking in candidates were job-specific technical skills and relevant on-the-job experience. To deal with this skillset deficit, nearly three-quarters of employers indicated they routinely resort to hiring less-qualified employees and training them on-the-job. 


#3: Location of Labour Pool 

Another interesting finding in the report was the fact that 80 per cent of the businesses surveyed indicated that they frequently recruit new employees locally. When they look beyond their city, nearly the same number of businesses recruit internationally (4%) as from other areas within Canada (5%). This is interesting given the fact that it is often much easier to place from within the country.  


#4: Wage and Benefit Increases 

To retain staff, more than half of the businesses surveyed indicated that they were increasing wages (56%) and/or benefits (52%). Interestingly, business located in the Northeast of the province rely on wage increases as a retention strategy more often (75%) than in the Mainland/Southwest region of BC (51%). 


Having to pay increased wage and benefits costs isn’t the only negative impact BC’s labour shortage is having on the bottom lines of companies located in the province: over a quarter of the businesses surveyed (27%) reported that they had reduced their total business output or reduced or modified their type of product or service offerings to try to address the labour challenges they were facing. 


Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in placing technical talent is a sound strategy for helping your company not just survive but thrive through a very competitive labour market like BC’s. By hiring on contract, companies can hire strategically for their projects while attracting highly qualified talent who may not place a priority on long-term employment because they care more about flexibility, autonomy, and having the opportunity to accomplish a significant project that will help build their resume for more exciting initiatives in the future. Working with a recruiting firm like Ian Martin, with locations across the country, also makes it easier to connect with Canadian talent in other provinces who are willing to make the move for the right opportunity. 


If you’d like to learn more about how contract staffing can benefit your business, our Insider’s Guide to Technical Recruitment and 5-Minute Outsourcing Assessment are great tools to get your research started. 


Recruiters Off the Clock: Is Checking References Officially Extinct?

They spend hours rounding up recruits, scoping out search assignments, consulting with their clients, and negotiating job offers. At the end of a long day, they’re ready to dish and we make sure we’re on hand to capture their very best insights to share in our Recruiters Off the Clock blog series. 

The Question:

Does anyone actually check references anymore?


The Recruiters:  

Joanna Mamo 

Joanna has worked in technical recruitment for over 15 years. She has been helping candidates find meaningful work in a variety of technology sectors with Ian Martin Group clients since 2008.   



Ratheesh Manivannan 

Ratheesh has worked in the field of technical recruitment since 2012 and for Ian Martin since 2015. He is passionate about matching talented people with engaging roles to create long-term satisfaction for both company and candidate.  



Nadiya Khan 

Nadiya has extensive experience as a technical recruiter and has been specifically focused on the engineering, telecom and IT sectors since she joined Ian Martin in 2015. 



The Dish: 

“Absolutely! Not only do my clients want to see references, some request references from specific companies that appear on the candidate’s resume.  Some employers are also asking to see references sooner in the process. Traditionally, collecting references was often one of the last things to occur before an offer, but some employers are requesting reference checks now prior to a second interview. Having a robust set of references is still a very important element of the job search.”

Joanna Mamo, Senior Technical Recruiter 


“Social media has made it easier for employers to get a better sense of the backgrounds of candidates, but it’s a mistake to think it has become a replacement for reference checks. Sites like LinkedIn can’t be verified for true authenticity, so employers will take a look, but they may still want to verify that those accolades posted on your profile are consistent with what your actual employers have to say about your past performance. As there is a good chance they’ll be doing a social media search, candidates should be giving any public social media pages a really thorough review regularly. Even if you have privacy settings set up so only friends of friends can see your page, you’d be surprised how connected the world is. Make sure there’s nothing posted on your social media pages that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.”

Ratheesh Manivannan, Staffing Specialist 


“Not every single employer asks me to call references, but candidates need to be prepared for that. One huge mistake I see candidates make when we do contact references is they give us the name and number of their reference, but forget to give the reference a heads up that we might be calling. It’s not only inconsiderate to the reference, it can really result in subpar comments because the person may not portray the candidate in the best light when they haven’t had time to think about their answer in advance.”

Nadiya Khan, Recruitment Manager 

Happiness at Work Benefits the Brain AND the Bottom Line

Not that long ago, if you’d asked the world’s political and business leaders about the role of happiness in the global economy, you probably would have been told that happiness was a pursuit for birthday parties, not boardrooms. That sentiment has changed drastically in the last decade. In 2011, recognizing that progress shouldn’t be measured by economic growth alone, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and calling for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.”

Each year on March 20th, the United Nations celebrates International Day of Happiness to help raise awareness about the importance of happiness in the lives of people across the world.

A World Happiness Report is released by the United Nations each year on International Day of Happiness and findings from the 2017 report suggest that there is a vital relationship between work and happiness. While having a job has been proven to make people happier, the equation goes beyond that. Happier employees are also more likely to come to work, be more productive, take fewer sick days and are less likely to quit. Talk about a win-win!

While ultimately every person is responsible for their own happiness, research findings in the report point to specific areas that employers can support to create an environment that encourages happiness.

Work-Life Balance

Being able to achieve a healthy balance between commitments at work and home appears to be one of the most important drivers of an individual’s sense of wellbeing. Those with jobs that leave them too tired at the end of their workday to enjoy the non-work side of life report day-to-day happiness levels that are substantially lower. Workers who report that their job interferes with their ability to spend time with loved ones, and employees who feel they must “bring their job home with them,” report lower levels of subjective wellbeing.


The report’s findings suggest that people with jobs that allow them to do different things and learn new things experience more positive emotions on a day-to-day basis. The desire to learn new things on the job seems to be particularly important to millennials, who in a different study ranked training and development as their most valued employee benefit at a whopping 300 per cent higher rating than cash bonuses! Read this blog post for some suggestions to help create a culture of continuous learning and professional development.


An employee’s degree of autonomy at work, including having control over how their workday is organized and the pace at which they work, is another important driver of happiness in the workplace according to the 2017 World Happiness Report. This finding is echoed by some interesting research from the University of Birmingham. The research compiled two years’ worth of data from 20,000 employees and found that the higher level of autonomy a worker experienced, the higher their sense of job satisfaction and wellbeing. The type of autonomy most appreciated tended to differ by gender. Women placed a higher value on autonomy related to scheduling and location flexibility. Men appreciating autonomy more related to task allocation and pace of work.

A Circle of Support

According to the report, the support one receives from his or her co-workers also has an impact on workplace wellbeing and happiness. This finding aligns with research at Harvard that found that students with strong social support, both at school and at home, tended to be happier and better at dealing with stress. Workers with strong relationships with co-workers are also better at remaining engaged and coping with stress.

What does this all mean for recruitment?

As awareness grows about the significance of happiness in our personal and professional lives, it’s important for employers to realize that the days of relying on salary and bonuses to win over employees are long gone. The growing popularity of university courses dedicated to the topic of achieving happiness in life speaks to the priority tomorrow’s job seekers will be placing on achieving it in their careers. Yale University introduced a new course in January 2018 called, Psychology and the Good Life. The course’s goal is to help students figure out what it means to live happier, more satisfying lives, and teach them scientifically-tested strategies to achieve that goal. A quarter of the school’s undergraduate population enrolled, making it the most popular course ever at the university. At Stanford, one in six undergraduates take a course that promises to teach them to apply design thinking to the challenge of creating fulfilling lives and careers.

Action For Happiness has developed 10 Keys to Happier Living that are based on an extensive study of the latest findings from the science of wellbeing. While these keys weren’t developed specifically for the workplace, reviewing them and finding examples of ways they are demonstrated within your organization can assist in creating talking points that illustrate your company’s commitment to promoting happiness in the workplace with potential employees.

Key #1: Giving – In what ways does your workplace help others? Corporate donations, workplace fundraising for charities and volunteer programs are great examples.

Key #2: Relating – How does your organization strengthen relationships and build networks between employees? Are there corporate retreats, teambuilding events, or meetings that encourage open conversation between employees that you can speak to?

Key #3: Exercise – What things does your company do to encourage employees to be more active each day? This doesn’t have to mean investing in an onsite gym or subsidized gym memberships. Simple things like having bike racks for employees who want to cycle to work or helping clean up nearby walking trails send a message that you support employees having an active lifestyle.

Key #4: Awareness – Does your workplace do anything to promote employee mindfulness? Offering a lunchtime meditation class or even a dedicated quiet space that employees can retreat to when they need some time to collect their thoughts are great examples of how the workplace can support employee mindfulness.

Key #5: Trying Out – What channels does your company have in place to encourage employees to try different things and learn new skills? In addition to formal training and educational assistance, this could be things like casual “Lunch and Learn” sessions or encouraging the use of free online learning tools.

