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

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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.

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Posted January 14, 2020 by

How to hire PhD students through on-campus recruiting

It is a good idea to partner with a university’s career service office, professors, and others to reach Ph.D. students when they are physically on-campus or otherwise engaged with their school. But it seems pretty clear to me that there are many other ways of reaching these same people.

For most of us, the equivalent to being a student is being an employee. We might spend eight hours, five days a week working, so roughly 40-hours a week. If you figure that the average person sleeps eight hours a night, that means we spend about 40 of 112 waking hours at work. Deduct holidays and vacation days and we’re now talking close to one-quarter of our waking hours are spent working, which means that about three-quarters of our time are spent away from work. 

It seems logical to me that employers trying to reach Ph.D. (or any other student) should recognize that only marketing to those students when they’re on-campus or otherwise engaged with the school means that they’re missing three-quarters of the opportunities to engage with those students. Yes, you can reach a student while they’re on campus, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to reach them. For many employers, the real question is really about how to reach these students during the three-quarters of the time when they’re not on-campus or engaged with their school. That’s where target marketing comes into play.

Think about it from your perspective. When any organization wants to market their products, services, or other opportunities to you, do they only do it when you’re at work? Or do they use media such as TV, radio, print, billboards, Internet, email, and other marketing channels? The more targeted the audience you want to reach, the more targeted the media must be that you use.

For an employer who only wants to reach Ph.D. students (and perhaps just those who attend certain schools and majors), then untargeted media such as TV, radio, billboards, etc. are poor choices as the vast majority of your ads will be seen by the wrong people. Instead, you need highly targeted media. One example of this would be permission-based (opt-in) email lists. A good list will allow you to target by any combination of fields including school, major, year of graduation, degree (i.e., Ph.D.), geography, diversity, languages, and even citizenship for roles where that is a legitimate requirement.

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.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How EY built a better workforce through diversity and inclusion

One of the nice things about attending conferences is the opportunity to learn from experts.

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our opening keynote speaker was Ken Bouyer, Americas Director for Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young. Ken shared with the 125 talent acquisition leaders in the room plus several hundred watching the livestream how EY built a better workforce through gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and generational diversity and inclusion.

After his presentation, Ken was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Dawn Carter, Director, Global University Recruiting for Uber;
  • Kimberly Jones, former talent acquisition leader for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, GE Aviation, Raytheon, Honda, and Nationwide and currently CEO of Kelton Legend;
  • Pam Baker, Member of College Recruiter’s Content Expert Board and Founder and CEO for Journeous; and
  • Jo Weech, President & CEO of Exemplary Consultants.

Are you struggling to improve your diversity and inclusion efforts? Who isn’t? Watch the one-hour video of the presentation and panel discussion:

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 Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

Why should we care about diversity and inclusion?

Employers all claim — and most of them mean it — that they want to hire the best person for the job. At College Recruiter, we call that putting the right person in the right seat.

No one would dispute that an employer should hire the best person for the job, but reasonable people often differ as to how to determine who is the best person. If you’re hiring a salesperson, is the best person the candidate who has already demonstrated their ability to sell your kind of product to your existing customer base? Or is it the person who seems to have the most potential to sell the most to your existing customer base but who has not yet demonstrated that ability? Could it be the person who is most likely to sell your product to an entirely new customer group? Something else?

We recently discussed these issues at length at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference. We chose to spend the day with 125 talent acquisition leaders discussing why and how employers should diversify their college hires because so many of our customers use our targeted email and other products to reach out to underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, military veterans, people with disabilities, and more.  These leading employers know that the more diverse and inclusive their workforces, the more productive are those workforces.

Want to learn more about why we should care about diversity and inclusion? Watch the 15-minute 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.

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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.

Posted December 24, 2019 by

Innovative ways quick-service restaurants and other small business owners are recruiting candidates for low-wage jobs

Almost inevitably, when I speak with owners and operators of quick-service restaurants or other businesses that rely on relatively low-paid, hourly workers, they complain about the shortage of talent and the resulting difficulty in recruiting employees. But when you scratch the surface, they actually don’t have a recruitment problem. They have a retention problem. They’re always recruiting because they’re failing to retain.

