by Olivia Poulin, 2018 CEO One Month
Adecco Canada #CEO1Month Olivia Poulin shares her advice for what to expect from the CEO for One Month program.
by Olivia Poulin, 2018 CEO One Month
Adecco Canada #CEO1Month Olivia Poulin shares her advice for what to expect from the CEO for One Month program.
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?
This year marks a significant shift in the workforce. Millennials now represent the largest percentage of the workforce for the very first time, with 28% already sitting in management positions and 2/3 seeing themselves in management roles within the next ten years. As more millennials assume management positions, you may be noticing changes in […]
This year marks a significant shift in the workforce. Millennials now represent the largest percentage of the workforce for the very first time, with 28% already sitting in management positions and 2/3 seeing themselves in management roles within the next ten years. As more millennials assume management positions, you may be noticing changes in the nature of the workplace. Why? Because there are distinct differences between the work styles, expectations, and career perspectives of this generation compared to their predecessors.
Summer is drawing to a close which means cooler temperatures, earlier sunsets, and ‘back to school’ for students. And our very own summer intern—Oliver Dubois du Bellay—is among them. As part of Adecco’s Way to Work program (which gives deserving young students and graduates a paid opportunity to intern at Adecco or with our clients), Oliver landed the opportunity and was a tremendous help to our Marketing and HR departments, even gaining his own hashtag: #OliverTheIntern. After an exciting and informative three months at Adecco Canada’s HQ in Toronto, Oliver is taking what he’s learned back to McGill University in Montreal, where he is studying International Development, East Asian Language & Literature and Anthropology. But before he does, we asked him to share his experience with our Lead Blog readers.
Hi, everyone! I went to school at the Lycee Francais in Sydney, Chicago and Toronto and am currently attending McGill. I hope to complete an MBA from ISEAD and become an International Business consultant.
Networking is my number one piece of advice for other young students and professionals. I actually learned about this internship through my mother, and while it was important to me and her to make my own destiny, it made sense to embrace her recommendation. As many of you know, the hardest part of getting hired is simply getting a callback, and that’s why it helps to turn to your contacts and ask around for opportunities. You never know what they may find or who they know; it may be a perfect match for your goals! And remember to return the favour when your connections come to you for help or networking support.
The advice I gave myself when applying for summer internships was not to be shy with applications. I sent in a huge amount of résumés and applications to various jobs until I found the right one.
I would also advise adapting your resume and cover letters to each position to show that you’re determined. If you do get lucky enough to get an interview, you must research the company. Knowing the company is the best way to show your interviewer that you are interested and engaged.
You also must be able to explain everything on your resume and know it inside and out. Know your strengths and weaknesses thoroughly and adapt them to the role in question. I would also recommend having a few anecdotes about past experience that you think could help you secure the position—stories about your leadership skills, your attention to detail and how you have overcome challenges/setbacks. These are usually the most important to showcase.
For any application process, you just have to be yourself and try your best to seem confident. Confidence is most definitely key in that sort of situation.
The project I participated in the most was the 2016 Win4Youth Solidarity Day event. I helped to organize the Canada-wide event in which Adecco staff accumulated kilometers for a group donation to foundations that support underprivileged children and their families around the world.
Another interesting aspect of my position was when I helped to market and recruit temporary staff for an exciting show that was coming to Toronto. It taught me the ins and outs of the process and I got to come up with creative strategies to reach the talent out there.
As mentioned, when I was asked to help with recruiting I learned a lot about the process, including confidentiality protocols and how barrier-free screening is performed. A lot goes into the preliminary rounds of finding and assessing candidates. This was especially interesting for me as I will be re-entering the workforce permanently after I finish my degree and this has given me an inside view on what people look for during interviews, how to wow the interviewer and what successful candidates do to stand out.
In my Marketing role, I played a part in the social media management of the various accounts representing Adecco Canada. That taught me a great deal about how a major multinational organization expresses itself on social media and how respectful, considerate interactions are essential when communicating with clients, candidates and the public—in any forum.
In my HR role, I learned about the back-end of the company and how employees felt about their work and day-to-day experiences. I made surveys and analyzed the results relating to training and development, which was incredibly interesting. It gave me a look into the bigger picture of what the HR department does for a company that has multiple offices and branches across the country.
It would have to do with the formatting of my resume as well as the general attitude to take when in an interview. Again, I have to stress the benefits that came from having the opportunity of completing a summer internship at the world’s largest staffing firm. I have learned what interviewers look for in candidates and how important the formatting and content of your resume really is.
The most inspiring aspect to me is when you place someone in a job that you know is the perfect fit for them. That’s what Adecco is all about; creating a database of individuals with various qualifications and aspirations and pairing them with clients in a way that makes work fun yet productive for both sides.
I’ve learned that there are many jobs on the market that people aren’t necessarily aware of. I know that people my age (“Millennials” if you will) are under the impression that there is a lack of employment opportunities because of what we are constantly told. This position has shown me that there is a lot of demand but also a lot of supply; you just have to know where to look and know how to sell yourself in an application and interview.
What was surprising about working in Adecco Canada’s Head Office was that it didn’t feel like a global corporation, in the best of ways. Everyone was so warm and friendly, and even with the thousands of people placed by the company, everyone is treated like family and the colleagues do their absolute best to place people in the most fitting jobs.
This experience has taught me that when organizing an event for a nation-wide company, it is imperative that you prepare for every scenario and make sure everything is well planned and clearly explained. The most important thing about being a leader is to put yourself into other people’s shoes to understand how they would perceive instructions; that makes everything and everyone more successful.
