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

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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?

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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 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.

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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.

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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.