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

Posted March 31, 2020 by

Ask the Experts: Start date for employment delayed due to Covid-19

Question:

I was about to start a new job but my employer is telling me that I can’t until after COVID-19 is resolved. Do I wait around for them? What if it takes them a lot longer to bring me on than I can afford? What if they never bring me on and terminate my employment before I even start? What if I go to work for someone else and then this employer wants me to start?

First Answer:

Congratulations on your new job.

My initial question is: what is the rest of their employee population doing? Presumably, most people are working remotely. I would approach the hiring manager and ask if you can do the same.

Layout a specific strategy for how you will ramp up, taking the responsibility for introducing yourself to people, learning the organization’s technical tools, and understanding what and how your boss would like to receive in terms of work product. If there’s an onboarding system you can access online, so much the better. 

It’s unlikely that anyone new will hire you until the COVID crisis subsides, so I would do your best to work with your new employer. Even if you didn’t already sign a contract with a specific start date (which gives you more leverage), hopefully, the organization will be sensitive to your situation.

— Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College

Second Answer:

To all of these questions I would ask one in return: What do we know for certain about how COVID-19 will impact us next week?

The answer to that is simple, nothing is certain when it comes to COVID-19. With this uncertainty looming over, when starting a new job you need to try to get as much clarity as possible on the current opportunity while creating a contingency plan.

To get clarity, reach out to the employer and ask if there is an opportunity to begin work remotely, or part-time while the company navigates COVID-19. This will allow you to potentially begin work and show flexibility with the downside of it being at partial hours or pay. As COVID-19 could continue on for many more weeks also establish a set a timeline, either bi-weekly or monthly, for employment status check-ins with HR or management.

What I can say with certainty is that you want to keep this employment option open as COVID-19 is effecting employment rates and making the market extremely competitive. While you are maintaining regular check-ins and showcasing adaptability to your potential new job, continue to build your virtual network, apply for new roles, and build new skills. This will ensure that if you have to pivot due to the employer ultimately terminating the offer or taking too long to officially hire you, that you will be ahead of the game.

If you are a university student and this opportunity was for your summer job, begin thinking of a back-up plan now, as there are only so many summers you get during your university career. Back-ups can include online summer courses, pursuing a remote internship, and if the internship market is saturated looking to international internships completed remotely, or, developing a new skill by completing an online course in project management, foreign language, software system or more.  

Jillian Low, Director of University Partnerships for CRCC Asia

Third Answer:

This is a difficult response in a challenging time for anyone to receive. No doubt disappointing, deflating and demotivating. That said, the employer may be saving you some disappointment down the line when you’ve got less opportunity to pivot. Most of the ‘what if’s’ won’t be able to be answered for some time so now is a good time to add to the eggs in your basket. 

Since this employer thinks highly enough of you to want to employ you, consider following up to see what projects you might be able to work on remotely in the near term. If they don’t have any at the ready, suggest some that might be of interest to them based on what you already know of the industry. It’s also a good time for back-up options to pursue jobs with other employers. That might mean reaching out to career services to set up interviews, or doing so on your own, with the employers who are still recruiting. It might mean finding some micro-internships on sites like Parker Dewey. It may also be a good time to take a step back and read some of the many prognosticators out there talking about what COVID 19 is likely to mean for the job market 3, 6, 9 months from now and see which industries are expected to benefit. Do any new interests or ideas emerge?

Of course, it’s never a bad time to network and letting folks know of your current status would make sense. Remember that everyone is going through a lot of uncertainty so starting off your network outreach with a ‘how are things for you’ rather than ‘here’s what I need from you’ is likely to get a far better response.

Pam Baker, Founder and CEO of Journeous

Fourth Answer:

Do I wait around for them? What if it takes them a lot longer to bring me on than I can afford? Considering the current situation, having any opportunity at a possible job is a chance many people would love to have.

In my opinion, I would definitely weigh my options. It depends on your current situation and if you can afford to have your future employer turn you down after weeks or months of waiting.

