Attracting diverse talent is important for Bell’s evolving business environment as we continue to lead in a highly competitive marketplace. To secure access to top new talent, we drive a variety of initiatives that build a community of job seekers through our career site and across social media, with a focus on attracting and hiring diverse candidates who reflect the customers and communities we serve.
In 2020, we received over 350,000 applicants and hired more than 7,000 new team members. These volumes are in large part due to our focus on expanded social media recruiting initiatives, which have generated almost 248,000 LinkedIn and 73,000 Twitter followers, as well as more than 1 million Talent Community subscribers. We shifted our 2020 social media strategy to focus on highlighting not just job opportunities, but also stories of our #TeamBell community and the incredible work they do coast-to-coast-to-coast. This introduction of the hashtag #TeamBell across our social platforms resulted in over 280 social posts, close to 2,500,000 impressions, 50,000 content clicks, and increased engagement.
To increase the hiring of underrepresented groups in 2020, Bell advertised job opportunities and sponsored Career Fairs with organizations that connected us with high-potential diverse talent including: Ascend Canada, Black Professionals in Tech, HireBIPOC, Indigenous Works, JVS Toronto, Lime Connect, Military Spousal Employment Network, Onyx, Pride at Work Canada, Spectrum Works, Women in Communications and Technology, and a number of other diversity-focused, on-campus student groups. On the international scale Bell is a founding partner of Career Edge, which enables us to source talented, internationally trained professionals and persons with disabilities. As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, we ask job seekers to self-identify so that we can shortlist qualified candidates and ensure diverse representation.
Our recruiters, hiring managers, and leaders have access to a dashboard that highlights diversity breakdowns at every step of the recruitment stages (attraction, review, interview, offer, hiring). Through all of these initiatives and additional detailed insights, we have attracted more women to apply to our jobs, and hired more women in 2020 than in 2019. We also saw an improvement in our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) hire volumes compared to 2019. There was also a slight increase in our hires that identified themselves as persons with disabilities.
We continued to expand early-career and student hiring as the Campus Recruitment team swiftly adapted to a new and innovative virtual job fair platform as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We launched five virtual “New Grad and Student Recruitment Experiences”, a series of online recruitment events which took place throughout the 2nd half of the year. This entirely virtual experience allowed us to reach nearly 100 schools from coast to coast across Canada, receiving over 20,000 applications for recent graduate and internship positions, an increase of 114% over 2019. These online recruitment events included virtual presentations where we conducted close to 800 live ‘speed interviews’ giving prospective graduates and interns the opportunity to interview for jobs on the spot. On virtual campuses across the country, we sponsored student development initiatives and participated in over 70 student events such as information sessions, mock interviews, case competitions, hackathons, and networking sessions.
For Bell’s award-winning Graduate Leadership Program – one of the largest initiatives in Canada dedicated to helping recent graduates become the next generation of leaders – we virtually visited 20+ universities in Ontario, Québec, and Atlantic Canada to promote our opportunities with recent graduates and attract candidates. The Graduate Leadership Program has resulted in the promotion of over 40 Bell leaders in 2020, totalling 231 since its inception.
Our new digital strategy also included a rapid pivot to develop a virtual onboarding experience for thousands of new employees and students by establishing new collaboration channels, buddy systems, additional virtual training and hosting a bilingual and inclusive Welcome session for over 240 recent graduates and 232 summer interns. As a result of these and other efforts, Bell Canada was once again named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People.
Bell actively works to help Canadian Veterans, reservists, and their spouses find career opportunities within our company. Bell gives qualified Canadian Veterans priority in hiring across all Bell operations, building on our long and proud tradition of supporting Canada’s military men and women. We also provide training to our recruiters to understand how Veterans’ skills are transferable, the benefits of hiring a Veteran, and how to support Veterans and reservists throughout the recruitment process. Since 2013, Bell has hired more than 470 Veterans and Veterans’ spouses. To continue this momentum, in 2019 we became a partner of the Military Family Services Spousal Employment Network. This network supports sustainable career development among military spouses, thereby leading to the cultivation of financially stable and satisfied military families who directly contribute to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces. Bell is also proud to continue our corporate support of True Patriot Love since 2010, as well as being the Presenting Sponsor of the annual True Patriot Love Toronto Tribute Dinner – the largest fundraising event in support of Canada’s military. Backed by matching a $1 million donation from Bell Let’s Talk and True Patriot Love, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund provided $2 million and 100 grants by the end of 2020 to support mental health programs for military members, Veterans, and their families.
Once new team members start their careers with Bell, their onboarding experience is critical to optimizing their productivity and their sense of belonging as quickly as possible. Our Welcome to #TeamBell program is designed to help new team members feel connected to the organization and access the resources they need for quick success. We provide information on Bell’s Strategic Imperatives and strategy, key contacts, information on company culture, corporate processes, and various diversity committees team members can join.