Key #6: Direction – How does your company assist employees to set challenging, yet achievable goals of their own and also ensure they understand their role in helping the company achieve its larger goals? Is this something that has been formalized in your performance review process?

Key #7: Resilience – All employees will be faced with stressful situations at some point. Does your company offer tools or services to help them cope with and bounce back from adversity? Mentoring programs as well as coaching or therapy offered through a company benefits program are potential supports you can showcase.

Key #8: Emotions – What processes does your company have in place to encourage the cultivation of positive emotions like joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration, and pride at work? Things like recognition programs and sharing employee stories through internal communication channels are great examples.

Key #9: Acceptance – Does your company make an effort to promote conversations that help employees accept themselves and their colleagues as they are? Perhaps there are community initiatives that your company supports that are helping youth to accept themselves as well.

Key #10: Meaning – Is there a connection between the work that you ask employees do each day and a greater sense of meaning and purpose in their lives? Initiatives like workplace volunteer and mentoring programs can help provide a sense of meaning at work, especially for employees that may lack a direct line to a sense of something larger in their everyday roles.

How can we help?

Ian Martin’s Hiring Consultants gather insights every day from our candidates about the organizational values that are of particular importance them. If you’d like some suggestions as to how your company can illustrate its commitment to employee happiness and wellbeing in a more effective way, contact us today for a complimentary assessment of a recent job posting.



Recruiters Off the Clock: The Most Common Resume Mistakes

They spend hours rounding up recruits, scoping out search assignments, consulting with their clients, and negotiating job offers. At the end of a long day, they’re ready to dish and we make sure we’re on hand to capture their very best insights to share in our Recruiters Off the Clock blog series.

The Question:

What are the biggest resume mistakes you’ve been seeing lately? 

The Recruiters: 

Eddie Lartey

Eddie works in Hiring Success with Ian Martin Group’s partner company, Ftzii. Fitzii is an all-in-one hiring solution for small to medium businesses that offers access to expert hiring advisors with smart recruitment tools and software to help companies hire better, faster, and more affordably. 



Sriram Murthy

Sriram has worked in technical recruiting since 2011 and has been helping skilled candidates find meaningful work with Ian Martin’s engineering, IT, and telecom clients since 2016. 



Abhishek Sahay 

Abhishek’s post-secondary education in human resources laid the foundation for his successful career in IT and technical staffing and recruitment. He has been part of the Ian Martin team since 2016.  



Afrin Kammarched 

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, Afrin brings a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience to her role as IT Recruiter with Ian Martin. 


The Dish:

“Showcasing your skills and experience is important, but I’m seeing more and more resumes lately where people just don’t know when to stop. You’ve got to be able to tell your story in clear, concise way and that’s just not happening with a five-page resume. Tailor your resume in a way that really showcases the specific skills and experience you have that match the skills and experience outlined in the job ad. That editing might take a bit of extra time and effort, but it’s worth every second.” 

Eddie Lartey, Fitzii Hiring Advisor 


“With a lot of the web-based systems that manage applications, submitting a cover letter comes across as an optional thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do it. It shows you’ve put some time and thought into your application and it gives you a great opportunity to get really specific about how your skills and qualifications make you a great fit for the position. If the system only allows you to attach one document, make a PDF that includes a cover letter that is followed by your resume.” 

Sriram Murthy, Ian Martin Recruitment Manager 


“Even at work, more and more people are accessing their email on their mobile devices. That means your resume should be mobile friendly and we’re seeing many that aren’t. Take the time to open a PDF of your resume on your phone or tablet and see how it looks. Make sure it’s easy to read on any size of screen.” 

Abhishek Sahay, Ian Martin Recruiter 


“Career objectives or impact statements that don’t make an impact are really just a waste of space. Including a generic statement like, ‘I want to work for a company that reflects my goals and values,’ says so little about you that it’s probably better not to include it at all and dedicate that space to your relevant skills and experience instead. If you’re going to include an impact statement, you need it to really capture why you are an ideal candidate to work for that company or in that industry.” 

Afrin Kammarched, Ian Martin IT Recruiter 


Are you a technical professional? Make no mistakes with this new way to resume that’s getting professionals like you on the fast track to the hiring table.


Recruiters Off the Clock: 4 Things to Eliminate from Your Resume Right Now

They spend hours rounding up recruits, scoping out search assignments, consulting with their clients, and negotiating job offers. At the end of a long day, they’re ready to dish and we make sure we’re on hand to capture their very best insights to share in our Recruiters Off the Clock blog series.


The Question:

What words or phrases should job seekers avoid using in their resumes?


The Recruiters:

Vera Tarutayeva

Vera is a Senior IT Recruiter who has been delivering complete IT staffing solutions to Ian Martin’s public and private sector clients in the Greater Toronto Area since 2007. She has worked in the field of recruitment since 2005.


Farhaz Pasha

Farhaz is a Technical Recruiter with Ian Martin. Having held previous positions in e-commerce, customer service and IT support, Farhaz has a strong understanding of the roles and responsibilities associated with the positions for which he now recruits.


Godlin Horo

With both a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communications Engineering and an MBA with a Human Resources Management focus, Godlin has known that the field of technical recruitment was for her since the moment she graduated. As an Ian Martin Staffing Specialist, she helps skilled candidates build authentic connections around meaningful work.


Sarah Fell

Sarah has been a technical recruiter specializing in placing permanent employees within Engineering and Executive type positions since 2012. A counselor by trade, she prides herself on taking a consultative approach to the entire recruitment process.



The Dish:

“Participated. Using words and phrases like “participated in,” “was involved with,” or even “was part of a team,” can create confusion about the level of the candidate’s actual involvement with a project. It makes it hard to tell if they were a key player, or just someone on the sidelines who observed the project. Instead, use powerful action words like performed, acted, solved, analyzed, led, executed, implemented or played a key role.”

Vera Tarutayeva, Senior IT Recruiter


Hobbies. Don’t waste valuable resume space including a list of things you like to do in your spare time unless they’re directly related to the job. If you volunteer teaching kids how to code and it’s a coding position that you’re applying for, that’s a great thing to highlight. Your passion for playing the bagpipes isn’t going to set you apart from the other candidates applying for the position though.”

Farhaz Pasha, Technical Recruiter


The same word used 18 times. Using the same word or words over and over again can send a message that you’re not very creative or haven’t put a lot of effort into your resume. That’s not a great first impression. If you think you may have relied on a certain word a little too heavily, use the Find and Replace function to count how often it appears and then challenge yourself to come up with an alternative for at least half of them.”

Godlin Horo, Staffing Specialist


Tip: According to LinkedIn, the most overused words in LinkedIn profiles in 2016 were specialized, leadership, passionate, strategic, experienced, focused, expert, certified, creative, and excellent. Watch for overuse of these words in your resume.


Birth date. Some things are better left unsaid and that’s certainly the case when it comes to your age. Even if you think having several years of experience is a benefit that can give you an edge over other candidates, hiring managers don’t want to have any information that could be perceived as creating an age-based bias. Instead, showcase your experience by including really strong descriptions of the jobs you’ve had and the projects you’ve overseen.”

Sarah Fell, Senior Technical Recruiter


Wondering what else you should avoid in your resume? Read this blog post for on how to edit your resume and put your best foot forward.

Recruiters Off the Clock: The One Question Every Candidate Should Ask at the End of Their Interview

They spend hours rounding up recruits, scoping out search assignments, consulting with their clients, and negotiating job offers. At the end of a long day, they’re ready to dish and we make sure we’re on hand to capture their very best insights to share in our Recruiters Off the Clock blog series.

The Question:

What’s the one question candidates should ask at the end of their interview if they want to make a good impression?

The Recruiters: 

Stephen Carrette 

Having worked in recruiting since 1995, Stephen has extensive experience in connecting great candidates with great companies. Stephen has been with Ian Martin Group since 2012 and in his current role as Senior Recruiter helps job seekers find meaningful work with our IT clients. 


 Jebas Christadoss 

With a wide range of experience in the staffing industry in both Canada and the U.S., Jebas is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to connect companies seeking new talent with brilliant minds seeking to change to the world.  


The Dish:

“That moment at the end of the interview when you’re asked, ‘Are there any other questions you have?’ is such a golden opportunity. If you answer with a no, then you’ve wasted an extra chance to make sure the hiring manager has all the information needed to help rank you against the other candidates. A different way to end your interview could be, Is there any other information I can provide about myself to help you make your decision?’ 

Stephen Carrette, Senior Technical Recruiter 


“I think it’s really important to leave the interview team with a strong sense that you’re excited about the position. When they ask if you have any questions, combine a personal strengths statement with a question about next steps, like: ‘This sounds like a really great fit for me because it would take advantage of my (brief reminder or the key skills you have that match those outlined in the job description). What are the next steps in the interview process?’ 

