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Eliminating Recruitment Bias Through Diversity

Bell is packed full of superstar recruiters who find and hire hundreds of high potential students every year, including Minami Alguire, Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition. TalentEgg had the chance to hear how the Bell recruitment team is passionate about welcoming students, helping students find their fit, eliminating bias and seeing students’ potential to contribute meaningfully straight out of school. Finding one’s path after school can be daunting, and it makes Bell proud to know how the company’s recruiters show up for students. Recruiters make connections and share their expertise with students at recruitment events and work with hiring leaders to make matches between students and teams that are great for business and key post-graduation milestones for the student hires. 

Bell is a space where recruitment and development merge. The company recognizes that there is so much opportunity for student hiring to bring fresh ideas and skills into the organization and invest in future generations. With solid support from its executive team, Bell has the passion and the commitment to make great things happen in the campus recruitment space!

Please keep reading to learn more about how Bell welcomes new grads and students and what opportunities are available after joining the company. As well as Bell’s commitment to mental health & what steps are being taken to create an inclusive workplace.

Bell’s Main Initiative for Students and New Graduates 

Bell welcomes students and new graduates into the telecommunications, media, and retail industries via the company’s award-winning internship and recent graduate leadership programs. Bell knows precisely how important the transition from school to work is and has over ten years of experience successfully launching new grads into leadership positions.

Commitment to Mental Health in the Workplace

Bell Let’s Talk partners with schools across Canada to equip post-secondary schools with digital tool kits to engage students in conversation around awareness and self-care. Last year, Bell announced the launch of the $3.1M Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund to support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.

One of the four pillars of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is workplace leadership, and Bell is proudly committed to leading by example in this space. Since 2010, more than 18,000 Bell employees and 13,000 Bell leaders have completed mental health training. Bell’s initiatives to improve mental health awareness, training and benefits have reduced short-term disability claims related to mental health by over 20% and reduced relapse and recurrence by more than 50%. Earlier this year, Bell has enhanced its psychological care benefit to provide unlimited coverage for mental-health services! 

Essential Aspects of the Career Path

Bell is a leader in taking care of its employees, and it shows through the mentorship and experience provided.

  • Executive Mentorship –  Bell helps students and recent grads gain exposure to exceptional leaders throughout the company. Minami’s executive mentor was paired with her during her time in the graduate leadership program, and they still meet regularly! 
  • Real experience – Whether a student joins Bell for the summer or a full-time role after graduating, they can expect to work on real projects that impact how Canadians communicate with each other and the world. 
  • A sense of community – Bell’s cohorts have many opportunities to bond during onboarding and stay connected as they move through their careers. For new hires, this means joining a company with a built-in network of over 1500 alumni that finished the program before them!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

For Bell, diversity, equity and inclusion are more than a seat at the table; it’s the key to the skills and innovation that make the whole more significant than the sum of its parts. Everyone benefits from a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment! Sometimes DE&I shows up at work in meaningful ways – like Bell’s 2020 announcement to hire a minimum of 40% BIPOC talent in its new grad and intern programs – sometimes it shows up in the little things, like colleagues eagerly learning how to pronounce someone’s name. At Bell, they don’t just accept difference – they celebrate it!

#TeamBell is also passionately committed to DE&I. Bell currently has three employee resource groups run entirely by employees to support its members and allies. These include Women at Bell, Pride at Bell, and Black Professionals at Bell.

Taking Steps to Eliminate Bias in the Hiring Process

Bell has several steps to reduce and eliminate bias in its hiring process. These include conscious inclusion training to help employees and leaders better understand unconscious bias and their critical role in fostering an inclusive workplace. Bell also ensures hiring decisions are made with various thoughts and inputs to guarantee that Bell continues to be one of the best companies to work for in Canada. 

The best way to help students and new graduates get involved with Bell opportunities is for them to speak to recruiters directly! Bell publishes its events calendar on its career site and its TalentEgg page throughout the year. The company’s virtual career fair is one of the highlights of the recruitment calendar. Students will meet some current grads, hiring leaders, and recruiters, hear from executives, participate in speed interviews, and access exclusive webinars and resources from the recruitment team. In the meantime, you can read more about Bell HERE!

