Jobseekers Get Advice About Working in the Public Sector


Internationally trained newcomers interested in working in the government spent the afternoon speaking and networking with employers in the Public Sector on Tuesday February 4, 2020.

Organized by World Skills Employment Centre and Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO), in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the event was held in two parts:

– A Learning segment presented and moderated by World Skills at the Alt Hotel

– A Public Sector Coaching segment organized by HIO and supported by World Skills

The first part of the event was a discussion where panelists representing Federal and Municipal government departments, a Crown Corporation, and a Not for Profit organization spoke about the recruitment, interviewing, and hiring practices within their organizations. They also discussed the diversity and inclusion policies at their workplaces and how their organizations are working towards implementing fair practices.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to meet, listen and talk to some amazing people who gave me some great perspective on how to navigate the Public Service in Canada,” said Aliaa Khedr, an internationally trained engineer.

The panel included the following professionals from the Public Service and the Not for Profit sector:

  1. Soophia Ahmad, Senior Program and Policy Advisor, IRCC
  2. Cyndia Cardinal, HR Business Partner, House of Commons
  3. Princewill Ogban, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, City of Ottawa
  4. Annie Pilon, HR Coordinator, Care Canada

The panelists discussed and answered questions on several topics:

– What makes an application stand out and what candidates can do to improve their chances

– The importance of soft skills not just during the hiring process but throughout our careers

– Unconscious bias and how their organizations tackle it during the recruitment process

– Diversity and Inclusion programs and why it is important to implement them to create fair and respectful workplaces

The panelists also cleared some misconceptions around the requirements for applying to government jobs. They pointed out that their organizations were actively working on fairness, diversity and inclusion during the recruitment process by training hiring managers to be more intentional and do away with “culturally insensitive” questions.

The second part of the event, held at the House of Commons building on 131 Queen Street later in the evening, offered the participants ‘Speed-Coaching” and networking opportunities with hiring managers in the Public Sector including the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, IRCC, Senate of Canada, and ISED.

“I’m amazed that so many people give their time and support to newcomers. This was a great opportunity to get advice and insights into the Public Sector from established professionals,” said Trina Joshi, an internationally trained journalist and communicator. 

The evening ended on a very positive note, with the participants expressing their interest in attending more learning, coaching and networking events in the future.


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