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Posted May 31, 2016 by

5 tips for enjoying new employee training

New employee training is a basic part of the onboarding process in most companies. If you’re starting your first full-time, entry-level job, chances are, you’ll be required to participate in multiple training seminars and workshops with coworkers and other new employees. If you’re rolling your eyes and downloading new apps to distract you during the workshops, take five minutes to watch this video and read this article before making the decision that new employee training is going to be the worst part of the hiring process.

This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, might change your mind about what new employee training and professional development is all about.


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1. Be prepared.

The night before new employee training, get some sleep. The worst thing you can do prior to a full day of training and workshops is stay up all night and arrive with just a few hours of sleep under your belt. While the coffee is usually free-flowing at most new employee training events, there’s no amount of coffee in the world that can compensate for lack of sleep when you’re sitting in a chair and listening to speakers back to back all day long, no matter how engaging the subject matter. Don’t set yourself up for failure (or for a huge embarrassment, like snoring or drooling on your first day of training). Get at least six hours of sleep, eat a real breakfast, and do some research online about the subject matter on the training agenda if it’s provided in advance. You’ll look like a rock star if you have a few great questions prepared on the training topics, and what better way to impress your new boss?

2. Get involved.

Be a mindful listener and active participant. Sit near the front and middle of the room; this helps you to stay engaged in conversation and pay attention to the speaker, whether you want to or not. If you have questions, work up the courage to ask. This helps you to get involved, but it also keeps training sessions interactive for everyone else, and that’s a good thing.

3. Be open-minded.

When reviewing new employee training agenda, try not to zone out immediately. It’s easy to assume none of the information will be helpful or apply to your particular position. If you make snap judgments about the material being covered or assume the speaker has little to share that’s interesting before he opens his mouth, you might miss out on great learning opportunities which could enrich your career. There’s nothing more attractive to an employer than a new employee who’s willing to grow and learn.

4. Don’t worry about what others think.

Are you afraid to sit at the front of the room because you don’t want people to look at you? Are you afraid to ask questions because you might sound stupid? Are you afraid to introduce yourself to the speaker or presenter after the workshop because you don’t know what to say? Those are normal fears, but if you allow your fears to dictate your actions in training situations, you’ll miss out on great opportunities for growth.

Remember that new employee training is for you. If you can remember this, you might be able to care less about what others think and base your decisions on what’s going to benefit you, help you perform your job well, and help you reach your career goals.

5. Think about networking.

Set a goal to network with at least two participants and one presenter when attending new employee training. If you find that the training topics aren’t that interesting, this gives you a side goal to focus on that’s still productive. At lunch or during breaks, introduce yourself to other new employees or to the recruiters and human resources managers hosting the training sessions. Introduce yourself to the presenter whose session you find most interesting, and ask at least one question about the subject matter. Follow up with these new contacts after the training session on social media via LinkedIn, Twitter, or another popular site, and maintain the connections you made.

Professional networking can help you form amazing connections, and these connections can lead to great career opportunities.

For more onboarding and networking tips, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

 

Posted May 31, 2016 by

How new overtime laws will affect employers

How the new overtime laws will affect employers

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The new overtime laws that go in place on December 1, 2016 will impact 4.2 million workers who will either gain new overtime protections or get a raise to the new salary threshold.

This is cause for concern for both employees trying to understand the new overtime laws as well as employers who are doing everything they can to understand how these changes affect their business, hiring plans, and compensation packages.

It could result in big changes for those who aren’t prepared, says Stephania Bruha, Operations Manager at Kavaliro, a national staffing agency that employs IT professionals, management, and administrative staff.

 

“We at Kavaliro expect to see many more of our clients limiting employees to 40 hours per week, or requiring executive approval to work overtime hours,” says Bruha. “Recent graduates and new employees may have an advantage here, as they are starting fresh and don’t have to overcome habits from the past.”

Bruha recommends employers get in front of this change. “We will be reassessing our employees more than a month before the new overtime laws go into effect to ensure that if status changes take place, they are well adjusted prior to the go-live date,” says Bruha.

Communication will be key, as in all HR and hiring matters, to ensure your employees understand how they could be affected.

