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Today’s Talent, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Knowledge Hub For Employers, Career Educators And Coaches

Author: Irene Chan (page 1 of 2)

Empowering Students with TTi’s Leadership Development Program

Techtronic Industries (TTi) is internationally recognized as a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of power tools, outdoor power equipment, hand tools and floor care appliances worldwide. TTi is proud of its history and the vast legacy of tradition and excellence that they have inherited from the brands that make up its company today. If you’re passionate about empowering students, keep reading to learn how TTi achieves this goal through fostering strong values with their Leadership Development Program.

We spoke with Dave Dininio, the Director of Talent Acquisition at TTi, to learn more about how TTi continues to support students and new grads on their career journey.

The Leadership Development Program

We believe exceptional people drive exceptional results, which is why TTi launched the Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program is a comprehensive training program to develop outstanding and extraordinary people for the long term. The Program provides employees with relevant sales and field marketing experience while learning about our customers from a fundamental perspective. Throughout the Program, students and grads will be able to hone different skills such as communication, product knowledge and business acumen. They will execute exciting weekly projects to gain hands-on relevant workplace experience. The Program provides them with all the resources to accelerate their career. At every step of their career, we provide them with a combination of support, guidance and freedom that brings out the best.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at TTi

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to establishing and maintaining a thriving workplace. Diversity is the recognition, appreciation, and acceptance of individual differences inside and outside the organization. Equity is about ensuring fairness and impartiality for everyone, and TTi Canada strives to provide equitable access to opportunities for all candidates and employees. 

Collaborative, encouraging, respectful and polite are how I would describe our inclusive workplace. It is supported by policies that are intended to eliminate any barriers, bias and intolerance to encourage the involvement and contribution of all employees. Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to TTi Canada because it helps attract top talent. Many students and new grads seek employment in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization where they are safe and supported. TTi Canada provides that kind of environment.

A Future After TTi’s Leadership Development Program

The Leadership Development Program provides new employees with various career advancement opportunities. An entry-level Field Sales Representative (FSR) or Brand Marketing Representative (BMR) can move into a position with more responsibilities, industry specialization and/or people management, such as Territory Manager, District Supervisor or Trades Site Specialist. The Leadership Development Program is a progressive training program that prepares them for the next level in their career and gives them the skills and knowledge to succeed at any level. The table below highlights potential career path options. 

  • Field Sales Representative
  • Brand Marketing Representative
  • Field Marketing Representative
  • Territory Manager
  • District Supervisor
  • Sales Coordinator
  • Trades Site Specialist
  • Field Sales Manager
  • Key Account Manager
  • Market Manager
  • Senior Trades Site Specialist
  • Regional Sales Manager 
  • Strategic Account Manager
  • District Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Divisional Sales Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Assistant Marketing Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Sales operations manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Senior marketing manager
  • Group marketing manager


Opportunities for Students and New Grads at TTi

Career centres and schools, if your students or recent alumni are looking to grow their leadership skills, we are constantly recruiting for enthusiastic top talent year-round. We recommend that students and new grads regularly check our Career Site and LinkedIn page for new job postings and information about the company. Moreover, we encourage students and recent grads to join our LinkedIn Group, TTi Canada Careers for Students and New Grads and start a conversation or ask questions.

When students and new grads join TTi Canada, whether in a full-time role or Co-op capacity, we want them to stay with us for the long term. This long-term goal is why we invest a lot in our new employees, ensuring they have the best training, robust support and accessible resources to achieve their goals. Our Leadership Development Program is where it all starts.

Students and grads who join TTi Canada will get to enjoy a diverse set of roles and responsibilities that will allow them to acquire various skills that are valuable and transferrable throughout their careers. They will be allowed to collaborate on real-world projects and opportunities where they can contribute their ideas to gain relevant experience. As employees of TTi Canada, students and grads will have ample opportunity to advance their careers, move up within the company and explore different positions. We pride ourselves on developing people, recognizing talent and promoting from within – all part of our dynamic culture. 

How the Pandemic Has Affected Recruiting

We have to adjust our hiring practices to align with what is happening in the job market. The pandemic has caused a shift in candidate mentality, particularly in compensation and remote work. Candidates demand higher pay, and there are more requests for remote or hybrid work environments. TTi Canada offers an excellent package for our Field Sales Representatives and Brand Marketing Representatives, including an attractive base salary, a company vehicle, great benefits, and an annual performance bonus. We do not offer remote or hybrid work schedules. Our Field Sales Representatives and Brand Marketing Representatives work in our clients’ stores daily.   

Companies are replenishing their staff and ramping up hiring practices, increasing competition for talent. TTi Canada is positioning itself as a preferred employer at campuses by attending career events, partnering with student services departments and driving our employer brand at schools across the country. We openly discuss our great culture, career advancement opportunities and Leadership Development Program to stay ahead of our competition.

What are 5 major hiring trends you see in the future?

✓    Diversity Hiring – Inclusion and diversity offer TTi Canada many benefits, including improved employee happiness, productivity, retention, loyalty, and employer branding. We realize that diversity, equity and inclusion are not just feel-good initiatives but a must for our success.

✓     Speed of Hiring – With increased employer competition in the job market, our hiring processes must be efficient, optimized and technology-driven. We are focused on reducing the time it takes to fill positions. We know that other employers will hire the best talent if we aren’t fast enough.    

✓     Employer Branding and Positioning – Improving our employer brand image to show that we are a highly respected company with strong values and a great culture is key to being the best and being a preferred employer among students and new grads 

✓     Providing the best candidate experience – We ensure students and new grads can apply easily, there is transparency in our hiring process, and people know where they stand and the next step. We’re open to talking about compensation, the demands of the job and our company culture.

