Capital Context – Relationships—Secret Sauce to Staffing Success
By Seema Aurora
As the Nation’s Capital continues to be the ultimate destination to jumpstart any career, one staffing agency is paving the way for customer service—by valuing their employees.
“The best lesson I ever learned is that everyone should surround themselves with positive and supportive people. We spend more time with our team than we do with our families, so we’ve created a constructive and supportive environment that gives us a comfortable and professional space to use to challenge each other and grow. Every week we offer gift card incentives for most interviews and confirmed contracts. It’s a celebration of our team, not a competition. Our management, including myself, maintains an ‘open-door’ policy that lets our staff know that we want their ideas. We take every opportunity to learn from each other,” explains Seema Aurora, President, and CEO of the Ottawa based staffing firm, TAG HR.
Born in Budapest, Hungary to diplomats of the Indian Foreign Service, Seema lived a life of constant motion as she grew up travelling from country to country, “I spent my whole life learning to adapt to new people and places. It taught me to never dwell on the past. I always forge ahead because something great is often right around the corner,” says Seema.
After graduating from Seneca College in Toronto, she moved to Ottawa to begin her professional journey. Unfortunately, due to the hiring freeze at the time, she was left with few options, until she heard about the staffing industry, “I jumped right in as a candidate, taking whatever job people offered me, at any time. It was a habit of mine to wake up at 6 am every morning in case I got a call to go anywhere. She was often asked ‘How do you do it? You never even asked for a price!’ Money was never my initial goal, it was the experience and networks I created along the way,” details Seema.
Aurora’s adaptable entrepreneurial spirit invited many job offers and Seema accepted one such offer from a leading international staffing agency. Seema went on to become the youngest branch and area manager in the company’s history in just eight short years. In 1990, Seema decided to venture out on her own and joined in a small start-up, within the year, she had assumed ownership of the company and thus her journey with TAG HR began. Today, the company has more than 40 employees and a database of 100,000 candidates at their disposal. With ongoing projects from Vancouver to Halifax, the company works nationally with a variety of public and private clients. The company is a leading supplier to the federal government in temporary staff and is the go-to HR partner to many private firms.
As a recipient of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in 2016, Seema understands the difficulties a lot of individuals face, “I’m proud of the fact that my team is so diverse and multifaceted. It’s not a matter of age, gender, culture, or appearance; it’s about what skills and talents you can bring to the table. Most of our senior and management staff are women with various backgrounds.”
“We thrive by evolving alongside our clients and candidates. My team and I always have our ears to the ground for the latest industry trends, skill sets, and standards. Work environments have changed so much from when our company started. People are only staying in jobs for two to three years at a time and are constantly moving around. The reality is, there are more open positions than people to fill them,” Seema points out.
Statistics Canada reported unemployment rates at an all-time low of 5.5 per cent in September of 2019 and more positions are being created each day. The pool of available talent continues to dwindle as more options for lucrative and stimulating work have made it difficult for organizations to retain capable personnel. Salary demands and benefit costs continue to climb as the market for skilled workers continues to tighten.
It’s because of this substantial change that many public and private sector companies are turning to staffing firms throughout Canada. TAG HR has successfully made a name for itself within Ontario through not only this influx of clients, but because of their hands-on approach.
“We always sit down with candidates and clients and make sure we fully understand what they’re looking for. The best way to connect with anyone is to listen. If you listen to people, they listen to you—it’s all about a mutual respect. What soft skills is the client looking for? Can this candidate adapt to a bigger team? What are the objectives and goals? Those are just a few of the factors we look at. We’ve worked with companies and professionals at all stages in a life cycle, so we have an understanding of what they’re going through,” stresses Seema.
Millennials have played a big part in influencing today’s office fashion as well as the way most people do business. The ability to sell oneself to a potential employer has always been an asset for any generation, and with the advent of technology, people have more avenues to promote themselves than ever before. Recruitment outreach has benefited greatly from the Internet age.
Seema believes that millennials and technology have a lot to offer, “Technology is a tool that will enhance your experience, not replace it. Face-to-face connections are irreplaceable; I think that’s why some mature organizations are hesitant about millennials. What they see, like every previous generation, is a group of people moving to replace them and creating a medium that may make some jobs obsolete. But this isn’t the case, we can learn from millennials. Nothing lasts forever and knowing that, is the true path to success. Everyone should have a ‘Millennial Mentor’—someone that can bridge the gap of misunderstanding and fear of a new generation. We have this wonderful resource of job seekers who aren’t afraid of technology or change and know how to use it to their advantage.”
Experience is always an asset in any industry. In fact, a lot of experts in various industries become consultants for staffing firms once they retire. Many of TAG HR’s candidate database are recently retired experts who work for them on a contract basis, “In most cases, consultants will complete the job in half the time with half the resources. It saves our clients money and time,” adds Seema.
Even though they’ve always had a solid footing in Toronto, TAG HR is looking to strengthen their connections in the economic powerhouse that exists in the city, “The majority of our network is in the Eastern Coast, primarily in Ottawa and Toronto, so the addition just makes sense. Our motto is to always try to extend beyond the comfort zone and challenge ourselves because we know it can open so many doors for us. We work hard for our staffing partners—and that’s the simple truth.”
Contact TAG HR today to find out how they can help you discover your next dream job or professional addition:
Seema Aurora President and CEO, TAG HR