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A People First Approach At Evolution Mining

Evolution Mining is leading the way with a hands-on approach to learning and success for the company’s graduate program. We at TalentEgg had the chance to hear from Bianca Baghdassar, an Advisor for Organisational Development at Evolution Mining. Bianca shared what trends the company believes are important moving into the future. She also explains how its graduate program prepares students and graduates for future success within the mining sector. Lastly, Bianca goes over how diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives help create a more supportive workplace within the company and its new Inclusion Awareness Committee.

Keep reading to learn how Evolution Mining measures success in the industry and how they balance the company’s world-class graduate program in Canada and Australia!

People & Relationships at Evolution Mining

“My experience working as an Advisor at Evolution Mining has been extremely rewarding and positive. From the moment you step foot on an Evolution site, you get a sense of a people-centric and relationship-driven workplace that welcomes everybody, which (in my experience) you don’t just find at any company.” Bianca told us. The company is full of opportunities, especially for those who want to excel, push themselves out of their comfort zone and be agile, backed by Evolution Mining’s leadership team and fully supported. 

Graduate Success In The Mining Industry

The company’s graduate program aims to support the growth and development of the future workforce of Evolution Mining, in addition to addressing hard-to-fill and hard-to-retain roles. Graduates have the opportunity to develop personal, technical and commercial skills throughout a two-year program. The graduate program has been in full swing since 2013, and they still have representation in their business from every cohort, which is a massive achievement for Evolution Mining. In addition to their grad program, the company offers students opportunities for summer vacation work while completing their studies. This benefit is to give students a taste of what the mining industry looks like and hopefully gives them an experience which will persuade them to apply for the graduate program when they’re ready to do so.

Success in the mining industry is tough to narrow down. Still, success at Evolution means a high-performing culture where people are clear about the types of behaviours that we want to see and hear, in line with the company’s values. As part of its strategy, Evolution Mining aims to be a business that prospers through the cycle by generating superior returns from the company assets. It also is building a reputation for sustainability, reliability and transparency, embedding financial discipline across the business, maintaining an active pipeline of quality exploration and development projects and being open to all quality gold, silver and copper-gold investments.

Connected Across Borders

We at TalentEgg asked if there was a difference between The Canadian and Australian Graduate programs and how they are run. “The Red Lake Alberta and Australian Graduate programs are the same. We bring our graduates in for a structured two-year development program with opportunities for regular coaching, mentoring and support from leaders at our sites. The only real difference is one time, meaning we’re dialling in pretty early in the morning from Australia to connect with our Red Lake colleagues. Still, it’s all worth interacting with such awesome grads!” Bianca told us enthusiastically! 

Career Path With Evolution

Evolution Mining operates off a very successful 70:20:10 model of learning, recognizing that about 70% of a graduate’s learning is done daily by providing the graduate with meaningful and value-adding project work. 20% of learning is done through other people in a formal and informal mentoring and coaching capacity. The final 10% of learning is done through formal learning by offering opportunities for graduates performing well to complete certifications or attend external conferences, in addition to their quarterly internal workshops hosted by Evolution to develop their soft skills.

Post Pandemic Recruiiting

Evolution Mining saw the post-pandemic lifestyle as an opportunity to leverage technology in more innovative and interactive ways while recruiting new graduates. Although they had to shift to a virtual approach, the company could work with external providers to launch video interviews, psychometric assessments and host assessment centres using breakout room functions on MS Teams. Even though the process was virtual, Evolution still found ways to increase its levels of interactivity and provide candidates with an approach which was not only fun but efficient.

Future Hiring Trends & Workplace Bias

With an industry as large and expansive as mining, Bianca shared what the team at Evolution Mining believes to be at the forefront of the company’s hiring process’ moving forward.

  • Increased female representation within the industry
  • Larger graduate cohorts entering the business to further build on its approach to hiring the future leaders of Evolution
  • Increased use of virtual recruitment tools
  • Candidates looking for a workplace that will offer flexibility
  • Candidates who are open to international secondments and opportunities across all our operations

Evolution works diligently to ensure its hiring process is fair for all applicants by providing multiple data points to assess candidates and their suitability for the role. This process includes resumes and cover letters, video interviews, psychometric assessments, and face-to-face interviews with a diverse panel of hiring staff.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Evolution Mining

Evolution is passionate about creating a workplace that’s inclusive and supportive, a place where everyone can indeed be themselves. In 2021, the company’s Inclusion Awareness committee was formed to play an essential role in connecting, informing and educating their employees about inclusion and diversity, including the benefits, barriers, mindsets, and conscious and unconscious biases. It is vital for Evolution Mining to constantly improve Inclusion and Diversity as they’re committed to creating more accountability and ownership as a business and from their employees. This improvement is to support the company goals for greater collaboration, more innovation and ideas, greater productivity, more revenue, more profit, and greater shareholder returns. A diverse and inclusive company is a stronger, more successful company.