Jebas Christadoss, Senior Technical Recruiter


Read our blog post on what hiring managers are really looking for during an interview for more tips on how to make a great impression during your next interview. 


4 Recruitment Resolutions for 2018

If the promise of a fresh new year has left you feeling eager to improve, even small changes to your recruiting strategy have the potential to make a huge impact. Here are four simple recruitment resolutions that can help you secure better talent and improve your company’s bottom line in the year ahead.

Assess Your Internal Brand

As competition for today’s best technical talent heats up, convincing potential candidates that your company is a great place to work from the get-go is key. If you’re relying too strongly on consumer marketing messaging or the nuts and bolts of specific job benefits to communicate the advantages of working with your organization, you could be missing the mark.

Do the communications from your company that a candidate encounters during the recruitment process create a sense of what it will “feel” like to work for your company? Do they paint a picture of what sets your company apart from the competition? Strive to reach employees on an emotional level that speaks to their heads and their hearts. You can find a great article here by Gallup about creating a brand that attracts star employees.

Tap into the Potential of Employee Referrals

If you’re not engaging existing employees in your company’s recruitment efforts, you’re ignoring one of the most effective and efficient ways to discover and secure new technical talent. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at some of the research:

  • According to findings from Stanford, employees hired through personal referrals have higher productivity, lower turnover, and lower screening costs.
  • Another study by researchers from Berkeley and Yale found that referred workers are 10-30% less likely to quit and have substantially higher performance on rare high-impact metrics.

If a formal, incentivized employee referral program isn’t in the cards for 2018, consider implementing some smaller changes that will equip employees to be better ambassadors for your recruiting efforts. Start with something simple, like sharing new job postings more widely internally and making it easy for employees to pass along job opportunities to their social media networks.

Leverage KPIs to Find Opportunities for Improvement

Taking a critical look at recruitment data can help reveal valuable insights that will inspire action that is tailored to your unique situation. Tracking cost-per-hire, for example, can help determine if your recruitment efforts are getting more or less efficient over time. Measuring time-to-fill can help assess if the time being invested in things like managing job postings, pre-screening candidates, and checking references is paying off. Staying on top of retention rates can help identify specific positions that may be proving harder to keep filled.

Read our Hiring Metrics Checkup as a first step. In addition to defining some of the key metrics you should be tracking, it also describes how to best measure them.

Enhance Your Passive Candidate Recruitment Strategy

Limiting your recruitment strategy to only those candidates who are currently actively scanning job boards means you may be opting for a subpar pool of talent. Many of the best candidates are not only employed, they may be quite happy in their current position and not even considering looking for a new opportunity. The best real estate agents knock on doors to find homes that aren’t currently listed for sale on their client’s dream street. Recruiters take that same approach to find excellent candidates who may not be actively looking for new work, but might be intrigued by the right opportunity with a great company.

With six decades of experience as one of Canada’s leading technical recruitment firms, Ian Martin has built an extensive database of talent. In addition to the personal networks they’ve built during their tenure as recruiters, with just a few keystrokes Ian Martin’s recruitment staff can tap into a crowdsourced network of talent that’s been built by a collection of their peers from across the globe.

Connect with an Ian Martin hiring consultant today to discuss how we can assist you in reaching your 2018 staffing goals.

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Shake the Trees: 4 Ways to Take Your Tech Talent Search Beyond the Job Board

If you’re not hearing from the type of candidates you were hoping for in your technical talent search, it may be time to cast a wider net. As the battle for technical talent continues to heat up, it’s no longer enough to just post an ad to an online job board, share it on LinkedIn and cross your fingers. Here are some additional channels to consider incorporating into your recruitment strategy.


Slack is a cloud-based team messaging and collaboration app that was initially developed as an alternative to email to help companies communicate more efficiently. It’s been so well received that there are now Slack public communities that have been created to allow people with common interests to communicate. Third party websites like slack list, Standuply and Slofile compile lists of public Slack communities to help people looking to connect with others with similar interests. These communities can be a great way to make connections with technical talent. The Ruby on Rails community, for example, has over 6000 people interested in Ruby on Rails from all over the world, including avid OSS contributors, full-stack engineers, founders of start-ups, backend engineers and students learning Ruby on Rails. Within each community, various topics are organized into subject-based channels.

Top Tip: Watch your manners. When you join a Slack community, take some time to get to know the culture of the community before you start to post and tailor what you write accordingly. When you have a good feel for the community, ensure you are posting on the most appropriate channel.


Meetup is a social networking site that connects people with similar interests and helps them organize offline group meetings. As Meetups happen in physical locations, it is very easy to search by location if you are looking for talent in a specific city. There is a great collection of technical groups. By searching Ruby On Rails, for example, within 100 miles of Toronto, you’ll find Meetup groups of Ruby developers and enthusiasts in Toronto, Kitchener and Waterloo. In addition to being able to see upcoming events, such as a Rail Pub Night, you can also search profiles of people within each group.

Top Tip: Be open and honest about who you are. As this is very much a social platform, members may not be expecting to interact with recruiters or potential employers. Review Meetup’s Usage and Content Policies as a first step before you begin to join groups.

Engage Employees as Evangelists

Employee referral programs are one of the most effective and efficient methods of recruiting technical talent. In addition to coming with a built-in reference, research shows that candidates who have been referred by employees tend to stay longer and be more productive. Equip your employees with the tools they need to communicate within their networks about open positions at your company.

Top Tip: Even if your organization doesn’t have an incentivized referral program in place, look for simple things you can do to engage more employees in your company’s recruitment efforts.

  • Ensure new job postings are shared internally with employees in a way that makes it easy for them to pass on the posting to people in their networks.
  • When employees speak at conferences or trade shows, include a slide at the end of their presentation with a call to action to those in audience to speak to them about employment opportunities with your company.

Connect with Passive Candidates

Your technical talent search shouldn’t be limited to only people who are currently looking for work. Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in technical positions gives your company access to a deeper network of talent that includes experienced candidates who may not even be looking at job postings.  Getting a call from a recruiter they respect about a new opportunity can often make candidates realize it might be time for them to consider making a change.

Looking for Meaningful Work? Consider These 7 IT Careers

Information technology is an in-demand and exciting field. There are plenty of career opportunities, and you may not know where to start. Lists of in-demand IT jobs can help you discover jobs that could suit your interests.

To get started, check out these seven meaningful IT careers.

1. Software Developer

Software developers are the people responsible for creating computer programs. They may develop the systems that let programs run or they may develop applications. If necessary, they make changes to their software based on feedback from testers. After the software has been released to the public, software developers could have to perform necessary maintenance or upgrades.

At some companies, software developers write their own code. At others, they work closely with computer programmers who write the code for the programs.

2. Java Developer

Java developers write programs using the Java programming language. Java is a popular programming language that’s suitable for almost any programming task. As a Java developer, you could program anything from an online game to a business application. This means you can pursue a variety of projects in your career.

If you’re the type of person who gets bored easily, the flexibility of Java could make it possible for you to work on varying projects.

3. Mobile Developer

Mobile developers are software developers who specialize in building apps for mobile devices. They create apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Each of these types of devices has its own programming language, so mobile developers may choose to specialize in one device.

There’s significant demand for mobile apps, and many types of companies need them. As a mobile developer, you could create shopping apps, banking apps, or entertainment apps. You could also work on mobile games. This variety can help make your work more meaningful and fun.

4. Web Developer

When you view a great website, a talented web developer is behind it. Web developers are in charge of creating visually appealing and functional websites. They need to design the layout and function of the site based on their employers’ specifications.

Once web developers have concepts in mind, they need to use code to bring them to life while considering issues like security. Programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used to create websites.

5. Network Administrator

These days, most organizations rely on computer networks. These networks need to function as expected. Network administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of organizations’ computer networks.

They make any necessary upgrades or repairs to ensure the network keeps working as expected. They also maintain the security of the network.

6. Network Engineer

Network engineers design and construct computer networks for organizations. They’re responsible for designing both wired and wireless networks. For wired networks, they need to set up all the physical equipment, like routers and cables. For wireless networks, they need to set up communication antennas in the right places to provide enough coverage.

Network administrators then take over the day-to-day maintenance of the networks.

7. QA Engineer

Software development is a complicated process, and someone needs to oversee it. That’s the job of QA engineers. As a QA engineer, you’ll create test plans and testing strategies for your team of testers. You’ll find bugs in the software that were overlooked by the developers. This is one of the best IT careers for people who are very detail-oriented.

If you’re looking for meaningful IT careers, start with one of the seven on this list. Start browsing job listings for IT positions, and you could have your new dream job before you know it.

Why your current resume isn’t going to get you hired (but this one will!)

