LEDC (London, Ontario, Canada)

Success stories

Paul Hogendoorn, President and Julia Krajicek, Assembler of OES Inc.

Good morning in ten languages
OES Inc.

As Chair of the London Region Manufacturing Council, Paul Hogendoorn says the issue of workforce shortages has come up around the table among Council members a number of times. “Many of these companies, like all businesses, are already beginning to feel the shortages in some areas of their workforce.”

Hogendoorn is also President of OES Inc., a successful London company that produces electronic control monitoring and timing systems. OES is ahead of many of other companies because OES has already discovered the excellent pool of workers available in the form of global talent.

“There are about fifty people who work for the company. When I make the rounds in the morning, I often say good morning in ten different languages. Of course “good morning” is just about the extent of what I am able to say in many of those languages, but it does put a few smiles on faces.”

Paul says the business case for hiring newcomers is clear – an available skilled workforce that brings international experience. As for challenges, Paul says, “Work ethic and skills are not a problem. Language and culture can be, but we take the time to make it work. For instance, in some cultures, businesses are much more hierarchical than here. This frequently takes more than verbal explanation; sometimes it takes intentionally role-modeling examples to illustrate the point that no one person is above any specific task, including myself. Although specific roles may have different values in an organization, as individuals, we are still equal.”

Paul says the talent on OES’s payroll is remarkable and he credits the talent, skill and enthusiasm of the skilled workers for the success OES has achieved in recent years.

“No matter what language you say it in, the contribution of a talented and dedicated workforce speaks for itself.”

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