Communication and Connection In a COVID World

 

Luki, Communication, Connection, COVIDFor many of us, it’s been a while since we bumped into a colleague in the lunchroom or in the hallway to catch up on how they are doing and what they are doing. Lockdowns and social distancing has made communication and connection more difficult. Perhaps not difficult, just different.

While COVID May have made it more challenging to connect with folks on The same floor or in the same office, the acceptance of video conferencing has helped stay connected with folks that are outside the building, city and perhaps even country. 

Proactive Connection

One of the biggest changes with staying connected with coworkers is to be proactive with your connections. Allocate the time on your calendar to connect with folks. 

  • If you regularly bumped into someone at the water cooler, perhaps schedule time on both your calendars to catch up for a 15 minute zoom call. 
  • Block off 30 minutes in your day to message and connect with folks that you haven’t connected with in over a month. 
  • Allocate 60 minutes a week to further develop relationships with folks who haven’t spoken to in over three months.

Play with the frequency and duration based on the relationship and your circumstances. At the end of the day, be proactive and allocate the time. 

Communication Styles

Well some people prefer to communicate in person, that luxury is not quite available anymore. Consider furthering your relationship with a video call to stay connected, or engage in text or email chats or even phone calls can still happen even in the age of video and digital communication. Some people have a preference for video chats. Others would rather communicate via text or email. Others just want to hear the sound of your voice. Consider what communication style is relevant for the other person.

Think about exercising the “platinum rule” instead of the “golden rule”. The platinum rule suggests: “do unto others as they would want done unto themselves”. So even if you are an email person, if that person prefers phone calls, then give them a phone call.

Feedback and Praise

One important type of communication that you should consider making more regular if you are not already is feedback. Letting people know how they are doing and where they can improve.

Feedback should express concern, demonstrate curiosity, seek to clarify, as well as be constructive, consistent. clear, candid and close in time to the activities in question. 

You can use the ADNs approach:

  • Ask: are they open to feedback at the moment? “May I…”
  • Describe: specific behaviour and impact “… when you … “ “Here’s what happens…”
  • Next steps: what to do ongoing “How can you do this differently?  How can I help?” “Thanks, keep it up!”

An important form of feedback that is often neglected is praise. Oftentimes we are quick to connect with folks to provide some corrective feedback. Consider allocating more time for praise and positive feedback. become a “praise prism”. Praise is actually an infinite resource and you might find that your praise gets amplified across your organization like a prism. 

Summary

Take some time to reflect on how you are communicating and connecting during these interesting times. Consider adding some proactive connection time to reach out to folks that you would normally connect with, as well as connect with those that you might not. be mindful of people’s communication styles and preferences and adjust appropriately. Don’t forget feedback and especially remember to spread the praise. It’s often harder to know how you’re doing when you see your coworkers less frequently. So be sure to support your team whether you stay remote, go hybrid, or return to the office.

What will you do to connect and communicate better?

 


About Luki

Luki is a career coach and likes to say that he has found his purpose helping others find theirs. A former management consultant and campus recruiting lead, he shares his SIWIKE Stuff I Wish I Knew Earlier through books, podcasts, videos and other content. Connect with him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukidanu/ or Subscribe on YouTube to access other content https://youtube.com/focusinspired

 

 

CPA Ontario’s Success with Campus and Student Engagement

The team at CPA Ontario are made up of the brightest educators, thought leaders, regulators, advocates and providers. They go the extra mile and often take measures to protect the public interest by ensuring their CPA members meet the highest standards of integrity and expertise. Additionally, CPA Ontario provides pathways to the profession for aspiring accountants from around the world, and engage in their community as responsible corporate citizens.

However, when it comes to the accounting profession and specifically the CPA designation with regards to the kinds of careers it can lead to, there are still many misconceptions regarding the industry. CPA Ontario has many resources that dispel these myths about CPAs working with excel all day or being stuck in a cubicle, and host their biweekly information sessions where students can learn more about how the CPA can lead to a successful career in business.

Anyone can register here: https://www.cpaontario.ca/become-a-cpa/post-secondary-student/events to attend an information session and learn more about the future of accounting, finance, general business, and how the CPA can help anyone reach for their dreams.

