• Small and Large Organizations Plan to Hire More College Grads

    November 30, 2010 by

    Phil Gardner of Michigan State University

    The job market for college graduates has bottomed out – falling some 40 percent in the past year– as the market undergoes a colossal shift that demands graduates be flexible and entrepreneurial in the rapidly evolving global economy, according to Michigan State University’s latest Recruiting Trends survey.

    Job growth in electronic commerce illustrates this shift. Employers are hiring critical-thinking graduates with the skills to capture more Internet business and help the company continually redefine its operation, said Phil Gardner, director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, which conducts the annual study. “Employers want to be much more flexible; they want to be agile,” Gardner said. “They’re bringing in employees who can slide in multiple directions depending on what transpires over the next year. And that opens the door for students from a variety of academic backgrounds.”

    According to the survey of more than 2,500 companies and institutions, hiring levels are at their lowest in several decades. In last year’s study, Gardner predicted hiring would be down 8 percent to 10 percent in 2009 – and it actually ended up falling 35 percent to 40 percent, he said. Coming off those dismal levels, overall hiring is expected to be down about 2 percent in 2010, said Gardner, who presented the results at the 16th annual Trends in Recruiting Conference on Nov. 20 in Chicago.

    Mid-sized companies (500 to 4,000 employees) expect to decrease hiring by 11 percent, while large companies (more than 4,000 employees) plan to decrease hiring by 3 percent. The saving grace is companies with fewer than 500 employees, Gardner said. Contrary to media reports that most small employers are hurting, they actually remain the backbone of the college labor market, with hiring expected to increase 15 percent in the coming year, the study found.

    While there is a group of small companies shutting down in the recession-plagued economy, Gardner said, there’s another, less-publicized group planning to hire if the economy rebounds. “These companies are guardedly optimistic about hiring over the next year,” he said.

    In addition to students focused on e-commerce and entrepreneurship, other hot sectors that should see hiring increases include agriculture production and food processing, environmental sciences, information systems, manufacturing, nonprofits, statistics, nursing, social work, multimedia and Web design. The employment picture in K-12 education depends largely on whether states get federal stimulus money; without it, many teachers will likely be laid off. Non-academic jobs in higher education also will be tough to find. Other sectors that expect to see a decrease in hiring include accounting, banking, engineering, transportation, utilities, real estate and computer science and computer programming.

    Geographically, the Eastern Seaboard continues to see job losses, with hiring down about 8 percent in middle Atlantic and Southeast states. From Texas west to California and northward along the West Coast, hiring is up. The college job market is down in the Upper Plains and Great Lakes region.

    Ultimately, while many employers tell Gardner they hope to see the economy rebound, he said folks need to understand things will not return to “normal” – that is, a labor market in which college graduates have their pick of high-paying jobs. The recession, combined with increasing global competition, means graduates will continue competing for fewer jobs with lower salaries and benefits.

    Kelley Bishop, MSU’s career services director, said it’s imperative that students get aggressive about their futures early in their college careers by networking with prospective employers, landing internships and developing critical thinking skills. He said this cuts across all majors – from engineering to liberal arts – because employers are worrying less about a student’s major and more about whether they can solve problems and think outside the box. “The premium is being placed on flexibility and adaptability,” Bishop said, “because this change in the labor market looks like it’s permanent. And those who can quickly adapt are the ones who are going to survive through this and prosper through this.”

  • Tips on Taking Advantage of the Holidays When Searching for a New Job

    November 29, 2010 by

    With unemployment at double digits throughout much of the country and with serious concerns about joblessness weighing on the nation, “job” shopping is a holiday priority for many. Even though a layoff or job change can put a real damper on one’s Holiday spirit, now is not the time to slow your networking and job search efforts.

    Total Career Success, a career transition firm specializing in helping individuals transition to better jobs for better pay and advance their careers, encourages job seekers to use the holiday spirit to their advantage. Ken Dawson, CEO, shared, “A common misconception about the Holiday season is that business ceases when the festivities begin. The holidays are a social time, with parties, association functions and increased travel. Smart job seekers use these holiday events to reconnect with old friends as well as develop their professional and personal contacts. Networking during the holidays more than any other activity will further their job hunt and position them to be ahead of their competition come January.” He recommends the following tips to ensure success in holiday job searches:

    • Attend holiday parties and join the festivities. You can make excellent contacts, which may otherwise take weeks to uncover. Given that the number one reason people find new positions is a positive attitude, be sure your holiday spirits include being positive and upbeat about your future.
    • Be open about your job search and share information not only about what you are seeking, but exchange information you have gained which can benefit others. Remember giving is better than receiving, and in this situation it will create better results for you!
    • Use your holiday cards, hardcopy or electronic, to update your friends, associates and family on your current status. A note on a card is an upbeat way to get the word out. Then follow-up to personally exchange greetings and contacts.
    • If you’re going to be traveling, plan ahead, notify potential employers, and let them know you’ll be in town and would like to drop by. The out-of-towner has the psychological advantage over someone locally.
    • Don’t hesitate to network with potential employers during the holiday season. With many companies in the midst of budget planning, managers may have tips on positions opening after the first of the year. And with company activities slowing during the holiday, it can be an ideal time to call a manager who may be catching up in his or her office.
    • Don’t fall into the temptation to wait the holidays out by surfing the internet. Online job leads are most productive when integrated with your networking. And be careful when posting your resume on the internet – many online resume services are not secure. Be sure the internet sites on which you post your resume have a posted privacy policy.
    • Use the holidays to organize your job search. Do your homework, research companies, and be prepared for increased activity after the first of the year.

    Sheryl Dawson, co-author of Job Search: The Total System, said, “Whether out of a job or anticipating the ‘axe’, you shouldn’t use the holidays as an excuse not to pursue new opportunities. Many job searchers make the false assumption that the holidays are a bad time to search. Rather than slowing down job search activity, step up the pace.” Following the techniques of Job Search: The Total System, job seekers can use the holiday season to organize their job search campaign, target companies, formulate strategy, establish their goals and develop an action plan. Dawson went on to share, “The holidays can actually be an ideal time to prepare your job strategy so you can enter the New Year confident of your ability to sell yourself. The goal is not to simply get a job, but to advance your career and get a better job for better pay and a better life!”

    Dawson added, “Of course the holidays are a perfect time to make contacts. Job seekers shouldn’t think they’d spoil the fun by letting people know they’re looking for work. With a cheerful attitude and a professional approach, a holiday job seeker has a definite edge over those who wait until after the New Year. Most of all, constructive activity helps eliminate the temptation for the job seeker to get down in the dumps during the holidays. No one likes a party pooper! Stay positive, flexible and proactive. Remember, you only need ONE job so do not focus on the unemployment statistics. Rather, focus on what you have to offer an employer – your skills, competencies and value. If your industry is down and you must consider alternative careers or industries, concentrate on your transferable skills. There is a job or opportunity that is right for you.”

  • Business, Engineering, and Computer Science 2011 Grads Most Sought After by Employers

    November 23, 2010 by

    Marilyn Mackes of the National Association of Colleges and EmployersEmployers are most interested in hiring new college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the business, engineering, and computer science fields, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    Nearly 62 percent of the organizations taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey cited plans to hire accounting graduates. Other popular degrees at the bachelor’s degree level included:

    • Finance degree (57 percent of respondents);
    • Electrical engineering degree (53.5 percent );
    • Computer science degree (53 percent);
    • Mechanical engineering degree (53 percent); and
    • Business administration degree with a specialization in accounting, finance, and management (52 percent).

    Continue Reading

  • Kevin Grossman the Top Human Resources Influencer

    November 18, 2010 by

    Kevin Grossman of the Glowan Consulting GroupCongratulations to Kevin Grossman for being named by HR Examiner as the winner of the Top 25 HR Digital Influencers for 2010. Kevin was one of our primary contacts at HRMarketer.com and is now the Senior Business Consultant and Principal at The Glowan Consulting Group. Kevin has over 23 years of proven marketing communications, business development, employee development, talent management and general management experience working in the human resources and recruiting services industries, high-tech, and higher education. Even more importantly, he’s just a genuinely nice, smart, caring guy.

    HR Examiner’s process was primarily automated, admittedly not completely glitch free, and likely free of the inevitable bias that creeps into studies like this when subjective selection criteria are used. John Sumser described his process this way:

    Here are the keywords we used as the foundation of the analysis:

    “human resources” “human capital”, “human resources” “performance management”, “human resources” development, “human resources” “talent acquisition”, “human resources” “talent management”, “human resources” “workforce planning”, “human resources” recruiting, “human resources” training, “human resources” compensation, “human resources” career, “human resources” “career development”, payroll “human resources”, hr training, hr “workforce planning”, hr “talent management”, hr “human capital”, hr career, hr “career development”, hr “performance management”, payroll hr, payroll benefits, payroll “human resources” staffing, payroll “employment law”, payroll EEOC, hr development, “human resources” “recruitment process outsourcing”, “human resources” “candidate relationship management”, “human resources” “background check”, “human resources” “job references”, hr “talent acquisition”, hr “recruitment process outsourcing”, hr “candidate relationship management”, hr “background check”, hr “job references”

    As usual, the only change I made to these computer generated results was to remove my name which came in at number 6. It’s not credible to be included in the results stream even though the process is automated and beyond reproach.

