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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!

Let’s Talk Talent! April Edition

Keeping your employer’s brand and opportunities top of mind for students, new grads, and early career talent is paramount in today’s recruitment landscape. In our work with our clients at TalentEgg, we have found employers experience the greatest success in this regard when they:

  • Give candidates a real look at “what’s behind the curtain” in your industry and organization
  • Commit to Investing in skill-building, early career development, and well-being of your workforce
  • Target and show up often in the digital sphere of Gen Z talent
  • Help candidates stand out and demonstrate their skills
  • Share compelling stories that candidates can see themselves reflected in
  • Take a multi-faceted and high touch approach during peak recruitment periods

Last month, we explored approach # 2 – Commit to investing in your workforce’s skill-building, early career development, and well-being and marked the launch of the TalentEgg e-Learning Academy!

In this edition, we will take a deeper dive into approach # 3 – Target and often show up in Gen Z Talent’s digital sphere.

Before the pandemic in March 2020, thought leaders in campus recruitment often talked about “boots on ground” approaches and a need to “show up” often in students, new grads, and early career talent’s environments as parts of an effective campus strategy. To some extent, this also involved having a strong social media presence.

In the age of virtual recruitment and hybrid learning, frequent engagement and “showing up” where the talent you need is already spending time is an even more vital ingredient to campus recruitment and employer branding success. An established social media presence has proven essential but is rarely enough on its own. So, what are some of the other effective ways you can engage students and new grads digitally? 

One of the most powerful tools you can have in today’s recruitment toolkit is the ability to tailor your messaging and target your engagement to the audiences you most want to reach. Whether it is those in a specific program or area of study, particular geography or demographic, or those with a certain set of interests, or even speak an additional language, digital engagement enables you to be as targeted in your outreach as you like.

Many of our clients have successfully promoted their brand and opportunities using targeted e-mail blasts and mobile marketing campaigns. This blend provides vehicles for telling their career story, driving traffic to their digital content (e.g. videos, blog posts/editorials) and building awareness of their events and opportunities on a large scale but also a curated audience based on their recruitment needs.

Mobile marketing ads appear where your target audience is already spending time online. And students and new grads have been shown to click these ads at twice the average industry rate. This tells us they are paying attention and engaging with content that appeals to their career interests.

Here are some examples of these marketing tools in action:

Evolution Mining is newer to the Canadian campus recruitment space. They have effectively used e-mail blasts to introduce themselves to students and new graduates with backgrounds in science, mining, geology, environmental science, technology, and engineering, promote their virtual information sessions, and encourage candidates to apply to their new graduate programs.

They have also leveraged mobile marketing to ensure they reach potential candidates from communities close to their mine site, studying at their target schools, or actively interested in a career in mining.


EF Tours needed to find talent for their bilingual sales team based in communities around Montreal. Mobile marketing enabled them to engage a broader pool of candidates with the skills, language profile, interests, and experience they were looking for.

In addition to targeting, consistency in your digital engagement and keeping your brand front and centre with candidates during key recruitment periods are also highly effective. Several of our clients have found leaderboard and pop-up ads to be excellent vehicles for this type of engagement.  

Rogers utilizes pop-up ads on TalentEgg’s main pages to drive students and new grads to their open opportunities and to discover more about what it is like to work at Rogers via their employer profile.

Chick-fil-A invites top student and new grad talent to explore their leadership development program and learn more about their distinct workplace culture.

Leaderboard ad

Pop-up ad

Finally, think about ways you can take a few chances and engage Gen Z on other platforms that are a big part of their digital sphere. Recently, TalentEgg has been experimenting with content creation and engagement on TikTok. Over the last few months, we have been steadily increasing our followers and have seen some solid engagement with the career content our team has been sharing on the platform.

talent

If you’re feeling brave and want to pilot sharing some of your own branded content via our TikTok account, reach out to us! We’d love to collaborate with you!!

In summary, target your audience, be consistent with staying top of mind, and don’t be afraid to take a few chances and experiment. These are three tactics TalentEgg has found to be very useful in engaging with and recruiting top students, new graduates, and early career talent in a virtual world.

Until next time…

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.

students

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.

Habits to Become the Best Version of Yourself

I’ve been asked more and more to share my insights on developing habits with various organizations since the start of the pandemic. Many have found themselves with extra time with their commutes removed from their day. Some are choosing to feel that extra time with habits like exercise, reading, meditation, and a multitude of other activities. Some are successful at turning them into habits. Many or not. I share my insights as to why.

