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The Daily Hive Vancouver

DailyHive Interview with our MD: Tap Into Vancouver’s Hidden Job Market

We’re extremely excited to mention of a recent interview that our Team Captain, Michael just held with the fine people over at the Daily Hive Vancouver.

Michael let fly with some of his well-kept secrets on how to tap into some lesser-known resources for jobs in Vancouver. What he means by hidden are those jobs that aren’t listed in the traditional locations. You won’t find these jobs on Company websites, job boards, LinkedIn or those types of resources.

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Vancouver job market - featured

We’re not going to give away Michaels secret sauce because that wouldn’t be right. Head over to the Daily Hive where they were so kind as to invite us to join them for a sitdown.



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5 Secrets on How to Land your Dream Job at a Fortune 100 Company / Interview with Former Fortune Executive, Noga Zilberberg (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back to the second part of our series with Former Fortune Execute, Noga Zilberberg, on Coffee with Leaders!

A couple of weeks ago, Michael Dha and Noga Zilberberg sat down to discuss Noga’s experience at McKesson and Noga gave our audience 5 secrets on how to land a high-profile role at a Fortune 100 organization.

Noga is a former finance executive, however, has since switched gears and now has her own coaching consulting services, Zilberberg Consulting Inc. She continues on with the 5 secrets on landing a high-profile job below!

To read the beginning of this article, click here.

#3 Innovative Problem Solving and Critical Thinking 

As Steve Jobs famously put it: “…we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. I couldn’t agree more. Leaders, teams and employees with innovative problem-solving abilities are crucial to the success of any business. For large, high-profile companies innovative employees, at all levels of the organization, are the lifeline that helps them:  

  • Operate in the most effective and efficient way 
  • Solve challenges that were once considered impossible to solve 
  • Improve the quality of life of millions of people around the world 

Are you up for the challenge? Can you prove that throughout your career you have demonstrated an “out of the box” thinking that resulted ioutstanding outcomes in your area of expertise?  

Think of another well-known saying “a chain is as strong as the weakest link” and you’ll understand why this skill is considered a requirement in many job postings. 

Michael: It’s not easy assessing these abilities during an interview.  

Noga: Some interviewers still use “brain teasers” like those that Google interviewers were infamously known for, such as “how many golf balls can you fit in a school bus?” Or “how would you solve homelessness in Vancouver?”. Candidates often struggle to understand how these questions help hiring managers assess their professional abilities.  

Most of these questions don’t have right or wrong answers, but rather attempt to reveal one’s critical thinking skills, their ability to deal with ambiguity, as well as their ability and desire to come up with innovative solutions. Candidates should avoid responses that suggest they lack these crucial skills. Common bad responses include: 

  • “What do you mean?” 
  • “I have no idea”  
  • “This is not my area of expertise”  
  • It’s impossible to answer without more information”  

Anyone interviewing to a high-profile role that requires significant innovative problem-solving, should familiarize themselves with this type of questions and the best way to answer them.  

Better yet, they should proactively provide their interviewer with plenty of examples of previous professional challenges they faced and how their problem-solving abilities contributed to the solution. They just might avoid being asked something like: “what problem would you choose to solve using time travel?”

#4 Emotional Intelligence (aka EQ) 

Some of the traits I have already mentioned have to do with how people interact with colleagues and others in the business environment. None of them, however, distill this idea as much as the concept of emotional intelligence. EQ has two important aspects that I’d like to emphasize:  

  • Self-awareness and the ability to manage oneself effectively and gracefully around others 
  • Building and managing relationships with others  

Michael: Can you explain why this is important for large companies like those on the Fortune 100 list?

Noga: These companies have many ideas flying around, many conceived by very smart people, and all competing for limited funding resources. Employees who can effectively promote their ideas by utilizing their highly developed relationship-building and communication skills will dictate the direction of their teams or perhaps the entire company, depending on their role. They will be more successful in their jobs and positively influence those around them.  

When you go on an interview, your EQ is put to the test the minute you walk into the company’s offices. Make a conscious effort to calm your nerves so you appear kind and genuine in all your interactions. Greet the receptionist, participate in small talk, and display confidence and self-awareness when responding to questions.  

All types of relevant communication skills are assessed during an interview. Are you articulate and can gracefully deal with unexpected questions? Are you a good listener or ‘jumping the gun’ to answer questions? Remarkably, some interviewers might even hint at the answers they are looking for. Listen carefully to make sure you’re picking up on those clues.  

Effectively using your EQ in an interview is a sure-fire way to quickly build rapport (“chemistry”) with your interviewer. The interviewer needs to like you and feel that the team will enjoy working with you. Candidates with high levels of EQ actually do better on interviews and can sometimes even beat candidates with superior professional skills!  

Michael: We are down to the last skillset of this top 5 list.

Noga: I saved the best for last..

#5 Grit 

 If I had to choose the two most desirable personality traits for employees in the Corporate world, it would be EQ and Grit. Psychology researcher, Angela Duckworth, defines Grit as: “the passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals”.  

Money and job titles are no longer the top motivators for employees to work hard towards the company’s goals. A much stronger motivator is the combination of how well those goals are aligned with one’s own values and aspirations (or: what they want to achieve) coupled with their inherent passion and perseverance (or: how they’ll go about achieving that).  

I see grit as the innermost drive and desire to achieve successwhatever that may mean to the individual. Great accomplishments are usually the result of continuous personal and professional developmentgetting out of your comfort zone and unwavering dedication, even when facing setbacks.  

Michael: How dyou assess candidates’ grit during interviews? 

Noga: Two of my favourite questions to ask candidates are “tell me about life-experiences that you believe have made you who you are today” and “tell me about three people who have personally influenced you”. Again, there are no “correct” answers to these questions. It is the type of experiences and people candidates drew on, what they have learned along the way, and how they plan to implement those learnings in future challenging situations, that helped me get to know them better. It helped me understand their ambitions and how determined they were to reach their full potential.  

Another common question that interviewers ask to assess both EQ and perseverance is “tell me about a time you had to convince others to adopt your idea”.  A winning answer will include elements of persuasion and determination while maintaining great professional relationships.  


Identifying superstar candidates who have both outstanding professional/technical skills, as well as these important personality attributes, is not easy, but it pays high dividends for hiring companies, teams and managers.  

If you are one of those superstars, recruiters and high-profile companies must already be contacting you with tempting offers on a fairly regular basis. Others, who are not quite there yet, can greatly benefit from developing the attributes we’ve discussed. Professionals who are willing to work hard to master these skills – are on their way to becoming superstar candidates and landing their dream job! 

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5 Secrets on How to Land your Dream Job at a Fortune 100 Company / An Interview with Former Fortune Executive, Noga Zilberberg (Part 1 of 2)

Welcome to our series on Coffee with Leaders. Each quarter, we sit down with trailblazing leaders of the Canadian market to discuss issues relating to life in Corporate Canada.

Last week, our Managing Director at STRIVE, Michael Dha, called upon a longstanding client and now friend, Noga Zilberberg. Noga climbed the corporate ranks at McKesson Technology Solutions (now Change Healthcare), leading an extremely talented and high-performing team as the Executive Director of Finance. McKesson is 6th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list and one of the largest companies in North America with revenues over $200Bn. Noga has shifted gears in her career and now offers interview coaching consulting services through her company, Zilberberg Consulting Inc.

Michael and his STRIVE team started working with Noga in 2012. At that time, Noga was managing a small finance team at McKesson, which directly supported the executive team of the medical imaging business unit. Over the next 5 years, the needs of the business grew and so did the finance team. Noga’s role as Manager catapulted to Executive Director, and with the help of her recruitment partners at STRIVE, her team quadrupled in size. However, this was no easy feat. Noga and the executive team at McKesson had very high expectations of all their staff. Despite having urgent hiring deadlines, Noga would not compromise on the quality of talent that she brought on to her team. So how did the candidates do it? What did they need to do to impress the interviewer and land their dream job?

In this next two-part series, Michael and Noga sit down to discuss Noga’s experience at McKesson and Noga gives our audience 5 secrets on how to land a high-profile role at a Fortune 100 organization.

Michael:Noga, let’s start at the beginning – how did you end up at McKesson?

Noga: This was back in January 2010. My youngest son was seven months old and I was well into my maternity leave. A recruiter I previously worked with had reached out to me suggesting that I interview for an interesting FP&A position with a large tech company. McKesson was very particular about the type of candidate they were looking for! After a few rounds of interviews, they determined I fit the bill and I was offered the role.

Michael: When you landed that first job with McKesson, did you think you would stay there for 8 years and progress as much as you have?

Noga: Well, I knew that working for McKesson, a 180-year-old international pharmaceutical and tech company, would be an amazing opportunity. Even my first role at McKesson was extremely challenging and rewarding. However, at the time, it was a much smaller finance team. I appreciated my manager’s honesty when she warned me that there will be no room for growth. Despite that early warning, as the business unit grew and the team expanded, I was promoted four times. All these roles didn’t even exist when I started working for McKesson. I am very happy I took that ‘leap of faith’ in 2010.

Michael: Throughout the years you have interviewed, assessed and hired many candidates for various levels. Can you share some advice on what it takes to land a job at a large company like McKesson?

Noga: First, it’s important to understand that large, successful companies are in constant need of talented professionals, who are also good team players. On the flip side, the competition for those positions is undoubtedly fierce. Hiring managers are bombarded with candidates’ resumes, even when they have no open positions. They can afford to be very selective and pick only the very best to join their teams.

Most managers, in any organization, are looking to hire the best candidates possible. However, from my experience, there are a few “skillset categories” that will be considered a must-have at these high-profile companies. I am not just talking about being the best at what you do professionally, or the obvious soft skills that most job postings mention, but rather that “secret sauce” that ensures great companies keep growing, attracting more investors, clients, positive public attention, brand recognition, and… more great employees.

Here are my top 5 skillset categories that will get you high-profile roles at high-profile companies:

#1 Common Sense and Maturity

Throughout your life, you are encountering increasingly complex and delicate situations, from how to speak with your college professors to managing your own finances, career and personal life. These experiences should build character, help you develop good judgment, and teach you the value of responsibility and accountability. Have they?

