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

Posted June 05, 2020 by

AT&T launches externship for 100,000 students whose summer internships fell through

Hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of college and university students and recent graduates were looking forward to gaining critical career-related experience and, hopefully, also making some money through internships this summer. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the labor market upside down and led many employers to rescind their offers of employment or otherwise cancel their internship programs.

These students may be without a job, but they aren’t without opportunities to advance their careers. They can put their skills, education, and drive to work by volunteering in their communities. They can find employment with organizations who remain open as they provide essential services. And they can continue their education, either through their schools or third-parties.

AT&T recently announced the creation of its Summer Learning Academy. According to Dahna Hull, SVP-Human Resources, the Academy is “a free, unpaid self-paced online learning “externship” certificate program, designed to support college students looking for something to fill the void. This program is open to all college students and consists of 80 hours of virtual, on-demand 24×7 content. Registration is open now for college students through June 12 and the program runs from June 22-July 20.”

Continued Hull, AT&T’s “hope is that this program provides an environment where students can continue to grow and prepare for life after graduation.” It is a free, self-paced online learning certificate program powered by AT&T’s award-winning AT&T University curriculum. The unpaid “externship” is designed to support more than 100,000 students on the AT&T University platform. The content is in English but available to students located almost anywhere in the world.

The curriculum includes professional development and business acumen coursework. Students will have the opportunity to hear from speakers like Stedman Graham, Molly Bloom (author of Molly’s Game), and General Thomas Kolditz.

AT&T is working with a number of universities to provide graduating students with certificates that meet some of their professional experience requirements, so if your school requires you to successfully complete an internship prior to graduation, you’re going to want to speak with them about this program to see if they will accept this in lieu of a more traditional internship, the likes of which are far fewer this summer than any university could have anticipated.

To register, go to https://www.att.jobs/externship.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted May 28, 2020 by

What 2020 college grads should expect as they enter the job market

As recent graduates enter the job market, they should expect employers to be slow in responding, interviewing, extending offers, and scheduling start dates. The vast majority of human resource professionals for medium- and large-organizations are working from home due to COVID-19. Although those and others working from home proved, on average, to be more productive, that productivity will likely wane over time as people inevitably settle into bad habits. Even if the people you’re interacting with are very productive, it is likely that at least one of the people involved in the hiring process won’t be and that will slow down the entire process. 

Also, there are huge variations industry-to-industry and even metro-to-metro in terms of the job market. We’re 2.5 months into the shutdown and a typical job posting ad on a typical job board or employer’s career site automatically expires after 30- to 60-days and so very few job postings that you might run across are now leftover from the pre-pandemic days. If you see a job advertised, there’s an excellent chance that employer is actively hiring for that role. 

What recent graduates can do to prepare themselves for the job market is to be more proactive and less reactive. Focus on the quality instead of quantity of your interactions, meaning that you’re more likely to get hired if you focus your efforts on five to 10 employers within one industry than 100 to 200 employers across several industries. Just as you would do your research prior to writing a paper in school or taking an exam, do the same when getting ready to apply. Research the industries of interest to you and focus on the one that best aligns with your competencies, interests, values, and needed compensation.

From there, look for five to 10 employers who are hiring people like you and get to know those employers well, including who are their customers, vendors, and partners and what their products or services are. Apply to their advertised jobs and network with the people in the departments you would work in to build a relationship with them. Use your research to demonstrate to them that you really know who they are and what they do, as very few candidates do that and so you’ll really stand out. After you contact them and after you apply, follow-up in three to five business days, as your occasional but repeated affirmation of interest will also stand out in a positive way. You need to convince first the human resource recruiter that you meet the requirements and, hopefully, preferences for the role and then the hiring manager. Do so by directly addressing each of those in your cover letter and resume. Convince them that you’re the lowest risk candidate to hire as you’ve done the same or very similar work before. 

What underclassmen should consider for the future due to the current changes in the labor market is that their graduating class is going to struggle throughout their careers against underemployment and underpay. Students who graduated during the 2008-09 Great Recession and took any job they could find at any hourly wage found it very, very difficult to migrate from those jobs into career-related roles with good compensation. If you’re an engineer working as a minimum wage barista, it is going to be hard for an engineering firm in a couple of years to see you more as an engineer and less as a barista. Also, when they’re looking at what to pay you, too many employers look at what you were paid in your most recent role and then try to pay you close to that, so if you were making $12 an hour but should have been making $25 given your degree, then it is going to be hard to convince your career-related employer to increase your pay more than 100 percent, even though what you were paid for a job you’re no longer doing shouldn’t matter.

