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Posts from the ‘Youth Employment’ Category

Lessons Learned from Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month Program

By: Olivia Poulin

Adecco Canada #CEO1Month Olivia Poulin shares her experience of the CEO for One Month program and what she learned about business, leadership and herself. 

Jumping into a role at the top of an industry that you’re unfamiliar with means you will experience and learn a lot along the way. I consider myself a very adaptable person who happily adjusts to new environments, tasks and people. So to me, the CEO for One Month program was an exciting adventure — a whole new life for one month! I moved from Niagara Falls to my own apartment in downtown Toronto, took an Uber for the first time and walked to the store to buy groceries. I shadowed Adecco Canada CEO Gilbert Boileau and got to meet CEOs, directors, managers, recruiters and sales reps. I attended client meetings and dinners, visited branches and toured giant warehouses. I flew to Montreal and Ottawa for day trips, spent time shadowing recruiters and had lunch with new colleagues. I had many life chats and vibrant conversations with Gilbert as well as a variety of other managers. I spoke with candidates and associates about their experiences with Adecco and put together an hour and a half presentation for our senior leadership team for my last day. Needless to say, it was a lot to take in. In the rest of this blog, I’ve gathered some of my thoughts on my month at Adecco Canada so that others can learn from my experiences.

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS & BEING A CEO

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

During my first week with Adecco Canada, I jumped right into the work of the CEO by joining Gilbert and VP of Finance Doug Hamlyn in calling all Adecco branches in Canada. Each meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes. That’s 20 HOURS on the phone. I watched as both Doug and Gilbert were attentive and interested in what branch managers wanted to share, from the first call down to the last, despite being exhausted.

Throughout the rest of the month, I joined Gilbert for national sales meetings, branch meetings, client lunches/dinners, weekly one-on-ones, meetings with people he reports to at US headquarters and many more. It was exciting to meet in person some of the voices I had spoken to on the phone my first week! Most importantly, these meetings helped me soak up as much as possible about an industry that was brand new to me. And I had a lot to figure out. There was rarely much time in between meetings, so I sorted out many answers to my questions by asking colleagues, doing research and taking advantage of travel time to talk with Gilbert.

These meetings introduced me to a fundamental truth about leadership: being a CEO really does mean being in meetings! But it’s more than that — it’s about managing people and teams so that you can reach shared success as a company.

The value of teamwork

Yes, we all know teamwork is important, but during my time with Adecco I realized just how much each person relies on their team. Being the CEO doesn’t mean you are a lone wolf and can make whatever decision you want. If anything, it means that you’re MORE responsible to the people around you — both above and below. After all, there is no CEO position without dozens or hundreds of positions supporting it. By participating in these meetings and learning more about Gilbert’s role at Adecco Canada, I came away even more committed to service leadership.

Gilbert’s job is to find ways to support the teams of people that make up the company for better business. I learned this because I spent time with the senior leadership team at headquarters in Toronto, attended an all-day branch manager meeting in Quebec and spent time at branches with recruiters, giving me an all-around view of each level of the organization. I saw so many positive work environments where people are happy, engaged and supportive of their teams, I’m not surprised that Adecco is on the Great Place to Work list for the second year in a row!

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LEADERSHIP

Knowing your stuff

As a leader and CEO, more often than not, you need to know your stuff. My respect for Gilbert increased every time I heard him speak credibly about the specifics of what is going on in a branch, with a VMS tool or in the recruitment industry. There was so much to know for more than 40 branches across Canada and countless clients, associates and employees, but he was on top of it as much as he possibly could be. People can often tell when you are making up information to sound smart or in-the-know, and as a leader, that would damage your credibility. When you don’t know, it’s equally important to own up to it and ask for the information you need. I saw examples of this form of leadership not just with Gilbert, but with recruiters, branch managers and regional vice-presidents who reached out for help in order to inform their decisions.

