January 30, 2024

Immigrant Talent: Insights from HR and Marketing Trailblazers

In this edition of our newsletter, we are thrilled to bring you a unique blend of wisdom and experience from two professionals who have embarked on a journey to establish themselves in this welcoming nation. Our spotlight shines on two remarkable individuals: Hazel Dsouza, an HR professional skilled in the art of interviewing and understanding people, and Nikhil Bhandary, a savvy Marketing expert with penchant for creativity and strategy.

Both have walked the path we’re now treading, and they graciously share their invaluable insights, tips, and heartfelt advice. Whether you’re seeking to ace your next job interview or unravel the secrets of thriving in the Canadian workplace, their stories resonate with the challenges and triumphs that come with being newcomers in this diverse and dynamic nation.

Join us as we delve into their journeys and gather the tools you need to thrive in your new home.

🗣️ Introducing Hazel Dsouza

I am a Human Resources professional with over 6 years of experience helping organizations reduce cost and improve HR processes through effective strategies. I’ve completed my Masters in Management Studies with specialization in Human Resources and my CHRP is underway.

With a versatile background in Human Resources, I have steered HR efforts both within a large organization and in the dynamic world of startup within a corporate giant. Over the years, I’ve cultivated a deep understanding of HR processes, from recruitment and onboarding to employee relations and performance management. As an HR professional, my focus is to collaborate with the management and business leaders to foster a positive and engaging employee experience.

🎯 As an HR professional, I believe we play a critical role in shaping the success of any organization by finding and selecting the best talent to join our teams. In the process of identifying candidates who will not only excel in their roles but also contribute to the growth and culture of our organization, we consistently look for several qualities.

While skills and qualifications are essential while selecting a person for a job, there are qualities that go beyond the skills and qualifications listed on a resume. They include a candidate’s values, personality and the potential impact within the organization.

👉 Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is the cornerstone of collaboration and productivity. Candidates who can articulate their ideas clearly, actively listen to others, and engage in open and respectful dialogue are more likely to foster positive working relationships and drive projects forward.

👉 Resilience and Positive Attitude: The professional journey is marked by highs and lows. Candidates who have demonstrated resilience in face of challenges show an ability to bounce back, learn from setbacks and maintain a positive outlook.

👉 Problem-Solving:Organizations encounter a multitude of challenges on a daily basis. Candidates who can think critically to analyze situations, propose solutions, and make informed decisions are incredibly valuable.

👉 Team Player Attitude: While individual skills matter, the ability to work harmoniously in a team is equally important. Candidates who demonstrate empathy, support their colleagues, and collaborate effectively contribute to a positive work environment.

👉 Leadership Potential: Leadership does not merely apply for those in managerial roles. The ability to exhibit leadership potential (regardless of one’s position) by taking initiative, demonstrating responsibility, and motivating others drives positive change.

👉 Cultural Fit: A candidate’s alignment with the company’s values, mission, and culture is essential for long-term success. Cultural fit ensures that the candidate will integrate smoothly into the organization and thrive in the work environment.

🎯 Ultimately, as HR professionals, we strive to identify candidates who possess a blend of skills, personality traits, and values that align with the company’s objectives and culture. While technical expertise is essential, it is these human qualities that truly set candidates on a trajectory for success within the organization. So, to all the candidates out there, remember that showcasing your authentic self, your passion, and your potential impact can make all the difference in your journey towards landing that dream role.

🗣️ Introducing Nikhil Bhandary

Nikhil is a business professional with a decade of international work experience in different roles in sales, business development, and marketing across the Middle East, India, Africa, and recently in Canada. He has worked largely for FMCG/CPG/Food companies with a breadth of experience managing businesses of different sizes. His interests outside of work are sports, movies, traveling, and hiking outdoors.

🎯 As an interviewee, the only way to understand if you are a good candidate for the company and the role is to do the right research. An ideal candidate would ensure that they are a perfect match for all the below points and they should in an ideal scenario be able to clear the process provided they have done their homework. Research is the name of the game if you want to win this journey.

The objective of the interviewee is that the following fits are displayed to the recruiting team via different points of contact throughout the process – interview/interactions/Q&A/resume/communication/references, etc.

👉 Job Description Fit: First and foremost, I recommend aligning your profile, resume, and experience with at least 60% of the job description. Once that’s confirmed, focus on showcasing 4-5 key instances where you’ve effectively demonstrated the required expertise in your previous or current roles. As a quick self-assessment, try reciting 50-60% of the job description components from memory; if you can do this comfortably, you’re stepping into familiar territory.

👉 Company Fit: When considering a role, delve into the company culture to gauge alignment with its core promises, ethos, and values. This involves more than just superficially assessing products or brand appeal. I suggest immersing yourself in the company’s website—exploring the mission, the “about us” section, and recent news. If the company’s commitment doesn’t resonate with you, it’s worth questioning why you’re pursuing the position. Remember, numerous opportunities await. From my experience, success comes from precise hunting, not carpet bombing.

👉 Team Fit: I’d start by exploring platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Dive into the profiles of the company’s employees to spot any common traits – their experience, qualifications, tenure. This will give valuable insights into the company’s hiring pattern and whether you align. A bonus would be connecting with someone from the company for a 1-on-1 coffee chat.

👉 Role Fit: The role truly unfolds during the multiple rounds of discussion. While you might seem like a perfect fit based on the job, company, and people aspects, the role itself can surprise you. This should encourage you to connect with industry peers or similar companies to fully grasp the position. Genuine enthusiasm for the role translates into a compelling interview. If everything aligns except the role itself, it’s worth questioning your interest in the job.

👉 Person Fit: Let’s assume all of the above is a greenlight – the final check would be to ensure that you are a fun person to work with. The emphasis here could be on multiple aspects around personality, behaviour, cultural aspects, and enthusiasm.

👉 Q&A: The interview process is like a mutual assessment before committing. It’s a chance for both sides to evaluate. Surprisingly, even a full interview can be redeemed in the last 10-15 minutes of Q&A, where you take the lead. Unlike other stages led by the recruitment team, this one’s in your hands. From my perspective, it’s okay not to know every answer, but not having any questions for such a significant commitment raises concerns. In my experience, a lack of questions is a red flag.

👉 What if I am a misfit on some of these points?: I focus on transferable skills and research to align effectively. I create a list of these skills to identify any overlaps, demonstrating to the team that certain mismatches can be overlooked. I analyze my own history, highlighting instances where I’ve achieved success despite not perfectly fitting into some of the criteria mentioned earlier.

🎯 I will repeat again – In my experience, this game is of precision hunting and not carpet bombing. Applying 100x will not increase the probability if that 100x is not within the right space of overlaps in terms of fit.

We’ve shared a some important steps that you need to take into consideration to get the ball rolling. If you’re interested in joining our exclusive community, connect with professionals in your field and staying informed with the latest knowledge, here’s how you can get started:

We, as a community of immigrants dedicated to supporting fellow newcomers, prioritize creating a secure environment where professionals can come together and interact. Join us by signing up at www.immigrantnetworks.com and gaining access to our exclusive WhatsApp group, where you can arrange personalized one-on-one sessions with our Ambassadors for mock interviews, LinkedIn profile reviews, and so much more. Please be aware that this group is exclusively for users with Canadian cell phone numbers.

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