• Career and job competencies of liberal arts graduates

    March 20, 2017 by

     

    There is a public perception that liberal arts graduates are somehow less valuable. Dr. Ascan Koerner with the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota will tell you why the opposite is true. College Recruiter connected Dr. Koerner with Todd Raphael of ERE Media to learn what his team is doing to make sure employers understand the relevancy of liberal arts students and graduates. A video of Todd Raphael’s and Dr. Koerner’s discussion is below. 

    According to Dr. Koerner, we have seen more public discussion in the last 5-10 years about the value of higher education, generally speaking. The arguments for what is valuable have primarily focused on STEM education. (That is, science, technology, engineering and math.) Some believe that in order to be competitive in an international job market, one really has to be focused on STEM. At one end of the spectrum, we see the Governor of Kentucky, who has questioned why universities even have liberal arts programs at all. This makes liberal arts students—and their parents—nervous. Dr. Koerner says that at the University of Minnesota, students are asking how liberal is helpful in their careers. He says their belief in the value of liberal arts has never wavered, “but the question hasn’t been posed to us in such stark terms.”

    Employers already value liberal arts, but they don’t realize it

    Overall, employers already know the value of liberal arts. The problem is, they don’t recognize it as liberal arts. When you ask employers, for example, what they value, they cite competencies that are quintessential typical liberal arts. At the top of their lists are analytical/critical thinking, communication, leadership, ethnical decision making, and engaging diversity.” Employers know what they value, but the job candidates—the liberal arts students—aren’t always good at explaining their own value. So while colleges and universities bear some of the burden of convincing employers, students bear most of that responsibility. A philosophy major may embody the exact skills needed but when you ask him how his education prepared him for a career in corporate America, he has a hard time. That is why it is so important to engage and prepare students for answering those questions. When the students eloquently explain their own competencies, that is more convincing to an employer than if the institution were to explain the overall value of liberal arts grads.  Continue Reading

  • 7-steps for successful federal government recruiting [tool and video]

    March 17, 2017 by

     

    To be a successful in federal government recruiting, you need deep knowledge of staffing systems and federal hiring practices and laws. However, you must also be willing to use innovative technologies and alternatives to posting on USAJOBS. College Recruiter spoke with Kyle Hartwig, ­­­­­­Senior Human Resource Specialist with the National Institute of Health (NIH). Hartwig developed a tool for federal government recruiters who are engaged in targeted outreach. The tool has 7 steps which guide recruiters in finding and engaging talent for hard-to-fill positions. There is a link below to the full 7 steps. Here you can read a summary and watch our 5-minute interview with Kyle to hear major tips and takeaways.

    This tool attempts to address unique challenges in federal government recruiting.

    According to Hartwig, a lot of agencies are afraid of doing active outreach. The reason is that they are concerned about is ethics. There are very stringent laws associated with hiring. Thus, HR specialists in agencies across government often shy away from taking real steps to find talent for unique roles. More often than not, many federal agencies don’t feel they have the freedom to recruit and find their own talent. With strict or even confusing federal staffing regulations, recruiters often opt for simply posting the opening on USAJOBS, or a few other places. After that, they just wait to see who applies. Hartwig says he built this tool because “we owe the American public our best efforts to keep our agencies fully staffed and running at capacity to fulfill their missions.”

    In another vein, many federal HR specialists are unaware of the specific competencies necessary in each role they recruit for. Understanding those competencies would allow them to actively pursue ideal talent. Hartwig says that this is possible. “I’ve found proactive and specific talent sourcing and outreach to be a challenge in the Federal government but not impossible.” His tool allows HR specialists to use best practices while also following federal guidelines.

    Don’t buy into the myths.

    Congress certainly provides guidance for government recruiting and hiring practices, and we definitely need to follow all regulations. But there are myths out there that perpetuate assumptions about recruitment and hiring practices. Hartwig says, “Don’t immediately think there’s a regulation against this, or there’s a law that prohibits this,” or there is a reason not to employ certain recruitment practices. Many times, Hartwig says, if you investigate further, you’ll find these are myths. Don’t be afraid to expand your outreach to beef up your candidate list. Hartwig says he is often confronted with the assumption that outreach is easy. Wrong. Outreach—the kind that results in high quality hires—takes a lot of work. “Working with an entire hiring team, and finding the exact target skills of the desired candidate is not easy.” The 7-step tool, however, breaks it down into a methodical process.

