You can’t just be Diverse you also have to be Inclusive!


By Jo Morgan Dakin – Director of Recruitment

I was fortunate to be invited to The CGMA Conference in Toronto on Diversity and Inclusion although I am not an Accountant I was eager to attend as this topic is the new buzz in the hiring world. I just happen to live in a city that is recognized as the most diverse city in the world. With half of the population of Toronto born outside of the country, Toronto is often referred to as “the most multicultural city in the world”. If it is not, it definitely has the distinction of being one of the most culturally diverse cities.

How did this come about?  In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy.  In doing this, Canada affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language, or their religious affiliation.   What does this say about our Canadian society compared to others? We Canadians, especially those from the larger cities are familiar with different skin colours, different races, different religions and we are more accepting of these differences in our daily lives.

Well then why are we now hearing about Diversity and Inclusion in our workforce on a fairly regular basis in 2016/17? Seems to me that although we are a multicultural country we are doing something wrong if our new prime minister was trying to have 40% of women in his cabinet.  That means there was not an equal division of men and women acting as ministers in our federal political system. Where else is this happening?  In boardrooms all across the country!

The Webster dictionary states diversity is:

“The quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.

The state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization”

And the dictionary also describes inclusion as:

“The act of including :  the state of being included

North America has seen a drop in birth rates for decades, because of this our government’s have looked to other nations to increase our population growth. We have welcomed migration to both Canada and United States, because of this we have differences in many types and forms of which we have encouraged. But have we included these differences into our workplace?

It is just not good enough to be present it must be that all are included to be free to think and say what their thoughts are. When we are inclusive and diverse performance of the team will increase, all are working towards the collective good. You can’t have some sitting on the sidelines waiting to get into the game. All present must participate.

Inclusion is personal, this is what makes it unique for every individual. It can take into consideration physically included, or mentally included, it has to do with consideration and expression. If you have a group of liked minded, the XXX’s, all the same race and gender in the group and you add someone of diversity whether it be gender, race or sex that is the O, it can be uncomfortable for the O. There is more responsibility to the O because they are different they are singled out, they can be given more responsibility or they could have less responsibility then the XXX’s because they are not trusted, they are different.  How is a team to deal with this situation to be successful? They must suspend all prejudices and work together with all members within the team. The more diverse a team and the more inclusive the more successful the team will be at problem solving. It is harder to actually survive alone. then it is to survive when you are in a group.

General Patten said “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”

So it is not a matter that you add another person of different gender, a person of different race, religion or ability to be diverse. It is a matter of making all within the group to be inclusive, all to be equal, all must be accountable and all must be working towards a common goal!

Do you have a diverse and inclusive work environment? Do you need a diversity audit? Contact me




Just Because It’s Summer the World is Not at a Standstill!

By Jo Dakin

We are having record highs this week in Toronto, and I am sure in other North American cities and towns. The heat is getting to people, you can see them walking slower, standing in any little patch of shade to catch a break, chugging down the water bottles and sitting inside the restaurants in the air conditioning instead of soaking up the sun out on the patios.

Sure many are at the cottage taking their 2 week holidays and some of the luckier ones have headed to Europe, a sailing adventure, a road trip across the country or a camping trip in one of our beautiful national parks. We are all in slow motion but what does this do for your job search? Summer may bring on the slow motion in the hiring department but this is the time for you to revisit your social media and get it up to date, network, and refine your resume.

Tips on summer updating, if things are slow now then take advantage of this and be ready for the back to work mentality in September.

Update your LinkedIn – do you have a recent up to date professional picture, without your child in it or Niagara Falls in the background? Has your job title changed or your job responsibilities, if so add those in. Are you volunteering? Have you upgraded your education or taken relevant career courses? If so, add those to your profile. Many people are on LinkedIn but many do not have completed profiles, this can be challenging for a recruiter that is researching you. You want your best out there at all times.

Network – while on the golf course or at the cottage you are still exposed to the working world just not in a working environment. Find out what your golf partner does, you may know someone in common, is it possible that you can help each other in the business world? That is what networking is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Networking is a two way street what can I do to help you, and vice versa.

There are so many more activities that are available in the summer months, we all are out and about more when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Get out and join groups or activities that are happening in your community, volunteer to be part of the Waterfront Festival, the Charity Hot Dog Sale, The Run for Cancer or whatever is going on in your neighbourhood. Meet new people, find out about them and what they do, you may surprise yourself and find that there are activities and opportunities that you can benefit from both personally and professionally.

Dust off your resume, we have all heard that your resume is a work in progress. You must keep it up to date, with all your new activities you are participating in you never know when someone lets you in on an opportunity and they want your resume now. Be prepared to share an up to date, professionally written, clean resume.

Simple tasks to do to stay up to date, don’t let the heat slow you down, get out and enjoy yourself! You never know where your next opportunity will come from!

What are your thoughts about this article? Let us know in the comments!

Jo Dakin is a Food & Beverage Recruitment Leader. She provides knowledge and expertise to Food & Beverage clients so that they may eliminate their recruitment pain and fill their void with top professionals in the “passive” candidate market.

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The Coaching Leader

The Advantages of Employee and Executive Coaching

Coaching used to be something that only very large companies did. It was considered a fad that would probably pass. Today that is no longer the case. Business coaching is considered a fundamental aspect of taking your business to a higher level and of helping your employees to achieve results. Most companies today see it as needful and necessary, but they don’t often make the funding or the time for it available.

Hiring Coaching Executives

In some cases, companies add coaching to the list of things they are looking for when they hire an executive. That should mean that we’re seeing more coaching taking place, we should be seeing it achieve the results we want, yet in many industries, that is not what we see.

Encouraging our workers, providing them with the best way to grow in their positions is the best way to keep workers happy. In some cases, such as retail for example, we’re seeing productivity and often customer satisfaction falling. The public sector is moving ahead of the private sector in customer satisfaction.

What Makes the Difference?

The difference in many cases comes from the supervisory or the executives with whom they are working. Being a supervisor or being an executive does not make a leader. There is a world of difference between the two and coaching can sometimes make that difference. Excutive coaching can turn supervisors into leaders.

There are supervisors in every business. In many cases they sit apart from the employees. They remain behind closed doors and fail to interact with their teams. They show their faces for monthly or yearly evaluations. The glory and the credit for the things that their team does belongs to them in every way.

Conversely, there are leaders. They lead by example and listen to and worth with their teams. They hear the ideas that are outside the lines and they act on them, working with their team to take their companies to bigger and better things.

Why aren’t we Coaching More?

In many cases today, coaching takes up a small part of our funds and a small part of our time. In fact, according to Forbes, coaching is taking up less than ten percent of the time expenditures for training for our employees and supervisory personnel.

Conversely, those who spend more time on it, particularly spending more time coaching and working with the supervisory staff and teaching them to coach their own employees, typically increase their productivity and their employee morale.

How Well does Coaching Executives Really Work?

In a study of Fortune 100 executives discovered that when they were coached, the result was an ROI of nearly six times the cost of the coaching.

International Personnel Management Association survey determined that productivity was raised by more than 88 percent when training was combined with coaching. The rise was 66 percent higher than training alone.

If you’re considering coaching sessions for your own employees, here are some tips to help you to get the most out of your coaching.

Make sure that the coaching experience and process is consistent and top quality. Coaching sessions should ideally be confidential but the overall coaching process does require some management.

Make sure that clients are prepared ahead of time for their coaching. Don’t force anyone to be coached. Allow them the option to refuse the coaching or work with them to help them to understand the need for it.

Be certain that the organization is going to provide follow up support and strong encouragement for those employees who elect the coaching sessions. Coaching should ideally be involved in other types of training as well, including leadership training, mentoring training and competency training. Doing so increases the value of both.

Creating Success With Succession Planning!

Written by Jo Dakin

Succession planning takes internal people and develops them so they can fill a leadership role in the future. Since every company is different, the succession plan for your company requires careful tailoring to meet the needs of your business.

A good starting point is to review the characteristics necessary to fill key roles. When hiring candidates in the company, these are the items you closely watch for in future leaders. Ideally, you’ll have someone you bring internally on a smaller scale and develop their skills so they can eventually take over a position.

At this time, it also pays to have a backup candidate in place. Life events can happen in a moment. Someone may pass away, become seriously injured or move across the country. For these potential other candidates, boost their skill sets in areas that also fit in with their job. You won’t want to fine tune their training in a specific area, until you’ve determined there is a need to.

When considering an individual, listen to the advice of other trusted advisors within the company. Often, we see a small portion of who they are. Others may witness variations in their character and work ethic when you are not around. This is important to note as it allows you to avoid further problems later on.

Once you have feedback and have determined a person is a match, incorporate training and seminars. This is critical for employee engagement and keeps a top tier employee invested in the company. As you have them attend training, let them know the vision you have for their career. You’ll find they are more likely to remain loyal to the company and they continuously deliver 100% every time.

With an individual chosen and development started, it is important to continue to monitor their development. It is critical to periodically review their process and verify there are no problems along the way. If you notice they are struggling in an area, offer them guidance.

It is critical to have a succession plan in place in order to deal with changes in your company. Having this vision in place helps you to better monitor staff and evaluate situations. This will ultimately help the company to continue its forward motion and avoid a situation where a key role isn’t filled with the best person possible.

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Why Should I Hire You? – How To Sell Yourself

written by Jo Dakin

Today’s job market is nothing if not competitive. Getting the job is the goal of course, but how? In nearly any job situation today, you’re selling something. Whether it’s a product or a service, you’re offering something valuable to a person who is in need of it. The product that you’re selling in the job seeker role is yourself.

As a job seeker in any career field, you’re going to be interviewed multiple times over the course of your job search. Those interviews are great opportunities for you. Getting the job means you have to close the sale and the interview is the best time to do that.

The question is, what’s the best way to accomplish it?

Bear in mind that you’re not begging for something when you are seeking a job. Presumably you have real skills and talents that will add value to the job. Express those talents and skills and explain how you’ve used them in the past to solve problems for other employers. Meet your interviewers eyes and show your confidence in what you have accomplished and what you can accomplish for their company.

Don’t be afraid to name-drop. Tell your interviewer what you did for the other company and how you did it. Examples are:”At KayRay Software I instituted a Customer Relationship software that resulted in an improved rate of return customers and repeat sales.” Selling your strong points and naming the places where you achieved that success gives you some credibility and gives them something to check on.

Don’t oversell it. No one wants to hear you brag. State simply and succinctly what you bring to the table. Follow it up with another piece of the puzzle. Most candidates are not aware that the companies they are applying to enjoy hearing that you want to work for them. Once you’ve told them that you are able to complete their staff and why, add that you’d like to work for them for __xyz__ reasons. Most employers react well to a prospective employee telling them why they chose to apply to their company.

Prepare well for the interview and learn as much as you can about the person who will be interviewing you. Examine the company culture and the problems that may be inherent in the company. You’re not going to step in and solve them of course but knowing what they are can strengthen your position when you offer your skill set and what you bring to the table.

Phrase your speech as if you are already a part of the company. Use “we,” “us” and “our” when speaking about company’s products and services as if you are a part of the team.

When the interview ends, don’t’ forget to close the sale. While many people are afraid to be bold about it, reiterate that you are available to start at any time that is convenient to them. Don’t forget to express your thanks to the interviewer as you leave. Good manners are appropriate for any situation.

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