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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

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Posted July 31, 2020 by

3 ways employers can increase number of black students, grads they hire

Two months ago, the Minneapolis Police Department murdered George Floyd only miles from my home.

Floyd was suspected of paying for groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill, which isn’t a crime unless he did so knowingly. Two police officers dragged him from his vehicle, spoke with him on the sidewalk, and waited for two other officers to arrive. Their arrival changed everything. The confrontation quickly escalated with the police officers throwing Floyd to the ground despite his full compliance. One stood guard while three others pinned him to the ground for almost nine minutes. During that time, one of the officers, sworn to protect and to serve, pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck to cut off his air supply. Floyd begged for his life, witnesses videotaped the encounter, and no efforts were made by the police to provide any medical assistance even after Floyd stopped breathing. The execution of yet another peaceful, unarmed, black man by the police touched off protests, riots, anger, and a lot of soul searching by many in our country.

Hopefully, one of the lasting impacts will be an increased awareness by employers of their discriminatory hiring practices. In some cases, the discrimination was unintentional, often referred to as unconscious bias. In other cases, it was intentional and, therefore, intentional. Whether unconscious or conscious, most agree that it must end and it must end now. Some employers have plans in place and have already made improvements. Others want to improve but don’t know what they need to change in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

Career service office management platform, Handshake, recently published a blog article that outlines three employer practices that are disadvantageous to black students. A review of each provides a roadmap for those employers who want to improve their hiring practices to be more inclusive of black candidates.

First, many employers will not consider candidates whose grade point averages are below are certain number. To many employers, using GPA as a requirement makes sense as they want to hire the best and brightest, but it begs the question: is GPA actually a good predictor of job performance? Turns out, it isn’t. Studies show that GPA poorly predict workplace productivity.

Eliminating GPA as a hiring requirement greatly increases the number of black candidates who qualify and, therefore, help make your hiring process more inclusive and, ultimately, will make your workforce more diverse and, therefore, productive. The difference is significant. A study by the U.S. Department of Education of recent graduates of four-year, Bachelors’ degree programs showed that 75 percent of whites had GPAs of 3.0 or higher but only 55 percent of blacks.

Second, employers should extend their hiring periods. Rather than only hiring for some roles in the fall, they should also allow students to apply in the winter. Why would this matter? Because black students tend to have far less wealth than white students, which results in far more black students working part-time while in school. Their additional obligations reduce their ability to be ready for the fall recruiting season. If your jobs are already filled with those who applied in September and October before a black student applies in November or even January, then you’re hiring process isn’t inclusive.

Third, be more transparent about your compensation. Many employers choose not to disclose salary, relocation, and other compensation-related items. If your family is wealthy enough to pay your student loans and perhaps even provide some additional spending money after graduation, what you’re paid might not matter that much. But if you’re going to need to cover all of those expenses and perhaps send money home to help your family, then what you’re paid matters greatly.

Employers who are not transparent about compensation receive far fewer applications from black than white students. According to Handshake, employers who disclose the annual salary in their job descriptions receive 13 percent more applications from black students. Similarly, employers who disclose their relocation assistance policies receive 36 percent more applications from black students.

College Recruiter is on the verge of publishing salary data for every job advertised on its site. We are doing so to help even the playing field by bringing more pay transparency to the employment of students and recent graduates. No longer will students with less information than others be paid less than they deserve, as all students will know what employers in their geographic area pay for that particular job. Employers will be encouraged to disclose what they pay for a particular job but, if they won’t, then we will publish the going rate for that job in that geographic area. We expect this new feature to be live in August.

Posted July 31, 2020 by

Study finds that largest employers of college students discriminate against people of color

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) just completed an analysis of data that it gathered in 2019 about the internship hiring practices of employers. Sadly but not unexpectedly, NACE found that, as a whole, employers discriminate against people of color when hiring and paying interns.

