• 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.

     

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  • 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

     

    Guest writer Heather Koenig at ADP

    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

  • Don’t ask, “Do we have to pay interns?” The answer is always yes.

    February 13, 2017 by

     

    A common question in the space of college recruitment and talent acquisition is, “Should interns be paid?” Sometimes, unfortunately, the variation is “Do we have to pay interns?” In fact, there are over 7.4 million Google search results for that latter question, with the No. 1 hit typically being this ProPublica article asking “When is it OK not to pay an intern?” However, I look at it from the other side. In short: you should and need to pay interns. 

    First of all, paying interns is a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) issue. In the broadest terms, government and non-profits do not need to pay interns, whereas for-profit companies do need to pay interns. The U.S. Department of Labor actually developed six criteria for determining whether an intern can work unpaid. (You can find everything on the sexily-titled “U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet Number 71.”)

    The fourth criterion is worded as “… the employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern …”

    As College Recruiter president Steven Rothberg puts it, “I defy anyone to provide an example of an internship designed to deliver absolutely zero value to the employer.”

    Continue Reading

  • Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! (Or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Next Generation)

    February 08, 2017 by

     

    For a Gen-X professional like myself, all the recent talk about millennials in the workforce can make you feel a little bit like Jan from the Brady Bunch when it seemed like all she ever heard about was, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”. These days, it’s almost impossible to pick up an HR trade publication or even a top-tier business publication and NOT read something about, “Millennials this,” or, “Millennials that.” With all this talk about millennials, if you are not part of the generation that was born between 1980-2000, it’s hard not to feel like the neglected middle child. Except it’s not our metaphorical over-achieving older sibling who’s getting all the attention, it’s our hipper, hungrier, younger relation that’s nipping at our heels, hogging the spotlight and challenging our assumptions.

    But the truth of the matter is, with millennials making up more than 50 percent of the workforce and growing (they surpassed that milestone in 2015, according to Pew), there is no longer any denying the current and ongoing impact they are having on the way businesses operate today. And that’s a good thing. Millennials are precipitating change in many important and significant ways, I would argue for the better.

    As baby boomers continue to retire, companies are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining millennials to replenish their ranks. With this backdrop, understanding the kind of corporate culture millennials desire and the forces that motivate them is key. But when you dig a little deeper, you will find that many of the same forces that motivate millennials also have a broader positive impact on the entire workforce, no matter their generation or demographic.

    Millennials: They aren’t as different as you think

    There has been a lot of talk about how millennials are different from other generations, but the latest studies show that may not really be the case. The differences between the older and younger generations have more to do with age and life stages than with the different generational experiences they had growing up.

    Millennials share many of the same long-term career goals as older workers. These include making a positive impact on their organization, helping to solve social and environmental problems, and working with diverse people. They also want to work with the best, be passionate, develop expertise and leadership capabilities, and achieve both financial security and work–life balance. In fact, only a few percentage points separate the number of millennials, gen-Xers, and baby boomers who claim these as their top goals.

    That doesn’t mean that companies don’t need to adjust and evolve to attract and retain millennials; it just means that the changes they make will resonate with, and increase employee engagement among, all their employees, not just the youngest. And while there are technology solutions that can help out in this area, technology alone won’t compensate for a corporate culture that doesn’t focus on showing workers true appreciation.

    How to stop worrying and embrace the millennial transformation

    If you’re a business looking to boost millennial appeal and improve overall employee engagement, consider making the following changes:

    Emphasize a broader purpose. Create excitement around the company’s mission and purpose by connecting to broader social causes and cultural movements.

    Encourage collaboration. Break down silos and encourage collaboration between diverse teams across your organization. Use team-building activities to help employees get to know each other and build interdepartmental connections.

    Provide frequent feedback. Recognize contributions. Encourage employees to develop their skills and expertise by providing with training opportunities along with frequent feedback. Create a culture that recognizes and rewards achievements.

    Provide opportunity. Look for employees who are ready to take leadership positions and give them the chance to show what they can do. Hire and promote from within rather than bringing in outside experts.

