Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview To Win The Job

Confidence, Preparation and Presentation are all key to winning the big prize. Here are a few insider tips about what employers really want from an interview.

Tip #1 – Context – Be a Story Teller Most people asking the questions are very knowledgeable of their company and the job but they are not always as experienced with conducting interviews. You may be asked questions that only prompt a YES or NO response but be prepared to help the interviewer and tell stories that support your short answers. It’s the context of your stories that will stick in the interviewers mind and give you the advantage over other candidates.

Tip #2 – Ask the Right Questions Employers can tell a lot about you from the questions you ask. For example, if you only ask questions about the company benefit plan then the employer may assume that it’s the benefits rather than the job that really interests you. Ask questions about what the the employer wants to accomplish or improve. Ask about the boss’s priorities, goals and objectives. By asking questions about results then the interviewer will assume you are a results oriented person. Results – That’s what they really want!

Tip #3 – Dress (better than) the Part You only have one chance to create a first impression. The first minute will subconsciously influence whether the interviewer will ask questions that funnel you into the job or filter you out. Arrive at your interview dressed in a way that makes the interviewer immediately assume that you are the one. Whatever the dress code is for the job, go to the interview dressed better than that.

The Close – An interview is a sales call where you are selling yourself. All good sales people know that you must ask for the order to close the deal. Don’t leave without asking your closing questions. “Will you offer this job to me?”; “Is there a date that you would like me to start?”; “What can I do that help make this decision easy for you?”; “Can we schedule the appointment for the next stage in the process?” If you don’t ask – you don’t get.
The People Bank, is a division of Design Group Staffing Inc., employs more recruiters with the Certified Personnel Consultant, CPC professional designation than any other firm in Canada. Steve Jones, President of The People Bank is a CPC course conductor for the staffing industry Ethics and Business Practices certification module and Staffing Industry Legal Practices certification module.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Canadian Jobs Down - US Unemployment Rate Lowest in 3 Years

The November jobs reports from Canada and United States offer conflicting information. Statistics Canada reported today that Canadian total jobs declined by 19,000 on a month to month basis with significant declines in part-time work and retail work while full-time and services sector employment improved. On a year over year basis, the Canadian government agency also reported that in spite of the monthly decline, 274,000 more Canadians are working in full-time jobs than the same time last year.

While Canada is reporting a slight job loss, the US Department of Labor reported this morning that 120,000 new American jobs were created in the month of November and the US unemployment rate dropped slightly. Its hard to imagine that Canadian retail jobs actually decreased in this busy Christmas shopping season. US reported a more realistic increase in retail and leisure.

In a interesting twist, US Labor Department also adjusted (up) it’s numbers previously reported for September and October to reflect more accurate job creation numbers in the range of 100,000 per month.

Stay tuned for my New Years eve prediction for the upcoming year.

Steve Jones

The People Bank

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Staffing Index Follows Traditional Seasonal Trend

ACSESS recently released the Staffing Index for September 2011 which rose to 98, the closest to the “100″ index standard established in July of 2008. The Staffing Index peaked in October 2008 at 107 then recessionary job losses knocked the industry down and the Index retreated to a low of 65 in May of 2009. The slow but steady climb since the summer of 2009 is an indicator that the economy is reluctantly finding its way.

In a previous blog, I threw cold water on Statistics Canada’s roller coaster reporting of monthly job gains and losses. In the ACSESS press release, ACSESS President Bryan Toffee seemed to concur with my theory that we need to look at the trend of quarterly job creation rather than month to month numbers which are rife with anomalies.

Canadian Staffing Index
“The flat or subtle net rise in index readings of 90, 85 and 92 for June, July and August, respectively, foretold the flat or subtle net increase of 7,000 jobs reported by StatsCan in September and October,” explained ACSESS President, Bryan Toffey, adding that “the Index is supporting the traditional seasonal trends which suggests that employment will peak in October and November then retract through the holiday season and first month of the new year before it starts to climb again.”


Canadian Staffing Index Chart

The Canadian Staffing Index measures the hours of labour performed by a sampling of temporary and contract staffing in the staffing industry. The data collected is the largest sample size done in Canada provided by a number of Canadian staffing companies and accounts for approximately one third of total staffing industry sales. To preserve confidentiality the data is collected by Staffing Industry Analysts; an independent company specialized in staffing industry statistics. Data is available for the months starting July 2008 (the benchmark month) to the current month.

In review of similar Index research from the USA, many experts agree staffing industry employment data serves as an economic indicator. Historically, temporary employment improves as overtime hours increase and as unemployment claims decrease. This means the Index can provide a “near real time” indication of how the Canadian economy is performing.