✓     Proactive hiring – It’s not enough to post a job these days. Our Recruiters are proactively potential sourcing candidates via LinkedIn and other channels. They hone recruitment efforts, actively search for talent and stay ahead of recruiting trends. These trends include being front and present at campuses by attending career events, conducting information sessions and connecting with students through various channels.

Enforcing Fairness and Equality During the Hiring Process

Fairness and equality during the hiring process are fundamental, so we give each candidate an equal opportunity to showcase their professional background and skill set. We ensure that every candidate is asked the same role-based questions during interviews for consistency and equality. We utilize a matrix system to score various competencies and skills exhibited during the hiring process to ensure a fair comparison of all candidates. Our Managers are provided with hiring training, which includes eliminating bias and stereotyping during the hiring process. Finally, we require the opinions of at least two people when making a hiring decision which mitigates the risk of bias or stereotyping when hiring. 

Final Thoughts

TTi Canada is an excellent place for any student or new graduate to start their career. TTi Canada is where culture meets opportunity, and students and recent grads have the chance to advance their careers and work with intelligent, progressive and like-minded people. It’s an opportunity to support some of the best product brands in the world (RYOBI, MILWAUKEE, RIDGID, HOOVER, DIRT DEVIL) while developing a long-term career and working in a dynamic, forward-thinking culture. 

To learn more about Techtronic Industries and their Leadership Development Program, check out their employer profile on TalentEgg!

Stephanie Harper – Supporting Students in the Hybrid Era

Opportunities to help students prepare for the school-to-work transition are essential for personal development and career growth. As an Associate Director, Engineering Co-op & Career Services at McMaster University, Stephanie Harper is committed to utilizing her resources to support and provide students with enticing opportunities to navigate their career paths confidently.

We recently interviewed Stephanie to learn more about her work with students and soon-to-be-grads in this hybrid era!

studentsQ. Tell us a bit about yourself!

A. I lead an exceptional team of career/talent development and student engagement professionals in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. My role involves delivering a growth strategy that supports engineering students in building their experiences, advancing their skills and achieving career success through robust career development programming and various curricular and co-curricular experiences.

With a track record of delivering efficiencies and leading teams to achieve change, my career includes 15+ years of experience in talent development, recruitment, training, career education and program management for large, multifaceted organizations. I have led small and large teams, new initiatives, program expansions and organization-wide projects that have helped support and connect the career development needs of post-secondary students with the evolving world of work. 

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

A. I never pictured this as my career path. Truthfully, I never even realized this was a career path until I found myself in it! I chose to pursue this as a career, and I continue to love what I do because of the meaningful impact I get to have on students during a critical time in their early professional lives. My job is to help students build experience, discover their talents, realize their potential, make industry connections and successfully navigate the world of work. It’s a pretty cool and rewarding job. 

Strategies to Support Students in the Hybrid Era

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. Find ways to make meaningful connections (in real life) with students before and during the recruitment process. It can be more challenging in a digital/hybrid world for students to get a real sense of the workplace and feel a sense of connection, community and belonging once they’ve joined your team. Also, remember that the transition from school to the work world can be intimidating and overwhelming for students and recent grads, especially when most of their interactions with you are behind a screen. Having empathy and delivering kindness can go a long way. 

Q. How do you help students in making their school-to-work transition? What new services or strategies have you employed to support students in a hybrid environment?

A. I believe the school-to-work transition is a practice that starts long before a student graduates. I often encourage and coach students to involve themselves in various opportunities where they can meet people, find mentors, build experience and develop their skills. The notion of “relevant experience” is misleading at times. Hence, I encourage students to worry less about what’s perceived as “relevant” and more about opportunities where they can learn and develop themselves as people. 

Transferable skills and experience exist even in the most obscure opportunities. At the core of all of this is the practice of building relationships and keeping your head up because opportunities will pass by you frequently. If you’re too focused on the end goal or an “ideal” state, sometimes you miss out on things that can add real value to your development along the way. In a hybrid environment, it can be easier to access different opportunities but harder to build relationships. I encourage students to find a balance between virtual and in-person opportunities and leverage their strengths. 

Some of us are more comfortable (and effective) in a virtual environment, and others are more comfortable (and effective) in person. Find a good balance for yourself, and step out of your comfort zone now and then!

Additional Advice and Insights

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

A. Dedicate intentional time and energy to understanding your talent strategy and your organization’s value proposition. Be clear about your definition of “top students” because this will dictate your engagement strategy. Some best ways to connect with students are through student clubs/groups/associations, at student conferences/competitions and by leveraging your connections with faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions!

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

A. Find a good balance between listening and advising/educating. Frequently the thing students remember most is that we listened to them, showed genuine interest and care in supporting them, and encouraged them. You won’t have every answer for every student; your role is to provide guidance and support, not answers. 

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

A. Build relationships as much as possible, say “yes” now and then to things that push you out of your comfort zone, and give back to others when you are in a position to do so. 

Stephanie Harper is an Associate Director for Engineering Co-op & Career Services at McMaster University who has 20 years of experience in career coaching. She is passionate about leading small and large teams, new initiatives, program expansions and organization-wide projects that have helped support and connect post-secondary students’ career development needs with the evolving work world.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephharper/ and visit https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/ to learn more about McMaster University and how their Engineering Co-op program remains one of the most successful programs in the country.

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!


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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