NACE surveyed 3,952 graduating seniors from the Class of 2019 to determine how many never had an internship, had an unpaid internship, and had a paid internship. Other studies have demonstrated the importance of successfully completing a paid internship: students who graduate with paid internships are more likely to be employed in their chosen career field upon graduation and be paid better than those who only had unpaid internships and those who had unpaid internships were more likely to be employed in their chosen career field upon graduation and be paid better than those without any internship.

According to the new study:

  • Non-Hispanic, white students made up 74 percent of paid interns but only made up 71 percent of respondents;
  • Black students made up six percent of paid interns but made up 6.6 percent of respondents; and
  • Hispanic students made up 9.9 percent of paid interns but made up 10 percent of respondents.

The first two were different enough to be statistically significant. The third was not. In other words, when employers hire paid interns, they’re discriminating against black students.

Other observations from the NACE analysis:

  • White students are more likely to be paid interns than unpaid or never interns;
  • African-American students are more likely to be unpaid interns;
  • Asian-American students are more likely to be paid interns;
  • Hispanic-American students are more likely to never have an internship than an unpaid or paid internship;
  • Multi-racial Americans are more likely to be unpaid or never interns; and
  • International students on F1 visas are more likely to be paid interns and are rarely unpaid.

College Recruiter is on the verge of publishing salary data for every job advertised on its site. We are doing so to help even the playing field by bringing more pay transparency to the employment of students and recent graduates. No longer will students with less information than others be paid less than they deserve, as all students will know what employers in their geographic area pay for that particular job. Employers will be encouraged to disclose what they pay for a particular job but, if they won’t, then we will publish the going rate for that job in that geographic area. We expect this new feature to be live in August.

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Posted July 28, 2020 by

How college students can ace their Zoom video interviews for internships and entry-level jobs

For years, employers of college and university students and recent graduates have gradually shifted their recruiting strategies away from almost exclusively on-campus information sessions, career fairs, and interviews.

The shift didn’t result in fewer students receiving offers or being hired. The shift did, however, result in a change in tactics and strategies, including how employers allocated their budgets. The cost of recruiting a student through on-campus interviewing is about $6,275. Employers who shifted their emphasis even partially toward using more sources like social media and job boards like College Recruiter discovered that the average cost of hiring students online is about $460 for professional and often below $100 for hourly roles. It is little wonder, then, that many of the largest employers of students and recent graduates were already in the process of shifting more of their recruiting efforts online even before COVID-19 forced all of them to massively and, perhaps, permanently change their approach.

To successfully source candidates through online recruiting, employers typically advertise their job openings on leading job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and College Recruiter. The ads may take the form of traditional, duration-based postings such as the $75 for 30-days that College Recruiter charges or performance-based postings, such as paying something like $0.25 to $0.75 every time a candidate sees a posting on the job board and clicks to go to the employer’s career site to, hopefully, apply. College Recruiter calls its cost-per-click (CPC) product, JobsThatScale.

One or more interviews are typically then scheduled once the student or recent graduate has seen the job posting, clicked to the employer’s career site to apply through its applicant tracking system (ATS) software, and heard back from the employer. Before COVID, those interviews often consisted of an in-person interview at the employer’s office. Now, in-person interviews are rare and have largely been replaced by interviews using Zoom, HireVue, Modern Hire, Google Meet, Skype, or other video service.

For the recruiter, a video interview is likely something that they have a lot of experience doing. Even a new recruiter has likely conducted dozens and more experienced have hundreds or even thousands under their belts. For the student or recent graduate, many are experiencing their first video interviews now, or perhaps have only completed a few. None of us are born knowing how to successfully interview by Zoom or other video platform, but there are some ways that will help ensure that the video interviews are successful:

First, at least 30- and preferably 60-minutes before your interview, completely power down (not just re-start) your computer, router, and modem. Almost all connectivity issues can be prevented by taking the few minutes necessary to do this. Almost nothing could be worse than your video or audio being garbled. Realistically, the recruiter or hiring manager will be interviewing multiple, well-qualified candidates. If your technology makes it hard for them, they’re probably going to hire someone else.