Do you have a good understanding of desirable behaviours in the corporate world? Can you demonstrate those behaviours consistently? Business etiquette includes anything from appropriate attire and good old manners to not sending a Facebook friend request to the Vice-President who has just interviewed you (and anything in between). These unwritten rules create a foundation for a comfortable work environment that encourages professionalism and cooperation.

To many people the above sounds obvious. However, as the saying goes: “common sense is not so common”, unfortunately. I wouldn’t mention this if it wasn’t so high on my priority list as a hiring manager. My teams and I worked directly with senior leaders in a multi-billion-dollar company. There was very little, if any, room for error, when it came to the fundamentals of handling ourselves in a professional manner, providing excellent customer service, and in general “doing the right thing”.

That’s why during interviews, I paid special attention to the subtext in candidates’ stories and examples. Any case of placing blame on others or a lack of self-awareness, for example, was a big warning sign for lack of maturity. If the candidate’s integrity or discretion was called into question during their interview, they would also, unfortunately, have their resume placed in the ‘no’ pile. This includes, for example, a management candidate who disclosed major upcoming layoffs at their current company during their interview.

If you are not convinced that a bit of “business gossip” should be grounds for a candidate’s rejection, just imagine the potential damage, such lack of discretion can cause when putting the company’s intellectual property (IP) in danger, exposing non-disclosed financial results that might impact investment decisions, and so on.

#2 Resourcefulness and Independent Thinking

High-profile companies are looking for talented people who can foresee & prevent, identify & resolve issues in their areas of responsibility, before those need to be escalated. They need employees who can get things done! These companies aspire to resolve big problems, positively impact millions of lives, and increase shareholders’ value. For them, there is just not enough time in the day and not enough resources to dedicate to “handholding”.

If you want to join high-profile companies, it would be in your best interest to demonstrate that you are a “low maintenance” resourceful employee, with regards to simpler tasks, and a thoughtful professional when it comes to the more complex assignments.

What does the term “low maintenance”, resourceful employees actually mean?

These people are not easily taken back by moderate inconveniences, roadblocks or uncertainty. When possible, they just roll up their sleeves and find a solution. They do not expect anyone else to resolve the day-to-day obstacles we all face, not even their manager.

A resourceful team is a blessing for a manager and the entire company. This means managers can focus on the bigger picture, setting strategic directions, and solving the big problems – inside the company and for their customers.

Interviewers will sometimes attempt to examine resourcefulness and independent thinking (as well as innovative problem solving, discussed next, and other skills on this list) by asking “stress questions”. These questions throw interviewees off-balance, challenge them to think on their feet and deal with situations of missing information. Some examples of “stress questions” include what would I find if I googled your name? or what would you do if you won $50 million yesterday?

I suggest mentally preparing in advance for these types of interview questions, especially when interviewing for high-profile roles in high-profile companies.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this article next week!

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Our First Annual Team Trip to Los Cabos, Mexico!

We had some ambitious goals set out at the beginning of the year and after hitting our team targets, the STRIVE Recruitment team booked themselves a ticket to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! 2018 was a record year for the company and the team celebrated by taking all of the staff on a fun-filled trip to celebrate all of the hard work and dedication in 2018. From the Sunset Cruise over “Lands End” to team building activities throughout the resort, it was a trip to remember. We are already off to a great start for 2019 – where will our team end up next?!

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Helpful Tips to Survive Busy Season

Author: Ben de la Fosse – Recruitment Specialist at STRIVE Recruitment

Contributions: CPA designated public practice accounting professionals


So, it is that time of year again! We are already well into busy season and for those of you in Audit, the end is near and, if you are in Tax, the home stretch is almost upon you – you got this, just hang in there!

I can’t honestly say that I have had the pleasure of working a busy season but, I have some sort of idea from my time at University. I remember the library becoming somewhat of a second home in the last month or two of my final year. My days pretty much consisted of classes, exam preparation and writing my final year dissertation. I pretty much fueled all of this with coffee, cold pizza and instant noodles (I won’t lie, I may have had the occasional beer as well).

Now, I am sure you all have your own little tips and tricks to help make the days a little less painful but, I have surveyed fellow public practice CPA’s who have been there, done it and got the grey hairs to show for it. These generous professionals have provided some insight into things they do to ensure they are at the top of their game. I hope they are of some help.

Healthy Diet

This came at the top of everyone’s list of things to be mindful of. How we fuel our bodies has a massive impact on our mental performance throughout the day. The following link may provide some helpful advice for you. Diet Tips For Optimal Brain Function. Our professionals say:

  • Make sure you are eating sufficiently and taking the time to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Consider using your meal allowance to cover a meal and healthy snacks for the remainder of the day.
  • It is very important to drink enough water (6 to 8 cups a day). This really helps with concentration. Also use this as an opportunity to get up from your desk and stretch your legs as you walk to the water cooler.

Keeping Active

I have to admit, I am definitely not a fitness fanatic but agree with the majority of my network who said that making time for exercise is very important. I know it feels like you don’t have time to stop and think, let alone exercise but, keeping active helps alleviate stress and boost brain activity. For more information on how exercise affects your performance you should read; Exercise and Work Performance.

Here are some tips from the pro’s on how to fit exercise into your day:

  • Your firm may provide an on-site gym. Try and utilize this, even if it’s just for 30 minutes before work, at lunch or in the evening.
  • Stand up often: It is most likely documented in your employee handbook, which is now lying somewhere in your drawer collecting dust but, for every hour you work, you should take a 5-minute break from the screen. Go grab yourself a glass of water, get a snack, interact with your team and ask if they need support.
  • Using your Fitbit/ Apple Watch or a timer and set an activity challenge that makes you to get out of your seat.
  • Stretch: Cater a stretching routine and/or take an afternoon walk, even if it’s around the client’s office.

Work/ Life Balance

It is very important to keep some level of work/ life balance. You need the time to disconnect from work and partake in activities that you enjoy. This will drastically help improve your mood. You Only Get One Life!

  • Flex hours: If your job allows for flex time, plan ahead and use this to do something besides work. For example, make use of your RMT massages, spend time with the family, start that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • “It is a marathon not a sprint”. Ensure you take breaks throughout your day. Utilize your lunch break. Go grab that coffee you want.
  • I can be a culprit of this next one. Ensure you work Make sure you are not just running around like a headless chicken. Plan your day out and prioritize your workload.

Working as a Team

During busy season, it’s inevitable that you’ll be spending significant time with coworkers or engagement teams. The fact that everyone is in the same boat for 3-4 months is an incredibly effective way to build team camaraderie and lasting relationships.  Take full advantage of this opportunity.

  • Share your struggles with your team. “A problem shared is a problem halved”. Lean on the experience of your Managers or discuss issues with your team and find a common solution together.
  • Come together as a team. Grab dinner with your engagement team, have a coffee with your coworkers, find a way to unplug from the work for 15-30 minutes and just get to know each other on a more personal level.
  • Building these relationships will carry you so much farther in your career than finishing a certain engagement on time.

Learn from your experiences

Busy season is exactly that. A season. It comes and goes. Just think, soon enough you will be done and those long summer days will be just around the corner. Try and concentrate on the positives of this experience and learn from it.

This is a prime-time for accelerating your learning and professional development. Accounting professionals with a public practice background bring technical and soft skills to the table that are highly desirable to an employer, and the challenges brought about by busy season fine-tune many of these skills.


Smile often. It’s not so serious. 🙂

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STRIVE opens up their 4th specialty division – Corporate Administration

We are now your destination for Corporate Administration recruitment! An exciting time for STRIVE as we open our 4th specialty recruitment division in ten years. STRIVE has previously excelled in permanent and contract placements within our existing divisions: Accounting and Finance, Manufacturing and Operations and Construction and Design. We are now actively working on several temporary and permanent Corporate Administration positions that include the following areas:

– Reception
– Administrative Support
– Executive Assistant Support
– Data Entry
– Customer Service
– Bookkeeping
– Office Management
– Sales Support
– Marketing Support
– Human Resources
– Legal Support

If you are looking for talent within this area, please contact Sarita DeVries, Director of Business Development at 604.545.0467 or
If you are looking for your next role within this area, please contact LeTing Cheong, Senior Recruitment Specialist at 604.336.8847 or

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New Addition to the STRIVE team

STRIVE Recruitment is pleased to announce that Sarita DeVries has joined the organization as Director of Business Development. Sarita will lead and direct sales and marketing initiatives and drive the development of STRIVE’s newly created Corporate Administration division.
Sarita brings over 12 years of experience within the staffing and recruiting industry; managing clients of all sizes, from SMEs to large, government entities.
Sarita’s success can be attributed to her genuine customer care and advocacy into her consultative sales approach. We look forward to Sarita becoming a strategic growth partner in STRIVE Recruitment’s upcoming expansion plans.

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Annual Whistler trip 2018!

The STRIVE team had their annual trip once again after reaching Q2 goals! The team celebrated a successful first half of the year with an exciting zip-lining excursion through Superfly Ziplines. Everyone soared down one of the longest ziplines in Canada – it was absolutely breath taking. The guides made the first and highest zipline look like a breeze.

To wrap up the trip, our annual Rook’s cooked everyone dinner, it was a fantastic three course meal that cannot be beat. Whistler was definitely one for the books, till next time!

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Canada’s lowest unemployment rate on record with BC performing best

Statistics Canada released a historical point of goods news today (January 5): the country is experiencing its lowest rate of unemployment for as long as comparable records exist.

“The unemployment rate continued on a downward trend, decreasing by 0.2 percentage points to 5.7%, the lowest since comparable data became available in January 1976,” reads a Statistic Canada media release.

For B.C., the percentage is even lower.

“In the 12 months to December, the unemployment rate in British Columbia fell by 1.2 percentage points to 4.6%, the lowest among all provinces,” the release continues.

“In 2017, British Columbia closed out the year with an employment growth rate of 3.4%. The gains in 2017 were almost all in full-time work, and were mainly in health care and social assistance; construction; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.”

Things also continue to begin to look better in neighbouring Alberta, where the province’s oil-based economy has been slow to recover since fracking and horizontal-drilling technologies took off across the United States.

“The unemployment rate fell from 8.5% at the end of 2016 to 6.9% at the end of 2017,” the release states.