“The Canadian Staffing Index demonstrates both the changes in the Canadian economy and the volatile nature of the staffing business. It is that ability to provide a flexible workforce that brings tremendous value to our clients.”

Source: (Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Recruiters Make a Great Commitment

Not all staffing companies are the same and not all recruiters are the same either. Four more of The People Bank/Aimco Staffing professionals have just joined the ranks of the most respected industry professionals by successfully completing and achieving their Certified Personnel Consultant designation.

We are very proud to announce that Kathy March, Tracey Arseneau, Alfredo de Leon and Aaron Campau have received notification of their accomplishments from the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services.

As employers and hiring managers, we always look deep into the credentials and qualifications of the people we hire so it only makes sense that when selecting a staffing company or recruiter, we should also look beyond the agency’s brochure and ask a few questions about recruiter and agency credentials.

Ask whether your staffing agency is a member of ACSESS. Every member of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services has pledged to uphold the industry’s code of ethics and standards. This code addresses everything from disclosure of information to adherence to laws and respect of individuals.

Also look for the initials “CPC” behind a recruiter’s name. The Certified Personnel Consultant is the only certification for professionals working within the Canadian staffing industry. A recruiter with the “CPC” credentials has made a commitment to the industry and to professional performance.

Kathy March, Tracey Arseneau, Alfredo de Leon and Aaron Campau have taken courses and passed CPC exams that address important topics such as the legal aspects of staffing services, human rights, privacy laws, employment standards, employment equity, health and safety, selection techniques, and industry ethics. With the CPC designation, a staffing professional is not like all the others. We are very proud of their commitment to professional conduct in our industry and to our company. We are equality proud and confident in the services they each deliver to candidates and clients.

Whether you are a job seeker who wants to receive professional quality treatment or an employer who wants to hire with confidence, always look for the ACSESS logo and the initials “CPC” following your recruiters name.

Kathy March, CPC
Tracey Arseneau, CPC
Alfredo de Leon, CPC
Aaron Campau, CPC

Thank you and congratulations!

Steve Jones


The People Bank/Aimco, Allen Professional Search & La Banque de Personnel

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Crazy Jobs loss Report - Stats Can Oct 2011

Statistics Canada released it's typically unbelievable and unreliable monthly jobs data on Friday November 5th. In this bizarre report the bumbling bureaucracy told us in their standard tone of brash certainty that 61,000 jobs were created in September and then in an about face 54,000 jobs were immediately stripped away in October.

Nobody really knows the exact numbers. Jobs data is developed through a series of survey samples across the country and then the small sampling of data is extrapolated to produce this national data which is presented as if it were a hard fact. Of course they offer the standard disclaimer that "estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability" however the media, markets and public policy makers tend to ignore the disclaimer to such extent that world markets and governments can rise and fall before 9 am on the news release date.

As an employment guy, I can tell you that job creation in October was not as robust as we expected but a one-month loss of 54,000 is not a credible number. More realistically, job gains have moderately out-paced job losses over the past 6 months with subtle shifts in job types and locations. These wildly fluctuating numbers that are reported by Statistics Canada are more likely a flaw in the data collection methods than a reflection of employment reality.

The Conference Board of Canada produces a summary table of Canadian economic data. When all the data is reviewed on balance, it helps us believe that the job market is probably not a roller coaster ride of neurotic employer hiring and firing.

In this self described experts opinion, temporary and contract jobs are on the rise. The unstable Euro-zone, rising government debt and the stagnant US economy cast a shadow of uncertainty that causes most employers to hedge against their lack of visibility into the medium term future. Businesses need to get the work done, orders and cash are flowing but given the constant stream of conflicting news, employers are reluctant to make job offers in the form of traditional "permanent" employment. There is an increasing number of professionals working as contractors in the fields of engineering, oil & gas, mining, transportation, manufacturing, financial services and property. There is also an increasing number of plant and factory workers who are employed week to week and month to month.

On the workforce supply side, there is also a rise in contract and term employment due to the tenacity of older workers. Freedom 55 is a dream that has not been realized by many boomers whose investment savings are less than they had hoped for due to poor performances of their investments in the equity markets. A few extra years of contract work may not be absolutely necessary before retirement but they are necessary before a "comfortable" retirement. Boomer tenacity also puts extra pressure on young workers who find themselves competing with more experienced workers who also have a more flexible employment outlook.

Smart employers will continue to use contract, term and temporary workers. As time passes and as they become more certain of the long-term nature of their needs, employers will gradually convert these workers to more traditional employment relationships . Job seekers are wise to embrace these contingent employment opportunities as their path to experience and future career employment.

