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

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Posted May 29, 2019 by

Why are more students reneging on their job acceptances?

A recent discussion in a listserv moderated by the National Association of Colleges and Employers was about an upward trend that some employers are seeing in the number of candidates who are reneging on their acceptances for both internship and entry-level jobs. One employer shared that they typically see four to five percent renege but this year that has jumped to more than eight percent.

Another employer helpfully shared that they’re also seeing more reneges and speculated that students “seem to be accepting offers as a back-up plan and then continuing the recruiting process throughout the year”. That employer is getting a much higher number of reneges within a week of the scheduled start date, blamed the students, and expressed hope that career services would start counseling students more about why they should not renege on job offers.

A third employer confirmed that they too are seeing higher renege rates but offered the following ideas: “(1) it continues to be a hot job market, (2) more companies are putting focus effort on early career talent, and (3) rapidly advancing / evolving technologies for employers and students are bringing more awareness efficiency (arguably) to the campus recruiting market.”

Another factor that I suspect is playing a role in the increased percentage of candidate reneges is the very long-time — and sometimes increasingly long — between when the candidate first meets with the employer and receives a job offer until the date when they actually start work.

It wasn’t all that long ago when the bulk of on-campus recruiting was late September through mid-November with offers taking weeks to be made. Now, it isn’t at all unusual to see employers interviewing at the beginning of September, making offers of employment in the interview room, and demanding a yes/no decision within days. Backed into a corner, a student would be irrational to decline this “bird in the hand” offer in favor of maybe getting a better offer days, weeks, or even months later a/k/a two in the bush.

Then, accepted offer in hand, some employers will essentially go radio silent and have little to no substantive contact with the student for months. Maybe the occasional email here or phone call there, but the intensity of the relationship goes from passionate to what is minimally required, and sometimes even less. Is it any wonder that the student loses their excitement and is open to reconsidering their acceptance?

To the employers who are frustrated by the reneges, let’s get creative about the entire process. What is within your control? Does your recruiting cycle really need to be driven by a fall/winter schedule that has existed since the 1950’s? Would it make more sense to look at alternative means to engage with, extend offers to, and continue to engage with students? 

Put another way, if an epidemic or other such natural or even manmade disaster were to prevent your team from flying out to college campuses around the country, how else could you recruit your next generation of leaders? Maybe look at those contingency plans — or create some — and then put them into place on a pilot basis. Maybe, just maybe, some of those contingency plans will deliver better candidates faster and for less money than the process many organizations have followed since “I like Ike” was a commonly heard campaign slogan.

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Posted May 27, 2019 by

Paid vs unpaid internships are key to landing a well-paying job upon graduation

One of the most basic factors separating students who find it relatively easy to find a well-paying job upon graduation from those who end up unemployed or underemployed is whether the students had internships or not and whether those internships were paid or unpaid.

According to results of the Class of 2019 Student Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, “more than half of all graduating seniors who applied for a full-time job—53.2 percent—received at least one job offer. Within this group, 57.5 percent of students who had an internship and 43.7 percent of graduating seniors who did not have an internship received a job offer.”

In addition, the students who completed at least one internship prior to graduation were significantly more likely to receive multiple job offers for positions upon graduation. For those who completed at least one internship, the average student received 1.17 job offers. Those without an internship received 16 percent fewer job offers: an average of only 0.98 per student.

Another key factor was whether the internship was paid or unpaid. Many legal experts believe that unpaid internships are illegal unless the employer is a governmental or non-profit entity. But just because something may be illegal doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Just think about the last time you drove a car. Almost everyone breaks at least one law every time they drive, whether that’s failing to come to a complete stop at a controlled intersection or driving even one mile per hour over the speed limit.

The impact of internship pay status was evident as well as 66.4 percent of According to NACE, 66.4 percent of class of 2019 graduates who had a paid internship received a job offer. On the other hand, just 43.7 percent of unpaid interns were offered a job. In other words, if you only graduate with an unpaid internship and your friend graduates with a similar but paid internship, she is 34 percent more likely to receive at least one job offer upon graduation. Ouch.

