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Outpost Recruitment welcomes the award of the $2.8bn Broadway Subway project

The winning consortium for Vancouver’s much-needed Broadway Subway project learned their fate this week.

The Broadway Subway Project is a 5.7 km extension of the Millennium Line, from VCC-Clark Station (Commercial Drive) to the Broadway & Arbutus intersection in Kitsilano. It will provide fast, frequent, and convenient SkyTrain service to B.C.’s second largest jobs centre, world-class health centres, emerging innovation and research hub, and growing residential communities. Once in service, the trip from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Station will take 11 minutes, saving the average transit commuter almost 30 minutes a day and relieving congestion along the busy Broadway corridor served by the B-Line bus. As part of the Broadway Subway Project, six new underground stations will be built to connect communities and neighbourhoods. Construction will begin in fall 2020, with the line in service in 2025.

The project budget is $2.83 billion, funded and delivered by the Government of B.C., with contributions from the Government of Canada and the City of Vancouver. The Broadway Subway project is a key part of the rapid transit program in Metro Vancouver’s Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision. The Vision is funded by the governments of B.C. and Canada, TransLink, and local municipalities. As P3 project delivery has fallen from favour under the NDP government in BC, this project will be delivered as a design-build lump sum.

It’s been a long wait for a major transportation project in Vancouver and now with the $1.4bn Pattullo Bridge project in construction phase, Vancouver will have two mega projects coinciding.

Vancouver-based Outpost Recruitment are uniquely placed to assist in hiring for this project. Alongside their sister website, Moving2Canada, Outpost have been tracking local and international talent since 2011. “With the Vancouver market already stretched by a steady real estate market and a booming municipal infrastructure market, our clients enjoy our extended reach in national and global infrastructure talent,” commented founder Ruairi Spillane noting that B.C. continues to face a major labour shortage. “Despite the impacts of Covid-19, we expect to be very busy over the next 5 years as infrastructure is truly a global market and we help clients expand their reach and innovate through people using the latest technology and construction methods.”

“Overall, we’re seeing huge demand from both consulting and contracting clients for candidates with delivery experience in major projects and specific exposure to healthcare and rail projects,” said Spillane. “The outlook is excellent for candidates considering Vancouver as a destination with Western Canada bouncing back quickly from the impacts of the pandemic and subsequent economic shock. We’re hopeful that limitations on international travel will be eased as BC continues to flatten the curve.

Outpost are urgently seeking candidates for the following roles across contracting and consulting. Recruitment for further key organization chart roles will commence quickly once positive news is received by our client.

Contractor roles:

  • Superintendent – Civil / Structural
  • Project Manager / Coordinators – Civil / Structural
  • Site / Field Engineer – Civil / Structural
  • Design Managers / Coordinators
  • Quality Coordinators, QA/QC Manager
  • Project Controls / Contracts Managers / Procurement
  • Rail expertise (signaling, SER, etc)
  • Commercial Managers / Contracts Manager / Quantity Surveyors
  • BIM Manager
  • Planner / Scheduler
  • Equipment Coordinator
  • Field Document Controller
  • Field Scheduler
  • Mechanical & Electrical Managers / Coordinators
  • Environmental Manager
  • Traffic Manager

Consulting roles:

  • Project Manager, Owner’s Representative
  • Civil / Structural Designers / Project Managers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Geotechnical design consultants
  • Cost consultants

Expertise in tunneling and rail design/construction is highly sought after to ensure the success of this project.

If you want to be part of this exciting venture, please ensure you create a profile via our website so that we can review your CV/resume and profile. Sponsorship opportunities will only available to senior personnel (10+ years of similar infrastructure experience), so all other candidates must be eligible to work in Canada.

 

Future Hiring Opportunities

Employer sponsorship opportunities are not a certainty, so if you want to be part of the construction industry in Canada, we recommend working towards obtaining the right to work in Canada independently. Visit our sister website, Moving2Canada, for free immigration resources and this helpful guide.

Contact Ruairi Spillane at r[email protected] for more details.

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Spring 2020 Pipeline Update: Ontario remains committed to $60bn infrastructure pipeline

Jun 18 2020 – $60-billion in new infrastructure projects will continue to move forward despite a global economic correction. That’s the update announced by Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott today (Jun 18 2020), with the P3 project pipeline expected to create many jobs and drive economic growth in Canada’s largest province with significant project development in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Scott predicts the projects will “generate thousands of jobs in the skilled trades, engineering, and design sectors.”

The plan outlines 32 P3 projects (public-private partnerships) already in active procurement or pre-procurement, plus 11 more projects in the planning stages. The pipeline of projects is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the construction sector, according to Scott, as key players in the industry will “partner with Ontario and successfully deliver the high-quality infrastructure that our province relies on and depends on.”

While the P3 project delivery format is immensely popular in Ontario, it is worth noting that other Canadian provinces are less enthusiastic about the public-private partnership model. BC’s NDP government, for example, has been moving away from the P3 model in recent years. Ontario remains firmly committed to infrastructure investment in Ontario and P3 project delivery which will stimulate the provincial economy post-Covid. This unprecedented investment will build critical infrastructure, create employment and deliver value for money using the P3 delivery model.

Thirteen of these projects are currently in procurement and another 24 projects are in the pre-transaction phase. In addition, 13 additional projects are currently included in the planning phase. The key updates are that some of the key transit projects have been fleshed out. Two new highway projects  (Highway 3 and Highway 17) will move forward. Many of the major hospital projects remain in planning mode.

The IO Market Update includes 16 new hospitals that will expand health care services across Ontario, plus a hefty lineup of transit projects in the GTA, including:

  • GO RER OnCorr electrification – Transit- $10bn
    • RFP issued in May 2019
  • Ontario Line subway – Transit – $10bn
    • Ontario Line – Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel RFP issued in June 2020 ($~4bn)
    • Ontario Line – Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance RFP issued in Jun 2020e ($~2bn)
  • GO Transit expansion projects – Transit – $2bn
    • GO Expansion: Lakeshore East – Central Corridor RFP issued in April 2018
      GO Expansion: Milton Corridor Upgrades RFP issued in April 2018
    • GO Expansion: Lakeshore West Corridor RFP issued in April 2018
  • Scarborough Subway Extension – Transit – $5bn 
    • Advance Tunnel for Scarborough Subway Extension RFQ issued in Mar 2020 (>$1bn)
  • Yonge North Subway Extension – Transit- $5bn
  • Eglinton Crosstown West LRT – Transit – $4bn
    • Advance Tunnel for Eglinton Crosstown West Extension RFQ issued in Mar 2020 (~$1bn)
  • Highway 3 (King’s Highway) – $200m
  • Highway 17 (King’s Highway 17) – $200-500m)
  • The Hospital for Sick Children – Institutional – $2bn
  • Windsor Regional Hospital – Institutional – $1bn
  • The Ottawa Hospital – Institutional – $2bn
  • Kingston General Hospital – Institutional  – $750m
  • Mississauga Hospital – Institutional – $2bn

Scott said that the project pipeline is the single largest commitment to P3 projects in the history of Ontario.

Cancellations:

  • Hamilton LRT – Ministry of Transportation reviewed and they will still commit to a $1bn investment in public transit in the area
  • Halton Courthouse – postponed due to Covid

Outpost Recruitment feels the impacts

Already the team at Outpost is feeling the impacts of Ontario’s ambitious infrastructure objectives, with founder Ruairi Spillane noting increased demand in the region.

“We’re seeing huge demand from both consulting and contracting clients for candidates with P3 delivery experience and exposure to healthcare and rail projects,” said Spillane. “The outlook is excellent for candidates considering the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as a destination. It’s the perfect storm for international candidates given both Toronto and Vancouver are expected to perform well despite the global economy entering a slowdown post-Covid. Infrastructure is truly a global industry. ”

Outpost works with general contractors, subcontractors, developers, and consultants who are hiring professionals across senior management, project management, operations, design, quality, and commercial roles.

  • Buildings & Infrastructure Contracting – Operations, Project Management, Design, Site & Commercial Management professionals for general contractors and subcontractors (civil, ground engineering, M&E)
  • Engineering Consulting – Civil / Structural / Mechanical & Electrical design and project management.
  • Cost & Project Management Consulting – Cost Management, Project Monitoring, Infrastructure advisory, Client-side project management.

Get in touch with Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] or 778-861-1244 if you would like to explore employment opportunities across Canada.

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The future of P3 project delivery in Canada

In November 2019, the annual CCPPP conference (Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships) took place in downtown Toronto. The conference attracts senior leadership from major industry players across Canada, from global contractors to engineering firms, and leading banks to boutique consultants. The public sector was strongly represented and attendees had the opportunity to listen to the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, who was joined by Ministers for Infrastructure from the provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.

Here’s what we learned about the future of Public-Private Partnership (P3) project delivery in Canada:

Canada will maintain its commitment to P3 delivery after years of successes

Canada has enjoyed great success with Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivery over the past decade and this run is expected to continue with strong support nationally. Ontario has committed to $65bn of P3 projects across healthcare and transit in the coming years, while Alberta’s new government has voiced early commitment to furthering public-private partnerships. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have also reaffirmed their commitment to P3 delivery with Saskatchewan recently completing the Regina Bypass ($1.4bn), the largest P3 project in their history, and New Brunswick opting for long-term private sector engagement as the province plans a wide range of schools and healthcare projects. 

Train on rails next to city buildings
Ontario is investing in transit infrastructure development through the expansion of the GO transit system ($16bn).

Canada has a huge pipeline of P3 infrastructure projects

Ontario’s recently announced $65-billion in new infrastructure projects demonstrates the province’s desire to firmly establish a pipeline of exciting future projects. Minister of Infrastructure for Ontario, Laurie Scott, referred to this as “single largest commitment to P3 projects in the history of Ontario.” The CEO’s of Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, Ehren Corey and Phil Verster, respectively, presented a session on Ontario’s $28bn transit plan. 

The enthusiasm expressed by both government and corporate entities signals a growing national interest in the P3 model, an interest we expect to continue growing in years to come.

Appetite from other provinces is strong as witnessed by the presence of senior government officials from Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Notably, British Columbia’s NDP government appears less enthusiastic about the P3 delivery model, though this lack of enthusiasm is offset by interest expressed by the other provinces. 

Changes are coming in risk allocation and mitigation

Canadian contractors feel they are carrying too much risk. SNC has pulled out of major project pursuits and Graham has taken a step back in 2019. Under current design build lump sum contracts, risks including permitting, geotechnical, and more that cannot be understood prior to starting the project, are being transferred to the contractor. 

In Ontario, feedback from potential bidders in the GO Expansion project ($16bn), previously known as Regional Express Rail (RER), to Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx has led to consideration of “revised delivery strategy” to address bidders’ issues. Options include breaking the project into smaller parts for procurement purposes or reducing the 35-year life span of the contract.