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT ADECCO

The staffing industry

For a long time, I assumed that everyone with a job works for the company whose name is on their shirt. I never stopped to consider that any (or all) of the recruitment process for some staff could have been outsourced. Adecco does everything from posting job descriptions, accepting applications, conducting interviews, on-boarding new staff, supervising at work sites and more to help their associates find work at other companies. These temporary employees work AT and FOR a specific company, but are considered Adecco employees (on Adecco’s payroll, earning Adecco benefits). This makes life easier for companies who need to hire new staff for a short-term contract or for companies that hire hundreds of new staff at a time for peak seasons. Temporary jobs are an awesome way to get experience in a variety of roles, learn about different companies and earn great pay.

Adecco changes lives

I studied the candidate journey during my CEO for One Month experience. Throughout the process, I got to hear some incredibly heartwarming stories about how Adecco has changed people’s lives. Whether it’s new graduates, adults re-entering the workforce or immigrants who have recently arrived in Canada — Adecco helps anyone and everyone find meaningful work. Many of these stories involved individuals struggling to find a job and provide for themselves or their families and approaching Adecco for help.

People are especially shocked to find out that Adecco’s job search help services are free for their candidates. Adecco has relationships with thousands of employers who are looking for great staff to join their teams; by bridging this gap, Adecco helps thousands of people find work every week. For many, not having a job is just not an option and life is scary without stable income. I was privileged to hear success stories from many associates that brought a smile to my face and put into perspective the amazing work that Adecco does.

Believing in the next generation

I think my participation in the CEO for One Month Program with Adecco says it all: they believe in the next generation. Providing the privilege to join a CEO in their day-to-day business operations is a huge demonstration of trust from Adecco and I am so grateful for their transparency and willingness to guide me as I learned. Not only do they believe in me, they believe in the entire next generation and are eager to tap into their talent and perspectives. It’s up to us to show them that their trust is in the right place by working hard, being responsible and living with passion!

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF

Social media

When I sat in on the branch review phone calls my first day, I kept my phone out to Google terms I was unfamiliar with and research clients on the spot, so that I could better understand what we were talking about. When I was not using the Internet to keep up with the conversation, my phone sat on the table face up and was continually lighting up with notifications from social media. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook… all of it. Though I wasn’t checking these notifications, I was still distracted by them and bothered that they were interrupting my participation in our phone calls. That night I went home and shut off all social media notifications. I immediately noticed that my productivity increased, I was interrupted less throughout the day and I felt more in control of my social media use. Out of sight, out of mind. I have kept these notifications turned off since returning home because I enjoy feeling more connected in the moment and have decided to only check my notifications when I feel like it or when I am alone.

Bedtime

As a self-proclaimed night owl, my best hours of productivity have been between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. for the last four years of university. My schedule never had me spending more than a few hours in one place between classes, running my business, church responsibilities, hobbies, sports, a social life, family time etc. Running on 5 hours of sleep was tough, but not impossible. During my time in Toronto, though, I was focused on just one thing for hours at a time: Adecco. I embarrassingly look back on a few moments when I was so exhausted it was tough for me to keep my eyes open and head from hurting in meetings. I realized my sleep schedule needed some serious adjustment and I vowed to begin going to bed at midnight. In the past, midnight meant I was just getting into my groove and had two productive hours ahead of me. Now? It means bedtime. Since returning home from my Adecco adventures, I haven’t consistently gone to bed at midnight, but I have definitely improved from my once-standard 2 a.m. bedtime. I’ve realized how much more sustainable it is for my health and work. To bring my best self to work, I need a proper sleep the night before.

