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DEI as a Young Professional

The world has changed significantly. Not just in the last two centuries or the last two decades but even in the last two years. One of the hot topics of discussion has been diversity, equity and inclusion. Sometimes referred to as DEI. Or you might have seen D&I or EDI, or other acronyms. 

You’ll be able to find a lot of material online on “what is DEI,” why it is important, plus how organizations and leaders can create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Though a young professional recently pointed out to me that there isn’t as much out there related to what a young professional, recent grad or student intern could do.

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance” -Verna Myers

When I ask a young professional, recent grad or student intern about DEI, they often don’t have much of a reaction. On occasion, there are a few that have been on the receiving end of some sort of discrimination. Perhaps it’s anecdotally a good sign of the times that youth are not as afflicted. 

Many entry-level roles at companies abound with folks from different genders, racism ethnicities, physical & mental capabilities, etc. It seems like youth are anecdotally being invited to the party and being asked to dance. DEI seems to be a concern for senior leadership. Though, as these young folks advance in their career, DEI will likely be more of a concern. Conversations are starting on what can be done to get ahead of the challenge.  

Speaking to some DEI-minded folks, The following were collectively brainstormed (though not exhaustive by any means):

  1. Awareness
  2. Understanding
  3. Practice
  4. Improvement

Awareness 

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change” -Eckhart Tolle

Have you ever thought of the people you work with? How are they similar to you, and how are they different from you? Have you thought about your workplace from a DEI lens?

A youth in a group I was chatting with was wondering if I could even ask these types of questions. I said, “are we now so sensitive that we can’t even talk about it?”

Let’s bring the challenge into the light so they can be acknowledged and addressed. That doesn’t make the process easy. When our unconscious biases are acknowledged, the process can hurt. 

I recall a recent interaction where someone felt I was discriminating against them. The issue escalated. When I finally had a chance to acknowledge the alleged hurtful remark, I realized that “having no intention to hurt them” wasn’t necessarily good enough. The issue was eventually resolved with separate previously unknown trauma at play, and it led me on a journey to an awareness that I am very much thankful for.

Reading this article may very well be your first step to awareness. The next step is to learn more to gain some understanding.

How? Get involved in your company’s DEI groups. 

Doesn’t exist? Start one. 

Perhaps find a community organization or a trusted DEI ally to help. 

As a young professional, recent grad or student intern, you can make a difference.

You don’t have to wait to be in senior leadership. Though building a relationship with an executive sponsor could be a good step to make your DEI initiatives sustainable.

Understanding

With some newfound awareness, the next step is to gain some understanding. Perhaps connecting with a DEI professional, talking to a learned friend, researching a bit of history, or learning additional points of awareness to be noted.

While the process can be quite awkward and nerve-wracking, approaching understanding from a perspective of curiosity can be very helpful.

Asking questions is a great way of gaining understanding.

A few good questions to ask:

  • What is your definition of diversity? Equity? Inclusion? If we’re gonna be aware and understand it, we might as well get on the same page regarding what it means to us as an organization. DEI is not just gender or race and can include physical/mental abilities, religions, cultures and age. While you can start with a dictionary definition, each organization will often have to pick their own interpretations and prioritizations. 
  • Why is DEI important to us? Benefits are plentiful, and choose the ones that resonate with your organization. Whether it’s improved innovation, enhanced employee engagement, reaching broader markets, or others, align them with your organization’s values. 
  • How do we know that we’ve been successful with our DEI initiatives? Initiatives could start with a few awareness emails, continue with various workshops and learning and hopefully carry on with a thriving community. The start and end state will be up to you. 

There are plenty more questions to ask, though you can start by progressing your close colleagues to awareness and then understanding. Extend to broader departments and groups based on which are receptive and open. Then see what other parts of the company would be willing to take part. You might need senior leadership buy-in to help that happen. Or may choose to make it a grassroots effort. Think progress vs perfection. 

Again, a young professional, recent grad or student intern can make a difference. You don’t have to be an expert. You just need to be willing to put in the effort to move the initiatives forward. Though you will eventually need some senior leadership support in order to really help DEI initiatives thrive in your organization. 

At the end of the day, prioritizing and making the time is an important step to allow understanding to happen.

How? I allocate a few hours of your month, an hour of your week, or even a few minutes daily to DEI initiatives. Promote awareness. Have conversations. Improve your understanding. That time consistently over time can easily turn awareness into understanding. 

Practice 

“Consistent action creates consistent results” – Christine Kane

DEI it’s not a “one-and-done activity.” It’s something that needs to be practised consistently and often in order to be effective.

Yes, you may have had a workshop and felt great about your new DEI knowledge. You might have completed some DEI training and implemented the initiative so that it was successful. But what about next month? Or next year? Or the year after next?

How often will it be up to you and your organization? Those earlier on the path to awareness, understanding and developing it into regular practice will need more time. Eventually, if you can embed DEI into the culture of your organization, then last time is likely because the time you do spend will be habitual. 

That may sound daunting for a young professional, recent grad or student intern, though hopefully, you’ve already realized that you can make a difference. 

How? Find your “tribe” of DEI allies within your organization or community who can help the understanding turn into a regular practice.

Improvement 

If you’re at this stage on your DEI journey, then your high-achieving self will likely want to make things even better.

Perhaps you can share your successes with other departments or even other organizations and join the broader DEI community. Perhaps you can bring in folks from other organizations and learn from them. Maybe even secure executive support for a DEI audit to see how effective your initiatives have really been.