    Reward and recognize. According to the “Happy Millennials” Employee Happiness Survey, 64% of millennials want to be recognized for personal accomplishments, but 39% of them report that their companies don’t offer any rewards or recognition. Show employees you appreciate and value their hard work by recognizing and rewarding their efforts and achievements.

    Getting the most out of millennials and other generations in the workforce requires creating a culture that encourages, supports and rewards success. When companies do this it has a positive ripple effect across the entire organization, regardless of generation. So don’t fear or resent the millennial onslaught. Embrace them and the positive changes they are bringing to a workplace near you.

     

    Josh Danson, AchieversJosh is Director of Content Marketing at Achievers. An accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the fields of marketing and PR, Josh graduated from Kenyon College and lives in San Francisco with his wife and 9 year-old daughter. In addition to work and family, he is passionate about music, politics and fly fishing (not necessarily in that order). Twitter: @dansonshoes

  • Cultural awareness training is too simple to effectively manage diversity

    February 02, 2017 by

     

    For global companies–or any organization–with multicultural and diverse teams, a good manager must be aware of cultural differences, and they must embrace team members’ differences. Differences can lead to conflict, but just participating in a cultural awareness training is probably not the answer. There is more to learn about effectively managing diversity.

    Differences can lead to conflict within your team. And that is good. 

    A 2014 study published in Securitologia, authored by Dr. Krystyna Heinz, pointed out that “if a company wants to do business internationally, it needs to have knowledge related to diverse management process.” I would add, even a company who only does domestic business needs to have this knowledge, given the increasingly diverse workforce.

    Being more aware of different cultural values is the first step (but it’s only the beginning). If you’ve participated in any cultural awareness training, you’re familiar with the iceberg analogy. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll explain. Culture is like an iceberg. The aspects you can see or hear—clothing, food, language, etc.—are only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of what makes our culture unique is hidden from view. The Heinz study puts it this way: “Culture values are invisible behaviours.” Many cultural values will impact business and relationships at work, for example “family, money, religion, seniority, individualism, hierarchy, and others.”

    Your challenge is not to overcome these differences, but to embrace them. These cultural differences may lead to conflict, but in business that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, teams whose members don’t challenge one another end up being less productive. According to the Heinz study,

    “For most people the word conflict has negative connotations, but if no conflicts occur during team working, the team will probably not be effective.”

    The manager’s job is to “identify the underlying cultural reasons of conflict, choose the right strategy, and to intervene.” Cultural differences can lead to obstacles to high performance if they are not addressed, so the manager’s role is absolutely critical to making diversity work.  Continue Reading

  • How Millennial managers are different

    January 23, 2017 by

     

    Contributing writer Ted Bauer

    When Millennials become managers of others, what can we expect? How do they manage differently?

    We’ve been managing in similar ways for generations now (maybe as far back as 1911), but in the last few years, Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Right this second, being younger and all, Millennials aren’t running many companies yet. But they are managing: some research says 62% of global workers have had a Millennial boss at least once. 

    One important distinction here is that oftentimes, Millennials see themselves as leaders even if the job title doesn’t back that up. That was a key finding in a recent report from The Hartford. Here are a few other trends we see in Millennial managers:

    The work-life balance issue: Millennials are known for demanding work-life balance, but when they become managers, they are actually struggling with work-life balanceBeing young, they might feel they have more to prove in a role, and thus feel more pressure or spend more time at work. Other research has backed this up, calling Millennials one of the biggest workaholic generations. If you work for a Millennial who spends 12 hours+ per day at work and you feel the need to match or exceed that, this aspect of Millennial managers could be a con.

    Less command and control. More collaboration: This is a big theme of Millennial managers, with the common logic being that they grew up in more group activities — and thus feel comfortable in that setting. This is a very good thing, as one study has shown command and control management styles are literally taking years off people’s lives.  Continue Reading

  • Rugby championship: A unique college recruitment solution

    January 20, 2017 by

     

    If you think rugby has nothing to do with recruitment, think again. A Rugby championship was the unique solution to a recruitment challenge that Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company encountered. Jessica Choi, Assistant Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity, shared details with College Recruiter.