    The seven steps in the tool are not ground breaking. They are quite simple: Continue Reading

  • Programmatic advertising in recruitment: start paying attention

    March 15, 2017 by

     

    Programmatic advertising is alive and well in the present. However, many recruiters still think of it as a future strategy. Programmatic advertising will account for 50% of all digital ad sales by 2018, if not even sooner. That is only a year from now, so if you’re still not putting dollars into this method of recruitment, you should start paying attention. Despite this rapid scalability of programmatic advertising, it’s been slow to adapt to the recruiting and entry-level hiring space. Here we will explore how this new technology will look in the recruitment space.

    A primer on programmatic advertising

    The overall concept of programmatic advertising can be very nuanced. Essentially, it’s based on artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time bidding (RTB). It automates the decision-making process for where to place advertisements online. As digital and mobile technologies scaled, programmatic was a way to help maximize the ROI of advertising budgets. Consider this: there are more than 41,000 zip codes in the United States alone. To manually optimize and target campaign efforts is beyond the scope of most human beings. Here there was a natural space for programmatic advertising, which can automatically understand where to place advertisements based on a web user’s data patterns. As Digiday has summarized, albeit a bit flippant, “It’s using machines to buy ads.”

    Programmatic advertising kills “post and pray” in recruitment

    The standard recruiting approach for years has been “post and pray.” A company will create (or recycle) a job description and then mass-post to a variety of boards. Then, they just hope some ideal candidates roll in. The ROI on this process is suspect, and it’s even more suspect if you’re a company with high-volume hiring needs. While you need a lot of candidates, you also need to stay within budget — so there has to be a degree of strategy and targeting to the process. Unfortunately, there often is not.

    Programmatic advertising attempts to solve some of these issues. It proves a clearer ROI and makes sure that recruitment advertising budgets are slotted towards the most important vacancies. And, above all: the processes that used to give recruiters the most headaches are now almost entirely automated.

    A breakdown: What does this look like for recruiters?

    If you are a recruiter just trying out programmatic advertising, here’s how it breaks down at the ground level: Continue Reading

  • Recruitment marketing across social media: Best practices

    March 08, 2017 by

     

    Many employers have embraced recruitment marketing across social media. Here we’d like to share best practices and answer common questions.

    If college students don’t use Facebook as much anymore, should employers even consider branding on Facebook to reach millennials?

    According to Fluent – a customer acquisition platform – in 2016, 41% of millennials use Facebook every day*. That generation was part of the days when you had to sign up with Facebook using your college email address. While the use of Facebook has since changed, millennials are using it to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as receive news.

    The organic reach of brands on Facebook has been reduced dramatically. Nowadays, you have to “pay if you want to play.” Therefore, companies have to allocate a budget to advertise on this platform. Even though organic reach is almost nonexistent, a company should post regularly (2-3 times a week) when advertising. Here is why:

    If your company is sponsoring posts (ads) and candidates click on these posts, they are sent to a landing page outside of Facebook. But candidates can still visit your company’s Facebook page. If that’s the case, your page has to grab the visitor’s attention. If there is no sign of recent content or content of value, the visitor will not likely take interest in the ad or your company.

    One great thing about advertising on Facebook is how granular companies can target candidates. You can focus on certain universities, majors, graduation date and more. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to brand your company as an employer to the most relevant audience.

    *Note: That same study shared that the older millennial generation (ages 25-34) use Facebook most in comparison to the younger millennials (ages 18-24). 

    Where else should companies invest in social media marketing?

    Facebook may not be the best channel to use for recruitment if you’re not paying to play, but Instagram and Snapchat are two channels that can support your efforts to reach college students and millennials. These social networks can assist with attracting these candidates because both are all about the visuals. Leverage them for your employer branding efforts and tell your company’s story through videos and photos, but don’t forget about Snapchat Geo-Filters.
    Continue Reading

  • Diversity recruitment lessons from law enforcement: Inside the research

    March 06, 2017 by

     

    College Recruiter is introducing a regular feature called “Inside the research”. We will dive into recent research that can be applied to practitioners in recruitment, HR and talent acquisition. 

    Policing and race relations are topics of national interest these days. A study from the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice1 looked at how several law enforcement agencies market their opportunities to communities of color, and their success in diversity recruitment. Drawing a parallel between police and corporate recruitment highlights just how much effort recruiters must put into hiring diversity. That is, if you want results. Here are six lessons that recruiters can glean from this study.

    Understand that institutional racism is around us. “Police agencies have been criticized for what is perceived as institutional racism in the recruitment, retention and promotion of Blacks and other racial minorities,” write the authors of the study, titled “Recruiting for Diversity in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Practices Used by State and Local Agencies.” While police have been in the hot seat, recruiters of all sectors and industries must turn the mirror upon themselves. Many would agree that institutional racism exists in business across the board.