Second, consider purchasing an external camera, microphone, or both. I use a 2019 iMac at work and it has an excellent camera, but the microphone is lacking so I purchased a used, Blue Yeti USB microphone. They’re just under $300 new on Amazon but I snagged one for $50 on Facebook Marketplace. The sound quality is FAR superior to the built-in microphone on my desktop computer and so much easier for the person I’m talking with to understand what I’m saying.

Third, make your bed. Seriously, employers want to hire people who are thoughtful and well-prepared. If the room you’re in is a mess and they see that, that’s going to turn them off. Virtual backgrounds are often available through the video services, but they don’t always work well. An option is to simply hang a solid colored bed sheet behind you. Oh, and don’t sit with your back toward a bright light like a window. That silhouettes you and makes it hard for the other person to see your facial expressions. You want the light to be on your face, not the back of your head.

Fourth, and this is really hard for many people, don’t look at the video on your screen. Computers typically have a little light beside the camera to serve both as a visual cue that the camera is on AND a place to focus on while talking with someone else. If you find yourself looking away from the light (and the camera beside it) and to the video, then close the video so the only thing to look at is the light. When I’m talking to someone on video and need to look them in the eye (look into the camera), what I typically do is shrink the size of the video so that I can barely see them and move that window to the very top center of my screen. That way, it is immediately under the camera. When I’m sitting a few feet back, it looks to the other person like I’m looking right into the camera and, therefore, into their eyes. Eye contact is very important to establishing trust. If you can’t (or won’t) look someone in the eye, they will often infer that you’re hiding something. That’s the kiss of death in just about any job interview.

Posted July 20, 2020 by

How do I find an internship, part-time, or summer job despite the COVID-19 pandemic?

Question:

Due to COVID-19, it looks like my college campus will either be closed entirely with all learning on-line through virtual tools like Zoom or will be so shutdown that employers won’t be able to host information events, attend campus career events, or interview in-person. I am entering my junior year and so would like to line-up an internship or at least a part-time or seasonal job during the school year and next summer. I plan to search and apply to jobs that are advertised on-line with sites like College Recruiter, but what else should I be doing?

First Answer:

I would check in with your college career services office. Just because your college is closed for in-person classes does not necessarily mean that its administrative offices are closed. The admin offices could be open, and if so, your diligence in contacting them could pay off because other students might not think to contact them.

Whether they are open or closed, now is the time to polish your LinkedIn profile. Make it shine.

Join LinkedIn groups that are associated with the industry where you seek an internship. Does your college have a LinkedIn or Facebook group?

Can you find alumni in your chosen field? Realize that while finding an internship right now is challenging, everyone has a wellspring of sympathy for college students right now, due to the Covid19 predicament. So if you can find alumni, they are likely to stretch further for you than ever before.

— Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) and Power Sales Words: How to Write It, Say It, and Sell It with Sizzle (Sourcebooks, 2006)

Second Answer:

It is difficult times indeed ahead but the important thing to remember is that you are not alone and tens of thousands of students are going through the same exact situation.

I would recommend using this time to keep applying to new opportunities and to continue your hard skill development. Take e-courses and try to develop a stronger skill set for these internships you are applying for.

I always recommend college students who are looking for internship roles to try and make themselves indispensable by going above and beyond the minimum skill set required for the internship. 

— Lorenz V. Esposito, Digital Marketing Specialist, Potentialpark

Posted July 17, 2020 by

Now’s the time for job seekers to shift their thinking to “what’s the kind of role I want, what’s the culture I want to be in, and where do I see areas of growth in this economy”

By Bryan Lipiner, Babson College

Every day, Babson College students located around the world are accessing real-time career advice and one-on-one discussions, right from their computer.

Take the week of July 13 for example. Students used the school’s career resources to learn how to personalize connection requests on LinkedIn, how to pose interview questions about the coronavirus outbreak, and how to succeed in a virtual internship.

