In my everlasting journey through Founders at Work, I came across this quote about RIM:
One of the things I realized was that to get strong co-op students, you had to start early because, by the second year, you’ve lost them already to some other company. So we started hiring first- and second-year students, knowing that they were not really going to be full-time employees for 3 to 4 years after that. It was a 3- to 4-year investment we started making with students early on because I knew their value. We treated them like full-time employees. We’re the largest co-op employer in Canada.
Building teams this way is an very long term strategy. What does the company’s recent troubles mean for these students?
Incidentally this is exactly our strategy for hiring green shoots. Few years till you graduate? Awesome. We aren’t always in the market for full time employees so we don’t want to set these kids’ expectations. More importantly, we need to hire strong when we do dip into the market.
Job interviews are incredibly ineffective; you don’t know what someone’s made of until you’ve put them through their paces. And if you caught someone early that you like they might still be available (or perhaps easily poachable) when you come calling.
Unfortunately this year we literally ran out of space in our office so had to suspend the program. It will begin again.