As a technical recruiter, I see about 20-30 resumés per week. Usually I scan them for 10-15 seconds, look for the important qualifications and relevant projects, and then decide to archive it or forward it to a current job opportunity.

Read more

Are Engineering Jobs in Demand?

If you’re interested in an engineering career, you may be wondering if engineering jobs are in demand. You’ll be happy to hear the answer is yes. People who choose to pursue careers in engineering can look forward to good job prospects.

Some types of engineering jobs offer more opportunities in the current climate, so you may want to consider an in-demand specialization. In certain specializations, there will be more job openings than job seekers in the coming years. Here are some of the most in-demand engineering jobs in Canada.

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design aircraft and spacecraft. They may even design systems for national defense or missiles. Once they’ve designed these products, they’re involved with the manufacturing and testing process. They ensure their products are safe and will work as expected.

The outlook for aerospace engineers is very good. Canadian Business ranked this job as number 14 on its list of the top jobs in Canada. Five-year wage growth for aerospace engineers is 38.85 percent and five-year employee growth is 9.1 percent, according to Canadian Business. By 2022, there’s projected to be more than one job opening for every job seeker, so there will be plenty of opportunity.

To pursue this path, you can study either aeronautical or astronautical engineering.

Petroleum & Chemical Process Engineer

Petroleum and chemical process engineers are also in high demand. Petroleum engineers are responsible for overseeing drilling operations and studying new drilling sites. Chemical engineers create the processes companies use to turn raw oil and gas into sellable products.

The outlook for these types of engineers is also very good. Five-year wage growth is 14.39 percent in this sector. By 2022, there’s projected to be a lot of demand for these engineers.

Electronics Engineer

Electronic equipment is a major part of modern life, and as an electronics engineer, you’ll be in charge of designing and developing it. Telecommunications equipment is designed by electronics engineers, as is data communications equipment, like computers and tablets. Electronics engineers could even be involved with exciting projects like communications and navigation systems for national defense.

Electronics engineering has seen five-year wage growth of 7.61 percent, with five-year employee growth of -0.6 percent. Demand for these engineers is projected to be high in the future. Aspiring electronics engineers can study electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or a related engineering discipline to get started.

Industrial Engineer

Modern manufacturing demands efficiency, and industrial engineers make that happen. They’re in charge of designing factory layouts for peak efficiency. By conducting studies, they determine the best ways for factories to use equipment, employees, and procedures. Industrial engineers could determine the most efficient ways to move products around a factory or to pay factory workers. This is a great job for people who like discovering the fastest, most efficient ways to perform tasks.

Five-year wage growth for industrial engineers is at 1.74 percent. However, five-year employee growth has been high at 16.7 percent. This hiring spree is projected to continue, and demand should be high in the coming years. Studying industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, or a related specialization is the way to get started in this career.

Engineering is a solid career choice, no matter which specialization you choose to pursue. By choosing one of these in-demand engineering jobs, you can set yourself up for a successful career in the future. To find your dream engineering job, keep an eye on engineering job opportunities.

Have You Considered These 6 Careers in Engineering?

Engineering is an in-demand and lucrative field. Careers in engineering are well-represented in Canadian Business’s top 100 jobs list, so you can’t go wrong in this field.

As an engineer, you may be overwhelmed by all the great careers available to you. Learning more about your options can help you decide what careers in engineering are best for you.

Here are six interesting careers in engineering to consider.

1. Aerospace Engineer

Have you always been interested in planes and spaceships? A career as an aerospace engineer may be the perfect choice for you. These engineers are responsible for designing various aircrafts and spacecrafts. They also design missiles and satellites. They test their designs for proper function and safety.

The median salary for aerospace engineers is $89,003, according to Canadian Business. Since there are more job openings than applicants, there’s plenty of opportunity in this field.

2. Petroleum & Chemical Process Engineer

Canada’s petroleum industry isn’t what it used to be, but there’s still a lot of opportunity. The industry is starting to bounce back, and there are nearly twice as many active oil rigs in Canada this year compared to last.

If you want to get in on this opportunity, consider becoming a petroleum and chemical process engineer. These engineers play a big role in the petroleum industry. They conduct studies for new oil fields and could even develop new equipment. They develop the processes that turn raw materials into sellable products.

The median salary for these engineers is $104,000.

3. Electronics Engineer

Electronics are a big part of modern life, and as an electronics engineer, you can play a role in creating them. These engineers develop broadcast and communication systems and other electronic equipment. For example, you could develop new music players or other electronics.

Engineers with this specialization earn a median salary of $85,009, reports Canadian Business. Plus, there’s more than one job per applicant in this specialization, so you’ll have plenty of options. If you monitor current job opportunities in this field, you could find a position in no time.

4. Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are responsible for designing construction projects in the public and private sectors. They work on everything from tunnels to dams to sewage treatment facilities.

As a civil engineer, you’ll need to consider factors like environmental hazards and government regulations when you’re designing projects. Civil engineers earn a median salary of $80,080.

5. Industrial Engineer

Do you dislike waste and inefficiency? Those are great qualities for industrial engineers. These engineers are responsible for figuring out ways to make production processes more efficient. For example, they could evaluate job performance and determine how workers can complete their tasks the most efficiently. They could also determine more efficient ways to move heavy parts.

In this exciting career, engineers earn a median salary of $74,006.

6. Mechanical Engineer

If you’re not quite sure what type of engineering is best for you, consider mechanical engineering. This is a broad engineering discipline, so you can have the opportunity to pursue varied tasks. These tasks could include designing, developing, and testing any number of devices. You could work on tools, machines, engines, sensors, or other projects.

Mechanical engineers earn a median salary of $79,996 per year.

CIOs in Canada Reveal Their Latest Hiring Plans

Are you curious about other CIOs’ hiring plans? Learning more about what other CIOs are planning can help you set your own strategy. Here’s what you need to know about the latest hiring plans of Canada’s CIOs.

CIOs Hiring Plans

More than half of CIOs plan to hire IT professionals in the second half of 2017. Most are planning to hire when they need to fill vacant roles on their teams. To complete their projects, they need to maintain their staff levels. Eight percent of CIOs plan to grow their teams, not just fill vacant roles. If you have some big projects coming up, you may want to do the same.

About one-quarter of CIOs say retaining their current staff is their main concern. This priority makes sense given the high costs of replacing employees. According to some estimates, replacing a highly trained employee can cost 213 percent of the employee’s annual salary.

Reasons CIOs Are Hiring

There are a few different reasons why CIOs are hiring new employees. One of the reasons is that more new businesses are opening in their areas. When new businesses open up, there’s a need for more IT talent. New businesses aren’t the only factor driving hiring, though.

CIOs are also hiring new employees to keep up with their increased initiatives. There are a few different types of initiatives that are driving the need for new hires. These initiatives include digital marketing, mobile, and the cloud or big data. CIOs may need to hire because their existing teams can’t handle the increased workload that comes with new initiatives. They may also need to hire if no one on their existing team has the right skills to make the new initiatives a success.

The Skills CIOs Are Looking For

In the second half of 2017, CIOs are trying to find talented employees with in-demand skills. The skill the greatest number of CIOs are looking for is network administration. Demand for this skill picked up in 2016, but it’s continued into 2017. That’s because the technologies businesses use are becoming more complex, and they’re constantly evolving. Skilled network administration professionals are essential for digital businesses that want to grow. They keep companies’ computer systems running smoothly.

Database management is another IT skill that’s in high demand. These professionals maintain databases and keep them secure. Companies need data management professionals to ensure they have access to their data.

Telecommunications support is also in high demand. Professionals with this skill keep companies’ phone systems working properly. Without these skilled professionals, there wouldn’t be anyone on staff to install, repair, and monitor telecommunications equipment.

Finally, CIOs are looking for IT professionals with wireless network management skills. Companies are increasingly relying on wireless, not wired, networks. That’s because users want to connect with mobile devices, and some devices may not even have ethernet ports anymore. This skill is hard to find since many IT professionals are still experts in wired networks, not wireless ones.

Challenges in Hiring

A big challenge for CIOs in Canada is the competitive IT talent market. There’s an active hiring market. CIOs are bringing on additional IT staff or hiring new employees to fill vacant positions. Many companies are competing for the best IT professionals. Two-fifths of tech leaders in Canada say it’s challenging to find the IT professionals they need.

If you’re having trouble hiring IT professionals, it may make sense to outsource recruiting. To find top IT talent, CIOs can turn to technical recruiters. These recruiters specialize in finding talented IT professionals for companies. They can even find professionals who are already employed, not just professionals who are currently looking for work.

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5 Ways to Determine Your Personal Services Business Risk

Do you own an incorporated business that provides consulting services? If you could be regarded as an employee of your clients, you run the risk of being called a personal services business. A personal services business is a characterization from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that you definitely don’t want.