Making these opportunities available is a weekly routine at the virtual office of Undergraduate Center for Career Development (CCD) Director Donna Sosnowski and her team, which strives to continuously innovate to serve students in this ever-changing landscape. “Everything we do is new and different,” she says.

Landing on Their Feet

When colleges and universities across the country rapidly pivoted online in March, Babson’s CCD office too transitioned, a move Sosnowski described as simple as “flipping a switch” due to the team’s long-term approach to virtual programming.

“It was seamless for us,” Sosnowski said.

Part of what also made the transition so easy was the students themselves, who are both technically sound and socially-oriented. These qualities have led to favorable results for recent Babson graduates, despite difficulties peers in their age bracket have faced.

“Our students have had strong landings,” Sosnowski said. “The career outcomes for the Class of 2020 look very good this year and are on par with previous years, with an impact by COVID.”

Getting Accustomed to the Next Normal

While the pandemic has caused pockets of deep economic impact in retail and hospitality, it’s also unearthed new opportunities in educational technology and in the commerce supply chain. “There are a lot of forward-thinking companies that are hiring talent,” Sosnowski said. “Now’s the time for undergraduates and graduates to shift their thinking to ‘what’s the kind of role I want, what’s the culture I want to be in, and where do I see areas of growth in this economy.’”

Bryan Lipiner is a journalist with Babson College and multimedia storyteller who engages audiences through content.

Posted July 15, 2020 by

Three Tips for Recruiting Entry-Level Positions, Internships Amid COVID-19

By Brianne Thomas, Head of Recruiting, Jobvite

There is no doubt that college graduates who are looking for employment are facing an interesting challenge.

Though once expected to enter into the strongest job market in 50 years, the millions of students who recently graduated from two- or four-year colleges are now beginning their careers in a market with a 13.3% unemployment rate. The encouraging news for job seekers is that recruiting efforts are not completely stopping, but rather shifting, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find the best candidate for the position in the current job climate, recruiters must rethink their strategies for reaching entry-level talent. Below are three tips on how college recruiters can adapt their processes and tactics for reaching and attracting recent graduates for entry-level roles and internships.

Highlight Remote Work

A rising number of U.S. companies are now considering permanent remote and work-from-home options for non-essential workers. In fact, recent research by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 17% of HR leaders in 2,284 U.S. companies report their organizations will move to permanent work-from-home policies in the future for their employees.

Not only do employers understand the advantages of remote work, but workers prefer this arrangement, too. According to the 2020 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Report, 34% of U.S. workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% in order to work remotely. Additionally, the study finds that 65% of job seekers say remote work is ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ in their decision to accept a job offer.

To appeal to recent college graduates, recruiters should specify opportunities for working remotely on job descriptions and advertise open positions on social channels as “remote.” Be transparent about the level of location flexibility, whether it’s temporary or permanent, and specify what type of training plans and mentorship support will be available remotely to new grads or entry-level staff that will allow them to have hands-on teaching similar to what they would have received in the office. It’s also important to describe all technology, technical support or equipment stipends the company provides to virtual workers. Lastly, explain the internal platforms and tools the employer utilizes to create an inclusive environment for home-based workers.

Connect Via Text

The use of texting is second nature for college students and recent graduates. Recruiters looking to fill an entry-level position or internship should embrace texting to quickly and efficiently source prospective candidates. Jobvite has found that over 90% of organizations that have tried text recruiting stick with it. As a result, it is anticipated that text-based recruiting will only continue to increase as the workforce continues to meet candidates where they are.

In many cases, texting can be a more effective recruiting channel than email as it offers a number of advantages for recruiters and candidates alike. A text message, for instance, is typically responded to in 90 seconds, as opposed to an email, which has an average response time of 90 minutes. Statistics also show that while email has a 20% average open rate, texts have a 98% open rate. This accelerates the communication process, allows recruiters to find the right candidate faster to shorten the time-to-hire period, and improves the overall candidate experience, recent college graduates included.