Juggling priorities & hard work

I’ve always had a “get-it-done” attitude, regardless of the circumstances. I truly believe that there is always a way. During the month of June, not only did I have to balance my CEO schedule and deliverables, but I was also completing reports and projects for Adecco Global, taking a full credit spring class, running my business from afar and tending to regional responsibilities with my church, all while attempting to get sleep, exercise and stay in touch with my friends and family. My “get-it-done” attitude was tested, but deciding what my priorities were, setting expectations for myself and really committing to my work helped me accomplish all that I needed to. Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” and I’ve experienced the negative consequences of this many times in my life as I rushed to meet deadlines that were set days or weeks in advance. My experience with Adecco forced me to dedicate concentrated blocks of time to completing tasks to ensure they didn’t grow to be impossible to handle amid all of my other responsibilities.

Throughout my time at Adecco, I have been challenged, but I also learned, worked hard and had lots of fun. I’m grateful for the trust that I felt and the relationships I developed along the way. Gilbert was a great mentor to me and was an example of how to be a successful CEO and lead change in an organization. I highly recommend the CEO for One Month program to any budding business minds or eager and curious learners.

Thank you to everyone for supporting this program and letting me become part of the Adecco family! Please follow my social accounts if you haven’t already … I am still completing projects to compete for a spot at the Global Bootcamp and would love your support!
I can be found on Instagram (@poulin09) and Twitter (@oliviapoulin). Make sure to use #CEO1Month.

Want to learn more about Olivia and #CEO1Month? Read her previous blog Interested in Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month Program in 2019? Here’s what you need to know!


 To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our resources page on our website.

Why an Internship Program?

Internships are more than a mandatory student requirement and experience on a resume. A well-managed internship program can bring significant benefits to an organization.  Here’s how your organization can reap the rewards.

  1. Fresh Perspectives

Student interns bring with them fresh ideas and perspectives that can have a great impact on a business. Recent grads are generally tech savvy and fluent with social media platforms — positioning them well to impact marketing strategies! To tap into your intern’s ideas and creativity, create an environment in which they feel comfortable so they are at ease to participate in meetings and brainstorm sessions.

  1. Brand Recognition

Good news travels fast.  Internship programs show potential job seekers and existing employees that your company believes in employee development.  These programs also shed light on positive corporate values to existing and new clients.  Adopting such a program and making it a positive experience, means that people will talk about your company to their network — setting your brand apart from other companies competing for similar talent and clients.

  1. Increased Productivity

Internship programs are a cost-effective solution to providing extra support staff members sometimes need. Interns lend great support with administrative tasks and other entry level projects, allowing employees to focus on higher level business tasks. This prevents existing employees from becoming over burdened with a high workload — while ultimately increasing productivity.

  1. Recruitment Tool

Internships are a great way to evaluate a potential candidate without the commitment of hiring them permanently. This year-round recruitment tool creates larger pools of talent to pull from, with workforce ready candidates. Should you decide to hire an intern, the result is a new employee who is fully trained and understands your business — allowing you to save costs on recruitment and training!

  1. Giving back to the community

Developing a well-managed internship is a great way to give back to the community and demonstrate that you value their support of your business. Not to mention, internship programs increase employment levels, enhance the local workforce and economy, and, assist graduates in developing professional skills. What better way to solidify a positive corporate culture that encapsulates social responsibility?

Need help implementing an internship program for your company? Contact Adecco Canada for resources and assistance, and start reaping the benefits of a well-managed internship today!


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

ACSESS CHAMPION: ADECCO Canada Adecco Canada opens the doors of power to support future leaders

Article by ACSESS Canada

It took a leap of faith for Gilbert Boileau, President of Adecco Canada, to swing open the doors of his office for a month.

That’s exactly what he did. In June, Gilbert invited Alana Couvrette, (pictured above with Gilbert) a 22-year-old student studying public administration and political science at the University of Ottawa, to job shadow him, as part of his company’s CEO for One Month program. As part of the process, she would also share her journey along the way on social media.

Boileau is big believer in giving everyone at all levels a chance to excel but had some reservations. “I questioned how it would come together, yet was intrigued to see the outcome. I would need to allow someone in ‘my bubble,’” explains Gilbert, “but for the program to work effectively, Alana needed to be able to shadow me as I carried out my day. Her job shadowing covered everything, including confidential meetings with other colleagues, events and client meetings. You name it. In the end it was a huge success and I would sincerely recommend it to any CEO.”

