How can hiring a co-op student help build your talent pipeline for future opportunities?

The following guest post was contributed by Conestoga College’s School of Engineering and Information Technology.

Employers are constantly competing for talented graduates, but many organizations adopt a reactive rather than a proactive approach.  Taking the time today to develop and acquire the talent needed for future openings is a more successful strategy. Hiring a co-op student can assist with building this talent pipeline.

Here’s how companies like yours can benefit from hiring co-op students:

  • Raise your organization’s profile with students and graduates as an employer of choice – many co-op students return to their co-op employers for full-time employment. Co-op experiences lead to word-of-mouth marketing which builds brand reputation for your company.
  • Evaluate students while on co-op work term before considering them for full-time employment. Students also have the opportunity to evaluate your organization, reducing potential attrition in graduate roles.
  • Add bright, motivated, resourceful talent to your organization. These students offer a fresh perspective which can drive innovation.
  • Acquire cost-effective, temporary employees for peak periods of work, seasonal labour variations or short-term projects.
  • Explore new positions without extensive investment or long-term commitment.
  • Diversify your work force – age, stage, skills, interests and culture.
  • Tap into the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC) of up to $3,000 per student per work term.

Conestoga College offers a wide variety of engineering programs in the following areas.

  • Civil/Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Construction/Architecture
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Software Engineering


Conestoga College also offers two CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board)-accredited degree programs: Electronic Systems Engineering and Mechanical Systems Engineering. Because we offer diploma, degree and post-graduate certificate programs, Conestoga produces graduates pursuing a variety of career paths as technicians, technologists and engineers.

Mechanical Engineering Technology – Robotics and Automation students work on their Capstone project: designing, building and programming an automated solution

For more information about Conestoga College’s programs, please visit our website at

More details about the Engineering & IT programs at Conestoga College can be found on our YouTube channel here:

In addition to co-op recruitment, there are many other ways to partner with Conestoga College as an employer:

  • Pitch a Capstone Project Idea
  • Attend Project Demo Days
  • Guest Lectures
  • Job Fairs and Employer Showcase Events
  • Program Advisory Committees
  • Applied Research


Contact Melissa Deneault, Employer Relations Consultant at Conestoga College
(519) 748-5220 x2817 or


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jonathan Hack

    I agree that interns can be a very effective source of talent in any organization. I would however like to see governments adopt a more strategic approach towards internships by allocating permanent funding to create important experiential learning opportunities while students are completing their education. Currently, it is tough for employers to constantly assess the new programs that are available on a short term basis only, and whether the conditions associated with these programs enable a company to participate. This uncertainty on whether the program is applicable to a given company results in fewer interns being hired – and the students suffer.

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