Contrary to the opinions of some, the employment market is not all doom and gloom. Its just different than we expected in would be in an economic recovery. Those who adapt to change, show flexibility and embrace the reality will likely end up with a better life-style and greater prosperity than prior generations, just like every generation before them.

Commentary by: Steve Jones, President - The People Bank, Aimco Staffing and Allen Professional Search (Divisions of Design Group Staffing Inc.)

Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Statistics Canada; CMHC Housing Time Series Database.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Safety Leadership Matters

Staffing industry employers rewarded
for commitment to workplace safety
Canada NewsWire

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 20, 2011 /CNW/ – Ontario’s workplace is safer today, thanks to the continued efforts of the staffing industry and the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB).

Following another successful year’s involvement in the WSIB Safety Group Program, members of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) sponsored safety group will receive rebates totaling $991,244.91.

The safety group, comprised of 80 ACSESS member-firm accounts, will be awarded the rebates for initiatives that reduced both the severity and frequency of workplace injuries in 2010.

Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services
“As a result of the continued efforts of both ACSESS members and the WSIB, Ontario is becoming a safer and safer place to work,” said ACSESS Director of Government Relations, Mary McIninch, adding that “in addition to financial rebates, ACSESS members’ participation improves safety records, productivity and morale among temporary employees.”

ACSESS has been an active sponsor in the WSIB Safety Group Program since 2001, when it was the only group within the services sector to be selected from 18 candidates to enter the program.

The WSIB Safety Group Program promotes health and safety in the workplace through pooling of resources and sharing of best practices between member-businesses. There are currently more than 50 industry safety groups in the province of Ontario.

ACSESS is the single voice for promoting best practices and ethical standards for the recruitment, employment and staffing services industry in Canada.

Read more:

The People Bank is a founding member of the Ontario staffing industry safety group and Steve Jones, President of The People Bank is a Signatory of the Senior Executive Health and Safety Leadership Charter with the Conference Board of Canada.

Posted on The People Bank blog under Employee Benefits & Assistance, HR & Management Tips, Uncategorized, Workplace Safety

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

GUEST COLUMN: Look to outsourcing to fill SME needs

Each month, Toronto Business Times solicits opinions from four experts on a question of relevance to the small business community. This month’s question is: Small businesses often don't have enough work to employ an individual for a specialized duty. Hourly specialist charges can be expensive. Are there opportunities for small business to share personnel with other small businesses? How would you set that up? Here is my response.

Small and medium-sized businesses don't always have a consistent demand or the resources to justify hiring expert personnel onto the payroll for every aspect of business.

It is common practice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to hire lawyers, graphic designers or trainers on a project or hourly basis, but what about other roles like benefits administration, human resources, payroll, accounts payable, document management, safety, WSIB claims management and other daily business functions?

The thought of sharing personnel between two companies makes sense if you are lucky enough to find another company with the same part-time needs, however the likelihood of finding such a match is very slim.

The solution is outsourcing. Sometimes called BPO, business process outsourcing should not be confused with off-shore outsource. We are referring to the local kind - the small business kind, the "good for the domestic economy" kind.

The difference between hiring an expensive hourly specialist and outsourcing is in consistency of need. If you can reasonably predict that you will have a regular need for a particular piece of work, then a specialist outsource company can provide an expert service at a fraction of the cost of a full-time resource.
Take payroll, for example. An outsourced payroll service stays on top of tax reform, uses world-class software, ensures that your remittances and filing are compliant and offers a wide range of value-added services that are typically only available to world-class companies.

Another perfect example of BPO is workers compensation claims management and safety certification. This is complicated stuff and very difficult for the experts to stay on top of all the requirements and best practices. For a flat monthly fee, a claims management company can handle all your WSIB issues and will prove the ROI the deliver for their services.

HR-BPO (Human Resources - Business Process Outsourcing) is one of the fastest growing areas of outsourced services. It's an area of every business that offers the most because it is typically complicated, heavily legislated and compliance-oriented, plus any small increase in the service quality delivered to your existing employees will likely get the most recognition and appreciation.

Steve Jones is President of The People Bank, a division of Design Group Staffing Inc.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Are You Ready for AODA?

Are you ready for the AODA Legislation? Effective: January 1, 2012

Join us for a Complimentary Webinar on October 13 at 11am Eastern time

All Ontario employers must be compliant with AODA Legislation effective January 1, 2012. AODA is not about ramps or automatic door openers. It’s about being compliant in your customer service delivery to people with disabilities who may have different needs.Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to all provincially regulated employers in Ontario that provide goods or services, and have one or more employees.

This webinar will help you understand the standard and create your plan on accessible customer service.