What’s the solution? It’s likely that Canada will see the benefits of an alliance delivery model like those used in the UK and Australia. Union Station in Toronto represents a test case as Canada’s first alliance delivery model. It is also possible that Canadian P3 projects may consider the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) option for infrastructure where clients, general contractors, and sub trades all win / lose together by sharing risk. This model would incentivize early client and consultant involvement and align all stakeholders

Large colourful buildings of a hospital
The Glen Campus of the MUHC Hospital in Montreal is just one recent example of the many healthcare infrastructure projects expected across Canada in the coming years.

What skills does Canada need right now?

Canada’s population is expected to grow from 36 million to 50 million by 2050. The vast majority of this population growth will be a result of an aggressive immigration plan. Without immigration, Canada’s rate of population increase is expected to fall below zero in the next 15 years. Most newcomers to Canada will live in major cities, with ambitious infrastructure development expected in order to compensate for population expansion. The P3 model will continue to prosper as provincial governments seek to maximize their return on infrastructure investment by seeking private participation in the construction of public assets such as:

  • Healthcare (hospitals, mental health facilities, etc)
  • Transportation (highways, bridges, rail, port expansion, airport expansion)

Outpost are seeking the following skillsets for clients actively engaged in the P3 infrastructure market

Contractors:

  • Project Management: Project Directors, Project Manager, Project Coordinators
  • Site management: Superintendents, Field Engineers
  • Design Management: Design Manager, Design Coordinators
  • Commercial Management: Commercial Managers, Contract Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Risk Managers

Project Management / Cost Consultants:

  • Cost Consultants, Cost Monitoring, Estimating Managers, Project Consultants

Design Consultants:

  • Design Engineers and Project Managers across Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Geotechnical disciplines
  • Asset Management Consultant

If you have any of these skillsets and you’re interested in being a part of Canada’s P3 infrastructure boom, please ensure you create a profile via our website so that we can review your CV/resume and profile. 

 

Future Hiring Opportunities

Employer sponsorship opportunities are not a certainty, so if you want to be part of the P3 infrastructure sector in Canada, we recommend working towards obtaining the right to work in Canada independently. Visit our sister website, Moving2Canada, for free immigration resources and this helpful guide.

Contact Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] for more details.

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Find your role in Ontario’s new $65-billion infrastructure project pipeline

$65-billion in new infrastructure projects. That’s the ambitious plan announced by Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott last week, with the P3 project pipeline expected to create many jobs and drive economic growth in Canada’s largest province with significant project development in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Scott predicts the projects will “generate thousands of jobs in the skilled trades, engineering, and design sectors.”

Known as the 2019 Infrastructure Ontario (IO) Market Update, the plan outlines 32 P3 projects (public-private partnerships) already in active procurement or pre-procurement, plus 11 more projects in the planning stages. The pipeline of projects is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the construction sector, according to Scott, as key players in the industry will “partner with Ontario and successfully deliver the high-quality infrastructure that our province relies on and depends on.”

The IO Market Update includes 16 new hospitals that will expand health care services across Ontario, plus a hefty lineup of transit projects in the GTA, including:

  • Hamilton LRT – Transit – $1bn
  • GO RER OnCorr electrification – Transit- $10bn
  • Ontario Line subway – Transit – $10bn
  • GO Transit expansion projects – Transit – $2bn
  • Scarborough Subway Extension – Transit – $5bn
  • Yonge North Subway Extension – Transit- $5bn
  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT – Transit – $4bn
  • The Hospital for Sick Children – Institutional – $2bn
  • Windsor Regional Hospital – Institutional – $1bn
  • The Ottawa Hospital – Institutional – $2bn
  • Kingston General Hospital – Institutional  – $750m
  • Mississauga Hospital – Institutional – $2bn

 Scott said that the project pipeline is the single largest commitment to P3 projects in the history of Ontario.

Outpost Recruitment feels the impacts

Already the team at Outpost is feeling the impacts of Ontario’s ambitious infrastructure objectives, with founder Ruairi Spillane noting increased demand in the region.

“We’re seeing huge demand from both consulting and contracting clients for candidates with P3 delivery experience and exposure to healthcare and rail projects,” said Spillane. “The outlook is excellent for candidates considering Toronto as a destination. It’s the perfect storm for international candidates given both Toronto and Vancouver are booming right now.”

Outpost works with general contractors, subcontractors, developers, and consultants who are hiring professionals across senior management, project management, operations, design, quality, and commercial roles.

  • Buildings & Infrastructure Contracting – Project Management, Design, Site & Commercial Management professionals for general contractors and subcontractors (civil, ground engineering, M&E)
  • Engineering Consulting – Civil / Structural / Mechanical & Electrical design and project management.
  • Cost & Project Management Consulting – Cost Management, Project Monitoring, Infrastructure advisory, Client-side project management.

Get in touch with Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] or 778-861-1244 if you would like to explore employment opportunities across Canada.

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Top Construction and Engineering Jobs in Canada

For newcomers to Canada with a background in construction, choosing the right construction job or engineering role is one of the most important aspects of their move. Your experience and talents are key factors, but you also need to know which roles are the most in demand construction and engineering jobs in Canada.

Outpost Recruitment specializes in construction and engineering roles across Canada. With years of combined experience, we have positive relationships with clients from coast to coast. We place candidates in sectors like general contracting, design engineering and project management consulting, property development, and across ICI (Institutional Commercial and Industrial) buildings, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Our experience in mentoring and placing local and international talent in construction jobs across Canada and frequent exchange with major companies in these sectors allows us to identify those roles most frequently in demand.

In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in activity in various construction and engineering related industries across Canada, particularly in major cities like Vancouver and Toronto, but also regional areas across British Columbia. This includes mega projects like LNG Canada, but also a range of other municipal and regional projects. Our diligence to our work means we detect trends early on, and recently we have seen the demand for a number of top construction and engineering roles grow and grow thanks to the thriving markets in Canada. You can read more about these positions below:

 

Construction Project Manager

Job Description:

Construction Project Managers are responsible for providing overall management direction for projects, as well as being able to develop business opportunities with existing clients and developing relationships with new clients in terms of geographical and project-type priorities. Other tasks for a Construction Project Manager include the overseeing of project operations, particularly in terms of reaching profitability goals, duty assignment, health and safety implementation, budgets, scheduling and team communication.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

Candidates for a Construction Project Manager job in Canada typically need a post-secondary Degree in engineering or the equivalent of a designated Professional Engineer or a Technical School graduate in a construction-related discipline. A minimum 5 years’ related construction experience are usually required for Project Manager roles. Project Coordinators (Project Coordinator, Assistant Project Manager and Junior Project Manager are used interchangeably in Canada) require a minimum 3+ years of experience. Other required qualifications include experience with construction management and design/build formats and familiarity with computerized project management systems, including scheduling, estimating, planning and cost control.

Candidates for this role are sought across Canada. We’ve identified needs specifically in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton and currently have clients looking for promising candidates for this type of construction job. If you are ready to build your career in Canada with us, then apply here!

Commercial Manager, Infrastructure

Job Description:

Commercial Managers are responsible for all financial aspects of the project or portfolio they manage. In infrastructure construction job environments, Commercial Managers usually perform the following construction management related tasks: project design management, contract administration and negotiation, project planning, administering of sub-contracts, contract resolution, project planning, as well as commercial issues such as procurement, commercial reporting, cost control and risk management.

In addition, Commercial Managers are responsible for the strategic development that ensures business and revenue growth targets are met.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree in a related field and/or corresponding professional membership is required for most positions. Experienced Commercial Managers are especially sought after, and we see that candidates with a minimum of 6 years commercial management experience on major projects strive in the current Canadian construction jobs market.

A candidate’s background matters strongly for these construction management jobs in Canada. Candidates currently operating at executive level on a major project or as commercial manager in a large construction company, or with experience in managing major subcontracts and design consultancies or with previous major project Joint Venture experience are at an advantage.

Hiring managers are usually looking for a proven track record in delivering commercial outcomes on major projects, and the ability to operate and manage at the executive level of the Project structure in a PPP/PFI environment.

Opportunities for commercial management candidates exist all over Canada. We currently have clients with needs for experienced candidates in Vancouver and Toronto, as well as some fly in fly out (FIFO) opportunities in remote locations. If you are interested in building your career with an attractive commercial management position, then apply here!

Construction Project Manager, Infrastructure

Job Description:

On infrastructure projects the Construction Project Manager is one of the most important construction management jobs. The Construction Project Manager can expect to work closely and report to the Project Director. Project Managers are responsible for ensuring that the entirety of the project is completed safely, on schedule, and in compliance with the contract schedule and project budgets. On top of that, a successful Project Manager should be able to maintain positive relationships with the owner and other relevant stakeholders. The Project Manager also supports the successful acquisition and tendering of various projects, as well as providing overall administrative direction, technical expertise and additional support to project teams. While the general responsibilities of a Construction Project Manager in Canada don’t vary too much between general construction jobs and infrastructure management, the specific project experience can differ widely.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

Infrastructure construction project managers are required to possess education including an engineering degree, technical college diploma or equivalent combination of technical training and/or related experience.

Outpost Recruitment partners are particularly seeking senior Project Managers in infrastructure construction jobs, with a minimum of 7 years of experience. At this level the Project Manager needs to act with independence and lead administrative as well as field staff. The position also requires Design Build or P3 project experience and thorough knowledge of all aspects of construction (technology, equipment, methods), industry practices, estimating/budgeting, scheduling and safety requirements.

Candidates for this role are sought specifically in Vancouver and Toronto. If you are interested in building your career in Canada with a great Construction Project Management job, Outpost Recruitment is currently looking for candidates here!

Construction Estimator, Infrastructure

Job Description:

A Construction Estimator will be primarily responsible for pricing projects as assigned or directed by the Bid Manager. This multifaceted role requires the estimator to meet clients, conduct site reviews, prepare quantities, execute contract negotiations and review all other relevant information. The environment for this construction job in Canada is project driven, fast-paced and can be demanding at times.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

This role requires strong organizational and communication skills. Candidates should possess field experience in related disciplines and understanding of construction processes, the ability to read and interpret construction drawings and be proficient at using Bid2Win or a similar estimating software. Candidates with industry experience in transportation, roads and large infrastructure projects are especially sought after. A Gold Seal Certification or BCIT graduation will usually be considered additional assets.

Construction Estimators for infrastructure projects are particularly in demand in Canada and clients are often hiring on all experience levels. Outpost Recruitment has identified needs specifically in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Want to follow your dreams as a Construction Estimator? If so, apply here!

Construction Estimator, Buildings

Job Description:

While responsibilities of Construction Estimators are similar between infrastructure and building construction jobs, the project experience required differs significantly. The estimator’s responsibilities on building projects include the assignment and measurement of quantities, costing and sub-trade analysis, competitive bid management, and the allocation of necessary cash allowances for presentation and final review. The Estimator will be involved in estimating activities which will include preparing hard bid, cost plus and design build estimates for projects.