“The worst thing that could happen is for your employees to misinterpret policies and think you are saying they are not allowed to report more than 40 hours a week,” says Bruha. “This is especially important for people who are new to the workforce, like new college grads, who may not know their rights, or have a little experience with labor laws. Employees need to know that you must report all hours worked, but they also need to understand if their company has set requirements for time entry.  Your employer may have severe penalties for violating the policy related to timekeeping because it is so strictly regulated by the Department of Labor.”

Small and mid-sized employers are going to take a hit

Employers – particularly small and mid-sized employers – are going to take a hit with the new regulations, says Kate Bischoff, a human resources professional and employment/labor law attorney with the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, an international litigation and dispute resolution law firm. Bischoff is co-leading a June 2, 2016, webinar titled Preparing for Changes to FLSA Overtime Regulations, discussing this topic and more. They will need to raise salaries over the $913 per week threshold or pay overtime.

“This may mean employers hire more people so the need for overtime is less or they raise the costs of their products and services to cover the additional labor costs,” says Bischoff.

New grads or interns looking for work typically don’t wonder whether their first post-grad job will be paid on an exempt (salaried) or a non-exempt (hourly) basis, points out Arlene Vernon, an HR consultant who works with small business owners and corporate clients providing HR strategy and management training. And it’s probably not a consideration regarding whether or not they take a particular job opportunity. However, since a new grad may find himself choosing between two job opportunities, employers need to realize that competitors may change how they present salary and compensation packages based on the new overtime laws, which in turn cold affect the decision an employee makes when deciding between two companies or job offers.

Exempt versus non-exempt employment offers

Let’s say Company A offers the grad $48,000 per year as an exempt position, and Company B offers the grad $46,000 as a non-exempt position. There is the potential that the resulting annual pay under Company B could be higher than Company A if the employee works overtime.  If the person is choosing a job based solely on compensation, this would be a consideration.  However, the real decision is whether the job is the right fit for the person, not whether the employee is eligible for overtime.

“From an employer perspective, all companies, including those hiring new grads, need to re-evaluate all their positions paying less than $47,476 to determine how to handle any job reclassifications to non-exempt status,” says Vernon. “This could impact all or some incumbents in jobs paying around this new limit.”

In making someone hourly, companies are not required to merely take employees’ salaries and divide them by 2080 to get an equivalent hourly rate.  Many companies will assess what overtime the person might be working and recalculate the hourly rate so that when the employee works overtime the employee’s final pay equals the full salaried amount, says Vernon, admitting that this can get confusing.  But in this scenario, the employee may be making less per hour, but the same or even more on an annual basis when you factor in overtime, depending on the employer’s approach.

Some companies will be giving certain employees raises to bring them to $47,476 and keep them as salaried. “This may ultimately cost the employer less money than paying overtime at the lower wage,” says Vernon.

Employers must educate employees

Employers should educate employees who are moving from exempt to non-exempt on what work can and cannot be performed outside of regular work hours, adds Vernon. Exempt employees are accustomed to answering texts and emails at night and during weekends.  They may work whatever hours are needed to get the job done.  As a non-exempt employee, they must track and get paid for any non-scheduled hours worked which will increase their pay, but may be against company policy. Typically hourly employees don’t get to randomly create their own work schedules, while salaried employees do.

“This practice needs to be unlearned by managers and employees,” says Vernon.

For example, are managers who email the now-hourly employees at night and over the weekend now authorizing the employee to respond to the email and inadvertently approving overtime?  Or do managers need to learn to save employee communication for the work week to control payroll costs?

These are among the many changes, challenges and questions employers are sorting out.

“December 1 will be here before we know it,” says Vernon. “This change will have considerable impact on all employers no matter their size and whether or not they hire one or more grads below, at or above the new FLSA range.”

For more career tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Ready to begin your job search? Start at College Recruiter today!

Posted May 27, 2016 by

Onboarding should focus on new hire experience

Job, new, time photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When creating onboarding programs, employers should consider the interests of their new hires. This means focusing on what makes new hires comfortable and engaged with the onboarding process. Companies can take steps to create a smooth transition into the workplace for new employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares ways employers can build effective onboarding programs for new hires.

“A strong onboarding program is created with the new hire experience in mind. Many employers fail to make the first few days for employees exciting or fun. Bring people on and get them excited immediately.