    Put your money where your mouth is. The authors write, “Today’s typical police recruitment campaign is managed almost exclusively using advertisements in those news publications that cater to the greater (White) community at large.” As a recruiter you might be thinking, but we advertise across many different channels, including Facebook, which is very diverse! That may be true, but try doing a little exercise. Compare all the places where you advertise, and how much money you spend on each channel, to your recruitment goals. If you have a goal around diversity, you have to put your advertising dollars where your mouth is.

    Police agencies desperately want to hire diversity, precisely because they know they have a trust problem with communities of color, particularly the African American community. The study points out what should be common sense: “When citizens see that a police department has personnel who reflect a cross-section of the community, they have greater confidence that police offers will understand their problems and concerns” (Streit, 2001). The study found, however, that these agencies are just not putting their money where their mouths are. There are points of contact in the community where recruiters may connect with more of their targeted candidates—churches, hair salons, shopping malls, for example—and yet the agencies studied here did not take advantage these opportunities.

    Be aware of hypocrisy. Companies who include diversity in their core values, and especially companies who flaunt their inclusive environments, would be wise to check their authenticity. The study reminds us of what we already know about policing: “when community partnerships are seen as being superficial, agencies risk alienating candidates who might be aware of hypocrisy where such activities are inconsistent with reality.” (Syrett & Lammiman, 2004). You should communicate your commitment to diversity, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Effective diversity recruitment makes it so. Continue Reading

  • College Recruiter CEO to speak about gender diversity at NACE conference

    February 27, 2017 by

     

    Minneapolis, MN (February 25, 2017)—Interactive recruitment media company College Recruiter announced today that CEO Faith Rothberg will speak at this year’s conference for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), held June 6-9 in Las Vegas. The NACE conference is for college career services and college recruiters to make new connections, develop new insight and skills and discover new business solutions. Rothberg will speak about diversifying the workforce.

    According to Rothberg, “When you pretend gender diversity doesn’t matter, your bottom line suffers. So recruiting and retaining women isn’t just the right thing to do – it is essential to increasing your profitability.  Including women in all areas of your organization adds valuable differing insights to solve our tough business problems.”

    As CEO of a technology driven business, Rothberg has an inspirational personal story to share. Her career has remained at the intersection between business and technology, both of which were male-dominated fields when she entered them and, unfortunately, remain so in 2017. After earning her MBA, Rothberg became a manufacturing information technology consultant in a job that required working out of construction trailers at manufacturing facilities. Rothberg now leads College Recruiter and takes pride in helping launch the early careers of college students, including thousands of young women. STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are heavily dominated by men, and Rothberg will share about the challenges she has faced while climbing to the top.

    Although less attention is paid on this topic outside of STEM, many non-STEM industries are just as lacking in gender diversity. Rothberg will identify the industries and fields that are lagging, and discuss some of the research around why organizations need to diversify their talent pipeline. She will speak directly to recruiters who influence that entry point into the pipeline, as well as retention strategies.

    Rothberg’s focus for the discussion will go beyond merely discussing the problem. She will bring specific examples of how small, medium, and large organizations have successfully improved their recruitment and retention of women. She will discuss the implementation of innovative programs that will improve their recruitment and retention of female students and recent graduates.

    About College Recruiter

    College Recruiter believes that every student and recent grad deserves a great career. They believe in creating a great candidate and recruiter experience. Their interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers. College Recruiter is the leading, interactive, recruitment media company used by college students and recent graduates to find great careers. Their clients are primarily colleges, universities, and employers who want to recruit dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year.

    About NACE

    Established in 1956, NACE connects more than 7,600 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide, more than 3,000 university relations and recruiting professionals, and the business affiliates that serve this community. NACE forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks.

  • Assumptions that hurt hiring practices

    February 24, 2017 by

     

    Hiring assumptions are everywhere. They often reduce the effectiveness of the hiring process. Admittedly, it’s impossible to remove all potential subjectivity and bias from a hiring process. Even as we’ve introduced more technology into recruiting (for example, Applicant Tracking Systems), a human being–a flawed human being–makes the final decision after some person-to-person meetings. A candidate’s dress, speech, overall manner, specific responses to questions, and more can potentially trigger biases and assumptions in even the most level-headed hiring manager. Confirmation bias is hugely powerful psychologically, and we can’t ignore that.