“Following a slide in employment from the autumn of 2015 to the summer of 2016, the labour market in Alberta added workers in 2017, with a growth rate of 2.4% ,” it continues. “The employment gains were attributable to manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade; natural resources; finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; and transportation and warehousing. The unemployment rate fell from 8.5% at the end of 2016 to 6.9% at the end of 2017.”

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STRIVE Pub Night – Fundraising for the Children’s Wish Foundation

A night of success for the STRIVE team and the Children’s Wish Foundation. Through the attendance of clients, candidates, friends and family as well as an awesome array of silent auction items from all of our sponsors at our annual pub night; the “Super STRIVERs” were able to smash their fundraising goal and raised $11,000 for our wish kid, Khol! Khol will now be able to take his trip of a lifetime – a Star Wars themed Disney Cruise with his family!

Thank you to all of you who participated, donated and bid on our silent auction items. Without you , none of this would have been possible. We greatly appreciate your generosity and support!

Click here to read more about Khol’s story.

To learn more about how you can support the Children’s Wish Foundation, please visit:  Super STRIVERs Children’s Wish Page.



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STRIVE’s Summer tradition

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It’s that time of year! It was a fantastic sunny day to have a barbecue on the ocean. The STRIVE team spent their afternoon celebrating their annual summer social on Joe’s BBQ Boat once again. Nothing could beat a summer afternoon with good music, amazing kebabs made by our Managing Director Michael and of course – great company! Definitely something to check out before the summer ends. As one of STRIVE’s many traditions, Joe’s BBQ Boat is one that we could never miss!

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Amazon to acquire organic supermarket chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion

Amazon has announced something of a curveball acquisition today, as the internet giant revealed plans to snap up healthy supermarket chain Whole Foods Market in an all-cash deal worth nearly $14 billion.

Founded out of Austin, Texas in 1980, Whole Foods Market specializes in natural food that doesn’t have artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in a press release. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for nearly four decades — they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

Whole Foods Market has been a public company since 1992, and its shares hit an all-time high of around $65 in 2013. Its stock has been hovering around the $33 mark for the past few years, however, with the shares closing at $33.06 yesterday. Amazon is offering $42 per share for the company, a premium of around 27 percent on yesterday’s closing price, for a total value of $13.7 billion.

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience, and innovation to our customers,” added Whole Foods Market’s cofounder and CEO, John Mackey.

The deal still has to attain shareholder approval, of course, as well as passing the usual regulatory and closing conditions, which the duo expect will happen in the second half of 2017. Assuming the acquisition is seen through to completion, Whole Foods Market will continue as is under its own brand, with Mackey remaining CEO.

Online books to brick-and-mortar groceries

Amazon has long transcended its roots as an online bookstore and today offers everything from video-streaming services to on-demand restaurant deliveries. While its decision to effectively merge with Whole Foods Market may seem like an oddity on the surface, it’s not entirely out of line with Amazon’s recent initiatives in the grocery realm.

In fact, Amazon has offered a grocery delivery service for a decade already. First launched in beta back in 2007 in Mercer Island, Washington, AmazonFresh later expanded across the U.S. into Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, and Philadelphia, among many other U.S. cities. Last year, it also launched in London, which represented its first international market. Whole Foods Market, as it happens, also operates seven stores in the U.K. capital.

AmazonFresh delivers a range of domestic goods and produce — including fruit, vegetables, and meat — on the same day or the next day, depending when they’re ordered. The service is available to $99/year Prime members, who must pay an additional $15 per month to access the grocery delivery service.

Amazon has also been pursuing own-brand brick-and-mortar stores, including bookstores, the most recent of which opened in New York City. And late last year Amazon debuted its own grocery store in Seattle, as the company sought to shine a light on a futuristic new “checkout free” shopping experience.

So Amazon has made no secret of its aspirations in the grocery realm. But why buy Whole Foods Market? Well, the internet behemoth is every bit as much a delivery and logistics company as it is an online marketplace for buying USB memory sticks, books, and cheap mobile phones. And as a result of this acquisition, Amazon is entering the grocery fray in a major way. As things stand, Whole Foods Market offers one-hour deliveries via Instacart, but once this acquisition is complete, you can bet your bootlaces that Amazon will be placing groceries front and center within its online ordering and delivery network.

This acquisition also helps highlight the growing convergence between the offline and online worlds. Last August, Walmart revealed it was buying fledgling online retailer for $3 billion in cash in what many viewed as a direct swipe at Amazon. Now, Amazon is hitting back by buying Whole Foods Market outright, grabbing a direct conduit into more than 400 stores across North America and the U.K., which should lead to some interesting offline/online cross-pollination.

Finally, this acquisition shows that to compete effectively in the grocery market, you need a strong, local on-the-ground presence — and that’s what Amazon now has with Whole Foods Market.

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STRIVE Recruitment vs Signature Recruiting in our Inaugural BEER Pong Tournament

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The highly anticipated (and somewhat over-hyped) BEER Pong Tourney with our good friends and neighbours over at Signature Recruiting, finally came to fruition last Friday at the STRIVE offices.

As two very competitive recruiting firms in Vancouver, both teams trained physically and mentally for several months leading up to the event. Rallying behind our team captain, Radko Kunda, STRIVE was eager to get out to an early lead. Unfortunately, Radko’s beer pong expertise lied in the BEER part rather than the PONG component.  Co-Founder of Signature, Rupinder Gill had mastered an assassin-like focus from many hours of meditation between his daily interviews – and it paid dividends in his game. Account Manager, Brittany Lee, was firing on all cylinders and was clearly Signature’s top player. It should be noted that she is currently under investigation by STRIVE for use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) leading up to the event. Sinking back to back trick shots, Recruiting Specialist, Leting “Cha Ching” Cheong put forth STRIVE’s most valiant effort and carried the team on her back to the semi finals. Needless to say, STRIVE came up just short against a tough Signature squad.

It was an awesome night of two neighbours getting together in an epic night of laughs and pong – all while celebrating the successes of quarter 1.

We are eagerly looking forward to the rematch!

– Michael Dha

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Canada Goose files for IPO on Toronto and New York exchanges

Luxury winter jacket maker Canada Goose has filed for initial public offerings on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol “GOOS.”

The company said in regulatory filings it had revenue of $291 million in fiscal 2016, up from $152 million in 2014, and gross profit of $146 million.

Canada Goose opened its first retail stores last year in Toronto and New York, with sales also through the company’s online store and authorized retailers in Canada and abroad.

The manufacturer said it plans to further expand its brand internationally including opening more stores in major cities and premium outdoor centres.

It also said it was considering an expansion of its offerings, with more spring and fall jackets as well as knitwear, fleece, footwear, travel gear and bedding.

Its parkas, which retail for up to $1,500, have been worn by celebrities and featured in Hollywood movies and on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.

The company, founded in Toronto in 1957, touted its “authentic brand” and “uncompromised craftsmanship” as some of its key competitive strengths in its filing.

Canada Goose sold a 70-per-cent equity interest in 2013 to investment firm Bain Capital, which is sponsoring the IPO.

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Cadillac Fairview sells half of its Vancouver properties, including Pacific Centre

One of Canada’s largest commercial real estate management and development companies has sold a 50% interest in its Vancouver portfolio, which includes a major shopping centre and a number of office buildings.

Cadillac Fairview announced today that the Ontario Pension Board (OPB) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) now each own a 25% stake in the company’s vast portfolio. The Toronto-based company retains ownership of the remaining 50%.

Altogether, this deal spans four million square feet of leasable space, including CF Pacific Centre shopping mall, the Waterfront Station building, and a dozen office towers in downtown Vancouver. Its largest and most valuable asset is Pacific Centre, which consists of not only the mall space but also the spaces occupied by Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, office spaces for Microsoft and Sony Pictures Imageworks, and several adjoining office towers.

“This deal gives us the rare opportunity to gain direct exposure to the tightly held Vancouver real estate market. As the economic and financial centre for Western Canada and the primary access point to Asian markets, Vancouver is expected to outperform other major Canadian cities going forward,” said Mark Fuller, President and CEO of the OPB, in a statement.

“It is also a great example of how asset pooling and scale help us gain direct access to high-quality assets that will help us generate strong returns over the long term.”

Cadillac Fairview also has a joint-ownership partnership with the OPB four major properties in downtown Toronto, including RBC Centre, Toronto-Dominion Centre, and two development properties at 16 York Street & 160 Front Street West.

Here is Cadillac Fairview’s portfolio in Vancouver:

CF Pacific Centre (701 West Georgia)
Waterfront Centre (200 Burrard Street)
725 Granville Street
Granville Square (600 Granville Street)
PrincewaterhouseCoopers Place (250 Howe Street)
700 West Pender Street
750 West Pender
Cannacord Genuity Place (609 Granville Street)
777 Dunsmuir Street
701 West Georgia Street
TD Tower (700 West Georgia Street)
HSBC Building
The Station (601 Cordova Street)
The value of the deal with OPB and WSIB was not disclosed, but it is likely well over the billion dollar range.

Just before Christmas, TransLink announced that it had closed a $440-million deal to sell its 13.8-acre decommissioned Oakridge bus depot, which will be redeveloped with 1,200 residential units.

Written by
Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Canadians. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year’s Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]

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Snapchat has filed for an IPO that could value the company at $25 billion

Alex Heath and Portia Crowe
Nov. 15, 2016, 4:02 PM
Source: Business Insider

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has quietly filed paperwork for an initial public offering, setting the wheels in motion for what’s expected to be the largest tech debut in years.

Snap, which is based in Venice Beach, California, confidentially filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission before the presidential election, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Snap’s IPO could come as early as March, but it could also occur in the second quarter of 2017, the person said. The company is seeking a valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion.

Some people think the offering could be even larger. Bloomberg has reported that Snap’s IPO valuation could swell as high as $40 billion.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will lead the deal, while JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Co., Barclays, and Credit Suisse will be joint bookrunners.

Revenue engine
Snapchat Spectacles filter
A Snapchat selfie “lense” that lets you try on a virtual pair of the company’s Spectacles camera glasses. Melia Robinson/Business Insider
Snapchat has emerged as one of the most popular consumer internet services, challenging Facebook, Twitter, and Google for users and advertising dollars. With the tech IPO market stuck in the doldrums over the past year, investors are hoping Snap’s offering could open the gates to more IPOs, including closely watched tech companies like Uber.