Onboarding starts before new employees ever step foot in the office. So provide them with plenty of information about the company, who they’ll be meeting in the first few days, and what to expect from the entire process of getting oriented with their workspace, team, and tasks. Create an agenda before hiring employees.

Make employees feel comfortable with a clean, new space to work and introduce them to their colleagues. Encourage the staff to build casual relationships with new hires by taking them out to lunch; it establishes trust and respect. Essentially, employers are assigning mentors, employees the hires feel comfortable reaching out to.

Training should cover all of the protocols and procedures, but it needs to be engaging and can even be fun. Make it interactive; create games like scavenger hunts or other competitions to break the ice while also being informative. Technology is great for onboarding because it provides a convenient, easily accessible resource for new hires to find basic information including the dress code, benefits details, and the like, and to see how they fit within the company as a whole.

Be clear about company expectations and invest in training new hires over several weeks. This makes it easier to offer feedback, and go over the first performance evaluation. Consistent feedback and constructive critiques will help them improve on concerns as they arise, resulting in better evaluations and improving the company’s quality of hire.”

Need advice for creating an onboarding program? Get onboard our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted May 27, 2016 by

How new overtime laws will affect interns and recent grads

How the new overtime laws will affect recent college graduates

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

How will the new overtime laws affect interns and recent grads? A variety of experts weigh in on this hot topic.

Changes to overtime laws

The Department of Labor expects the new overtime laws to affect 4.2 million workers – many of whom are likely new college grads out on their first “real” job.  As of December 1, 2016, the days of working 50+ hours a week and earning $35,000 should be gone, says Kate Bischoff, a human resources professional and employment/labor law attorney with the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, an international litigation and dispute resolution law firm. Bischoff is co-leading a June 2, 2016, webinar titled Preparing for Changes to FLSA Overtime Regulations, discussing this topic and more.

Salary versus hourly

There’s one thing college graduates should keep in mind, says Bischoff, and that is that salary has nothing to do with status.

“Being paid a salary doesn’t mean that an employee is more valuable to his or her employer than an hourly employee,” says Bischoff. “It is simply a different way of paying people for their work.”

Those who are nonexempt – those eligible for overtime – may earn time and a half when they work long hours and may even earn more than their salaried brethren, points out Bischoff. Those who are exempt and earn more than $913 a week will not be compensated for their long hours in the office in the form of hourly payments. In fact, when some employees shift from salaried to hourly, many times, they earn more as an hourly employee.

The other thing about being paid on an hourly basis is that employers need to know how much you work, says Bischoff. With apps on smartphones and smart watches, employees can now track their time easier than ever before. “If you track your steps, you can track your hours,” says Bischoff. “The fact that you have to punch in or clock out only means you need to capture your time to get paid the value of your work. That’s all.”

Ask questions to clarify status

So what should college grads do and consider before accepting a job, or if they have questions about their current and future employment status at their existing job? Ask questions such as these, says Bischoff:

  • What will their overtime status be?
  • Will this position be eligible for overtime?
  • Will I be paid a salary?

“For many college grads, work-life balance is important, so ask if you will be able to make it to your volunteer activity every Thursday evening,” says Bischoff. “While asking if you will ‘have to’ work overtime may be a signal to an employer that you might not be a dedicated employee, you can ask about particular events or activities important to you. You may glean from the answer the amount of hours you will put in.”

What do the new overtime laws mean for interns?

Currently, the vast majority of interns earn less than the $23,660 DOL threshold and therefore are classified as non-exempt and qualify for overtime. When the new rules take effect on December 1, 2016, the threshold will almost double to $50,440. The number of interns who earn between $23,660 and $50,440 is miniscule and, therefore, the law will directly impact virtually no interns, says Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter. That said, there could be a substantial impact on new grad hiring as virtually all new grads earn more than $23,660, the average is about $46,000, and a substantial minority earn more than the $50,440.

“At College Recruiter, we believe that the law will have a substantial impact on the number of hours worked by management trainees and other such workers who have traditionally been paid as exempt, salaried employees with no ability to earn overtime pay yet who routinely work far more than the standard 40-hour work week,” says Rothberg. “Employers will likely instruct these employees not to work more than 40-hours per week, which will effectively increase the compensation paid to and reduce the return on investment generated from these employees. Yet with a tightening labor market, more Baby Boomers retiring, and fewer Millennials graduating, it is unlikely that there will be any noticeable change in the number of recent grads finding employment within their chosen career paths.”