A typical quick-service restaurant (QSR) employee has a tenure of three months, which means that the employer must hire four people every year per role. If they could extend that tenure to even six months, they’d only need to recruit half as many people. So, rather than looking at how to better recruit and spending more and more money there, they should instead be looking at how to better retain. Which of their employees are with them for the longest period of time? Ask those employees what causes them to get out of bed and come to work, day after day, to a job that is almost identical to many others. Use that feedback to then find employees with similar traits. 

Spell out the traits of your successful employees in your recruitment ads. If flexible work schedules — where the employee and not the employer control the flexibility — are important to your longest-tenured employees, then emphasize that in your recruitment ads, your interviews, and your onboarding. Drill that in. If ability to advance is important, emphasize that in your ads, interviews, and onboarding.

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.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted October 14, 2019 by

Are your job postings attracting too many unqualified and not enough qualified applicants?

We’ve all seen those job postings: “<Position> is responsible for driving revenue growth, optimizing interactions with enterprise leads, liaising and maximizing cross-functional segmentation using sales enablement and marketing nurture tools in coordination with CRM and digital generation management platforms. Must conduct A/B testing and drive key business metrics while aligning with leadership for optimal distribution strategy results. Will serve as ninja Agile scrum master to remove impediments. Extensive knowledge of end-to-end omnichannel demand gen in B2B and B2C environments. Strong record of win-win outcomes, conflict resolution and problem-solving among multiple layers of an organization. Stellar CX, VoC, SQL, COE, ETL, BI skills. 10+ years’ experience in <exhaustive list of software platforms>, superstar analytical skills, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, ability to bend time and add a 25th hour to each day strongly preferred. Attention to detail a must.”

Say what?

All right, so while we made this one up (and trust us—don’t try to decipher it or your brain will get caught in a loop), in our tech-jargon, corporate-buzzword world there are plenty of real, similarly indecipherable job postings out there.

Sure, there are some postings that require more information—most notably, for jobs that involve technology and other specialized positions. But no matter how detailed your job posting needs to be, you should still aim for clarity and readability.

Join us for Job Posting 101 as we pass along some tips for writing job ads that will draw applicants’ interest, not send them scurrying to the nearest dictionary.

Job Title

  • Optimize your job title and description with the keywords your candidates will be searching for. Make sure the job title reflects the job. If you’re hiring a Customer Service Representative, use that title and resist calling it something cutesy or hip. Boring? Maybe, but be realistic: how many jobseekers will be searching for a Customer Service Ninja, or a Valued Customer Pleaser—and how many will miss your posting because it didn’t fit their search terms?
  • Be sure to include words that indicate the career level and the scope of the job: Customer Service Manager, B2B Digital Marketing Specialist, Senior Graphic Designer, Social Media Coordinator, Java Developer.
  • Don’t use internal terms; if you’re hiring an Assistant Art Director, use that title instead of the “Visual Manager 1” your company uses.
  • Include the city and state for searchers who are looking at a specific geographic location. Mention that it’s a telecommuting position (but in that case, include the company’s headquarters location so searchers are aware of possible time differences).

Company Summary

  • Before you go into the job description, give your applicants a paragraph-long glimpse of your company, and why it’s special.
  • Don’t just use your company’s boilerplate description here; personalize the description to give the applicant a reason to want to work with you. As an example, suppose you’re a small manufacturer hiring a Marketing Writer. You could say:

“W&W Manufacturing is a Michigan-based manufacturer of Safety Widgets and What-Nots. For 20 years, we’ve worked with the automotive industry to get our state’s drivers safely to their destinations and back home again. Now we’re looking for someone who can help us tell our customers’ success stories as we expand to keep drivers safe nationwide.”

Job Qualifications/Responsibilities

  • Decide on your “must-have” and “nice-to-have” qualifications before you sit down to write the posting.
  • Start out with a short summary paragraph. Use active rather than passive voice: instead of, “This position is responsible for creating all Safety Widget and What-Not collateral,” say, “You’ll create persuasive, readable sales copy for our full-color product catalog, trade show displays and website.” Make it human and personal; use the second-person “you” instead of “the Marketing Writer will…”— Let the candidate know how they’ll be a vital member of the team. Here’s an example:

“As W&W Manufacturing’s Marketing Writer, you’ll engage customers and prospects with your informative, well-crafted blog articles, white papers, brochures, trade show collateral, case studies, video scripts and more. Not only will you lead us in spreading the word nationwide about W&W’s Safety Widgets and What-Nots, you’ll help millions of drivers safely return to their homes and families each night. As a bonus, you’ll develop expertise in the widgets/what-nots industry and hone your craft as a marketing writer.”

