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How Employers Can Support Students in Their School-to-Work Transition. An Interview with Jesse Sahota, Career Development and Relationship Manager

Career educators and coaches play a vital part in the success of developing future talent. This support doesn’t end once students finish their degrees – career educators continue to assist students in their school-to-work transition, and this benefits not only students but also employers. Though, it’s important for employers to be involved in career planning as well. From employer branding, showcasing workplace culture, holding events, managing campus ambassadors to connecting with students before they even start their first day can have a great impact.  We explored this topic with Jesse Sahota, Career Development Relationship Manager in the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office at McMaster University, who also won Career Educator of the Year at the 2019 TalentEgg Awards. Read on to learn how Jesse supports his students, fosters relationships with employers and his advice on ways employers can connect with students to assist in their school-to-work transition.

Starting His Career with Purpose

When Jesse first envisioned his career, he believed he was going to work in the advertising industry one day, “designing commercials for Audi or working for Kellogg’s redesigning their Fruit Loops cereal boxes,” he says. During his final year at university, he landed a job in a wealth management firm as a recruiter, which eventually led him to his passion for helping others find their careers. And what a long and meaningful career it has been for Jesse so far! With over 15 years of experience in Career Coaching and Education, Jesse’s current role is comprised of three pillars that facilitate student success. He works to pursue new business development leads while maintaining existing partnerships in the engineering and business communities. The second pillar is coaching students using personalized strategies. “Pain points differ depending on where the student is at in their recruitment life cycle,” Jesse says. Whether students come with generic resumes and cover letters, or are looking to get more involved on campus, Jesse helps them on their career journey. Finally, the third pillar to Jesse’s role is collaborating with employers who are looking to create a stronger brand on campus.

“Our department’s “Employer of the Week” series brings employers to campus where I assist in orchestrating events, such as employers in the lobby, resume roasts, bus trips, Instagram takeovers and lunch and learn workshops.”

Supporting Students on their Career Journey

Jesse’s department supports students through a variety of workshops and individual appointments to prep them before the start of their co-op work term. “In Engineering Co-op and Career Services at McMaster University, the transition from the classroom to the shop floor or boardroom is exceptionally smooth,” he comments.

“Having been in this industry and in my current role for so long, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of our employer partners on-site. These meetings give me the opportunity to provide a unique perspective and “inside scoop” when coaching students on what to expect at their new job.”

One of the most memorable career highlights was taking five students to Silicon Valley in San Francisco for their Big Ideas Contest. Students were given the opportunity to learn from top innovators and develop their professional skills. Five students, management staff and the Dean of Engineering visited Tesla, Apple, Google, Facebook, Corning and several start-ups during their trip. This is a great example of how Career Educators are creating experiences for their students to showcase their innovative engineering solutions, build invaluable networking opportunities and learn about the possibilities. While Jesse and his team created this opportunity for students to learn, he ended up taking away a lot for himself too.

“It was an eye-opening experience for me as it provided the opportunity to connect with McMaster Engineering alumni and further solidified my understanding that our graduates are changing the world.”

What Can Employers Do for Students?

While career educators help to set students up for success in launching their careers, Jesse shares some ways in which employers can make students feel welcome and valued before they even start working. Jesse comments that not only will this showcase the organizations’ culture, but it will also prepare students for the road ahead. Reaching out to students after they’ve accepted their offer, even if it’s well in advance of their start date, can have a positive impact.

“A welcome email with details regarding what to expect on their first day is a great way to get the student excited about their new adventure by winning their heart and mind. Many organizations are taking onboarding seriously by allocating a personal mentor to each new hire – a strategy that I find highly effective.”

Another way Jesse suggests employers get involved in students’ transition is during the offer stage.

“When employers present an offer to a student, I would suggest that they invite the student to their site, provide them with a tour of their facility, introduce the student to a mentor, connect them with the current student(s) that are working there, and take them out for lunch or coffee. This approach is an excellent way to strengthen the student’s commitment to the employer’s brand. It’s a win-win strategy.”

Build Your Brand Recognition – Get on Campus!

Providing the opportunity for students to connect with employers in-person is always a great strategy when it comes to recruiting the right talent and finding the best candidates to fill your talent pipeline.

“Employers are encouraged to come to campus and meet our students, run workshops, attend hackathons, partner with student groups and, ultimately, connect with career offices on campus. Getting in front of students and answering their questions in-person establishes a connection, builds stronger brand recognition, and these students can then become brand ambassadors for employers by telling their friends what they’ve learned.”

Whether you’re an employer looking to connect with and hire students or you’re a fellow Career Educator, you can learn from Jesse’s unique approach. “My career is something that I truly enjoy and I love knowing that I have had a hand in helping someone else find their dream job or career.”