Manufacturing director: New OT laws could hurt interns and recent grads

John Johnston is Director of Manufacturing at States Manufacturing, a Minneapolis-based custom electrical and precision fabricated metal company with 49 employees.

He fears the new overtime laws will hurt interns and new hires, namely those graduating from college or technical schools.

“I would expect the starting wage to decrease to compensate for the change in overtime rules,” says Johnston. “Also, I would tend to expect the opportunities to reduce as well as the patience of employers. If we are going to pay more, we are going to raise our expectations and be less patient with someone because of the wage they are earning. When we have had lower wage earners at the start of their career, we are able to be more patient in part because the issues are not as magnified with a lesser wage. Once that increases, we have no choice but to be tougher that much quicker.”

Johnston said his company may avoid hiring interns in the future due to the increased costs and instead balance it with multiple part-time employees. The company currently does not have any interns, partly because they were sorting out the details of the new labor and overtime laws.

“I see this as a trend to save on escalating costs since benefits would not be required with part-time employees,” says Johnston.

A ripple effect for college grads

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Rockville, Maryland and a Human Capital Consultant with Lasson Talent Solutions. Lasson regularly presents to students on behalf of college career centers.

According to Lasson, the new overtime regulations will have ripple affects all around.

“Students who are in college or right out of college want to gain meaningful experience,” he said. “They are not paying all that money to be flipping burgers or driving for Uber after graduation. The conventional wisdom is that internships are valuable. And they objectively are. However, many employers misappropriate that label to justify in order to get free labor from students who feel desperate for that experience. In many cases, internships play out in a way where the students are gaining only minimal exposure to the workplace and field, while at the same time are not getting paid.”

The Department of Labor previously identified six conditions that must be met in order to permit unpaid internship scenarios. “Many employers play fast and loose with these under the pretense that the work environment itself is more important than it objectively is,” says Lasson. And now, this extends to graduate school as well. The grad students are still “students” and therefore unlike their undergraduate peers who are not in graduate school can still “qualify” to be unpaid interns while in graduate school.  So, there is additional abuse of the system here as well, says Lasson.

“With the popularity of unpaid internships, many employers are inundated with requests and may just take advantage of students without having a handle on the DOL guidelines,” says Lasson.

For more career tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Posted May 24, 2016 by

How to have a great first day at work, Part 2

Starting your first full-time, entry-level job can be intimidating. Don’t let your nerves overcome you on your first day at work. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of this series.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, offers five more tips to help you shake off the first day jitters and prepare for your first day of work with confidence.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Observe.

On your first day at work—or even within the first few weeks or months of a new position—spend more of your time observing and listening than you do talking, saying yes, and volunteering for every opportunity that comes your way. You will learn a lot about company culture, your coworkers, your supervisors, and your new position by observing. You can figure out which circle of work friends you want to align yourself with and which group of friends to join for happy hour. You’ll figure out how to fit in and how to avoid major communication pitfalls. And you’ll avoid getting in over your head by overfilling your plate with unnecessary commitments, too.

2. Say yes to lunch.

On your first day and within the first week of work, you may be invited to lunch by coworkers who are trying to make you feel welcome. In general, it’s a good idea to say yes. Going to lunch isn’t a huge commitment. It gives you an opportunity to network and to learn about the workplace in a less threatening and less formal environment. If you go to lunch with someone and determine you don’t necessarily click as friends outside of work, you haven’t lost anything or made a commitment to joining that person for lunch every day of the week. No harm, no foul.

3. Silence your cell phone.

You have to be responsible enough to remember to do this yourself; chances are, no one’s going to remind you, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than your phone buzzing or ringing during a team meeting, onboarding training session, or worse yet, an all-company meeting. Take it a step further and implement a personal policy of avoiding carrying your phone around with you during work. Sure, everyone needs to send an occasional personal text message or personal email. But for the most part, work while you’re at work, and tend to personal business when you’re not at work. This helps you to stay focused on doing a great job and learning the ropes of your new position, and it demonstrates respect for your coworkers when you’re communicating with them (rather than gazing at the screen on your phone).