This experience was also enlightening for Gilbert. “It was so interesting to share my experience with a young person and fascinating to see things through Alana’s eyes. It forces you to think about things you haven’t considered in years. She is impressive on so many levels. Her energy and enthusiasm was felt by the many teams. Armed with her political background, she was inquisitive, probing and asked me some tough questions. I had to explain so many things to Alana because she has very little background in our industry. It made me reflect on the way I do things…”

Alana was chosen from more than 2,300 applicants to become Adecco Canada’s first ever CEO for One Month, a global program that is part of the company’s Way To Work initiative. Gilbert’s passion for the program and willingness to participate sparked after hearing the global CEO for One Month speak at an international company conference.

“This program is positioning us as an industry leader in attracting the next generation of leaders with our flexible, open and inclusive work environment,” says Christine Marinho, Adecco Canada’s Director of Marketing for The Adecco Group in Canada. “The Millennials represent 37 per cent of the Canadian workforce with 28 per cent of them in managerial roles. The Baby Boom generation is transitioning out of the workforce and we want to foster a supportive environment where we develop leadership talents, encourage the sharing of ideas and provide mentorship at all levels. Our CEO for One Month program allows us to ‘walk the walk’ and provide access to one exceptional leader who will share their experience in real-time with employees and potential candidates via social media.”

What was it like for Alana to be given this extraordinary opportunity?

“It was overwhelming and inspiring in every possible way. I never realized you could get so much done with so little sleep,” she says jokingly. “Yet, I would wake up every morning, excited to be able to do it all again. I had no idea what a CEO does and I wasn’t very familiar with the staffing and employment industry. I’ve had a total of five jobs in my life and now I was working with the CEO.” Watch one of Alana’s Day in the Life video updates.

She and Gilbert instantly clicked. “He treated me as an equal, as we leapt head first into his jam-packed schedule, where we met with amazing Adecco clients, discussed their needs and worked with employees from every function across the organization. Everyone was so committed and excited.”

Alana found Adecco employees to be very special. “They are ‘people’, people, so warm and welcoming. I really enjoyed travelling to meet with clients at their offices and learning about the services Adecco offers. I saw firsthand how fascinating the staffing industry is and how much Adecco cares for its clients and candidates. There are so many myths about the industry. I was in so many meetings about placing candidates and I saw how hard they work to get candidates the best benefits and compensation.”

Some of Gilbert and Alana’s favourite moments were driving to client meetings together and discussing industry issues. It’s where they discovered how the generational divide sparks great debate and fosters understanding. “Both Gilbert and I like to be challenged, to be proven wrong and be shown the faults in our reasoning,” says Alana. “It made for many lively conversations between the two of us. He has a fascinating background and it’s rare for me to have the full attention of someone with his experience. I think we pushed each other to see the world from each other’s eyes.” Alana shares her thoughts on how Millennials and Baby Boomers can help each other enhance their leadership skills in this blog post

Adds Gilbert: “I enjoyed our debates. I think it’s so important for Alana to not only challenge me, but everyone she is working with. There were some interesting debates and I am glad I created a haven for her to share her insights, which was eye opening for us both. This program is meant to benefit Alana but I learned so much as well. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to have someone sitting beside you and observing how you work. She helped me see myself in a different angle, from the viewpoint of someone looking from the outside in.”

What’s next for Alana now that’s she’s helped lead the Canadian group of a multi-million dollar organization for one month? She is being considered along with 48 finalists from around the world for the honour of acting as Adecco’s Global CEO for One Month, shadowing Alain Dehaze, The Adecco Group’s Global CEO. The Global CEO for One Month selected will also receive a salary of 15,000 Euros. You can help Alana achieve her dream of becoming Adecco’s global CEO FOR ONE MONTH. Anyone can rate the candidates.

“I am so proud of Alana,” says Gilbert. “She was thrown in the water and swam so impressively. She had more of a theoretical view of the business world and she was able to see it in practice. It was amazing how poised she was considering everything she went through, meeting so many different stakeholders and engaging in real world discussions. To be able to work with the CEO at a macro level, at her age, is remarkable.”

 

The original article was written by Acsess Canada and can be seen on their website: Click here

As the national voice of recruiting, employment and staffing services industry, the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) leads Canada to work. ACSESS advances best practices and ethical standards for the staffing industry through advocacy, government relations, professional development, resources and research.

Reaching a Middle Ground: Reconciling the Millennial Generation with the Boomers

By Alana Couvrette, 2017 CEO for Month

By 2025, Millennials will represent 75% of the total global workforce[1]. Considering these numbers, I would argue that one of the greatest challenges our society will face is reconciling the Millennial generation with the more seasoned one, the Boomers.

A lot of generational stereotypes are out there. Pundits will say that Boomers are old, set in their ways and technophobes. Millennials, on the other hand, are viewed as selfish, entitled and hopeless narcissists. However, instead of pointing fingers, we should think more constructively and put our efforts into identifying ways to stop this growing generational chasm.

Although at the individual level, there is cause for a change in mentality, thought leadership should originate chiefly at the macro level: through organizations. Workplaces are where generational reconciliation must occur, which means that organizations must play a leading role in creating the conditions for its success.

Initiatives like Adecco’s CEO for One Month help this reconciliation effort by breaking down institutional and hierarchical silos. On one hand, it allows the millennial generation to interact directly with senior management, giving them a chance to learn from their expertise and vast experience. It’s an opportunity for the Boomer’s institutional memory to be transferred to younger generations.

On the other hand, it also encourages senior management to move out of their comfort zone and incites them to be open to new ideas. Millennials can help Boomers stay relevant, in a world of constant change.

However, we don’t need initiatives as articulate as CEO for One Month to create change. It can be as simple as implementing a mentoring program or organizing weekly “Lunch with Senior Management” sessions, to foster dialogue between employees.

We shouldn’t pursue this objective simply because “it’s the right thing to do”. There is pragmatic impetus to unite generations. In the long run, investing in bridging generational gaps will result in a stronger, more efficient work culture.

Successfully navigating our intergenerational future requires crafting the right organizational strategies -sooner rather than later.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/workday/2016/05/05/workforce-2020-what-you-need-to-know-now/#3b1973c2d632

Millennials Want More… Corporate Social Responsibility!

By CEO for One Month, Alana Couvrette

Millennials sometimes seem to get a bad rep as a narcissistic, entitled and self-centered generation. But is this fair to say? I don’ t think so…

For example, millennials expect more from their employers than a paycheck. They have a genuine desire to give back to communities, near and far. For them, purposeful work and the ability to create a positive impact take precedence on profit and salary. In fact, in a recent survey, it was revealed that 45% of student about to enter the workforce would even take a pay cut “for a job that makes a social or environmental impact.” They seek to work for organizations who enshrine good values and ethics into their business model.

Organizations, like Adecco, have taken note of this trend. They know that having an organization-wide aspiration to making a positive difference is part of their value-proposition for attracting and retaining the millennial talent pool.
However, trumpeting your values and ethics isn’t enough. You can’t just talk the talk… The young talent pool is eager to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and participate in the efforts to improve communities near and dear to them. Organizations need to be able to offer opportunities for employees to truly engage in the change that they wish to make. Millennials seek diverse volunteerism opportunities.

At Adecco, our core values-passion, entrepreneurship, team spirit, responsibility and customer focus- permeate the whole business. As Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month, I noticed this right away and can testify to their relevancy in our work. These values are also conveyed through our global employee engagement program, Win4Youth. This program encourages participants to clock up kilometers (through cycling, swimming or running) which are turned into donations to help disadvantaged youngsters find employment.