An Estimator will report directly to the Chief Estimator of the buildings group and will be responsible for performing all facets of an estimate for current and future construction jobs/projects.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

In the buildings sector, experienced Construction Estimators are particularly in demand and a minimum of 7 years’ experience as an estimator in the ICI sector will make for the most interesting profile. At this level the candidate will direct the work activities of other Estimators as required. A strong knowledge of the local construction industry is often necessary, making this position more challenging to attain for newcomers. Nevertheless, candidates with experience working on complex institutional, commercial, light industrial, multi-unit residential, and civil structures up to $50 Million will usually find consideration. A proven track record preparing detailed estimates and submitting lump-sum tenders as well as preparing preliminary construction schedules will also be necessary.

Candidates are required to hold a diploma in Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering, or a diploma in Building Technology.

Outpost Recruitment is filling positions for this role across Canada, specifically in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Want to use your skills to excel as an Estimator? If so, you can apply for this construction job here.

Electrical Engineer, Building Services

Job Description:

When it comes to engineering jobs, the Electrical Engineer is a very important position. The Electrical Engineer reports directly to the Project Manager, Senior Designer or Team Leader, depending on the project. Given the multidisciplinary nature of this role, an ideal Electrical Engineering candidate needs to be a team player with minimal supervision, as well as having great communication skills and a can-do attitude. They also need to work closely with Architects, Structural Consultants, Code Consultants, Geotechnical Consultants as the project requires. Finally, proficient operating knowledge of AutoCAD is required.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

A minimum of 3-5 years AutoCAD design experience coupled with 2 years design experience in LV, HV, control and lighting systems will usually be required. The abilities to read Architectural, Structural and Electrical drawings and to apply prescriptive requirements of electrical building services engineering codes are key. Candidates need to possess a university or college degree in a related field, and either be eligible to apply for or already have an E.I.T. classification.

Candidates for this role are sought across Canada, and there are many opportunities specifically in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg.

Want to take the next step in one of the most sought-after engineering jobs? If so, you need to apply for an Electrical Engineering position on our jobs board today!

Mechanical Engineer, Building Services

Job Description:

Mechanical Engineering jobs require applicants to maintain strong client relationships and build new businesses across the company’s portfolio. In addition, they will need to mentor team members and lead a design team from the front with innovation and initiative.

Other responsibilities include the implementation of design concepts through the preparation and production of drawings and schematics of mechanical systems for commercial, institutional, residential, public and private facilities. Additionally, the Mechanical Engineer designs mechanical HVACs, and the plumbing and fire protection in large-scale commercial and institutional building applications. The role coordinates with other consulting disciplines to ensure drawing integrity and completeness.

Job Requirements and Qualifications:

A Post-secondary education in Mechanical Engineering or another relevant discipline such as Building Systems is required. A minimum of 3+ years of relevant working experience makes for the most sought-after profile. Candidates will be expected to have a background developing construction documents using AutoCAD and/or Revit and be familiar with bid and tendering processes. Extensive knowledge of detailed architectural drawings and construction concepts and the ability to read and apply pertinent codes and standards is a key skill. Newcomers to Canada need to be prepared with excellent knowledge of Canadian/Provincial and other relevant codes and standards (i.e.: ESC, CSA, IES, IEEE, NFPA) in the industry. P. Eng. or CET certifications are an asset in this position.

Candidates for this role are sought specifically in Vancouver. If you want an engineering job that will fulfill you professionally, then this Mechanical Engineering position could be perfect for you.

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Ready to start your career in Canada?

If you’re unsure whether or not one of these roles suit you, or would simply like a second opinion, why not talk to Outpost Recruitment? Since 2011, we have specialized in pairing the best local and international construction and engineering professionals with companies across Canada. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Register with us and make the first step. Or apply to a position through our jobs board.

About Outpost Recruitment

We are a boutique agency with a solid business foundation, we mentor local and international talent. Our aim is to help the qualified and motivated candidates we work with find their desired role, whilst also ensuring that the needs of our clients are met. Outpost Recruitment provides a fresh, personalized approach to doing business, and we make it our mission to understand our candidates and clients’ respective needs. We achieve this by taking a proactive approach to what we do and by staying on top of what is happening in your market. Our ‘no nonsense’ approach means we listen, seek to understand, advise and communicate on progress as required. Bottom line: we can be counted on to deliver. We use our passion for what we do to make sure that we pair the perfect candidate with their dream job.

Other articles that may help you:

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Hiring: Pipeline construction roles in Western Canada

The absence of appropriate pipeline infrastructure has presented a huge challenge to Canada’s oil and gas industry over the past decade. Low oil prices and delays in investment decisions on LNG projects have put increased emphasis on the need for pipeline infrastructure to allow for increased exports of oil and gas. With two major pipeline projects moving forward, Outpost Recruitment has been contracted to assist with hiring for both site-based and office-based roles on two mega pipeline projects:

Trans Mountain Pipeline ($7.4bn)

The $7.4bn pipeline project aimed at twinning the existing oil pipeline between Edmonton (Alberta) and Vancouver (British Columbia) has been marred with controversy and delays. Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline was expected to draw a line under the issue, but environment appeals continue to linger with construction likely to start in the coming months.

Coastal Gas Link Pipeline ($2.1bn)

The Coastal GasLink pipeline project aims to deliver natural gas from Dawson Creek, British Columbia (BC), to a facility near Kitimat. Following LNG Canada’s announcement of a final investment decision (FID) on the mega $40bn project in Kitimat, this project is now in construction.

Hiring in pipeline construction

With work commenced in Spring 2019 on two major projects, Outpost Recruitment is currently hiring candidates with civil (early works, excavation and site services) experience across major pipeline projects. All roles will be on a 6/2  roster from May to November. Candidates may opt to return to office work in November or take time off if they prefer during winter months. Roles we are currently hiring for:

    • Superintendents
    • Project Management: Project Managers, Project Coordinators, Project Engineers
    • Commercial Management: Quantity Surveyor, Senior Commercial Coordinator/Estimator,  Cost Controls Coordinator
    • Planners
    • HSE:  HSE Coordinators, Project Safety Advisor, Health & Safety Administrator
    • Environmental:  Environmental Manager, Environmental Coordinators
    • Quality: Quality Coordinators, QA/QC Manager
    • Surveyors
    • Assistant Engineering Manager
    • Engineering Manager
    • Equipment Coordinator
    • Field Document Controller
    • Field Scheduler
    • HR Coordinator
    • Indigenous & Employment Coordinator
    • Indigenous & Local Engagement Liaison
    • Information Technology
    • Operations Manager
    • Information Technology Specialist
    • Progress Chaser
    • Project Contract Specialist
    • Project Controls Lead

If you want to be part of this exciting venture, please ensure you create a profile via our website so that we can review your CV/resume and profile. Sponsorship opportunities will only available to senior pipeline personnel, so all other candidates must be eligible to work in Canada.

To create your profile, please click here.

Future hiring opportunities

Employer sponsorship opportunities are not a certainty, so if you want to be part of the pipeline industry in Canada, we recommend working towards obtaining the right to work in Canada independently. Visit our sister website, Moving2Canada, for free immigration resources and this helpful guide.

Contact Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] for more details.

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Five steps to being successful with Outpost Recruitment

Step 1: Create a profile via the Outpost website

Once we have an understanding of your skill set and an outline of the type of role you are looking for, we can determine if we have a suitable role for you.

Create your profile here.

Step 2: Create a Canadian-style resume

This is crucial to your success, and where Outpost can add the most value to the process. Canadian employers expect to receive a resume in a specific format, and we insist on applying this format to help you maximize your chances of success in Canada. A strong resume will bring more interviews, assist in interview preparation, and help you attract a higher salary.

Read our resume blog series to kick-start your job search:

Step 3: Initial screening interview

In instances where we feel we can help, we will set up a video conference or in-person meeting with you. We use this opportunity to learn more about you and your preferences, as well as answer any questions you have about the process. This discussion will give us a clear picture of how we can help you.

Step 4: Feedback and shortlisting

Outpost Recruitment will work with you to create a profile for presentation to employers, highlight suitable roles, provide insight into the market, and contact employers on your behalf. In the meantime, we ask you as the candidate to help us by taking ownership of the process and being proactive.

Step 5: Executing the job search

The pace of recruitment in Canada is significantly slower than in many other locations around the world. Our role here is to keep you updated on feedback, get you prepared for telephone / video / in-person interviews, and provide advice as you assess each career option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why use a recruiter?

Outpost Recruitment has specialized in construction and engineering recruitment in Canada since 2012. We speak with industry experts, employers, and candidates every day, so our fingers are on the pulse of the Canadian construction industry. We provide free consulting on your resume, job prospects, interview preparation, and salary negotiations to help you be successful in your job search.

Do you charge candidates a fee for finding them a job?

Never. Charging a fee for recruitment services is illegal. Our clients — the employers — pay us a fee to help them solve the pain of finding great people.

What can I do to expedite the process?

We encourage you to be open to change and to be proactive throughout the process. We enjoy working with people who take charge of their own destiny. Our success depends on open communication and teamwork. Ensure you keep us updated throughout the process.

Will using a recruitment agency affect my salary?

No. This is one of the common myths about recruitment. Companies use recruitment agencies because they provide a valuable service to their organization. Recruitment fees are a cost of doing business, and employers never deduct this fee from an employee’s compensation package. The popularity of Outpost Recruitment is a result of our fantastic pool of international candidates, our caring approach to recruitment, and our cost-effective fees, which help employers control their hiring costs.

Is it okay to apply directly to companies or use other agencies?

Yes, of course. We don’t enforce candidates to work exclusively with us, but we do ask candidates to keep us updated on their progress. It’s crucial that we are kept informed of any changes and updates to your job hunt. Strong teamwork between candidate and recruitment consultant is crucial to success.

Regardless of the situation, we can’t overstate enough the importance of being in control of your resume. Make sure you know exactly where it is being sent and create a list so that you can follow up.  It’s important to control where your resume is sent, so always ensure that any recruitment agency you are working with seeks your permission before sending on your resume. Otherwise, it can be harmful to your job search when an employer has received your resume from multiple sources.

What if you do not find a job for me?

Our promise is that we will always add some value to your job hunt. We provide free consulting on your resume, the jobs market, and relocation advice. If we do not think we can help with your job search, we will make this clear from the beginning and recommend that you use other resources.

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Interview questions and preparation

Getting an interview simply means that you have provided yourself a platform to demonstrate your suitability for the role. The hard work starts here. Practice speaking about yourself out loud in front of friends as this will allow you to become comfortable, but most importantly prepare yourself to answer potential interview questions.

It’s your chance to shine. The biggest challenge with an interview is that there is a huge volume of information to prepare, and it’s hard to predict whether the interview will focus on personality, technical and personality / culture fit questions, or perhaps all three combined. Nailing the interview process is entirely in your hands. It’s easy to get your mind sharp on all potential permutations of questions and to be ready for a whirlwind interview.

The task is not to provide an answer for every question. Success means you have provided the best possible answer for every question. This means you have accurately understood the questions, addressed all potential solutions, and provided an answer that has a clear structure (introduction, main points, and a conclusion).