4. Use names.

Referring to people by their names is a great idea throughout life for several reasons, but it’s particularly helpful when you start a new job. When you refer to coworkers by name, you make them feel more important. This is a basic networking tip. In addition, referring to people by name often softens the blow when you’re making requests, giving orders, sharing information, and sending emails which otherwise seem cold and impersonal. And lastly, referring to people by name helps you to remember who you’re talking to.

5. Say thank you.

When coworkers, supervisors, and others at your new company treat you with kindness and courtesy during the onboarding process, respond with gratitude. Say thank you if someone opens the door for you, gathers office supplies for you, sets up your computer, or invites you to lunch. You might even consider writing thank you cards or at least emails to individuals who go above and beyond to make you feel welcome during your first few weeks of work. Remember, you’re establishing long-term working relationships with people within your company, and what better way to do that than to demonstrate gratitude for their help and kindness.

For more onboarding tips, check out our onboarding YouTube playlist and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

Posted May 19, 2016 by

Soft skills in the workplace: IBM offers tips to candidates

When entry-level candidates apply for jobs, they often claim to have great soft skills. However, after employers hire candidates, they may find that candidates don’t have the excellent soft skills they boasted about possessing. This creates a problem for employers in the onboarding process and afterward, too, as they are left to deal with new employees lacking basic soft skills required to adapt to the workplace and corporate culture.

Can the new employees interact well with their teammates? Are they capable of making strong decisions on their own without input from management every step of the way? Do new employees manage their time well, resolve conflicts as they arise, and communicate clearly, effectively, and appropriately with clients and coworkers? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no,’ employers have big—often expensive–problems on their hands.

Pete Joodi, Distinguished Engineer for IBM, provides entry-level job seekers and employers with insight into why soft skills matter so much in today’s workplace, particularly in the field of information technology. In this interview by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, Pete Joodi discusses the soft skills dilemma.


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At IBM, Pete Joodi, Distinguished Engineer, focuses on research and innovation in information technology. He focuses on optimization strategies; his goal is to find ways software and technology can improve energy efficiency, cost containment, and compliance.

Pete mentions that within the last 50 years, the world has truly expanded thanks to technology. We need to know how to work with each other now more than ever. This is the reason soft skills are more important than ever before.

IBM conducted a study in 2014. One of its findings indicated that soft skills are in great demand by employers but are most lacking in students graduating from institutions of higher education today. Pete Joodi doesn’t see this as a negative finding, however. Instead, it indicates an opportunity for growth and improvement for employers.

At IBM, the focus is on leading and contributing to technological innovation in the ‘cognitive era.’ Candidates applying at IBM need the following soft skills in order to succeed: communication skills, teamwork and collaboration skills, problem-solving skills, adaptability and flexibility skills, language and translation skills, ability to interact well with colleagues and clients, critical thinking skills, and conflict resolution skills.

Truly, soft skills are highly relevant at IBM. The world is more complex than it was, but it’s also more rewarding to work in the world today. In order to create consumable products, IBM and other companies must hire candidates with excellent soft skills.

For more details about how to improve your soft skills, transferable skills, and non-verbal skills, visit CollegeRecruiter.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

Posted May 18, 2016 by

5 onboarding tips to make the first day a success for new hires

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The first day on the job is always nerve-wracking, especially for the recent college graduate starting their first job, or the entry-level employee taking that next step in their career. That’s why it’s important for employers to create an onboarding program to acclimate new hires and make them feel welcome from day one.

“Sometimes the simplest things get overlooked and the smallest things make a huge impression,” says Julie Desmond, a talent acquisition specialist with Tennant Company, a manufacturer of indoor and outdoor environmental cleaning solutions with over 3,000 employees worldwide.

Here are five onboarding tips to make the first day a success for new hires:

1. New hires must know exactly what to bring
According to a 2009 study by the Aberdeen Group of senior executives and HR staffing and recruiting personnel, 83 percent of the highest performing organizations began onboarding prior to the new hire’s first day on the job. Do this by sending the new employee a checklist of things to bring for that that first day: Driver’s license or form of identification, social security card, and names and numbers of emergency contacts, are a good start. Let them know they will be completing paperwork such as a W-4 or I-9, benefits and payroll forms.