On June 22nd, 2017, Adecco Canada hosted their annual Solidarity Day, a day dedicated to Win4Youth. We spent the afternoon as a team running around Toronto completing a scavenger hunt filled with wacky photo ops and funny tasks. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t even notice that we each accumulated around 9 kilometers. Multiply that by the total number of employees in the office and you’ve got a healthy donation! Curious to know how the day went? Watch this short video I made!

Still think millennials are self-centered? Deloitte’s Millennial Survey found that 7,800 young leaders from 29 different countries believe that the business world is getting it wrong. Close to 75% say that they feel businesses are “focused on their own agendas rather than improving society.”

Who’s looking self-centered now?

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/06/07/the-future-of-work-corporate-social-responsiblity-attracts-top-talent/#39aca2c33f95

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3046989/what-millennial-employees-really-want

My First Week as Adecco Canada’s First CEO1Month

By Alana Couvrette

If you have 30 seconds….

During my first week as Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month, I:
1. Visited Adecco’s Laval and Montreal branch
2. Networked with clients during the Lead breakfast
3. Asked the President of Adecco Canada probably over 100 questions
4. Filmed a 24 hour in my life video
5. Saw Cirque du Soleil’s Volta
6. And, spent half of my Sunday in an elevator (I am claustrophobic…details to come)

If you have five minutes…

Students, like myself, are well accustomed to seeing the workplace from the “bottoms up” point of view. Interaction with senior management is, to put it frankly, a rarity. During my past co-op terms, I remember vividly asking myself “Who’s up there” and “What do they do exactly”? Ultimately, it was my curiosity that led me to apply for the CEO for One Month contest.

On my first day, I learned that the new Canadian President had set himself an ambitious task: to visit all of Adecco’s branches in Canada during his first few months. So, naturally, I had to follow suit. I visited both the Laval and Montreal branches and met with the staff, who engage with associates on a day to day basis. These meetings proved to be fruitful, as I left with a greater understanding of what Adecco does at the ground level “the foundation of its business”. This was nicely complemented by the Lēad breakfast, where I got to network with some of our clients and got a feel for the HR Industry.

After our branch visits, I had the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil’s (one of our largest clients) Volta performance. The things that the human body can do baffles me! I can’t even touch my toes and here I was watching people put their feet behind their heads. After this performance, I realized that I must find a way to squeeze in some exercise in my CEO schedule. I did, however, find the time to strap on a GoPro to my head, in the hopes of filming a “24 hours in my day” video. Stay tuned for the result!

Of course, I also spent a lot of time with Gilbert Boileau, Adecco Canada President. From the moment, I stepped into his office, I found myself already working on a project. My intuition told me, right then and there, that a great month was to come. I sat in on phone calls, attended meetings and traveled with Gilbert. However, what I enjoyed the most was the time we had in between meetings and phone calls. Coming from a public administration and political science background, some business terms were unfamiliar and Gilbert kindly took the time to explain them to me. We also took part in engaging discussions (is it fair to say debates) on the talent industry, the job market and even politics.

As you may or may not know, although I have been selected as the 2017 Adecco Canada CEO for One Month, I am also in the running towards becoming the Adecco Groups’ Global Leadership CEO for One Month. The Adecco Group revealed we would participate in challenges for this role. The first challenge to all 48 CEOs for One Month was announced mid-way through my first week, an “elevator pitch” in an elevator. Did I mention that I am both claustrophobic and have a fear of elevators?

Week one went by in a flash but I did make sure to capture some moments through photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have more than five minutes…

Follow me on Twitter @alana_couvrette, Instagram @alana.couvrette, Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/alana.couvrette or follow my hashtag #AlanaC1M for daily content.

Vote for who you think deserves a spot at the Global Leadership Bootcamp bit.ly/2rhvQ0n. But, before you do, be sure to check out my elevator pitch on Youtube. I’ll let you do the judging…

Week Two: bring it on!