To be compliant with this legislation you must:

  • Consider a person’s disability when communicating with them

  • Allow assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen tanks

  • Allow service animals

  • Welcome support persons

  • Provide notification of temporary disruption

  • Invite customers to provide feedback

  • Train staff on accessible customer service

Webinar Title:

Are you ready for the AODA Legislation? –Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT


Thursday, September 01, 2011

What elected officials should know about jobs

Dispelling the Myths

ACSESS: Your industry’s reputation starts with you

Reprinted from the Edmonton Journal August 30, 2011

Here in Ontario, we will be going to the polls in early October. At the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS), we believe it is important to keep politicians of all parties informed about your industry, whatever your industry is.

The reality of our society is that all of government’s services are paid for from taxes, and if the tax base is not sufficient then everything else suffers. So, in order to have a healthy society you need a healthy amount of people working and paying taxes, and enough companies paying taxes. After that, you can look at spending money on programs that increase the quality of life of your electorate.

The Staffing Industry is a huge influence on jobs. ACSESS members enable the job market, create the environment that allows people to find their next job (or their first job, for that matter), and to get the experience they need to move from temporary to permanent employment.

Did you know…

88% of staffing employees say that experience made them more employable;

77% of staffing employees say their temporary assignments led to full time work;

80% of staffing clients say they use it as a means to hire permanent employees;

80% of temporary and contract employees work full-time hours.

There are a lot of myths and negative messages concerning our industry, but here are just SOME of the benefits of the staffing industry.

Workforce benefits of the staffing industry:

1) Temporary and Contract – Employees

i. Explore a wide range of opportunities

ii. Find positions they are uniquely qualified for

iii. Valuable experience leading to career growth

iv. Lifestyle flexibility

2) Temporary and Contract – Employers

i. Reduce fixed costs

ii. Rapidly respond to economic changes

iii. Meet fluctuating labour demands

3) Search & Placement – Employees

i. A source of jobs the never get advertised

ii. Advice that helps get the job

iii. The inside track on employer needs

iv. Career advice

v. Insight into the employment marketplace

vi. Services at no charge

4) Search & Placement – Employers

i. Find the best people for the job

ii. Talent across a range of professions and trades

iii. Consultative advice, including HR

iv. Insight into the employment marketplace

If you work in the staffing industry, ACSESS encourages you to tell your elected officials about the value your industry brings to the economy. That way, when they are tempted to bring in legislation that will hurt the industry, they will at least understand the consequences of their actions.

If you work in another industry, we encourage you to develop messages that educate your elected officials about the value your industry brings.

Every economy needs jobs. Let’s tell politicians how best to help business do that!


The Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS) is the single voice promoting best practices and ethical standards for the recruitment, employment and staffing services industry in Canada. With more than 1,200 member offices offering staffing solutions in the areas of professional search, and temporary and contract staffing, ACSESS members provide a key service to businesses and offer a broad range of career planning and employment opportunities.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Workplace Loyalty & Motivation

It’s a simple equation. Employees who care about their work and their workplace are more likely to perform better. That’s why we take our “Employee Satisfaction” surveys seriously. Each year, every division of Design Group Staffing Inc. conducts a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey. We ask confidential opinion questions about supervisors, teams, divisions, executives, training, business processes, tools and technology. We set goals for employee satisfaction within our business plans. Expectations are defined within each manager’s performance appraisal and the actual results are factored into our management compensation and bonus plans. Here are six important lessons we have learned.

1. Keep Employees Happy & Keep Employees
It may seem like a daunting task but managing for employee satisfaction doesn’t have to be so elusive. At our company, a rookie employee typically becomes a net contributor within his/her second year on the job and then productivity continues to grow almost indefinitely. We know from experience that high employee satisfaction is the most significant factor affecting employee retention and that translates into higher per desk performance. Improve satisfaction, reduce turn-over and the results are profound.

2. Encourage Curiosity & Engagement
Technical skills and experience are an important part of any position. Often, the employees with the highest level of technical competency and experience have great ideas on how to improve but they don’t mention anything because they are stifled by a corporate culture of reluctance to change. We have the power to create an environment where employees feel comfortable, even excited, to learn more and offer new ideas. Foster a culture where questions and suggestions are encouraged and employees will feel like an important part of the “big picture”. Engaged employees translate into increased productivity.

3. Forgive Mistakes
Perhaps even you have made one or two (or three or four…) mistakes in your day. We all have, and so will our best employees. But they shouldn’t be afraid to make an occasional mistake. Accept mistakes as a learning opportunity. Encourage employees to try new things and, yes, make mistakes – so that they can learn from them. When employees aren’t afraid of being scolded by the boss for making a mistake, they’re more likely to embrace the mistake and truly learn.

