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

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Posted August 10, 2020 by

Case study for using email campaign to drive highly targeted candidates at scale to your ATS

High volume hiring requires a very different approach than when you’re just looking to hire one person here or one person there.

Many employers who just need to hire one person will post an ad for $75 for 30-days, get 10 to 25 applicants, hire a good person, and call it a day. But what if you want to hire 10 or even 50 people? You’ll need 10 or 50 times the applicants so do you post the same job 10 or 50 times? That’s just not feasible.

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale, meaning dozens or even hundreds into the same or similar roles. They advertise with us their part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs that require zero to three years of experience.

Want an example of a typical large hiring need and how we help? An intelligence agency knows that the more diverse its analyst teams, the better their analysis. Diversity means different things to different organizations, but to this government agency it includes recruiting STEM candidates from hundreds of HBCU, HACU, TCU, and other schools across the U.S.

We have permission to email about seven million students and 10 million recent grads (about 40 percent of those groups) and so it is likely that we’ll have at least 75,000 and often several hundred thousand candidates who fit the desired profile for a particular campaign. We generate an Excel spreadsheet showing how many we have at each of their target schools by year of graduation. The intelligence agency, through its advertising agency, purchases the campaign, provides the subject line and HTML message body, and we deliver that to the same candidates twice. The follow-ups double the response rate.

For a campaign to 75,000 candidates, we deliver about 2,000, engaged, highly targeted candidates to the employer’s career site. For a typical employer, that means about 200 applicants and 10 hires, for an effective cost-per-hire of only $500. That’s about 1/7th the cost of hiring the same candidates through on-campus recruiting.

Would it make sense to pilot an targeted email campaign?

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Posted August 07, 2020 by

Case study for using targeted email campaign to promote virtual career event

College Recruiter does not sell virtual career events to our employer customers. A large number of our employer customers – primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale – also use virtual career events.

Those employers advertise their part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs with College Recruiter. In some ways, we compete because there are only so many dollars in a budget. But mostly we’re complementary because we help a lot of our customers drive the right quantity and quality of candidates to their virtual career events.

Recently, an employer discovered on a Wednesday that hardly anyone had registered for their event, which was scheduled for the next Tuesday. They purchased from us a targeted email campaign for $5,000. We delivered 75,000 emails the next day to students with the targeted schools, majors (STEM), years of graduation (2021-22), and diversity (black, female, military veterans). On Monday, the day before the event, we delivered the same email to the same 75,000 candidates.

Instead of almost no candidates being aware of the event, about 16,000 were. Instead of almost none engaging, about 2,400 did. Instead of almost none attending, hundreds did. Instead of hiring almost no one, they hired about twenty. The event was a win-win-win: the employer brought the opportunities, their virtual career event vendor brought the platform, and College Recruiter brought the diverse, STEM candidates at scale. Would it make sense to pilot an email campaign to help ensure the success of your next virtual career event?

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Posted August 06, 2020 by

When is it too soon (and too late) to promote your virtual career event?

Given that my company, College Recruiter, does not sell virtual career events to our employer customers, you may be wondering why I sent this email to you. The answer is simple.

Our employer customers – primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale –advertise their part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs with College Recruiter. Some also use virtual career events hosted by other companies. In some ways we compete but mostly we’re complementary, as we help some of our customers drive the right candidates to their virtual career events.

Virtual career events are useless if the right candidates aren’t made aware of, don’t engage with, or don’t attend the event. Which begs the question, when should you make candidates aware of your event?

We recommend to employers who use our targeted email product to promote the events that we deliver the first email about a week in advance to build awareness of the event. We then like to deliver the follow-up email (we deliver the same targeted email twice to double the response rate) a day or two in advance. Basically, the first is a “hold the date” and the second is a “don’t forget” message. Would it make sense to discuss how we can drive thousands of highly targeted, diverse candidates to your next virtual career event?

Posted August 06, 2020 by

Turmoil is less impactful on Gen Z as they’ve known only economic and political strife

Every industry is blessed with the presence of a small number of thoughtful, sharing people. The people who read, watch, and listen and then freely share their insights with their customers, vendors, partners, and even competitors.