Being familiar with your weakness is the most savvy way to approach an interview. Below are two of the most common weaknesses we encounter with international candidates:

Immigration risk

Unless you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need to address the issue of immigration risk. If you are an international candidate without local experience, then the interview panel will need to be convinced that you are planning to stay in Canada beyond 3-4 years. Otherwise, it’s not a smart investment for them.

Despite Canada being a diverse and multicultural country, employers are extremely conservative when it comes to hiring international workers on a temporary work permit. If you are a temporary work permit holder (e.g. IEC working holiday) then do some research on the process for applying for permanent residence so that the employer understands you. Your temporary work permit is the elephant in the room, so address the issue straight up from the start. Mention a temporary work permit instead of a “working holiday visa” and use the term “relocation” to add permanence to your term in Canada. The words you choose carry more weight than you may think. After all, an employer sees you as an investment for the company. Their goal is to hire, train, and retain an employee for the long term.

It’s encouraged that you have a good idea of how you may transition to permanent status in Canada once you have built up some Canadian work experience. You’ll be better prepared for that step, and your potential employer will have greater confidence that Canada is your long-term home. See the helpful links to Express Entry and the Canadian Experience Class immigration program here:

Lack of local experience

All countries like to do things their own way, and Canada is no different. Although construction is a global industry, Canadian employers will need to understand that you are committed to learning and adapting to the Canadian way. Construction methods, contracts and processes can be different between countries. Acknowledging that a learning curve exists and that it can take time to adjust is the best way to deal with this issue.

General advice on preparing for interview questions:

  • Ensure you have researched the company and the role extensively. If you are new to the country, you need to demonstrate an ability to get up to speed quickly.
  • If new to Canada, prepare to speak about your motivation for moving to Canada and how long you plan to stay. Do not mention “working holiday”, “temporary work permit” or “gap year”. Instead, mention “I relocated to Canada for the quality of life (example)”. Companies want to hire someone who is focused on building a career with the company. Ensure that you display you are determined to stay in Canada long term by proving yourself worthy to employers.
  • Many interviews will begin with the prompt “tell me about yourself”. Prepare a two-minute overview of yourself that takes your interviewers through your resume and displays your suitability for the role in question. Practice this out loud over and over again. First impressions last, so this is a short slot to show your employer how competent you are.
  • Do not use phrases like “as you can see”. Proceed as if they have never seen your resume.
  • Write out answers to all potential interview questions and ensure the answers roll off your tongue. Your ability to plan and prepare is being examined, so do your research.
  • Sometimes interviewers will ask planned interview questions to test your ability to think on your feet. Listen carefully to each question, always pause to plan your answer, and only speak when you know exactly what points you are going to make.
  • Focus on having an introduction, a body, and a summary for each answer.
  • Speak slowly. It’s easy to rush when nerves take over, but slowing down will ensure your brain has a chance to work out what to say next. Additionally, it will ensure your answers to interview questions are fully understood. Always think before you speak.
  • Answer concisely, but try to avoid yes/no answers.
  • Don’t worry about pausing before you answer — it shows you can think before answering.
  • Don’t worry about admitting that you don’t know something, but don’t say it too often. You can admit that you don’t know the answer, but you will follow up with them once you verify the information.
  • Be prepared for abstract hypothetical interview questions that you may not have prepared — take your time, and think before you speak.
  • Be prepared for unexpected interview questions.
  • Keep the conversation moving.
  • Speak up when answering interview questions.
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact with the interviewers — this will show confidence in your communication skills.

Typical interview questions

1. Tell me about yourself
Keep your answer to one or two minutes. Don’t ramble. Use your Professional Summary on your resume as a starting point, as this should cover your education, work experience, skills, and career objectives.

2. What do you know about our company?
Do your homework before the interview. Spend some time researching the company by exploring the company website and by researching the backgrounds of key employees on LinkedIn. Prepare for interview questions on this topic. Find out as much as you can: products, size, income, reputation, image, people, skills, history, and philosophy. Be able to demonstrate an informed interest. Let the interviewer tell you about the company as well. Ask any questions relating to the company.

3. Why do you want to work for us?
Don’t talk about what you want, first talk about their needs. You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve a company problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.

4. What could you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can’t do?
Refer to past experiences that show you’ve had success in solving previous employer problems that may be similar to those of the prospective employer. You could bring in some aspects of international experience, for example use of specific software, BIM experience, dealing with different cultures, or exposure to different languages.

5. What do you find most attractive / least attractive about the job offered?
List three or more attractive factors and only one minor unattractive factor.

6. Why should we hire you?
Because of your knowledge, experience, abilities, and skills. Elaborate by using specific examples.

7. What do you look for in a job?
This is an opportunity to use your skills, to perform, and to be recognized.

8. Please give me your definition of a {the position for which you are being interviewed}.
Keep it brief. Give a definition related to actions and results.

9. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our company?
Not long at all, you expect only a brief period of adjustment. You are a fast learner, adapt well to surroundings.

10. How long would you stay with us?
Focus on showing your employer that you are in Canada for the long term. Tell them that you intend to stay and build your career here in Canada. Show that you are dedicated and committed, especially if experience demonstrates that you can point to a previous long stint with an employer (e.g. five or more years).

Personality-based interview questions

11. Do you generally speak to people before they speak to you?
Depends on the circumstances.

12. What was the last book you read? Movie you saw? Sporting event you attended?
Talk about books, sports, or films to show that you have balance in your life. Interview questions like this give a glimpse into your personality, so try to be positive.

13. What is the toughest part of a job for you?
Be honest. Remember, not everyone can do everything.

14. Are you creative?
Yes, and give examples.

15. How would you describe your own personality?
Balanced.

16. Are you a leader?
Yes, and give examples.

17. What are your future goals?
Avoid “I would like the job you advertised”. Instead, give long-term goals. For example, outline the role you are you looking to achieve in the future (e.g Project Manager / Commercial Manager).

18. What are your strong points?
Give at least three and relate them to the company and job you are interviewing for.

Career goals — interview questions

19. If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?
Don’t give the impression of being regretful.

20. What career options do you have at the moment?
Relate these to the position and industry.

21. How would you describe the essence of success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?
Think carefully about your answer to these interview questions, and relate it to your career accomplishments.

Your work habits and style

22. If I spoke to your previous manager, what would he or she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Emphasize skills — don’t be overly negative about your weaknesses. It is always safer to identify a lack of a skill as an area of improvement rather than a shortcoming.

23. Can you work under pressure, deadlines, etc?
Yes, it’s a way of life in business.

24. How have you changed the nature of your job?
Improved it, of course.

25. In your present position, what problems have you identified that had previously been overlooked?
Keep it brief, don’t boast.

26. Don’t you feel you might be better off in a different size company? Different type of company?
Depends on the job. Elaborate slightly.

27. How do you resolve conflict on a project team?
First you discuss the issues privately.

28. What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make?
Try to relate your response to the prospective employment situation.

29. In your current or last position, what are or were your five most significant achievements?
Refer to key achievements already identified on your resume.

30. How to answer the ‘your biggest weakness’ interview question
The interviewer won’t be impressed with classics like “I’m a perfectionist,” “I’m a slave to my job,” or “I’m a workaholic.”

You’re sitting face-to-face with the person you most want to impress — your prospective boss — and he or she is asking you, “What is your greatest weakness?” This is probably one of the most difficult and frequently asked interview questions, so it’s smart to be well prepared with a good answer. Here are some strategies to consider when preparing your answer to interview questions about ‘your biggest weakness’.

Interviewers really don’t care what your weaknesses are. The interviewer simply wants to see how you handle the question and what your answer may indicate about you. They also want to see how well you’ve prepared for this question, as you should know it is coming.

Be honest, and answer it in a way that reflects positively on you. Mention a genuine weakness, but not one that will disqualify you in the interview.

“My area for improvement is…”

Highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and, more importantly, describe what you are proactively doing to enhance your skills in this area. Being able to say you are actively trying to change your weakness into a strength is a good idea. For example, “The area I would like improve on is public speaking, and I have just enrolled in a Toastmasters course.”

Highlighting an area for improvement demonstrates that you are self-aware. Describing what you are doing about that weakness demonstrates that you are proactive and seek to improve your talents.

Name weaknesses that have little to do with your prospective job. You can nominate a skill you may not actually need on the job, like languages, for example.

Avoid the blatant, overused ones. Examples include “My problem is I work too hard” or “Perfectionism” or “I am a workaholic incapable of taking lunch breaks.” With such weaknesses, who needs strengths? A few employers eat this stuff up, but most will roll their eyes and send you packing.

31. Behavioural interview questions

Be sure to have examples dealing with conflict, stressful situations, achievements, initiative, teamwork, and leadership. Some interviewers choose not to ask the “weakness” question directly but to couch it in terms of a past experience.

Behavioural interview questions that draw out deficiencies are: “Tell about the biggest mistake you made in your career and what you learned from it,” or “Give an example of when you disagreed with your boss or co-worker and how you handled it.”

Choose your weakness before the interview. Limit your answer to one weakness and say what you did in order to overcome it. Overcoming a weakness is actually developing a strength.

Being able to discuss your weaknesses also indicates an ability to handle constructive criticism without becoming defensive. It shows a willingness to grow personally.

Other common interview questions:

32. Why are you here?

33. If you had only one way to describe yourself, what would it be?

34. When have you failed?

35. What’s the one accomplishment that you are most proud of? Why?

36. What qualities in your co-workers bother you most? What do you appreciate most?

37. How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?

38. If I were to ask your current boss what your greatest strength is, what would he or she tell me?

39. If I were to ask you current boss to tell me one thing you do that drives him crazy, what would he or she tell me?

40. What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?

41. What changes have you made in working with others to become more effective at work?

42. What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people? How do you rate yourself in those areas?

43. How do you make decisions?

44. If you were limited to just one person to get advice and help from, which person would you choose? Why?

45. Tell me about a work incident in which you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside.

46. What would you do if you made an important business decision and a co-worker challenged it?

47. Describe a crisis you faced at work. What was your role? How did you resolve it? What were the results?

48. Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do. How did you handle it?

49. Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you?

50. What will make you love coming to work here every day?

51. What would you do if management made a decision you didn’t agree with?

52. What is there about this opportunity that most excites you?

53. What is your greatest fear about this opportunity?

54. If you get the job, how could you lose money for me?

55. Assume that you come to work here. One year from now you go home one Friday evening thinking that accepting this job was the best thing you ever did. What happened during the year for you to feel that way?

56. Is there any question that I haven’t asked you that I should?

57. How do you feel about potential travel from time to time as the business demands? (e.g. out of province or country / remote job site)?

“Is there anything you would like to ask us?” Questions to ask the interviewer.

It is a good idea to have questions prepared for the end of the interview. It will show interest in the role and company. It is not advised to ask about the package or salary at this stage. You should focus more on the organization and the role itself.

Question examples may include:

–  What are the main objectives of the role?

–  How does the company expect these objectives to be met?