Snap has told investors that it expects to make $250 million to $350 million in advertising revenue this year. A recent eMarketer report predicted the company would near $1 billion in revenue in 2017 — meaning an IPO that valued the company at $25 billion would be 25 times its projected revenue numbers.

It’s not clear whether Snap is profitable, however, and the company is aggressively expanding into new businesses and markets that are likely to eat into margins.

Snap’s main business is advertising in the Snapchat app, which has over 150 million daily users. But Snap recently rebranded itself as a camera company and started selling $130 camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.

The company most recently raised $1.81 billion in private funding in May, which pegged its valuation at $18 billion to $22 billion.

With annual revenue under $1 billion now, Snap was able to file its Form S-1 with the SEC confidentially under the JOBS Act. News of the filing was first reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

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A Day of Wins! STRIVE raises $10k and wins the 2016 Exile Island Competition!



A day of wins! STRIVE Recruitment Inc. is proud to have participated in The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada Annual Exile Island Challenge. Not only did we raise $10,000 for our awesome wish kid, Crystal; but we also competed against KPMG, BCLC, Teekay Corporation, Gowlings  & others in a  survivor-like challenge.. and we won ! From the Mind-Breaker to the Hidden Treasure, STRIVE was tasked with navigating several gruelling challenges that required strategy and teamwork (right up our alley!).  Fulfilling Crystal’s wish is one of the proudest moments of our company’s history and we are grateful to all of the fantastic people at Children’s Wish Foundation BC for the amazing experience.





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STRIVE Pub Night with The Children’s Wish Foundation



STRIVE hosted a fantastic evening with some gracious folks at the Moose’s Down Under to help fund Crystal’s Wish! On behalf of The Children’s Wish foundation, STRIVE was paired with Crystal and her awesome family (especially Little Benny!) to help fund her wish of taking a family vacation to Turks and Caicos.  (You can read her ful story here!: )

We had a great turnout, some really great silent auction items and a big winner on the 50/50. Thanks to all who came out. We are half way to our $10,000 goal! If you haven’t already, you can donate here!



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Annual Summer Social

The STRIVE team spent their afternoon celebrating their annual summer social on Joe’s BBQ Boat grilling burgers and hot dogs, enjoying drinks in the sunshine, and blasting out music while soaking in Vancouver’s beautiful landscape.  Many thanks to Joe’s BBQ Boat and the STRIVE team for another fun and unforgettable time on the boat!

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KPMG is shortening its recruitment process because millennials are getting frustrated

Accountancy firm KPMG has decided to make its recruitment process much shorter because millennial applicants — people born between 1980 and 2000 — are getting frustrated by the old system, according to the BBC.

KPMG’s previous arrangement required three separate assessments, which took place over many weeks. But the new one will be carried out in a single day — and candidates will find out in just two working days if they have landed the job.

The decision follows a survey by KPMG in which more than a third of the 400 respondents said they were annoyed by the length of the application process. Even worse, more than half said they hated not getting any feedback if they did not get the job.

KPMG chairman Simon Collins said the move was necessary to stay ahead of smaller startup firms which recruited people far more quickly: “we are competing with the full gamut for the best brains and talent leaving university: getting our graduate recruitment right is crucial to the long-term success of our business.”

This is not the first time a big company has streamlined its recruitment process. A month ago, Goldman Sachs announced that it would scrap face-to-face interviews with undergraduates in favour of video interviews. The bank hires around 2,500 students each summer to be part-time and full-time analysts.

Last year accountancy firm Deloitte also said that it would hide where applicants went to university from recruiters to prevent an “unconscious bias.”

As well as improving social mobility, Deloitte senior partner David Sproul told the BBC that it was also self-serving, as companies needed “to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives.”

Source: Business Insider

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Massachusetts Becomes First State Ever To Ban Employers From Asking For Salary Histories

Massachusetts has leapfrogged over all other states to pass the most robust equal pay law in the country.

The law takes a step that is completely unique: it prohibits employers from asking prospective hires about their salary histories until after they make a job offer that includes compensation, unless the applicants voluntarily disclose the information. No other state has such a ban in place.

Many employers require applicants to give them a salary history at the outset or during the initial steps of the hiring process, usually to determine how much they should be paid and whether the employer can afford their salary. But this disadvantages women, who, thanks to a variety of factors that can include outright discrimination, make less than men on average. Women make less than men in their first jobs even when education and field are taken into consideration, and they are also penalized in salary negotiations, while men get an advantage. If the next employer bases a salary on the previous one a woman was earning, that discrimination will only be furthered.

Massachusetts’s new law also mandates that employers pay men and women the same not just when they do the exact same work, but when their work is “comparable.” Most laws only require men and women in the exact same job to be paid equally. The state defines comparable work as being “substantially similar” in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions — not just based on job titles or descriptions. It does, however, allow for differing pay scales based on seniority — so long as a lack of seniority for a female employee isn’t related to pregnancy or family leave — merit, production, geography, education, experience, or training.

Women’s work has long been undervalued even when it’s substantially similar to what men do. Housekeepers make less than janitors, for instance. And when women move into higher-paying, male-dominated jobs, the pay drops.
There was a movement in the 1970s and 80s among state governments to ensure comparable pay equity in their own workforces. They ended up spending $527 million to adjust women’s pay to make it equal with men who had essentially the same job duties, eliminating about 20 percent of women’s wage gap.

A paper at the time found that a national pay equity law, one that looks like Massachusetts’s, would eliminate more than a quarter of the overall gender wage gap.

The new law also bans salary secrecy, blocking employers from keeping their employees from talking about pay with each other. About half of all employees say they are either prohibited or discouraged from discussing compensation, even though they have a legal right to do so. That makes it incredibly difficult for women or other marginalized groups to discover whether they’re being unfairly paid less than their colleagues.

A handful of other states have passed their own equal pay laws aimed at closing the gender wage gap. California passed one at the end of last year mandating pay equity for comparable work and banning salary secrecy, andNew York passed a package of bills that included prohibiting salary secrecy. But none of them have gone as far as Massachusetts in including a ban on employers asking for salary histories.

Massachusetts’s new law unanimously passed the state legislature, and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has said he will sign it into law.

Meanwhile, progress toward passing national legislation to address the gender wage gap has been blocked in Congress. Republicans have repeatedly blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ban salary secrecy, and the Fair Pay Act, which would mandate equal pay for comparable work, never even gets a vote.

Source: ThinkProgress

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7 Secrets of Master Modern Networkers

In the days before the world of the Internet and online marketing, the only real, reliable way to meet new sales prospects and build meaningful connections in the professional world was to go out and network with others. Today, this type of in-person networking seems old-fashioned, even though social media networking on sites like LinkedIn has served as a soft replacement for this approach to meeting new people–for those who pursue the strategy at all.

But even in today’s world of instant information and global connectivity, networking is an important–and effective–way to meet new people in the professional world, and the modern masters of the art have a few secrets to getting it done right:

  1. They use both in-person and social networks. Some people will argue that in-person networking is inherently superior to social media networking, but the reality is that social media networking has some serious advantages too. In-person networking gives you more opportunities to meet people in your community, make a better first impression, forge deeper connections, and engage in a group environment, while social media networking gives you a less formal setting, accessibility anywhere, and access to a wider net of people. True networking masters don’t prefer one over the other–they use both to maximize their potential results.
  2. They don’t repeat themselves much. There are dozens of regular networking events in practically every major city in the country. It’s not hard to find a weekly or monthly meeting where professionals gather for drinks or conversation. The problem is, these regular events tend to attract regular people; while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’re trying to build your network, you can’t just keep talking to the same people over and over. Networkers who excel go out of their way to find new events, trying to avoid repeating the same event or venue too many times.
  3. They have a fantastic opening line for everything. Your opening line in networking is one of the most important parts of your exchange; not only does it usually form a person’s first impression of you, it also sets the stage for the conversation to come. Simple openers, like “hi, my name is _____,” or small-talk openers, like, “this is a great event, isn’t it?” are effective at opening the door to a conversation, but they don’t stand out, and they aren’t particularly strong. Successful networkers dig a little deeper with their opening lines, customizing them for the specific individual they’re talking to, and keeping them both unique and natural at all times. Opening lines should also naturally lead into a thread of conversation.
  4. They meet everyone, everywhere. Master networkers don’t limit themselves to specific “networking” events or social media “networks.” To them, networking is something that happens all the time–and it’s so ingrained in their lives that they don’t have to think about it as a separate designated strategy anymore. They’re open to meeting people everywhere–at different events, for sure, and online, but also as strangers on the street, or random passersby. They don’t pinpoint people to meet, either; they’re up for a conversation with just about anyone. Certainly,some personality types will find this easier than others, but it can be conquered with a “fake it ’til you make it” strategy.
  5. They make themselves memorable. It’s not enough to engage in a conversation for a few minutes if you want to make a lasting impression; after all, you’re usually networking with people who network on a regular basis. You have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and exceptional networkers know how to do this well. They have something unique to offer, like a unique value proposition for their own personal brands, and they go beyond the basic small talk to cement their reputation.
  6. They keep in touch. Networking doesn’t end at the networking event. You don’t need to follow up with everyone–as not everyone will be a lasting value to you in any capacity–but for the select few you hit it off with for any reason, make it a point to stay in touch. Send them an email, or call them a few days after the event and try to get coffee or lunch together within the next few weeks.
  7. They genuinely listen. This is a crucial point, and one that can’t be overlooked. When networking with others, too many people fixate on the idea of talking–whether that’s giving a pitch, making small talk, or leading a discussion. Instead,it’s better to fixate on listening. Stop talking so much, and let other people do the talking. You stand to learn a lot more about whatever subject you’re discussing, and you’ll make a better impression with the people you talk to, as well; they’ll feel like you’re a better conversationalist, and they’ll think of you in a more positive light afterward. Everyone in the world knows something better than you do–but you can’t learn anything if you’re always talking.

Whether you’re in it to find new prospects, recruit new employees, expand your professional network, or just get to know some people a little better, I highly recommend integrating these strategies into your networking approach. You’ll meet more people, establish more meaningful connections, and ultimately get closer to your goals–no matter what those goals are.

