Archive for the 'Employers' Category
March 28th, 2013 by Procom News
A new jobs program could help firms find the talent they need to staff IT jobs in Canada, as it will make an effort to harness government funding to ensure that job seekers are given the training they need to find employment.
Canada jobs plan
The Canada Job Grant will help reinvigorate the nation's workforce and help eliminate the gap that exists between the skills that workers have and what employers are looking for by providing specific training programs, according to the Economic Action Plan 2013.
Starting in fiscal year 2014-2015, this new jobs program will take the place of the existing Labour Market Agreements, according to The Globe and Mail.
Preference for skill
The new jobs plan notes the urgent need of the nation to put a larger fraction of its workforce into positions that require skill. The preference was noted in the 2013 budget, the media outlet reports.
"Employers are very much seeking people with the right skills," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently told members of the media, the news source reports. "We are trying to get to the point where training means jobs, not just training."
He said that for such a situation to be created, employers must contribute.
Job Grant details
Once the rollout of the new jobs plan is complete, market participants expect that the government program will make training provided by various eligible institutions such as career colleges, community colleges and trade union trading centers available to almost 130,000 Canadians a year, according to Economic Action Plan 2013.
Participants will be eligible to receive as much as $15,000 each, and another $5,000 from the federal government, as well as matching contributions from companies and provinces in the area.
Efficacy of jobs programs
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa stated that government programs have succeeded in creating skilled positions such as IT jobs in the past, The Globe and Mail reports. He specifically cited Employment Ontario, saying that this program has facilitated the efforts of many different employers in finding the skilled labor that they need.
The faith in such government initiatives was mirrored by employers in the region, according to the news source.
"We've been strongly supportive of increased focus on training and apprenticeship programs for Canadian workers," David Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, an industry that has faced challenges from a lack of skilled workers, told the news source. "It's clearly dependent on the provinces also stepping up to the plate but I think they see … this as a significant issue as well."
March 27th, 2013 by Procom News
A high tech firm based in Silicon Valley is planning to establish a new research and development (R&D) facility in Windsor and therefore create IT jobs.
IT jobs in Canada
ARADA Systems, a company that focuses on next generation Wi-Fi solutions for the enterprise business and automotive markets, plans to create between 50 and 60 new positions in the area, according to CTV Windsor. The Wi-Fi service provider plans to start out by creating 20 engineering jobs and then later build out to the larger figure as revenue picks up.
"Our team is comprised of several Qualcomm-Atheros engineers who created a new vision for enabling Wi-Fi beyond basic connectivity," Praveen Singh, president and chief executive officer of ARADA, told the media outlet. "We are proud to say that we have seeded over 150 companies world-wide."
A discussion between two individuals of the India-Canada community served as the impetus for the company's decision to create positions in the North American nation, Dave Hall writes in a blog post appearing in The Windsor Star. As a result of this exchange, Praveen Singh, president and chief operating officer of ARADA Systems, was contacted by Rakesh Naidu, who currently serves as the acting chief operating officer of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.
"My friend knew Praveen was looking to open a new center and put us in touch and we've been working with them ever since to try and make this happen," Naidu stated, according to the news source. "It's a very exciting development for this region because this is not existing on-the-shelf technology, this is entirely new technology."
Joseph Byrne, chair of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, noted the importance of the move and how it will help stimulate the region's local economy, telling CTV Windsor that "this investment is very important and is another example of the region's diversification efforts and goals in cultivating investors that will bring high-tech jobs to our region."
According to Hall, Singh noted the signs that Windsor is making progress, noting the existence of widespread construction, a "world-class parkway" and also the creation of a new bridge. The executive emphasized his belief in the opportunities present in the area, stating that "we believe this community is at the gateway of change and so is our sector."
Singh is also working with major automakers in Detroit, and the closeness that his firm has to these key industry players could potentially lead to the creation of more IT jobs in Canada.
March 14th, 2013 by Procom News
Chief information officers (CIOs) in Canada are planning to hire people for IT jobs in the second quarter of the year, according to a recent survey.
Many companies in the nation are encountering challenges in their IT staffing efforts since they are either unsure as to what job specifications they are looking to fill or grappling with other challenges, Shane Schick writes in Dashboard, a Yahoo Finance blog.
In the survey, which was created by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research company, plans to add more IT positions were expressed by 7 percent of the participating CIOs, and another 74 percent of these executives specified they will continue to hire for positions that become available in the next three months.
Aside from those respondents who plan to select workers for roles, another 16 percent do not plan to do any hiring and an additional 2 percent expect to reduce their existing IT staff resources.
The survey revealed the existence of many challenges that employers are having finding the talent they need. Of the CIOs that took part in the poll, 55 reported encountering difficulty when trying to find the talent they are looking for.
