CASE STUDY: Quick hiring turnaround demonstrates agility of co-op recruitment process

Monday, October 22, 2018

Patrons at Saulter St

Photo from a 2017 article.

John Sterling, owner of Saulter Street Brewery in Toronto, needed talent. And he needed it fast.

Since his brewery first opened its doors in the summer of 2017, demand had been rising rapidly. To ease the growing pains that come with such swift success, and to lessen the strain on his six full-time employees, Sterling decided to hire help.

"I was already aware of the excellent reputation of the University of Waterloo when my head brewer told me about the co-op program. Hiring a student made sense,” says Sterling.

A four-month work term meant the approaching busy summer months were covered. A student would make a great cultural fit, too – flexible, eager to learn, and willing to tackle a variety of roles while gaining exposure to all aspects of the business.

When Sterling made his initial inquiry with the University, only a week remained until hiring cut-off for the upcoming term. The co-op team assured him there was still time to hire. He would have to act fast, but they would be there to assist every step of the way.

“Staff were prompt and very hands on, with quick follow-up. It was quite easy for me, especially given the time frame as I came in near the end of the hiring window,” says Sterling.

Sterling had a job posted within 24 hours.

Less than 24 hours after Sterling first contacted the University, his Brewery Marketing and Events Assistant position was posted on the co-op job site, WaterlooWorks. More than 50 students viewed the posting, with 10 applying for the role. After interviewing three individuals, Sterling hired his successful applicant. A mere five days had lapsed.

Sterling's experience demonstrates just how responsive and agile the co-op recruitment process can be for employers. It is also a great testament to the extent the co-op team is willing to go to help employers and students find a match. These efforts are reflected in the University’s 97.7 % co-op placement rate.

Sterling felt it important that hiring a co-op student would not only have a positive impact on his business, but would in turn offer high educational value for the student. He has been very pleased with individual he hired and was surprised to learn it was the student’s first work term.

“He has been a wonderful hire - smart, enthusiastic and dependable.  I thought the whole process was great and will likely do it again,” says Sterling.