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

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Posted January 21, 2020 by

How do I get student loan forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness simply means that you’re not required to re-pay the forgiven portion of your student loans. Let’s say that you borrowed $100,000 to pay for college. If $60,000 of that is forgiven, then you’re only going to need to repay $40,000.

A few ways of getting your college student loans forgiven:

  • Enlist in the military. Each branch offers a variety of programs with varying amounts available depending on factors such as your skillset and desired occupational field. As you can imagine, the Navy is going to cover more of your educational costs if you’re a nuclear propulsion specialist than if you’re mechanic.
  • Work for 10 years for a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your direct loans.
  • Work for a corporation that offers a tuition reimbursement program. Even some small companies like College Recruiter offer such programs because they’re essentially ways to provide employees with tax-free income. If we provide an employee with $1,500 toward college each year, that’s worth over $2,000 to those employees as it is tax-free. So, from the perspective of the employer, they can effectively give their employees $2,000 more in compensation but have it only cost $1,500. These programs are also great for recruitment and retention.

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Posted January 15, 2020 by

More employers are including in their college recruiting programs community college and other non-traditional students

There are millions of employers just in the U.S., but the vast majority of them have between one and three employees. Tens of thousands are large enough to hire at least one intern, but almost all of the attention is paid to the hundreds who hire dozens to hundreds. 

I’m excited about the shift amongst employers to using productivity as their key metric of recruiting success instead of more traditional and less meaningful metrics such as hires per school or even cost-per-hire. Getting butts in seats is not a business goal, but building a productive workforce is. 

That said, a rapidly increasing minority of employers are shifting from an on-campus, school-by-school approach where they’re only willing to consider juniors and seniors from a small number of elite schools to a more diverse and inclusive early careers approach which welcomes those who have the demonstrated ability to do the work. These employers are very likely to welcome into their applicant pool and workforce students who are enrolled in community colleges, are transitioning out of the military, or otherwise are what many employers refer to as “non-traditional”. 

Rather than trying to generalize about whether employers as a whole are willing to include community college students in their early careers programs and then marketing your students to all of them in the same way, I would encourage a more nuanced approach where you target those employers who are ready, willing, and able to hire the kinds of students who attend your school.

Posted January 14, 2020 by

What’s right and wrong about college rankings, such as those by U.S. News and World Report?

College rankings tend to be beauty contests based upon the strength of the school’s brand.

Students who want to attend the “best” school are typically interested in finding the school that will lead to the greatest likelihood that they’ll find a well-paying job in their chosen career path and desired geographic area. That data is typically held by the career service offices, not admissions, and certainly not well communicated in a short, summary of the school as published by U.S. News & World Report or any other publication.

But let’s leave aside, for the moment, the issue of which office within a given university has the best access to outcomes data. One example of such data is the percentage who are employed within six months and within their chosen career path. Another is the average starting salary, and that’s typically broken down by career path.

But are either of those metrics even a valid measure of the quality of a school? The data indicates no. What is now clear from a more scientific analysis of outcomes data is that the primary driving factor behind employability and compensation is the background of the candidate, not which school that candidate attended. If you come from a well-connected, white, family who lives in a wealthy suburb near New York City, you’re almost certainly going to emerge from whatever school you attend making a lot more money than if you’re part of a poorly connected, Native American, family who lives in an impoverished, rural area.

Now, that’s not to say that the more privileged candidate can do nothing and graduate into a fantastic job making fantastic money. But it does say that candidates shouldn’t fret as much about which school they attend based upon the data that the schools tend to release. Instead, they should look for schools which add the most value to their graduates.

A few years ago, College Recruiter created its Hidden Gem Index for the best colleges and universities for employers who want to hire high-quality graduates during the normally very difficult spring hiring period. If you’re a candidate who wisely wants to attend a low cost school that adds tremendous value to its students, have a look at the Hidden Gem Index.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How the CIA uses productivity data to win support for its D&I programs

Most of Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire dozens or even hundreds have diversity and inclusion programs because their talent acquisition and other human resource leaders know that the more diverse and inclusive a workforce, the more productive is that workforce.

But many and perhaps most of these TA and HR leaders struggle to get the resources they need for their D&I programs. Why? Because these TA and HR leaders have not been able to win support for these programs from their CEO, CFO, and other C-suite executives.

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our closing keynote presenter was Roynda Hartsfield, former Chief of Hiring for the CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovations (DDI) and current Head of Talent Acquisition for Excel Technologies, LLC. Roy wowed the 125 people in the room plus the hundreds watching the livestream as she walked through how she and other members of her team at the CIA first used data to demonstrate to its C-suite how their most diverse and inclusive teams were also their most productive teams and then won the resources to make the CIA’s diversity and inclusion efforts even stronger.