“I’ve been in onboarding sessions where this information wasn’t conveyed in advance,” says Desmond. “As a result, it took longer than necessary to get through this step. We know this is a high-hassle moment for new employees. Making it easy is very, very simple.”

2. New hires must know exactly where to go
We’re not talking directions to the office. And it’s not enough to simply tell new hires what time to arrive that first day on the job. There should be a clear onboarding plan in place, says Desmond. Tell them “when you arrive, ask for Jane Smith. Jane will meet you there and bring you to a conference room where you will complete your new hire paperwork.”

This gives them a point person to reach out to versus showing up and sheepishly asking the front desk staff who to ask for and where to go.

“When people know what to expect, they are more comfortable, better able to learn and process information, and from day one they understand that, here, we communicate clearly and don’t waste time guessing at what’s going to happen next,” says Desmond.

3. Don’t assume the employer knows what you know
The worst part about a new job is just that – it’s new and there are unknowns. That’s why an established person within the company needs to make sure the new hire knows the company dress code, where the bathrooms are, how to ask for days off, and where they can get coffee or a bite to eat. “Everyone forgets these things, because insiders already know,” says Desmond.

4. Have the new hires’ technology in place
This person has been planning for their first day on the job for the past two weeks. So, why is it that new hires always spend part of the first day on the phone with IT?

“Good talent is hard to come by,” says Desmond. “When our new hire heads home at the end of the day, do we want him or her to tweet, “first day on the job, got a cool new laptop and got started on a cool new project already.” Or do we want them to say, “Not sure about the new gig. Spent all day with Freddie from the IT Help desk.”

5. Make the first day special
The little things count, says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs. Make sure the new hire’s work station is ready, announce the new hire company-wide via email (with picture, if possible), describe their background and role and have top executives or department leaders personally introduce themselves to the new hire. “Make sure the new hire knows their presence is important,” says LaBombard. After paperwork is complete, the new hire should meet with their manager, and new team members. If possible, take the new employee out to lunch to get to know them better.

This may just be another day for HR, a manager and other company employees, but for new hires, especially recent college grads, this is arguably the biggest day of their professional career to this point.

It’s important to them – and should also be to employers.

“Day one matters more than ever for new recruits,” says Desmond.

For more onboarding tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Julie Desmond, a Talent Acquisition specialist with Tennant Company

Julie Desmond, a Talent Acquisition Specialist with Tennant Company.

 

Julie Desmond is a Talent Acquisition specialist with Tennant Company, a manufacturer of indoor and outdoor environmental cleaning solutions with over 3,000 employees worldwide. Tennant Company is committed to providing a rewarding work environment where employees have opportunities to contribute their unique talents and skills to building an even stronger Tennant.

 

 

Bob Labombard

Bob Labombard, CEO of Gradstaff, Inc.

Bob LaBombard has more than 30 years of business experience in the chemical, environmental, professional services and staffing industries, including 18 years of staffing industry experience as CEO of GradStaff, Inc., and founder and CEO of EnviroStaff, Inc. He is a leader in helping client companies develop comprehensive strategies to fill both short- and long-term staffing requirements.

 

Posted May 17, 2016 by

How to have a great first day at work: Part 1

Congratulations on landing your first full-time entry-level job after graduating from college! Woohoo! This is a huge milestone in your career journey.

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking. Remember the feeling you had when you started high school? You might feel a little like that on your first day at work, minus the horrific acne and monstrous crush on your neighbor.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, is one of two videos offering help to recent grads starting their first entry-level jobs. Here are five ways you can ensure success on your first day at work.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Dress well, sleep well, and feel well.

Get a great night’s sleep the night before your first day at work. Certainly celebrate your new job with your friends and family, but celebrate at least two days prior to your first day. Wake up in plenty of time to get ready for work. We all have those days when we don’t like the outfit we selected for work, and chances are, it will be your first day of work. Give yourself at least 20 or 30 extra minutes to get ready on your first day at work.

