ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

Posted December 10, 2019 by

What’s a common resume tip that is actually really bad advice?

One of the most common and most harmful recommendations is to send a video or otherwise graphically enhanced resume to any medium- or large-sized employer that does not explicitly ask for one.

Why? Because the vast majority of them use applicant tracking systems (ATS), and almost none of these are able to handle video or graphics. Candidates who rely upon video or graphics to communicate their qualifications or career interests put themselves at a significant disadvantage when applying to jobs advertised by these employers.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted October 14, 2019 by

How mobile-friendly is your application process?

By Robin Porter

Tom, a 38-year-old long haul truck driver, spends most of his time on the road—often going weeks at a time without seeing his wife and two young children. He’s worked hard to earn his degree online, so he can find a job that lets him be at home with his family.

Now Tom’s in job-search mode. Given the nomadic nature of a trucking job, he has to submit applications when and where he can. That’s why he’s thankful for smartphones—even if it’s sometimes a pain to fill out applications on a small screen (so many questions, and why does he have to re-enter his job history when he’s already uploaded his resume?). However, with limited access to secure computers, it’s all he’s got.

A couple of job applications have been user-friendly. More often, though, the frustration of trying to get through the tedious and detailed online application process on a phone, combined with his tight schedule, forces Tom to abandon his applications to get back on the road. It’s not his choice, but he has schedules to meet. Sometimes, he wonders if he’ll ever be able to settle into a job that will allow him to watch his kids grow up…

Someone who’s as industrious and goal-oriented as Tom, our fictional truck driver, would be an asset to any company. If he applied to your company, would he be interviewing with you right now, or would he be lost in the system because he applied on a mobile device?

Before you wave away the idea that the devices applicants use make a difference in his or her employment prospects, consider that, according to the Pew Research Center, 81% of adults in the U.S. now own smartphones, with the breakdown in ownership by age as follows:

  • Age 18-29: 96%
  • Age 30-49: 92%
  • Age 50-64: 79%

And consider another recent study by Glassdoor, the employer and salary review site, which found that 58% of their users look for jobs on smartphones—and in fact prefer to apply that way.

That’s a lot of job seekers you could be missing out on, if your online application process isn’t mobile-friendly.

Who Applies via Mobile?

Most mobile applicants tend to be in the mid-phase of their careers, with 55% in the 35-44 age range. The largest group—52%—are women, and in general, mobile applicants tend come from industries and occupations where their work doesn’t keep them within range of a computer. Think restaurant, health care, retail, construction, manufacturing or transportation workers like our friend Tom.

Even if you don’t specifically hire in those industries, how many good candidates who have decided to transition to your industry might you be overlooking—without even realizing it?

The Effects of Mobile-Friendly Application

Glassdoor’s study found that mobile job seekers complete 53% fewer applications and take 80% longer to complete each application. The difficulty of completing applications—a CareerBuilder study found that 60% of jobseekers quit in the middle of an online application due to length, complexity or even formatting issues—is not only discouraging for the applicants, it could eventually become a negative for your company as jobseekers abandon your site for more user-friendly postings.

Now, if we’re being honest, in an employer’s market it might not be a significant issue. However, when the market favors job seekers and you have to compete for talent, your applicant pool could shrink considerably—especially as the capabilities of mobile devices continue to expand.

And if you think that a challenging online application process separates the serious applicant from the less-serious ones, think again. The top-notch candidates you’re searching for know what their time is worth, and their patience for an unnecessarily complicated process is as low as anyone else’s.

The Costs of Mobile-Unfriendly Application

Appcast, a developer of programmatic job advertising technology, did a benchmark study that examined the U.S. hiring market in 2018. Among their findings was a 24.5% increase in mobile device clicks from 2017 to 2018. Nearly half of all applies, 47.10%, came from a mobile device in 2018, up drastically from 30.05% in 2017—a 54.93% increase in mobile applications.

