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Do you want to elevate your leadership skills? Enhancing your emotional intelligence is integral to becoming the leader your team will respect and appreciate. Here are practical strategies you can use as an Ontario manufacturing and engineering leader, enabling you to build stronger connections with your team, navigate challenging situations, and foster a positive and collaborative work environment.


Self-awareness Development


Understanding your emotions and how they influence your thoughts and behavior is essential to personal growth and self-awareness. You can cultivate self-awareness through regular self-reflection and mindfulness practices, such as meditation or journaling. By dedicating time to introspect, you can become more aware of your emotional triggers and how they affect your decision-making and interactions with others. Recognizing and accepting your strengths and weaknesses is crucial in this process. It's also important to realize how your emotions can impact those around you, both positively and negatively. Developing this level of emotional intelligence allows for better self-regulation, empathy, and more effective communication in personal and professional relationships.


Enhancing Social Skills


A leader must communicate effectively, manage conflicts, and build strong, cohesive relationships with team members. Effective communication goes beyond just conveying messages; it involves active listening, giving full attention to team members' ideas and concerns, and showing empathy and understanding. Clear communication is also vital, eliminating ambiguities and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Engaging in team-building activities can be highly beneficial to strengthen team dynamics. Regularly seeking feedback from your team is another critical aspect of leadership. It demonstrates humility and a willingness to grow and provides insights into the effectiveness of your leadership style and strategies.


Empathy Cultivation


Empathy, defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is a critical skill in effective leadership. As a leader, possessing empathy means being deeply attuned to your team members' emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. It involves going beyond mere acknowledgment of their feelings; it requires actively listening to their concerns, understanding their challenges, and appreciating their viewpoints. This empathetic approach can be fostered by dedicating time to interact with team members in formal and informal settings. Engaging in open conversations, asking insightful questions, and showing genuine interest in their well-being helps build a solid emotional connection. This insight is invaluable in creating a supportive and inclusive work environment where every team member feels valued and understood. Empathy in leadership also aids in conflict resolution, as understanding differing perspectives is critical to finding amicable solutions.


Self-Regulation Techniques


This process entails mastering the art of controlling or redirecting disruptive emotions and impulses, a crucial aspect of maintaining professionalism and emotional intelligence in the workplace. Developing this skill involves adopting various stress management techniques to help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or regular physical exercise can effectively manage emotional responses and maintain a clear head. These activities help alleviate stress and enhance overall mental well-being, allowing for better decision-making and improved focus. Learning to express emotions appropriately in professional settings is also crucial. It involves communicating feelings in an assertive yet respectful manner, ensuring that they are conveyed effectively without undermining workplace relationships or decorum.


If you need help scaling your team in 2024, turn to the team at itec group!

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Job searching has evolved, and in 2024, it's crucial to use the most efficient methods and tools available. What are some examples of how people job hunted in the past and the changing techniques today? Here are the things you should know and what to do to ensure a successful job hunt. 




Using referrals to find new employees is highly beneficial for several reasons. Referrals often lead to higher-quality candidates as they come recommended by existing employees familiar with the company culture and values. This increases the likelihood of a good fit between the candidate and the organization. The hiring process tends to be more efficient when utilizing referrals, as recommendations can streamline the initial screening stages. Companies still use referrals for hiring today.


Job Ads in Newspapers


In the past, employers relied on traditional print media, particularly newspapers, as a primary channel for advertising job opportunities. Companies would place recruitment ads in specific sections of newspapers, providing details about the job role, qualifications, and contact information for interested applicants. These print advertisements had a wide reach, allowing employers to target a broad audience of potential candidates. Job seekers would regularly peruse classified sections in newspapers to discover new employment opportunities. While this method was once the dominant approach, digital technology, and online job platforms have largely replaced print media for recruitment advertising, offering a faster, more dynamic, and cost-effective means of connecting employers with diverse candidates.


Help Wanted Signs


In the past, "Help Wanted" signs were a common and effective way for employers to attract local candidates. These signs were typically displayed prominently in storefronts or on the premises of businesses with open job positions. Passersby could easily spot these signs and inquire about job opportunities directly. While "Help Wanted" signs still exist, their usage has evolved. In the digital age, employers often complement physical signs with online job postings on their websites or various job platforms. Social media plays a crucial role in reaching a wider audience. "Help Wanted" signs are now part of a multi-channel recruitment strategy, with online methods offering a broader and more instantaneous reach.