  • CollegeRecruiter.com Sponsors Campus Recruiting Forums in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, CA

    by

    Graham Donald of Brainstorm Strategy GroupMinneapolis, Minnesota (November 18, 2010) – CollegeRecruiter.com, the leading job board for college students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities, is proud to announce that it is an official sponsor of Brainstorm Strategy Group’s Campus Recruiting Forums in Washington, D.C. on December 6th and San Francisco, CA on December 14th.

    “The Campus Recruiting Forums are wonderful learning opportunities for hiring managers, recruiters, and other human resource professionals who want to create or improve the university relations function of their organizations,” said Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of CollegeRecruiter.com. “Attendees at next month’s one day conferences will learn how their brands should effectively tell their organizations’ stories to college students, how to use social media effectively to support their campus recruiting efforts, and how to attract the best talent from today’s college campuses.”

    “We’re very excited about the line-up of presenters at the Forums,” said Graham Donald of Brainstorm Strategy Group. “I know the attendees are going to love hearing Mary Scott, President of the Scott Resource Group, as she presents findings from a recent study of student attitudes towards company websites in her session, Employer Web Sites and Online Applications: Students Benchmark Current Practices. She’ll discuss topics such as employers’ careers pages, online applications, and the how the electronic interface affects an employer’s brand. Attendees will also benefit from the expertise of Steven Ehrlich and Sabine Gillert from TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, as they present their session, Tribes: The Art & Science of Storytelling, about how companies can leverage strong employer brands to increase the success of their campus recruiting efforts.”

    You’ll also learn a lot more at the Forums – like Keys to Developing a Truly Strategic Campus Recruitment Plan from Graham Donald as other presenters who will discuss topics related to the current economy, the college labor market and how both will affect you in 2011.

    Don’t miss all this! Join dozens of leading experts in college recruiting in Washington, D.C. on December 6th or San Francisco on December 14th. Save a total of $100 by registering now: beat the November 26th regular registration deadline and save $50 through the sponsorship by CollegeRecruiter.com of the Forums. To save the $50, simply enter the special discount code CRC9 when you register.

    If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Carly Pisterzi of Brainstorm Strategy Group.

    About CollegeRecruiter.com

    CollegeRecruiter.com is the leading job board for college students hunting for internships and recent graduates looking for entry level jobs and other career opportunities. CollegeRecruiter.com features hundreds of thousands of job openings and tens of thousands of pages of employment-related blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos. For more information, please visit https://www.collegerecruiter.com.

    Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CollegeRecruiter.com was founded in 1991 by Steven Rothberg, who remains its President and ranked as the 43rd most influential person on-line in the Fast Company Influencer Project. To receive regular updates about new and interesting data and reports, visit the CollegeRecruiter.com Blog or follow CollegeRecruiter.com on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. For more information about partnering with CollegeRecruiter.com, email [email protected]

  • Easily Source Veterans and Disabled From Two- and Four-Year Colleges

    November 15, 2010 by

    Many of our largest employer clients are federal government and Fortune 500 organizations because our two most popular recruitment advertising tools are well suited to organizations with large hiring needs. News out of Washington, D.C. last week got me to thinking about whether we could help our clients hire veterans and disabled college students and recent graduates. In short, the answer is definitely.

    I learned just before Veterans’ Day that the federal government’s primary method of hiring interns may be illegal because federal agencies are supposed to give hiring preferences to veterans. The Federal Career Internship Program (FCIP) was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships but a number of agencies have abused it. An arbitration board just ruled that FCIP illegally circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles regarding veterans.

    If FCIP is dead, the agencies could shift to targeting college students who are veterans or disabled as those groups are to receive hiring preferences. But are there enough veteran and disabled college students and how can we help the agencies and our corporate clients reach those valuable candidates?

    I had our targeted email campaign and cell phone text messaging campaign data guys do a bit of research and found that we can email or text on behalf of our employer clients over one million veteran or disabled students and recent graduates:

    So clearly we’re able to help a federal agency, Fortune 500, or any other client that wants to hire veteran or disabled students or recent graduates. And we can drill down by targeting, for example, those who are (1) disabled, (2) juniors and seniors of four-year colleges, (3) accounting or finance majors, (4) with GPA’s of 3.0 to 4.0 and (4) are African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, or Native-American.