The recruitment industry of which College Recruiter is a part is no exception. One of those people in our industry is Mike Temkin, Vice President of Strategic Strategic Planning and Development for Shaker Recruitment Marketing. Mike does a masterful job of sharing with his network economic data and analysis, including articles about the impact of the economy on different sectors or groups of people. An example is an article that he just shared on Facebook from National Public Radio’s website, ‘Nothing Feels Tangible’: Virtual Is New Reality For Grads Starting New Jobs.

The job and employment data cited in the article are certainly devastating, and largely accurate. But some is also misleading, such as the continuing reliance by the media on the number of postings.

That kind of metric made perfect sense until a few years ago, but the massive growth of programmatic, cost-per-click advertising have changed the underlying premise that almost all postings run for 30-days and so a fair measurement of job growth is to compare the number of postings from five years ago (or whenever) to today, but that’s just not the case.

What is very common now is for an employer or their intermediaries to post a job on day one, deactivate it on day four when the number of clicks or applications hits some pre-defined number, re-activate it a day later, de-activate it two days later, etc. In a 30-day period, you can easily have 10 versions of the same job. Is that 10 times the number of postings? No, but there isn’t really a good way to equate the old way of measuring the number of jobs with the new realities.

The more subjective aspects of the article were great. The quotes from and empathy for this year’s graduates were well done. What could have been even better would have been to pull in this generation’s resilience.

My youngest is 21 and entering her fourth year of university. What struck me years ago about her cohort was that they’ve never known a time of peace. She was born in 1999 and so was only two on 9/11. We’ve been at war for her entire life.

This is not a generation like mine (Gen X) whose formative years came largely during times of peace and prosperity. Gen Z has, instead, life in an era of terrible wars and economic strife. There have certainly been good times too, but never without also struggles by many in their inner circles and society-at-large.

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Posted August 05, 2020 by

How to ensure a good turnout to your virtual career event

Until the spring of 2020, most Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at-scale have looked to on-campus career events and interviewing as central to their college and university recruiting programs.

Different employers have tried different strategies to replace on-campus recruiting. Many are using multi-employer, virtual events while others are hosting their own events. Either way, they’re a waste of time unless marketed to the ideal candidates. Career services do a lot of things very well, but marketing employment opportunities on behalf of a variety of employers isn’t one of them.

How should you market your virtual career event? Use a variety of tactics and repeated messaging to the same candidates. Build awareness then engagement then ask the candidate to take action by attending the event. Ask career services to promote it. Share it socially. Email it to candidates in your ATS. And get it in front of the right candidates at the right time via a high-quality, proven, targeted email campaign.

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. More than 2.5 million students and recent grads of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities use our site a year to find part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. Virtually every week and often multiple times a week, we deliver on behalf of our employer customers emails targeted to candidates of certain schools, geography areas, degrees, majors, years of graduation (2010 to 2023), grade point average, languages, diversity (race, gender, military veterans, people with disabilities), and more. We’ve delivered thousands of targeted email campaigns, so we know a thing or two about this. If you’re looking to hire dozens or even hundreds, let me know. We’ll get right back to you with some suggestions for how we can help.

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Posted August 04, 2020 by

18 of the best virtual career event platforms for engaging with students, grads

College Recruiter does not sell virtual career events, so this isn’t going to a “use our product” email.

Instead, this is going to be a “we’ve heard good things about these products from our Fortune 1,000 company, government agency, and other employers who hire at-scale customers” email. Virtual career event platforms come in many shapes and sizes and have existed for years, but they’ve become much more popular recently.

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. If we can help employers find virtual career event platforms that align with their needs, then that’s great. Some are best for multi-employer career fairs where you might have five or even 50 employers present. Candidates read about your roles, watch your video, and chat with you one-on-one. Others are more akin to information sessions or open houses, where there is only one employer. Some can be used either way.

