A Chance for Other Canadian Universities or Colleges and their Students to Capitalize?
Thank you for doing this survey. It confirms my experience having difficulty hiring 3rd and 4th year coops while at two different waterloo companies.
If we have little to no chance of hiring a UW co-op in 3rd and 4th year and hence converting them to full time jobs in Waterloo Region, we will have to look elsewhere to source our talent. This is not a bad thing. It could be good for the region and a huge benefit to other universities and colleges that are currently getting overlooked.
The question is why are they getting overlooked? Are their students less talented?
I would argue they are not. I have had successful coops from Conestoga College, Guelph, and Toronto.
So what is the problem then?
It is easy for employers to hire through waterloo. They have an established system that makes it easy for us to review, interview, and select students. Not only that it is prohibitive for us to work with more than one University when we are hiring co-op with waterloo. Why?
They run their interviews early in the term, often before other universities. When you put in a posting to UW after you have interviewed it is difficult and considered bad form to pull the posting (for example if you found a better candidate from another school).
In general this means that you need to decide as an employer you are going for x amount of positions from Waterloo and then y number from other schools. When you have only 1 or two open positions it is not worth the time and effort to work with multiple schools.
What can be done?
As employers we can start looking elsewhere, however I don’t think we will see a huge shift in this until other universities and colleges set up co-op programs that make it just as easy for us to hire from. Or join together to create a program where employers can hire from multiple schools in a Waterloo style with matching.
What are your thoughts?