4. Have Their Backs
Ever hear of the phrase “The customer is always right?” It’s an interesting catch phrase however, from time to time, your organization may have a customer that…well…isn’t. When an employee has followed procedure and tried their best, it’s important to “have his or her back” when dealing with an aggressive or dissatisfied customer. The same goes for when an employee who needs assistance with something like a faulty computer, or a tricky health benefits claim, or is in need of scheduling flexibility. Don’t let your employees take a beating from customers, or silly administrative policies. Show some empathy and support and your satisfied employee will return your thoughtfulness in spades.

5. Show Respect
This one probably shouldn’t have to be mentioned – it should be automatically ingrained in every organizational culture. It is simply the right thing to do, and it can also have a profound impact on employee morale. Act like a professional, and show professional and personal respect to your team.

6. Give Recognition
Taking a few minutes to call attention to something your team did, or to show your personal interest in your employees can make the world of a difference in how people feel about their work and their employer. Show recognition for special days, anniversaries and achievements. People don’t quit companies, they usually quit their supervisor. A small amount of interest can make a big impact.

At The People Bank, we complete our annual Employee Satisfaction Survey to ensure we’re doing things right with our team. Employee satisfaction leads to increased results for you. If you are interested in learning more about our survey or how we ensure our best-of-class employees feel like superstars, contact our team. We’d be happy to talk to you.

Steve Jones Blog can also be found on The People Bank website at

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Canadian Staffing Index - June 2011

“Although the Staffing Index remains below the pre-recession 100 level, it is continuing along an encouraging trajectory. On the ground, ACSESS members are reporting anecdotally that temporary assignments are lengthening, more employers are hiring permanent employees with the assistance of staffing companies, and there is a return to the traditional and predictable seasonal fluctuations in Temporary hours,” explained ACSESS President, Bryan Toffey, adding that, “These are all signs of stability and cautious optimism in the Canadian employment market.”

The Canadian Staffing Index measures the hours of labour performed by a sampling of temporary and contract staffing in the staffing industry. The data collected is the largest sample size done in Canada provided by a number of Canadian staffing companies and accounts for approximately one third of total staffing industry sales. To preserve confidentiality the data is collected by Staffing Industry Analysts; an independent company specialized in staffing industry statistics. Data is available for the months starting July 2008 (the benchmark month) to the current month.

In review of similar Index research from the USA, many experts agree staffing industry employment data serves as an economic indicator. Historically, temporary employment improves as overtime hours increase and as unemployment claims decrease. This means the Index can provide a "near real time" indication of how the Canadian economy is performing.

"The Canadian Staffing Index demonstrates both the changes in the Canadian economy and the volatile nature of the staffing business. It is that ability to provide a flexible workforce that brings tremendous value to our clients."

For more information regarding the Canadian Staffing Index contact:

Amanda Curtis, CAE
Executive Director, ACSESS
1-888-232-4962 / 905-826-6869

Friday, July 08, 2011

More Canadian Job Creation

Go Canada!

The Canadian Staffing Index produced by Acsess (Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services) has consistently given us a two to three month leading indicator on job creation.

28,000 Canadian Jobs created in Canada is considered to be a moderate by meaningful number of new jobs indicating that we are still improving. Its my impression over the years that the Statistics Canada employment numbers are not always spot on but the aggregate sum of their employment data over any rolling three month period is probably pretty accurate. This is three consecutive months of reported gains. Woo Hoo!

It's nice to see Ontario's manufacturing continue recovering. Alberta is also making tremendous gains thanks to a strong resource commodity sector.

To see where some of these jobs are, you can follow The People Bank on Facebook. Just click the like button!

Follow more blog postings by Steve Jones of The People Bank on The People Bank Website

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Temp Staffing Index Continues to Rise

Staffing Index Turns Upward, May 2011
The Canadian staffing index — a measure of temporary staffing in Canada — edged up one point to 85 in May, the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS) reported Thursday.

The news is mixed from sector-to-sector, according to ACSESS President Bryan Toffey. “We’re still seeing some shutdowns and lower hours worked in manufacturing, particularly with respect to the automotive segment. Despite this, the demand for services remains strong, keeping the total number of hours worked per day on the rise.”

The index has demonstrated consistent long-term growth, said Robert Balicki, research associate with Staffing Industry Analysts, which produces the Canadian staffing index in conjunction with ACSESS. “Though the [May] gain was small, year-over-year growth was 8 percent. This is the sixteenth month of uninterrupted year-over-year gains, truly a good sign for the Canadian temporary staffing industry and the overall economy.”