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Posted May 20, 2019 by

2019 job market best for college grads since 2017

Want more evidence that the job market facing this year’s college grads is the best in years? Actually, the best in 12 years, if you want to get technical.

According to the Class of 2019 Student Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduating college seniors who had applied for full-time jobs received an average of 1.10 job offers, the highest rate of average job offers in 12 years.

That students who are merely applying for jobs are, on average, receiving more than one job offer is consistent with NACE’s Job Outlook 2019 Spring Update, which reported that U.S. employers plan to hire 10.7 percent more graduates from the class of 2019 than they did from the class of 2018.

Posted May 07, 2019 by

Massive unemployment still exists amongst high school and college graduates

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released some fascinating — and depressing — statistics on the state of the job market for students, drop-outs, and recent graduates of the nation’s high schools, colleges, and universities. The findings may surprise you.

Historically, most high school graduates did not go to college. The trend over the past few decades, however, has been that more and more are going to college. By October 2017,

66.7 percent of 2018 high school graduates age 16 to 24 were enrolled in colleges or universities. That increased 3.6 percent to 69.1 percent by October 2018. To those of us who value education, that’s a great thing. But to those of us who also value converting that education into a great career, the report contained some bleak news: only 72.3 percent of 20- to 29-year-olds who received a bachelor’s degree were employed, meaning that the unemployment rate for that cohort is about 7.7 times the April 2019, national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

Want some more highlights?

  • More women are in college than men. About 66.9 percent and 71.3 percent of men and women, ages 16 to 24, who graduated from high school are enrolled in college.
  • High school drop-outs are far less likely to work or even be looking for work than those who graduated. Among 16- to 24-year-olds, 47.2 percent of recent high school dropouts were working or looking for work, as compared to the labor force participation rate of 74.0 percent for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college.
  • A majority of young adults are in school. Only 42.8 percent – 16.3 million people – between the ages of 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school.
  • More graduates of two-year colleges are employed than graduates of four-year colleges. Among 20- to 29-year-olds, 75.0 percent of recent associate degree recipients, 72.3 percent of recent bachelor’s degree recipients, and 80.7 percent of recent advanced degree recipients were employed. Maybe that’s why 20 percent of recent bachelor’s degree recipients age 20 to 29 were enrolled in school.
  • Of those graduating from high school, those of Asian descent are 15.4 percent more likely to enroll in college than those who are black. The college enrollment rate of recent graduates was 73.4 percent for Asians, 69.6 percent for whites, 65.5 percent for Hispanics, and 63.6 percent for blacks.
  • About one-third of college students are also employed or looking for work. The labor force participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college were 37.3 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively.
  • Very few high school grads who enroll in college attend part-time. Some 90 percent were full-time students. Not surprisingly, only 32.5 percent of full-time students were in the labor force but twice as many – 74.3 percent – of part-time students were.
  • Four-year colleges are still the draw. Some two-thirds of high school grads enrolled in college attended a four-year colleges. Of these, 31.4 were also working as compared to 44.9 percent of those in two-year colleges.
  • Of the 37.9 million between the ages of 16- and 24-years of age, 21.7 million (57.2 percent) were enrolled in high school (9.4 million) or in college (12.3 million).
  • More than a million college students a year graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Between January and October 2018, 1.1 million 20- to 29-year-olds earned a bachelor’s
  • degree; of these, 810,000 (72.3 percent) were employed in October 2018, making the
  • unemployment rate of 12.9 percent about 3.6 times the national, unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in April 2019.
  • The likelihood of graduating from college and being unemployed was virtually the same between men and women: 71.6 percent of men and 72.8 percent of women who recently earned a bachelor’s degree were employed in October 2018. The jobless rates for recent male and female bachelor’s degree recipients were 13.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
  • The job market for those with master’s and higher degrees was definitely better than those with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Between January and October 2018, 352,000 persons age 20 to 29 earned an advanced degree. Some 80.7 percent of recent grads with advanced degrees were working, as compared with 72.3 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees. In October 2018, the unemployment rate for recent advanced degree recipients was 10.4 percent.
  • Of the 374,000 20- to 29-year-olds who completed an associate degree between January and
  • October 2018, 75.0 percent were employed in October 2018. The unemployment rate for recent associate degree recipients was 9.6 percent.

