Temporary Jobs are Reshaping the Canadian Job Market
Demand for short-term workers has risen across Canada, and temporary jobs could become the new normal for the current generation.
Research from staffing giant Randstad shows that demand for temporary workers grew by 15 percent in the second quarter of the year. Full-time jobs rose 0.2 percent between June of 2013 and June of this year, while part-time jobs rose a full percent within the same period. This may indicate that todays employers prefer to make less of a commitment when hiring new workers.
Slow job growth due to insecurity about the global economy has fostered the influx of temporary gigs. Specifically, temporary blue-collar jobs are in high demand, with a 40 percent increase from the first quarter of this year to the second quarter. Western Canada has seen the biggest increases in temporary white-collar jobs, up 18 percent from May of 2013.
Temporary work assignments appeal to employers who arent able to provide pension plans, benefits or vacation days to their workers. And many of todays potential employees are willing to accept those conditions, as the unemployment rate climbed to 7.1 percent in June.
Overall, Canadas job market is switching from traditional tenure at one company towards contract, freelance or temporary work. Young people who are new to the workforce are being offered many of these temporary positions. Their lack of experience and competition within the market keeps them from being able to bargain for benefits or a long-term contract, thereby limiting their options.
The trend towards higher levels of temporary employment reflects the instability of the economy. A number of recent elections have contributed to this, as many businesses have been careful about spending and hiring. Many companies are unwilling to expand their workforce until they see the effects of new legislation.
The recession is still influencing businesses and the hiring decisions they make.According to Tara Talbot, vice president of human resources at jobs website Workopolis, The recession hit a lot of companies hard, and it seems that many have been reluctant to increase expenses by bringing on full-time permanent staff. So this has contributed to an increased use of part-time and contract employees, Talbot told the Huffington Post.
But temporary work arrangements can be beneficial or even ideal for some workers; particularly those just entering the workforce, as they provide knowledge and experience that can aid young employees in determining their ideal career while also providing income in the meantime.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.