Check out Evolution Mining’s profile on TalentEgg! You’ll be able to watch an overview video of the Red Lake site and learn about the company culture at Evolution and the company’s graduate program here in Canada and Australia!

CIBC’s Strategies to Create Inclusive Career Paths

Having received diversity and inclusion awards for over a decade, CIBC is internationally recognized as a global leader for its initiatives. To get an understanding of how CIBC’s strategies create meaningful and inclusive career paths for students and new grads we spoke with Shalise Goffe, a Senior Manager of Campus Strategy and Recruitment at CIBC. 

Shalise Goffe Headshot

Shalise joined CIBC because of the great things she heard about the culture and people. After seven months with CIBC, she can say that it is all true! 

“The people are open, inviting and supportive. The culture is one of transparency, empowerment, and growth and it really does feel like a family because everyone wants to see you win!”

Student and New Graduate Initiatives

As one of Canada’s largest banks, CIBC knows the importance of bridging the gap between post-secondary education and the workforce. That is why they have set up dedicated initiatives for students and new grads to successfully hatch their careers

We asked Shalise how CIBC’s Student Leadership Academy (SLA) enables students to succeed in the workplace. “It allows students the chance to grow both professionally and personally by pursuing their interests and passions in addition to their work term. Our students have access to workshops that help them gain new skills or simply refine their existing set. Through our workshops, leadership connections, and other SLA activities our students get to explore life at CIBC and their future careers. Providing them with a supportive environment, learning opportunities and the ability to showcase their leadership skills enable them to succeed in the workplace.”

CIBC also runs a co-op program for students and new grads. This program “encourages our co-op students to bring new, creative, and innovative ideas to CIBC. Selected summer students are challenged to work on a real CIBC business problem in a team with other students, along with the support of an Executive Sponsor and Project Lead. It’s an opportunity for them to push themselves by thinking outside the box and collaborating with others to come up with solutions.”

“It’s important to be a student of life and that means the learning doesn’t stop once you’ve left school.”

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies at CIBC

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have come to the forefront of recruitment and internal dialogue over the last few years as their necessity has risen to attention. With 10 groups throughout CIBC focussing on like-minded individuals coming together with shared interests or backgrounds, there is a place for everyone at CIBC.

We wanted to dive deeper into CIBC’s initiatives, so we asked Shalise to describe why diversity, equity, and inclusion are important at CIBC. “At CIBC we want you to feel a sense of belonging. We want you to come into work each and every day truly believing that you can be your authentic self without hiding or covering who you truly are and that you will be accepted for it. Only then will you feel like it’s a safe space that’s open for you to bring your whole self to work.”

When it comes to the CIBC’s internal strategies and the future of recruitment, Shalise had this to say: “Candidates are interested in a company’s diversity and inclusion strategy and how they fit into it. Going back to the belonging piece, people want to join a company that they feel safe in, that they feel cares about them and that are making commitments to be inclusive and equitable. It’s important that we are hiring diverse candidates so we can be reflective of the communities we serve.

Final Thoughts

CIBC has built an array of initiatives to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace for students, new grads, and experienced professionals alike. It is a workplace where everyone is welcome and CIBC is constantly evolving to stay at the forefront of critical initiatives. 

“We want you to grow both personally and professionally and there are a number of ways to do that at CIBC.”

To learn more about CIBC’s student and new graduate programs check out their employer profile on TalentEgg!

Bridging the Gen Z Gap: Understanding how to help recent graduates successfully transition into the workplace

Bridging the Gen Z Gap: Understanding how to help recent graduates successfully transition into the workplace.

Throughout my 15+ years as a recruitment professional, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for helping new grads transition into their first corporate role. A deep desire to help them land their first job was a result of my own experience struggling to find my way in the world.  I want to share the personal wisdom I gained and help them successfully grow their careers through mentoring and coaching support.

What have I observed?

The challenges new graduates face have not really changed from Gen X, but in the last few years, I’ve observed, firsthand, a much larger disadvantage for Gen Z during this major life transition.  Gen Z is often confused as an extension of Millennials, but they are distinctively different.  They are the first generation to never know a world without wifi, social media, and instant gratification.  They were part of a democratic school system and households, where there was no traditional hierarchy of power and consequences, everyone was a winner and there were no losers or failures. Probably the most impactful trend was that they were a generation that was highly overscheduled and constantly stimulated, not allowed to be bored or unhappy. Boredom is critical for imaginative play/thinking, and learning to deal with negative emotion, is an important psychological coping skill.  The absence of learning to manage emotions and stretch brain muscles is likely the root cause for why overall, Gen Z struggles with much higher levels of anxiety and depression. They lack the resiliency to face the world that is run by Millennials, Gen X and Boomers.