Get in Touch

jsahota@mcmaster.ca

905-525-9140 ext 24432

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-sahota/

Workplace Pandemic Plans: What Employers Should Know

Originally posted on February 27, 2020 by  at Global HR Lawyers – In A Flash – Matthews Dinsdale

With COVID-19 appearing prominently in news headlines these days, both federal and provincial governments are encouraging preparedness. What is an employer’s responsibility to employees in the event of wide-scale infection? What steps can an employer take in advance to ensure preparedness? While specific guidelines and responsibilities exist for those working in health care, an employer in any industry can benefit from having a workplace pandemic plan in place.

A pandemic is an epidemic crossing international boundaries. While the decision that a pandemic exists is made by the WHO, a high incidence of infection in Canada or a region of Canada could still lead to the need for extraordinary measures. In such circumstances, the responsible authority would be the Chief Public Health Officer and/or local authorities in affected provinces or territories.

In the event COVID19 spreads widely within Canada, employers have the same legal duties under occupational health and safety, employment standards and human rights legislation as they would with any other illness impacting employees. One of the primary considerations will be whether employees can reasonably refuse to attend work for safety reasons if and when COVID19 is present in the workplace.

Employers may also be subject to additional duties in the event that an outbreak of illness rises to the level of “emergency”. Every jurisdiction in Canada has legislation in place for emergency measures and some specifically contemplate public health emergencies (e.g. Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and Alberta’s Public Health Act). B.C.’s Public Health Act confers upon the provincial health officer special emergency powers regarding the reporting of personal information, which would apply in the event an emergency is declared. During an emergency, those powers would apply notwithstanding any applicable privacy legislation.

A comprehensive workplace pandemic plan should include the following elements, tailored to the particular needs of your organization, and developed in consultation with the joint occupational health and safety committee or worker’s representative, and union representative, where appropriate:

  • Leadership
    Ensure your organization is prepared to address the issue. Designate key employees who will manage the employer’s response to any pandemic. Make an actual plan to respond to the risk of a pandemic impacting the workplace.
  • Communication
    Consider what types of information you will need to obtain in the event of a pandemic and the information you will need to disseminate. Identify in advance where you will be able to find up-to-date and reliable information about a disease outbreak, including its current status, symptoms and prevention strategies, and where to receive medical care. Develop a strategy for communicating the necessary information to employees in a format that is easily accessible from home.
  • Risk Management and Containment
    Consider workplace strategies for reducing the spread of illness. Ensure basic supplies such as hand-hygiene products, tissues and receptacles are available in all locations.Consider policies that would be implemented in the event of a pandemic to limit the opportunities for disease transmission, such as employee “work from home” strategies, staggering shift starts and breaks to reduce the number of people in the workplace at a time, and arranging work stations to maintain distance between individuals.
  • Continuity
    Consider the potential impact of a pandemic on your business. Is demand for your products or services likely to increase or decrease? Identify the essential employees to meet the change in demand. Consider how a pandemic might affect your ability to obtain other critical inputs (e.g. shipping of raw materials). What if your employees are subject to a quarantine?  Does the business need to operate every day? Can it sustain a shutdown?Employee absenteeism is likely to be one of the biggest concerns. Employees may be sick themselves, may need leave to care for sick family members, or may wish to remain home due to fear of contracting illness. Predictions for absenteeism during a local outbreak vary by industry, but a general recommendation for employers is to plan for an absenteeism rate of between 20 to 25% during a peak two-week period of an outbreak in a specific area, with lower absenteeism in the weeks before and after.Refer to occupational health and safety legislation, employment standards legislation, as well as your organization’s own policies and collective agreement (if applicable), to determine what types of leave are available to employees, including the issue of work refusals.
  • Recovery
    The return to “business as usual” will likely take place gradually as the pandemic draws to an end. Consider phases of recovery in your workplace pandemic plan. Which aspects of your business are likely to return to normal first?

While this article provides the basics of developing a workplace pandemic plan, the World Health Organization has just published specific guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID19 in the workplace and encourages employers to adopt these measures presently.

Additional planning tools are available to employers from federal and provincial governments in Canada. Once you and your team have developed your plan, set dates for its review. Consider testing some aspects of the plan as needed.

Though workplace pandemic plans, by design, contemplate the worst scenarios of disease outbreaks, employers can play a role in preventing the everyday spread of illness by encouraging good health practices among employees. For example, posters and employee handouts can be used for education and awareness at the workplace. Even in the absence of pandemic or severe outbreak, employee illness can have an impact on an employer’s business and operations. Efforts at preventing the spread of illness at the workplace may benefit employers before any extraordinary measures are required.

If you have any questions about this topic or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

 

This editorial is not intended as legal advice.  Any employer or organization seeking assistance should feel free to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer for assistance.

