TalentEgg Trends

Today’s Talent, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Knowledge Hub For Employers, Career Educators And Coaches

Author: Irene Chan (page 2 of 2)

Nancy Sammon – A Champion for Students and EDI

For many students and recent grads, job hunting can be stressful and sometimes even intimidating. From resume and interview preparation, engaging employers in a virtual world, to finding a company whose values align with your own, it is no easy task to find the right opportunity for you. 

As a Relationship Manager at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Nancy supports her corporate partners and is a trusted advisor in effectively engaging with both undergraduate and graduate students on campus. She also ensures students feel comfortable, confident, and to be their true authentic self throughout the on-campus recruitment (OCR) process.


Q. Tell us a bit about yourself!

A. With over 30 years of experience and a recognized leader in employer branding and campus recruitment, I would say my passion is helping students make the transition from school to work.

Prior to joining the team at Smith, I was the Director of University Relations at  TD Bank Group. I also held other key HR and talent acquisition roles across the organization throughout my career at TD. 

I have also had the privilege of being an active contributor to the community of career educators and employers focused on the school to work transition. As my career has unfolded, I have become a bit of a knowledge keeper of best practices in the campus space and am excited to share these any chance I get and with anyone who will listen.

I really see myself as a connector of people, skills, knowledge, and ideas.

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

A. I saw an opportunity to leverage my expertise in campus recruitment to support a broader base of employers in making connections to and engaging with top talent.  

I also used to hold sessions called “#NancysInTheHouse” when I was recruiting on campus to support diverse students in demystifying the career search and finding the right opportunity for them.  

So, my role as a Relationship Manager was a natural extension of what I love to do and a solid entry point for me into the Career Advancement Center (CAC) at Smith. I am also a proud Queen’s alumni, so it felt like a really good fit when the opportunity presented itself.

Q. What is one of your greatest achievements so far in your work with students?

A. My greatest achievement would have to be the creation of a unique opportunity for our corporate partners to engage with the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenization (EDII) focused Student Clubs at the Smith School of Business. Since 2020, The CAC facilitates an annual Diversity Fair for over 100 employer representatives to diversify their talent pipeline directly connecting with the executives of our EDII clubs via lightning talks and dedicated networking lounges. What was truly amazing for me about this event was for student leaders to have their voices heard by employers and to see the wonderful engagement that this event enabled across the board.

Overall, the fairs have been a huge success based on the positive feedback from both our student leaders and corporate partners in attendance. Following the launch of these initiatives, our Career Advancement Center was honored to receive a number of awards from organizations like CIBC and the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) in recognition of this important work.

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

A. From an Employer vantage point, they need to be really strategic in their EDII initiatives .It cannot be a once and done or a cookie cutter approach, they need to be thinking about how each community wants to be engaged. A big part of my role is supporting initiatives which help employers connect with diverse talent. A prime example would be our work in creating a best practices guide for employers in engaging with students from an EDII lens.

And, in supporting students, our work is about helping them to understand what EDII actually looks like in the workplace and providing resources such as mentoring, alumni connections, events, and other opportunities to do their research and find organizations that will embrace their authentic selves throughout their career.

Advice and Insights

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

A. From my viewpoint, year-round engagement is critical. Whether it is info sessions, 1:1 coffee chats, alumni panels, attending industry nights, roundtables or the like, employers need to make their presence and opportunities known to students and recent grads. Their engagement needs to include diverse representation and perspectives, so students can see themselves reflected in their organizations. 

In a virtual world, employers also need to be thinking about how they can support students to have their voices heard and in standing out as candidates. Consider smaller and more niche events as a part of your recruitment strategy versus solely focussing on large events. Now, more than ever, it is important to engage partners like Career Centres and TalentEgg in your campus strategy to help build your brand amongst students and reach the top talent you need to drive your organization forward!

About Nancy

Nancy is a Relationship Manager and Career Connector who has over 30 years of experience in the campus recruitment space. She is passionate about bridging the gap between school-to-work for students, as well as helping maintain a strong connection between employers and diversity clubs on campus. Connect with Nancy on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancymoulday/ and visit https://smith.queensu.ca/recruiting/index.php to learn more about the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University and services of the Career Advancement Centre.

How Career Educator Ken Lee Continues to Support Student Lives, Personally and Professionally

Every student has different backgrounds, experiences and displays different traits that make their own stories unique. As a Career Educator, it can be challenging to truly support someone when we fail to understand them as a person and their life circumstances. That’s why Ken Lee, a Career Educator at Ryerson University, always ensures he goes the extra mile when supporting the professional development of his students.

career educator

As a Career Education Specialist with the Career & Co-op Centre at Ryerson University, Ken designs and delivers high-impact programming to equip students for successful careers in a rapidly evolving world. This can range from organizing conversations where students can learn the power of their degrees to creating responsive courses in which our community can build on their job search-related skills.

We had the chance to speak with Ken to learn more about how he approaches supporting the career development of students!

Why Pursue Career Coaching?

“It was a well-planned accident, to say the least,” shares Ken. “In my final year of graduation, I had the privilege to take on a work-study position where I was providing feedback to students on their resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. I soon came across an opportunity with a non-profit organization to support community members in finding employment. I jokingly applied, thinking that there was no way I would ever get a callback. A few weeks later, they gave me a job offer!” Now, Ken has found himself on the road to a successful journey as a Career Coach. After all, he won the award in 2021 for the Best Career Coach/Educator at the 2021 TalentEgg Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference back in June.

Meaningful Interactions

Students go through a variety of emotions when it comes to developing their careers. While some are at the top of their game with a polished resume and cover letter, others don’t even know where to begin. Regardless of students’ progress, anyone and everyone can benefit from receiving support from their campus’s career coach.