Source: Inc

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How To Develop Relationships With Recruiters And Recruiting Agencies

Working with outside recruiters is inevitable at some point in your career. The senior-most searches are often handled by executive recruiters to preserve the confidentiality of the search and to access the broadest pool of candidates. Even mid-level searches or entry-level searches with very specific requirements may be farmed out to recruiting agencies to take advantage of a recruiter’s expertise and network in an area or simply because internal HR handles more of the existing employees, rather than the recruiting. So even though relationships with direct hiring managers (e.g., the Head of Marketing if you’re looking for a marketing job) are ideal. You want to have recruiter relationships. Keeping track of unsolicited outreach by recruiters is also a good gauge of your career marketability. Here are four strategies for developing relationships with recruiters and recruiting agencies:

If You’re Never Worked With Outside Recruiters

Get to know how recruiting works. There are two kinds of firms: contingent and retained. Contingent recruiters are only paid if a candidate they present is hired. Retained recruiters are paid to handle the search, regardless of where the final hire actually is sourced. Retained recruiters generally handle the more senior searches and tend to have exclusive oversight of the search (i.e., no other firms are working on that opening. However, there are contingent firms that work on senior searches and have exclusives. Some firms also do both retained and contingent work.

In addition to the retained v. contingent distinction, recruiting firms tend to specialize by industry or function (e.g., non-profit sector, marketing roles). Having this general understanding can help you figure out what types of relationships to prioritize. You want to know recruiters who specialize in what you do, and if you’re vying for an executive role you want to know retained recruiters.

If You Get An Unsolicited Call From A Recruiter You Don’t Know

Don’t just let the recruiter launch into an interview with you right there. If you’re not prepared, then you won’t position yourself in the best light. But more importantly, you need to interview the recruiter and make sure whatever the recruiter is working on is the right match for you. Interview the recruiter – are they retained or contingent? What position are they calling about, or is this an exploratory call? What do they specialize in? Take down the recruiter’s name and firm’s name, and check out their LinkedIn profiles and website – look at clients they have worked for, placements made, history of the firm. Ask friends in HR or who have been placed by recruiters if they know this person or the firm. You want to vet recruiters, as much as they are going to vet you.

If You’re Actively Looking And Want To Start A Relationship

Too many job seekers start their search by trying to find recruiters to represent them. Recruiters don’t work for the candidate; recruiters represent the employer (which is why you don’t want a recruiter handling your job offer). You do want to focus your efforts on networking directly with people at your target companies. However, it’s helpful to be on recruiter radars in case they happen to be working on a search that fits your profile, and recruiters are an excellent source of market information. The best way to get connected to a recruiter is when they reach out to you. So if you get unsolicited calls from recruiters, take those calls. Yes, you want to vet the recruiters (see point above) and if they are legitimate players, help them with their search – recommend people you know who are a fit. Recruiters remember candidates who are helpful.

Other than waiting for a recruiter to contact you, the next best way to connect with a recruiter is to have one of their clients or a candidate that they placed recommend you. Ask your friends in HR which agencies they use, and get an introduction from them. Ask your friends who have found jobs through recruiters who placed them, and have that placement forward your resume. Recruiters get a lot of unsolicited resumes – a recommendation by someone they know (and have made money from) will definitely stand out.

If You’re Passively Looking And Want To Be Found

What if you’re not actively looking but would like to hear about the latest opportunities? You need to be where recruiters look for candidates – word-of-mouth, LinkedIn, conferences, professional associations, publications. Word-of-mouth means those direct introductions I mentioned from your friends in HR or the recently hired. It also means that your name surfaces when a recruiter calls someone in your industry or function and asks, “Who do you know who fits this profile?” Make sure your network knows what you do and what you’re interested in so when those inquiries arise, they know to refer you. Just yesterday, I got two separate inquiries from two companies hiring for their HR teams. I get inquiries like this almost daily because people know I know a lot of people. Are you top of mind for the people in your network who are well-connected and probably get lots of recruiter calls?

In addition, recruiters look at secondary research – e.g., conference schedules to see who the speakers are (if you’re speaking on a subject, you’ve achieved a level of expertise), membership directories (if you’re active, you’re keeping yourself updated), publications (like speaking, if you’re writing about something or quoted about it, you’ve established a level of expertise). Recruiters also search LinkedIn, so make sure you have a complete profile with clear descriptions of what you do and keywords reflective of your skills and expertise. Make sure you also include contact information or check your LinkedIn activity in case a recruiter contacts you via the platform. I can’t tell you how many candidates I have pinged on LinkedIn who respond weeks after my initial inquiry, interested in speaking further but missing the opportunity – if you want to be found, you have to respond when you’re found!

Sure there are some nuances to how recruiting works (e.g., contingent v. retained), but otherwise developing recruiter relationships is similar to developing any other networking relationship. Give, as well as take – return calls, make recommendations, be helpful. A warm lead is better than a cold contact when trying to expand to new relationships. Timely follow-up will ensure existing relationships are maintained.

Source: Forbes

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How to Determine the Best Job Offer

It might seem that sorting through several solid job offers would be a dream scenario. After all, you spent time perfecting your resume and cover letter and fighting through the interview process to get the offer, right?

Wrong. The job process isn’t necessarily about getting all the offers you can. It’s about getting one good offer from a company that truly suits your complex career goals.

Your needs are more elaborate than a salary and a good title. The best offer will take into account both of these things as well as benefits, how you’ll spend your time daily and your opportunities for building your network and meeting motivated people.

Here’s a checklist you can use to evaluate your job offers and determine whether or not the best offer really is the best for you:

Salary: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Is more money better? Not always. Many studies show that $75,000 is the salary cap at which money no longer significantly impacts your day-to-day happiness. Unless money truly is a personal motivator for you, don’t judge the best offer by salary alone.

Beyond comparing one number to another, salary can also be an opportunity to understand the difference between job offers. For example, if you receive two similarly-titled job offers and one offers $52,000 and the other offers $72,000, you’ll want to understand why the salary is so different. Is it the location? The responsibilities? The company? Each answer can provide a clue as to which offer is truly the best for you.


Much like a salary, a bigger benefits package isn’t always better because it may be full of value that you don’t intend to use. Often a company’s salary package reflects benefits, so if you don’t use them you are essentially missing out on compensation.

Take a minute to decode your lifestyle and your needs for the near future. Do you plan to buy a house or adopt a child? Do you need coverage for your spouse, or are you a single, healthy person in search of a low monthly premium? Understanding how the benefits that come with a job offer will play out in your life (not just their face value) will help you decide which offer will benefit you the most.

What Does Your Daily Job Description Look Like?

The most important factor in assessing the fit of a new job is what your day-to-day function will be. Job titles can vary, with a Project Manager in one company functioning more like an assistant team lead and a Project Manager in another company functioning more like a manager. The best way to understand the reality of the offer in your hand is to talk to someone at the company who has that role. The second best way is to carefully compare the actual job description of each offer side-by-side.

Beyond your time on the job, you should also consider how this position might affect your personal life. Are you going from a passive role to an active one, in which you might be significantly more drained by the end of the day? Or are you swapping out an overwhelming “work-til-you-drop” environment for a more laid back (but lower paying) vibe? How you want to feel in your daily life will be a huge indicator of which job offer is the best for you.

Will You Be Building a Valuable Network?

Working with people you like and care about is a significant source of job satisfaction. You don’t have to be best friends, but camaraderie and a sense of a shared goal (and a few inside jokes) can go a long way to making your workday fly by. Furthermore, part of the value of your job is to create relationships with people with similar goals, interests and views of the world. Where you work will be a powerful source of networking and professional contacts.

When you consider a job offer, try your best to get a feel for the culture of the workplace and the people who work there. Do you have any shared interests or demographic information in common? Will you be interested in helping and receiving help from these people? Differences can have a positive impact on overall company performance, but shared experiences and communication are what help companies achieve those results.

Sometimes the best job offer really is the best… and sometimes an opportunity is hiding behind a lackluster title or brand name. When you’re considering several job offers, make sure you look at all the facts before deciding which is truly the best for you.

Source: SimplyHired

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5 Habits That Can Turn Interviewers Against You

Having spent the last decade recruiting, I’ve had many a conversation with hiring managers after a candidate exits the interview. And, while I always hope for exceptional feedback, sometimes the news is not so glowing.

Sometimes, the candidate has done something so annoying to the interviewer that, at best, she is now questioning her interest in keeping this person in the running.

What are the things that drive interviewers the most crazy? Listen and learn.

1. You arrive super early

Everybody knows that you’re an idiot if you show up late for an interview. It’s completely disrespectful of the interviewer’s time.

But showing up insanely early is also going to make you look like a jerk. Why? Because, when you arrive more than five or 10 minutes before your meeting, you’re putting immediate pressure on the interviewer to drop whatever she may be wrapping up and deal with you. Or, she’s going to start the interview feeling guilty because she knows she just left you sitting in the lobby for 20 minutes.

A secondary problem with showing up early is that it says, “Hi, I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life, so I’ll just park it here in your company lobby.” You don’t want that. If you arrive super early, hang in the parking lot or a nearby coffee shop until just a few minutes before your scheduled time.

2. You’re so over-rehearsed that you act like a robot

Once again, we all know not to show up to an interview completely unprepared.

Fewer of us, however, realize that it’s entirely possible to arrive over-prepared. Are you someone who thinks through every possible question that you suspect might be asked, writes out verbatim “best answers,” and then practices them in the mirror (or with a friend) until you’re beyond exhausted?

You might think you’re doing yourself a solid, but what you’re actually doing is putting yourself at risk for coming across as robotic or, worse, disinterested.

When you’re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which you’ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer.

And interviewers don’t tend to hire detached people who can’t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly walk in prepared, but force yourself to not memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.

3. You head into the TMI zone

Is your underwear riding up your rear end as you sit in that interview? Did you totally run a red light (and nearly sideswipe a school bus) so that you could be on time? Did your husband lose $15,000 at a craps table in Vegas last weekend? How interesting — yet all completely off-limits conversation topics while you’re in the interview.

Even if you’re interviewing for a role within the most free-wheeling, fun-loving organization, the fact remains that you are in an interview. Never, ever get wooed into believing that the casual nature of the environment frees you to enter the TMI zone.

Be friendly and conversational, for sure. You want this crew to feel that you’ll fit in around the joint. Just never, and I mean do not ever, cross the line into TMI. When in doubt, leave it out.