Online Job Boards


Recruiting shifted from newspaper ads and signs to online job boards primarily due to the transformative impact of the Internet on communication and information dissemination. The rise of online job boards, such as Monster and Indeed, provided a more accessible, cost-effective, and efficient way for employers to reach a vast and diverse pool of candidates. Job seekers embraced the convenience of searching and applying for positions from the comfort of their homes, transcending geographical limitations. The digital shift also allowed for real-time updates, easy application tracking, and the integration of multimedia content in job postings.




Today, companies extensively leverage LinkedIn for recruitment by tapping into its robust professional network. Employers create company profiles, actively engage with the platform's community, and post job openings to reach a broad audience of potential candidates. Creating a complete profile and engaging on the forum can help you land your next job.  


Staffing Agencies


Employers also collaborate with staffing agencies to efficiently source and hire top talent by clearly understanding their hiring needs, culture, and expectations. Regular feedback and collaboration between job seekers and staffing agencies enhance the experience. By fostering a strong partnership, job seekers benefit from the agility and flexibility that staffing agencies offer, ensuring a timely and effective recruitment process.


Searching for great opportunities in Ontario? Let itec group to help you find your dream job!

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Personal development is a crucial driver of employee engagement and growth. As a manager, what are some of the most affordable ways to invest in your employee's personal development? Investing in employees' personal development doesn't always have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are a few ways to foster a motivated and skilled workforce without breaking the bank.


Online Learning Platforms


Utilize free or low-cost online learning platforms, such as Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning. Many of these platforms offer courses employees can take at their own pace. 


Book Clubs


Start a workplace book club where employees can read and discuss relevant books. Choose literature that aligns with professional development and encourages team members to share insights.


Internal Workshops and Skill-Sharing


Leverage the expertise within the team by organizing internal workshops where employees can share their skills and knowledge with colleagues. This fosters a culture of learning and collaboration.


Cross-Training Opportunities


Enable employees to learn new skills by allowing them to shadow colleagues in different departments. This expands their skill set and promotes a better understanding of the organization as a whole.


Lunch and Learn Sessions


Host informal lunchtime sessions where employees can share interesting topics or skills. Encourage diverse presentations to expose the team to various areas of expertise.


Mentorship Programs


Establish a mentorship program within the organization. This doesn't require significant financial investment but can yield substantial returns in terms of employee growth and satisfaction.


Flexible Work Arrangements


Offer flexible work hours or remote work options to allow employees the flexibility to pursue external courses or certifications outside of traditional working hours.


Networking Opportunities


Facilitate networking opportunities within and outside the organization. This can be done through attending local events, webinars, or even creating internal networking events.


Recognition and Feedback


Regularly provide constructive feedback and recognition for a job well done. This helps employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement, guiding their personal development efforts.


When you're ready to hire in the new year, let our team at itec group lend a hand!

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Are you curious about a career as a manufacturing professional? Join us as we outline the journey from classroom education to the factory floor. These valuable insights into the educational and training pathways available can help you take the first steps toward becoming a skilled manufacturing professional in Ontario's thriving industry.


Education and Training


Pursue relevant education from a recognized institution or university, such as a diploma or degree in engineering, manufacturing, or a related field. Consider enrolling in specialized programs or certifications related to manufacturing processes and technologies, which vocational schools and community colleges in Ontario offer.


Hands-on Experience


Seek internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions in manufacturing companies to gain practical experience. Participate in hands-on projects and gain exposure to different aspects of the manufacturing process, such as production, quality control, and supply chain management.


Continuous Learning and Skill Development


Stay updated with the latest advancements in manufacturing technologies and methodologies. Consider further education, workshops, or certifications to enhance your skills in areas like automation, robotics, computer-aided design, and lean manufacturing principles.


Networking and Industry Involvement


Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to network with professionals and potential employers in the manufacturing sector. Join professional organizations related to manufacturing, such as the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, to stay connected with industry trends and opportunities.


Job Search and Career Advancement


Utilize online job portals, company websites, and networking contacts to search for job openings in manufacturing companies across Ontario. Be proactive in seeking career advancement opportunities within your current workplace, demonstrating leadership skills and a proactive attitude toward problem-solving and process improvement.


When you're ready to search for your first manufacturing role, start your search with us.

itec group offers access to competitive manufacturing positions all over Ontario. 

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Ontario's manufacturing sector is thriving, but critical positions often remain unfilled due to talent shortages. How do companies find the employees they need in a competitive market? If you're looking for practical strategies for employers to attract and retain top talent, you've come to the right place. By implementing these ideas, you can ensure a steady workforce for continued success.