Networking was the task that presented the largest number of these executives with challenges, as 14 percent indicated that getting qualified candidates was not easy. Another 12 percent of the survey participants specified that finding people to fill applications development jobs was difficult, and 13 percent pointed to staffing software development roles.
Schick stated that the needs of many companies for IT workers are changing, as the growing use of office technology could potentially reduce the need for basic helpdesk functions. In addition, fewer internal workers may be needed as a growing number of employers outsource their needs to cloud computing providers.
Leslie Heathers, metro market manager at Robert Half Technology, told Schick in a phone interview that companies looking to hire employers frequently have an unclear idea of what they want.
"Many times companies will have a job description on their Web site and they'll tell us, 'Oh that one's old. We just put that up there to see if we get any hits,'" Heathers stated. "That's the very first thing that a candidate asks us for. It's not about where the job is or even always what the pay is, it's what is the role?"
Companies may benefit from utilizing this information when they look to staff IT jobs in Canada.
March 6th, 2013 by Procom News
Canada's labor market seems to be moving toward having a higher fraction of more-skilled positions such as IT jobs, according to a recently released report from TD Economics.
The report indicates that between the years of 1999 and 2010, the fraction of the nation's labor force that consists of high-skilled employees surged 8.6 percent, and this robust gain can largely be attributed to the creation of jobs in technical and professional fields.
Derek Burleton, who works as vice president and deputy chief economist at TD Economics and authored the report, said that the robust growth in high-wage jobs has not caused this segment of the labor force to enjoy outsized wage gains.
The company executive notes that the different sections of Canada's labor force have been enjoying wage growth at similar amounts during the period studied – between 2.5 and 3.5 percent per year.
Many market experts have asserted that the nation suffers from a skills gap, according to a recent Wall Street Journal blog piece. In response to this idea, Burleton wrote that "the absence of notable upward wage pressures in highly-demanded areas of the market raise questions as to the degree of skills mismatch that has been occurring under the surface."
While Canada increased its share of high-skilled jobs during the period, the fraction of the labor force with medium-skilled workers dropped 4.7 percent and low-skilled jobs fell 1.9 percent. The report notes that the shift from jobs in the medium skill part of the spectrum to the high skill part has been less intense than in the U.S.
The report credited a few factors with this less pronounced migration of labor opportunities to higher-skilled endeavors, including the sustained strength of the Canadian construction sector, which has continually supported medium-skilled jobs.
One major contributor to the surging share of high-skilled jobs has been the surging government expenditures on health and education, which have helped fuel growth in professional and IT jobs. Around 300,000 new roles have been created in education and healthcare supported by government spending.
Expansion in these roles – for jobs such as lawyer and engineer – have come as the general number of medium-skilled management jobs have been declining. These job losses have been happening mostly in the communications and retail sectors.
Only time will tell if Canada's labor force continues the trend of the last 10 years toward adding more high-skilled roles such as IT jobs.
February 28th, 2013 by Procom News
During late 2012, it was discovered that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) experienced a major privacy breach, and now new information has led to the implication of the Justice Department in the incident. This large-scale data loss event indicates that some organizations could be doing more to fill IT jobs with security experts.
According to Postmedia News, on November 16, 2012, an unencrypted USB drive containing the personal information, including Social Insurance Numbers, of more than 5,000 Canadians was lost by a Department of Justice lawyer. The lawyer was reportedly using the information to prepare for the appeals process as those individuals contested decisions over their disability payments. Because the drive was not protected, it is possible that many of these people could experience identity theft, something that many security experts in IT jobs are increasingly working to prevent through safer data management.
"Sensitive personal information was stored on unencrypted portable storage devices and not properly secured," said Ian Shugart, deputy minister of the HRSDC, said earlier in February according to the CBC News. "This should not have occurred."
CBC News reported that the discoveries have led the Privacy Commissioner's Office to expand its investigation of the HRSDC to include the Department of Justice.
Data loss is a major problem among organizations today. The world of information security is constantly changing, and it can be difficult for individuals to stay abreast of developments when it comes to the latest threats and their solutions. Fortunately, data breaches like the one that the federal government experienced can be prevented with some relatively simple safeguarding measures. Encryption, for example, is absolutely essential for all devices that contain confidential client information. Even if the object is lost or broken into, the information will be useless to anyone who wishes to use it for purposes it was not intended for.
One place where IT professionals can assist businesses in preventing data breaches is by guiding management in the development of comprehensive policies to keep information secure. Not only is data security important for the wellbeing of clients, but it is important for businesses as well. Breaches can negatively effect a business' reputation, and some data loss may even result in significant loss of productivity. Workers in IT jobs should be familiar with industry security standards and how to implement best practices seamlessly. The IT specialists can use their knowledge to train the rest of the staff to work safely.
