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

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Posted June 19, 2020 by

Tech that will help employers staff-up as the economy re-opens post-COVID

In many sectors, employers have laid off or furloughed many and often most of their employees. Many of these employers are counting on the vast majority of these workers returning when the employer staffs up but that seems unlikely. If an employee has been off work for weeks, months, or even a year, they’ll likely reevaluate whether they want to go back to the same job or look for a better one. Many will find better opportunities elsewhere, or at least employers who are hiring sooner. In short, we’re looking at a massive upheaval in the labor market, particularly for hourly workers. 

One of the most significant innovations ever in the employment marketing industry, programmatic job ad buying, was starting to take hold in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, other countries before COVID but it will play a massive role in how employers staff-up as they and the rest of the economy re-open. A traditional job posting ad on a traditional job board should generate enough candidates that an employer should be able to hire one person. That’s fine as most employers when they advertise a job opening only want to hire one person. But, as the economy re-opens and employers discover that they need to replace a quarter, half, or even most of their employees, they’re often going to need to hire five, 25, or even 100 people into the same role. It just isn’t feasible for them to run five, 25, or 100 job posting ads to hire the people they need.

The answer is programmatic job ad buying coupled with performance-based pricing such as cost-per-click. An employer can advertise a job and an automated, job distribution system will then look at the ad and send it out to multiple job search sites like College Recruiter based on the kind of job. We’re an entry-level site and so won’t receive jobs requiring 4+ years of experience, but we would receive the hourly retail jobs, internships, and jobs for recent graduates. A healthcare site won’t receive construction jobs, but will receive jobs for registered nurses. So, programmatically, an employer can feasibly run a job on multiple sites based upon where the candidates they need are most likely to be searching. 

Now, you layer on cost-per-click (CPC). An employer who needs to hire five people over two months needs far fewer candidates than an employer who needs to hire 50 people this month. The former might pay $0.50 per click for candidates who see the posting on the job board and then click to the employer’s site to, hopefully, apply. The latter, because of a much more difficult hiring need, might pay $0.75 per click. The job posting for the employer paying a lot less per click will appear lower in the search results and, therefore, will attract far fewer candidates. The more an employer pays per click, the more motivated they are to hire.

Posted May 18, 2020 by

Are college students eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?

One of the many untold stories from the 30+ million job losses our country has experienced over the past few weeks is the devastating impact it has had on students and recent graduates of technical schools, vocational schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities.

  • There are about 20 million, currently enrolled students of four-year colleges and universities. Roughly five million of them graduate a year.
  • There are about 17 million students of two-year colleges. These are called community colleges in most of the country but some are referred to as junior colleges. Roughly four million graduate a year.
  • There are about five million students of one-year colleges. These are mostly technical and vocational schools. About two million graduate a year. 
  • In total, we’re looking at about 42 million students and 11 million graduates in any given year.

There is a misconception that many college students don’t work. Certainly, there are some that don’t and many don’t work year-round, but the vast majority do work at least part of the year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81 percent of part-time college students and almost half of full-time students work. About two-third work and about half are financially independent. Those translate into about 11 million, working, currently enrolled students with 75 percent of those working more than 20 hours per week. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was designed to provide, effectively, unemployment insurance to people who otherwise would not be eligible such as those who were working part-time, in the gig economy, sole proprietors, and others. The law is vague as to how students should be treated and there is mass confusion about that. Some college career service offices are advising students to file for unemployment coverage and, if they’re denied, file for PUA. Some are advising against both because the law does not explicitly state that students who weren’t employed during the year and who didn’t have a paid job lined up are still covered, while others look at the intent of the law and feel that it clearly was designed to include those students. 

What we’re hearing, anecdotally, is that your ability to collect PUA is largely driven by where you live and where you go to school, which are often different. About half of states appear to be covering students who are available for full-time work with regular, unemployment insurance benefits. The other half of states consider your status as a student to be incompatible with your ability to work full-time, despite many full-time students also working full-time and even more students going to school part-time so they can work full-time.

Section 2012(a)(ii)(2) of the CARES Act seemingly covers these people as they are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, do not have sufficient work history, or otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment. However, some states are saying that these students still don’t qualify because they are not able and available for work. Sometimes the states are ruling that way simply because the taxpayer is a student. In other cases, the states are saying that the students quit their jobs and therefore aren’t eligible, even if the students “quit” their jobs because they lost their on-campus housing when their schools closed and so they had to return home, often to another state, to live with family members. These states, we feel, should regard these students as constructively terminated from their employment, which would make them eligible for UI, PUA, or both. 

Another, somewhat related issue is the impact of the $1,200 per taxpayer (below the income threshold) stimulus payment. Few seem to realize that most students weren’t eligible because they’re mostly listed as dependents on the tax returns of their parents but that the parents also don’t get the stimulus payment. If the student was 15, they wouldn’t get the stimulus payment but their parents would. If anything, there is a greater need for the stimulus money for an 18-21-year-old who is living away from home attending college than their 15-year-old sibling living at home.