If you’re characterized as a personal services business, you’ll lose out on the many benefits of owning a corporation. You can’t write off any of your expenses, since you’re an incorporated employee, not self-employed. Personal services businesses can’t claim the small business deduction, and they won’t be taxed at the small business rate. In Ontario, personal services businesses are taxed at a rate of 39.25 percent. When you take money out of the corporation, you’ll be taxed at a rate approaching 58 percent.

A major aspect of personal services business risk is the potential tax bill. If the CRA audits your corporation and decides you own a personal services business, you could have to pay years of back taxes, and your expenses could be disallowed.

Being characterized as a personal services business is a big problem, so you’re probably wondering if this could happen to you. How can you determine your personal services business risk? The best way to find out is to talk to your lawyer to evaluate your situation. If you’re curious, you may want to learn more about this risk before your appointment with your lawyer.

Here are five ways to determine your personal services business risk.

1. The Four-Fold Test

The Canada Revenue Agency uses a four-fold test to determine if you have an employer-employee-like relationship or a business relationship. If it determines you have an employer-employee-like relationship, you could be characterized as a personal services business. If it determines you have a business relationship, you may be able to continue operating as a corporation.

The first test is the control test. The CRA looks at how much control you have over the work you perform for your clients. This can be a challenging evaluation for people in highly skilled occupations, like IT or engineering. You may not need much direction from your clients due to your skill level, but they could still have control over your work.

For example, if your clients tell you what work should be done, tell you how to do it, and provide training, you may be an employee. On the other hand, if you can work independently, control how you perform the work, and turn down work at your discretion, you may have a business relationship.

The second test is the ownership test. If your clients provide most of the tools you need and retain the right to those tools, you may be an employee. If you bring your own tools and have made a substantial investment in those tools, you may have a business relationship.

The third test is the risk/opportunity test. Generally, employees don’t have to take any financial risk at their jobs. They aren’t responsible for any operating expenses, and if they pay for something, their employers will reimburse them. They’re guaranteed a wage for the work they perform. Self-employed people are responsible for operating expenses and aren’t guaranteed a wage. If they don’t fulfill the terms of their clients’ contracts, they have the risk of losing money.

The final test is the integration test. If the work you’re doing for a client is an integral part of the business, you may be an employee. If the work you’re doing is less integrated with clients’ businesses, you may be self-employed.

These tests can be complicated, and the CRA looks at all four tests to determine whether you’re an employee or a self-employed individual.

2. Number of Employees

The number of employees your corporation employs is another thing the CRA considers when it’s classifying your business. If you’re the only employee, you may run the risk of being classified as a personal services business. If you have more than five full-time employees throughout the year, you won’t be considered a personal services business.

However, if you’re running a small operation, you may not be able to afford to keep five people on staff all year. Having any employees at all can help your case, and the CRA will consider how many people you employ. If you’re a solo operation, never fear. Fortunately, the CRA looks at other factors, too.

3. Number of Clients

Are you only working for one client right now? That’s a very risky situation. Since you’re doing all of your work for one client, you could be seen as an employee. If a third party might think you were an employee of your client, the CRA could think the same thing.

The more clients you have, the better. If you’re serving numerous clients—either concurrently or simultaneously—you’re less likely to be seen as an employee. If you only have one client, take steps to reduce your personal services business risk by branching out and getting more clients.

4. Business Paperwork

The paperwork sent between you and your clients is another thing to consider when you’re evaluating your personal services business risk. To ensure you have a business-like relationship, the services you’ll be performing should be supported by a written contract. This contract should lay out the specifics of the business relationship between you and your client. To make sure your contracts have the right elements, consult with a lawyer who specializes in personal services businesses.

Your invoices are another aspect of paperwork the CRA may consider. Employees don’t need to send invoices to get paid; they receive payments automatically on a regular schedule. If your clients pay you automatically, without you needing to submit an invoice, the CRA could think you’re an employee. You should always invoice your clients, either monthly or by the project. Use your own invoices instead of using invoices your client provides.

5. Professional Image and Business Presence

Another way to determine your personal services business risk is to look at your professional image and business presence. The CRA appeal division has confirmed that the establishment of a business presence is the most important factor for a personal services business determination.

There are many factors that contribute to your business presence. A presence on the internet, like an internet domain name and corporate email service, is one factor. Advertising your services online or in places like newspapers or magazines is another factor. Employees usually get jobs by sending in applications or resumes, not by advertising their services. If you’re advertising your business’s services, you’re more likely to be seen as a business.

A separation between you and your business is another part of your business presence. For example, this includes having a separate bank account, telephone line, or fax line for your business. If you use your personal bank account and personal phone number for your business, the CRA may decide you’re an employee. If you haven’t already done so, create separate accounts for your business’s needs.

Your business registration is another part of your business presence. If you have a business licence, have registered a business name, or have registered to collect harmonized sales tax (HST), you may have a business presence.

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Do You Know about These 7 Engineering Job Opportunities in Canada?

Are you interested in a career in engineering? This field is in high demand in Canada, so there are plenty of job opportunities. Engineering is a broad field, and there are many different types of engineers.

Learning about engineering job opportunities can help you decide which type of engineering is most interesting to you. Here are seven engineering job opportunities in Canada to consider.

1. Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design aircraft, satellites, missiles, and even spacecraft. While few of the big aerospace manufacturers are in Canada, there are plenty of aerospace engineering job opportunities in Canada.

There’s an extensive supply chain to provide parts for the big manufacturers. That means there are many small companies in Canada that need aerospace engineers. Aerospace engineering is ranked one of the best jobs in Canada by Canadian Business. Aerospace engineers earn a median salary of $89,003 a year.

2. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineering is a broad sector. As a mechanical engineer, you’ll get to develop, build, and test a variety of mechanical devices. These devices include tools, engines, and machines. Mechanical engineers can work in almost any engineering industry, so there are many mechanical engineering job opportunities in Canada. These engineers can work in industries as diverse as biotechnology, construction, or energy. Mechanical engineers bring home a median salary of $79,996 a year.

3. Petroleum Engineer

Are you interested in the oil and gas industry? You may be interested in petroleum engineering job opportunities in Canada. Petroleum engineers develop new ways for oil companies to extract oil and gas from the Earth. While the recent oil downturn was hard on petroleum engineers, this field still made Canadian Business’s list of the top 100 jobs in Canada. As a petroleum engineer, you could earn a median salary of $104,000 a year.

4. Software Engineer

If you love computers, consider becoming a software engineer. This is one of the most sought-after careers in engineering. Software engineers are responsible for writing, editing, and testing computer programs. They ensure the programs they create continue to function properly through ongoing maintenance.

Since nearly every modern business needs computers, software engineers’ skills are in demand. These engineers earn a median salary of $90,001 a year.

5. Electrical Engineer

If you’ve always been fascinated by the power of electricity, a career as an electrical engineer may be right up your alley. Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electrical equipment.

Since much of today’s technology uses electricity, these engineers have essential expertise and can work on many interesting projects. Everything from satellites to computers to wireless networks requires the knowledge of electrical engineers. These engineers earn a median salary of $64,480 a year.

6. Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers use chemistry to solve problems. These problems can involve the production and use of a wide variety of products, ranging from food to drugs to fuel. For example, they could develop safety procedures that will be used by people working with dangerous chemicals. Chemical engineers can specialize further and focus on fields like nanomaterials or oxidation. With their specialized skills, they earn a median salary of $85,009 a year.

7. Civil Engineer

Have you always been interested in bridges, dams, and other feats of engineering? As a civil engineer, you can design and build these types of infrastructure projects. Civil engineers are also involved with operating and maintaining these structures. They have to study how environmental factors, like the weather, will affect their structures. They also have to make sure the structures meet safety standards. For their efforts, they earn a median salary of $80,080 a year.


Have You Considered Working in the Automotive Infotainment Market?

Are you looking for work in the engineering field? Engineering is an in-demand field, so talented engineers can have their pick of employers. You can look for exciting opportunities that enable you to work on meaningful projects.

To find these opportunities, don’t be afraid to branch out and look for work in areas you haven’t considered before. One opportunity you may not have considered is working in the automotive infotainment market.

What’s Automotive Infotainment?

New engineering graduates may have never heard of automotive infotainment before. Infotainment is a blend of two words: information and entertainment. Automotive infotainment systems are the vehicle systems that deliver information to passengers or entertain them.

Every car’s infotainment system is a bit different, so engineers can work on varied projects. These systems have some common features, though. Passengers can make phone calls, use GPS to navigate, or play audio content. They can deliver rear-seat entertainment, like movies or games. Some infotainment systems even connect to passengers’ mobile phones and can provide internet-enabled features like traffic conditions.