To get back to the level of compensation you deserve, you will likely need to move from job-to-job more frequently than those who graduated a year or two ahead of you. That doesn’t mean that you’ll need to hop from employer-to-employer. Maybe within a couple of years you start in a call center for a large firm, hop to a better paying and more career-related customer service role within that same organization, and then hop to a sales engineer role with that same organization. 

Posted May 26, 2020 by

Fox News: Class of 2020 college graduates face changed world

College Recruiter’s founder, Steven Rothberg, was interviewed for this story about how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the job market for college and university students and recent graduates from one of the best to the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Posted May 19, 2020 by

How to find a virtual or remote internship or other entry-level job

In this fifth of five short videos for candidates who are adapting their job search to this Covid-19 world, College Recruiter’s owners, Faith and Steven Rothberg, discuss how students and recent graduates can find virtual or remote part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs.

These jobs are hard-to-find, or at harder to find than a more traditional job was until Covid-19 upended almost everything we knew. But harder to find does not mean impossible. Many employers are still hiring, and not all of the jobs are gig, part-time, or lowly paid.

Posted May 19, 2020 by

What to do in this Covid-19 world if your internship or job started but you’re afraid of a layoff

In this fourth of five short videos for candidates who are adapting their job search to this Covid-19 world, College Recruiter’s owners, Faith and Steven Rothberg, discuss the situation that many students in internships and recent graduates in entry-level jobs are experiencing: fear of layoff.

Millions of Americans have been laid off through no fault of their own or even, in most cases, their employers. But the fact that you’re one of millions who fear that you might lose your job over the coming days and weeks doesn’t make the situation any easier. There are steps to take, and being a little proactive now could save you a lot of grief later.

Posted May 19, 2020 by

What to do in this Covid-19 world if you received a job offer but have not yet started

In this third of five short videos for candidates who are adapting their job search to this Covid-19 world, College Recruiter’s owners, Faith and Steven Rothberg, discuss what students and recent graduates should do if they were fortunate enough to receive an offer of employment but have not yet started.

Should they wait to hear from their employer?

Posted May 19, 2020 by

What to do if you were interviewing for a new job when Covid-19 turned your world upside down

In this second of five short videos for candidates who are adapting their job search to this Covid-19 world, College Recruiter’s owners, Faith and Steven Rothberg, discuss what students and recent graduates should do if they were in the midst of searching for a new job and perhaps had even interviewed and received an offer of employment.

Posted May 19, 2020 by

What to do in this Covid-19 world if you have not started searching for an internship or other job

In this first of five short videos for candidates who are adapting their job search to this Covid-19 world, College Recruiter’s owners, Faith and Steven Rothberg, provide advice for those who have not yet started to search for a job.

What jobs should they be looking for? Where should they look for those jobs?

Posted May 18, 2020 by

Are college students eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?

One of the many untold stories from the 30+ million job losses our country has experienced over the past few weeks is the devastating impact it has had on students and recent graduates of technical schools, vocational schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities.

  • There are about 20 million, currently enrolled students of four-year colleges and universities. Roughly five million of them graduate a year.
  • There are about 17 million students of two-year colleges. These are called community colleges in most of the country but some are referred to as junior colleges. Roughly four million graduate a year.
  • There are about five million students of one-year colleges. These are mostly technical and vocational schools. About two million graduate a year. 
  • In total, we’re looking at about 42 million students and 11 million graduates in any given year.

There is a misconception that many college students don’t work. Certainly, there are some that don’t and many don’t work year-round, but the vast majority do work at least part of the year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81 percent of part-time college students and almost half of full-time students work. About two-third work and about half are financially independent. Those translate into about 11 million, working, currently enrolled students with 75 percent of those working more than 20 hours per week. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was designed to provide, effectively, unemployment insurance to people who otherwise would not be eligible such as those who were working part-time, in the gig economy, sole proprietors, and others. The law is vague as to how students should be treated and there is mass confusion about that. Some college career service offices are advising students to file for unemployment coverage and, if they’re denied, file for PUA. Some are advising against both because the law does not explicitly state that students who weren’t employed during the year and who didn’t have a paid job lined up are still covered, while others look at the intent of the law and feel that it clearly was designed to include those students. 