The Appcast study further found that recruiters who use more streamlined platforms that shorten the length of the application process cut their cost per applicant almost 250% by reducing the time to complete an application from 15 minutes to just five. Consider that in the cost-per-click pricing model, recruiters pay per click—whatever the candidate does beyond that initial click. When unwieldly application forms translate into abandoned applications, you’re still paying for those clicks even if they don’t result in a job candidate.

As Tom, our trucker friend, and other job seekers rely more and more on mobile devices to search and apply for jobs, it’s vital for employers to adapt their online application processes to reflect the latest technology and application practices. Glassdoor’s study showed that when a job was promoted as mobile-friendly, the number of job applicants increased as much as 11.6%. How many more promising applicants would you have to choose missing out on if you made your online application process mobile-friendly?

Today might be the best day to make that calculation. And the first day of a new era in your recruitment process.

Sources:

Being away from home for weeks on end can put truckers’ mental health at risk, and there’s no solution in sight,” by Rachel Premack, businessinsider.com, June 18, 2018.

Mobile Fact Sheet,” by Pew Research Center, pewinternet.org, June 12, 2019.

The Rise of Mobile Devices in Job Search: Challenges and Opportunities for Employers,” by Daniel Zhao, glassdoor.com, June 2, 2019.

Study: Most Job Seekers Abandon Online Job Applications,” by Dave Zielinski, shrm.org, March 8, 2016.

Is Poor UX Hurting Your Chances of Finding Good Employees?” by Samuel Harper, uxdesign.cc, July 14, 2019.

2019 Recruitment Media Benchmark Report,” by Appcast, info.appcase.io, 2019. (Note: link opens to a download form)

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 25, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted April 25, 2019 by

Are you posting “everywhere” when you post your job to college career service office sites?

Recruiting on-campus along with posting on-line has certainly gained traction over the past decade or so, but I would urge those who post on-line to do some research into their vendors. Just as no two schools are alike and, in fact, they’re almost all quite different and deliver very different returns on investment, the same goes with job search sites, whether those are tied in with specific schools or serve a broader and, therefore, more inclusive audience.

Recent estimates put the number of job boards, job search sites, job marketplaces, etc. (different names for the same thing) at about 100,000 worldwide with about 50,000 of those in the U.S. Take out the cookie cutter sites where you have one organization powering multiple sites and everything about those sites is identical other than the look-and-feel and you’re down to about 10,000 U.S. sites. Take out the sites which are run more as hobbies and generate negligible traffic and you’re down something like 500 to 1,000 sites. Take out the aggregator, general, and other such sites which are primarily targeted to candidates with more than a few years of experience and, therefore, not a good fit for students and recent graduates and you’re down to about a dozen. Take out the sites which only allow access to students from certain schools and therefore exclude students from other schools and, realistically, virtually all recent graduates and you’re down to a handful.

Employers who want to pursue a “post everywhere” strategy to build a diverse and inclusive candidate pipeline from students and recent graduates not just from a small number of four-year colleges where the employer goes on-campus but all of the other 7,400 one-, two-, and four-year colleges should be looking at the sites that align with that strategy. On the other hand, if your program is unable or unwilling to consider candidates from a broad range of schools — there are sometimes very legitimate reasons why that is such as the major required is only offered at 10 schools — then you’re going to want to use sites which are only accessible to students from those schools.

Another factor to consider: scalability. Are you looking to hire one person here and one person there and their skill sets are quite unusual? Then you’re going to want to zero in on the sites that allow you do a lot of filtering based on the profiles of the candidates or the sites that offer good matching technology. And for the matching sites, don’t just take their word that their tech works well as much of the matching technology out there is awful. Just as you’d do your due diligence with considering going to a new school, you need to do your due diligence when adding a new job board vendor. But if you’re looking to hire dozens, hundreds, or even thousands into the same or similar roles, can your job board partner provide data to you to demonstrate that it has successfully delivered well-targeted candidates at that scale for similar roles for other, similar employers? Again, do your due diligence.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 24, 2019 by

Looking for a remote part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level job?