Business leaders who feel that their IT departments could use strengthening may wish to consult with an IT staffing company, which can help address any skills gaps your organization may be suffering from.
February 27th, 2013 by Procom News
TELUS health recently announced its plans to acquire MD Practice Software, a leading provider of electronic medical records solutions. The deal, set to close on March 4, is representative of the industry-wide shift toward paperless information management and also indicates potential for the creation of many IT jobs.
Because of the acquisition, TELUS Health is poised to bring advanced electronic medical records solutions to 9,000 Canadian clinicians. In addition to aiding physicians and generating IT jobs, TELUS plans to serve more than 25 million patients with its health information management systems.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), there are many benefits associated with electronic medical records. Perhaps most importantly, through more cohesive organization of patient data and more accessible resources, doctors are able to treat patients quicker and with fewer mistakes}, improving outcomes.
"The most important concern for physicians is to provide the highest quality health care to their patients," said Dr. Anna Reid, President of the Canadian Medical Association. "Electronic medical records that connect front line physicians with health care teams are an important tool in delivering high-quality care."
The NCBI also noted that hospital staff also see positive effects from electronic medical record implementation. Doctors save time through easier methods of recording patient data, and hospitals on a whole save the costs associated with paper, as well as with wasted or inaccurately recorded medical resources.
Electronic medical records do still have progress to make in Canada, however. According to InformationWeek, a recent study by the Commonwealth Fund found Canada to be falling behind when it comes to multifunctional electronic healthcare systems, with usage rates at only 10 percent. The research also indicated that only 14 percent of Canadian doctors are capable of sharing lab results and patient information electronically. With events like TELUS acquisition of MD Practice Software, these numbers may improve, as a wider network of doctors will be using the same management systems.
Ongoing efforts to implement electronic medical records require the support of IT professionals who can ensure the proper deployment and maintenance of the technology. It is likely that the switch from traditional records keeping methods to more advanced ones will create a number of IT jobs in the field of healthcare IT. Hospitals may benefit from using IT staffing firms to fill these positions. With expansive networks of high-quality job seekers at their disposal, staffing agencies may provide the answer to managers' difficult hiring challenges.
February 27th, 2013 by Procom News
In the past, many entrepreneurs packed their bags and traveled to the United States to build their businesses, but according to the Financial Post, many of them are coming home to Canada, and this may translate into the creation of new IT jobs.
Several entrepreneurs interviewed by the Financial Post praised Canada's business environment for a variety of reasons. Benefits of working in Canada in their estimation included a more stable economy, less cutthroat competition and lower costs when it comes to considerations such as healthcare. Finding higher-quality workers, including for IT jobs, was also a motivation for heading back north.
"I found recruiting the appropriate talent and giving them the incentive to stay and be dedicated to the company in Silicon Valley was a fool's errand," Brian Shuster, founder of Utherverse, told the Financial Post. "Everyone is looking for stock options and an IPO, and no one cared what they did as long as they got the title they wanted."
But in Canada, Shuster found technology workers to be less jaded and more creative. When he came back, he was able to employ 60 workers who met his needs for innovative and committed professionals.
According to University of Toronto Magazine, Canadian researchers may also be part of the "reverse brain drain" happening in Canada right now. The magazine noted that of the university's 257 Canada Research Chairs, 34 are experts who were recruited back to Canada and 40 are immigrants. One of the major draws for professors who had previously defected may be foundation grants, totaling $36.5 million, that allow the institution to employ academics at highly competitive salaries.
As more business owners find themselves staying in or returning to Canada to work on their careers, it is possible that this will translate to more IT jobs. Where there are entrepreneurs, there is a need for technologically-savvy workers to take care of the more behind-the-scenes details. Many of these companies may also be vendors of IT solutions, and it isn't too difficult to see how those businesses would be able to boost the job market for IT workers.
Companies returning to Canada and in need of a strong information technology department may also wish to look to an IT staffing firm to fill their needs. Bringing in a third party can help lessen some of the burdens of searching for employees, including giving business leaders access to a wide network of experts that may not have access to otherwise.
February 27th, 2013 by Procom News
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) recently released the results of an information technology survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, which revealed that many IT jobs related to cybersecurity are not adequately filled.
In the ISC2 survey polled 12,000 IT security professionals, and 56 percent of respondents reported that their organizations are short-staffed, indicating the need for more IT jobs. Fifteen percent of these individuals indicated that they were not able to estimate the amount of downtime their company would experience in the wake of a cyberattack, even though hacktivism, cyberterrorism and hacking were among their top three concerns.
There may also be differences in how higher-ranking executives see staffing issues versus how those working more closely with security issues perceive them.
"[CIOs are] a little bit more optimistic than those working in the field [on security]," Michael Suby, vice-president of security research at Frost & Sullivan, told IT World Canada. "That's a sign there's a bit of a gap between what the executive suite knows of the problem, or perceives of the challenges, and what their rank and file does."
