Attracting, recruiting and developing tomorrow's talent Future Workforce Register Now December 7 & 8, 2022 | Virtual

The competition for student talent on campus has never been more intense.

Attracting and developing your future workforce requires innovative thinking, agility, and partnerships between employers and educational institutions.

It all starts at the Future Workforce conference.

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Discover new approaches

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Explore case studies

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Implement new solutions

Announcing the Future Workforce Top Employers for 2023!

Brainstorm Strategy Group surveyed more than 20,000 members of Canada’s future workforce – current university and college students – to find out which employers they would most like to work for.

The result is the most authoritative ranking of employers published in Canada.

Canada’s Future Workforce Top Employers for 2023 will be announced at the Future Workforce conference on December 7 & 8, 2022.

Awards will be presented for those employers ranked among the top 25 in the following categories:

Overall
Business

Arts & Science
Computer Science

Health & Medicine
Engineering

Future Workforce Top Employers Awards 2023

Call for Proposals – Submit Your Proposal Today!

Presenting at Future Workforce 2022 is a great opportunity to share and learn while also gaining exposure for your work and enhancing your professional profile.

The virtual conference features multiple tracks of workshops on a wide range of topics related to campus recruitment, student engagement, and developing tomorrow’s talent.

Presentations can be lecture style with some Q & A, a combination of presentation and discussion, or facilitated roundtables/breakout groups. Any other suggestions for sharing learning and development are also welcome.

Please note that presenters do not receive paid compensation, however they will receive a complimentary registration for the conference.

The proposal submission deadline is September 29, 2022.

Please contact us at info@brainstorm.ca with any questions.

Themes for 2023 and Beyond

The Future Workforce conference is all about educating, hiring, and developing the talent that will tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Together, employers and educators will explore these and other themes:

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The Future Workforce is Changing

Hybrid school and work experiences, the social justice movement, political unrest, and the warming planet are just a few of the influences changing the future generation of workers.

The Future Workforce is More Diverse

The challenge of bringing diversity, equity and inclusion to our educational institutions and workplaces is massive. But the opportunity for Canada and Canadians is bigger.

The Future Workforce is Getting Experience

Employers want new hires with practical experience and students are demanding work opportunities from their educational institutions. The shift is revolutionizing post-secondary education, student recruitment, and early talent management.

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About Future Workforce

Future Workforce is all about attracting, recruiting, and developing the talent that will tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

By bringing together the employers who hire emerging talent and the educational institutions that develop Canadian youth, Future Workforce facilitates the exchange of ideas, practices, and insights that build better partnerships that lead to brighter outcomes for today’s students and grads.

Who Should Attend?

Employers

Anyone who believes that attracting and engaging young talent is critical to the success of their organization should attend, including:

  • Talent acquisition and development leaders
  • Early talent directors and managers
  • University & college relations professionals
  • Campus recruiting specialists
  • Hiring managers
  • Business leaders

Educators

Anyone who seeks to better prepare students for their careers should attend, including:

  • Directors of career, cooperative education, and experiential learning offices
  • Managers and professionals involved in employer relations and job development
  • Faculty and department leaders interested in student career development and transitions
  • Student services directors and managers

2021 Speakers

(The 2022 lineup of speakers will be announced soon)






2021 Program Schedule

(The 2022 program schedule will be announced soon)
  • Day One

    December 14

  • Prior to the pandemic, Gen Z was already carving a unique profile as this generation began to join the workforce. Many of Gen Z's traits have been accelerated by the experiences over the past year and half. So how has this impacted their perspectives on careers, career development and perspective employment opportunities?

    Join us for the first public release of findings from the most recent Brainstorm Student Career Interests Report. Based on a survey of more than 17,000 Canadian university and college students in 2021, this research reveals changes in students' outlook; their expectations of perspective employers; what support they require from their schools; and, the career goals they aspire to.

    Don't miss this opportunity to be among the first to access fresh insights into today's students' views about employers and careers.

