The way we work and talk about work is changing. No longer is work just something we punch in to and out of, it is an identifier of who we are what we like to do. More so now than ever though, volunteering is become a major factor in determining what job we take and why we take it. This shift has been happening for quite some time now, and will only be exaggerated in years to come.
Here is something to consider:
As students are graduating from high school into university, of course the GPA may be the ultimate gate-keeper, but it is often the volunteering and the extra curricular activities that differentiate one student from the next. Students that are graduating high school now have to have a diverse skill set, community hours logged, and a focus on real-life experience outside of the classroom as well. This focus is forcing students to become well-rounded, more social, and more aware of different social circles.
Now, as students graduate from university and into the workforce, it isn’t the GPA that will necessarily get them their dream job, it is the other things that they do that will make them attractive. In some cases, Ernst and Young for example, the importance of GPA has diminished significantly, with America’s Recruiting Director Dan Black being quoted in 2014 saying “If someone comes to us with a 3.9 from a great school, that’s an indicator that they can handle the technical rigors of the job. If someone has a GPA in the lower 3.0 range we would want to see that they had a part-time job to help get through school, or played a sport, or were active in student government.”
The other thing to consider, too, is that it isn’t just a one-way street when it comes to recruiting. Firms, without these opportunities to collaborate with communities and other sectors, can be much less appealing to students that are coming out of school. They don’t seemingly support the lifestyle students have become accustomed to over the past 5-8 years of schooling.
This near prevention from participating in something outside of work can feel limiting to employees on not just a social level, but also overall lifestyle.
Volunteering isn’t a flash in the pan either; according to statscan, 66% of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 19 volunteered in 2013. This number is significantly higher than the people who are 55-64, and 65-74, as only 41% and 39% of these people are out volunteering. It isn’t necessarily the older generation that is pouring soup and sorting clothes, and this is shaping how students are moving into the workplace and how specialized they may become.
When considering education or hiring, don’t forget the importance of volunteering and experiential learning. Being out in the community and developing these relationships are something recruiters are looking for, and students and young professionals are already a part of — whether they like it or not.
Eric Termuende is from Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, where he grew up with his two parents and younger brother. Now co-founder of the DRYVER Group., a consultancy focused on the the attraction and retention of top talent. In 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. He sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. Eric is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work’. Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world for the National Speakers Bureau, and was VP Operations and Finance for the University of Calgary Students Union and Class Ambassador for his graduating class. Finally, Eric currently sits on the Vancouver Board of Trade Company of Young Professionals Board.
Check out more from Eric Termeunde & the DRYVER Group at dryvergroup.com