When you look good, you feel good. Dress up (at least a little bit) on your first day at work. Wear an outfit that fits into the company’s dress code, but spend a little extra time fixing your hair or makeup. It doesn’t hurt to feel great when you’re going to spend all day long in training sessions, meeting new people, and looking people in the eye.

2. Arrive early.

Arrive at least 15 or 30 minutes early on your first day at work. This helps you to avoid showing up late due to traffic problems or getting turned around. It’s common to feel disoriented when you are in a new town or don’t know which parking lot to use. How far will you have to walk from the parking lot to the building? Are there designated parking spots? Don’t park in those! Knowing this information in advance is helpful. Arriving early gives you the opportunity to network with coworkers and eases nerves.

3. Prepare an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a 30-second spiel explaining who you are, where you’ve been, what you do, and where you’re going in life or at work. Preparing a brief elevator pitch related to your new position will come in handy when you’re being introduced to multiple teammates, supervisors, and colleagues repeatedly throughout the day. Chances are, you’ll be asked the question, “So who are you? What is it you’ll be doing for us?” Be prepared with a smooth response.

4. Smile often.

When shaking hands and delivering that elevator pitch, smile. Smiling improves your mood and the moods of those around you as well. Start off on the right foot on your first day at work by spreading cheer and goodwill to people around you.

4. Be positive no matter what.

Whether you have to sit through eight hours of training, which you find incredibly boring, or whether you arrive and find that your desk is not set up at all, be positive. Not many people enjoy working with negative people. Avoid making negative comments, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. If you need to ask for help, do so politely and quietly. Avoid making a scene in a fussy or dramatic manner right off the bat. Very few things leave a bad taste in employers’ mouths as a new employee who begins complaining before she’s even begun working.

For more suggestions on starting out strong in your new entry-level job, visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Posted May 13, 2016 by

Basing your job search on company growth

Four college graduates in graduation gowns standing close to each other and making selfie courtesy of Shutterstock.com

g-stockstudio/Shutterstock.com

College students preparing to enter the workforce must consider jobs based on information that extends beyond the description of available positions, including company growth. By considering the characteristics of prospective employers, job seekers can make decisions that can improve their chances of having long, successful careers.

For many college graduates, getting involved with a growing enterprise represents an opportunity to share the benefits of company growth. Employers that currently experience growth and expect it to continue in the future often promote employees from within to fill vacant positions. The move controls recruiting and hiring costs, and gives employees opportunities for professional growth.

Company growth ranks as one of the most important factors in the job search. Although the stability of mature companies that have stopped growing might seem attractive, they could limit career development for new college graduates. Younger companies might bring a degree of uncertainty and increased responsibilities to the table, but they also bring an opportunity for new employees to quickly grow in their profession.

Expanding product lines

Companies that signal growth through the expanded product lines give prospective employees reasons to believe they can grow with the enterprise. Nike, an established company, once experienced periods of growth as the company extended its brand from shoes to clothing, accessories, and electronics. College graduates who see a company expanding in a similar way can expect to gain valuable experience in business and brand development during an extensive career with the same employer. After gaining work experience with such a firm, employees can market their skills and experience to other companies that want to grow.

Growth through acquisition

Growing companies may choose to buy other firms as a pathway to growth. Professionals working for businesses expanding this way can find themselves at the top of the overarching corporate structure. Such a situation exposes employees to diverse business models and organizational structures, as they assimilate new firms into the company. Good performance in positions of high responsibility gives workers a path to higher pay and promotions.

Blue Coat, a growing player in the cloud security market, provided a good example of growth through acquisition when the firm bought Elastica, a startup provider of software that can detect the inappropriate use of cloud-based applications. The company adds innovative technology to the acquiring firm, as well as the responsibility to create synergy with the combined company. Qualified job candidates might consider working for such a company because the business could continue to fuel its growth by buying other companies.

Market expansion

Companies with existing products that seek to grow by entering new markets need well-educated job candidates to fill positions within the growing organization. Graduates who choose to join a firm with a demonstrated pattern of market expansion can expect to have a long-term pathway to career development, as they learn how to deal with markets regionally, nationally, and globally markets. As their employer grows, workers can expect to assume new responsibilities that increase their value to the firm and possible future employers. Although many companies such as Netflix have entered different countries to pursue growth, smaller companies might grow by expanding into different regions of the same country. For example, Express Employment Professionals began as a small staffing firm in Oklahoma and has since grown by expanding into hundreds of markets around the USA.

