Written by: Ahmed Minhas
Acquiring the right talent for your organization presents many challenges. Recruiters have many tools in their toolboxes but the folks at Gastops are leveraging a unique line to outstanding talent with tremendous success.
Gastops has a long history of collaboration with Carleton University. The company was founded by a proud former Raven, Bernie McIsaac, who earned his Master of Engineering and Ph.D. at Carleton, and continues to be led by one today, CEO Shaun Horning, an aerospace engineering alum. Over the years, Gastops has wisely turned to Carleton’s Co-op Program to fill their ranks with bright young talent. In fact, hundreds of co-op work terms have been completed by Carleton students. Many of these former co-op students launched successful careers at the company, including Horning as well as Director of Research and Innovation, Pooja Suresh, recently announced as a Forty Under 40 recipient in Ottawa’s Business Journal.
“Working as a co-op student at Gastops cemented my love for technology but what was even more valuable were the lessons in leadership from my mentors and colleagues. They gave me the opportunity to learn – they took a chance on me and gave me responsibility early on and let me make my own mistakes and learn from them,” said the aerospace engineering alum. “Even when I left Gastops to pursue a graduate degree and other jobs, they still supported me. It’s that support that led me to return to Gastops. The lessons in leadership from my co-op days helped lay the foundation for my career as a leader in technology.”
It’s not just good luck and well-written job descriptions that are helping Gastops secure this talent. Here’s part of their secret to hiring success – corporate philanthropy. In 2013, Gastops created the Dave Muir Scholarship in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, named after past-President & CEO, Dave Muir. At the time, Muir, a mechanical and aeronautical engineering alum, said it was Gastops’ way of contributing back to Carleton University. The University “played a prominent role” in his education and professional career and he wished to pay it forward in a meaningful way.
A benefit to such an award is that opportunities may exist for donors to meet their recipients, creating an excellent opportunity for corporate donors to identify bright students and future employees before the competition. This strategy can also help companies identify underrepresented talent. As a proud partner in Carleton’s Women in Engineering and IT (WiE&IT) Program, Gastops’ leaders were excited to meet last year’s award recipient, Kassidy Hammond, who joined the team at Gastops in May to begin her co-op work term.
“What cemented my desire to work at Gastops was when I attended a WiE&IT networking event and asked each representative about the concrete actions their companies were taking to make their workplace more welcoming for women. Gastops – by far – had the answer that best aligned with my interests,” said Hammond.
“I cannot help but reflect on how I made it from small-town Newfoundland to landing my first engineering internship at this incredible company. I am most looking forward to absorbing as much as I can from this experience and working with the inspiring women in STEM that have made it possible for me to be here.”
Gastops’ success in recruiting talented and diverse students is a testament to not only their stellar work culture and leadership, but a commitment to corporate philanthropy. Giving through Carleton builds capacity in their industry and creates opportunities for engagement outside of existing channels, allowing for a sneak peek at emerging talent.
To learn more about how your company can leverage a talent acquisition strategy through philanthropy or sponsorship at Carleton, contact Robin McLaughlin via LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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