16 We’re not who you think we are: exploring workplace fluidity in a corporate culture

Dheeraj Dhull & Rhianna Cote, Manulife
Like many organizations, Manulife has taken an innovative approach to attracting and fostering talent within the millennial talent pool. This means really understanding what millennials want and need from an employer with regards to the work itself, company culture and overall experience. In order to provide innovative opportunities to students, driving the concept of workplace fluidity is key to the Manulife recruitment strategy.
What do we mean by workplace fluidity? No longer are information technology students limited to roles in IT. No longer are visual arts/practicing artists excluded from working in a corporate space. We value intelligence and foster innovation, in all forms, as it drives and lies at the center of what we do. There is no longer a box that restricts talent from stepping out and gaining experience in new spaces. By taking a different approach to the recruitment process, organizations have an opportunity to expand their idea of the ‘right fit’, leading to diversity of thought and ultimately to innovation.
We warmly invite creatives to step into IT spaces, partner with technical experts and create something new. We welcome those that question the way things are done and we honour adaptability and an eye for change. We don’t believe that career development is a straight line. It is a journey of experiences that open your eyes and push your boundaries to think differently and embrace new ways of doing things.
Within this new and innovative approach to recruitment, the goal of the Manulife co-op program is to bring forth more than just technical expertise learned through day-to-day tasks. While students are with us, the goal is to develop well-rounded individuals that are driven, self-aware and adaptable. We do this by providing opportunities for students to connect with the various Manulife tools and resources available, partake in philanthropic student-led events, and individualized programming. We offer a speaker series, personal brand workshop, networking sessions and more to help develop the growth of a workforce with big ideas. By taking a holistic approach to employee development, and by creating programming specific to who and what we know millennials are, the organizations students may have deemed dull or outdated are able to take on an identity that matches the need of a prevalent generation in the workforce.
In partnership with changes and updates to attract and retain young talent, we have introduced a fresh perspective to branding and education that launches us into the stratosphere of communicative practices relevant to our growing and changing audience. It is vitally important to connect with students in ways that resonate with them–through online social channels, networking events and unique event opportunities on campuses, we are visible to the masses and we own what that visibility looks like and how it’s changing.
Education of co-op educators is equally important as these members provide guidance to students through the recruitment process. Understanding the importance and tools in which employers and educators can connect, leads to better student experience. With the ability to draw on Manulife’s experience, we hope to bring to light ways that employers and educators can be involved in the development of students in non-traditional ways.



Dheeraj Dhull, Manulife
Dheeraj is a Campus Recruiter with Manulife, passionate about student development and candidate relationship management. As a member of Human Resources Professional Association Dheeraj has a B.Sc. in Science, BA in Economics and Human Recourses Diploma through McMaster. Dheeraj developed a strong interest in student advancement and campus recruitment through progressive opportunities at Career Centers across McMaster University. After graduation he began his career as a relationship manager and spent 5 years supporting high growth organizations with implementation of campus recruitment initiatives at the University. In 2015, he transitioned into a career in HR to continue further advancement in strategic aspect of campus recruitment. After leading talent acquisition projects in pharmaceutical industry he joined Manulife’s campus recruitment team in 2017. As part of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People, Manulife is always committed to development of young talent.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dheerajdhull

Rhianna Cote, Manulife
Rhianna Cote is a Campus Recruiter with Manulife, a creative and a Workplace Fluidity enthusiast. She is an Honours Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of Guelph who also participated in the Adult Education Program with St Francis Xavier University. Rhianna has a passion for growth and education, and a love for presenting and working with others to drive change. She believes it is possible to study literature and then pursue a career in analytics because it is part of her own journey. Rhianna is passionate in her belief that nobody’s career should be a straight line. It is the appetite for change and the openness to new experiences that give our changing workforce the best hope of pushing past limitations and experiencing personal fulfillment in the workplace, while truly owning their future.


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