A study referenced by Forbes.com showed companies that promote employees from within outperform those that fill positions with external hires. College graduates willing to join a business during its early stages might at first accept a lower wage, but the increased chances of promotion within the firm can compensate for any initial loss.

If you’re looking for more job search tips, visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson is a BYU Alumni and business consultant. Since graduating from college in 2013, he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

Posted May 10, 2016 by

How to select a career mentor

When you graduate from college, you lose daily, immediate access to some of your greatest mentors and teachers—faculty members, advisors, and career services professionals who have guided you through some of the best and most formative years of your life. When starting your first entry-level, full-time job, it’s important to begin seeking out a career mentor.

This five-minute video, created by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, will help you select a quality career mentor.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

There are at least two types of mentors you need to find, ideally, when you begin your first full-time, entry-level job. The first type of mentor you need to find is a workplace mentor. This mentor works for the same company or organization but has at least a few years of experience under her belt. She probably works for the same team or within the same division and can provide you with guidance related to company policies and procedures, the ins and outs about how to make coffee in the breakroom, and other important tips about surviving on a daily basis within your organization.

This video and article will help you select the other—and more important—type of mentor: a career mentor. A career mentor is a lifelong mentor; your career mentor has years of experience, preferably decades of experience, and works in your “dream career field.” A career mentor will provide career guidance and mentorship over the course of your career journey. When selecting a career mentor, be picky. You should spend at least a few months observing professionals and contemplating “fit” before asking someone to serve as your career mentor.

Here are a few tips to aid you in selecting your career mentor.

1. Look for elevator people.

Elevator people are defined as people who bring you up, while basement people bring you down. This trait is especially important in mentors. When you’re asking someone for advice and guidance, you don’t want to leave every conversation feeling controlled, manipulated, deflated, or picked apart. Not only does that type of relationship sound very unhealthy, but it’s also completely unproductive. Seek out a career mentor who lifts others up. Is the mentor you’re considering territorial with her ideas? Does she appear jealous when you discuss something you’re working on that’s exciting to you? Move on and consider option B.

2. Go for the “gel.”

Can you completely relax when talking to your career mentor? This doesn’t mean you need to think of your career mentor as a peer; she’s not. You should have a great amount of respect for your career mentor.  Competent communication is defined as communication that is both effective and appropriate. Of course you want to interact with your mentor with an appropriate level of respect; you won’t talk to your mentor about the party you hosted Saturday night or your conflict with your boyfriend. You discuss those matters with your personal friends.

But it is crucial to select a career mentor you “gel” with. Can you be honest about your career goals, or do you feel intimidated to discuss the future? Are you afraid your career mentor will laugh at your dreams? When you make mistakes at work (and don’t worry—every new entry-level employee makes mistakes), do you feel comfortable confessing those mistakes to your career mentor and seeking advice about how to overcome them? If not, you probably need to consider seeking out a new career mentor.

3. Find a great listener.

Motivational speakers may seem inspiring when you meet them, but remember when seeking a career mentor, you must find someone who can listen as much as she talks. You’re going to come up against obstacles over the course of your career journey, and it’s important that your career mentor listen well (without placing judgment). Only excellent listeners can offer excellent feedback and suggestions. Great career mentoring relationships tend to look alike—be sure yours matches up.

4. Reflect on your feelings.

Always reflect on your feelings after spending time with potential career mentors. Weigh pros and cons, make lists, and attempt to make a clear-headed decision before selecting a career mentor, certainly. But at the end of the day, relationships like this must be based at least partly on gut instinct. After going to lunch with your career mentor, do you feel better or worse? When you have a phone conversation, do you feel more positive or disheartened? Do you feel more motivated to go back to work and to try to reach your goals, or do you feel like taking the day off after talking to your mentor?

5. Don’t discount your feelings before you make the final decision about asking someone to serve as your mentor.

Lastly, when you decide to ask someone to serve as your career mentor, be gracious and grateful. Your career mentor is doing you a huge favor and will likely invest hours—if not days—of her life in yours. Mine has.

For more advice about starting your first full-time job off right, read our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.