The staffing index measures the hours of labor performed by temporary and contract staff in May of 2011 compared to the benchmark index of 100 established in July of 2008.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Inexpensive Perks - Attract & retain Talent

May 17th, 2011

For most companies, the idea of a big bonus or an automatic salary increase has been relegated to “the good old days.” But there are ways to add perks to a job listing and reward your employees without sending your company to the poorhouse. Offering flex-time, telecommuting, and tuition reimbursement are the most popular, but there are many more options. Use a little creativity and you’ll create a buzz about your business that will attract and retain top talent.

Here’s some perks to consider:

• Sports & Entertainment: Buy tickets from charity silent-auction tables for theatre, hockey, baseball, football or basketball and offer them as recognition, rewards and thank you throughout the year.

• Catch A Movie: Give away movie tickets (and money for popcorn, snacks and drinks).

• Grab A Bite: Restaurant coupons are always popular. Include a bottle of wine to say thank you to hardworking spouses for all that overtime work.

• Give A Gift Card: Whether it is to a local retailer, a Tim Horton’s card or shopping mall certificates, these are great ways to say thanks for a job well-done.

• Come And Get It: Leave the office early and treat everybody to a barbeque at a local park or throw a summer ice cream party or a winter pizza party in the conference room.

• Club Memberships Aren’t What They Used To Be: Most employees don’t need or want a fancy club membership but a family membership to a warehouse store like Costco will help your employees with food and clothing.

• Come Fly Away: If you don’t let your employees keep frequent flier miles earned for their business travel, use the accumulated miles to buy free flights for employees and/or pre-paid vacations at resorts or spas. (Mexico and the Caribbean are very popular destinations during Canadian winters.)

• Play, Dance, Laugh: Take some time to play games. Organize games in the park, ski days, skating parties, sailing excursions or fishing tours. Enter teams into charity bike-a-thons, walk-a-thons and 5 km runs. Bring in board games, cards or play charades. Break-out sessions at meetings and training days should include fun team building activities. Physical exercise and laughter are great perks.

• Ahhh! Spa: Have local masseuses come in and give chair massages to your employees. Reflexology foot massages are great, too. Also, buy some gift certificates to a neighborhood spa and treat your hard-working employees to some serious relaxation.

• Sponsor Teams: Offer to sponsor your employee’s kids’ Little League teams. Your company name on every uniform is good advertising too!

Look around your own life to see the types of things that make your daily existence just a little cushier and then offer those things to your employees. You’ll attract and maintain the good ones without breaking the bank.

To help you find those great employees, contact The People Bank today.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Partners in Prevention speakers say CEOs must focus on workplace safety – Daily Commercial News

Partners in Prevention speakers say CEOs must focus on workplace safety – Daily Commercial News


staff writer

Improving safety in workplaces has to be a constant focus of conversation in company boardrooms, say the top executives of four Ontario-based companies.

“We are the keepers of the keys. If we are not living and breathing it, then we should not expect our employees to embrace that safety culture,” said Ted Moroz, president of The Beer Store and Brewers Retail Limited.

“CEOs have to embrace it … and have to surround themselves with people that share those values so employees believe you when you talk about how much you care for them.”

Moroz was joined by Frank Saunders, vice- president of nuclear oversight and regulatory affairs for Bruce Power, Roy Slack, president of Cementation Canada Inc. and Steve Jones, president of The People Bank, on a panel moderated by CBC TV journalist Amanda Lang during the recent Partners in Prevention 2011 Health and Safety Conference and Trade Show.

“Visibility is key,” said Saunders. “If a CEO does not ask about safety, people will believe he is not thinking about it. In the executive boardroom, how much does the issue of safety come up?”

Safety is paramount for a mining company like Cementation Canada that basically does “underground construction” as Slack said. In addition to already conducting intense work, a growing workforce always tests the safety culture of a firm such as Cementation since integrating new workers presents the possibilities for site safety to erode.

“We are hiring more people — our Canadian operations have 600 more employees in the last eight months — so you try to establish your corporate culture of safety on these projects,” explained Slack.

“We are working on how do we orientate. How do we get new people into our culture as quickly as possible?

“That is our challenge, to get back to zero (injuries),” said Slack. “It is a constant battle. There’s always a chance of an injury and you have to do whatever you can to prevent them. To get to zero is one point. Sustaining it is another challenge.”

Slack said that for some projects, a management team will show pictures and reports of other Cementation project sites that achieved perfect safety records to prove it is possible.

In the temporary staffing industry, there’s a highly transitional workforce that enters a work environment that companies like The People Bank cannot manage, supervise or control, said Jones. Joining industry safety associations has been key in learning best practices, innovations, improved worker training, securing rebates and injury reduction, he added.

Jones said his company’s safety culture focuses on “activities” such as inspections or training program attendance to see if the safety message is coming through. Year-end reports are “lagging indicators” of safety effectiveness.