What we’re hearing, anecdotally, is that your ability to collect PUA is largely driven by where you live and where you go to school, which are often different. About half of states appear to be covering students who are available for full-time work with regular, unemployment insurance benefits. The other half of states consider your status as a student to be incompatible with your ability to work full-time, despite many full-time students also working full-time and even more students going to school part-time so they can work full-time.

Section 2012(a)(ii)(2) of the CARES Act seemingly covers these people as they are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, do not have sufficient work history, or otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment. However, some states are saying that these students still don’t qualify because they are not able and available for work. Sometimes the states are ruling that way simply because the taxpayer is a student. In other cases, the states are saying that the students quit their jobs and therefore aren’t eligible, even if the students “quit” their jobs because they lost their on-campus housing when their schools closed and so they had to return home, often to another state, to live with family members. These states, we feel, should regard these students as constructively terminated from their employment, which would make them eligible for UI, PUA, or both. 

Another, somewhat related issue is the impact of the $1,200 per taxpayer (below the income threshold) stimulus payment. Few seem to realize that most students weren’t eligible because they’re mostly listed as dependents on the tax returns of their parents but that the parents also don’t get the stimulus payment. If the student was 15, they wouldn’t get the stimulus payment but their parents would. If anything, there is a greater need for the stimulus money for an 18-21-year-old who is living away from home attending college than their 15-year-old sibling living at home.

I have yet to hear a rational basis for this distinction. The best explanation that I’ve heard was that it was a Congressional oversight that wasn’t serious enough for the Administration to veto the law over. Congress may have intended in some discussions to make the 18-year-old ineligible as the parents would claim the stimulus but, in other discussions, they reversed those and then, when the CARE Act was hastily pulled together, no one noticed the discrepancy or they didn’t feel that it was important enough to delay the passage of the bill. 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted May 14, 2020 by

On-campus recruiting won’t be feasible this fall but employers will still need to hire. Here’s how that will happen.

In the U.S. and Canada, the majority of students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities are hired by Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale, meaning dozens or even hundreds a year. People say that small businesses employ most people and that’s probably true if you include the owners and 1099 contractors, but it isn’t true when it comes to who employs the bulk of students and recent grads.

College and university recruiting hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s. Employers assess their needs a year or more in advance, determine which schools to visit and what resources will be needed to properly engage the stakeholders on those campuses (career services, professors, students), fly out recruiters and hiring managers mostly in the fall but some in the early winter too, invite top candidates back to headquarters for a day of interviews, extend offers, etc. But more and more organizations have layered on what some call “virtual” recruitment, which essentially means reaching, engaging, and hiring on-line through job boards like College Recruiter and other sourcing tools. Very few organizations have looked at their virtual sources as being any more important than any one of the dozens of schools they may visit.

For the 2020-21 school year, it has become apparent that many and perhaps most college campuses will be closed or inaccessible to visitors at least for the fall. Even if the campus is open, many students will opt to attend classes remotely and so won’t be on-campus to meet and interview with employers who physically visit the campus. Employers are scrambling to shift resources from on-campus to virtual, and many are doing so very, very reluctantly as a virtual model requires far less resources, especially on the staffing side. You just don’t need nearly as many recruiters and nearly as much budget to hire dozens or hundreds on-line versus flying around the country so those whose jobs or travel perks are threatened are, understandably, not happy.

When the C-suite sees that their early careers recruiting program can be accomplished with far fewer resources and perhaps even better align with their diversity hiring efforts as more students will be hired from more schools, will they want to go back to the old model? I can’t see it. It seems to me that we’re at a tipping point where college recruiting moves from 1952 to the 21st century. As more students are hired virtually, it also seems to me that we’ll see an acceleration in more employers becoming school and even major agnostic, as productivity data has shown that there is little correlation between the school the student attended and their major and their productivity and some studies show a negative correlation.