After her presentation, Roy was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Gerry Crispin, Principal and Co-Founder for CareerXroads and Co-Founder of TalentBoard.org, which works to improve the candidate experience by defining, measuring, and improving the treatment of job candidates;
  • Ankit Somani, Co-Founder for AllyO;
  • Marjorie McCamey, Corporate Development for intrnz and Corporate Recruiter for Franklin Templeton.

Are you struggling to win the resources you need from your C-suite? Watch the one-hour video:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How to recruit employees with Asperger’s Syndrome

Conferences can be tremendous opportunities to learn, but too many conferences cover the same topics over and over and over again and sometimes it is even the same presentation by the same speaker. But not always. Sometimes, the topic is new to the attendees, or presented in a markedly different manner.  

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our featured presenter was Jo Weech, President & CEO of Exemplary Consultants. Jo shared with the 125 talent acquisition leaders in the room plus several hundred watching the livestream how and why leading employers are reaching out to candidates with Asperger’s Syndrome not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes business sense to do it.

After her presentation, Jo was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Keca Ward, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Phenom People;
  • Jon Kestenbaum, Executive Director of Talent Tech Labs;
  • Janine Truitt, Member of College Recruiter’s content expert board and Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations; and
  • Lois Barth, Principal and Human Development Expert for Lois Barth Coaching & Consulting Services.

Are you debating whether to recruit people with Asperger’s or struggling to retain them? Watch the one-hour video:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates, including those with Asperger’s? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

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Posted January 06, 2020 by

Is your job application process turning off top talent?

At job search site College Recruiter, we’re seeing far fewer employers with horrifically cumbersome application processes A decade ago when employers had their pick of talent, it wasn’t at all unusual for a candidate for an entry-level job to be forced to spend 20, 30, even 40 minutes applying to a job and having to hand over a wealth of highly personal and sensitive information knowing that it was incredibly unlikely that they would even hear back from the employer, let alone be hired.

Today, only the most stubborn of employers believes that it is a good thing to put candidates through a process like that, but the vast majority could and should be doing far better. Very few talent acquisition professionals have a lot of marketing experience, but those who do understand that a job application is to employment marketing what a sales lead is to consumer marketing. A car deal would never ask a prospective buyer to spend 30-minutes filling in page after page of information if interested in buying a car. Instead, the marketer gathers only the information that they need to properly qualify the buyer and not one question more. There are many questions that the marketer needs to ask, but not at the lead generation point and so they hold off on asking those questions until later in the process. 

In contrast, too many in HR justify asking questions during the application (lead generation) process because that information will be needed if the person is hired, but the effect is to ask these questions of 100 candidates who convert into five well-qualified applicants who convert into one hire. The questions are typically important, but not to those who are mere leads. The questions should be asked only of the five finalists and perhaps only of those who received job offers. By asking these questions too early in the sales process, HR kills the click-to-apply conversion rate and so needs to spend far more time, money, and other resources generating far more leads in order to overcome their poor conversion rates.

So, what benchmarks might an employer look to in order to gauge whether they’re asking too many questions or, perhaps, not the correct questions during the application process? Historically, most of our employer customers, when pressed, will admit that they do not track how many candidates view their job postings and so they don’t know their click-to-apply rate. In other words, they don’t know how many candidates they need to drive to their job posting ads in order to generate enough applications that they’ll hire the people they’ll need. Even fewer employers know how many apply starts they see, meaning how many candidates start but don’t complete the application form.

The good news is that the majority of our employer customers now know how many apply to their jobs, so at least they have a good handle on how many people tend to apply for each person they hire. And even more know how many quality applications they tend to receive as they tend to equate interviews with quality and that should be a pretty easy metric to pull from an applicant tracking system.

What are some typical metrics? For every 100 people who see your job posting ad, somewhere between five and 10 will apply. The shorter your application process, the higher that percentage will be. The more attractive the position, the higher that percentage will be. If you can increase your click-to-apply rate from five to 10 percent, you’ll only need to attract half as many candidates to your opportunity, which will greatly reduce your effective cost per application and time-to-hire, both of which will improve the bottom line of your organization.

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Posted November 19, 2019 by

Why are so many parents obsessed with getting their kids into ‘elite’ schools?

Parents and students are 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 and other Internet sites. 

Posted November 05, 2019 by

Do this year’s college grads face the likelihood of crippling debt and delinquent repayments?

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 1980s 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 that 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 October 24, 2019 by

Chipotle now covering 100% of tuition costs, even for part-time employees

It isn’t hard to admit: I’ve been a fan of Chipotle’s food since it opened a restaurant near my home about a decade ago.

