It’s Talent, Not Canadian Work Experience, That Counts

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Talent is talent, period. Pythian is one of the largest and most respected remote database and consulting service companies in the world, and we got there because of our focus on talent.

We recognize that our greatest resource is our people. And we know that the talent they bring to the table is what has helped us grow —and built our reputation as a provider of quality products and service.

While almost any company can state that their strength is the human resource factor, at Pythian, these aren’t just words. We live by them, and act on them, every day. Every human resource decision is predicated on actively seeking the best talent, nurturing that talent and keeping that talent, no matter where it was acquired.

What does this mean, really?

First of all, it means looking actively beyond traditional talent sources to find the people with the skills we need to grow our business. Many of the best minds at Pythian were not trained in Canada, and we have found that their presence with us helps to attract even more global talent and expertise.

Second, it means analyzing what a prospective employee — even those who we haven’t pursued — can bring to our company in terms of their knowledge and skills. We don’t care whether this knowledge and those skills were obtained in Nigeria, or Russia, or Spain, or New Zealand. Knowledge is knowledge and skills are skills.

Third, it means treating every résumé with unbiased introspection. Every résumé that crosses the desk of a human resource staff member at Pythian gets the same treatment: where the person studied and any identifiable information to their global career footprint, are all stripped out. This type of information is just sugar coating. All we want to know is whether the person’s skills will add value to our team. To ensure that we are getting the best talent, we conduct technical assessments and other types of measurements.

It’s all well and good to acquire the best people you can, but it’s also important to keep those people. That’s why, at Pythian, we have an open door policy — which encourages creativity, brainstorming and collegiality. Every newcomer to Pythian goes through a structured orientation program, is paired with a mentor, receives a self-directed professional development budget aimed at furthering career development, and is encouraged to take advantage of other programs including a speakers program for improving presentation skills, and seminars and workshops. Even employees working in other corners of the world — far away from our headquarters in Ottawa — can conference in to participate in a program that interests them.

From recruitment to retention, we give new employees the attention and support they need to fit in — and excel. Because when our employees excel, we excel.

But we just don’t stop there.

We also know it’s important to keep on learning about best practices in the field, and to help impart that learning to other groups. I have personally learned so much as a member of Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s IT working group, and consequently have been able to bring back what I have learned to Pythian.  In turn, through HIO, I can share Pythian’s philosophy and practices with other employers, contributing to a larger cause of fostering diversity and inclusion in Ottawa’s workplaces.   With the company’s support, we have also collaborated with HIO to host coaching events here — helping skilled immigrants looking for work in the IT field with industry information and tips to improve their résumés and interviewing skills. The staff at Pythian have also benefitted from HIO’s cross-cultural competency workshops.

Being involved with Hire Immigrants Ottawa is a win–win for everyone.

Heidi Hauver is Director of Human Resources at Pythian.  

Pythian is a proud winner of the 2012 Employer Excellence Awards.

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