    If this intrigues you like it intrigues me, let’s have a look at how for as little as $2,250, CollegeRecruiter.com can help your organization reach veteran and disabled college students and recent graduates or just about any other demographic you wish. Just email your targeting wish list and we’ll figure out how best we can help you reach your recruiting goals.

  • Lawsuit May Have Killed the Federal Career Internship Program

    November 14, 2010 by

    Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

    Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

    An important decision by a key administrative agency that the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) violates a statute relating to veterans’ preferences illustrates one of the fatal flaws in this program, the leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees said.

    President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has been leading the fight to curb widespread agency misuse of the FCIP and eliminate the program, which circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles. “I welcome this highly significant decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which ratifies NTEU’s longstanding position regarding the illegality of the FCIP,” said Kelley. NTEU filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the MSPB. NTEU also has a pending suit, which is a more broadly based challenge to the FCIP. That suit challenges the program as applied to all employees, not just veterans, and is awaiting a ruling in federal district court. NTEU is seeking the prospective elimination of the FCIP along with the conversion of all FCIP hires to the competitive service without loss of pay or benefits.

    The cases at issue in the MSPB decision involve two disabled veterans, one of whom was seeking a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Board said it identified two specific legal flaws in the FCIP. The first flaw is that the program improperly permits agencies to classify a position as being in the excepted service—rather than in the competitive service—after a vacancy announcement is issued, and even after applications are received. The second, the MSPB said, is that the positions can be placed in the excepted service without a showing, as required by statute, that such a decision is “necessary” for conditions of “good administration.”

    In one case, a veteran alleged he was unable to apply for a position because he was not aware of vacancies; openings to be filled under the FCIP are not subject to the same public notice requirements as are competitive service jobs. In the other, a veteran applied for one of nine VA vacancies under an announcement limited to eligible veterans—but the agency filled all nine positions using the FCIP.

    The FCIP was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships; instead, a number of agencies have come to use it for all new hires. Often, agencies use it to undercut the competitive hiring process in ways that limit promotion opportunities for current employees.

    The MSPB decision comes at a time when the Office of Personnel Management, acting in response to a presidential directive earlier this year, is reviewing the FCIP and making recommendations to the administration about the future of the program.

  • Job Seekers Want More Employment-Related Content On the Social Media Sites of Potential Employers

    by

    Shannon Seery Gude of Bernard HodesBernard Hodes Group, a leading provider of integrated talent solutions, released the results of a new research study focused on the utilization of social media networks by companies interested in sourcing and recruiting new talent. The study, entitled “The Employment Conversation: How Employers & Talent are Meeting on the Social Web,” additionally reveals how the online population utilizes social media for seeking career-related information. Among the most interesting findings is that only one-third (32%) of those surveyed and searching social media sites found an employer presence containing helpful job-related information.

    “Our research supports the importance of a social media presence from a recruiting and branding standpoint,” said Alan Schwartz, president and CEO, Bernard Hodes Group. “Companies must be committed to nurturing their social web presence and ensure that they are connecting with potential candidates in an honest and authentic manner.”

    According to human resources professionals who participated in the Hodes study, the biggest challenges to deploying social strategies for recruiting purposes are managing internal training and resources needed for implementation, convincing co-workers or superiors that it is a worthwhile endeavor, funding, and organizational reluctance to change.

    “Through this research we discovered that although companies are developing social strategies and using social networks to create a community, they are still having challenges utilizing social networks to engage or connect with potential employees,” said Daria Friedman, vice president and director of research, Bernard Hodes Group. “Although connecting through social communities has become the norm for individuals, many companies still have not incorporated sufficient recruitment content into their social sites.”

    Even with challenges, using social media strategies is considered by most HR professionals to be very or extremely important for recruitment and employer branding. Nearly 80% have or plan to have a social media presence on their career site, use social media to keep in contact with alumni employees, optimize their career site for mobile access, and implement social-recruiting training.

    “Social recruiting strategies are extremely important to companies that are both actively and passively recruiting. Without a social presence, employers are potentially missing out on the opportunities to build relationships with candidates, seek out talent that may have specialized skills, and bolster their own reputation through a social strategy,” said Shannon Seery Gude, vice president digital and social strategy, Bernard Hodes Group.