Engineers working in this industry can work to improve infotainment systems’ current features. For example, they can make the systems more user friendly or fix bugs in the systems. Or, they can help innovate brand-new features.

Currently, engineers are developing programs like pupil-based driver monitoring systems or navigation systems with holographic technology. If you’re interested in developing these types of interesting features, you may love a career in automotive infotainment.

Growth of Automotive Infotainment

The in-vehicle infotainment market is large, and it continues to grow. By 2021, the global market is projected to be worth $56.7 billion. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 8.4 percent from 2016 to 2021.

Significant growth is good news for engineers who are thinking about entering the in-vehicle infotainment market. It means the field has plenty of opportunities for new engineers. Both automakers and their suppliers will need many talented employees to keep up with growing demand.

Required Qualifications

If you’re interested in working in the industry, you may be wondering if you have the right background. The good news is that there are many different technologies in infotainment systems, so teams are multidisciplinary. Engineers from different backgrounds can make contributions to infotainment teams.

A background in either electrical or mechanical engineering can set you up for success in this market. Computer engineering, software engineering, or computer science backgrounds are also assets. Like other engineering fields, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree.

Finding Work in Automotive Infotainment

There are many ways to get started in the in-vehicle infotainment market. To get started, you could check online job boards. Most car companies have their own online job boards, so check the boards of any companies you’re interested in. Don’t just think about car companies, though. Their suppliers also need to hire engineers. These suppliers include major companies like Panasonic, Pioneer, or Harman International.

Job boards aren’t the only way to find work as an engineer. Networking is another great strategy. Get in touch with your old classmates from university and let them know you’re looking to get into the in-vehicle infotainment market. You could also go to events held by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Events are held often in major cities, and you could meet engineers working in the infotainment market.

If you need more help finding employment, consider working with a technical recruiter. Industry-specific recruiting firms have experience placing engineers and could help you break into infotainment. By working with a recruiter, you could find out about jobs that aren’t advertised on job boards. These positions can help you get the experience you need for a fulfilling career in the industry.


Why Leadership Is a Key IT Skill

Do you tend to focus on hard IT skills when you’re hiring IT professionals? Hard IT skills are easy to quantify. You’d never hire a Java developer who didn’t have Java programming experience. You’d never hire an iOS application developer who didn’t know Objective C and had never built an app before. But hard skills aren’t the only skills you need to think about when you’re hiring IT professionals for your team.

Soft skills are also essential. Soft skills are often thought of as personality traits, and they’re harder for candidates to acquire. One of the soft skills you should screen for when you’re hiring IT professionals is leadership. Even if you’re not filling a manager position, leadership is a key IT skill. When employees have this IT skill, they can benefit your team in the following ways.

Taking Initiatives

Employees with leadership skills take initiative. Initiative is one of the essential traits of good leaders. When employees take initiative, they don’t wait around for you to tell them what to do. They’re able to figure out what needs to be done, and they find new ways to do more than expected. These employees are able to lead by example.

For example, employees who take initiative could find bugs in your programs before you even asked them to look for bugs. Or, they could come up with a solution for a problem with your app before anyone else noticed the issue.

When you’re interviewing, ask candidates to describe a time they went above and beyond at work. If they can’t think of an answer, they may not have leadership skills.

Being Creative

As a manager, you know being creative is another part of being a good leader. Leaders are presented with complicated problems, and they need to figure out ways to solve them. The answers to problems aren’t always staring you in the face. Sometimes, you need to get very creative to solve problems.

For example, if there’s a programming problem, an employee with leadership skills could think of a creative solution. The employee may try looking at the problem from another angle, like considering it in non-programming terms. Employees without leadership skills may just sit around and wait for someone else to take leadership and find a creative solution.

During interviews, ask candidates to explain a time they came up with a creative solution for a work problem.

Being Responsible

Leaders are responsible. They take ownership of their decisions, and they have a strong work ethic. They admit when they make mistakes, instead of trying to cover them up. They’ll accept blame for their errors, and they won’t try to point fingers or blame other members of the team.

When employees have this key IT skill, your team will get along better. When employees don’t have this skill, they may hide their mistakes and blame others. This can damage the team’s morale, and they may not get as much work done. When your employees have leadership skills, they’ll own their own mistakes and get along better.

Ask candidates how they handled a big mistake at work to see how responsible they are.

Building Relationships

When people have leadership skills, they can build relationships with people around them. As a manager, you know how important this is. If you couldn’t build relationships with your team and your colleagues, you wouldn’t be able to get much done.

Employees with leadership skills are able to connect with their coworkers and build trust. This trust can have significant effects on your team. A lack of trust can lead to lower productivity and poor communication; improved trust has the opposite effect.

To find out if candidates can successfully build relationships, ask them to describe a time they had to work with a coworker who they didn’t like – and how they handled it.

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Resume Tips to Secure Yourself an Interview

Are you looking for a job in an engineering or technical field? These fields are in high demand, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get hired. You need to write a great resume to catch an employer’s attention, and then you need to ace the interview.

Before you apply to any more jobs, take the time to read resume tips and strengthen your resume. Here are some resume tips to improve your chances.

Get Rid of Your Objective

In the past, one of the resume tips was to include an objective statement at the top. These statements are now outdated, and don’t do much to get you hired. The purpose of your resume is to sell your candidacy and get you an interview. Objectives focus on what you want from an employer, not what you can offer.

To get an interview, you need to gear your resume towards how you can help an employer.

Keep It Concise

Is your resume five pages long? You don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Your resume is a marketing document, not your life story. Employers don’t need to know about the jobs you had in high school.

Your resume should be a concise summary of your relevant skills and experience. If past jobs are very old, or unrelated to your job search, you don’t need to list them.

Highlight Accomplishments

Many people list their job duties on their resumes. Listing your job duties is a missed opportunity to impress employers. Instead of listing your job duties, list the things you accomplished at each job. Listing your accomplishments shows employers you’re a motivated and talented employee. If you only list your job duties, they have no way of knowing how well you performed at work.

Include Projects

If you work in a technical or engineering field, you’ve probably completed some interesting projects in the past. List some of your most relevant projects on your resume. Showing off your successful projects can make you stand out to employers. For example, listing some of the apps you’ve created can help you stand out from candidates with less experience.

Clearly List Skills

In engineering and technical fields, hard skills are very important. If you don’t have experience in the required hardware, software, systems, or programming languages, you can’t do the job.

Recruiters only have a few seconds to scan the numerous resumes they receive on the daily. To make sure you’re not passed over for jobs you’re qualified for, list all of your relevant skills. Use bullet points and bolded font to make your list of skills easier to scan.

Tailor Your Resume

Every job posting is different, so the resume you send to each job should be different, too. Hiring managers need to review a lot of resumes. They don’t have time to study your resume to figure out why you’re qualified. To make it easier for them to evaluate you, tailor your resume for every job posting. If certain skills are mentioned, feature them prominently on your resume.

You can also add relevant keywords to your resume since some employers use software for an initial review of applications.

Proofread Carefully

Typos or grammatical errors never belong on a resume. Seventy-six percent of executives say they’ll discard a resume that has only one or two typos. Forty percent won’t consider resumes with a single typo. Employers worry that if you make mistakes on your resume, you’ll also make mistakes on the job.

When you work in a detail-oriented and analytical field like engineering, you can’t afford to make mistakes on your resume. If writing isn’t your strong point, have a friend or family member read over your resume to make sure there are no mistakes.


Looking for a Mechanical Engineering Job? Follow These 5 Tips

Mechanical engineering is an in-demand field in Canada, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for new graduates to find work. Many new engineering graduates have trouble finding work. In fact, it can take as long as a year for new engineering graduates to get hired.

There are many things you can do to boost your chances of finding your first job. Here are five tips for new graduates looking for mechanical engineer jobs.

1. Be Flexible

If you’re looking for a perfect mechanical engineering job right away, you may struggle. Most people don’t get their dream jobs right out of university. Your first post-university job isn’t where you’ll work for the rest of your life. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and get some real-life experience. After a few years, you can take that experience to a new employer.

Being flexible involves applying to jobs with an open mind. Don’t filter out jobs just because they pay a bit less than you’d like or aren’t with prestigious companies. Being flexible may also involve considering jobs within a larger geographic area. If there isn’t a lot of engineering work in your city or province, you may want to consider moving for work.

2. Start Networking

If you haven’t done any networking yet, it’s time to start. Networking can help you make connections with people in your field, and that can help you find the best engineering jobs. People in your network may refer you to an open position that wasn’t advertised. They can also give you valuable advice about getting jobs in the field.

To start, make sure your friends and family know you’re looking for a job. They may have connections to people in the industry that you don’t know about. Your university’s alumni association is another place to network. You can also create a LinkedIn profile to stay in touch with professors and classmates from university.

