Giatec Scientific Inc. – 2023 Employer Excellence Award Recipient
Giatec Scientific Inc. is an Ottawa-based company focused on bringing smart concrete testing technologies and real-time data collection to the forefront of every construction job site. A key ingredient to the organization’s success has been attracting and retaining diverse, talented, and passionate employees.
Hiring immigrants has helped Giatec to diversify its perspectives and bring great ideas and solutions onboard to advance the organization’s success. More than 60% of leadership positions at Giatec are held by immigrants. Giatec has implemented several strategies for attracting immigrants and eliminating barriers in its recruitment and retention practices.
“We feel so privileged to have won this amazing award for a 3rd year in a row. It truly reflects how fortunate we are to have such a diverse and inclusive team here at Giatec and our mission to attract and retain the most talented and passionate employees.” Kimberly Stone Vice President, Finance and Operations, Giatec Scientific Inc.
To diversify the pool of candidates, Giatec networks with different agencies, such as World Skills and Hire Immigrants Ottawa, to share employment opportunities and showcase their company. Giatec participates in coaching and mentoring sessions with immigrants and has enhanced their company website to both highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion and to showcase its staff, including immigrants. This initiative helps Giatec demonstrate commitment to diverse talent and creates a welcoming image of the organization.
When screening candidates Giatec focuses on the specific knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. Applications are screened manually to ensure that those without the same knowledge of key words and terminology are not inadvertently excluded. Giatec does not require Canadian experience – but instead values the experience, education and skills a candidate has, regardless of where they were acquired. International education is accepted and where necessary, new employees are supported to acquire credential evaluations or certifications required for the position.
Interview processes have been structured to minimize bias and remain consistent, focusing on the job description and the knowledge and skills required for the position. Giatec conducts panel interviews and uses scales and ratings which allow the assessment of candidates based on their answers and therefore helps to eliminate personal bias. Hiring managers across the organization receive training on hiring, including ways to reduce and eliminate bias from the hiring process.
Giatec has an ongoing onboarding process that gradually integrates new employees into the company. For new hires, to build an employee community and support inclusion, Giatec developed Welcome Questions that new employees answer when they start with the company. Answers to these fun questions (e.g., What’s one thing on your bucket list? If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?) are shared with all employees to support building relationships and a sense of belonging. More recently they introduced a job shadow program for some roles so that new hires can gain a better understanding of their responsibilities, while building relationships with team members.
Giatec strives to increase awareness regarding the positive impact of immigration in the organization and stives to foster an inclusive workplace where all employees feel they belong. Recently, they offered an in-house workshop on fostering a workplace culture of belonging and another session on “exploring difference”. These sessions have been successful and well-received by staff. Giatec is planning additional and ongoing trainings and webinars to promote diversity, inclusion and belonging. They currently promote and encourage employees to attend HIO’s free Cross-Cultural Competency training sessions and provide a minimum of $500 training budget per employee to support specific professional and personal development opportunities (including diversity and inclusion).
As Giatec continues to scale up, hiring immigrants will remain paramount to the company’s success in transforming the construction sector. Established diversity and inclusion practices help Giatec maintain a productive and collaborative environment where all individuals are treated with respect and where innovation and creativity can drive business success and growth.