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Posted April 25, 2019 by

To hire students, you need to recruit on campus. Right? Wrong.

At College Recruiter job search site, one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen over the past few years is the rapidly increasing number of employers who use time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and productivity data to measure their sourcing partners, including college career service offices. Their findings are shocking to many.

For decades, employers believed that they had to travel to and recruit students on-campus if they wanted to hire “the best” candidates. Those beliefs were typically grounded in false assumptions. You’ve probably heard that productivity data shows that the more diverse and inclusive a workforce, the more productive is that workforce. But that means that an employer who only hires at a small percentage of the 3,000 four-year colleges and universities or the 4,400 one- and two-year colleges is undermining their own diversity and inclusion efforts. So the more targeted your campus recruiting efforts, the less diverse, inclusive, and productive will be your workforce. Ouch.

Another example? Many of our employer customers who have looked at their productivity data have discovered that the more elite the school the employee went to, the less productive is that employee. How can that be true? Because they leave far sooner than those hired from second or even third tier schools. One of our long-time customers is an accounting and consulting company. They cut way back on their on-campus efforts in favor of hiring through what they call “virtual” sources like College Recruiter. Why? Diversity, inclusion, and productivity. They’re becoming school and even major agnostic, meaning they don’t really care what school you went to or even what your major was. They used to only consider accounting, economics, and finance majors. Now they embrace fine arts, Russian literature, and any other major. In their words, “we can teach an employee how to read a balance sheet but we can’t teach them how to think critically”.

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates of all one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs.

In this historically tight labor market, are you struggling to hire the dozens or even hundreds of well-targeted, well-qualified students and recent graduates for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs? Would it make sense to either schedule a 30-minute call so that I can better understand your hiring challenges or email those to me so that I can make specific recommendations for how College Recruiter can help?

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Posted April 17, 2019 by

Why are your interns and new grad hires so strapped for cash?

The student debt that Millennials and now Gen Z have and are incurring is crippling and, long-term, could financially devastate an entire generation.

Those who went to college in the 1980’s or earlier simply can’t relate as the cost to attend college then could be covered by working part-time as a waiter or bartender and any debt they graduated with could be repaid within a handful of years working at a job that paid well but not even great.
Today’s students are often attending schools which charge $25,000 or more per year plus another $15,000 in related costs such as traveling to and from school each semester, rent, food, and books. A four-year degree, therefore, often costs $160,000.

Part-time jobs typically pay about $10 per hour. At 20-hours a week, that’s $41,600 over four years, so about $120,000 needs to be financed. Student loans often carry interest rates of eight percent or more, so over 20-years the average student is going to see about half of their gross wages disappear to repay the principal plus interest on their student debt.

The end results is that the average graduate of a four-year college or university is effectively being asked to live on about $25,000 per year. If they run into any unexpected, significant expenses like the need to replace a car or have surgery, then there is a very real possibility of them falling into delinquency. Many of the student loans then charge huge penalties, including significantly higher interest rates. So if you miss a payment one or two times, your already exorbitant interest rate of eight can easily escalate to 16 percent and then 24 percent. Before you know it, you’re paying 24 percent interest on a six figure loan that is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

If that’s not a recipe for financial disaster, I don’t know what is.

Posted April 03, 2019 by

How to optimize your job posting ads in the era of Google for Jobs and Google Cloud Talent Solutions

College Recruiter was one of the first job boards to replace its proprietary job search technology with what is now called Google Cloud Talent Solutions (CTS).

