Getting Started

Advisory Resources for Employers

If you’re looking to work with a WIL student, but needed some additional support and guidance, ACE-WIL is proud to offer two new advisory programs designed to help you get up-and-running.

Talent Forward

The Talent Forward program helps businesses find the right student talent for their business needs. They offer free one-to-one advising services as well as other informative resources and events to support hiring student talent across BC. This program is open to BC businesses and is funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training, and Skills in partnership with ACE-WIL and the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Learn more about Talent Forward

Talent MATCH

The Talent MATCH program helps members of the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, the BC Museums Association, and go2HR: BC’s tourism human resource association. This free program is funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training, and Skills in partnership with ACE-WIL.

Learn more about Talent MATCH

Ready to get started with a work-integrated learning student?

If you’re new to working with students, we understand it can be a bit intimidating to get started. After all, there are thousands of students, hundreds of programs offering work-integrated learning and 25 post-secondary institutions across the province. Where do you start?

1. Determine your goal

Take a look within your organization. Where could a student help? Are there staffing gaps that need to be filled? Do you have projects you’d finally like to get off the back burner? Are you looking ahead to permanent hiring and want to check out student talent to get a head start? Or perhaps you want to help mentor students to help build a stronger future workforce?

2. Narrow down your needs

What skills will the WIL student need in order to help you accomplish your goal? Are there specific courses or program they’ll need to have completed first? How much time will they be spending with your organization: a few weeks, a few months, or longer?

3. Research WIL programs in BC

There are 25 universities, colleges and institutes in BC that incorporate work-integrated learning into their programs. You can stay local, or take a look across BC. Many students are open to travelling for the right opportunity, and as remote work becomes more common, they could work with you virtually. Research now >

4. Post your Opportunity

Use our portal to share your WIL opportunity to programs and institutions across BC. Prep your job description and upload it through our online form. Fill out your contact details and check off the boxes according to your answers in steps 1 to 3. Click submit, and your opportunity will be shared with the institutions you’ve selected. Start now >

5. Select the student

Once in the hands of the institutions, you’ll have support with the collection of applications. Some will even be able to help coordinate interviews, depending on the type of WIL program. Check out these tips for recruiting in a virtual world. After you’ve completed interviews and found the right student, be prepared to make an offer fairly quickly.

6. Explore funding

Depending on your situation, the type of work, and the length of time you’ll need the WIL student, you may be eligible for BC or Federal funding. Each funder has unique requirements, and most commit to an easy application process and a quick response. Find out more >

7. Onboarding and logistics

Now that you know who will be joining your team, and when, you’ll have to determine the logistics of bringing someone new on-board. You’ll go through the same steps when hiring a student as you would with a regular employee.

As well, figure out what the first few days on-the-job will look like: who will meet with the student to get them settled and introduce them to their new colleagues? Will the student get started on their tasks right away or will they be required to do research/reading to get them up-to-speed before they start their duties?

8. Managing your student

Determine who will supervise the student and have them plan on meeting the student regularly, whether it’s a daily 10-minute check-in or a weekly half-hour meeting, especially at the start. They should be prepared to offer guidance to the student, answer any questions, and provide feedback.

Because this is an educational program, the supervisor should be prepared to provide feedback, whether it’s at regular one-on-one meetings with the student, at a mid-term check-in with a representative from the student’s academic institution, and/or completing a final evaluation form that will be required by the institution.

9. Reaping the benefits

Hiring a student doesn’t have to be a challenge and can provide both short- and long-term benefits. Students are eager-to-learn, bring a fresh perspective and energy to your organization, and can be more cost-effective than hiring contractors or going through a temp agency.

As well, many businesses use these student placements as a recruitment tool, as it provides an opportunity to scout for upcoming talent. You’ll have experience working with the student and can evaluate their performance before committing to hiring into a permanent role. Some businesses opt to keep a student on part-time until they graduate.

More resources

ACE-WIL Resource Hub
Visit the ACE-WIL Resource Hub for research, reports, tools, videos, curated Resource Packs, and more. Use the robust Advanced Search to drill-down to specific resources that have been developed to help employers, students, faculty and ACE-WIL members. Read More »
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Toolkit for Employers and Hiring Managers
Six Tools for Diversity in Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Supporting employers to attract, hire and onboard Students from International Pathways (SFIP) Read More »
ACE-WIL COVID-19 Workplace Toolkit
This special COVID-19 toolkit contains four tipsheets for workplaces, covering how to #GetWILPowered by engaging a WIL student, recruiting and onboarding remotely, managing WIL students remotely, and bringing WIL students into the workplace. As well, there are three tipsheets to share with WIL... Read More »

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