When reaching out to a candidate via text, recruiters should clearly explain why they are reaching out and how they initially made the connection (i.e. “We met at a campus job fair.”). Creating relevancy for the candidate is the perfect place to start the chat—next, follow up with a question. In addition, use a library of questions available to access within talent acquisition software to navigate the most important screening queries before sharing the chat with the hiring manager. These initial texts help gauge which candidates are the most interested, so future efforts can focus on highly engaged applicants.

To engage entry-level job applicants, recruiters can use text to share deeper insights with candidates on what it’s like to work within the organization and how they might fit into the overall work environment. The Job Seeker Nation Report found that company values and culture are an important factor in evaluating a job offer with 52% of job seekers citing it as important. Consider sending employment branding materials via text to candidates, including job descriptions, a list of office perks, team photos, video tours of the office, and more.

Leverage Social Media for Referrals

According to the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report, 42% of survey respondents say they find out about job openings on social media, a 10% jump from the previous year. Recruiters must include social media in the recruiting process to attract, engage, and connect with job candidates, especially the younger generation of talent. Afterall, Gen Z (ages 7 to 22), the first demographic group that has never known a world without the internet, spends 2 hours and 55 minutes per day on social media.

Amid the COVID-19 climate, one-third of workers today say they are ‘very likely’ or ‘pretty likely’ to share job openings at their companies via social media, compared to 26% before the current pandemic. In addition, 38% of workers say they are ‘pretty likely’ or ‘very likely’ to click on a job opportunity that someone in their network posts on social media. However, many workers who want to participate in referral programs can’t because the employer doesn’t offer one.

Talent acquisition teams have a great opportunity to create a culture and structure to support referrals.

Employees who are satisfied with their companies and jobs are eager to invite those in their network to join them, which makes social referrals an important component of the recruitment marketing process. It’s also an easier, faster, and cheaper way to source and hire candidates. Recruiters and employers need to make social referrals easy by placing social sourcing and referral tools right in employees’ hands. With these tools, employees can share open job opportunities with their social and professional networks through automatic social publishing.

As the world of work is shifting, there is a great opportunity for college recruiters to adjust their processes to reach and attract top entry-level talent. Recruiters and employers who adapt to these needs will be well-positioned to succeed as the economy improves.

# # #

ABOUT THE AUTHOR With 10 years of combined HR and Talent Acquisition experience, Brianne Thomas has spent her career involved with various aspects of full cycle recruiting focusing on Talent Acquisition and HR Leadership for high growth tech, SaaS, and consulting organizations.

Posted July 09, 2020 by

Will employers pay students working remotely differently depending on where they live?

In the early 1990s, I worked for Honeywell in its legal office that supported its human resources department. We addressed this same issue way back then.

The company decided, as corporate policy, that all employees nationwide would receive the same benefits regardless of where they lived. We implemented a blue skies policy, meaning that every employee received the most generous benefits package required by law, so if one state required employees to be paid in full for jury duty, then all employees would be paid in full for jury duty even if their state didn’t require any pay. On the other hand, wages were localized. We determined what the job would pay if performed in the city in which the headquarters was located and then adjusted for cost-of-living across the country. 

College Recruiter has taken a somewhat different approach. We also offer the same benefits nationwide but chose to offer the same wages also. If an employee chooses to live in a low- or high-cost area, that’s their choice and impacts the amount of money they have available for discretionary purposes. The wages that we pay may be excessive in some areas and insufficient in others and we’re fine with that. We understand that it makes it less likely that we’ll hire a software developer who chooses to live in the San Francisco Bay Area but very likely to hire a similarly skilled person who lives in a rural area in the middle of the country. Not only are we okay with that, we like it because we believe that the software developer in San Francisco is far more likely to jump ship far faster than the developer who lives in a more rural area and, therefore, has fewer employment options. 

Will some employers follow the Honeywell model and pay employees differently based on where in the U.S. those employees live? Yes, absolutely. And will other employers follow the College Recruiter model and pay employees based on the work they do instead of the zip code in which they reside? Yes, absolutely. I hope more follow the latter path, but I suspect many will follow the former.