We went live about 15-months ago in January 2018 and have been very, very happy. As I discussed on a recent episode of The Chad and Cheese Podcast, the results we’ve seen have been superb: far more candidates searching far more jobs and far more applying to those jobs. In addition, our costs have plummeted because we’re saving a ton of development and customer service time.

But the transition has also been eye opening to us in terms of pretty minor adjustments that very few employers are either aware of or are willing to make yet which would yield great results for them. Here are just some:

  • Include compensation, even if it is a range. Most employers are still reluctant to disclose compensation range because, they typically claim, it undermines their ability to negotiate with the candidate. That reveals a problem with their negotiation skills and that’s understandable, but fix the negotiation skills. Some employers want to underpay employees and that’s why they don’t want to reveal the salary ranges, but it isn’t 1952. Employees can easily find out if they’re fairly paid and those who aren’t will become disgruntled and leave, which leads to a lack of productivity and so any money they may have saved in wages will more than be offset by the productivity issues.
  • Include street address, city, state/province, postal code, and country for every job. If the jobs are remote, denote that in your location field using a word like “remote” so that Google can easily identify those. Without the street address, Google has a harder time figuring out the exact location of the job and that leads to problems with the new commute search feature. College Recruiter built a bunch of code to get around this problem, but few job boards will do that. If we don’t get the street address, we use the Google Maps API to look-up the address and then we feed that to the CTS API, but some employers have multiple locations in a city and so our look-up may identify the wrong location. Also, some employers don’t have every location listed in Google Maps, such as those who have field offices. If your field office isn’t listed, then a Maps API look-up won’t work properly. Our search is now commute time driven rather than location driven. With Google CTS powering 4,000 job boards and ATS sites, the days of looking at candidates looking at location and inferring commute time are, thankfully, quickly coming to an end.
  • I know from The Chad and Cheese Podcast that Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman hate the use of words like “ninja” in job descriptions and that’s fair, but the use of those words isn’t a problem if the employer also uses more standard language like “sales representative.” The standard language will allow CTS to infer what the job is about, and it is amazing how accurately CTS does that.
  • For years, Joel and other SEO experts have tried to convey to employers and others that they need to think of a job posting as a web page and that web pages need to be SEO optimized. That’s still the case, but isn’t as critical as it used to be because Google is smarter than it used to be. Still, the most important signal to Google and therefore to job boards and ATS that use CTS about what the job is about is the job title. Do not use internal jargon like SE II to refer to a Software Engineer Level 2. In fact, don’t refer to “Level 2” at all because that’s only meaningful internally. Use for the job title language like, “Software Engineer Team Lead” as that’s more meaningful externally. If your lawyers tell you that you need to use SE II, well, get new lawyers or stop lying about what they’re telling you as that’s bullshit. Second, use the internally approved language in the body of the job description but use externally accepted language in the job title field.
  • Think about Amazon recommendations when writing a job title. If you like A, you’ll also probably like B. Include language like that in your job descriptions. “If you like math, then you’ll love this job as our programmatic job ad buying manager”. Google will understand that someone who searches for jobs using the keyword “math” should be shown that job because of the keyword, but it will also understand to show that job to someone who searches for jobs using keywords like statistics and physics. This is starting to happen. One of our employer customers is hiring hundreds of people for a maintenance technician job and they started to see respiratory therapist applying. They interviewed some, hired some, and want to hire more. I didn’t get the connection until they told me that respiratory therapist know how to operate machinery and that’s what the technicians do.
Posted March 18, 2019 by

How does the rapid adoption of AI by recruitment technology providers impact the advice college career service offices provide to students?

Last week, I had the good fortune to be a panelist for an event hosted by Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. The roughly two dozen attendees were mostly college career service office professionals who were members of the Chicago Career Professionals Network (CCPN).