Why are habits important in the first place?

For anyone who has ever tried to start a new routine, oftentimes an act of sheer willpower is needed to get started. That willpower often drains energy and you don’t want to be using that much energy every time you do something. Habits can help you reduce that energy train so you can use that energy for other things.

Parts of a habit

Habits can be sliced and diced into various segments. I like to use Charles Duhigg’s version. 

  • Cue: A trigger that signals the habit to start
  • Action: The activity of the habit itself
  • Reward: A reinforcement for the behaviour

Habits don’t always form when you start doing things primarily because without the cue or the reward, The habit has nothing to anchor itself to in your brain. 

Getting rid of a habit or starting a new habit

One of the most surefire ways to get rid of a habit is to remove all cues for that habit. Unfortunately that is easier said than done if you cannot completely control your environment.

Consider the FOGG behavioural model. Think of one vertical axis for Motivation and a horizontal axis for Ability. There would be an action line that starts from high Motivation and low Ability and curves down and flattens towards low Motivation and high Ability. When something is above the line then it occurs and happens. When something is “below” the line then it does not occur or happen.

That means to get rid of a habit you need to decrease your motivation or decrease your ability. 

You can decrease your motivation by pairing your habit with a consequence.

  • Want to stop snoozing and sleeping in? Set an embarrassing social media post to go out just after your alarm wakes you up. You better get up, or that post will tell the world about your embarrassing moment!

You can decrease your ability by making your habit more difficult to do. 

  • Want to stop snacking on some junk food? Stash it way towards the back of your cupboard where you have to inconveniently take out other items to get to it.
  • Want to stop spending so much? Put your credit card in a hard to access spot. Or even freeze it in a block of ice so that you literally have to melt it to access it – Hopefully by the time you get your credit card out, your impulse to buy has subsided. Make sure you also delete any saved credit cards on your browser for online sites. 

On the other hand, if you want to start a habit, you need to increase your motivation or increase your ability. You can increase your

You can increase your motivation by finding the core purpose for wanting to set up the habit or finding a partner to hold you accountable for your actions. 

  • To find your core purpose or why for the habit, ask yourself: why is that habit important to you? With whatever answer you provide, ask yourself: why is that important to you? Repeat that five more times. If you don’t repeat yourself and really focus on it’s important to you then you’ll often find the core reason
  • An accountability partner can help many stay on task. That’s why study buddies, gym buddies and other type of accountability partners can’t be so helpful 

NOTE: for most people one or the other works better. Take a look at when you’ve been successful in starting a habit in the past and repeat your success.

To increase your ability, understand your tendencies.

The acronym SPACEBEAR can help you to find some of your tendencies. 

  • Step-type: Do you prefer small steps, or do you “go big or go home”?
  • Pace-type: Are you a marathoner (consistently spend time to move towards your goal), sprinter (hit things hard, then take a break then hard and break), procrastinator (wait until the last minute before you get something done)
  • Aversion-type: Do you react better to a “carrot”, or a “stick”?
  • Chrono-type: Are you a Lion (get stuff done early in the morning often before anybody else is awake), Bear (slower to rise and get stuff done in the middle of the day), or Wolf (our most productive late night) 
  • Expectations-type: Are you an Obliger (need someone to help hold them accountable) or a Questioner (need to know why something is important to them)
  • Buying-type: Are you an Under-buyer (buy just enough or wait until you’re almost out), or an over-buyer (buy so much that you’ll never run out and always have some in reserve)
  • End-type: Are you a Finisher (like to check things off your to-do list), or an opener (like to start new things – though not necessarily finish them)
  • Availability-type: do you prefer simplicity, or abundance
  • Recognition-type: do you prefer familiarity, or novelty?

Knowing your tendencies can do wonders to get that habit going. For example: you might start a habit like exercise and only continue it if you constantly find new and novel parts of it to do. Or you might need to start with familiar and easy to do exercises before you gradually move on two more difficult exercises. 

Summary

Wow there are many more ways and considerations to effectively start or stop a habit, these will hopefully be some useful tips to get you started.

By setting up habits, you might find that you have more energy to do other things throughout the day. 

Pick something from the above to implement. Try it out for a few days or weeks. If it sticks then keep it. If it doesn’t, then try something new. 

You’ll likely find that when you set up these habits you become even more productive in your work and life.

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

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