Working with itec Group


We aim to help you build and manage an agile workforce that fills specialized talent gaps within your organization. Our retention-focused hiring approach allows us to target candidates with cross-functional skills who will excel from the start and can learn, develop, and evolve for your future business demands.


Ontario-Based Employment Experts


We are part of the Ontario community and understand the needs of local companies and candidates. Connecting individuals to organizations in the area is a critical aspect of our business. By living our values, we can connect people who share also your values in the right roles at the right times.


Working with Ontario-based recruiters specializing in manufacturing provides a strategic advantage by leveraging their deep understanding of the local industry landscape, ensuring tailored recruitment solutions that align with the region's specific needs and regulations. This expertise and our established network within the Ontario manufacturing sector enhance the likelihood of connecting employers with highly skilled candidates, fostering efficient and successful workforce placements.


Our Specializations


The team at itec Group specializes in advanced manufacturing and engineering for companies across Ontario. We can place contract or permanent resources to fulfill your workforce needs. Positions we staff for include:

  • Application/Sales engineering

  • Chemical and material engineering

  • Electrical engineering

  • Manufacturing and quality engineering

  • Mechanical engineering

  • Environmental health and safety

  • Logistics

  • Skilled Trades & Industrial Management

  • CNC machining and programming


Connect with Us


The manufacturing industry continues to evolve in advancing, innovating, and pioneering next-generation manufacturing capabilities. Your business thrives on the ability to stay ahead of modernization; our recruitment experience and market intelligence will ensure you have the workforce to do so. Contact us to build your workforce.


For help hiring talented manufacturing professionals in Ontario, give our team a call! 


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Are you considering a career change in your mid-life era? Manufacturing and engineering are industries experiencing growth in our area, and your transferable skills may be a perfect fit. Here are four effective strategies for successfully transitioning into a new role, ensuring a smoother career change while leveraging your existing skills and experiences.


Self-Assessment and Skill Enhancement


Start by identifying your transferable skills. Many skills, such as project management, problem-solving, and leadership, are transferable across various industries. Highlight these skills in your resume and cover letter to showcase their relevance to manufacturing or engineering roles. Identify the specific skills required in your desired field. Enroll in relevant courses, workshops, or online certifications. Consider gaining certifications in particular software, coding languages, or engineering principles for engineering roles. Continuous learning demonstrates your commitment to the new career path and enhances marketability.


Networking and Mentorship


Attend industry-specific events, conferences, and seminars. Engage with professionals in manufacturing and engineering through social media platforms like LinkedIn. Join relevant online forums and communities. Networking helps you gain insights into the industry, understand its trends, and connect with potential employers. Identify experienced professionals in manufacturing or engineering who are willing to mentor you. A mentor can provide valuable guidance, introduce you to industry contacts, and offer insights into the sector. Their experience can be instrumental in helping you make informed career decisions and navigate challenges effectively.


Gain Practical Experience


Consider internships or volunteering opportunities in manufacturing or engineering companies. Practical experience not only enhances your skills but also provides valuable industry exposure. Many organizations offer internships for mid-career professionals looking to switch fields. These experiences can be stepping stones to securing a full-time position. Offer your services as a freelancer or contractor. Many manufacturing and engineering projects require specialized skills temporarily. Freelancing allows you to build a portfolio, gain industry experience, and establish professional relationships, potentially leading to full-time employment opportunities.


Tailored Resume and Cover Letter


Craft a resume highlighting your transferable skills and demonstrating your passion for manufacturing or engineering. Tailor your resume for each application, emphasizing relevant experiences and skills that align with the job requirements. Use quantifiable achievements to showcase your impact in previous roles. Compose a personalized cover letter for each application. Clearly articulate your motivation for transitioning into manufacturing or engineering. Explain how your skills and experiences make you a valuable asset to the organization. A well-written cover letter can set you apart from other applicants and showcase your interest in the field.


For help finding great positions, turn to itec group!

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While not every work environment will be perfect, making your employees feel disposable only worsens your company's culture. Feeling unappreciated, overworked, and burned out will cause your workforce to become less productive and motivated. That doesn't just affect their morale but can cost your business money. Here are a few ways companies make employees feel disposable without even realizing it.