What can educators and employers do to help bridge this gap?

First, understand, it is not optional. We must help Gen Z with this transition into the workforce, because having them tough it out (as we might have had to), will lead to a higher level of mental illness, in a generation where mental illness is already significantly higher1 and a future workforce that is not as productive.  Second, seek to understand their perspective and then give them the support and tools to empower them.

For employers, onboarding is important. On-going clarity of your expectations of them, and how they can own their own development and successfully navigate their career, is even more important.  They likely expect that they will be given continuous direction and rewards, and you will drive their career for them – so showing them they own their success and happiness is step one.

For educators, provide insights while they are still in a learning environment, on how to prepare for this critical life transition. Soon-to-be grads are on the brink of one of the most challenging transitions they will face.

So, what is the secret sauce?

Interestingly, the ‘secret sauce’ would likely help all of us be happier, in a world where we all spend less time being present than we should.  To fully accept the present moment as it is, without judgement, is the foundational skill I teach new graduates through learning mindfulness. It is the basis from which all else will follow.  Next, I help guide them in clarifying their purpose and values from which they will decide their goals, and where to focus their attention and talents.  Research reinforces that understanding personal values is paramount for career success; the least committed leaders are those who understand company values,  but not their own.2 So, first, learn to engage fully with the present moment, and then integrate purpose and values into being in all aspects of their job search (interview, personal brand), job performance, and career development.  A natural consequence of mindfulness and purposefulness is happiness – in both our professional and personal lives. Happiness is self derived, rather than an expectation for others to provide.  Moreover, mindfulness helps build resiliency, so that when failures or disappointments happen, they won’t be devastating.

What’s in it for me?

Once Gen Z is thriving and finding the right ‘fit’ in a company and on a purposeful path, we will start to see a big reward ourselves.  They will overperform, as they are driving to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  They will be extremely loyal, and unlike Millennials, will want to stick around for the long haul with your company.  They will give back and want to mentor others recent graduates entering the business.  As you can see, the dividends greatly outweigh the investment.  It really comes down to your willingness to help this generation bridge the gap!


1 American Psychological Association – March 15, 2019, Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade

2 James M Kouzes and Barry S Posner, The Leadership Challenge 4th edition


 Bio:

Lana Burton is a talent acquisition executive and founder of Be META, an organization that helps Generation Z to recognize and realize their potential.

As a working mother of two, she knows how to connect the intimate needs of others and still make time to do the work that we all need to do within.

Connect with Lana on LinkedIn or via email at Be_META@outlook.com.

Why BMO Financial is Investing in Students and Early Talent Through Authentic Student Experiences That Leave a Lasting Impression 

Professional skills and soft skills are vital for new talent to have when entering the workforce. But what does that truly look like for students who are making their first school-to-work transition? Are they set up for success before getting their first full-time job, or do they still have more learning to do?

As Lisa Kramer, Director of Enterprise Campus Recruitment & Early Talent Programs at BMO Financial says, “In the years that I’ve been in the campus recruiting space I would say there is still a gap between what students are learning in their academic programs and the skills and capabilities necessary to work in a corporate environment. That’s why I think it’s important for us as employers to provide those types of experiences and learning opportunities to students when they’re coming in”. This is one of the reasons why BMO launched their new BMO Student Experience this past year. It focuses on investing in the future workforce, recognizing and providing opportunities for development to increase hiring conversions and foster a culture of authenticity, growth and development.

We had the chance to speak with Lisa to learn more about the BMO Student Experience and how BMO is positioning themselves as an employer of choice on campus and beyond.

A Return on Student Investment

Lisa started with BMO a year ago to transform the recruitment strategy for students and early talent and highlight what it’s actually like to work for BMO. “We’re trying to drive higher conversion rates – “recruit once, hire twice” type of mentality, so when we get students in the door, we show them how awesome it is to work here in hopes that they return for subsequent work terms or join us upon graduation”, Lisa says. Historically, BMO has had good programs and hired many students, but their team identified the need to offer more than just work experience and training. This is where the idea of the BMO Student Experience was developed. 

From TalentEgg’s most recent survey, 71% of post-secondary students and grads said that the most important thing they’re looking for in a career is gaining job experience, building their future career paths and development. So it’s important for organizations to showcase how they can offer these requirements to students as well as provide real, authentic examples. This is something that BMO has done very well through their presence not only on campus but online as well. 

“One of the big things for us was utilizing social media and making sure we could connect with students in a more authentic and engaging way. Moving away from the reliance of the “corporate speak” on the web page and start to tell stories about what it’s really like to work here”, Lisa comments. The BMO campus team has focused on telling real stories about students who work at BMO, as well as letting students and their recruitment team takeover the BMO Campus Recruitment Instagram account and host Instagram Live sessions where students across North America have access to their team. 