4. You’re a clear and obvious WIIFM

Guess what interviewers want to know when they meet with you? First and foremost, they want to know what you can do for them. What can you do to make that company money, improve businesses processes, grow the organization and, importantly, make their lives easier?

That said, when you bust out with an immediate litany of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) questions, you look both arrogant and, frankly, unappealing.

Of course you want to know what the benefits are, how much vacation you get, and if you get a cell phone, company car, and corner office. But in the early interview stages, all the hiring managers and HR people really care about is what you can do for them. This is a business they are running, not a club.

Making you happy will be important if they want you, but you’re not even going to get to that stage if you make your list of demands clear too early.

5. You don’t say “thank you”

I’m not just talking about the after-interview thank you note here. Surely, sending an immediate thank you out to each person with whom you’ve met is critical. But it’s also super important to thank the interviewer enthusiastically before you even part ways.

Certainly, it can be stressful and exhausting to shuttle through hours of interviewing at a company, to the point it all starts feeling like a bit of a blur. But if you really want this job, you need to stay focused and energized, and you absolutely must end strong. A strong, genuine, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way. “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way.

Interviewing can be among the most stressful things we do as adults, especially when we need the job badly. It’s definitely never a breeze. But keeping a cool head, arriving prepared to engage in conversation, and staying focused on the value you can bring to that organization is going to help you make it through with flying colors. People hire people, not robots, not jerks, and not people who don’t value their time.

Keep this top of mind as you march forth and conquer.

Source: Mashable

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Ten Questions Your Resume Must Answer In Ten Seconds

There are only so many ways a hiring manager can come face-to-face with your resume. Here are the possibilities:

• They can view your resume on a screen, the way you’re reading this column right now. Imagine reading your resume on a phone.

• They can print your resume and read it on paper.

• They can receive a physical copy of your resume when someone hands it to them, or receive it in an envelope in the mail.

However your reader gets your resume, it’s only going to get a quick glance. The first phrase or sentence that grabs the reader will pull them in its direction, like a magnet.

Something in your resume will grab them, or nothing will grab them and they’ll put your resume down or turn the page on the screen.

That will be it. How many seconds elapsed while the manager scanned your resume? Maybe ten seconds!

Grab is the key verb. You have to grab their attention. You have to give them a reason to keep reading. Your resume has ten seconds to answer these critical questions that will be in a hiring manager’s mind.

You can answer all of them in your Human-Voiced Resume but you have to have the answers in your mind, first.

What kind of work do you do?

We have to know what kind of work you plan to do. You have to go to the costume party with some kind of costume. The hiring manager has specific pain if s/he has pain at all. “I can do all kinds of things” is not a brand. The Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume will tell us exactly what you do professionally.

Keep in mind that you can have as many versions of your resume as you want, branding yourself for as many career directions or ‘prongs’ as you can manage.

Here is Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing Summary. (She has four resumes, thus four slightly differently Summaries. Each one emphasizes a different aspect of Petra’s background.)

Not-For-Profit Marketer

I’m a Not-for-Profit Marketing person who loves to grow awareness and participation in sustainability and environmental efforts. I conceived and grew the Frog and Toad Society’s “Adopt a Tadpole” program to include 75 elementary schools, tremendous corporate sponsors and hundreds of individual donors.

I thrive in a fast-paced, make-it-work environment and love to design marketing programs from the ground up. I’m comfortable in traditional and social marketing, PR and trade show planning. I’m a budding public speaker who has spoken at two Not-for-Profit Marketing conferences so far and I’m looking for a new challenge.

How are you qualified to do this kind of work?

Petra did not wait to get into the body of her resume to give the reader (possibly her next manager) a sense of what she’s done. She knows that the manager doesn’t have any extra time. Petra is going to get into more detail about the Frog and Toad Society and her other jobs down in the body of her resume, but she gives the reader a taste of her awesomeness with a quick Dragon-Slaying Story in the Summary at the top.

Now the reader has gotten hooked by Petra’s story-magnet. The reader is intrigued. What’s the story with this Frog and Toad Adopt-a-Tadpole thing, anyway? The reader keeps reading and gets to the Frog and Toad section of Petra’s resume a little farther down the page. Now s/he can read all about what Petra did at the Society.

Do you have a sense of yourself professionally beyond “Here are the jobs I’ve held?”

Petra says in Summary that she knows who she is. There’s no hiding behind robot boilerplate language like “Results-oriented professional” for Petra—no way! She wants you to know who she is. She has no desire to cower behind her degree (which shows up on Page Two of her resume) or her certifications.

You can get your personality across on the page in your resume if you try. If you don’t try to do that, your personality will not get through the sludgy corporate zombie language. Once you’ve met 10 million “results-oriented professionals,” you don’t meet to meet any more.

Are you proficient in English?

For better or worse, your resume conveys your language skills. That’s a question many managers will have in their minds: “How’s your written English?”

Your resume will answer that question fast (or quickly, since “quickly” is an adverb and should be used to modify a verb like “answer” versus the adjective “fast” which should be used to modify a noun). I am not a fan of the language I call “taught English” with its fussiness.

I think it takes away from the human voice that will make your resume powerful and allow it to cut through the information overload in the reader’s brain. Still, you have to show the reader in your resume that you can write in the language you intend to do business in.

Do you know what kind of business I’m in (or we’re in)?

Petra customizes her resume before she sends it out. The Summary we saw above comes from Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing resume. She has four or five different versions that emphasize different aspects of her background.

You have to customize your resume to make it clear that you understand the organization you’re reaching out to. Don’t send a resume that says “I am an Administrative Professional in the legal industry” to a soft-drink bottling company! You’re telling them you’re in the legal industry but that’s not their industry. That’s not a good strategy.

Make sure that in your resume there is a connection to the organization you’re approaching, and to the job you are interested in—whether that job is posted anywhere, or not.

Does your career history make sense?

Your career history has to make sense on the page. That’s why I don’t like ‘functional’-type resumes. Mother Nature is in charge. Any hiring manager with any interest in you is going to wonder “What is this person’s story?” A story is chronological. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. Give us the story in your resume!

If there are gaps, fill them in “Sabbatical” or “Private Projects” or “Independent Consulting.” If you helped your brother build his new house, that’s a consulting project.

Do you have the educational background I’m looking for?

Some managers care more about educational credentials than other ones do, but either way, you’ve got to tell your educational story in your resume. Most people include their school credentials at the end of the resume, at the bottom of page two.

Are the stories or accomplishments you highlight in your resume significant to me?

Tell stories in your resume, the way Petra did. You can tell Dragon-Slaying Stories in the Summary at the top of your resume or down in the body of it in your descriptions of each job you’ve held.

Are you smart?

Let’s be honest—the quality of your thinking is going to come through in your resume the same way your personality and your sense of direction are going to come through. Take the time to think about the words on your resume. They represent you, just like a song you would sing in a concert or any other expression of who you are.

You have no one to impress, but why not let your resume sing your song as faithfully as possible?

The world is changing. Your resume doesn’t have to be stiff and formal any more. I don’t want you to write a jaunty, bro-type resume either (I have seen a few of those!) but simply a thoughtful, human story about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

Are you running your career?

The reader can tell whether or not you believe you’re in charge of your career—just by reading your resume! You can have gaps and skips and changes in altitude in your history—lots of brilliant and creative people do. You only have to feel like the master and commander of the ship, not a galley slave tossed about by the high waves, powerless.

You have to convey in your resume that you’re on an amazing roller coaster ride and learning new things every day. Get that across in your resume. You are not a leaf blown about by the wind. You’re an eagle!

Source: Forbes

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This Year’s Best Employers Have Focused on Fairness

Gender and income equality are a top priority for this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Like to work for a company that gives every employee a bonus of $100,000? Or one that takes all employees and their guests for a weeklong trip to a Mexican resort, complete with performances by LL Cool J and Sublime? Or one that caps its top executive salary at 19 times that of the average annual wage—when CEOs at the largest U.S. firms average more than 300 times the pay of their workers?

Welcome to the 19th annual installment of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As you read through this list, you’ll find companies with remarkable perks. But eye-popping perks are only the tip of the iceberg. What really makes a workplace a great place to work are the people practices that forge trust across the enterprise. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on company benefits lists. We select the firms on our list primarily based on the results of what employees tell us anonymously about their workplace culture.

This year we were struck by the prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. Take Hilcorp, the Houston-based oil and gas company that doled out $100,000 bonus checks after it met some daunting five-year financial goals. In December the company’s president, Greg Lalicker, defended spreading the wealth as crucial to the company’s success: “In order to create better alignment across all employees, our bonus structure treats everyone equally. We have a culture that we are all in this together.”

The big bonus checks at Hilcorp stand out because of the dollar amount, but the inclusive attitude expressed is what we see at many, if not most, companies on this list. Nationwide, the $36 billion mutual insurance and financial services giant, raised the minimum wage of its call-center workers to $15 an hour from $10.50. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made good on his commitment to gender equity by reviewing the salaries of every Salesforce CRM -0.10% employee and earmarking $3 million to shore up the paychecks of underpaid women. And according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, employees of six of the 100 Best Companies own all or a majority of the shares of their firms: Burns & McDonnell, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, Robert W. Baird, W.L. Gore, and TDIndustries.

As we compared the results from this year’s Great Place to Work Trust Index employee survey with those of our 1998 list, we saw that measures related to fairness showed the biggest improvements: The number of employees who said yes when asked if they felt they were “paid fairly for the work they do” jumped 13%; there was a 17% increase, likewise, in employees who believe they are “treated as a full member here regardless of my position”; and a 26% bump in those feeling that they have an equal “opportunity to get special recognition.”

Perhaps the 100 Best Companies have something to add to the national debate about fairness and economic equity that has become such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. After all, corporate America’s leadership has been ahead of much of the rest of society before on such issues as recycling and diversity. Many corporations also offered domestic-partner benefits years before courts and legislatures took action.

In fact, many leaders at the 100 Best Companies see promoting fairness as part of a social mission. Salesforce executive vice president Cindy Robbins explained its gender equity initiative in these terms: “At Salesforce we believe that businesses can be great platforms for change. Making the world a better place for everyone and being financially successful are not mutually exclusive endeavors.”