  • Employer Branding Is More About the Candidate Experience Than Fancy Graphics

    November 12, 2010 by

    Kelly Bartkiewicz of MARSJonas Barck, marketing manager for Universum Communications, invited me to attend their employer branding conference this past Wednesday at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. In addition to the facility being absolutely top notch, so was the content.

    At about 2pm, a recruiter for one of the many Fortune 500 employers in the room commented that his takeaway from the day was that employer branding was a lot more about delivering a positive candidate experience than fancy brochures, web sites, pamphlets, or career fair giveaways. Yes! In one sentence, the recruiter absolutely nailed it. All of the fancy collateral in the world won’t result in the improvement of your organization’s brand unless there is real substance to back-up the style. In other words, actions speak louder than words. If you tell candidates that you have a collaborative work environment — which Gen Y loves — then they better not walk into your office and find a Dilbert-esque cube farm.

    One of the presenters who did a great job talking about branding was Kelly Bartkiewicz, Personnel & Organization Director – Talent Management at MARS. You’d think that with all of their wonderful candy, pet food, and other consumer goods that branding would be the least of their problems and yet it actually is one of their most significant problems. You see, consumers and therefore candidates have preconceived notions about MARS because MARS has a strong consumer brand. But that brand isn’t what they want to project to their candidates because working at MARS is a lot different than eating their candy or feeding your dog Greenies or any of their other pet-related products. So MARS has to stay true to its consumer brand yet also carve out a different employment brand. That’s not an easy task but it seems that Kelly and her team are having real success in achieving that goal.

    Another large but very different organization that we learned about was the National Security Organization. Lori Weltman, marketing manager, delivered the keynote presentation on how the NSA connects with its candidates. As a very selective intelligence agency, it takes them months and months to go from the point of initial contact to extending an offer of employment and just that delay frustrates a lot of candidates and inevitably costs them some good hires. Yet they’ve also learned that their candidates value working on some very, very leading edge technology without the pressures of earning a profit this fiscal quarter and their candidates want to do real, meaningful work that helps their nation. So the NSA focuses is branding messages on those and other hot button issues. Unlike MARS, the NSA has no consumer brand as it doesn’t sell anything to consumers. Yet that lack of consumer brand presents challenges to the NSA as they need to explain what they do to an awful lot of very highly qualified and difficult to hire candidates. Again, Universum picked a great presenter as Lori did a great job of communicating their tactics and strategies and her employer seems to have great success in achieving their goals.

    Kudos to Universum and all of the presenters. The conference was informative, engaging, and well worth the time for everyone in attendance.

  • Lamest Excuses for Calling in Sick (pun intended)

    November 09, 2010 by

    The work break is taking on a new meaning with workers forgoing just a few minutes away from their desks, in favor of, whole days away from the office to recharge their batteries. CareerBuilder’s annual survey on absenteeism shows 29 percent of workers have played hooky from the office at least once this year, calling in sick when they were well. Twenty-seven percent of employers think they are seeing an increase in bogus sick excuses from employees due to continued stress and burnout caused by the weak economy.

    While the majority of employers said they believe their workers when they say they’re feeling under the weather, 29 percent reported they have checked up on an employee who called in sick and 16 percent said they have fired a worker for missing work without a proven excuse. Of the employers who checked up on an employee, 70 percent said they required the employee to show them a doctor’s note. While half called the employee at home, 18 percent had another worker call the employee and 15percent drove by the employee’s house or apartment.

    “Six-in-ten employers we surveyed said they let their team members use sick days for mental health days,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “If you need to take some time away from the office, the best way not to cause yourself more stress is to be open and honest with your manager.”

    “Just not feeling like going to work” is the number one reason why workers said they call off sick with made-up excuses followed by “just needing to relax” and “catching up on sleep.” Other reasons included doctor’s appointments, needing to run personal errands, and plans with family and friends.

    When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:

    1. Employee said a chicken attacked his mom.
    2. Employee’s finger was stuck in a bowling ball.
    3. Employee had a hair transplant gone bad.
    4. Employee fell asleep as his desk while working and hit his head, causing a neck injury.
    5. Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.
    6. Employee’s girlfriend threw a Sit n Spin through his living room window.
    7. Employee’s foot was caught in the garbage disposal.
    8. Employee called in sick from a bar at 5:00 p.m. the night before.
    9. Employee said he wasn’t feeling too clever that day.
    10. Employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the home owner’s association
    11. Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie.
    12. Employee was in a boat on Lake Erie and ran out of gas and the coast guard towed him to the Canadian side.