  • Keep your company’s culture in mind as you create the summary. What’s the best part of the job? Are you a close-knit group that collaborates on everything? A hip, tech-forward team that would make Apple jealous with your technology toolbox? Here’s the place to let the candidates know what they can expect.
  • The more information you provide the better, of course, but you can also give too much information—especially if you’re looking for a super-employee who can’t possibly exist in nature. Don’t scare off potentially good candidates—for instance, recent college grads who might qualify for the position—by making everything a “must-have.” Firm requirements that are clearly distinguished from “nice-to-have” requirements create less confusion and fewer unqualified applicants to sort through.
  • Unlike our brain-bending job posting at the beginning of this article, don’t pack all the information into a single massive paragraph. Remember that many jobseekers are reading on mobile devices, so make your requirements easily scannable with short sentences, bullets and white space.
  • Try not to use cliched phrases in your descriptions, because let’s face it: unless we’re shiny-new in the workforce, we all know that “fast-paced” can mean anything from “a busy office” to “utter chaos.” Or that “multi-task” can mean “doing the job of the three people who were just laid off.” You don’t want to scare people off—or make the job sound too perfect. So, on behalf of jobseekers everywhere, we beg you to use plain language and be as honest as possible. Don’t leave a trail of disillusioned former candidates or employees in your wake, which can damage your reputation among future jobseekers. (And for a needed laugh after that serious plea, check out this infographic of what these 50 job ad clichés really mean.)
  • Clearly note the length and type of experience you’re looking for, the job level (junior, mid-level, senior, manager), the preferred education level, as well as any particular skills (e.g. the ability to write clear and compelling copy), characteristics (e.g. the ability to work without supervision) or physical abilities (e.g. the ability to stand for an eight-hour shift) that applicants need for the job.
  • If your requirements are firm, that’s fine—just say so. A quick statement along the lines of, “Please read this posting carefully, as we will only consider those applicants who meet the listed qualifications,” can help reduce the number of unqualified applicants who apply anyway. 

Job Benefits

  • Similar to the job description, make your list of benefits easily scannable with short sentences, bullets, and white space.
  • Note the traditional information and benefits most candidates want and need—hours, pay or salary range, insurance, 401(k), paid parking, etc.
  • Don’t forget about the less traditional benefits that will make an applicant say, “Yes, I want to work there!” Do you have a relaxed dress code? Can you work from home some days? Do you provide lunch or healthy snacks for employees? Is there an onsite gym? A monthly book club? A monthly “bring your dog to work” day? Community volunteer opportunities? Talk about them all! We spend as much time at our workplace as we do with our families. Let prospective candidates see their days can be comfortable, enjoyable and even fun when they’re part of your team.

The final step in  you send your job posting off to your preferred job board, proofread your copy, have someone else proofread it and then proofread it one more time!

While this article is only a basic, high-level overview of writing a job posting, don’t worry—you’ll find resources galore online with a quick Google of “Best practices for writing a job posting” or a similar search. But if you don’t feel like Googling, here are the four most important things to keep in mind when you sit down to write your next job post:

  1. Write clearly and conversationally—ditch the jargon and clichés
  2. Use your human voice
  3. Be honest in the job description, requirements and benefits
  4. Let your company’s personality shine through  

A company that cares enough to be clear, human and straightforward with job candidates promises to be an employer that candidates will flock to. And if you follow these practices consistently, there’s every reason to believe that you’ll be the company people point to when they refer to “an employer of choice.”

Sources:

50 Nonsense Job Ad Clichés  (and What They Really Mean…),” by James Ball, coburgbanks.co.uk, undated.

How to Write a Job Description That Attracts Awesome Applicants,” by Eddie Shleyner, blog.hubspot.com, updated October 17, 2018.

5 Tips to Writing an Effective Job Posting,” by CivicPlus, civicplus.com, undated.

How to Write a Great Job Posting,” by Max Messmer, dummies.com, undated.