Telus tapped growing local markets
For Richard Beed, hiring immigrants is just common sense.
“At Telus, we want our team to really understand and mirror our customers. In 2031, 59% of the population in the Vancouver area will be visible minorities. That will be the mix of our customers, whether it’s consumers or businesses. So how do we support those customers? You have to ensure that your team members reflect that reflect that diversity and really understand the resulting broad range of markets. That’s just a reality of business: you have to mirror,” says the youthful, energetic Vice President of Talent Solutions at Telus.
Beed hasn’t had any problems selling the strategy internally, either. “For us it’s all about customer first, so mirroring really resonates for our hiring managers; they can see the correlation between having staff that mirror your customers and providing the best possible customer service.”
The Canadian telecom giant does help their managers broaden their perspective on what makes a good hire. “We go though manager training to help insure that people are judging applicants for their skills and personalities and what they can bring to the table, rather than the easier route of just hiring the person most like you. Otherwise managers keep hiring in their likeness and you keep getting the same types of people,” Beed explains.
Originally from England, Beed has only been in Canada for four years himself. He says the fact that he had training and work experience from abroad was part of what made him attractive to Telus — and that principle applies to people from anywhere. “When you come from outside Canada, you bring a different perspective to the table, and that’s good for the organization as a whole. The more diversity of thought that we have in the organization the better it’s going to be.”
Beed doesn’t understand companies who are reluctant to hire immigrants. “As the demographics of Canada continue to change, ultimately, where will they hire from?” He also thinks that, by failing to mirror their entire potential customer base, these companies essentially cut themselves out of currently “underutilized” markets.
“We see hiring immigrants as a huge opportunity. Others don’t. We see it as a positive … and we’re certainly going after it,” Beed concludes, flashing a confident grin.