Or consider John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods WFM 1.52% , who capped his own salary at 19 times that of the average company worker. He insists that many companies today embrace a more egalitarian attitude toward workers as part of an expansive vision of business aims. These companies, Mackey says, “are keenly aware that they have a higher purpose that goes beyond making money, and they take proactive measures to respect all their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.”

Looking beyond Mackey, we were curious whether other CEOs of the 100 Best Companies were more restrained than their peers in terms of compensation. So we asked Equilar, a firm that specializes in executive compensation research, to run the numbers. It compared CEO pay at the 37 publicly traded companies on this year’s list with CEO pay among the S&P 500. Equilar found that the median CEO pay at publicly traded 100 Best Companies was about 19% less than at the S&P 500 ($8.3 million vs. $10.3 million).

Obviously, reducing CEO pay by 19% will not solve income inequality. But you may find it worthwhile to look at all the ways these exemplary companies create more equitable workplace cultures within an increasingly unequal society. Maybe some of the practices you read about here can be part of the solution.

Source: Fortune

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4 Things You Need to Talk About With Candidates During the Interview


The reality is we’re in a war for top talent. After years of employers having control over the job market, candidates now know they are in control. In order to hire your next great employee, you’re going to have to adapt your candidate experience.

One thing that often goes overlooked in the candidate experience is the communication between hiring managers and candidates during the interview. What kinds of things should you be communicating in an interview in order to interest the best candidates?

Hiring managers are used to quizzing candidates about their employment history, skills, and background. But today’s top candidates want to be a part of a deeper conversation, one that centers on the company, the work environment, and more.

Here are a few vital communications to include in your next interview:

1. A Realistic Employer Brand

Today’s candidates are concerned with employer brands. According to CareerBuilder, approximately 91 percent of candidates make decisions on whether to accept a position based on the organization’s employer brand.

If your hiring managers aren’t aware of the employer brand or can’t articulate it clearly, this could lose you candidates. It’s critical to realistically communicate your organization’s employer brand in an interview – otherwise, you could find that new hire exits a lot sooner than the company had hoped. Train hiring managers to paint a picture in the interview of the company’s mission and vision, including how the prospective employee’s team relates to both.

2. Insight Into the Working Conditions

Many job postings refer to the company culture very vaguely, promising little more than “a great work environment.” These ads often stop short of providing an explanation of what that environment might actually be like. As a result, many candidates come to an interview with one idea about the culture, only to be confronted with a completely different picture once they begin a new job.

RoadIf the company is fast-paced, it behooves a hiring manager to mention this in the interview instead of describing a laid-back environment. An accurate portrayal of the company culture ahead of time can set a new hire up for success and ensure that the people joining the organization are truly the right people.

3. Advancement Opportunities

Today’s candidates are concerned with opportunities in the workplace for career advancement, more pay, professional development, and so on.

According to Deloitte, millennials – the fastest-growing segment of the talent market – are extremely concerned with opportunities for advancement and learning. Sixty-three percent of them feel their leadership skills are simply not being developed, which drives them to search for new employment opportunities.

In the interview, it is a hiring manager’s job to attract top candidates by setting expectations regarding potential advancement opportunities that may exist.

4. How the Employee Will Benefit From Working for the Organization

Too many hiring managers still approach the interview as a way to evaluate the candidate, rather than as an opportunity to sell the position.

Many of the best candidates know they’re in demand. They want to know what’s in it for them if they join your organization. In the interview, be prepared to discuss the things that set your organization apart, like advancement opportunities, team events, company culture, perks and benefits, and more. This information can help sell the candidate on working for your team instead of a competitor’s.

As the war for top talent heats up, it will become increasingly important that hiring managers learn how to position themselves in the marketplace to attract and hire the best candidates. This must involve detailed communications during the interview process.

Remember: It’s not just about what the candidate can do for you – it’s also about what you can do for the candidate.

Source: Recruiter

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This Is How You Identify A-Players (In About 10 Minutes) During An Interview

This post was first shared with my private email list for founders. If you want to learn how to grow from small startup to thriving company (from someone that’s built 5 companies with $200M in total revenue), you should subscribe.

Over the last 15 years I’ve probably interviewed close to 1,000 people for all sorts of roles. From sales to marketing to engineering to customer service to management and even CEOs and board members.

When I started interviewing, I’d estimate my hit rate was right around 50%, which means only 1 in 2 candidates would be a good fit for the role. Over the years and as I continued to interview and hire, I started to see the “real life” impact of hiring A-players.

If you haven’t heard the term “A-players” before, don’t feel bad. Here’s a quick rundown — when it comes to people in the context of work, you can generally group them into 3 categories:

  • A-players: the top 5% of people. They work hard, go over and above, are well liked and respected and typically move “up the ranks” fast.
  • B-players: most people. They do the 9–5 thing, do their job well and are generally the “good not great” people.
  • C-players: the bottom 10%. They do just enough to scrape through, don’t volunteer to take on new projects, like (and cause) conflict and have little to no personal accountability or responsibility.

In terms of hiring, your managers are A/B/C players too, which means:

  • A-players love to hire other A-players and build teams of super smart people that love to win. They genuinely want to be the “dumbest” person in the room and love learning from those around them
  • B-players hire C-players because they’re worried about someone coming in and taking their job
  • C-players don’t really hire (too hard/too lazy), but if they do, they’ll pretty much take whoever comes along

So obviously you want to hire A-players, right? Good. I sat down earlier today and thought about all of the A-players I’ve been fortunate enough to hire over the years at my 5 previous companies — most of which are still in those companies today.

I thought about the commonalities between them and what “makes them tick” and I also thought about my actual interviews with them — even the interviews back in the early 2000s. When I asked myself “What do they all have in common that would form the foundation of an A-player?”, I came up with a series of personality traits and past experiences.

I then looked at it from another angle and came up with 7 questions you can use in your interview process to give you a much better chance of finding and hiring them.

Here are those 7 questions:

Q1: Have they been promoted at least once in a previous role?

A-players are great at what they do and good managers will pick up on that fast, offering them more responsibility and eventually a more challenging role. Look at their LinkedIn profile and see if, at any of their previous companies, they’ve been promoted. Once is great, twice is amazing and three times is out of this world.

Q2: Have they had to lead a big project in a previous role? How did they handle it?

A-players like to take on more responsibility over time, not less. Have they had a previous manager that was so confident in their abilities that they were given a large or important project to run on their own?

Q3: Is this the same role as a previous job or is it somewhat/completely different?

A-players love challenges. I found that most A-players don’t change companies so much as they change roles — because they like the challenge of constantly learning new things and being in new situations.

Q4: Can they speak about your company and tell you what they like and what they might change?

A-players do research on a company before an interview. They try to understand your strategy, what’s going well and even what’s not. Can they clearly articulate what they like about your company but also provide some constructive feedback on something you might want to change?

If they don’t know what your company does or they have no opinion (positive or negative) about it, that’s a red flag.

Q5: Are they confident without being cocky?

This is a fine line. A-players have great track records and you want someone who talks a lot about being on great teams and having great managers and mentors, not someone constantly saying “I this, I that”.

Q6: Are they committed to continual learning? Can they prove it?

A-players love learning new skills. Ask them what they learned in their previous role. Ask which book they’re currently reading. Ask what they plan to learn in the next 6–12 months and how they’ll go about doing that.

Q7: How would you rate the quality and quantity of questions they ask YOU during the interview?

A great interview is always a conversation — it’s never one-sided. Look at the quantity and quality of questions they ask YOU. A-players care about the team they’ll be on, their manager and where you want to take your company moving forward.

If you’d like to use these questions in your next interview, I’ve put together a swipe file which includes a 70-point rating system you can use to help you assess whether candidates are A-players or not. Download it here (look for the yellow box). It also includes the specific questions you can ask during the interview, for those of you who aren’t sure.

Remember, hiring A-players isn’t a science. There’s a lot more to it than asking the 7 questions above, but in my experience it’s a great place to start. You also need to trust your gut, check references, assess if they’re a great cultural fit and most importantly ask the people on the team they’ll be a part of whether they’d like to work with them or not.

Want more stuff like this? Join my private email list for founders here.

Source: Medium

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Prominent architects slam Vancouver’s planning and development

Comments coincide with plan to have separate managers of those two civic functions 

The city’s policy of protecting view corridors has had a negative effect on livability downtown and deprived the city of ‘billions’ of dollars in development cost charges that could be used for social good, said architect Richard Henriquez.

VANCOUVER — Vancouver’s planning and architecture have suffered over the long term from a lack of foresight by City Hall and heavy-handed management, three of the city’s prominent architects said Friday.

From a singular focus on protecting view corridors and restricting height limits downtown to the departure of experienced staff unhappy with the consolidation of power in the city manager’s office, Vancouver’s architectural and planning direction has drifted off course, said James Cheng, Richard Henriquez and Joost Bakker at an Urban Development Institute luncheon.

In comments at the event and in interviews later, the three said city council’s failure to hire a new director of planning and manager of development services since Brian Jackson retired last year has hurt the city.

“Without a planner and a manager of development services, every junior clerk is inventing a process to his job,” said Cheng, whose projects have included the Shangri-La, the Shaw Tower and adjacent Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

Said Henriquez, the founding partner of Henriquez Partners Architects: “They are also not prepared to exercise any discretion because they don’t have the confidence, they don’t understand the principles on which the project is based. They rely back on the policies that are written.”

And Bakker, a partner in DIALOG, believes the parade of planning directors who have gone through the city since Ray Spaxman and Larry Beasley 20 years ago has not resulted in a consistent vision for the city.

“I don’t think it has helped us at all. You like to have some certainty, some consistency. You’d like to have a good long run so some ideas can manifest themselves,” he said.

The architects’ comments came on the same day the city finally made public a plan to divide in two the traditional role of planning director and manager of development services.

For all of its history Vancouver has relied upon the director of planning to also be responsible for managing development. But the decision to split the roles is an acknowledgment that they are now mutually exclusive and contain an inherent conflict, with daily development pressures impeding long-term city planning.

Bakker said the split also signals that the city has grown up enough to support the sophisticated and conflicting roles.

“I don’t think this city has seen anything yet,” he said. “People have no idea what is yet to come in the next 40 years and I think some of it is in a lot more exuberant, expensive buildings. We’re starting to see that appear. I think we are at the tip of a new iceberg.”