    What challenges was Penn Mutual facing that prompted the unique solution of sponsoring the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship?

    LIMRA states that the current average age of a financial adviser is 56 years old.1 From an industry perspective, we needed to find a way to connect with recent graduates and college students in order to get in front of the new generation of financial advisers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 300,000 advisers will be retiring over the next 10 years, which means there will be a 27 percent increase in adviser roles in this space.2 This is a tremendous opportunity for the life insurance industry, and connecting with the rugby community has been a great way for us to engage with college campuses and their students, coaches and administration in a different way. The rugby community is so welcoming and enthusiastic and has been a positive recruiting partner for us in this space.

    What does the Collegiate Rugby Championship say about what it’s like to work with Penn Mutual?
    The number one response that we get from the participants of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and outside rugby events is, “Thank you.” Because of our true support of the game and through our partnership with United World Sports, we have been able to make an impact on the growth of rugby in the United States. Rugby continues to grow and we are optimistic that we can provide career opportunities for ruggers, whether they are students, new graduates or alumni.

    What changes has the company seen since starting its rugby sponsorship, in terms of hiring trends?
    In terms of hiring trends, we take on a multi-faceted approach, so we employ other efforts in addition to rugby. We hired a chief marketing and digital officer because we strive to be a progressive company with a social engagement strategy. Typically you don’t see an executive with “digital” in his or her job title. Through our omnichannel marketing strategy and increased social media presence, we feel as though anyone who is engaged with us knows that we are growing and hiring.

    We have also changed from recruiting talent to attracting talent. We now get more phone calls from talent, asking about the organization more than ever before. I believe it’s because we’ve shifted the model in terms of attracting, not recruiting, talent to Penn Mutual.

    Why are relationships important at Penn Mutual, and how does the company live that value?

    Focusing on relationships is one of our core values at Penn Mutual. One of the things that differentiates Penn Mutual from other companies is the fact that we live and breathe our values every day. My fellow colleagues live their passion and everyone is truly passionate about our purpose to empower our clients to live life with confidence. We’ve all been able to learn about the impact life insurance makes on people’s lives and we utilize different techniques to keep the company moving forward in innovative ways. We truly live the company’s values and feel a sense of belonging at the company.

    What are Penn Mutual’s overall college recruitment strategies?  Continue Reading

  • How a Liberal Arts degree prepares students for managerial success

    January 18, 2017 by

     

    Guest writer Ascan Koerner, University of Minnesota

    For employers who look exclusively for STEM backgrounds to fill their positions, they are missing out on a wide pool of qualified candidates. Students with a liberal arts degree offer distinct advantages, and employers should not overlook them.

    Technical and engineering skills may fit only the short term

    The technical and engineering skills that get a student hired initially often have an expiration date. Those skills unfortunately may also fall victim to automation. A recent study by Carl Frey and Michael Osboren of Oxford University suggested that 47% of all employment in the U.S. is at risk of being replaced by automation, including many mid-level technical and engineering positions.

    Skills most in need are not technical, but soft

    Even more importantly from a career development perspective, technical skills alone often are insufficient to help employees advance their careers. Almost invariably, career advancement means to take on managerial and planning responsibilities. Those leadership positions require not technical skill but so-called soft skills. Soft skills include critical thinking, being able work in a group, interpersonal communication, leadership, and complex problem solving.  No surprise that according to a recent survey of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the four most sought after skills of recent graduates are not technical, but critical thinking/problem-solving, work ethic, teamwork, and strong oral and written communication. A recent study conducted by Indeed.com reports that 64% of “opportunity jobs” (those with high and growing wages) require complex problem solving skills.