The Win4Youth Solidarity Day was incredible. All the planning leading up to it really made it an exceptional day and it was all for a great cause. It provided me with great hands-on experience with event planning in such a large organization.
After the summer, I am going back to school to finish my degree. Once I’m done, I’m looking forward to getting more work experience to build my resume. When I feel confident enough with what I have accomplished, I will hopefully go back to school for my MBA. Of course, this is all subject to change as I experience more and truly understand what it is I want to do.
This internship has been very useful for me. Although my current goal of becoming an International Business Consultant does differ from the internship, it has given me a new perspective on marketing. I have realized that I can use my social studies background to my advantage when targeting a specific audience. Marketing may even be the path I take in the future! What is great about internships is that they give you an opportunity to try it out, which I believe is the most important thing—especially when you’re young.
I would absolutely recommend an internship experience to anyone who is considering it. It is a great way to really understand the position you are interested in and it gives you valuable work experience. Plus, if you do a good job, you may even be asked to take on a permanent position within the company.
We wish Oliver the best of luck in the coming school year! Adecco thanks him and all the interns out there for their hard work over the summer. We know it will pay off when it’s time to enter the workforce full-time, and we look forward to seeing all you will achieve. Oliver can be found on LinkedIn.
Students, young adults, recent grads– have you applied to Adecco’s 2016 CEO for One Month opportunity yet? This highly-coveted experience could grant you a paid summer internship shadowing Adecco’s North American CEO, Bob Crouch. You’ll get to see how a Global 500 company is run from the inside, undertake real-world business assignments, meet other brilliant young candidates, and learn directly from Adecco’s senior leadership. And the good news is that there’s still time to get your applications in by the April 15th deadline!
To help with your submission, we sat down with last year’s Canadian ambassador Terry Zhang to discuss what he’s taken away from his experience and share his successful application advice. Take it away, Terry…
CEO for One Month has led to so much for me. To this day, I talk about my experience on my resume and LinkedIn profile. I even secured a summer internship from it. It was a gift that keeps on giving.
Seeing how a Fortune 500 runs on the inside at age 19 was pretty wild. Not just seeing it, but being able to talk to presidents, vice presidents, and executives! This really helped me to form my own goals and visions for my future career. It made me want to start my own company.
“There’s a difference between being a boss and being a leader.”
The experience made me realize that being a leader isn’t at all how it’s portrayed on television shows like House of Cards or Suits. I learned that leadership is about working with the people around you, not telling them what to do.
I’ve also applied what I learned to my personal leadership style since I’ve been back. The experience taught me a lot about my soft skills and how to use those effectively in the workplace. It armed me with the ability to talk to people from different walks of life. I can now communicate effectively with people who need guidance as well as those who are much more experienced and accomplished. That is invaluable when you’re just starting out. In fact, I’m applying those very skills during the student elections I’m currently running in.
Simply put, being an effective leader will take you further in life. No matter what you chose to do with your life—whatever level or industry—having leaderships skills and being able to talk to your co-workers respectfully will take you far and let you get things done! You’ll be able to get people on your side because they’ll want to be.
The CEO for One Month experience wasn’t only about serious business learning. There was a fair bit of fun and goofing around as well—making videos, participating in icebreaker challenges and having down time with accomplished young people from across North America. Leadership is a balancing act.
Along with leadership guidance, I also got to talk to top candidates from across the region and hear about their individual experiences— their lives, their leadership approaches, what helped them rise to the top and brought them to the competition. We all learned from one another.
Terry’s exciting and invaluable journey started with his application. Below are his insider tips for all you CEO for One Month hopefuls—both for the application process and beyond:
Do research Adecco. Find out what they’re looking for and how they work. Learn their culture, values and mission. If you’re going to help run the company, you’re going to want to know as much as you can.
Do make your application representative of who you are. Include your passions, causes, and the activities you like to do. Do bring up examples from your real life. Talk about achievements and experiences you’ve had at school or elsewhere and how they’ll serve you to be a great representative for Canada. This includes your involvement in university, conferences, extra-curricular activities and sports.
Do make sure to mention opportunities you’ve had to communicate with people. For example, I spoke about getting to represent my school at an engineering conference. Show similarities between the opportunities you’ve had and the CEO for One Month experience—especially ones from outside the classroom.
Do be professional. That means dressing the part. Leave the sweatpants, jeans, and running shoes for when you’re not in front of business personnel.
Do use your social media to promote yourself! Showcase your supporters and cheerleaders. And let your followers track your application process through your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blog. Be constantly engaged with your audience and show off your passion for this experience.
Do clean up your social media before applying! Take anything out that doesn’t represent who you are as a person and professional. You can still have fun online but always keep it appropriate and considerate.
Do not read off a script or rely on stock business verbiage. Bring out your own personality and reflect who you are in real life. Be authentic and try your best to seem natural. Speak from the heart.
Do close the books and get out there. Talk to people. Get involved in university life. It’s an asset everybody should have. The skills you learn will take you miles beyond what you learn in university.
Do not focus on “winning”. Go into this eager for what you’ll get to learn. You’ll embark on a journey that will be so useful for your life! Soak it up. This was the advice my parents gave me, and it really worked.
“Leadership is something you can step into and nurture.”
Remember you don’t need to see yourself as a leader to apply. Leadership is something you can step into and nurture. If you’re able to understand other people’s perspectives, you’re already on your way to becoming a better team member and leader.
Good luck to all the future leaders out there! Applications are open until April 15th and can be accessed here.