If this employer terminates your contract before you even begin, then they made a more decision to even begin the hiring process when they didn’t have the resources to follow through. 

In my last thoughts, I would encourage you too always have multiple job offers and opportunities on the table so you remain the power position. It’s frustrating as a job seeker when you put all your eggs in one basket and that basket doesn’t turn out successful.

Lorenz Esposito, Digital Marketer at Potentialpark

Fifth Answer:

In my opinion, the best course of action is to try to get an assurance from your new employer that your job offer is solid and won’t be rescinded.  I would try to get it in writing. Be polite about your request, and simply explain that you are a bit anxious due to the outbreak of covid 19 and you’re dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.

If your employer writes you that the job offer is solid, I would take him at his word. If your employer won’t put it in writing, then I think it’s fair for you to try to secure another job.

These are uncertain times, and we are all navigating through them. If you go work for someone else, the best way to possibly keep the door open at the first employer is to write a heartfelt note that due to financial circumstances, you felt it prudent to take another job and that you hope he understands.

— Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) and Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots (Sourcebooks 2008).

Posted March 19, 2020 by

Resources for students, grads searching for remote work due to COVID-19

The rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic is creating havoc in the lives of almost everyone worldwide. Estimates regarding the number of people laid off or whose employment will be terminated vary widely but, yesterday, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department said that we could see an unemployment rate of 20 percent if we don’t flatten the curve.

If you or someone you know has lost their job or are nervous that your upcoming internship or other job offer won’t be available when you’re ready to start, then here are some resources:

Resources for Remote Work: 

  • Standuply’s list of 330 remote work tools
  • Skillcrush’s list of skills needed for successfully working from home
  • The Muse’s advice on how to find home-based jobs
  • Zapier’s article on how to find work-from-home jobs
  • An article written before the COVID-19 pandemic about the state of remote work
  • List of 25 sites that are good for finding remote work
  • A similar list of 18 sites which are good for finding home-based employment
  • A shorter but still good list for places to find telecommuting jobs
  • A list of 25 companies that hire virtual employees
  • Workplaceless, which is a professional development organization for remote work, they help universities and businesses understand how to best learn, grow and lead remotely
  • And, of course, College Recruiter, which currently has almost 10,000 job posting ads from employers who are trying to hire students and recent graduates who want to work from home

We’re all in this together. Let’s flatten that curve!

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.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted December 31, 2019 by

How do I robot-proof my career?

Throughout human history, automation has displaced people. The difference now is that automation is starting to displace those with the most rather than the least skills, and so the conventional answers about getting more education no longer apply.

The reality is that no one will be able to robot-proof their careers if they’re at the beginning of their working life as no one can predict which jobs will existing decades from now given the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence.

But some careers are less likely to be displaced by robots, artificial intelligence, and other automation than others. These include jobs where significant critical thinking skills are necessary, as artificial intelligence is far less advanced than self-serve kiosks where the critical thinking is actually performed by the customer. 

Lily Rose-Wilson

Posted June 04, 2019 by

Employers shouldn’t — but still do — stalk candidates on Facebook

One of my favorite podcasts that sits at the intersection of human resources and technology a/k/a HRtech is The Chad and Cheese Podcast. The hosts are friends Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman, each of whom have been in the industry for two decades and regularly compete with each other to see who can out-snark the other. Shows are usually about 40-minutes long, easy to listen to, and informative.

Toward the end of the May 31st episode, Chad and Joel got into a discussion about an employer in Australia or New Zealand — they couldn’t remember where — who left a voice message for a candidate that was a little more revealing than the employer planned. Apparently, the employer didn’t realize they were still being recorded and started to discuss the candidate’s fake tan, tattoos, and other items which weren’t at all relevant to the candidate’s ability to do the work. Big thumbs down to the employer.

I did a little Googling and found the story on news.com.au. So, it was an Australian employer. Perth to be exact. The employer was Michelle Lines from STS Health and the candidate was Lily Rose-Wilson. In the recording, Lines can be heard discussing Rose-Wilson’s Facebook photos with a male colleague.