3. Tailor Your Application Materials

When you’re applying to several jobs a day, it’s easy to send the same resume and cover letter to every company. This saves you time, but it doesn’t benefit your job search. Hiring managers can tell you’re sending them a generic resume and cover letter. This can make you look like you aren’t actually interested in the job.

Take the time to tweak your resume for every job you apply to. Emphasize your relevant skills and experience to strengthen your candidacy. For every job, write a customized cover letter. Writing a new cover letter for each job shows you’re very interested, and it helps you stand out.

4. Prepare for Interviews

Finding job posting and crafting applications is only part of the process. To get hired, you also need to impress hiring managers in your interviews. Being prepared is a major factor in your success. Plan your answers to common interview questions, and consider role playing interviews with a friend or family member.

Researching the company is another important part of being prepared. Being knowledgeable about what the company does can impress the hiring manager. It shows you’re very interested in the position.

5. Work with an Engineering Staffing Agency

Finding your first mechanical engineering job isn’t easy. If your job-hunting efforts aren’t paying off, you may get discouraged. There’s no need to abandon your engineering job search and take work in another field. An engineering staffing agency can help you land your first career.

Engineering staffing agencies specialize in placing engineers with companies. When you work with an agency, recruiters will look for job opportunities for you. As a recent graduate, you may worry you can’t afford this service. Companies pay staffing agencies to find the best candidates, so there’s no fee for you as a job seeker.

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How a Recruitment Agency Can Help You Find Oil and Gas Jobs

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The Top Engineering Jobs in Canada

Engineers are the belles of the ball right now. The profession is about to undergo a wave of demand for new employees as older workers retire and leave the industry. This is leaving behind a wealth of engineering job opportunities for new job seekers. Those who have experience and a clear sense of direction can use this trend to jumpstart their careers.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles, though. Some engineers are still unable to find work, while others find it difficult to pass the tough hiring criteria that it takes to find gainful employment. The horizon may look bright for engineers, but that might not offer hope for those who are still in the dark.

Fortunately, there’s still some proactive things you can do if you’re looking or about to look for work. Companies still have high demand for some engineering disciplines, and these fields offer a host of other benefits that should make them attractive to any qualified professional. If any of these top engineering jobs suit your fancy, you may want to consider adapting your career path to pursue them.

Electrical Engineer

Specializing in electrical engineering can really give your career a boost. Workers in this field design and maintain a range of solutions that harness the power of electricity. Whether they build electronic components, create control systems, or find new ways to generate and transmit power, these professionals usually benefit from exciting and fruitful career paths.

You’ll need to build up a strong resume if you want to land one of these top engineering jobs. While these jobs only call for a bachelor’s degree in engineering, many firms look for workers that hold a master’s degree. A lot of the work is doneindependently on computers, but there is also some teamwork involved as well, so you need to be able to work in both environments.

Manufacturing Engineer

Engineers are frequently involved in the design stage of a product’s development, but those who specialize in manufacturing go a step further. They create tools and processes that actually enhance product development. Whether they’re tasked with reducing costs or designing goods that cut down on production time, these professionals take an active role in crafting everyday products.

Workers in this field are similar to industrial engineers, and they can find jobs in a variety of industries. On average, they earn about $83,000 per year, though professionals who work in more lucrative industries such as aerospace or transportation may take home more.

Software Engineer

Software is as much a part of the modern world as roads, cars, and buildings. Yet it’s easy to think of these tools as nebulous aspects of life. But behind every program there’s a dedicated team of engineers working to improve, update, and maintain services. It’s easily one of the most relevant engineering disciplines, and software specialists are in high demand all over the world.

Professionals in this field can expect to earn salaries in the low six figures, and the industry will continue to grow through 2024. Candidates will need at least a bachelor’s degree to find work. If you can work well with others, solve problems efficiently, and analyze data, you may be well suited to a career in this profession.

Petroleum Engineer

Despite a recent downturn, the oil industry is slowly bouncing back. Companies will need to hire a glut of new engineers to replace those who left in the initial slump. Those who are suited to the position should consider it as a viable career path.

Chemical, petroleum, and mining engineers can expect to earn about $84,000 from working in the oil industry. If you fulfill these criteria, you could be on your way to landing one of the top engineering jobs in Canada.

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What Are the Best Engineering Careers?

It’s difficult to define the best engineering careers. After all, a job that suits one professional may feel completely wrong to another. The best engineering careers for you will ultimately depend upon your interests and your expectations. You’ll only be able to find the right fit once you’ve determined what you’re looking for.

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What Engineering Jobs Are in Demand?

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5 Careers in Engineering That Best Suit Your Skill Set

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5 Careers in Engineering That Might Be Right for You

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How to Find the Best Engineering Jobs

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Top 7 In-Demand IT Jobs You Should Consider

Information technology is a promising industry, no matter what your specialty is within the industry. Demand for professionals in this field has grown by 40 percent year over year in the U.S., while unemployment sat at a record low of 2.6 percent in 2015. Confidence in the industry has continued to increase, while its workforce achieved a 3.1 percent growth in 2014.

While all IT workers will benefit from these forecasts, some stand to gain more than others. In the coming years, professionals with specific skillsets may find themselves in an ideal position to advance their careers. However, with so many jobs available, it can be difficult to choose the best career path.

If you’re uncertain about the best IT jobs, this article can help you regain your confidence. Here are just seven of the most currently in-demand positions within the industry.

1. Systems Analysts

Businesses rely on computer systems more than ever in their daily routines, and systems analysts ensure this information technology works at its best. These professionals take a strategic role in reviewing code and implementing solutions to meet organizational necessities.

Analysts will remain in high demand through 2024, as job growth is expected to reach 24 percent over this period. If you’re interested in this career, you’ll need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, though additional business education can also make your resume stand out.

2. Software Engineers

It takes a large team of software engineers to design and test every layer of a new program. These professionals pool their knowledge on a variety of specialized topics to make quick work of complex problems.

Should this work appeal to you, consider seeking a bachelor’s degree in a STEM program that emphasizes software. You can expect to find work quickly, as demand for these IT jobs will grow by 17 percent by 2024.

3. Database Engineers

Databases store companies’ information, but have you ever wondered who designs these complex systems? If you’re interested in helping organizations maintain and protect their assets, you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

You won’t want for work, since software developers of all stripes will see demand grow by 17 percent until 2024.

4. Web Developers

Engineers and systems analysts provide vital services for their organizations, but their work isn’t always visible for the world to see. Web developers show off their achievements every time someone visits their companies’ sites.

These professionals train in computer sciences to shape a site’s design, navigation, and content. Demand for these professionals will increase by 27 percent in the next seven years, so if you’re interested in this area, you can expect to find a variety of positions to choose from.

5. Security Analysts

Data is more valuable now than ever, which means that security breaches can devastate a company. That’s why security analysts are in such high demand. These professionals take proactive steps to protect their employers’ information. The need for these services will increase 18 percent by 2024, so security represents a relatively safe bet for the future.

6. Network Administrators

It’s impossible to maintain a computer system without a stable network, which is why network administrators are so valuable. They monitor their employers’ connections and make any necessary hardware adjustments.

You need a computer science degree to get these IT jobs, and demand is expected to grow by 8 percent in the next seven years.

7. Technology Managers

While the other positions on this list manage technology, these professionals manage the people who manage technology. Managers must be able to blend an ability to coordinate a team with knowledge of their companies’ IT processes.


4 Trends to Watch in the Engineering Industry

Engineers are the backbone of progress. They develop the products, machinery, and electronics that we use every single day, making the engineering industry a crucial part of our society. This makes it particularly important for engineers to stay up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s not, as the engineering industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years.

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7 Engineering Market Projections from Now to 2025

What will the engineering market look like in the next decade?  Through its partnership with Centre for Spatial Economics (C4SE), Engineers Canada has developed a report characterizing current supply and demand needs for engineers projecting through the year 2025. This information is tracked to provide accurate labour market information, including: employers, recruiters and those seeking employment, recent and potential graduates, and faculty and students in engineering programs. The C4SE’s mission is to improve the quality of regional economic information and research that is conducted in Canada. In efforts to understand the demographic and economic changes, they collect and analyze data as an independent firm.

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10 Helpful Resume Writing Tips

Putting together an effective resume is the key to a successful job search. You want to present yourself in the best light possible, and yet sometimes it can be difficult to know what employers are looking for in a resume, and what will represent you best.

Luckily, there are some definitive rules to resume writing, and we’re here to share them with you. Here are just a few tips that will help you hit the metrics hiring managers evaluate.

