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117

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Benoit Pelletier
Benoit Pelletier
Article

In the race for talent,

Canadian business must go global

— or be left behind

Takeaways

  • Finding and recruiting top talent — from across Canada and abroad — is key for Canadian businesses that want to succeed.
  • Recruitment of the best candidates can lead to mutually beneficial relationships for all stakeholders, boost business growth and create jobs.
  • Mitacs helps match Canadian companies with skilled researchers by providing an end-to-end solution that connects businesses with doctoral and post-graduate university students.

In today’s global marketplace, talent defines success. Connecting with the right talent at the right time plays a critical role in determining a company’s future — or if it’ll have a future at all. Our changing world and the growing demand for sophisticated skill sets means businesses in Canada have to expand its outreach and recruitment efforts to find the best talent.

Canada’s forward-thinking enterprises need to reach far and wide to recruit the talent needed to be innovative and competitive. We’ve both seen how a global recruitment strategy can impact Canada’s most promising companies and their workforce. For business leaders, it’s about recruiting candidates with the advanced skills and aptitudes to take their organization to the next level. For Canada, it’s about creating good-paying jobs, fuelling prosperity and building stronger communities. 

Connecting with the right talent at the right time plays a critical role in determining a company’s future

Having a partner to help bridge the gap and find that talent certainly helps, which is what Mitacs does with enterprises across Canada. The national not-for-profit organization provides a collaborative innovation model for industry leaders. Using the model, industry leaders are connected to university researchers who can help them solve their critical R&D challenges. 

Mitacs is doing such work with Ciena, a global networking systems, services and software company, with R&D centers based in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. Under Mitacs’s internship program, Ciena connects with young talent early in their academic careers. Through the internship, the student gains both academic and real-world work experience. Following the internship, many graduates are offered full-time employment with Ciena. 

Mitacs is also connecting 400 interns with several projects under ENCQOR 5G, a public-private partnership between the governments of Canada, Quebec and Ontario, and industry leaders Ciena, Ericsson, Thales, IBM Canada and CGI. The ENCQOR 5G members are working to advance the always-on Internet connection required to support 5G initiatives such as smart cities, e-health, e-education, manufacturing 4.0, autonomous vehicles and on-demand media and entertainment.

As part of the academia-industry collaboration, Mitacs is also supporting Ciena’s Self-Optimizing Fabric (SOF) research ecosystem — the first Ciena-led program to launch under ENCQOR 5G. To support the effort, Mitacs connected Ciena with 20 Masters and PhD-level students from Canada, the U.S. and other international locations who will help conduct research for the ecosystem over the next three years. 

In addition to how Mitacs is currently helping support Ciena, there are many success stories that have resulted from the collaboration, including Yousra Omran, Ph.D, an electrical engineer originally from Tunisia. As a PhD candidate at Université Laval she applied for a Mitacs internship with Ciena to develop algorithms for next-generation land and submarine networks. It was a perfect fit, given her doctoral research on submarine networks. Following her internship experience, Dr. Omran was offered full-time employment at Ciena. 

Dr. Omran advanced quickly in the company, most recently taking on the role of senior manager on the Global Software Upgrade Team. And she has twice been nominated for the Spirit of Ciena Award — a recognition made by peers or supervisors for being a role model. 

Her home country is a good example of where growing companies can find the specialized talent they need. Tunisia will be one of the emerging economies of the coming decade. It’s already home to a burgeoning high-tech community and multilingual, highly educated talent. Unfortunately, not enough Canadian companies are looking to such rapidly growing economies — like Ethiopia, Chile, Indonesia, Ghana, and Romania — for their talent solutions. 

Canada’s forward-thinking enterprises need to reach far and wide to recruit the talent needed to be innovative and competitive.

International recruitment efforts are buoyed by the Canada advantage. Students and professionals are attracted to the diversity, quality of life and opportunities our country has to offer. Research by the Canadian Bureau for International Education shows that some 60 percent of international students are interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada after their studies.

Canada also offers students competitive employment packages, including allowing them to work while they study. A post-graduation work permit helps them gain Canadian work experience, and then they can choose from more than 80 economic class immigration streams. It’s a path many student interns will follow as they build their futures. 

Mitacs helps Ciena and thousands of other companies across Canada to present the best talent, by offering an end-to-end solution with support stretching from the recruitment of college and undergraduate interns to connecting enterprises with the right researchers.

This kind of far-reaching collaboration is a differentiator for doing business in Canada. Ramping up our efforts to connect more companies with the right talent — wherever in the world it may be — will yield tremendous results in business growth, job creation and quality of life for Canadians. 

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Benoit Pelletier

Benoit Pelletier

Co-founder and Head of ENCQOR 5G at Ciena

Benoit Pelletier is the co-founder and head of ENCQOR 5G at Ciena, an industry-lead 5G collaborative innovation project between five global leaders (Ciena, Ericsson, Thales, IBM and CGI) and the Quebec, Ontario and Federal Governments, as well as our coordinating partners OCE, Prompt and ADRIQ. He is also a director, business development at Ciena.

Eric Bosco Mitacs

Eric Bosco

Chief Business Development and Partnerships Officer at Mitacs

Eric Bosco is Chief Business Development and Partnerships Officer at Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization housed at UBC that fosters growth and innovation by solving business challenges with research solutions from the best academic institutions at home and around the world. An entrepreneur and business leader who helps companies grow through research and development, he was founder and CEO of XYZ Imaging prior to joining Mitacs in 2007.

Organizations we have worked with