And what you’ll eventually realize is that you ARE making a difference. That is, once you realize that even as a young professional, recent grad or student intern, you can make a difference!

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!

Announcing the Finalists of the 2022 TalentEgg National Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference!

Congratulations to the finalists of the 2022 TalentEgg National Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference! We are beyond egg-cited to celebrate with you and announce the winners at our VIRTUAL Awards and Conference on July 13, 2022

The TalentEgg Awards applications are evaluated by our team of hand-picked, top student judges from across Canada, who give a student perspective and first-hand feedback on career development programs, employer branding, recruitment strategies and more.

Please join us at this year’s Awards and Conference to celebrate the winners and check out insightful panels with our egg-cellent lineup of expert speakers from the recruitment and career development space. We will be sharing critical insights from our Student, New Grad and Early Career Survey conducted this spring to understand how the pandemic is impacting Canada’s young job seekers and influencing employers’ future recruitment strategies. We will explore virtual tools and practices to help employers continue to engage and attract top candidates in the “new normal” of remote recruiting. We will also share best practices, developing soft skills, along with insights on diversity and the future of the workplace.

Don’t miss out! Early bird Tickets are available NOW and end July 1 at 11:59 PM!

Now, what you’ve really been waiting for: Your 2022 Finalists!

2022 TalentEgg National Recruitment Excellence Awards Finalists

Please note: Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.

EMPLOYER AWARDS FINALISTS

Best Grad Program

Best Campus Career Website

Best Internship/Co-Op Program – Sponsored by U of T Scarborough Management 

Campus Recruiting Program of the Year

Campus Recruiting Program of the Year for a Nonprofit

Best Employer Branding and Outreach

Best Social Media Presence

Special Award for Diversity and Inclusion in Recruiting

Special Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in Recruiting

Best Contribution to Student Career Development (Employers)

  • Bell
  • CIBC
  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
  • Momentswithbren Consulting Inc.

Best Use of Student Competitions for Recruitment

Special Award for Innovation by a Career Centre

  • Smith School of Business – Queen’s University

Best Contribution to Mental Health in the Workspace

Career Coach/Educator of the Year (Individual)

  • Brenda Okorogba (Momentswithbren Consulting Inc.)

 

Thank you to all of the employers, career centres and educational institutions who participated this year. We look forward to connecting with you at our conference to celebrate all the finalists and announce the winners of the 2022 TalentEgg National Recruitment Excellence Awards.

Get your tickets here!

Meet Our New Director of Partnerships and Operations: Rachel Evans

We are delighted to welcome Rachel Evans to the TalentEgg team. As the Director of Partnerships and Operations, she brings a wealth of experience in talent acquisition, recruitment marketing and employer branding. We interviewed Rachel to learn more about her experience and how it can support emRachel Evans At TalentEggployers and career educators.

Q: Why did you decide to join TalentEgg?

What attracted me most was the critical role TalentEgg plays in connecting tomorrow’s workforce with great employers and the support TalentEgg offers employers to extend brand awareness, reach, and connection with students and those early in their careers.

I was also a previous client of TalentEgg, working as a recruitment marketing advisor with Shell Canada, where I led talent attraction for students and new graduates nationwide. My experience with the TalentEgg team was exceptional, and the company’s growth has been impressive. While TalentEgg started many years ago as a job board with digital advertising, the company has grown to offer comprehensive employer branding and talent attraction services, enabling employees to use TalentEgg as an extension of their campus recruitment teams.

Q: Can you tell us more about your background in employer branding, recruitment marketing and talent acquisition?

As mentioned, I led recruitment marketing for Shell Canada, and I have had the opportunity to participate in employer branding and talent acquisition throughout my career as a marketing professional. I recently came from the talent acquisition industry, where I led marketing and communications for a technology company that enabled talent pools. In that role, I was a speaker on employer branding best practices. I consider recruitment marketing no different than traditional B2C marketing, with the product being the career within the organization and the consumer being the student/new graduate. Applying tried and tested marketing principles to talent attraction is quantifiably better than not adopting these best practices.

Q: Why is employer branding important now more than ever?

Employer branding is essential as businesses recover from the pandemic. Many employers stopped or scaled down their employer brand and talent attraction spend, which has resulted in reduced brand awareness among students and new graduates. With Boomers leaving the workforce in unprecedented numbers, organizations have a significant gap to fill. In a hyper-competitive talent attraction landscape, the only way to differentiate your organization is with a strong employer brand and presence in the market, intersecting young people with where they are physically and digitally.  

Q: What are your plans to support TalentEgg’s partners?

I am excited to support employers with their talent attraction strategies and employer brand to help connect them with great students and new graduates. I see a significant opportunity to partner collaboratively to extend existing services, including co-marketing and branding initiatives during campus events that show institutions are committed to connecting their students and new grads with employment opportunities.

TalentEgg also has a suite of e-learning courses that may be of interest to all of our partners. These professionally produced courses teach soft skills needed in the workplace that are often lacking in young people. These courses are incredibly cost-effective and could be an excellent addition to the services already offered by post-secondary institutions and employers struggling to close this gap within their workplace.

Q: How can TalentEgg’s partners (employers, career centers, career educators) get in touch with you?

Reach out anytime by email at: rachel@talentegg.ca connect with me on LinkedIn! I look forward to working together!

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