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Employers and students: Not N’Sync

Yes, this is quite possibly the corniest blog title…ever…But never mind that!

A few observations on the disconnect between employers and students in Canada:

In our day-to-day dealing with employers and students, we’ve had the opportunity to pick up on a lot of trends in the entry-level recruitment market.

One that particularly stands out, and that has been coming up a lot lately is the fact that many big-brand employers do their campus recruiting in September for new-grad roles.

I’ve come to understand the reasoning behind it: Whoever’s first to campus gets the best candidates. If you wait too long, all the ‘top’ people are already recruited.

The problem is, the majority of students spend September registering for classes, gathering books, settling into their homes and social lives, joining clubs, trying out for sports teams, etc. For most, September is not the time to think about careers. Actually, scratch that. Most ‘involved’, well-rounded students are not thinking about careers in September.

So this is my conclusion:

For employers searching for students with top grades, or students who put career ahead of all other on-campus events, or students in particular programs where professors and career advisors make sure to alert students to Employers’ September time lines (i.e. accounting programs), September is probably the best time to get on campus and collect those applications.

But if you’re an employer that wants to work with students on THEIR schedules, and perhaps an employer who values extra curriculars over grades, then it might make sense to have a more balanced, full-year plan.

On top of accommodating busy students with conflicting schedules, this method has a few extra benefits:

  • It allows employers to take the time to consider additional aspects of a candidate’s potential fit,
  • It allows for more time to brand your opportunities- stand out from the rest.

Most importantly: Because Oct-Dec and Feb-April are much quieter on campus, it means there’s a chance to find the ‘hidden’ talent and to speak with that talent without all the ‘noise’ that comes with the busy September and January recruiting season.

Written by

Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg. After graduating from Queen's University and receiving her Masters from the London School of Economics, Lauren entered the workforce. She landed her first ‘real’ job shortly after, but thought there had to be a better way to transition from school to work. The idea was born and TalentEgg hatched in April 2008! Contact her at lauren@talentegg.ca.
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