January 24, 2023
Canada’s national museums are one of Ottawa’s unique pleasures. It doesn’t take long for newcomers to discover them, especially if they have children.
And it doesn’t take long to get a job with them, said Kate Moore, the HR Director for Ingenium, the Crown Corporation that manages these museums, the Agriculture and Food Museum, the Aviation and Space Museum, and the Science and Technology Museum.
“Because we are a Crown Corporation, we can staff more quickly than a regular federal department, typically about eight to 10 weeks,” she explained. “We don’t leave people hanging,” she added. Kate and her Staffing Advisor, Cedric St-Amour, were speaking at a recruitment event on January 24th for participants in World Skills’ Empowering Visible Minority Newcomer Women (ENW) program.
The unusual range of its activities, means that as well as corporate services roles in finance, human resources, and facilities management, media relations, and communications, it has professional and technical positions in the field of museology. About 60% of its staff (and senior management) are women; 17% are visible minorities.
Due to retirements and some highly innovative new roles, Ingenium is doing a lot of hiring. Cedric revealed that only a few of the jobs require museum experience, “We want transferrable skills,” he said. Shortly before the ENW recruitment event, Kate started posting jobs on World Skills’ Job Board. (They are also on jobs.gc.ca.)
He and Kate also passed on some great interview tips: have examples of your work readily at hand; answer all parts of the question; take notes and ask the interviewer to repeat the question; manage your time (wear a watch). “We are not out to trap you. We genuinely want to find out about your experience,” he said.
When it comes to having a strong application, Kate explained that cover letters matter to her. As someone who has read hundreds of applications, she really appreciates and strongly endorses the “T Chart” cover letter. “Make it easy for us to see your strengths,” Cedric said and pointed out that, “Ingenium receives applications by e-mail and we read every one.”
Next time you visit an Ingenium museum, consider going from visitor to employee. Cedric joked that, “it is easy to get an informational interview on the spot because our employees love their work. They are excited to talk about what they do! “