    Liberal arts programs prepare students for leadership

    It is precisely in these areas where students with a liberal arts education have distinct advantages over their more technically educated peers. Indeed, at the core of a liberal arts education is building skills such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, engaging diversity, and ethical decision making. Liberal arts programs uniquely prepare graduates for leadership and managerial roles in organizations. Liberal arts students are also used to using their skills in various contexts, preparing them to better deal with uncertainty. Given the long-term unpredictability of today’s business climate, this adaptability is critical. Furthermore, liberal arts college are also committed to diversity and uniquely prepare students to learn and interact with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is no surprise that liberal arts graduates are disproportionately represented in the c-suites of the nation’s largest and most innovative corporations.

    Liberal arts graduates are life-long learners

    A final strength of liberal arts graduates that is often overlooked by recruiters is their ability to acquire new skills and to engage in life-long learning. Even if liberal arts graduates need more initial training for a position that requires specific technical skills, they have all the attributes that will make them successful in the long run. Not only do they tend to advance more readily in their careers, they also are more likely to stay with their employers and contribute significantly to the long-term success of their organizations.

    Colleges want to help connect liberal arts to careers

    Increasingly, colleges and universities are becoming more aware of how a liberal arts education contributes to career success. They are beginning to engage students and employers in conversations about the distinct advantages of liberal arts degrees. For example, the College of Liberal Arts of the University of Minnesota recently launched a career readiness initiative. The initiative highlights ten core career competencies inherent to the liberal arts. The college offers courses and programs that allow students not only to recognize their unique skills and abilities, but also how they relate to their long term career success.

    Recruiters who want to hire for the long run should pay attention to these developments and to not overlook liberal arts graduates. These young workers are viable candidates for entry-level positions, especially those that are a pipeline for leadership opportunities within their organizations.

     

    Ascan Koerner, professor and director of undergraduate studiesAbout Ascan Koerner: Ascan is the Director of the Career Readiness Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. The initiative is part of the Dean’s road map for the college and aims to make CLA graduates the most desirable and best prepared graduates. In addition, Ascan is a professor and director of undergraduate studies. His research interests are family communication and communication in interpersonal relationships.

  • How to prevent high turnover

    January 16, 2017 by

     

    Contributing writer Ted Bauer

    Turnover is a concern for businesses. While exact loss numbers around employees departing is hard to track, most CFOs agree that it hits the bottom line. There are obviously intangible issues with turnover, too. The remaining employees (a smaller number) have to share the same (or greater) workload, stressing them out. And certain employees are huge knowledge bases or social connectors. Losing them can strip your business of valuable resources well beyond any cost incurred hiring and training the replacement.

    On top of all this, there is some belief that Millennials change jobs faster than Boomers. (Statistically, though, average U.S. job tenure is about 4.6 years — and in 1983, it was 3.5 years. So Millennials have actually gotten more loyal to companies.)

    How can turnover be prevented, regardless of generation?

    Let’s begin with a little science. Paul Zak is a specialist in researching oxytocin (a chemical in your brain). He gave a popular TED Talk in 2001. Oxytocin is one of the biggest drivers of trust-based relationships in humans, and more oxytocin release — which is tied to much greater happiness and less corporate turnover — tends to come from autonomy over work as opposed to increased compensation.

    There’s Idea No. 1, then: focus less on compensation as a driver of behavior, and more on providing employees with autonomy over what they can do, i.e. do not micro-manage them at every turn.

    The second idea is something called “The Hawthorne Effect.”

    Per Wikipedia, the Hawthorne Effect is “when individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to being observed.” This all comes from a place called Hawthorne Works (get it?) in Cicero, Illinois and some experiments done with light bulbs. If you make the room more bright — increase the light bulb, in other words — workers end up being more productive. But if you dim the light bulb again, productivity drops back to normal (or below-normal levels).

    The modern application of the Hawthorne Effect, then, is that if you’re more responsive to worker needs, those workers will be more productive. Care about employees. Listen to them. Engage with them. Be supportive of them.

    Too often, we think we can solve an issue like turnover or low employee morale/engagement with a new software suite. We can solve accounting issues that way, or even business process (BPO) concerns, but engagement and turnover are distinctly people issues. You solve people issues by investing in people, not technology. That’s the big takeaway here.  

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