According to news.com.au, the conversation went as follows: “Not answering the phone now,” Ms Lines says. Her colleague suggests she’s “probably getting another tattoo”, to which Ms Lines responds, “She’s probably doing her fake tan.” The male asks, “Did you really like, Facebook stalk?”, and Ms Lines says, “That’s what you got to do, babe”. “Yeah, well it’s very thorough, good on you,” he replies.

Ugh. I’ve been speaking about how employers wrongfully use Facebook and other social media sites since Facebook was only accessible to students, staff, and faculty at dozens of colleges and universities. I really, really thought that employers had grown up and realized that sites like Facebook are great sourcing tools if they’re used to help the employer be more inclusive when hiring and should never be used to exclude candidates from the hiring pool. Yet, here we are again. Ugh.

To the candidates reading this blog, beware. Understand that every organization is made up of individuals and individuals all make mistakes. And some make more mistakes than others. But even if an individual within an organization to which you’ve applied makes a mistake and looks at your Facebook profile to see if they can find a reason to eliminate you from the candidate pool does not mean that you should cross that employer off of your list. Chances are, the person will be in HR and unless you’re applying to work in HR you’ll likely never interact with that person after you’re hired.

Don’t leave yourself open to the irrational, mistaken whims of some idiot who decides that looking at your tan or tattoos is a good idea when deciding whether you’re qualified for a job. If that matters to you as it does to many candidates, then lock down your privacy so that the prospective employer cannot see those photos. And if they’re the kind of photos that you’d be embarrassed to show your favorite grandmother, get them off of your profile altogether.

Posted May 07, 2019 by

Massive unemployment still exists amongst high school and college graduates

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

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

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

Want some more highlights?

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 17, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted March 18, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

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

College admissions building. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 13, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted February 14, 2019 by

Does Griggs v. Duke Power Co. prohibit the use of artificial intelligence in hiring?

One of the many things that I learned two months ago at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on AI at Google that College Recruiter organized and Google hosted was that employers need to be very, very careful about how they use artificial intelligence in their hiring decisions. Unfortunately, in a rush to make as much money as possible, many AI vendors are selling these employers on the efficiency of the technology and not adequately addressing the potential liability being created from the use and misuse of the technology.

One of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decisions was Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971), which made illegal a company’s employment requirements which did not pertain to an employee’s ability to perform the job if those requirements had the effect of disparately impacting African-Americans and other ethnic minorities. Duke Power had argued that requiring a high school degree for its higher paid jobs was not discriminatory because it applied the same requirement to all applicants regardless of race. The Court, however, recognized that a high school degree was not needed to perform the work and negatively impacted the ability of African-Americans to be hired because fewer of them had high school degrees.

So, what does this have to do with artificial intelligence? Turns out, a lot. The typical implementation of an AI hiring tool involves the employer uploading resumes and other data for its best employees and then telling the technology to find more people like that. On the surface, that makes sense. “Our best salespeople all came to us after selling cars, so our new AI hiring technology will find car salespeople for us.”

But what if your hiring practices in the past have been discriminatory — perhaps unintentionally — and so your AI recommends more of the same candidates? For example, what if your best salespeople all had college degrees and so your AI only found or recommended salespeople with college degrees? A lot of employers — too many employers — would argue that would be a good thing. But would it be? What if you can’t prove that having a college degree pertains to their ability to sell? And what if, as is the case, those with college degrees are far more likely to be Caucasian or Asian than African-American, Hispanic, or Native American? What if your engineers are all male and so your AI disregards females?

Artificial intelligence may prove to be one of the greatest advances in our history, but we must be careful with how we use it. And whether the matching technology being touted by your other job board partner is powered by AI or not, be equally as cautious about it and for the same reasons. Do you know how that job board determines which candidates are a good match? Do you know for sure that it isn’t inadvertently discriminating against women? Minorities? Veterans? Disabled?