    However, let’s call out some of the biggest hiring assumptions. Perhaps increased awareness can help us to be more vigilant, and minimize the impact of our biases on recruiting and hiring. Some of the most common hiring assumptions include:

    Assumption #1: “The perfect candidate is always out there somewhere!” This is an ideal, but often not the reality. To find the best candidate for a given job, a hiring manager/HR professional needs to understand three different concepts: (1) the work itself, (2) the current composition of the job market for that type of role, and (3) what other jobs in that geography (or remote) are offering. Internally at companies, HR and hiring managers tend to understand (1), but less so (2) and (3). If you need an “agile scrum manager,” and your local market just hired dozens of that role, then when you go to hire, it’s a depleted market. The perfect candidate may not be out there, and it may be better to delay the posting instead of hiring someone short of your needs because of this hiring assumption.

    Assumption #2: Complicated hiring processes weed out less passionate candidates: Many times, companies will create intense early-stage (top of funnel) hiring processes. For example, their candidates must take written tests, complete projects, etc. The theory is logical: having these as mandatory will weed out less-passionate “passive” candidates. Unfortunately, though, this is also a hiring assumption that can backfires. Intensive, jump-through-hoops hiring demands can end up just being barriers, and weed out highly-qualified people, who may simply choose not to apply. Additionally: if your hiring process is very demanding, that might be fine. But please make sure it correlates with competitive compensation at the end. No one wants to prove a skill set 17 times over to then be offered an under-market salary. Continue Reading

  • Mobile job applications: Q&A with the Experts

    February 22, 2017 by

     

    In today’s “Q & A with the Experts”, College Recruiter spoke with Chrissy Toskos, Vice President Campus Recruiting at Prudential FinancialWe asked Chrissy about how much Prudential Financial allows, expects or accommodates mobile job applications. We also are including insight from College Recruiter founder and president Steven Rothberg, who adds a birds-eye view of employers trying to attract entry-level applicants with mobile applications, and how they measure their success. 

    What changes are necessary to make a good mobile job application?

    Chrissy Toskos: Prudential was an early adopter of mobile applications, having introduced it in January 2015 when less than 20% of Fortune 500 companies had this capability. The mobile application was launched with the intent to provide an easier and more modern way for students to apply for internships and full-time positions at Prudential.  We created a student friendly application by reducing the number of fields that the students are asked to complete which resulted in a shorter application and significant increase in applications.

    We eliminated duplicate content and created specific parameters to ensure that the information captured from each candidate is accurate and specific. By tailoring the language and reorganizing the application to the student perspective, we found a significant increase in submissions and accuracy of completed applications.

    Steven Rothberg: Over the past two years, the percentage of traffic to College Recruiter from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has increased from 15 to 50 percent. The huge and likely permanent increase in the share of traffic coming via mobile versus websites is only exasperating a problem that many employers have.

    Do you notice a difference in quality between non-mobile and mobile job applications? 

    Chrissy Toskos: We have not seen a difference in the quality of applications via mobile device vs non mobile device since the processes mirror one another. After applying via mobile device, students are asked to submit their resume online to fully complete the application process.

    There’s no difference in quality between the mobile and non-mobile versions of the Prudential Application. Both application platforms provide applicants with a user friendly look and feel when searching, applying and submitting an application. The only functional difference is for applicants that need to upload a new resume in that the mobile application will not allow for resume uploads. Therefore, applicants need to save their submissions and later access their account via a non-mobile device to fully complete and submit their application. Once their resume is updated in the system, applicants can apply to jobs with ease via their mobile devices. 

    What challenges come with mobile job applications and how do you respond?

    Chrissy Toskos: We have found that we may have to reach out to candidates with a reminder to upload their resumes after they have applied.  Other than the follow-up this has been a seamless process allowing us to provide a more accessible way for students to apply to positions at Prudential.

    As mentioned above, one of our ongoing challenges is the inability to upload a new resume to their profile. We are currently monitoring the system functionality to solve for this current challenge.

    Steven Rothberg: The majority of employers make little to no effort to accurately and automatically track their sources of candidate traffic, applicants, and hires. Many rely upon candidate self-identification such as “how did you hear about us” drop-down boxes or, even worse, asking candidates during an interview. Studies show that drop-down boxes are very likely to provide inaccurate data, and it is likely that interview stage questions provide even worse data. These employers would be better off collecting no data than collecting data which is that inaccurate.

    Even if the employer is trying to automatically and accurately track their applicant sources, it is very difficult to do so accurately when candidates use mobile devices. One problem is that it is likely they will conduct their initial research on their mobile but then come back hours, days, or even weeks later on a laptop or another device that allows them to upload a resume. Tracking across multiple devices is very difficult and often impossible.