–  What obstacles are commonly encountered in reaching these objectives?

–  What is the desired time frame for reaching these objectives?

–  What is the career progression like with the job?

–  May I contact you with further questions?

–  What do you enjoy most about working for the company?

–  What’s the company culture like?

–  What are the biggest challenges for this position?

–  How would somebody like me contribute to the company?

–  What type of educational background do you look for in your employees?

–  What are the skills and attributes you value most in your employees?

–  What types of training do you offer?

–  What are the opportunities for advancement?

–  What does X mean for the company?

Preparing for an interview

So, you’ve secured an interview with an employer in Canada. It’s your chance to shine, and you want to make the best possible impact. All it takes is a little effort to ensure that you impress the interview panel. This article is aimed at helping you prepare mentally for the big day.

Preparation

  • Research the company inside out. Use all possible resources (Google search, LinkedIn, company website, current employees, your recruiter, etc.) to learn as much as you possibly can about the company.
  • Know the interview panel. Confirm the details of who you will be meeting, as this will help preparations.Detailed research should give you some insights into each person you will be facing in the room. Get familiar with each of the interview panel members using LinkedIn, company bio, and other social media profiles for clues on their interests, personality, and their role/position within the company. The interview can take different directions depending on whether your interview panel consists of:
    • A member of Human Resources – expect broader behavioral questions and questions on fit and knowledge of company values /culture.
    • The hiring manager – he or she may focus more on your past experience and your technical abilities to meet the requirements of the role.
    • A senior executive – he or she may focus on high-level questions such as your career aspirations and overall fit within the company.
  • Have relevant questions prepared on some of the following topics:
    • Specifics of the role
    • Recent events at the company
    • Company performance
    • Personal development
    • Corporate values
  • Dress code – if in doubt, always overdress versus underdress. Do not take an unnecessary risk on dress code For office-based roles, a suit is always your best bet, but any smart business attire will work. For site-based roles, smart business attire is best.
  • Research the location of the interview and ensure you verify logistics around getting to the interview on time. Do a test run if necessary, particularly if the interview is in a neighbourhood that you are not overly with. Traffic, delayed buses, and incorrect advice from Google Maps are not valid excuses. Being late or arriving gasping for breath at the exact moment the interview is due to begin leaves a poor first in-person impression.
  • Print off a few copies of your resume to bring with you. Members of the interview panel should not have to share a copy.
  • Research all possible interview questions you may be asked (see extensive list above). The key to nailing an interview is that ideally you should have considered the best possible answer to each question.  Success isn’t about blurting out what comes into your head, it’s about being able to provide a concise answer that best demonstrates your skills and abilities. This can only be achieved via practice.
  • Bring business cards. Personal branding is important, so don’t be afraid to get business cards made up so you can offer your business card, but most importantly receive the interviewers’ contact information
  • Ensure you are prepared to look your best, with no last minute crisis on the morning of the interview. Do you need a haircut / belt / shoe polish / shave?

On the day of your interview

  • Pack a pen, notebook, additional notes, business cards, and your resume.
  • Dress to impress.
  • Arrive early. Plan to get to your location at least 30 minutes before the interview. Grab a coffee nearby if you are too early to approach reception (decaf if you’re the type to get jittery with a hit of caffeine).
  • Best avoid turning up at reception more than 15 minutes early.
  • Be on your best behavior with the receptionist. Don’t sit there fumbling on your phone. Read some company literature or ask the receptionist some questions if he or she is open to chatting with you.

In the interview

  • Approach each panelist with a smile, a firm handshake, and eye contact.
  • Be prepared for some small talk as you are led to the interview room or waiting on arrival of another interviewer. Potential topics: Weather, location of office, recent company news.
  • “Tell me about yourself” – this is the glorious icebreaker moment when you define the tone of the interview. Refer to your Interview Questions article for more insights. This is your 30-second elevator pitch. Be ready to nail this with confidence. Keep it brief.
  • Use your pauses wisely. Gathering your thoughts is a crucial skill of leaders. When nervous, we often rush to answer questions. Take at least 2-3 seconds to reflect on every question, regardless of whether you know how to answer or not. You will come across as calm and measured.
  • Be wary of your body language while you sit in the room. Keep things simple. No dominant poses, just sit upright and avoid folding your arms or fumbling with your pen.
  • Smile periodically, when appropriate, and maintain eye contact as you speak with the panelists. Vary your attention accordingly with each panelist.
  • Manage your emotions. The interview panel’s job is to get to know you so they may ask questions rapidly, stare cold-faced, or interrogate you slightly so they can get to know you better. Be ready for this, identify it, and manage you response. Don’t take the bait if they use negative tones or ask probing questions to test simulate a difficult client situation.
  • Take notes. Remember, you are keen to make the best possible decision, so don’t rely on remembering every detail of an interview.
  • Listen for clues in language and tone from the interview panel. If the interview involved discussions around salary expectations, potential start dates, or the panelists spend 5-10 minutes trying to sell you on why you need to work for them, then it’s possible you have performed very well.
  • Gather as much information as you can. If you still have a burning question you forgot to ask earlier in the conversation, then bring it up.
  • Ask for feedback: “Based on our discussion to date, do you feel like I would be a good fit for this role?” Not always possible, but it’s worth asking!
  • Ask about next steps.
  • Ask for business cards (if not provided at beginning of interview) so you can send a “thank you” email.
  • Show gratitude to each member of the interview panel.

After the interview

  • Contact your recruiter (if applicable) as soon as possible so you can discuss how things went.
  • Send a “thank you” email (if appropriate i.e. you have their contact details, there is an invitation to continue to conversation and your recruiter has given the green light to communicate directly) to each member of the interview panel.
  • Seek feedback via your recruiter or directly.

Some quick notes on remote interviews

The above information assumes an in-person interview scenario, but an increasingly common format is for a candidate and potential employer to engage in a telephone or video interview.

Many of the above points are also applicable for interviews conducted remotely, but here are some additional tips to guide you towards a successful interview.

Telephone Interview

  • Find a quiet location with no distractions.
  • For this exam, you can bring your notes so there is no excuse to being adequately prepared.
  • It’s crucial to pause before answering questions, so you avoid speaking over the other person.

Video Interview

  • Ensure you are online at least a few minutes before the interview is due to begin, and that you have tested your internet connection if you are not in a familiar location.
  • Allow for delays, so try to pause before answering questions and not cut in on the interviewer when he or she is speaking.
  • Ensure you have good lighting sound quality.
  • Dress smartly.
  • Remember to smile periodically and engage by looking at the camera when you are speaking.
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International candidate FAQ

How does the construction market currently look in Canada?

The construction industry in Canada is particularly strong. While natural resources are a key driver of construction industry across Canada, the overall industry remains strong since the commodity crash in 2014.

The sharp drop in commodity prices affected construction activities for mining and oil and gas sectors in resource-rich provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

In British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, the construction sector has remained relatively steady due to booming real estate markets and increased infrastructure spending.

In 2019, the stronger employment markets in terms of major cities include Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, with British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec being the strongest performing economies among the most populated Canadian provinces. If you are looking to avoid large cities, then Vancouver Island, Northern BC, and suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) also offer lots of opportunity.

I need a job offer to gain employer sponsorship via a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Is this possible?

The LMIA process serves as proof that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is ready, willing and able to fill a specific position in Canada, and so the employer is allowed to hire a foreign worker. In order to prove this, employers must advertise the position for at least four weeks and potentially interview candidates who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

While Canada offers many immigration routes that allow employers and candidates alike to bypass the LMIA route, it may be an option in situations when the worker is unable to avail of an LMIA-exempt option.

From our perspective looking across construction roles, there are only a few specific roles for which obtaining a LMIA is a viable strategy. The prerequisite is that you are working for a tier-one contractor on large projects:

  • Senior Project Manager, Infrastructure / Buildings ($100m+ projects)
  • Project Director, Infrastructure / Buildings ($100m+ projects)
  • Design Manager, Infrastructure / Buildings
  • Superintendent, Infrastructure / Buildings ($100m+ projects)
  • Senior Estimator, Infrastructure / Buildings ($50m+ projects)
  • Commercial Manager, Infrastructure / Buildings ($50m+ projects)
  • Scheduler / Planner, Infrastructure / Buildings ($50m+ projects)

These are high demand roles (senior-level roles with general contractors on large $100m+ projects) where employers are finding it extremely difficult to hire local talent. Employer sponsorship is extremely unlikely in consultancy environment as they tend to be more conservative in terms of immigration processes. General contractors are the most common source of employer sponsorship in construction markets in Canada as they tend to look to international markets in times of skills shortages.

All I need is a job offer in order to obtain permanent residence (PR). Is this possible?

For example, you are sitting in the Express Entry pool with around 400 to 430 CRS points, which, based on recent Express Entry invitation rounds, may not quite be enough for you to obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residence. We understand the dilemma; all you need is a job offer and you will have enough points to gain an invitation, because that job offer is worth at least 50 points, likely putting you above the threshold to receive an invitation.

If you are in the Express Entry pool and have a potential employer who applies for a LMIA supporting your permanent residence candidacy, the processing service standard is 10 business days. However, it will take a few more weeks for the company to advertise the position in advance (yes, even if they actually want you, and only you).

Employers may consider a ‘dual intent’ LMIA (which entails a $1,000 fee) if they need to fill a vacancy quickly but also intend to retain you permanently. This has the advantage of getting you to Canada more quickly on a temporary work permit first, while also helping you to boost your Express Entry CRS points total and giving the employer the confidence that you intend to (and can) stay in Canada long-term. It’s a win-win-win. Feasibly, this could get you to Canada and working within 2-3 months from first contact to arrival, while also putting you on a direct pathway to PR.

There is also an option — which we urge employers and candidates alike to avoid — whereby the employer may pursue a LMIA for the purpose of supporting your permanent residence candidacy only. This would help to boost your points, but you and the employer are still looking at at least six months (and more likely eight or nine months) from first contact all the way to you being in Canada, ready and able to work. Employers typically don’t like to hire forward by such a time span, as it’s difficult to plan this far ahead. Though this option does not entail a fee, the $1,000 fee for the option outlined in the paragraph above should not be a concern as it would get you, the candidate, working in Canada far more quickly. The main, and perhaps only, reason an employer would pursue this fee-free option for hiring Express Entry candidates is a lack of awareness of the alternative.

If you do not fit the requirements of Express Entry, it’s worth noting that there are a range of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), and you may be eligible for at least one of these. Be warned that the ‘Come to Canada’ tool only covers federal immigration programs, so you may find a suitable PNP program to allow you to move to Canada.

When is the best time to start applying for roles?

