Leading London-based adaptable machine building company Konnexio, Konrad Konnerth’s engineering background informs much of his professional direction. The other driver, he says, is his personal experience as an immigrant.
As a mentor in Immploy’s Mentorship Program, Konnerth is committed to using his engineering and entrepreneurship experience to support other newcomers as they adjust to life within a new cultural framework and seek fulfilling work.
Konnerth admits that although he was fortunate enough to come to Canada with a career, there exists a significant barrier to navigating cultural differences and building strong professional networks for all newcomers. Choosing to focus on mentees from similar professional backgrounds, he sees great value he can offer to immigrant engineers. Through the work he does with Immploy, he is able to review job openings with them, help them understand what the qualifications will look like, and if their technical capabilities are well-suited for a particular role.
“I want to help mentees understand the qualifications they have but may have difficulty understanding by the way they’re phrased in job postings. It’s certainly beneficial when I have a similar background and can offer them assistance where they need it.”
When asked about the general outcomes of these touchpoints, Konnerth says that in his experience, there are usually ways to place a mentee’s existing skillset. “Depending on their goals, individuals may have to recertify, but that isn’t always the case. It’s important for me to ask what the mentee wants to do. We try to find a solution depending on their qualifications and where their desires match up. Then, we come up with a plan.”
This collaborative mindset has led to some incredible outcomes. “Most of my mentees have found great positions and have been very successful. It’s very important for me to understand the mentee; where they’re coming from, how that relates to job openings here, help them with applications, interviews, and ultimately not feel intimidated about these new challenges.”
We often hear from companies that the right talent can be hard to come by. That’s why Konnerth encourages employers to look towards skilled newcomers for their technical expertise. “It can be a very difficult labour market. In particular with our industry, machinists, machine engineers, programmers and mechatronics professionals… these are all skilled individuals that are hard to come by. It’s even rarer to find people experienced enough to have on board.”
“We do open up positions here at Konnexio as well, and come across great candidates. We’ve hired through the Immploy network of immigrant talent to bring in skills labour to our facilities. For us, being engaged is important to sourcing the kind of technical talent we need. It’s just as important that we as a business survey the qualifications out there and look for new ways to work with them.”
Interested in contributing to a prosperous tech community? Immploy is seeking mentors to help guide skilled immigrants into London’s workforce.