  • Hybrid work has made us more decentralized than ever before, impacting traditional innovation, career development, employee experiences and overall connectivity. As covered in the Harvard Business Review, hybrid work has made us more siloed and lonely than ever before. This session will explore what innovative early career leaders are building to create award winning experiences in hybrid. Learn what's working, what's failed and what 2022 will hold to create the best in class hybrid internships and new grad programs. Join early career leaders from Adidas, IBM, and IMC in this informative discussion moderated by award winning future of work entrepreneur, Dave Wilkin, founder of TenThousandCoffees.com.

  • For employers to be more effective when attracting Indigenous students and graduates, it is critically important to understand their paths to post-secondary as well as how they choose careers. Join Ruby Littlechild as she explains the realities for Indigenous students and how they can successfully launch their careers. Then, join the discussion, facilitated by Ariane Lamy, to explore ways that employers can improve their existing attraction strategies and possibly even discover some altogether new approaches as well.

  • According to research, Black, Indigenous and racialized women (BIWOC) who are students in post-secondary can feel less supported when it comes to their career development and access to networks. What’s more, one of their top sources of stress includes the job search process. On this panel, students and recent graduates who self-identify as BIWOC will explore their experiences with navigating their career development and job search as well as ways post-secondary institutions and employers can be more inclusive in their approaches.

  • To one extent or another, virtual recruiting is here to stay. While many look forward to increasing their in-person activity, there's no question that virtual events, activities, and interviews will remain part of the campus recruiting process for the long term.

    This panel of employers will discuss what's worked and what has not over the past months and where they see campus recruiting headed in the months to come.

    Questions discussed will include:
    What methods, tools, channels and approaches have proven successful?
    How do you decide when you work with campus partners and when to ""go it alone""?
    How do you convey culture to prospects and new hires virtually?
    How do you measure which efforts are succeeding?
    How do you imagine things will unfold in the year ahead?
    Join us to pick up some ideas for connecting more successfully with students to improve your success on campus.

  • Many employers have increased their efforts to address the challenge of diversifying their workforce through student recruitment. Success requires many steps before even visiting campuses and then once on campus, employers are often competing for the same students' attention. This panel will discuss successful initiatives within their organizations to reveal what's really working for them. These questions and more will be discussed:

    What should every employer consider before they even head to campus?
    What are the best channels and tools for reaching underrepresented students?
    How should approaches vary depending on the groups employers wish to reach?
    How can campus partners better support these employers' diversity initiatives?

  • The Future Workforce is Experienced. And while Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is helping employers to recruit grads that can connect their studies to work, the value of the broader area of Experiential Learning (EL) should also be appreciated.
    Dalhousie’s Commerce Co-op has been operating as a mandatory co-op for 30 years and led to launching a mandatory WIL Program in 2009, the Corporate Residency MBA. Formalized WIL are common and popular with students and employers alike but supporting students enrolling in mandatory WIL programs are less common.
    Management without Borders is a mandatory EL course for all grad students of the Faculty of Management. The course’s primary focus is a group project where interdisciplinary teams work on projects hosted by organizations from across Nova Scotia. Students apply professional skill sets and knowledge acquired through classroom learning to challenges and opportunities facing real organizations and are asked to navigate the dynamics that characterize inter-professional team environments.
    Join Robert and Jenny as they speak about their experiences supporting student success through multiple forms of Experiential Learning.

  • This workshop will feature some preliminary results from the 2022 Campus Recruiting Outlook survey – providing a snapshot into hiring trends; employers' key recruitment challenges; the skills employers are seeking; and, the methods employers are using to reach students now. Don't miss the opportunity to be among the first to know AND join in the discussion with peers.

  • Day Two

    December 15

  • As new technologies replace the more repetitive and tedious workplace tasks, work is evolving to become more human. The standard rules and structures that have dictated how we work since the industrial revolution had already started chipping prior to the pandemic, but the sudden switch to remote work has inspired many to reexamine those structures, and look for a better way forward. In this talk freelance journalist and Future of Work thought leader Jared Lindzon will explain how the workplace is evolving to become more human, why employers must strive to build a human-centric workplace, and what employees will need in order to thrive in one.