New Campus Influencer Program

One of the key components of the new strategy was introducing BMO’s Campus Influencer Program. While many organizations have an ambassador program, the BMO team wanted to do something different, something that would resonate with students and how they’re currently engaging with content, branding and goods. Enter: Influencers — the biggest wave of marketing to take over the laptop and cellphone screens of Gen Z and Millenials. “We’re seeing a lot of students and early talent that are heavily influenced by individuals on YouTube and Instagram, so it’s really a play on that. We took students who worked for us over the course of last summer and who were returning to campus to help us amplify our message”, Lisa says. BMO’s Student Influencers are communicating through their own personal social media accounts and using their own networks to spread the word about BMO. 

The benefits? BMO amplifies their employer brand through students who can authentically share their experiences with the company, point interested candidates to the right connection and provide feedback and invaluable information back to the BMO recruitment team about what students are interested in and how they want to connect with BMO as an employer. 

“It’s been fantastic to have that intel because obviously in a perfect world we’d love to be on campus every day, every campus, every program connecting with students but that’s not possible. So the influencer program has been a really great extension of our campus recruiting team.”

What Students can Expect

To continue investing in student development, a part of BMO’s strategy includes a Student Leadership Summit that will be held for returning students this year. Students will have the opportunity to spend three days at the BMO Institute for Learning with their peers to network, build leadership skills, hear from BMO leadership and more. “By investing in them and their skills, it’s our hope that this is just the start of a very successful career with BMO that will continue in the years to come”. 

Throughout their time with BMO, students are given the opportunity to gain professional skills through networking within the business and connecting with other students outside of work through the BMO Social Squad. They also learn practical nuanced skills such as using Excel or PowerPoint. In addition to what the campus team has created, all students have access to BMO U which is an online learning tool where students can complete thousands of courses for free during their work term. “We hope that by providing that experience they will, in turn, have a great work term and will want to come back and work for us again. This obviously helps drive conversion and it’s really our investment in our future workforce. We need to invest now to help identify the talent that we need in the long term.”

Final Advice for Students and Fellow Employers

Lisa provided some final pieces of advice to both students and fellow employers. For students, it’s so important to make connections. Of course, students should do their research and come out to see BMO when they’re on campus, but they should come prepared and reach out to recruiters. “We had a BMO Hangout at one school where the recruiter met with 10 students and hired 8 of them!”, Lisa highlights. As an example, Lisa suggests instead of saying “Hey, here’s my resume, do you have a job for me?”, students should come with personal and focused outcomes, like “Hey Lisa, I saw BMO on campus at this particular event, I heard [name] speak about XYZ and that’s an area I’m really interested in and was wondering if you could tell me more”. “Making that personal connection is key if you want to stand out”, she says. 

For fellow employers, Lisa comments on the importance of playing a key role in the development of future leaders. 

“Some schools and programs are certainly invested in the development of soft skills and we do certainly see in our campus recruiting efforts that students are better prepared. However, I think it’s important, if we’re truly looking for a diverse workforce, that we’re helping. We [as employers] play a part in this development and shouldn’t just rely on our school partners to prep students. It’s our role to help drive that forward. I do think it needs to be a partnership between employers and educators in terms of getting our early talent and future workforce ready for the roles of the future.”

“Once students have that first job, in order to truly build [their] career, it’s the soft skills and professional development that we really need to help students with. Things like how to write a proper email, how do you present to different levels within the organization, what level of detail do you provide in those communications? Those are all nuances that are important for students who are coming into organizations to learn, and it’s our role as an employer to help that with that.” 

Students entering the workforce value the opportunities to continue learning and developing skills that will help them in their career journey. 88% believe they need additional training to launch their career, according to our most recent Survey. Lisa and the BMO campus team are focused on doing just that. To learn more about BMO’s Reimagined Student Experience, see their student-focused article on TalentEgg here.


Lisa’s a disrupter…currently transforming the Enterprise Campus Recruitment and Early Talent Program at BMO!  Lisa began her career in student recruitment right after university, developing her talents at three universities (Laurier, Waterloo, and Ryerson), before taking her expertise to the corporate world, where she has taken student recruitment practices to a higher level. ATI Technologies, CGI, Siemens, Accenture, and RBC have all benefitted from Lisa’s expertise. Lisa was the inaugural winner of Talent Egg’s Campus Recruiter of the Year Award in 2013.  Lisa is known as an accomplished and flexible leader who leverages strong interpersonal skills and teamwork to achieve business objectives. By defining and implementing a shared vision, she’s driving results and excellence across her team. When she’s not at the office, she can most likely be found in an arena with mobile phone in hand, watching her two daughters and balancing life as a busy working hockey mom!

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