“Focus on the activities knowing that if we are doing the right thing today the result we will get, in the future, is the result we are hoping for,” Jones said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Linkedin Resume Builder

Over 22,000 LinkedIn users have signed up for the new "Resume Builder" application since it was introduced in December 2010. Resume Builder is a new feature created by LinkedIn employee Yevgeniy Brikmanthat through a monthly employee competition called Hackadays.

In my test of the application, I was able to develop a reasonably professional looking resume in less than 5 minutes by allowing it to use my existing LinkedIn profile.

I admit that my existing Linkedin profile is designed to attract attention through key word searches rather than with a resume in mind. I've been in the same job with the same company for 28 years and don't really expect to need a resume any day soon but with another 4 minutes of work on my profile content, I would have a resume that rocks!

If you are a job seeker and need professional looking CV, never mind those complicated Microsoft templates with restrictive frames and hidden formatting; check out LinkedIn Resume Builder. If the content on your profile is good enough for public viewing on the social network then it should be good enough for a resume.

There are eleven formats to choose from. Resumes can be exported and printed in PDF format. Also, each resume gets a custom link that you can share with others via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Another great innovation for job seekers and recruiters from our friends at Linkedin.

Check it out

Steve Jones
Wiki - "Curriculum vitae is a latin expression which can be loosely translated as [the] course of [my] life."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ontario Family Day. Seriously, what’s all the confusion about?

Following the Ontario election of 2007, the Ontario Liberal government introduced Family Day as Ontario’s ninth provincial holiday adding to the pre-existing holidays of New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Alberta and Saskatchewan also celebrate Family Day. Under a different name, Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day and PEI celebrates Island Day on the same third Monday of February each year. It is a school board holiday, in Newfoundland but not an official provincial holiday.

The third Monday of February is a regular working day in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the territories. To confuse matters further, Family Day is not recognized in any province by the federal government of Canada.

The provincial Employment Standards Act and provincial governments do not have the jurisdictional authority over labour laws affecting people who work within federally regulated industries. The federal government of Canada retains authority over employment laws applicable to chartered banks, the post office, inter-provincial trucking, airlines, railways, broadcast communications companies, shipping firms and telephone companies.

Ironically, the Family Day holiday continues to cause great confusion in the National Capital Region and the Ontario Premier’s own provincial home riding of Ottawa South where a significant percentage of the riding’s population are employed by the federal government of Canada and other federally regulated industries. Notwithstanding all the hoopla made by McGuinty propagandists about the importance of a new Family Day holiday, many of those who elected the Premier are not eligible to take advantage of the day off with pay.

Greater disappointment and confusion arises, when two working parents are employed within different industries. A parent employed within the federal government is required to work while children are given the day off by provincially run schools and spouses are home because most private sector businesses are closed.

Even further confusion arises for the thousands of Ontarians living near the Quebec border who are employed by Quebec based companies. They are not permitted the day off because it is not a Quebec holiday. Conversely, Quebec residents who are employed by Ontario based companies are given the day off with pay but they sit home without kids and spouse as Quebec schools and business remain open. This all seems to take the “Family” out of the Family Day, doesn’t it?

If you are not confused enough, the temporary staffing industry and other provincially regulated businesses that provide services to the federal government are required to give their workers a day off with pay while the federal government users of these services are all at the office. Imagine two-hundred thousand federal government employees aghast by having to make their own coffee, fix their own printer, answer their own phones and type their own memos.

In one recently leaked, misguided and then retracted missive, a federal government employee actually claimed to have the authority to over-rule provincial employment standards, commanding their provincially regulated service providers to attend work and denounced the prescribed laws which guarantee time & one half pay. Thankfully, that memo has been deep-sixed.

Imagine a situation where an employee is a resident of Quebec, working for an Ontario based provincially regulated employer that provides services to the federal government of Canada at a service site located in Hull Quebec. The rules are clear. The worker is entitled to a day off with pay. Why is that not obvious?

Would you like to know the Ontario government’s prescribed method to calculate the amount of public holiday pay? Let’s leave that for another blog on St. Jean Baptiste Day or Remembrance Day when everything will be clear as mud.

For greater clarity, you can find out more about Ontario Public Holidays and the Employment Standards Act at

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Chris Roach - Regional Director of Business Services

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Chris Roach has joined the leadership team of The People Bank, a division of Design Group Staffing Inc. (DGSI)

Chris joins The People Bank as Regional Director of Business Services in a role specifically created to suit his talents. Chris will leverage his industry specialization and well established relationships within the Electronics, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace Science, Defense and Manufacturing sectors to help develop new markets, new branch offices and new services for our company.