On March 19th, College Recruiter announced on The Chad and Cheese Podcast that our site, leveraging search technology from Google Cloud Talent Solutions, had rolled out major upgrades to how students, recent graduates, and other candidates can search for and find jobs. The announcement in March was two-fold:

  1. Candidates can search all of the job postings using any of 100+ languages, even if the job posting was written in English. Employers hiring retail sales associates, for example, could advertise those positions in English but may see an increase in applications from those whose primary language is Spanish but who are also proficient in English.
  2. Rather than searching for jobs by city or state/province, we became one of the first sites not just to enable commute search, but to put it front and center. If you’re searching for a part-time job in New York City, does it really matter that the job is in New York City? Wouldn’t it be more relevant if you could restrict or prioritize your search to jobs which are within a 15-minute walk, 30-minute cycle, 45-minutes on public transport, etc? Thanks to our friends at Google, the millions of candidates who use College Recruiter a year now search by how long it will take for them to get to a job rather than the less meaningful proxy of how far away that job is.

Today, in collaboration with Google Cloud, we are excited to share another huge step forward for candidates. Quite simply, candidates who are searching for remote work will no longer need to guess at whether the employer has included words in their job posting such as virtual, home-based, work-from-home, WFH, or telecommute. Until now, if the candidate included in her search the keyword “remote” and the employer included in his posting the keyword “virtual”, very, very few job boards would be able to match the two job postings. In other words, job postings rarely clearly described work opportunities as being available for remote work even when they were. Effective immediately, we’re able to do so and we’re able to do so exceptionally well.

According to Google, “job seekers have different lifestyle and geographic needs that require flexibility. Working from home can enable parents and caregivers to be more available to their families. It can help retain a high performing employee who regularly relocates as a military spouse. And it can help increase the loyalty of millennial and Generation Z employees who are much likelier to stay in a role for 5+ years if their company is flexible about where and when they work.”

In addition to helping the largely Millennial and Gen Z candidates who use College Recruiter to find great careers, we’re also excited about the promise this enhancement has for those with disabilities that make it difficult or even impossible to commute to work. There’s a tremendous amount of talent in these people. We’re proud to be a part of this solution.

Posted April 23, 2019 by

There isn’t a shortage of talent. There’s a shortage of well-qualified talent finding your jobs.

For many employers, this is an incredibly frustrating labor market. Technology has made it easier than ever for candidates to apply to jobs so employers typically say that quantity isn’t their issue but quality is. But why?

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

How is College Recruiter able to help so many of the largest and well-known employers in the country hire so many great candidates? A lot of reasons, but a key one is that we license the world’s best search technology — Google’s — to match up candidates who know what kind of a job they’re looking for but might not guess at the job title or other keywords that your organization uses in its ads. Most job boards use dumb search technology, so if an employer posts a job using RN for the job title and the candidate searches for registered nurse positions, they’ll be like two ships passing in the night. But College Recruiter will match that employer with that candidate. 

We’ll also prioritize the search results based upon a bunch of factors, including how motivated that employer is to hire that candidate (those who want to hire more or faster rank higher so they get more well-qualified candidates faster) and even how long it will take the candidate to get to the job whether they want to commute by walking, bicycling, transit, or driving. Try telling a college career service office website that you only want to look at jobs within 15-minutes walking distance from campus. 

Oh, and we fully automate the process of adding, editing, and deactivating your postings without you having to lift a finger. Heck, you don’t even have to create an account on our site.

In short, College Recruiter is built from the ground-up with the needs of large employers in mind. You’re not trying to hire one, unique candidate. You don’t have all of the time in the world like some SMB’s do. We get that. Want some proof? Let’s set up a 30-minute call to talk through your hiring challenges or email those to me. Either way, I’ll make specific recommendations to you for how we can help.

