Since 2007, Robert Half has supported Enactus, a global nonprofit that pairs academic and business leaders with college students to create programs that improve the quality of life for people around the world.
Each year, we participate in multiple events across Canada as exhibitors, subject matter experts and volunteer competition judges. This May, we were proud to be part of the Enactus Canadian National Exposition, which brings together student, academic and industry leaders from across the country to celebrate the achievements of Canada’s future leaders and entrepreneurs. Many of our Canadian employees participated as judges for multiple rounds of student project competitions.
Chris Kumar, director of Permanent Placement Services for Robert Half Canada in Vancouver, served as a panelist for the event’s Virtual Interview Tips & Ticks Webinar, which offered insight from industry experts, including a Q&A on how students can put their best foot forward when job hunting in a remote world. Koula Vasilopoulos, district director for Western Canada, also moderated the HR Innovation Forum, which discussed resiliency in the face of uncertainty and highlighted how human resource professionals and their recruitment efforts were affected by COVID-19, and how students can adapt.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half in the U.S. who is a member of the Enactus U.S. National Advisory Board, also shared his thoughts with students during a panel presentation at the virtual US National Exposition. Titled The New Economy in a Post-Pandemic World, the presentation addressed how companies are pivoting to adapt to today’s unique business climate.
Through their relationships with Enactus and other student organizations, McDonald and Vasilopoulos, along with Dave King, Senior District Director for Canada and Latin America, have understood that many students lost summer internships or job opportunities due to the pandemic. Therefore, all three have encouraged teams from Robert Half Community Relations, Marketing and HR Product Technology to partner with Enactus to think outside the box and look for ways to help support them.
In the U.S., Robert Half embarked on an additional partnership opportunity to meet the immediate needs of Enactus students, creating the Summer Leadership Series, a set of courses designed to provide students access to career development and skills training that is designed to act as an alternative to displaced summer internship experiences. Students can access specific Skillsoft courses in the areas of leadership, business acumen, finance, critical thinking and emotional intelligence. The program runs through the summer with students who complete the curriculum receiving a certificate and electronic badge for their LinkedIn profile from Enactus.
Just prior to the launch of the program, events related to racism, injustice and inequality unfolded in our communities, which led to a request from Enactus students to learn more about inclusion and diversity.
“I’m proud we’ve been able to be responsive and meet the needs of students during this time,” Leighty said. “I look forward to continuing to support Enactus students on their learning journey.”
Enactus U.S. executive vice president Steve Kappler said, “Over the years, Robert Half has been a valuable partner and a source of expert career advice for our students. Both of our organizations place a high value on education and workforce development. The Summer Leadership Series collaboration was a chance for us to strengthen our alliance and provide students with skills that will help them increase their opportunity for success after graduation and throughout their careers.”
During the Summer Leadership Series program kickoff in early June, McDonald spoke with students about the importance of continuous learning and answered questions related to careers and job searches.
Kenny Brumbaugh, a senior at St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., said, “I am extremely grateful for not only having the opportunity to take these incredibly beneficial courses, but also for Robert Half's fast response to add content to address unconscious racial bias along with diversity and inclusion. It added immense value to the already outstanding program and speaks volumes about Robert Half as an organization.”
“This was truly a team effort,” said McDonald. “I’m proud of how we’ve been able to support Enactus in a new way and offer students resources that match their current needs in this challenging time. The courses we are offering will enhance their marketability when they begin their search for employment.”