Speaking Poorly About Employees


Speaking poorly about employees in the workplace significantly damages the organizational culture. It fosters negativity, erodes trust among colleagues, and creates a toxic environment where fear and insecurity thrive. It undermines teamwork, lowers morale, and hampers productivity. It's crucial for leadership to set clear policies against gossip and negativity, encouraging open communication and constructive feedback. Promoting a positive work environment where accomplishments are celebrated and concerns are addressed professionally can transform the workplace culture, fostering collaboration, trust, and a more productive atmosphere.


Focusing on Production Only


Exclusively focusing on production without considering the broader aspects of workplace culture creates a myopic environment that values output over employee well-being. It can lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of job satisfaction among employees. Ignoring the human element in pursuing high production numbers can result in a disengaged workforce, higher turnover rates, and a hostile workplace atmosphere. Management must adopt a holistic approach that balances production goals with employee needs. Encouraging team-building activities, investing in employee development, and soliciting regular feedback can further contribute to a healthier work environment where productivity and job satisfaction thrive.


High Turnover


High turnover rates can significantly damage workplace culture by creating an atmosphere of instability and uncertainty. It erodes team cohesion, as new employees frequently disrupt existing work dynamics. Frequent departures can lead to decreased morale among remaining staff, who may feel overburdened due to the constant need for training and onboarding. This churn also impacts institutional knowledge, hindering organizational progress. To address high turnover, employers should invest in employee engagement programs, offer competitive benefits, provide opportunities for skill development and career growth, and foster a positive work environment.


Immediate Firings


Immediate firings without a probationary period create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity among employees, diminishing trust in the organization's leadership. Team members may feel anxious about making mistakes or taking risks, hindering creativity and innovation. It sends a message that the company does not value its employees, impacting motivation and engagement. To change this, companies can implement a structured probationary period where employees receive clear expectations, regular feedback, and support to succeed.


Disregard for Work/Life Balance


Disregarding employee work/life balance leads to burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and a high turnover rate as employees seek a healthier work environment. This imbalance fosters resentment and stress, eroding teamwork and morale. It also hampers creativity and productivity, as exhausted employees are less likely to contribute innovative ideas. To improve, companies can implement policies promoting flexible work hours, remote work options, and clear boundaries between work and personal time. Encouraging employees to take their allocated vacation days and discouraging excessive overtime sends a message that the organization values their well-being.


If you need to scale up your team, let ours help you find the people you need.

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It's exciting to live in an era of growth in technology. Here in Ontario, the current market for manufacturing and engineering is evolving. With both certainty and opportunity on the horizon, here are several emerging trends for job seekers in the manufacturing industry. Here are some ideas to get you started if you're looking for your next career move in the area.


The Current Market in Ontario


While the market has changed, there is still a rise in manufacturing and engineering in Ontario. The pandemic pushed technological innovation further and faster. Automation is more prevalent, but the market still requires skilled individuals to work within those positions. Companies are working with candidates in full-time and contract positions for all kinds of jobs in this sector.


Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering


Job seekers should focus on honing technical skills such as engineering, automation, and 3D printing while staying updated with industry trends. Networking through industry events and online platforms like LinkedIn is crucial, as is researching companies for their culture and innovation focus. Tailoring resumes, preparing for technical and behavioral interviews, and emphasizing problem-solving skills are critical strategies for success in this competitive field.



Professional Services, Operations, and Supply Chain


Job seekers targeting these roles should emphasize project management, logistics, and process optimization skills. Researching companies' supply chain strategies and operational efficiency can provide valuable insights. Proximity to major industrial hubs and understanding Ontario's transportation and distribution networks are essential for supply chain roles. Updating resumes and cover letters to highlight relevant skills and experiences and preparing for competency-based interviews will enhance the chances of securing these roles in the Ontario job market.


Skilled Trades and Industrial Management


Those looking for skilled trades and industrial management positions should prioritize hands-on experience and specialized skills in trades such as electrician, plumber, or machinist. Obtaining relevant certifications and licenses is crucial. Knowledge of local regulations and safety standards is essential. A combination of technical expertise and leadership skills is valuable for those aspiring for management positions. Researching companies known for investing in employee development and safety protocols can guide job applications. Crafting a targeted resume highlighting technical proficiency and managerial abilities and effective interview communication can significantly enhance prospects in these roles.


Start your search with our team for help finding a great manufacturing position!

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We hear a lot about toxic workplaces, and no one wants to admit behaviors are happening under their noses that aren't great. But if you're struggling with employee retention, you may unknowingly perpetuate these harmful practices. Now is the time to look at your environment and dump these four toxic practices that might drive away your top employees.


