Students want to work with Phil. That’s the mysterious message ConocoPhillips Canada takes to colleges and universities when recruiting students, and it has elicited great results, according to Laura Bosch, HR advisor for early career development at the Calgary-based firm.
The 2,100-employee company piqued student interest with vague posters plastered on campuses prior to career fairs that read: “What’s all the fuss about Phil?” “Your parents would love Phil” and “It’s not every day Phil drops by.”
It was a campaign meant to get students interested, said Bosch, adding the oil and gas company is energetic, cutting edge and focused on people.
“We go on campus every year recruiting students and we were finding that, when we were on campus, not a lot of students knew who ConocoPhillips Canada was,” she said. “We’re in the centre of the oil and gas industry, but people just didn’t know who we were.”
The company increased the number of resumés it received from students and new grads by 50 per cent in the first year of the program, 2008, and by 20 per cent each year after.
And when students were hired, they stayed — 100 per cent who came in as interns or summer hires stayed on with full-time positions when they were offered.
The success of the “Work with Phil” campaign, which also included a booth at campus career fairs and a micro site (www.workwithphil.com), garnered the company the Best On-Campus Campaign award at TalentEgg’s Campus Recruitment Awards.
In all, five Canadian employers were honoured at the awards — of which Canadian HR Reporter was the media sponsor — for their achievements in attracting and recruiting students and recent graduates. The awards were presented in Toronto May 14.
TalentEgg, a Toronto-based company that helps new graduates find jobs and assists employers that are looking for entry level talent, hosted the awards and conference on campus recruitment for the first time this year.
“We felt that campus recruitment isn’t recognized a lot in Canada,” said Cassandra Jowett, content manager at TalentEgg. “There are some other conferences but there aren’t a ton of opportunities to talk about best practices in a really in-depth setting and provide a wide variety of perspectives.”
A lot of awards are judged by editors and industry experts, but these awards are judged by the audience they target, said Jowett. The winners were picked by a panel of more than 200 students and recent grads.
“It kind of gave that extra perspective and perhaps introduced people into awards that may not traditionally be recognized by those other award categories,” said Jowett.
Accenture uses social media
Lisa Kramer, Toronto-based campus recruiting lead for Canada at Accenture, a management consulting firm with 4,500 employees, won the Campus Recruiter of the Year award.
The students who judged the category said Kramer was chosen in part because of her “huge” social media presence and approachability.
Social media can take up a lot of time for recruiters, but it’s important to put the time in, said Kramer.
“Plan your time accordingly. It does take a lot of effort and you need to be able to be responsive,” she said.
“It’s not just enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. You need to be responsive and make sure you are continuously interacting with candidates.”
PwC embraces blogs
PwC Canada, which won the Best Campus Career Website award — www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca — received positive feedback for its use of blogs, said James Davidson, national campus talent acquisition manager at the Toronto-based professional services firm with 5,700 employees.
The blogs are successful because students can interact live with bloggers who represent the office where they’d like to work, said Davidson.
And all of the photos on the website are of actual workers.
“They’re not stock shots or stock images, and it really talks to their experience… from the West Coast to the East Coast.”
The site shows what it’s like to work at PwC through office pages representing each of the more than 20 locations it has across Canada. It also encourages a dialogue with students through a live Twitter feed, a news feed and the blogs, said Davidson.
“That allows students to interact with us across all of those elements and that’s really important for generation-Y students. They want to be able to talk back to us. It’s not just about us talking to them.”
And the winners are…
The 2012 TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Awards winners are:
• Best Campus Career Website: PwC Canada (www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca)
• Best Online Campus Campaign: MacLaren McCann for MasterCard Canada’s 2011 “Social Interview” campaign
• Best On-Campus Campaign: ConocoPhillips Canada
• Campus Recruiter of the Year: Lisa Kramer, campus recruiting lead for Canada at Accenture
• Campus Recruitment Program of the Year: KPMG.
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