Below are the platforms recommended by our employer customers, some of whom use our targeted email product to drive hundreds to thousands of highly-targeted, engaged candidates to their career events:

  • 6Connex
  • Brazen
  • CareerEco
  • Crowdcast
  • Easy Virtual Fair
  • Google Meet
  • Gr8 People
  • GradLeaders
  • Handshake
  • Jobcase
  • Paradox 
  • Shaker Recruitment Marketing
  • Symplicity
  • TextRecruit
  • vFairs
  • XOR 
  • Zoom

Now, a word of warning: a career event is like a tree falling in a forest: if no one attends, did it really exist? Would it make sense to explore how we can help ensure a good turnout to your virtual career event?

Posted August 03, 2020 by

What Gen Z candidates want from their 2021 internships and entry-level jobs

Every year, employers across the country scratch their heads in frustration as they try to understand what the current generation of college and university students and recent graduates want. Is it higher pay? Better benefits? Richer health care plans? Ability to work from home? Flexible working hours? Mentors?

This year, employers should expect massive changes over previous years. In addition to the gradual shift to a more candidate-centric hiring process since the 2008-09 Great Recession, we’ve also experienced the massive societal changes from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) recently surveyed more than 14,000 members of Gen Z — those born after 1997 — to ascertain their workplace-related preferences. Some are predictable but others may surprise you.

First, let’s look at what shouldn’t be of surprise to anyone. “Economic uncertainty is a theme that runs throughout. High school respondents are concerned about minimizing student debt, with almost half (48%) expected to have more than $10,000 in college loans. Nearly two-thirds (65%) expect to have a job while in college. While optimistic about finding a job within one year of graduation (84%), over half (56%) expect to be living at home when they begin that job.” This sentiment existed at these levels prior to COVID-19 and the increased prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement touched off by the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Something else which has seen little change is the shift toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, which tend to pay more and provide better job security. According to NSHSS, the most popular majors are health (30%), science (29%) , and business (18%). “The top three fields students expect to work in the future are medicine/health (37%); sciences (17%); and biology/biotechnology (17%). Consistent with these findings, hospitals were the top choice.”

There are differences by gender and race. “Women are more likely than men to enter the fields of medicine, science, and biology but far less likely to consider engineering or computer science. For the most part, STEM careers are seen as an area of opportunity for students of color who are often more likely to enter the top STEM fields than Caucasian students.”

Now, to some of the items which may be of surprise to many. That Gen Z cares about social justice and politics may not be all that surprising, but the number who do is likely to surprise many. Some of the findings:

  • 62 percent suggest it is extremely or very important to have women in leadership positions;
  • 63 percent believe the same of racial diversity in leadership;
  • They care the most about human rights (40%), healthcare/health (39%), and education (37%);
  • Although a whopping 76 percent expect to be involved in politics in the future, 66 percent are not interested in running for political office so most are looking to influence political decisions behind-the-scenes and a disproportionally large number of these (62 versus 57 percent) are female; and
  • Although the conventional wisdom is that young people don’t vote, that was proven to be inaccurate in 2008 and 2016 and an even greater percentage at 91 plan to vote in the 2020 election.

Another finding that may surprise some is the lack of interest in attending graduate school. Historically, those graduating from college during a recession tended to go to graduate school in far greater numbers. Rather than graduating into unemployment or underemployment, they often made the rational decision to essentially wait out the recession while also improving their marketability. Perhaps because the cost of grad school has increased about 10 fold over the past three decades, fewer members of Gen Z than generations previous plan to attend grad school during this recession. There are differences, however, between races and the genders. “Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (72%) and Blacks/African Americans (69%) are the most likely to show an interest in a graduate education. More women than men (64% vs. 55%) plan to attend graduate school.”

Consistent with their desire to be involved in a career that furthers social justice issues, 28 percent are interested in a career with local, state, or federal government agencies.

Finally, many employers will ask, what do students most want when searching for a job? This year, the top three considerations are:

  • Work / life balance – 61 percent
  • Welcoming atmosphere – 43 percent
  • Friendly colleagues – 33 percent

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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.

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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.