Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
A major element helping TD reach its diversity recruiting goals and objectives is the variety of events and outreach offered through its TD Early Access program. TD Early Access enables the organization to recruit undergraduate and M.B.A. talent at its target schools.
Early Access targets women, black, Hispanic, LGBT, and candidates with disabilities who are freshmen, sophomores, or first-year M.B.A. students.
“The program offers a mix of on-site and off-site events geared toward demystifying financial services and exposing these candidates to the opportunities available at TD,” says Ed Veloz, vice president, North America campus lead, campus recruitment at TD Securities.
Prior to TD rolling out its Early Access program in September 2014, Veloz says TD was struggling to recruit diverse candidates into its summer program.
“In-turn, this impacted our full-time program as we were left with a lack of diversity in our classes,” he explains. “The bank’s strategy was centered on targeting candidates in their junior year, while the industry had moved toward identifying candidates prior to their junior year.”
Another problem TD was trying to address through its TD Early Access program was marketing its philanthropic efforts to Generation Z candidates.
“More and more questions were popping up at our on-campus events regarding how TD impacted the communities we work in,” Veloz says. “Diversity and community involvement are two key aspects that matter to Gen Z, and, from a campus recruiting perspective, we were missing the mark.”
The objectives of TD Early Access are two-fold:
- To assist the bank in building relationships with candidates early on in their college or graduate careers and to expose them to opportunities in finance with the goal that TD can add more diversity into its summer program to feed its full-time program.
- To identify campus and national organizations that can not only help TD identify candidates, but can use TD’s donations to help their efforts to improve the lives of the diverse populations they support.
According to Veloz, TD's culture is built on teamwork, excellence, and diversity.
“We provide opportunities for everyone to have an important impact on the building of our businesses,” he adds. “As a global business, our people come from all over the world and represent different nationalities, educational backgrounds, and life experiences. We welcome their unique perspectives, their energy and ideas, and their willingness to learn as well as to teach.”
The Early Access events allow TD to showcase this culture and inform diverse candidates about the careers that are available to them in the financial services industry. The Early Access program includes the following events and outreach:
- Early Identification Event—This three-day on-site program gives diverse candidates the chance to explore their interests in finance, while gaining insight into the culture and career opportunities at TD. Participants gain exposure to the different career paths within a bank, participate in job shadowing, network with firm leadership, gain access to developmental resources, and network with TD professionals and other top students from across the country.
- Recruiter in the House Event—It is essential that TD is seen as an employer of choice among high-achieving, ambitious students and graduates. Its “Recruiter in the House” events—which are organized through the various Women in Business organizations that TD sponsors at its target schools—create awareness and build the TD brand on campuses. Students participate in a networking lunch followed by 20-minute coffee chats. Topics covered include career paths, the TD story, and advice on transitioning from school to work.
- Partnerships—Part of the TD Early Access strategy is partnering with organizations that help women, black, and Hispanic candidates get into the financial services industry. TD’s partners include Prep for Prep; Sponsors for Educational Opportunities; LIME; Women in Business Organizations at Boston College, Columbia, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania; and the LGBT Ally group at New York University.
Since TD Early Access efforts were rolled out in September 2014, the firm has seen drastic jumps in the diversity of its summer classes and, in-turn, in its full-time classes. Prior to implementation, the full-time class for TD Securities, specifically, that was recruited in 2013 and started in August 2014 was made up of 5 percent women and included no black or Hispanic hires. Meanwhile, the 2014 summer class had no women, black, or Hispanic hires.
“Since Early Access has been implemented,” Veloz reports, “we’ve experienced growth in the quality and number of diversity hires we are bringing into the bank. For the 2015 summer program, 36 percent of the class was women hires, while 10 percent of the 2015 full-time class was black and Hispanic. For 2016, our full-time class will be comprised of 30 percent women hires and 17 percent black and Hispanic hires.”
For other organizations considering a similar program to boost diversity, Veloz recommends keeping events small and valuable to the students so they can get a better sense of opportunities available to them and develop a strong connection to the organization.
“Many organizations are trying to identify a diverse pool of candidates,” he says. “What separates the TD Early Access program is how intimate the events are. Students aren’t interested in being one of hundreds. We make sure there is a personal touch with each one so we can better understand what they want in a career and they can understand what TD can offer.”