He is recognized as a thoughtful executive who understands the opportunities in the market and then leverages the knowledge and skills of his teams to translate those opportunities into plans, actions and results. Chris brings exceptional operating experience and a strategic strength that will undoubtedly contribute to the continued renowned success of The People Bank and Design Group Staffing Inc.

I first met Chris over 15 years ago when he was rapidly advancing his career and developing his reputation with TES Staffing. He immediately impressed me as a much needed future leader in the Canadian staffing industry. In more recent times, he served six years as President of Cadre an Engineering Search and Contract staffing firm, a company named one of the top 50 fastest-growing Canadian small businesses in 2007. During his entire 23 years within the recruitment and staffing industry, Chris has earned his reputation as a staffing industry expert, a talented practitioner, a tenacious hard worker and most importantly, he has been fulfilling his role as an ethical and inspirational role model and thought leader within the Canadian staffing industry.

Chris Roach has served as a board member and past President of ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services); the single national voice and governing body for staffing providers. He has served on industry committees for Ethics & Standards, Government Relations & Legislation, Professional Certification and Education & Safety. He currently serves on the ACSESS National Nominating Committee.

The People Bank is a specialty division of Design Group Staffing Inc., Canada’s largest privately owned staffing firm. DG Staffing Inc. (DGSI) operates specialty divisions and brands such as Design Group, The People Bank, Inteqna, Project Search Group, Placement Group, Aimco Staffing Solutions, Allen Professional Search, La Banque de Personnel and The Medical Recruitment Network. We provide permanent search, contract and temporary staffing, payroll services and managed services for thousands of Canadian customers and tens of thousands of employment opportunities each year.

Design Group Staffing Inc. has been consistently selected as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, and has earned Platinum Status, one of this country’s most elite business designations. Our commitment to quality is reflected in our ISO 9001:2000 certification and our commitment to safety is reflected in our COR safety standard in Alberta and as a founding member of the Ontario WSIB/ACSESS Safety Group.

Although we lead the industry in size, business process and recognition, our success truly comes from our team of great people. We are very pleased and proud to announce that Chris Roach has made the decision to become a member of our team.

Steve Jones
Business Services Division, DGSI
The People Bank, Aimco Staffing Solutions, Allen Professional Search, La Banque de Personnel

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Canadian Staffing Industry Leads The Way

We can look back upon 2010 and easily describe it as the year of staffing industry leadership. For starters, we lead the Canadian economy out of recession by helping employers fulfill their rehiring plans. While we were going about our business, our new Canadian Staffing Index provided a leading indicator of job recovery for economists, businesses leaders and government policy makers.

Our Safety Groups also showed tremendous leadership, helping to prove that staffing companies are some of Canada’s best and most responsible employers. ACSESS, in cooperation with the Alberta government, the Workers Compensation Board and the Alberta Association of Safety Partnerships, initiated the first industry specific Certificate of Recognition (COR) safety program and over thirty member companies registered to help lead the way.

The members of the Ontario ACSESS Safety Group continued to “lead by example”, demonstrating the kind of leadership that fosters pride in our industry. Once again, this Safety Group was successful in reducing lost time injuries and frequency of incidents and they were rewarded with over $900,000 in member rebates. Leadership has its benefits!

Our Chapter Presidents are also stepping up their leadership game. Local Presidents from across Canada have been regularly meeting with each other to discuss, share and learn best practices in the operation of a local chapter and to develop winning chapter initiatives.

During our annual conference in 2010 we recognized the following people and companies for their leadership:

Award of Excellence, Johanne Berry, CPC, Tele-Ressources Ltee.
Leadership Award, Jacqueline Pourreaux, CPC, Hunt Personnel
Special Recognition Award, Sherri Strong, CPC, The People Bank
Community Service Award, Randstad Canada
Community Service Award, The Bagg Group
Health & Safety Award, C-S Personnel Ltd.

Time after time, ACSESS members assume various leadership roles with a sense of purpose, shared vision and a desire to make our individual companies better and our industry better. As we turn every corner another staffing industry professional is leading us to change and improve. You are a passionate group and it’s no surprise that the staffing industry is the source of so many leaders doing so many great things.

In this issue recently published issue of Dialogue and on the ACSESS website, you’ll find a summary of the upcoming conference for 2011. Whether you are looking to lead or to be lead, the industry’s best will converge on Montreal in May 2011. If you are staffing professional, this is an event that you don’t want to miss.

(Reprinted from my President's Message in ACSESS Dialogue Magazine)


Steve Jones

ACSESS National President

Click here for: ACSESS Conference Brochure and Registration Form

Click here for: ACSESS Dialogue Magazine