The quick answer is around 4-12 weeks prior to arrival, but there are lots of exceptions. It all depends on your work status in Canada and where you are in the immigration process, your level of seniority, and the role itself. Depending on your role, there is such a thing as applying too soon, so working with Outpost to plan your job search strategy can be highly valuable. Here’s a brief note on each of these factors:

Work status in Canada

If you have secured the right to work in Canada by obtaining a work permit or permanent resident status, then you have removed one of the key obstacles in finding employment. Employer sponsorship is not common for construction roles in Canada (see above), so international job hunting without having the right to work in Canada is a difficult challenge. At Outpost, we have clients that provide sponsorship for some specific roles and project types where professionals are in high demand. Roles such as Senior Project Manager, Senior Estimators, and Commercial Managers on infrastructure and ICI (Institutional, Commercial and Industrial Buildings) are more likely to achieve employer sponsorship.

Job role

Niche roles such as Estimators, Quantity Surveyors, and senior-level management roles such as Project Managers, Superintendents, Commercial Managers, and Design Managers are harder to fill, so your job search can start much earlier given employers will always plan ahead. Junior / Intermediate roles are much easier to fill so employers typically don’t plan more than eight weeks ahead for these roles.

Level of seniority

Junior candidates are doing themselves a disservice applying for roles more than three months in advance of arrival as their application won’t be considered. Senior candidates can always apply 3-6 months in advance given that employers will likely plan ahead when hiring for senior roles.

I’m looking to get a job offer prior to flying out to Canada as I’m reluctant to give up my current role. Is this something that is possible in Canada?

We understand it’s a substantial risk coming to Canada with no job in-hand, especially since rental agreements may require a form of employment contact details to secure deposits and get accommodation. Gaining a job offer before landing in Canada will mostly depend on your seniority. Canadian employers are typically reluctant to commit to a job offer without a face-to-face meeting. It’s in the interests of both the candidate and the employer, as it will allow you to access first-hand the office, project, team, culture, etc.

The happy medium in all this is that as the move gets closer you will be able to engage with employers via video conference and the situation won’t appear as risky as it may seem earlier in the process. All actions are risky. The goal should be to research the employment market, build a relationship with a few employers, and then commit to the move and making things work in Canada. As you learn more about Canada and the employment market, it will feel more like an opportunity than a risk.

Potential strategies around this risk would be to consider making a trip to Canada for face-to-face interviews in advance of your move. This would allow you to finalize a role before serving notice in your current role.

How long will the job search take?

The hiring process in Canada can be quite slow, so allow 4-6 weeks for the whole process of your resume gaining traction, multiple rounds of interviews, and then negotiations to take place.  A hiring process taking less than 2-3 weeks from start to finish is considered extremely quick.

Learn more about the psychology of the job hunt.

Do clients look negatively on the 1- or 2-year Working Holiday visa? How do I overcome this obstacle?

Yes, while having a 1-2 year work permit is better than no permit at all, 1-2 years is considered an extremely short amount of time given international candidates will have a 3- to 6-month adjustment curve to the local market. Employers will expect a minimum 3-4 year return on their investment, so think and speak beyond the temporary work permit or you will not succeed. While one or two years may seem like a serious commitment to a new country, your future employer will likely be quizzing you on your intentions to stay beyond this term. Being unprepared for the “how long do you plan to stay in Canada?” question will nullify all your hard work in impressing the interview panel.

As a general rule, your temporary status will be the elephant in the interview room, so we highly recommend bringing up the topic before they do. Ensure you have researched your options around applying for permanent residence as you will need to convince your employer that you are at least considering a longer stay. Best focus on wording such as “relocation” and “arriving on a work permit initially” and ask questions around whether your employer will support your permanent residence application if they are happy with your performance. Actions speak louder than words, so if you can demonstrate research and potentially start your permanent residence process (e.g. sit an English test and gain your Education Credential Assessment), it will overcome this obstacle.

In terms of salary, are companies rigid on what is offered, or is there generally a bit of flexibility and negotiation?

It’s all open. Your CV/resume is how you see yourself, so if this doesn’t demonstrate how you can deliver value to a future employer then you are sabotaging your own job search. No point in waiting for the interview room before you begin to impress, as you must be able to do it on paper first. The employer will form of a view of what you are worth once they review your resume. A stronger resume means more interview opportunities and a higher starting salary.

Read our resume blog series to kick-start your job search:

What are the standard benefits I should be looking for?

In addition to base salary, Canadian employers can (or in some cases, must) offer the following employment benefits:

  • Paid vacation days. Ten days is the statutory minimum requirement in Canada, though certain provinces set a higher minimum number of annual leave days. Typically, 12-15 days is considered standard, though most employers also reward loyalty with more days off the longer an employee remains at the company.
  • Coverage of public health premiums and extended health.
  • Car allowance (common) or company car if travel is required during work hours.
  • Fuel card (if a car is needed in order for you to perform your role).
  • Laptop, cell phone.
  • Pension plan contribution via RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) matching. If applicable, the employer may match from 5-10% of your contribution.
  • Employee share ownership.

Learn more about understanding your Canadian job offer.

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Psychology of the job hunt

The only things that stand between you and your Canadian dream is obtaining a work permit or permanent residence and finding a job. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? While Canada’s construction market is booming, the bad news is that the recruitment process in Canada can be painstakingly slow. You will need to be mentally prepared as you prepare for what can be quite an emotionally draining process in a new country.

The Canadian recruitment process

International candidates often assume that similar immigration and recruitment processes will apply in Canada as they do in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or the Middle East. This is not the case. Canada’s immigration system is focused on welcoming long-term permanent residents, as opposed to short-term temporary foreign workers, and consequently Canadian employers tend to be far more conservative when it comes to international hiring. Even those workers who arrive in Canada as temporary foreign workers are encouraged to transition to permanent residence through government programs created for that very purpose.

In our Preparation for an Interview article, we wrote about the two main weaknesses of a typical international candidate:

  • Lack of local experience
  • Flight risk

A Canadian employer will usually hesitate over hiring a foreign worker due to doubts over their ability to adapt and whether they will stay in Canada long term. Other things being equal, employers will prefer a candidate with local experience who is settled in Canada, so be prepared for questioning, hesitation, and delays.

How long will it take to find me a role?

This is a broad question, and the answer can vary depending on:

  • whether you are in Canada (overseas job hunting usually takes longer);
  • Junior vs Senior roles; and/or
  • the urgency of the role.

The recruitment process in Canada can often take 3-5 weeks, or even longer. That’s right, it can take around a month to finalize a job offer once we have delivered your resume to an employer. Although there is a labour shortage in Canada, employers like to take their time and will move along at their own pace. The recruitment process is a roller-coaster, so you need to buckle up and be ready for it, otherwise it will test your sanity. Here are some of the common reasons why it can take so long:

  • Determining interest from hiring managers can be slow when they are distracted with projects and operations.
  • Scheduling interviews and gathering feedback.
  • Making an offer.

While 2-3 rounds of interviews and a job offer can be closed off in 1-2 weeks in most developed economies, the process typically takes much longer in Canada. Don’t take it personally, as it’s easy to do so when you have arrived in a new country and need to find employment. Waiting on employers can quickly take the excitement out of your arrival in Canada, so be prepared for the slump as progress stalls.

Candidates start with lots of energy, but after just a couple of weeks in Canada you may start to question everything.

  • Why am I not hearing from employers?
  • Why such a delay in scheduling the second interview?
  • Why have I been waiting for over a week for the job offer they promised me?

It’s not about you. Blame Canada and the slow recruitment process, but don’t blame yourself. The process will take the exact same amount of time whether you go with it or against it, so arrive prepared and armed with patience, and maintain your self-confidence. Self-doubt may creep in, but remember your job search should be about finding a role for 3-4 years or longer, so an additional 2-3 weeks is just a minor blip in the process.

What not to do

  • Do not lower your standards. When we meet with some candidates on arrival, they are brimming with confidence before suddenly, two weeks later, they are in panic mode despite being warned. Instead of reaching for the stars, the candidate is now applying for B-list roles that didn’t excite them two weeks previously. Big mistake, as when you start your B-list role, your A-list employer will come calling and now you are indebted to your B-list employer. Create a game plan and stick to it!
  • Do not give up on Canada. Yes, it happens. I have witnessed the Canadian recruitment process really question candidates’ emotions. “Why don’t they want me? How can it be taking so long if they are interested in hiring me?” Ride the emotion!

What do I do to preserve my sanity while waiting?

  • Be mature. If someone told you you could have your dream job if it took 2-3 weeks longer than you expect, what would you do? You would find a way to keep yourself busy and finance yourself. Find temporary work if finances are strained.
  • Be conscious that self doubt is part of the process of starting a new life in Canada.
  • Keep busy. Sitting at home waiting for emails to arrive will drive any human being mad, so attend networking events, go on adventures, and make new friends. Do anything within reason to keep your mind busy.
  • Arrange job interviews via Skype pre-arrival and then plan some trips when you get to Canada. With less vacation time to be expected once you land your A-list job (which you will, with the right attitude), this period of unemployment should be cherished. Take the time to get to know your surroundings.
  • Focus on the positives. If your only measurement is finding a job, then you will consider yourself a failure until you have one. Set realistic and achievable goals like arranging 2-3 interviews in your first two weeks in Canada.

Most of all, remain positive.

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Understanding a Canadian job offer

As an international candidate, it’s important to understand what to expect when receiving a job offer from a Canadian employer. We’ve summarized the crucial items, so you can understand the typical items in a Canadian job offer.

Base salary

No surprises here, except that salary is typically paid bi-weekly.

Profit-sharing / Bonus

Discretionary bonus is not a given. This varies from employer to employer. It can be based on individual, project, division, or overall company performance, or a combination of any of these factors. Ask about the calculation and historical payments to get a better understanding of potential value to you.

RRSP

This means Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Your employer may opt not to make any contribution, pay a percentage contribution (typically ~2 – 5%), or opt to match your contribution up to 5-10%.

Learn more here.

Immigration

Your job offer will likely be contingent on your eligibility to work in Canada. Your new employer may need a copy of your temporary work permit or proof of permanent resident status.

Health benefits

While each Canadian province has its own public health plan, your employer will likely offer extended health benefits as well. This can cover up to 80% of dental, physiotherapy, massage, and other expenses that are not covered by your provincial health plan.

Probation

Your job offer will likely contain a probationary period, typically running to three months, which is standard in Canada.

Vacation days

Depending on the job location within Canada, your employer must offer a minimum number of paid vacation days, also known as annual leave. The federal minimum is 10 days, though some provinces mandate employers to offer more paid days off to full-time employees.

You may also receive an allowance for sick leave days and personal days.

Car allowance

Only applicable is travel is required to fulfill your role. Instead of providing a company car, most Canadian firms like to provide a car allowance to their employees. This can typically range from $500-$1000 per month. Your monthly car allowance taxable benefit for these funds are for the lease or purchase of a vehicle, vehicle insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

Offer acceptance date

Remember to check when the employer would like you to accept or reject the offer. The date will be noted in the job offer, and you should respond by this date.

Void cheque

A void cheque might also be requested when accepting a job offer. This is so the company can set up your salary payment. You can provide a copy of a blank cheque if it is in your possession, or alternatively you can visit your local bank and they will issue you with a written void cheque.

