NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Q&A stories featuring Brock University faculty members who are integrating the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games into their research projects. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games
Adam Kanar, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management in the Goodman School of Business, has research interests in the areas of job search, employee recruitment and learner-control in technology-based training. His work has been published in respected scientific journals including Personnel Psychology, Human Performance, Journal of Educational Psychology, Career Development International and the International Journal of Human Resource Management.
Kanar is one of eight Brock researchers and scholars who received funding under the 2021-22 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Here, he discusses his research project titled “Competency Awareness and Articulation in 2022 Canada Games Volunteers.”
Please give a brief overview of your research project.
This year’s Canada Games is expected to commission about 4,500 volunteers. We know that volunteering produces benefits for society and for the people who are volunteering. Volunteers may benefit in several ways, including by having the chance to develop new skills and competencies such as leadership, adaptability and teamwork. Yet, little is known about how volunteers view, and discuss, the benefits they gained through their experience.
This study aims to investigate how volunteers at the 2022 Canada Games come to identify and articulate the competencies they developed while volunteering. Competency identification and articulation are critical because, unless people can properly communicate their skills and abilities to gatekeepers, such as hiring managers, they may lose out on opportunities for further education or employment.
What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?
One expected outcome of this research is the identification of the pathways volunteers use to effectively describe their competencies. Increasing the understanding of how volunteers identify and articulate their competencies may help scholars and practitioners harness the potential of volunteering for career development.
How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?
Volunteering can be a transformative experience that shapes competency development while simultaneously strengthening the life and vitality of the Niagara region. This research will contribute to our understanding of how volunteers at the 2022 Canada Games come to recognize and express the strengths they developed by volunteering.
How did you become interested in this research?
This work is an extension of past research my colleagues and I conducted focusing on career development and career intervention design. Competency articulation is interesting because of its implications for the perceived skills gap: the gap between the skills employers are looking for and the skills applicants have. Better articulation can help reduce that gap.
How do you plan on sharing your research?
Upon completion of the research, we will share the results in several ways, including journal publication, conference presentations and presenting at the Niagara Games Research Showcase.