How to Hire and Retain Diverse, STEM, Recent College Graduates and Students — Part 1 of 3

Posted July 07, 2015 by

The College Recruiting Bootcamp, hosted by Verizon and organized by College Recruiter took place on May 18th at the Verizon headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Moderator Andrea McEwen-Henderson, National Account Manager from College Recruiter, introduced the conference and led the discussion.

Judith Rudge, Senior Manager from Verizon started off the discussion with a statement explaining the need for change. Judith said that it is important to learn the power of habits and be able to change them to incorporate a more diverse population in their organization. After a while, your habits turn into automatic functions. You see problems with the diversity of organizations that are unwilling to change the way they contact future employees. According to Judith, there are less women, African Americans, and Hispanics graduating with technical careers and so we have to change our habits in order to reach the next level of recruiting.


Topics Discussed:

1. How does your organization define what a diverse STEM candidate is?

  • Defining what your organization looks for in a diverse STEM candidate is difficult to do; every company has a different need. Yet every company needs more female, African American, and Hispanic applicants. This is hard to accomplish because the candidate pool is shrinking not only in STEM but in diversity as well.

2. How can we change our targeting processes to attract these diverse STEM graduates to our organizations?

  • Location of your company is one of the largest factors in what graduates will apply. Most candidates want to go to big cities or close to home, not to small cities far away.

3. What motivates the STEM diverse candidate to apply to a certain job?

  • It can vary from person to person, some want the “sexy company” and sometimes passion remains the largest motivator.

4. What is the best way to tap into the candidate’s passion and get them excited about a specific job opportunity?

  • In an interview, letting the applicant talk about why and what they want to do is the best way to find out if they want the job for what they will be doing, or if they simply just want practice or money. An example question to ask is: Why would you want to work in a small company instead of a large “sexy” one?
  • When trying to find quality candidates be proactive instead of reactive. Go ask students on a campus what they like to do and their interests. Send people who actually do the job to go out to the college campus. Word of mouth is still very effective even in this technological era.
  • Demonstrate sincere care for who they are, they might be able to handle other responsibilities not only contribute what they majored in. Then relate it to your company to get the student intrigued and want to apply.
  • Target students earlier in order to help increase the amount of people in STEM. A high school initiative is important to get young students interested in going into STEM careers. Some organizations have used a strategy of paying for a student’s college education, which in the future will work for their company.
  • Having a good intern program is very important. Allowing these entry level graduates to see what their career path will lead to with your company and what they will be doing 5 years down the line. This will spark interest in the graduate and will encourage them to perform to the best of their ability.

5. In order to help the recruiting process, how do companies show the rankings of schools that have a very diverse student body?

  • A scorecard for all of the school’s locations, graduation rates, and diversity breakdowns. The breakdowns are offered publicly by schools. This will be a good way to keep track of information that will help find a variety of diverse students from the schools you want.

To view part 2 click here

To view part 3 click here

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