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Apply Your Skills: 7 Careers in Engineering

Thinking about a career in engineering? You certainly won’t lack for options. The profession is both in demand and competitive, so there are plenty of jobs with reasonable pay—in fact, there are currently 1.6 million available in the U.S. alone. That doesn’t necessarily mean a great job is a sure thing, however. You’ll still have to show potential employers how you stand out compared to others.

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Engineering Recruiters Can Help Advance Your Civil Engineering Career

It’s difficult to enter any industry today, but building a civil engineering career presents a unique set of challenges. While you may have studied this discipline anticipating a bright career if you put in enough hard work and dedication, there are other obstacles that may prevent you from achieving your goals. The job market is very competitive, so even if you have enough skills and background experience to qualify as a prime candidate, you may not be able to make your dreams a reality, at least not right away. Even veterans of the industry are feeling the pinch, and may have to readjust the way they work as a result.

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How to Launch Your Mechanical Engineering Career

Worried about choosing passion over pay? Mechanical engineering can be both a lucrative and fulfilling career. With its broad parameters, it allows professionals to follow their interests and design a range of different products and tools. If you’re drawn by the science of motion and force (or just have a talent with machines) you may be a prime candidate for a mechanical engineering career.

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Match One of These 7 In-Demand Engineering Careers with Your Skill Set

Those who pursue engineering careers can look forward to an array of options to choose from. But with choice comes uncertainty. Where should you specialize? What job best suits your natural skill sets? Will the position you pick continue to hold your interest after years in the industry?

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The 7 Top Engineering Jobs in Canada Today

Engineering is one of the most promising careers in Canada, with a constant demand for engineers in almost every industry and sector. Engineers bring a skill level and an approach to innovation that many companies desperately need to succeed in today’s fast-paced world of change and innovation. Which is to say,it’s a great time to be an engineer. Engineering is a broad science, however, with many divergent career possibilities.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the seven top engineering jobs in Canada today.

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The 3 Most Sought-After Careers in Engineering

Engineering is an increasingly popular field of study, and for good reason: engineers are both well paid and in demand. Engineering is also a fairly broad field of study—there is a lot of room to explore specific interests, and a wide range of options for future careers. There are certain careers, however, which seem to draw special attention, and remain some of the most popular among graduating engineering students. In Canada today, these are the five most sought-after careers in engineering.

1. Software Engineer

Software engineering remains one of the most popular careers in Canada, and fortunately, this popularity is coupled with an incredibly high demand for skilled workers. Regularly ranked as one of the best jobs in Canada, software engineers have the opportunity to make a significant amount of money, and to work on the cutting edge of technology. Software engineers often work with companies responsible for revolutionizing technology—they are regularly being hired by big name companies like Facebook and Google and are also vital to the growth of startups and application designers.

The increasing reliance on the internet in every sector also means that the expected rate of growth for engineers is very high. The US Board of Labor has predicted a 19% growth in employment from now until 2024, and the rate of unemployment for software engineers regularly falls well below the national average, in both the US and Canada.

2. Civil Engineer

Canadian cities are becoming more and more densely populated, and as a result,  new buildings are being built to accommodate growth and expansion. In Toronto, the skyline is studded with new skyscrapers and condos—projects that are happening everywhere as the demand for housing and office space skyrockets. There is also increased pressure to evaluate older infrastructures that require more maintenance as they age and can pose significant threats to public safety if they’re not properly inspected and taken care of. As a result, civil engineering is playing an increasingly larger and more critical part in the fabric of Canadian industry.

Civil engineers—those who help plan, design, develop, and manage construction projects for both for new development and for reconstructions—will continue to be in high demand as the focus on structural integrity increases, and as cities continue to grow. Civil engineers have also been an integral part of the environmental engineering movement by finding innovative ways to design, develop, and implement projects that make more sustainable use of resources. The growing awareness of the dangers of climate change has contributed to civil engineering being one of the most sought-after careers in engineering, with graduates seeing a career in the field as a way of using their skills in a proactive environmental capacity.

3. Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineering is one of the more glamorous engineering fields, partially due to the fact that historical figures like Neil Armstrong and Howard Hughes came from an aerospace engineering background. However, aerospace engineering also remains one of the most sought-after careers for its continued prospects and high rate of pay. The median salary for an aerospace engineer is 107k a year, making it one of the more well-compensated engineering fields.

There are two main branches of aerospace engineering: aeronautical and astronautical (although there is overlap between the two). Aeronautical engineers work with aircrafts (of the earth-bound variety), while astronautical engineers work with spacecrafts. While the room for career development in astronautical engineering is more limited, the prevalence and popularity of air travel means that there is always a demand for aeronautical engineers.

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What Job Seekers Should Look for in an Engineering Staffing Agency

Engaging an engineering staffing agency to help you find employment can be a great way to break into the job market. Staffing agencies are trained to find the best opportunities for their clients, and they often have access to listings you are unaware of. But choosing which staffing agency to go with can be a difficult process, especially since there are so many staffing agencies in operation. As you make your decision, keep in mind these key things that you should be looking for in an engineering staffing agency.

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Measuring Our Impact

After recently wrapping up our fiscal year we stopped to take a look back at all we had accomplished and wow, we couldn’t be more proud of our colleagues and Ian Martin as a whole!

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Contract staffing – where do I begin?

Contract staffing, consulting, freelancing … once you’ve determined what to call it, how do you begin with contract staffing?

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Is schooling matching real world requirements?

While the number of degree holders in North America continues to grow, over-educated prospective employees are being forced to settle for work either below their level of education, for less money or in unrelated fields. Should this problem be entirely blamed on job market saturation or are university students simply choosing the wrong majors?

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Will certifications get me a job – or do they matter?

Whether you’re new to the industry, or switching careers (or specialities) – there are a dizzying number of acronyms: MCSDSCJDRHCEACSA.  If there is a prominent technology, you’re likely to find a certification program for it … and often it’s the same company selling the product and then touting their certification.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Become an Engineer

There’s likely more than three good reasons to become an engineer – however, this advice aimed at those young in their careers highlights a few selling points for a career in engineering.  Not surprisingly – the pay is on the list.

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Make an Impact with Your Resume

If you are (or have ever been) in the process of applying for work, chances are you’re familiar with “the resume black hole” – that feeling of uncertainty that descends when you hit the submit button.

  • Will the right person see your resume?
  • How long will it be before you hear back from someone?
  • Will you hear back from anyone at all?

We hear you.

That’s why in 2013 when we first came across the statistic that 75% of workers applying to jobs didn’t ever hear back from the employer, we decided it was time to do things a little differently. Our goal wasn’t just to establish a better sense of connection with the 120,000 applicants who apply for positions with Ian Martin each year. We wanted to do it in a way that would give applicants who express an interest in working with us a real sense of who we are as a company, and an opportunity to join our mission.

At Ian Martin, we believe in and are working toward a world where everyone can pursue meaningful work. Obviously, that includes the candidates that we personally support, but our vision is much broader than that. We feel passionately that everyone on the planet should have access to work that is meaningful to them.

Kiva Lending Teams

Since 2014, we’ve been asking every Ian Martin applicant to play an important role in helping us achieve that vision. Each time someone applies for a position to one of our jobs, they receive a $25 credit that they can use to direct a loan to the global entrepreneur of their choice through the non-profit organization Kiva. From helping a Kenyan farmer purchase a biodigester to transform farm waste into fuel, to supporting a seamstress in Tajikistan with the purchase of an embroidery machine, our applicants are literally changing lives.

Redeeming the “resume black hole”

Too often, resumes disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. But what if every single job application helped someone else in the world find meaningful work? It’s really a small way of making a big impact—not only between Ian Martin and our applicants, but between Ian Martin, our applicants, and the entire world. Together, we can make meaningful work accessible for more people, everywhere.

The business case for our Kiva program is a winner for our triple bottom line of People, Planet, Profit. In a nutshell, our original $50,000 investment has multiplied over time to provide over $106,000 in loans. It’s hard to argue with a return like that! More importantly, these $25 loan credits allow more people every day to discover the vital role that giving back to the world can play in the pursuit of meaningful work. To us, that is priceless.

To see an up-to-the-hour summary of the global impact Ian Martin applicants are making through their Kiva donations, click here.



Adolescence to Adulthood as a Values-Driven Company

As a CEO, from time to time you get weak signals – feedback about the emotional life of the company you tend.  It’s never a science but I try to gather these voices and pay attention when they begin to form a current. I believe one way to help ‘culture’ grow is to name and examine these streams when they become apparent.

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Bizarre Interview Questions: Decoded

Earlier this week we asked our friends on Twitter to submit their bizarre interview questions for a chance to win Leaf tickets. The weird and wacky questions rolled in. Some, I’m sure were asked in interview scenarios others I’d question. Either way, these questions sparked my curiosity.

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