Ignoring Employee Feedback and Concerns


Ignoring employee feedback and concerns can drive top talent away from your business, as it signals a lack of respect for their input and well-being. When employees feel unheard, undervalued, or unsupported, their morale and job satisfaction can plummet, leading to disengagement and decreased productivity. Employees seek environments where their opinions are considered, and their growth and development are prioritized. Failure to address concerns can erode trust and create a hostile workplace culture, causing high-performing employees to seek opportunities elsewhere where their contributions are recognized, and their voices are heard. Embracing employee feedback and actively addressing concerns retains valuable talent and fosters an atmosphere of collaboration, innovation, and loyalty that ultimately benefits the company's success and reputation.


Tolerating Toxic Employees


Tolerating toxic employees can harm a business, driving away top talent. Toxic individuals create a hostile work environment that erodes team morale, hampers collaboration, and damages overall company culture. Top performers are often committed to positive and supportive workplaces where they can thrive and contribute their best work. When toxic behavior goes unchecked, it can lead to frustration, stress, and burnout among top talent who may seek healthier and more respectful work environments. A company risks losing its most valuable assets by allowing toxic employees to persist. It undermines its ability to attract and retain high-caliber talent essential for sustained growth and success.


Promoting a Culture of Burnout and Overwork


Promoting a culture of burnout and overwork can drive away your best employees, as it undermines their well-being and work-life balance. When employees are constantly pushed beyond their limits and pressured to prioritize work over their health and personal lives, it erodes their motivation, creativity, and job satisfaction. Top performers are drawn to environments that recognize the importance of healthy work-life integration, where their efforts are acknowledged without sacrificing their mental and physical health. Fostering a culture that values rest, encourages manageable workloads, and promotes self-care retains top talent and enhances productivity and innovation, contributing to a more sustainable and successful business in the long run.


Keeping Employees Stagnant


Failing to provide advancement and development opportunities can lead to the departure of top talent from your business. High-performing employees are motivated by growth and opportunities to expand their skills and responsibilities. When these opportunities are lacking, top talent may feel stagnant and undervalued, seeking out organizations where their potential is nurtured and rewarded. Without a clear path for career progression, employees might feel their contributions go unnoticed, leading to disengagement and a decline in overall morale. Investing in your team's professional development, offering avenues for advancement, and demonstrating a commitment to their long-term success within the company is crucial.


If you need help hiring, give us a call!


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We understand that negotiating a salary can be stressful, which means many job seekers avoid putting a lot of work into it. But it's critical for your bottom line and establishing the professional relationship to thrive in your new company. To prepare for your next job offer, consider these strategies for salary negotiations. 


Do Your Homework


Doing your homework before a salary negotiation for a new job offer is essential to ensure you make informed and strategic decisions. Researching the industry standards and average salaries for similar roles in your geographic area helps you gauge the fairness of the initial offer and set realistic expectations. Understanding the company's financial health and performance can provide insights into its ability to offer competitive compensation. Knowledge about your skills, experience, and the value you bring to the role empowers you to advocate for a salary that reflects your worth. Preparedness demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to the role, enhancing your negotiating position and increasing the likelihood of securing a favorable compensation package that aligns with your expertise and market conditions.


Ask About Salary 


Asking about the salary range early in the job process is crucial to promote transparency and ensure alignment between your expectations and the employer's offer. Discussing the salary range upfront saves both parties valuable time and effort if there's a significant mismatch between what you're seeking and what the company can provide. It demonstrates your professionalism, commitment to open communication and fosters a positive rapport with the potential employer. Early salary discussions enable you to make informed decisions about whether the opportunity aligns with your financial goals and allows the employer to gauge if they can meet your expectations. Encouraging open communication establishes trust and mutual understanding, facilitating a smoother hiring process for you and the company.


More Than Money 


When accepting a new job, it's essential to recognize that negotiation extends beyond the base salary. Exploring and negotiating additional benefits, personal time off, and other perks can significantly impact your overall job satisfaction and work-life balance. Discussing benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible work arrangements allows you to tailor the package to your needs. Negotiating personal time off, including vacation days and remote work options, can help you achieve better work-life integration. By addressing these aspects during negotiations, you enhance your overall compensation package and create a customized work environment that aligns with your lifestyle and priorities, contributing to your long-term happiness and success in the new role.


Find your next role with the help of our team!

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Modesty Sabourin
May 19, 2021
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