Keep reading to learn more about how CPA Ontario solidifies their initiatives in campus engagement, diversity, equity and inclusivity, and how they successfully navigate connecting with students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CPA Ontario’s Support for Student Community Engagement

At CPA Ontario, they hold a lot of pride in their Post-Secondary Ambassador Program (PSAP) and Board of Ambassadors Program, especially regarding the strong community of students they have fostered. The CPA Ontario community has explored careers in business, built relevant skills that employers are looking for in successful candidates, and have connected with key employer stakeholders.

Their Post-Secondary Ambassador Program and Board of Ambassador Program have been successful ways for us to engage student voices in their space. Additionally, their Board of Ambassador representatives act as an advocacy and advisory group for their recruitment team, which ensures they keep their pulse on student needs. In terms of creative ways to get CPA Ontario’s message out, they try to meet students where they are at; whether it’s through a new series of Instagram lives and takeovers, or by hosting their Live @ the Drive-In movie night (with lots of popcorn of course). As CPA Ontario moves towards a hybrid of in-person and virtual, some of these tactics may change, and so now CPA Ontario is asking themselves new sets of questions on how to continue to support student career paths.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in the Accounting Industry

At any organization, DEI and related initiatives should mean that all people should have a seat at a table, and that their voices are heard. It was important to the CPA Ontario team last year that their online programming continued to drive inclusivity, making their events accessible to wider audiences geographically and representationally.

At CPA Ontario, events are frequently hosted throughout the year. To name a few initiatives, they partner with agencies to reach new audiences, hold events specific to niche groups, and ensure all their participants are made aware that accommodations will be supported.

3 Key Insights Into Campus Recruitment and Student Engagement with CPA Ontario

Trend 1: Students have no shortage of aspiration, for themselves or for the world. Yet, they are easily discouraged by the realities and threats of post-academic life.

So, they ensure that they don’t ever shy away from the tough conversations whether it be in a recruiter’s presentation or panel discussion with CPAs. The CPA Ontario team addresses the fears students’ have about the future of AI, work-life balance, and others in open discussions, so students feel equipped when they begin their careers.

Trend 2: The next generation of students will be going to be looking for more flexibility and the ability to have influence/make an impact in their future careers.

So, they highlight the many diverse career paths that their current CPAs are in so students can envision themselves in similar paths. Through their programming, they also share how CPAs reimagined their careers to create their own unique paths, to inspire students who aspire to do the same. They also provide forums of discussions and facilitate opportunities for students to connect with these professionals to form their own relationships.

Trend 3: Employers are finding there are human skills gaps when hiring new grads.

So, they provide training in important human skills like leadership, responsibility, personal management, and emotional intelligence to name a few. As CPA Ontario is also a regulator, it is important to the recruitment team that they are equipping future CPAs to be valuable leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs.

The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on Campus Engagement

The pandemic resulted in the CPA Ontario team doing things differently. They had to reimagine their offerings to provide enhanced online experiences. For example, their Employment Connections Career Fair which was once limited because it was held in Toronto and in-person, can now have any number of students across Ontario attend.

The most rewarding aspect has been the feedback from their post-secondary students who have thanked us for the online community of students they built, during a time that many of them felt very isolated at home. The CPA Ontario team gave students a space to connect with each other, gain new skills, and meet CPAs, all while having fun!

The most challenging aspect was probably at the beginning of the pandemic when the team would ask each other how they would do all that:

  • What platforms would they use?
  • What would the tone and cadence of their virtual spaces look like?

They had a lot more questions than they did answers, but they were quick to not get stuck in their questions and begin making moves. It was trial by fire, but the CPA Ontario team strongly believes they have come out victorious on the other side!

Nayelli Perez – Dynamic Career Approaches to the Changing Workforce

It is common for students to not have it all figured out. Choosing and committing to a career path can take the form of many shapes, and it is no easy feat to determine it by yourself. As a Co-op Coordinator for the Applied Science Co-op program at the University of British Columbia, Nayelli Perez understands the struggle that students face. That’s why as a career educator, Nayelli is passionate about helping students find and be successful in their co-op roles. Additionally, Nayelli also does 1-on-1 appointments with students to go over their applications for co-op roles and to provide coaching on how they could navigate the workplace! 

We recently interviewed Nayelli to learn more about her work with students and soon-to-be-grads!

career

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself!

A. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Counseling, I landed in the dynamic world of higher education. I have an extensive background of over 10 years in career counselling. 

Over the years working in higher education, my positions have ranged from being predominantly career coaching to becoming more involved with employer relations. I also have wide ranging interests that I incorporate into my work – such as economic development, urban planning and entrepreneurship. What my interests have in common is that they go along with my passion of helping people and societies reach their highest (and most authentic) potential and work together to push society further.

I also enjoy using my interests of connecting ideas and creating relationships to assist employers with their campus recruitment strategies – coming up with new programming and events that employers could take part in to meet students, recruit for their positions, and develop a talent pipeline!

Q. Why did you decide to go into Career Education?

A. I got into this field by happenstance, really. I feel like my purpose in life is to help people find their path and learn more about themselves. Originally, I thought I would be a guidance counselor for high school students, but ended up working for a university (Hofstra University) right out of graduate school. 

Through working at Hofstra, I ended up working at a career centre and haven’t looked back. As a young person, I didn’t know about careers in higher education and career services. But once I entered that type of career I really enjoyed it. There’s a sense of gratification when I can help a student reach their career goals.

Q. What do you think employers can be doing to best support students and new grads in hatching their careers in the age of digital recruitment and hybrid work?

A. I think employers need to recognize the hybrid, digital world we are living in. Especially in 2022, more and more employers are beginning to fully embrace a hybrid or permanent remote working model. 

Additionally, I think that type of work environment makes more sense from a sustainability and economic point of view. Cost of living in Canada is high and public transportation infrastructure isn’t the greatest, which means that it costs more money and time for people to get to work or live close to work. If employees are spread thin with commuting time and/or financial strain, they are not going to be able to perform as well and/or will ultimately move on to companies that will provide them the opportunity to perform at their optimal level. Because of that, hybrid and remote working environments really make sense in the Canadian context. 

If employers are going to have a remote or hybrid work environment, they’ll need to think of what supports their employees will need for that – what home office equipment can they provide, how can they ensure that team building will still occur and how can they continue to motivate staff when they are not all working in the same office. I think many employers have shown that it is possible to do, and more will continue to do so.

Q. What do you think students and employers need to understand when it comes to DEI?

A. I think DEI should really be the foundation of everything we do in career services. For students, I think it’s important for them to understand what are their rights in the workplace (in regards to being treated with equity and respect in the workplace) and how to identify whether a company has a commitment to DEI. 

Moreover, I think employers need to understand how their workplace culture and practices may not always be equitable and/or inclusive, even if that’s how it’s initially perceived by those reviewing them.

Advice and Insights

Q. What do you think is the best way for employers to connect with and attract top students right now?

A. I think employers should keep in mind the benefits that the current generation wants in the workplace. For instance, some of these benefits include freedom of where to work, support in professional and career development, and encouragement of mental health, health in general and work life balance. These benefits have evolved significantly due to the changes that the pandemic has brought about. 

Employees don’t just want to have a job, they want to be in a work environment that supports their authentic selves in a way that is holistic.

Q. What’s your best advice for fellow Career Educators?

A. If I had to narrow down my best advice, I would tell Career Educators:

  • Continue to learn how the world of work is changing
  • Reflect on the lessons you have learned in your career; those lessons will be ones you can impart to your students and/or employers
  • Continue to learn who you really are. By being true to who you are, you are best able to help others do the same with the career advice you give

Q. What is your best advice for students who are looking to start their careers in this current environment?

A. My best advice for students in this current environment:

  • Be agile. The career landscape is always changing. Jobs become obsolete; new ones emerge.
  • Work for organizations that share your values. It can be draining to work at a place that doesn’t know how you best work and the lifestyle you want to have. There are plenty of choices in careers and places to work and employers are adapting to the desires of the workforce. You don’t have to sell yourself short.

About Nayelli

Nayelli is a Co-op Coordinator at The University of British Columbia who has over 10 years of experience in career coaching. She is passionate about providing students and working professionals with the tools they need for determining, establishing and succeeding in their careers, as well using her wide range of interests to help find dynamic approaches to campus recruitment strategies!

Connect with Nayelli on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nayelliperez/ and visit https://coop.apsc.ubc.ca/ to learn more about the University of British Columbia and how their Applied Science Co-op program remains one of the most successful programs in the country.

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