Talent Acquisition COVID-19 Recording: Toyota's Sherry McCaskill 7-08-20

In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to business and employers, i4cp holds a weekly series of standing calls to help Talent Acquisition leaders navigate this unpredictable time.

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the way organizations and talent acquisition leaders approach internship programs for the summer and going forward in 2020. Talent acquisition professionals from organizations such as HSBC, Pzena Investment Management, Talend and many others joined special Q&A guests Sherry McCaskill, college programs manager at Toyota Motor North America to discuss this topic on i4cp’s July 8, 2020 Talent Acquisition Leader COVID-19 Series call. Some highlights:  

  • Part of today’s discussion focused on diversity-targeted recruiting events and approaches, and which are and are not successful. For example, one participant suggested “taking the time to actually scrub the recruiting process and removing the barriers that inevitably keep certain groups for applying.” Take a job listing for a project manager, for example, which should stress upfront that a wealth of relevant experience would be an acceptable substitute for an advanced degree, as opposed to being “buried in the job posting.”  
  • COVID-19 continues to present obstacles for internship programs. At Toyota North America, for example, the pandemic has “not only [created a] short window to figure out how to still push the same initiatives, but to think differently on how to do it,” according to Sherry McCaskill, the company’s college programs manager, and today’s Q&A guest. 

    As McCaskill pointed out, Toyota had hired more than half of its 150 summer interns before the coronavirus pandemic began on a large scale in the U.S. 

    “Our main goal was to not disappoint [our new interns,]” said McCaskill. “So we had to think differently about how to not only provide virtual internships, but think differently about how to engage those not able to participate in an internship [due to the pandemic].” 

    For example, Toyota developed a “webinar week,” a one-week period in June with day-long opportunities to learn about the organization, virtually meet executives from the Toyota leadership team and familiarize themselves with the organization’s culture.  

  • Less than half of organizations are evaluating candidates’ attitudes toward diversity and inclusion in the interview process, but some plan to begin doing so. Today’s instant poll, for example, found 25% of call participants saying their organizations are evaluating applicants’ D&I attitudes for all candidates, with another 17% saying their companies evaluate candidates’ D&I attitudes at the manager level and above. The largest number, 33%, said their organizations do not currently evaluate candidates’ attitudes toward D&I, but are currently “building this in.” Another 25% said their organization has nothing in place and nothing currently planned.

In addition to this recording, please see these resources: