Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CACEE Toronto 2011

You'd think I only Blog when I'm at a conference...

I also tweet, under the same hash-tag...

There were lot's of thought-provoking chats today, in Toronto, at CACEE both in the meetings and in the networking sessions.

For example...

  • from Janet Ecker, former Revenue Minister, now President of TFSA, there has been a Centre of Excellence created for financial services. Check out: www.explorefinancialservices.com for career guidance suggestions.

  • on the subject of engaging sudents...how about these thought provokers? Grab them in first year and by figuring out What and How, we can influence expectations. Try co-hosting career sessions with Employers...build cred. And as everyone seemed to agree on, find the influencers in the cohort.

  • working with International students, put Education in a bigger perspective for them. Show them that studying, while all-consuming otherwise, is just part of life in Canada and working will introduce a whole, new social network. For their resumes, it is important to show all extracurriculars (and development of these is strongly encouraged), since this will present encourage a greater familiarity for the reader...perhaps the so-called "Canadian experience". Like all students, the candidate needs to "stand out".

  • Paul Smith, executive with CACEE, reports that oil & gas hiring potentials are very high. The oil patch is not finding all the talent they need and they're looking far afield. In a private conversation with Suncor, they report that they are recruiting heavily in Ontario to send talent to Alberta.
  • He went on to add that the average "spend" for a hire, at the grad level is about $3,900. That's everything up to the point where the candidate signs. That's a significant investment and one that the University needs to make sure is accomplished well, in partnership with the employer.
  • There is a strong trend, which may be fulfilled again this coming year, to reduce the number of schools that recruiters target. The number was down about 50% last year. What has come up in place of that effort is the use of Social Media, particularly LinkedIn for posting and ultimately finding talent.

  • The legal impact of using social media for recruiting was addressed by a lawyer from Heenan Blaikie. One element that was emphasized very strongly was that information from social media about an individual should not and cannot be used if it would contravene hiring legislation, even though it appears in a public space. Otherwise, you may have to prove that you did not and could not have used it, which is very difficult to prove.

  • Lauren Friese, from TalentEgg, shared a good deal of information about the recruiting space. Shockingly, only 19% of students indicate that they'll be searching for post-graduate employment in September of their final year. The shock? Employers expect that this is when they will be looking, since it is the first occasion to encounter students, live and in-person. What has been learned from this and should give us pause to reflect is that employers are responding by being active in their promotion of opportunities 24X7X365. Oh, and even more shocking is that 1/3 of students "know" that recruiting begins in September!
  • Most students aren't in attendance or actively engaged in on-campus recruiting events because they don't have time in their schedules. This is quite reasonable...but means that other "events" need to take the place of the info-session or similar activity.

Overall, it was a great event...well-staged by the organizers and it was great to encounter colleagues from across the country, including making some new contacts.