If you’ve never been, think Subway but for burritos, tacos, and tortilla-less meals served in a bowl. Think concrete floors and lots of stainless steel. Think freshly cooked, savory meats. Think fresh, yummy guacamole. But I digress into a hunger causing diatribe.

Working in a restaurant — any restaurant — is not for the faint of heart. The work is usually fast-paced, customers can be jerks, and the hours often very early or very late. But it is good, honest, hard work. Every minute of every day your work is appreciated by customers who want a little treat, either in the sense of rewarding themselves or rewarding their taste buds. Or both.

Keeping workers happy and retaining them is an incredible challenge for almost all restaurants, especially those whose pay is at the lower end of the scale, which includes almost all fast-food restaurants. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get rich working in a fast-food restaurant, but you’ll earn your pay, you won’t get bored, and you’ll almost certainly make some great friends amongst your co-workers.

But now there’s another benefit to working at a fast-food restaurant. To be clear, not just any fast-food restaurant. Just Chipotle. At least for now. Chipotle, consistent with its mission to Cultivate a Better World, just announced an incredible tuition reimbursement program. Together with Guild Education, Chipotle will cover 100 percent of college tuition costs for all eligible employees, including hourly (crew) members. When I read that, I skeptically thought, “Yeah, but who will be eligible?” I’m often wrong, and this was one of the many times when I was very happy to be wrong.

The news here isn’t that Chipotle has a tuition reimbursement program. Yawn. Lots of employers, including College Recruiter, do. And the news isn’t even that the program covers 100 percent of the tuition costs. That’s a higher bar than most but, at best, evolutionary and not revolutionary. The news here is that to be eligible you need only have worked at Chipotle for four months (120-days, to be exact) AND work at least 15 hours a week. That’s right. Those working only 15-hours a week will get 100 percent of their college education paid for by Chipotle. That’s revolutionary. Kind of like their one-pound, barbacoa, burritos. But I digress again.

There are some limitations, but they’re VERY reasonable. Only certain degrees qualify, but there are 75 of them and range from high school diplomas to bachelor’s degrees in business or technology. The courses are online, but include VERY well respected schools like Denver University. Not satisfied with their schools? No problem. Chipotle will continue to offer its tuition reimbursement program, which allows eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 a year at the school of their choice. That’s not going to come close to covering the full cost of a typical, elite, four-year university, but it could easily cover a third or even a half at many state colleges and perhaps all of the costs of a community college. Or, slap that baby together with a nice scholarship or two and now you’re back into the free zone. Where you can enjoy a pork carnitas taco. With green chili. Mmmm.

College Recruiter, we believe that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. That guiding principle leads us to push some employers to treat their employees better, sometimes by paying them better, sometimes by creating better working conditions, and sometimes by helping those employees achieve their life goals. With this new program, Chipotle is setting a new bar for other employers and, I hope, many others will follow their lead. Kudos, Chipotle.

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Posted October 11, 2019 by

Why employers should offer 529 college savings and tuition reimbursement plans

The cost of higher education is exponentially higher for the Millennials who recently graduated and Gen Zers who are currently enrolled in one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities. A Baby Boomer may have paid $10,000 for tuition, room, and board in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the same would have cost a Gen Xer about $50,000. Today, the same will cost a Gen Zer $250,000. A very small percentage of students don’t face that kind of sticker shock as they’re extremely affluent and pay for that out-of-pocket, perhaps with savings, or they’re amongst those with the lowest income but qualify for the largest merit scholarships. For the vast majority of students, financing hundreds of thousands of dollars for their education is the reality. 

It is pretty common for student loans to carry interest rates of 6.25 percent, so about double what home mortgages cost, despite the student loans being of lower risk than home mortgages as you can’t discharge student loan debt through bankruptcy. Also normal is a 20-year repayment period. The cost of a $250,000 loan with an interest rate of 6.25 percent and a length of 20 years results in a monthly payment of $1,827.32, which is about $2,500 before tax. In other words, just to cover your student loans, you need to earn $30,000 a year. Even if your cost of education is half of that, you need to earn about $15,000 a year just to cover your student loans. 

Employers that create 529 education savings and tuition reimbursement plans effectively give their participating employees a substantial raise without it costing the employer anything. Money contributed to a 529 plan is tax-deductible, so if the employee contributes $10,000 a year, they’re going to save about $2,500 a year in taxes. That employee has therefore just effectively been given a $2,500 raise by their employer, without that raise costing the employer anything. Even more dramatic is tuition reimbursement, as that doesn’t cost the employee anything. At College Recruiter, we offer tuition reimbursement of $1,500 per year. If the employee’s tax bracket is 25 percent, that’s worth $2,000 to them. We are, effectively, giving those employees a $2,000 per year raise.