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Hiring: Play your part in Canada’s LNG industry

In October 2018, after years of speculation and frustration, LNG Canada announced a final investment decision (FID) on the mega $40bn project in Kitimat, a small coastal town in Northern BC.

The LNG liquefaction plant in Kitimat will be Canada’s first LNG export facility, with further mega projects expected to move forward. With Canada being late in the global game, it was crucial for Canada’s LNG industry to get a project moving forward after years of delays and uncertainty.

LNG Canada is a joint venture (JV) that comprises of Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS. LNG Canada represents the single largest private sector investment project in Canadian history. The $40bn value represents the overall value of the LNG liquefaction export facility (initially $18bn, with a second phase due in 2023) and associated pipeline construction ($6.2bn). Initially, the plant will export 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The FID is for two processing units or “trains,” with first LNG expected before the middle of the next decade. LNG Canada’s export plant has been designed to achieve the lowest carbon intensity of any large-scale LNG plant operating in the world today.

Why LNG?

With demand for LNG expected to double by 2035 compared with today, as a result of global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, LNG Canada will provide natural gas to countries where imported gas could displace more carbon intensive energy sources and help to address global climate change and air pollution.

Why Northern BC?

LNG Canada is advantaged by access to abundant, low-cost natural gas from British Columbia’s vast reserves and the relatively short shipping distance to North Asia, which is about 50% shorter than from the US Gulf of Mexico and avoids the Panama Canal. The LNG Plant will be constructed on a large, partially-developed industrial site with existing deep-water port, roads, rail and power supplies.

Hiring at LNG Canada

With work commenced in late 2018, Outpost Recruitment is currently hiring candidates with civil (early works, excavation and site services) experience across major projects.  All roles will be on a 14/7 FIFO roster with flights available from major Canadian cities.

  • Superintendents
  • Project Managers
  • Project Coordinators
  • Project Engineers
  • HSE Coordinators
  • Environmental Coordinators
  • Surveyors
  • Quality Coordinators

If you want to be part of this exciting venture, please ensure you create a profile via our website so that we can review your CV/resume and profile. Sponsorship opportunities will not be available, so all candidates must be eligible to work in Canada.

To create your profile, please click here.

Future hiring opportunities

Given Canada does not have LNG expertise, Canada will look to international expertise for cryogenic tank construction and process infrastructure for LNG liquefaction plants. Employer sponsorship opportunities are not a certainty, so if you want to be part of the LNG industry in Canada, we recommend working towards obtaining the right to work in Canada independently. Visit our sister website, Moving2Canada, for free immigration resources and this helpful guide.

Contact Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] for more details.

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Outpost Recruitment welcomes the award of the $1.4bn Pattullo Bridge project

The winning consortium for Vancouver’s much-needed Pattullo Bridge replacement project was announced in January 2020. 

The $1.4bn design-build lump sum contract specifies the delivery of a new four-lane suspension bridge crossing the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey. It will be built about 100 metres upstream of the existing 1937-built structure, roughly parallel to the aging crossing.

The bridge is designed with the capability to be widened to six lanes in the future, but this is partially accomplished by narrowing the width of the original four-lane design. Improvements will also be made to the road network at the ends of the bridge. However, there will not be a direct connection between the south end of the bridge and Highway 17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road).

Artist rendering of Pattullo Bridge, in BC
Artist rendering of the Pattullo Bridge replacement project. (Government of BC)

Since the cancellation of the Massey Tunnel Replacement Bridge in 2017 and indecision around a new Surrey LRT line, confidence in British Columbia’s infrastructure sector has been low. Amazingly, Vancouver has had only one billion dollar mega infrastructure project, the Evergreen Line LRT ($1.4bn —completed in 2016), since the South Fraser Perimeter Road was completed in 2013. It’s been a long wait for a major project.

Vancouver-based Outpost Recruitment are uniquely placed to assist in hiring for this project. Through their sister website, Moving2Canada, Outpost have been tracking local and international talent since 2011. “With the Vancouver market already stretched by a strong real estate market and a booming municipal infrastructure market, our clients enjoy our extended reach in national and global infrastructure talent,” commented founder Ruairi Spillane noting that B.C. is facing a major labour shortage. “We expect to be very busy over the next 5 years as infrastructure is truly a global market and we help clients expand their reach and innovate through people using the latest technology and construction methods.”

“Overall, we’re seeing huge demand from both consulting and contracting clients for candidates with P3 delivery experience and exposure to healthcare and rail projects,” said Spillane. “The outlook is excellent for candidates considering Vancouver as a destination. It’s the perfect storm for international candidates given both Toronto and Vancouver are booming right now, as these are the most popular cities with incoming talent.

Outpost are urgently seeking candidates for the following roles across contracting and consulting.

Contractor roles:

  • Superintendent – Civil / Structural
  • Project Manager / Coordinators – Civil / Structural
  • Site Engineer
  • Design Managers / Coordinators
  • Field Engineers (Civil / Structural)
  • Quality Coordinators, QA/QC Manager
  • Project Controls / Contracts Managers / Procurement?
  • Commercial Managers / Quantity Surveyors
  • BIM Manager
  • Planner / Scheduler
  • Equipment Coordinator
  • Field Document Controller
  • Field Scheduler
  • Mechanical & Electrical Managers / Coordinators
  • Environmental Manager
  • Traffic Manager

Consulting roles:

  • Project Manager, Owner’s Representative
  • Civil / Structural Designers / Project Managers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Geotechnical design consultants
  • Cost consultants

Expertise in bridge and highway design/construction is highly sought after to ensure the success of this project.

If you want to be part of this exciting venture, please ensure you create a profile via our website so that we can review your CV/resume and profile. Sponsorship opportunities will only available to senior personnel (10+ years of similar infrastructure experience), so all other candidates must be eligible to work in Canada.

 

Future Hiring Opportunities

Employer sponsorship opportunities are not a certainty, so if you want to be part of the construction industry in Canada, we recommend working towards obtaining the right to work in Canada independently. Visit our sister website, Moving2Canada, for free immigration resources and this helpful guide.

Contact Ruairi Spillane at [email protected] for more details.

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Why the best job applicants may not need a cover letter

Do I need a cover letter for my job application? My short answer is: no, unless specifically asked to provide one. The reason is that a cover letter is generally used for an unsolicited online application. Online applications are anonymous cold introductions without any personal touch. Best avoided.

If you have read my blogs you will understand my dislike of unsolicited online applications. Resumes from such applications accumulate in corporate inboxes. They are typically viewed in the batches, often by administrative staff – not the best way to make a solid first impression.

Applying online is not the optimal route. Following this route can strongly suggest that you are unable or unwilling to network your way a personal introduction with a future employer. Why not find a contact to introduce you to the right people? Sitting at home churning through online job applications is a lonely existence and ought to be avoided. With online applications you typically don’t receive confirmation that your resume has been reviewed, nor do you receive feedback on the status of your application or any suggestions on how to improve. You either get called for an interview or you don’t. It’s just black or white. Many large organizations insist on online applications with cover letters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t coordinate this front door approach with another more direct way to ensure your resume finds the right person.

Applying online should be your last resort. But what are the alternatives?

Warm introduction

The role of a recruitment agency is often to bridge the connection between you and a company you would like to work for. A good recruiter negates the need for online applications and cover letters. The recruiter’s expertise is to establish a fit between your skills and experience and a potential role. The most favorable approach would be to have a recruiter provide your profile and resume to the hiring manager. Now you can optimize your job application, ensure your resume finds the decision maker, and gain feedback from the process.

Networking

If the company is not working with agencies, then you can do some research, find out who the hiring manager is, and network your way to him or her. Be creative. Find someone who can help you make a connection with the company. Instead of attaching a cover letter to your job application, you could provide a brief email note to this contact person with the following five components:

  • How you got the person’s contact information.
  • A brief summary (3-4 sentences maximum) of your skills, experience, and immigration status (if applicable).
  • What interests you about the company. Show the employer why you are interested by referring to projects, services, personnel, news stories, company values, etc, that have caught your attention.
  • Why you would be a good fit for the role (if a relevant job posting is available). Highlight your understanding of the job requirements and outline your suitability for the role.
  • Close by explaining what action you want the reader to take. For example, you could ask him or her to meet with you for a coffee, take a telephone call, or pass on your resume to HR or the Hiring Manager, as the case may be.

For more advice, read my quick guide to networking in Canada.

If you must write a cover letter. . .

The typical cover letter is focused on the candidate’s work experience and skill set. This information is already mentioned in his or her resume. Don’t repeat yourself. Cover letters can be effective when written well. This means your cover letter focuses on why you are a fit for a specific role or company and how you can add value to the company. A cover letter is the linking document between your skills and experience and the company.

Outpost Recruitment connects talented construction professionals with leading construction employers for civil, infrastructure and ICI buildings projects in Canada. To set up a confidential discussion, call us at 778-861-1244.

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Construction Recruitment: Should I use a recruiter?

Outpost Recruitment founder, Ruairi Spillane, has spent five years placing jobseekers with Canada’s top construction and engineering companies in permanent roles. Jobseekers often ask themselves ‘should I use a recruiter?’ In this opinion piece, Ruairi outlines six scenarios where jobseekers should instead apply to companies in those industries directly. As one of the premier construction recruitment agencies in Vancouver, we think their advice can help you.

As a jobseeker, the idea of outsourcing your job search sounds fantastic. The job search often starts with a buzz of excitement and suddenly week or two later, it’s a very different story. Finding employment in Canada is an extremely slow process. Engaging with the right recruiter can help set your expectations, provide you with a trusted advisor and establish a clear strategy. That said, outsourcing your search to a recruiter is not always the best choice.

What are my options?

  • Go it alone – use online jobs boards and personal connections to manage your own job search
  • Engage the right recruiter – seek involvement of a recruitment professional to expand your knowledge of the market and include a wider network of opportunities.

To understand reasons why you should not use a recruiter, it’s important to first examine the reasons why companies will call on a recruitment agency to assist with their hiring.

  • Urgent need – Outsource HR process due to time constraints
  • Hard to find skills – Broaden the reach of HR
  • Convenience – Client is happy to outsource their HR function purely to save time and effort
  • Headhunting – Client use an agency to assist with an approach to a target

When a company pays an agency fee to source talent, they’re paying with the expectation that candidates presented by an agency are going to be of an extremely high quality. For the recruitment agency, this means the candidate must meet and exceed established job requirements

At Outpost Recruitment, we specialize in permanent roles for construction professionals across civil, infrastructure, and buildings projects. Based on five years of experience, we can gauge when a candidate’s chances will be hindered, because the employer is unlikely to want to pay a recruitment agency fee for a jobseeker who has to overcome a significant barrier. If they’re taking the risk of hiring that jobseeker, they want to do it as cheaply as possible, and it’s not in our interest or the jobseeker’s interest to present them to the company.

Here are six scenarios where we will usually advise a jobseeker to approach the company directly.