Posted April 03, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted March 18, 2019 by

College Recruiter selected as one of 12 HR tech companies to present at Talent Tech Labs NEXT conference

Minneapolis, MN (March 18, 2019) — Job search site, College Recruiter, announced today that it was selected as one of only a dozen, human resource technology companies to demo its products to an executive network of passionate talent acquisition leaders from global enterprises.

Talent Tech NEXT, which is the second of three days of the ASU+GSV Summit, delivers insightful market intelligence and carefully curated company demos to 4,000 talent acquisition leaders from the world’s leading companies. Never a sales pitch. Attendees discover — and interact directly with — cutting-edge, fully-vetted technologies that are ready to implement directly into their recruiting stacks. Additionally, attendees learn about top trends and real use-case implementation strategies directly from industry practitioners who are actual agents of change and experts within the Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem.

At Talent Text NEXT, College Recruiter will demo its newest product, JobsThatScale job postings, which has already been adopted by hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of people for the same role in different locations, different roles in the same location, or different roles in different locations.

Talent Text NEXT will take place within the ASU – GSV Summit on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. To save 50 percent off of an attendee ticket, go to  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/talent-tech-next-inside-asu-gsv-summit-tickets-55089769985?discount=TTLNextCollegeRecruiter or enter promo code TTLNextCollegeRecruiter at checkout.

About College Recruiter

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates of all one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. For more information, call 952.884.2211 or email Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com, or visit us at CollegeRecruiter.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 15, 2019 by

Are diversity and inclusion hiring efforts undermined by the shift to programmatic, CPC job advertising?

Over the past couple of years, College Recruiter has undergone a remarkable transformation. As was the case since the dawn of recruitment advertising a few hundred years ago, all of our employer customers were advertising their part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level job opportunities with us on a traditional, duration-basis such as $X for 30-days.

Today, virtually all of the postings on our site are pay-for-performance such as cost-per-click and most of those are programmatic, meaning that the jobs we receive and the CPC we receive are based upon pre-set rules created by the employer customers, their advertising agencies, or their job distributors. Hopefully, that quick overview helps to illustrate why I wrote above that our people, process, product, and price have undergone a remarkable transformation.

I thought that readers of this blog would appreciate a little information about what we’re seeing happening in the marketplace right now. Some of the traditional, ad agencies are doing a good job in terms of advising their customers as to what CPC’s to pay, what jobs to distribute, expectations, etc. Some aren’t.

A common theme across almost all ad agencies — but not all — is that the overriding metric of success is minimizing the CPC and/or eCPA. I understand the desire to use objective metrics like that, but I’m also hearing frustration from some on the employer side who are appreciating their reduced costs per and time to hire but concerned about the negative impact these programs are having on their diversity and inclusion hiring efforts and, therefore, the long-term productivity of their workforce. 

What a small number of employers and advertising agencies are starting to appreciate is that the lowest CPC and lowest eCPA typically translates into a higher percentage of candidates coming from a smaller percentage of sources, which reduces the diversity of the applicant pool. Note that when I talk about diversity, I’m not just talking about race or gender. I’m also talking about socioeconomic and other such backgrounds. If a disproportionately large number of applicants come from low cost, general aggregators, then the candidate pool will also be general and therefore anything but diverse.

A couple of the ad agencies we work with are segmenting their budgets so they allocate $A to general aggregators; $B to industry-specific, niche sites; $C to geographic-specific, niche sites; $D to college-specific sites; etc. Within each of those groups, they use CPC and eCPA as measures of success, but they don’t expect or need the CPC or eCPA for the niche sites to be as low as those from the aggregator sites.

From what we can see on our end, most of the job exports from the advertising agencies are being managed to minimize CPC and eCPA instead of the more nuanced approach that we’re starting to see from a small number of other, more cutting edge ad agencies whose clients value a diverse and inclusive candidate pool so much that they’re willing to pay for it. Talk can be cheap, but these ad agencies and their customers aren’t just talking the talk, but they’re also walking the walk.