The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is tapping into social media for its latest recruitment initiative.
Waiting on the other side was Coldstream’s Jeremy Woo, who earned one of seven paid four-month summer intern positions as part of the Green Dream internship contest.
Woo, an 18-year-old who won a Governor General’s Academic Medal as the top graduate at Kalamalka Secondary, is working with Tolko Industries’ HR department where he is helping the company develop an employee orientation program.
“I always wanted an internship at Tolko, really quite badly. And then the opportunity came up,” said Woo, a first-year commerce student at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.
While Woo showed plenty of initiative in enrolling in the internship contest, he was a little nervous stepping into a big corporation like Tolko. However, the feeling didn’t last.
“The people are so friendly and open and welcoming,” said the mild-mannered Woo. “When I got here, I definitely wasn’t expecting the welcome I received. Everyone has been so patient with me.”
Part of Woo’s duties for the orientation program include researching best practices and interviewing current employees to gain their feedback. As a newcomer himself, he also offers a fresh perspective.
“We want people to know Tolko is an employer of choice, and that the benefits they provide and careers they offer is really second to none when it comes to the industry, and when it comes to opportunities here in Vernon and the small communities we operate in,” he said.
To land the internship, Woo had to submit a video to the FPAC-sponsored website (thegreenestworkforce.ca), with winners chosen based on Facebook voting. Woo created a video with the theme passion for people.
The Green Dream initiative is a big part of the forest products industry’s push to inform young people about potential career options. The website also connects students with opportunities, which is something the industry has never done before.
“Under our ambitious Vision2020, we have set the goal of recruiting at least 60,000 new employees by the end of the decade,” said David Lindsay, president and of FPAC.
“We realize the need to explore new approaches, including social media, to attract high-quality talent as we build the forest products industry of the future.”
Lindsay said the internship contest was a huge success with about 16,500 votes cast, nearly 180,000 page views on the website and 170,000 YouTube views of the GreenestWorkforce videos.
All of the interns received iPad minis and will be required to blog about their experience in the forest sector for the Greenestworkforce.ca website.