1. Lack of consistent work experience

When employers use a recruiter, they want a return on investment. Hiring a candidate who has never lasted beyond 2-3 years with a previous employer means this return on investment is less likely to be realized. Sometimes this movement is beyond the candidate’s control but if a candidate has displayed a tendency to “jump around”, then they are not an ideal recruitment candidate for an agency and will be better served directly convincing an employer of their merit.

2. Lack of relevant experience

If your experience level if way off the requirements for years of proven experience, then an employer is not likely to hire you via a recruiter. If you are junior or you are switching role/industry, we often recommend you apply directly. It’s rare that companies will use a recruiter for junior level roles so directly managing your job search is highly recommend for candidates with less than two years of proven experience.

3. Language barrier

Strong communication skills, including working fluency in the local language, are crucial when a company decides to use a recruiter. At Outpost Recruitment, we focus on technical roles so a candidate must have demonstrated their ability to work through English (Note: We are not active in Quebec so we focus on English speaking candidates only). If your written and spoken English is anything less than perfect, then you should consider managing your own job search. A recruitment fee is just another obstacle for you to overcome if you are not the perfect fit in terms of communication skills.

4. Lack of local / western world experience

The local experience paradox. Canada’s aging population desperately needs international workers, but employers crave local experience. If they don’t get local experience, they seek the next best thing which is experience in a similar western economy to Canada. Candidates without this level of experience will typically represent a higher risk to the client.

5. Cultural barrier

We often meet strong international candidates that cannot make a breakthrough because local employers are looking for a long-term candidate that will be a cultural fit in Canada. This is more common outside of the main cities but it is a factor to recognize. Candidates coming from differing cultures will always have a relatively higher settlement risk so we will often suggest that they job hunt directly to improve their chances.

For example, an international candidate coming from Sub-Saharan Africa to Edmonton may have a difficult time convincing an employer they are making the right long-term hire as the employer may be concerned that the candidate may struggle to settle in a dramatically different climate.

6. Immigration barrier

Unlike the Middle East and Australia, gaining employers sponsorship in Canada is extremely difficult and therefore not very common. Canada is a resource-driven economy so when commodity prices are low the demand for international workers in the economy will drop. If you need immigration assistance, it will dramatically reduce your attractiveness to a Canadian employer, so this presents yet another obstacle to finding employment. For these reasons, we rarely present candidates that require immigration assistance unless they are all-stars with extensive estimating or senior management experience.

Benefits of using a construction recruitment agency in Vancouver

On top of the points outlined above, you might still be unsure of the inherent benefits that come from using a dedicated construction recruitment agency like Outpost Recruitment in Vancouver. Honestly, we understand why you may have some reservations but benefits do exist. If you feel like the above six points don’t apply to you and you want to give yourself the best chance of finding a job that you’ll thrive in in Vancouver then we can help.

There are many benefits to using a construction recruitment agency like Outpost recruitment, some of the primary benefits are as follows:

Construction recruitment agencies have industry insights

While you may think that you know your industry inside-out, the reality is that this is unlikely to be the case, especially if you are making a start in a new city like Vancouver. As construction specialists, Outpost recruitment can offer a range of unique insights to both your sector and the city to ensure that you find the opportunity that best meets your needs. These type of insights can save you time, and increase exposure to other opportunities, as well as salary advice.

Construction recruitment agencies offer exposure for candidates

As well as have a range of experienced and in-depth insights, construction recruitment agencies can provide their candidates with the necessary professional exposure that can ultimately lead to a career rather than just a job. At Outpost Recruitment, we use our decade plus of combined experience in the Vancouver construction industry to give our candidates a little more exposure than they may receive elsewhere. Additionally, in some circumstances, construction recruitment agencies have opportunities which are not always available elsewhere, not to mention that working in partnership can give you a competitive advantage.

Construction recruitment agencies save you time and make you money

If you have ever spent time applying for a job then you will know that it is a full-time position in itself. So, if you want to save yourself time and effort while you search for your dream job in Vancouver then you need to enroll the help of a construction recruitment agency like Outpost Recruitment. On top of that, by working with us we can help you negotiate a starting salary that matches your skill and qualifications.

Need help figuring it out?

If you’re unsure as to whether these apply to you, or would simply like a second opinion, we encourage you to contact us so we can advise you.

We gladly represent jobseekers where it’s possible to do so. And if not, at least you’ll know.

Register with us and make the first step.

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How to create a short, custom LinkedIn profile URL

We all know having a LinkedIn profile is a crucial resource in your job search. But the default LinkedIn profile URL can be long, clunky, and difficult to include on a resume or CV.

Luckily, LinkedIn provides an option for you to create a short, custom LinkedIn profile URL. By default, your URL will be something like: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-regan-245b5b42. But you can change it to something simple, like: www.linkedin.com/in/alanregan. It’s easy to do, and this guide will show you how.

Steps in creating a short LinkedIn profile URL.

1. Go to your profile. 

Login to your account, and click ‘Profile’ from the menu at the top of the screen.

2. Update your public profile settings.

Custom LinkedIn profile URL

Move your cursor over the URL, which appears in the bottom-left of the image above. By default, this will be something clunky, like: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-regan-245b5b42.

When you do this, a little cog will appear beside it. Click on this, and a new page will open.

3. Edit your public LinkedIn profile URL.

Create your custom LinkedIn profile URL 2

On the right-hand side of this new page, you’ll see a box which says ‘Your public profile URL’. Click on the pencil icon beside it.

Your new URL will begin with www.linkedin.com/in/. You get to choose what goes after this, but we recommend a combination of your first name and last name. For example, www.linkedin.com/in/alanregan.

And you’re done!

You can now use this URL on your resume, business cards, or any other document that’s likely to be viewed as a printed file.

We strongly recommend including your LinkedIn profile on your resume. A resume is simply a quick overview of your career history. Your LinkedIn profile gives you the chance to expand on your achievements, and gives employers to learn more about you if they so wish.

It’s important to have a short, custom URL on your resume. Yes, some employers will be viewing a digital file, and can simply click on the long, clunky link, or copy and paste it into their browser.

But many recruiters will be looking at a printed file. If you’re trying to impress them, make their life simple. Don’t give them a long series of random characters to try to type – give them an easy, custom LinkedIn profile URL instead. It shows that you’re keen to impress, and have taken the time to work on your recruitment tools.

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How to use LinkedIn for successful construction networking

It’s not enough to simply exist on social media – you need to know how to use LinkedIn if you want to get the most out of it. Outpost Recruitment founder, Ruairi Spillane, explains.

LinkedIn has become a crucial networking, information sharing and personal branding tool for construction and engineering professionals. Ignore it at your peril. Let’s focus on the numerous positives that can come from having an online professional profile.

Why is LinkedIn useful?

LinkedIn allows you to organize your professional connections, build an online presence and leverage common connections with other members of your network.

You can build connections that can assist you in meeting your professional objectives and engage with them. Whether you are searching for a job, keeping up to date on your field or looking to advance your career, learning how to use LinkedIn can help you achieve your goal.

Build rapport — If you’ve seen topical and relevant third-party articles, or have timely opinions on issues in your industry, you can post these on your profile or selected groups. This can help you engage with your existing network, and build new contacts. While it’s good to post often, remember that you should be aiming for quality over quantity.

Industry news — Your news feed will become an information resource for keeping in touch with latest events in your industry. Get involved in industry discussions and see what you can learn! Connect with our Outpost Recruitment group for latest industry news.

Warm introduction — LinkedIn allows you to establish degrees of separation when browsing for target individuals. Instead of a cold invitation to a stranger who does not know you, you may avail of the opportunity to ask a common (2nd degree) connection to introduce you. This is a very powerful networking tool.

Cold introduction — If you wish to be particularly proactive about exploring new opportunities, don’t be afraid to ‘reverse headhunt’. Learning how to use LinkedIn’s search tools means you can do this quickly and effectively. This essentially means identifying suitable companies or individuals to contact directly through the LinkedIn messaging feature. Providing a customized message explaining why you wish to connect is vital. Don’t just send a generic request, show them you have taken the time to study their profile.

Interview Preparation — Learn about the background of the hiring manager you are about to meet. This will help you understand the interview team and prepare some quality questions to ask. You may establish that you have common connections or else mutual interests with your future employers so don’t be shy on doing your research.

How to use LinkedIn to grow your network

Send connection requests to professional contacts once a relationship has been developed. Remind them of how you met if you sense they may not remember you. It’s always better to send a customized message when connected and ensure you follow up once your connection is accepted. Avoid connecting with strangers without sending a clear message on the purpose of connecting with them!

Join LinkedIn groups according to your industry, professional organization and regions to meet other professionals with common interests and keep you up to date on developments in your industry. Our Outpost Recruitment group posts the latest industry and jobs news, so be sure to connect with us to stay up to date.

Add a LinkedIn badge to your email signature. This will encourage people you are emailing to connect with you.

Outpost LinkedIn email signature badge

Success Tips

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for promoting your career interests, so ensure you maintain a complete profile and communicate a positive, professional online image. First impressions last. Like most tools, keep in mind the expression “Garbage in, garbage out!”

A concise heading and title is important. These two parameters are crucial, and it’s important that you convey the appropriate message to viewers. For example, if you are job hunting, you can convey that by stating you are “seeking new opportunities in . . . ” on your profile.

Recommendations are handy, so ask colleagues, direct supervisors and happy clients to endorse your work as this greatly enhances your professional image, especially if you are job searching.

You can also use a LinkedIn request as a subtle way to nudge someone you have recently contacted. Instead of following up by email, send them a connection request and send your follow up email at a later date.

How to build a LinkedIn profile to impress

Professional photo — A high-resolution professional photo adds personality to your profile. A cropped image of you standing next to someone else at a dinner party, graduation photos or grainy historical images do not help your personal branding!

Clear objectives — Similar to your CV/resume, your profile should include a personal summary that is clear and concise. Who are you looking to network with? What types of roles interest you?

Relevant detail — Provide as much detail as possible about your results and achievements during your current and previous roles. Highlight a basic scope of each project you have worked on so anyone can visualize the tasks and your involvement.

Keyword loading — Optimizing your profile for searches is critical. Loading your profile with keywords associated with your desired role will return your profile in searches by recruiters. If you do not want your desire for a new role to be blatant, it is a good idea to embellish your profile with subtle keywords such as ‘seeking’, ‘opportunities’ and ‘new challenges’. Otherwise, being explicit with the fact that you are actively looking will attract the attention of hirers.

Increase your visibility — Joining relevant groups and being active in group discussions can increase your footprint within industries and can drive traffic to your profile. You’ll quickly discover this is how to use LinkedIn in a way that attracts interest in you.

Custom URL — By default your public link to your profile may contain a lengthy URL that looks like “tr.linkedin.com/pub/johnadams/70/887/b01/”. Ensure you shorten the URL if you would like to place this link on your resume or signature. See our How to create a short, custom LinkedIn profile URL guide for instructions.

Best of luck with your online networking. Don’t forget to connect with my LinkedIn profile and follow Outpost Recruitment.

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