The topic of conversation for this meeting was artificial intelligence and the impact it is having and will have on how students and recent graduates find employment. The career service office leaders wanted to know whether the advice they’ve been giving to students for years and sometimes even decades needed to be updated.

John Sumser of HR Examiner delivered the opening presentation after which attendees asked questions of the panelists: Elena Sigacheva, product manager for Entelo; Jason Trotter, human resources business partner for Allstate; and me. Watch the video below to learn:

  • What is artificial intelligence and machine-learning and its relationship to recruiting?
  • How are employers / recruiters currently using AI and how they may use the technology in the future?
  • How should college career service office and career coaches advise students to effectively navigate the new recruiting landscape?

College admissions building. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 13, 2019 by

How does the admissions cheating scandal impact students deciding on what college to attend?

One of the biggest stories of the week is the alleged college admissions scheme apparently perpetrated by dozens of wealthy and well-connected Americans which, if true, are guilty of defrauding the schools and perhaps the federal government.

According to CNN, actress Lori Loughlin — who starred in the hit sitcom Full House, “surrendered Wednesday morning to federal authorities in Los Angeles, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said, as fallout from the college admissions scandal continues to spread. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to designate their two daughters as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though they did not participate in crew, according to court documents released Tuesday.”

“Fifty people — from Hollywood stars and top industry CEOs to college coaches and standardized test administrators — stand accused of participating in a scheme to cheat on admissions tests and admit to students to leading institutions as athletes regardless of their abilities, prosecutors revealed Tuesday in a federal indictment. The scandal is being called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.”

If true, the scam brings to light the dirty, dark, not-so-secret truth that America has never been a meritocracy and has always suffered from crony capitalism, which devalues the hard work and effort expended by the vast majority of the population.

Although Americans have been brought up to believe that if you work hard and play by the rules that you can be anything you want to be, that has only been the case for some and not for most. Until JFK, all presidents were white, male, land-owning, Protestants. Until Barack Obama, all were male, land-owning, Christians. A look at the C-suite of the Fortune 1,000 reveals that the lack of diversity and inclusion is not limited to the White House. In short, meritocracy existed only for a small minority of the population.

Parents and students remain obsessed with getting into the “best” college or university largely for status reasons but also for rational, economic reasons. Somehow, if your kid gets into an elite university, that makes you a better parent in the eyes of some, but that’s truly unfortunate has allowed the banks and higher education industries to redistribute to themselves and their shareholders enormous amounts of wealth from the middle class. 

However, there are good, rational, economic reasons to enroll in and graduate from an elite college: your chances are higher of landing a well-paying job with a well known and respected employer. Most of the best known and respected employers recruit the bulk of their professional, entry-level talent from colleges and universities and for decades they’ve done so largely by sending recruiters and hiring managers to interview on college campuses.

Fortunately, an increasing minority of employers are looking at their outcomes data — which employees are the most productive — and are finding that there is a weak and sometimes negative correlation between the perceived quality of the school and productivity of the employee. That is leading these employees to become school agnostic, meaning that they are being more inclusive in their hiring by reducing or eliminating their on-campus hiring efforts in favor of hiring through job boards such as College Recruiter and other Internet sites. 

Posted February 07, 2019 by

AI, Algorithms, and Who Owns the Outcome

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine learning or machine intelligence, is in its infancy yet poised to fundamentally change how we work, are educated, and run our businesses. AI is already impacting how leading employers engage with students and recent graduates and then hire and manage them.

AI offers tremendous opportunities to those in talent acquisition and human resources as well as society as a whole, but also poses some threats.

On December 10, 2018, hundreds of talent acquisition and other human resources leaders gathered in Mountain View, California and remotely via live stream to participate in the College Recruiting Bootcamp on AI, organized by job search site, College Recruiter, and hosted by Google.

Our closing keynote was delivered by John Sumser, Principal Analyst for HRExaminer, an independent analyst firm covering HR technology and the intersection of people, tech, and work.

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