In order for IT departments to be effective, it may be beneficial for C-suite executives and workers farther down the chain to reach consensus when it comes to what constitutes adequate staffing.
The ISC2's research also found that 74 percent of IT workers see BYOD as a challenge to security, and 68 percent of respondents ranked social media as a safety concern. Considering that both of these items are still relatively new in the IT world, professionals who are highly knowledgeable about up-to-date cybersecurity strategies may be more necessary than ever.
According to the ISC2, IT may be a stable career for tech experts. More than 80 percent of IT professionals reported no changed in their employment status in the past year, while nearly 60 percent of these individuals also report receiving a raise during that time. Research suggested that stability will continue to be the trend, with 11 percent growth in the industry projected over the next five years.
One way that hiring-level executives can take care of this need for cybersecurity experts is through an IT staffing agency. These firms tend to be abreast of the most current needs of today's IT departments, and can help find professionals that fit CIOs' specific needs.
February 25th, 2013 by Procom News
Professionals with IT jobs know that the notion of Internet security is constantly changing. Cybersecurity leader McAfee recently released its 2012 Q4 report, and the study reflects some disturbing trends that experts may need to watch for in 2013.
In its report, McAfee found that the number of password-stealing trojans is up 72 percent, showing that many hackers are targeting authentication credentials, possibly in order to steal sensitive data for use in criminal activities. Many of these threats are becoming highly-targeted and customized, hiding convincingly among more benign notifications. This may make it more important than ever for experts in IT jobs to stay abreast of developments with cyber risk management strategies.
Master Boot Record-related malware was also found to be up by 27 percent, especially concerning because these cyberattack tools conceal themselves inside PCs so effectively that most antivirus software cannot detect and eliminate them.
"We are seeing attacks shifting into a variety of new areas, from factories, to corporations, to government agencies, to the infrastructure that connects them together," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice-president of McAfee Labs. "This represents a new chapter in cybersecurity in that threat-development, driven by the lure of financial industry profits, has created a growing underground market for these cybercrime weapons, as well as creative new approaches to thwarting security measures common across industries."
One of the biggest areas of concern uncovered by the study is the vulnerability of Android devices. When it came to mobile malware attacks, nearly all were targeted to the platform, with Symbian coming in a very distant second. McAfee reported that mobile malware attacks are likely to be increasingly common in the coming year.
According to the study, one of the more pressing issues for both personal users and businesses in Canada may be botnet infections. The researchers found that Canada, Poland and Indonesia experienced growth between 11 and 19 percent in these attacks. While this is a significant increase in security risk, these figures were dwarfed by Russia and China, where growth was pegged at 43 and 41 percent, respectively.
McAfee's report shows that Internet security will continue to be a major issue in 2013 for businesses, but this could possibly have positive effects on IT jobs in Canada. With companies becoming even more aware of risks to their information, they may focus heavily on recruiting highly-qualified professionals to help them bring they systems under control and into compliance. IT staffing agencies may also be able to help address these increasing needs.
February 13th, 2013 by Procom News
When Canadian companies are looking to hire people for IT jobs, often some of the first candidates to get a call come from Generation Y. Being the first generation to really grow up with computers in their lives, plenty of people assume that millennials must be well-versed in the basics of not only computer operation, but also data security.
It turns out that might be giving some people a bit too much credit. A new survey from IT giant Cisco points to millennials as a big emerging threat to company data security.
While this generation has grown up alongside the internet and computers, they have also come to expect a certain level of privacy (at least in certain contexts), freedom and personal choice. All of these concepts might be fine in the broader scheme of things, but for businesses they can introduce a greater degree of risk if employees are careless about the sites the visit, the apps they use or even what emails they open.
The report found that the problem is increasingly difficult as the nature of online threats changes from the traditional perception. While the assumption used to be that most viruses came from visiting inappropriate sites, increasingly these problems stem from legitimate sites such as search engines, shopping sites and, in particular, advertisements.
“Although most Gen Y respondents do not trust websites to protect personal information (75 percent), such as credit card and personal contact details, their lack of confidence does not deter their online behavior, gambling that they will not be compromised,” the company wrote in a release. “This puts a large amount of pressure on companies when these individuals take risks online with work devices on corporate networks.”
This backs up a report released last year by ZoneAlarm, which found that security was a far lower priority for Generation Y, according to ZDNet.
This makes two distinct pressures for IT jobs in Canada. First, companies cannot assume too much about qualifications based solely on age. But more importantly, it means that businesses must put a great deal of emphasis on creating strong, effective security policies without completely alienating the latest generation of workers.
As much as new skills are filtering into the workplace with time, data security is not really one of them, and it needs to be a key focus of any hiring strategy.