 

TalentEgg launches Canada’s first candidate showcase featuring video profiles allowing students and grads to communicate strengths beyond the resume, improve visibility and directly connect to employers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 1, 2019 (Toronto, Canada). TalentEgg is pleased to announce Canada’s first talent marketplace featuring video-based features allowing candidates to introduce themselves beyond the resume and get noticed by employers. The platform helps Gen Y & Z candidates to tell their story in their own words by providing convenient, easy to use functionality that allows them to record their video introduction, upload their resume, and respond to interview requests from employers, from any device, on their schedule. With the TalentEgg Candidate Video Showcase, recruiters and employers now have the ability to search the job seekers’ video profiles with resumes and invite them to a video interview directly from the profile.

Video interviewing is now a mainstream assessment method in recruitment and student and grad job seekers are practicing and developing their digital interviewing skills while at University and College. Now they have an opportunity to put those skills to work in the real world and on their own terms on a platform where they can control their own message. The TalentEgg Candidate Video Showcase offers the candidate the ability to upload their resume and record a video introduction directly into their personal candidate profile. They can include a descriptive paragraph about themselves and credentials which are displayed to the employer and is searchable based on location, school, year of graduation, program of study and preferred industries, or by relevant keywords.

“Employers are looking for more efficient methods to recruit and interview graduates and improve campus recruiting efficiency. Students and grads are looking for new ways to get noticed by employers outside of traditional methods. Schools are looking for more ways to help their students and grads make the transition from school to work effectively by showcasing great candidates to employers of choice,” says Mary Barroll, President of TalentEgg. “TalentEgg’s Candidate Video Showcase brings all of these features and capabilities together at one digital job marketplace destination. We believe it’s a real win-win-win and an exceptional opportunity for schools, employers and job seekers alike, and a gamechanger in the campus recruitment space.”

“The resume is no longer an adequate tool for representing the potential that candidates can bring to the workplace. Job seekers are increasingly frustrated with their inability to differentiate themselves in their job search. They are eager to share more about themselves by answering questions and sharing other aspects of their character that, in the case of students and graduates, can supplement their sometimes limited work history,” says Catharine Fennell, CEO, videoBIO. “We are pleased to provide the video technology to support TalentEgg’s job marketplace to advance connections between employers and job seekers.”

To learn more and add a profile visit https://talentegg.ca/register

For more information please contact:

Mary Barroll
President, TalentEgg Inc.
Mary@talentegg.ca
416-358-3991

Natasha Reichen
VP of Operations, TalentEgg Inc.
Natasha@talentegg.ca
416-875-8055

Presenting The Winners Of The 2019 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards

2019 marks the eighth edition of our annual TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference, and we must say that this was our best one yet!

On June 19th, campus recruitment professionals from across Canada gathered at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto to celebrate the best in the industry. Attendees got the chance to hear exclusive insights on campus recruitment and learn about cutting-edge strategies for connecting with today’s tech-savvy students and new grads.

Among our lineup of expert panelists and speakers was author, speaker, and behaviour-change specialist Gregg Brown. His keynote speech, “Ready…Set…Change AGAIN, Building Change Resilience in HR” was a fabulous way to inspire attendees to change their mindset in the workplace, and set themselves and their recruits up for success.

We were also so pleased to announce the launch of our two new products: TE University, our brand new eLearning platform and TalenEgg Candidate Video Showcase – coming Fall 2019.

“This was our first year attending the TalentEgg conference and it was awesome – it was so great to connect with many industry professionals and learn a lot more about campus recruitment and what other organizations and companies are doing to really attract students to their organizations. We’re getting really excited about campus season and prepping for the fall of 2019 so we look forward to seeing all of the students and new grads and co-ops out on campus in the fall.”

– Carly Suter, Campus Recruitment Coordinator, Intact

After weeks of anticipation, we revealed the winners of the 2019 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Awards at the event, and for the first time ever, on Facebook Live! We received many top-notch applications from leading Canadian employers, educational institutions, and career centres, making it an extremely tight competition! However, a select few stood out to our Student Judges for their egg-ceptional work and creativity.

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the TalentEgg Awards and a sincere thank you to all the professionals who participated in this event!

2019 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Award Winners

Best Contribution to Student Career Development – Employers

  • FDM Group Canada Inc.

Best Contribution to Student Career Development – Schools

  • Red River College Student Employment Services

Best Social Media Presence

Best Recruitment Marketing & Outreach

  • Deloitte Canada

Best Campus Career Website

Best Campus Ambassador Program

  • Colliers International

Best On-Campus Student Engagement Strategy

Special Award for Social Responsibility in Recruiting

Special Award for Innovation By A Career Centre

  • Universite de Sherbrooke

Career Coach of the Year (Individual)

  • Jesse Sahota – McMaster University – Engineering Co-op & Career Services

Best Co-op Internship Program

Campus Recruiter of the Year (Individual)

  • Jennifer Husband – Colliers International

Best Grad Program

Campus Recruiting Program of the Year

See you next year! Be sure to stay up to date on the 2020 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Awards and Conference by joining our eggs-clusive network of campus recruitment professionals.

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