That’s why we asked Ken how he went about helping students in making their school-to-work transition during the pandemic.

“In helping students build careers for life, it is important to make sure they have all the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to flourish by the time they graduate. This can manifest in many ways, from engaging in one-to-one conversations with students as well as facilitating webinars on different topics, such as job searching.”

Student Pain Points

Job searching is a challenging process, even under normal circumstances. From the perspective of a career coach, Ken explains that a significant pain point for students is the variety of prospective job industries being significantly affected by the pandemic.

When Ken supports his students, he emphasizes the importance of showing students how to explore spaces where their skills, interests, and values intersect and reminding them of how resilient they are–all while displaying a sense of optimism.

Until now, companies have recruited students and alumni by physically visiting campuses. With the pandemic accelerating the move to virtual environments, organizations have been more creative about developing and recruiting early talent.

For fellow employers, Ken comments on the importance of preparing students for the workforce and what initiatives companies can take to showcase each candidate’s strengths.

“I would love to see them continue to help students understand and develop the skills they need for their workplace and the current world of work. For example, beyond the case competitions and hackathons, consider hosting a regular monthly challenge or exercise where students can practice and flex their data visualization, storytelling, and post-production skills and receive feedback from current employees on their work. This would help build their brand and diversify their talent since they would reach students beyond the academic disciplines they may hire from regularly.

Now, when it comes to connecting with students during the pandemic, I would communicate and work with a school’s Career & Co-op Centre as someone who works in higher education. They know their students best and can educate you on nuances that would make your campus recruitment strategy more comprehensive.”

Advice for Other Career Coaches

So, what can we take away from Ken’s words? More importantly, how can other aspiring career coaches follow in the supportive footsteps of Ken?

“As Career Educators, it is often challenging to truly support someone when we fail to understand them as a person along with their life circumstances,” explains Ken. “Case in point, perhaps you are working with a student who’s the first person from their family enrolling in higher education. They may have never received guidance on the importance of networking or even how to do it. This can be a stressful process, so being more patient and understanding may be key in making sure the student feels well supported.”

And so, while we are the experts in career education, we are not the experts of the lives of those we work with, nor are we the experts of what they need. For all students out there, be sure to continue staying curious and enjoying all the future adventures you have. As for career coaches, continue to be patient and understand your students, as that’s the support they’re looking for most!

Exclusive Insights Live from our 2021 #TEAwards Surveys

At our 2021 TalentEgg Awards and Conference, over 80 recruiters and industry professionals attended to join us in celebrating the best in student and new grad recruitment. Throughout the conference, we conducted some surveys to uncover some exclusive insights for the future of recruitment and the workplace in our ever-changing world.

Virtual Recruitment is Here to Stay

One of the questions we asked recruiters and industry professionals was, “Will your organization continue to incorporate virtual campus events as part of their overall campus recruitment strategy?” Out of 35 respondents, 77% answered “yes,” while 23% answered, “I’m not sure yet.” Thus, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of participants are going to continue incorporating virtual initiatives to engage and provide students with opportunities, while the minority are, at the very least, open to the idea.

exclusive insights

Employees Want to Return to a Hybrid Workplace

Regarding the future of the workplace, an overwhelming 79% of respondents answered “hybrid (a combo of remote & in-person) when we asked them, “What type of workplace would you like your employer to adopt?” Meanwhile, the remaining 21% of respondents answered “completely remote/virtual.” Regarding the ever-changing workplace, results are indicating that the future of the workplace is going to change. For the most part, say goodbye to long commutes and face-to-face interactions in the office. The pandemic has allowed companies to adapt and overcome obstacles to remote work, and as a result, hybrid workplaces are the newest trend that is here to stay.

Soft Skills are Critical for Career Development

As highlighted in our Guide to Recruitment 2021, soft skills are crucial to students’ and new grads’ development and career success. But, what kind of soft skills, in particular, are recruiters and industry professionals looking for in the workplace? We asked our awards and conference attendees to tell us, “What soft skill do you think is the most important for young professionals to develop?” The most common answers were communication, curiosity, adaptability, leadership and resilience. Other responses included time management, flexibility, empathy and critical thinking.

Exclusive Ways to Connect Virtually with Students

Whether you’re a career educator or a campus recruiter looking for the most effective ways to engage with or hire students and grads or you’re a job seeker wanting to network with employers, we’ve got you covered. We asked attendees, “what has been the most effective VIRTUAL way you engaged with students this past year?” and the answers varied across all respondents. For instance, 26% of respondents stated: “coffee chats” as their top pick, while 22% of respondents stated, “social media” and “networking sessions,” both tied as the second most popular answer.

Something worth noting is that none of the options were left unanswered! Although coffee chats, networking sessions, and social media were the most popular answers, there is still value in investing time and effort into other initiatives such as information sessions and case competitions.

Effective Virtual Student Engagement

The Demand for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Recruitment and Employee Engagement

Finally, attendees acknowledged the heightened need for employers to commit to and embrace DEI initiatives in their recruitment and employee engagement strategies. When we asked attendees “What do you see as the most transformative changes in recruitment and employer engagement around diversity, equity and inclusion in the future?” Among the answers were “top-down approach to attracting, finding and hiring diverse talent,” “partnering with EDI students clubs,” “open-mindedness,” and “providing scholarships and support to the community.” As a recruiter or HR professional, take the time to sit down with your company leaders and carefully discuss meaningful and impactful ways to embed diversity and inclusion initiatives into the workplace effectively.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

For more trends on recruitment, the trends in demand from students and new grads, and a glimpse of the future of the ever-changing workplace, check out our Guide to Recruitment 2021 package, brought to you by our team at TalentEgg.

Newer posts