  • Employers suggest that post-secondary institutions are not addressing the "soft skills" gap. While Career Centres have always supported students in identifying and articulating employability skills gained in the classroom and through extra-curricular experiences, we can do more. NorQuest College has taken on this challenge by incorporating actual skill development into their programming that allows students to not only build employability skills, but also apply them. Join Alison Reaves, Manager of the Work-Integrated Learning and Career Education Centre at NorQuest College and Project Manager of the Future Skills Centre innovation project, Career Moves, to identify ways Career Centres can support student skill development with measurable outcomes. Alison will outline the Career Moves model, which includes individualized and asynchronous skill development workshops, skill assessment with industry input, micro-Work-Integrated Learning opportunities, validated skill badging and more. Learn about and share tools and methods to include skill development, application, and assessment into your Career Centre programming.

  • While employers are taking greater measures to embrace diversity, women and especially those from Black, Indigenous and racialized (BIWOC) communities continue to face inequities, exacerbated by the pandemic. Employers must consider how women’s identities interact in ways to form unique experiences of inequity and exclusion. An understanding of systemic and institutional barriers through an intersectional lens can help gain a more nuanced understanding of what is needed when it comes to campus and early-talent attraction, recruitment and retention. Join this panel for a discussion on inclusive and equitable approaches to recruitment while creating the conditions for BIWOC to thrive and succeed in their careers and workplaces.

  • Career EQuip is a two-year pilot program aimed at developing the emotional capital of tomorrow's business leaders. The program is a partnership between the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and RBC Future Launch. Delivered to a subset of 2nd year business students, the program builds upon experiential programs by integrating emotional intelligence and career development into mandatory and optional programming to equip students with the skills and knowledge to be "career ready". We will share initial findings that demonstrate the value of introducing emotional intelligence and career development early in the student experience to develop stronger self-awareness, to build understanding of critical 21st century skills for career success; and strategies for engaging students in developmental opportunities that more effectively prepare them for the future of work.

Testimonials

Mirrick Koh
"The excellent selection of speakers from different organizations provided compelling insights into the graduate and early careers talent landscape. In addition, the structure and balance of workshops, panel discussions and networking provided ample opportunities to broaden my knowledge, challenge my thinking and create new relationships (and build on existing ones). I left the conference energized with ideas and thoughts on how we can continue to evolve to meet the expectations of future talent and balance those against the needs of our business."

Mirrick Koh
Program Manager, Internships
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Lululemon
Jennifer Husband
“Last year I attended the Future Workforce Conference as it was an opportunity for Campus Recruiters and Educators to come together in the same place and share in ideas, resources and best practices. Now, this year, as we all are navigating the uncharted territory of virtual everything – it’s even more crucial to have this platform for us to come together and share in strategies and best practices. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting new faces throughout the three days!”

Jennifer Husband
Campus Program Manager, Talent Acquisition
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QuadReal Property Group
Cindy Chao
“The Future Workforce conference allowed us to further our ambition with RBC Future Launch, by bridging meaningful connections between post-secondary institutions and employers. It was a useful gathering of different types of stakeholders who are trying to better prepare youth for the future of work, who are not normally in one room together. It was helpful to break down silos in discussing solutions. We are looking forward to the next one!”

Cindy Chao
Sr. Manager, Youth Strategy & Innovation
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RBC
Nancy Sammon
I am looking forward to the second annual Future Workforce conference! Based on last year’s success, I am even more excited to attend this year and hear how employers and educational institutions pivoted to the virtual world of campus engagement. Joining my colleagues and peers in the school-to-work transition space allows me the opportunity to share, gain knowledge and work towards our shared mission.

Nancy Sammon
Business Relationship Manager, Career Advancement Centre
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Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
Jennifer Cruz
"The Future Workforce conference really allowed us as a company to make some valuable connections moving forward and partner with institutions we never would have previously. Valuable insights and hearing directly from students are things we will take into consideration moving forward to better improve our strategies."

Jennifer Cruz
Talent Acquisition Specialist
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First Capital

Past Sponsors

If you’re interested in exhibiting at or sponsoring this year’s Future Workforce conference, please contact Jennifer Powell at jennifer@brainstorm.ca to learn about available opportunities.

Registration is Now Open