Under the new plan, the director of planning — a legislatively mandated job under the Vancouver Charter — will report to the new manager of development services.

“You need both a dreamer and an implementer,” said Cheng, who believes the lack of direction has also made it more costly for the average citizen. “It affected the cost of doing business in Vancouver, because everything takes longer. There is nobody there to make decisions,” he said, noting that a decade ago a homeowner might pay a few hundred dollars for a building permit. Now the pre-permit fees are nearly $15,000 just to get the mandatory geotechnical, arborist and environmental engineering reports.

“Think of the poor citizen who owns a 33-foot lot and has saved all his life to build his own house. Before he even gets started he is slapped with all these fees, plus all these months just to get a permit,” he said. “This is not helping affordable housing.”

Bakker said former City Manager Penny Ballem’s consolidation of power has left Vancouver with a lack of senior management with long institutional knowledge.

“The thing I find disconcerting is that … we’ve had a really powerful city manager and a lot of traffic has been directed out of that office,” he said. “You need strong departments. I think we’ve lost a lot of people who were disaffected and took off, and to build that back up is going to take time.”

The trio also weighed in on the city’s long-term policy of protecting downtown view corridors from the incursion of tall buildings. Cheng said in theory it may have been a good idea, but needs to be reviewed.

Henriquez was more direct. Such policies have had a negative effect on livability downtown and have deprived the city of “billions” of dollars in development cost charges that could be used for social good, he said.

“When you are increasing density and you are not increasing the height, you are curtailing the possibility of open spaces. It compromises the livability of the downtown by not having open space and having buildings closer together without enough privacy,” he said. “There is tremendous value in the space up top. If you rezone something overheight, you can use the development cost charges for social housing or whatever. There are billions, billions of dollars at issue.”

All three of the architects were born outside of Canada but chose to make the Vancouver area their home.

Cheng, born in Hong Kong and educated at the University of Washington and Harvard, apprenticed under another Canadian architectural icon, Arthur Erickson. Cheng’s penchant for concrete construction and green glass facades became one of his signatures.

Henriquez, born in Jamaica, had a major hand in formulating some of the striking architecture that has changed Vancouver. He took the old Vancouver Post Office downtown and created Sinclair Centre, and designed the first housing for the re-colonized former industrial lands in False Creek. He also designed the Justice Institute in New Westminster, as well as the Environmental Sciences building at Trent University. With his son Gregory, Henriquez’ company has put an indelible stamp on Vancouver architecture, including the redesign of Woodward’s, the Telus Garden complex and the planned redevelopment of Oakridge Centre.

Bakker, who was born in Curaçao, studied economics and architecture at the University of Toronto. His views of urban issues were influenced by Toronto architect George Baird. His architectural influence is seen in his co-authorship with Norm Hotson of the Granville Island redevelopment, the planned new Student Union Building at the University of B.C., and Richmond City Hall, which won a Governor General’s Medal for architecture.

Source: The Vancouver Sun


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5 Hiring Trends To Watch In 2016

As 2016 gets into full swing, we’re beginning to see several key hiring trends develop. Based on my insights as a former recruiter, I believe these themes bode well for job seekers looking to make the most of their career this year by finding a new job. Here are five trends job seekers can leverage in finding their next great role:

1. Job offers will include more perks and benefits. According to Mercer, salary increases this year are projected to be 2.9%. So, if you’re planning on remaining in your current job, chances are your raise will not be significant (if you receive one at all).

As such, job seekers looking to increase their earning power by pursuing external opportunities should also focus on negotiating more bells and whistles in their offer. In light of the current talent shortage, employers are generally hungry for quality candidates. Seekers should leverage this not only in negotiating financial benefits like base compensation, a sign-on bonus and relocation allowance – which may be more difficult to attain in the current economic climate – but also for perks like flexible work schedules and additional time off. Candidates can expect to see offers that include ramped up benefits like unlimited personal time and extended maternity and personal leaves.

2. Increased interest in boomerangs. The trend of employees considering returning to their former employers is on the rise. In a recent Monster poll, more than half of participants revealed that they’d consider returning to a former employer.

To that point, an additional 28% reported that they are already boomerangs. As more recruiters (and therefore employers) tap into this potential gold mine of rehires, they’re discovering the benefits of a former employee: boomerangs already know the company culture and infrastructure, which can help reduce their time to hire as well as their ramp up period.

We can expect to see more companies hosting in-person and virtual alumni events to network and re-establish rapport with their former employees, and, most importantly, build a pipeline of valuable potential rehires.

3. Social media will be increasingly used to find candidates. Back in the day, employers could only rely on resumes and cover letters to get a sense of a candidate’s qualifications. As we all know, the Internet and social media have made it much easier for them to find and research potential candidates – especially elusive talent that may not be actively looking for a job.

While resumes and cover letters are still staples of the process, expect recruiters to check out your online profiles in addition to what you have submitted – or even before you submit anything at all.

The really good news? Whether you’re looking for a job, applying or simply networking, having an active, polished online presence can make it easier for recruiters to find you and reach out about opportunities you may not have even known existed. Be reachable and, more importantly, be responsive to their emails, even if you’re not interested at the time.

4. More lucrative employee referral programs – and beyond. When I worked in corporate recruiting, all of my hiring managers shared one common hiring metric: the number one source of new hires was employee referrals.

In 2016, it’s likely employers will ramp up their referral programs for employees, as well as start extending referral bonuses externally, such as offering $100 to $500 to friends of the company and former employees. As the war for talent heats up, keep your eyes open for opportunities to refer friends and colleagues.

5. More offers will include flexibility. Until recently, it was common for candidates to be nervous about asking potential employers for flexible work arrangements.

Now more and more employers are offering flexibility as part of their employment package up front. And the options will continue to expand this year – from occasional telecommuting to staggering work hours and more. As the workplace continues to evolve, hiring practices will change along with them.

Source: Forbes


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STRIVE’s Annual Team Getaway in Whistler!

After 12 months of making placements for our wonderful clients and candidates, the STRIVE team let off a little steam atop the mountains at Whistler Blackcomb.

With blazing speed, we flew down the moutains in our skis.. i mean tubes! Then relaxed in our luxury suite at the Hilton hotel before we took on the town. The Ketel One vodka Room was very cool.. literally, it was -32 degrees!

It was a great way to celebrate our best year yet!

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STRIVE Annual Holiday Party 2015 with Alex Burrows!

STRIVE Recruitment teamed up with Vancouver Canucks superstar Alex Burrows to celebrate the holiday season with friends, colleagues and clients. Guests enjoyed local BC wines and several appetizer dishes including Momma Dha’s legendary samosas.
Needless to say, this party went into overtime with the home team coming up victorious.
STRIVE would like to thank all of the guests who attended and enjoyed the evening. Can’t wait for the next one – Cheers!



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Marriott to Buy Starwood Hotels, Creating World’s Largest Hotel Company

When Marriott International’s $12.2 billion bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide was announced on Monday morning, investors and analysts were surprised.

It was not the sale itself — Starwood, whose brands include Westin, W and Sheraton, had effectively put itself up for sale in late April — but that the buyer was Marriott.

Of all the rumored suitors — Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group and a few Chinese companies — Marriott had not been seen as being in the mix. On Marriott’s earnings call on April 30, the company’s chief executive, Arne Sorenson, waved off a question about a combination, saying it was inconsistent with its previous acquisition strategy.

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Our client is looking for Site Superintendents!

STRIVE is a Vancouver based boutique recruitment firm offering recruitment solutions in the specialist areas of Accounting and Finance, Skilled Trades Operations and Construction. We are passionate about recruitment at STRIVE and commit to offering an upfront, genuine and consultative approach to everything we do. Visit for more of our current searches.


Our client is an established General Contractor with an increasing presence in the local community and a list of growing projects to boast! They are currently seeking a capable Site Superintendent to lead and mentor on-site employees, and at the same time, manage the project and act as a point of contact for the client. With a strong background in construction, you should be excited about bringing your experiences to a progressive team with an open ear.

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Canadian exports to increase 7% in 2016: EDC forecast

A strengthening American economy and an anticipated increase in the price of oil will drive significant growth in Canadian exports in 2016, according to an Export Development Canada outlook report released November 3.

A 9% increase in shipments to the United States will be the major factor behind an overall increase of 7%. This follows a 1% drop in total exports this year due to the slump in oil prices.

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The top 1% made more than 10% of Canada’s total income in 2013: StatsCan

Canadian taxfilers with earnings in the highest 1% saw their share of total income across the country hold steady between 2012 and 2013.

In total, there were 264,030 individuals that made up the top 1% in the country in 2013, and this group earned 10.3% of the country’s total income—the same percentage as in 2012—according to Statistics Canada data released November 3. On average, taxfilers in this group made $454,800 in 2013—up $5,600 or 1.2% between the two years, which is the same percentage increase as seen, on average, by all Canadian taxpayers.

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STRIVE is a Vancouver based boutique recruitment firm offering recruitment solutions in the specialist areas of Accounting, Finance, Construction, Skilled Trades and Operations. We are passionate about recruitment at STRIVE and commit to offering an upfront, genuine and consultative approach to everything we do. Visit for more of our current searches.


Our client is one of the largest logistics company in the world with large scale facilities located in Langley, BC. They are currently seeking an Operations Supervisor to join their growing team. Keeping in line with their top notch services, the Operations Supervisor plays a large role in overseeing staff members and ensuring daily operations are running efficiently and smoothly. Our client is an established and growing company that prides themselves on exceptional leadership, an excellent company culture, and a strong injury-free record.

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How Ryan Holmes has kept Hootsuite in Vancouver

Around the world, Hootsuite is famous for its social media dashboard, the go-to for companies managing multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts—which, these days, is pretty much all of them. But here in B.C., the company is known for another rather remarkable accomplishment: staying home.

The Vancouver-based tech titan went from 20 employees to its current headcount of 800 in just four years, evolving from a young startup into a major local employer—all the while promising not to skip town. Often, the story for our tech startups ends much sooner: the company sells for $50 million, deciding it doesn’t have the resources it needs in Vancouver to become the next Facebook. So how does a company like Hootsuite—founded in Gastown in 2008 by Ryan Holmes—stay and grow so significantly?

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