    Another and lesser known problem is that many tracking systems rely upon the use of cookies but those are blocked by mobile apps and many of the most popular mobile browsers such as Safari. Simply put, if your tracking systems rely on cookies, then you aren’t able to accurately track mobile traffic.

     

    Chrissy Toskos

    Chrissy Toskos is the Vice President Campus Recruiting at Prudential Financial. She leads the transformation of Prudential’s multi-faceted campus recruiting strategy to identify and invest in the long-term engagement of top talent while providing innovative practices for building a leadership pipeline for the company. Connect with Chrissy on LinkedIn.

     

     

    Steven RothbergAbout Steven Rothberg: Steven’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age. Disciplined in fifth grade for selling candy during math class and in college for running a massive fantasy hockey league, Steven managed to channel his passions into something more productive after graduate school. A fully recovered lawyer, Steven founded the business that morphed into College Recruiter and now, as its visionary, helps to create and refine the company’s strategy and leads its business development efforts.

     

    Want to stay on top of other expert advice around college recruitment? Connect with College on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

  • Spotlight on success: CEB’s summer internship program

    February 20, 2017 by

     

    As Head of Global Talent Acquisition at CEB, Teresa Green knows something about successful summer internship programs. She shared with College Recruiter about how they pull it off every year, and what she recommends as best practices.

    What does CEB’s summer internship program look like?

    CEB’s internship program provides students with hands-on work experience, allowing them to gain business acumen while supporting CEB’s mission to address senior leaders’ most pressing challenges. CEB hosts a ten-week summer internship program for rising college seniors in several of our U.S. office locations.  Interns are placed in one of two business communities; research or business development. Research interns examine common challenges faced by business leaders and produce solutions that help those business leaders to take action.  Business development interns assist with engaging senior-level executives in our services, prospecting and scheduling sales meetings. Each internship gives students a glimpse into the entry level roles within these communities and a chance to receive a full-time position at the end of the summer.

    Our interns make an impact, not coffee.

    We’re proud to say that interns make an impact – not coffee. Their work is tied to business objectives so we are able to measure the positive impact interns have on the organization.  At the same time, CEB makes an impact on the students’ development, ensuring they are starting their career on the right track. Guaranteeing interns gain valuable work experience, allowing them to establish business relationships and helping them identify possible long-term career opportunities are important objectives of CEB’s program.

    Every year we ask for feedback from our interns and, unanimously, they say that CEB hosts a well-rounded intern program.  Throughout the summer students participate in learning and development workshops, a speaker series with our executive leadership, community service projects and various networking activities. Our diversity employee groups also host external speakers, social events and training activities that interns partake in across the summer. And there is always time for a little fun.  In past years we’ve planned ice cream socials, bowling nights, baseball games and boat cruises for interns to hangout outside of the office.

    An example of an intern who went on to succeed at CEB Continue Reading

  • The do’s and don’ts of recruiting summer interns

    February 15, 2017 by

     

    Recruiting interns requires being strategic. Here are a few ideas.

    The competition for talent ranks as one of the biggest challenges with recruiting interns.  Whether contending with large corporations that have more established programs, or smaller businesses with better compensation and perks, companies are only successful in the long term with an effective recruitment strategy and strong employment brand.

    Developing the right recruitment strategy and implementing it on a consistent basis is critical.  Here are a few ways to become more strategic:

    • Host focus groups to learn how students perceive your employment brand, and what they are looking for in a potential employer
    • Encourage former or current interns to become ambassadors to further your reach on campus
    • Build and foster your school relationships, letting them know you’re open to new and unique opportunities to connect with students
    • Focus recruitment efforts in the fall. Your competition is probably recruiting interns to snap up top talent in January so it benefits you to start early.
    • Maintain a consistent message across all functions that are recruiting interns on campus, making sure what’s communicated aligns back to the larger organization.
    • Play up the positives of your company, being transparent about what a student may not feel is a benefit (students can see right through an inauthentic or generic message).
    • Increase your candidate pool and save on cost through virtual career fairs, info sessions, and video interviews.
    • Recruitment platforms, talent communities and niche job boards can help pinpoint candidates who you wish to hire.

    Dig into a few pools that you might be missing.

    Companies can broaden their candidate base through the use of talent communities and social media platforms.  A company’s own careers page can let students opt-in to receive notices about internship openings or related company news.  Social media platforms make recruiting interns easier by targeting and connecting with certain student populations (ex. HBCUs, STEM, MBA) through advanced filters and virtual presentations. Continue Reading

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