Graphic courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted June 26, 2020 by

Employers should expect students to ask about COVID, racism, and other social justice issues this fall

I think that it is important for all of us to expect that, this fall, hard but fair interview questions won’t just come from employers to students. They will also come from students to employers.

I expect students to ask specific questions and expect specific answers to what employers did before, during, and after the COVID-19 shutdown to keep their employees safe, physically, mentally, and financially. I also expect students to ask specific questions and expect specific answers as to what employers did regarding Black Lives Matter as well as other racial and social justice issues.

Employers who, in hindsight, wish they could have done more shouldn’t be afraid to share what they did, acknowledge their shortcomings, and layout their vision for the future. This generation is so savvy at identifying a lack of candor or even lies and just as savvy as sharing their findings with thousands of their closest friends, but they also don’t expect perfection. Years ago, when employers were in control of their own brands, they could lie with impunity about their work environment, benefits, career paths, and more. Today, thankfully, they can’t. 

An employer who understands that they had room for improvement and is able to communicate how they’re improving and how the candidate can be a part of that will have a significant advantage this fall.

Posted June 25, 2020 by

How do you answer a recruiter when they ask what makes you unique?

Many employers who ask what makes you unique are likely probing to see if there is something about you or your background that would add to the diversity of their workforce.

Study after study demonstrate that the more diverse a workforce, the more productive is that workforce. Employers who have woken up to this fact are now embracing diversity, and not just racial but gender, military veterans, people with disabilities, generations, socioeconomic, and even geography.

If you’ve done your research and understand the team you would be a part of, then you should be able to identify attributes which are not well represented. If you can fill those gaps, that’s how you should answer that question.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted June 19, 2020 by

Tech that will help employers staff-up as the economy re-opens post-COVID

In many sectors, employers have laid off or furloughed many and often most of their employees. Many of these employers are counting on the vast majority of these workers returning when the employer staffs up but that seems unlikely. If an employee has been off work for weeks, months, or even a year, they’ll likely reevaluate whether they want to go back to the same job or look for a better one. Many will find better opportunities elsewhere, or at least employers who are hiring sooner. In short, we’re looking at a massive upheaval in the labor market, particularly for hourly workers. 

One of the most significant innovations ever in the employment marketing industry, programmatic job ad buying, was starting to take hold in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, other countries before COVID but it will play a massive role in how employers staff-up as they and the rest of the economy re-open. A traditional job posting ad on a traditional job board should generate enough candidates that an employer should be able to hire one person. That’s fine as most employers when they advertise a job opening only want to hire one person. But, as the economy re-opens and employers discover that they need to replace a quarter, half, or even most of their employees, they’re often going to need to hire five, 25, or even 100 people into the same role. It just isn’t feasible for them to run five, 25, or 100 job posting ads to hire the people they need.

The answer is programmatic job ad buying coupled with performance-based pricing such as cost-per-click. An employer can advertise a job and an automated, job distribution system will then look at the ad and send it out to multiple job search sites like College Recruiter based on the kind of job. We’re an entry-level site and so won’t receive jobs requiring 4+ years of experience, but we would receive the hourly retail jobs, internships, and jobs for recent graduates. A healthcare site won’t receive construction jobs, but will receive jobs for registered nurses. So, programmatically, an employer can feasibly run a job on multiple sites based upon where the candidates they need are most likely to be searching. 

Now, you layer on cost-per-click (CPC). An employer who needs to hire five people over two months needs far fewer candidates than an employer who needs to hire 50 people this month. The former might pay $0.50 per click for candidates who see the posting on the job board and then click to the employer’s site to, hopefully, apply. The latter, because of a much more difficult hiring need, might pay $0.75 per click. The job posting for the employer paying a lot less per click will appear lower in the search results and, therefore, will attract far fewer candidates. The more an employer pays per click, the more motivated they are to hire.