DistillerSR Inc. – 2023 Employer Excellence Award Recipient

From left to right: Helen Huang, Tylynne Pichie and Peter O’Blenis

DistillerSR Inc. is an Ottawa-based software company that conducts research and manages literature reviews for leading medical and pharmaceutical companies, governments and NGOs. Using articial intelligence (AI) and with enterprise-grade security and compliance, DistillerSR (DSR) software produces accurate evidence-based research quickly and effectively.

DSR knows its organization is made up of diverse talented people whose different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives create an atmosphere of innovation.  Hiring immigrants has greatly contributed to the success of DSR, providing the company with diverse skillsets and experiences. They have taken bold steps to reduce barriers in their recruitment process and in the past year, they hired 19 new immigrant employees. As they keep growing, they intend to continue to attract and retain immigrant talent.

To recruit diverse talent, DistillerSR utilizes multiple tactics. In addition to posting on job boards and social media, they also partner with several local immigrant employment agencies in Ottawa, such as World Skills and Access Employment, to ensure that every qualified pool of applicants includes skilled immigrants. DSR has also taken deliberate measures to recognize international professional and academic qualifications, removing citizenship and Canadian experience barriers often faced by immigrant job seekers. International education is valued and where necessary, new employees are supported to acquire the language skills and/or certification necessary for the position.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized for this award. Diversity and inclusion is a huge part of our philosophy in all areas of our business. It’s helped us create a culture that is inclusive, that inspires a sense of belonging, and that helps us grow as individuals and as a company.” Peter O’Blenis, CEO DistillerSR Inc.

DSR promotes and supports ongoing learning and development so that they can keep addressing barriers and improving their hiring and retention practices. Executives and the human resources team take part in cross-cultural competency and bias-awareness training. They also support the internal development and growth of immigrant employees through hands on support towards permanent residency or citizenship, 360 feedback with managers, and other educational opportunities to address skill gaps.

To ensure a clear and effective recruitment process, Interview questions are aligned with the job description and role requirements, and role expectations are reviewed with candidates. A thorough onboarding process for new hires includes a mix of training, including an introduction to EDI, and relationship-building. One key feature that has been instrumental in the onboarding experience of new immigrant hires is their Buddy Program. Buddies provide help for new hires with assuming job functions but also offer important insight into the day-to-day norms and activities within the organization.

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