I have yet to hear a rational basis for this distinction. The best explanation that I’ve heard was that it was a Congressional oversight that wasn’t serious enough for the Administration to veto the law over. Congress may have intended in some discussions to make the 18-year-old ineligible as the parents would claim the stimulus but, in other discussions, they reversed those and then, when the CARE Act was hastily pulled together, no one noticed the discrepancy or they didn’t feel that it was important enough to delay the passage of the bill. 

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Posted May 14, 2020 by

On-campus recruiting won’t be feasible this fall but employers will still need to hire. Here’s how that will happen.

In the U.S. and Canada, the majority of students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities are hired by Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale, meaning dozens or even hundreds a year. People say that small businesses employ most people and that’s probably true if you include the owners and 1099 contractors, but it isn’t true when it comes to who employs the bulk of students and recent grads.

College and university recruiting hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s. Employers assess their needs a year or more in advance, determine which schools to visit and what resources will be needed to properly engage the stakeholders on those campuses (career services, professors, students), fly out recruiters and hiring managers mostly in the fall but some in the early winter too, invite top candidates back to headquarters for a day of interviews, extend offers, etc. But more and more organizations have layered on what some call “virtual” recruitment, which essentially means reaching, engaging, and hiring on-line through job boards like College Recruiter and other sourcing tools. Very few organizations have looked at their virtual sources as being any more important than any one of the dozens of schools they may visit.

For the 2020-21 school year, it has become apparent that many and perhaps most college campuses will be closed or inaccessible to visitors at least for the fall. Even if the campus is open, many students will opt to attend classes remotely and so won’t be on-campus to meet and interview with employers who physically visit the campus. Employers are scrambling to shift resources from on-campus to virtual, and many are doing so very, very reluctantly as a virtual model requires far less resources, especially on the staffing side. You just don’t need nearly as many recruiters and nearly as much budget to hire dozens or hundreds on-line versus flying around the country so those whose jobs or travel perks are threatened are, understandably, not happy.

When the C-suite sees that their early careers recruiting program can be accomplished with far fewer resources and perhaps even better align with their diversity hiring efforts as more students will be hired from more schools, will they want to go back to the old model? I can’t see it. It seems to me that we’re at a tipping point where college recruiting moves from 1952 to the 21st century. As more students are hired virtually, it also seems to me that we’ll see an acceleration in more employers becoming school and even major agnostic, as productivity data has shown that there is little correlation between the school the student attended and their major and their productivity and some studies show a negative correlation.

Posted May 13, 2020 by

Do I qualify for unemployment insurance if my internship job offer was canceled?

Technically no, but sort of yes.

Students and recent graduates whose internships and entry-level job offers were rescinded by their employers due to COVID-19 are likely eligible not for unemployment insurance, but for another program that is quite similar.

According to Brighid Scanlon, the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Professional Development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, “Unemployment benefits and processes do vary by state, but students can look into Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in their home state for more details on what is covered. ‘Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19 (www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200405).'”

“For example, in Pennsylvania students with paying jobs or internships that were canceled due to COVID-19 may be eligible for PUA”, wrote Scanlon in a National Association of Colleges and Employers listserv. “This also applies to students whose job/internship offers were rescinded due to the virus. I have been providing PA unemployment resources to students who are experiencing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 job loss.”

Given that PUA varies state-to-state, students and recent graduates will want to look at the websites for their own states to see what is covered and the process they should follow. In Pennsylvania where Temple University is located, the webpage to start at is https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx.

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Posted May 07, 2020 by

How to recruit college students and recent graduates

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. One of our core values is to provide thought leadership, which includes blog articles like this which we hope will help our campus recruiting and university relations employer customers.

Why do employers recruit college and university students through campus recruitment programs?

First, we need to discuss why Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations hire students and recent graduates for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. According to Wikipedia, graduate or campus recruitment refers to the process whereby employers undertake an organized program of attracting and hiring students who are about to graduate from schools, colleges, and universities.

“Employers commonly attend campuses to promote employment vacancies and career opportunities to students who are considering their options following graduation. Selection methods used by employers include interviews, aptitude tests, role plays, written assessments, group discussions and presentations.”

Most of the hiring of college and university students and recent graduates is by medium- to large-sized companies with high-volume recruiting needs. Many of these work with one or even dozens of university career centers to source potential candidates. The employers’ recruiters and hiring managers will often visit their target colleges and attend campus career fairs, information sessions, and recruiting events throughout the spring and fall semesters. Employers who hire a lot of finance, technology, business consulting, manufacturing, and engineering majors tend to invest more staff and budgetary resources into their university relations programs.

Why do employers hire college students and recent graduates?

For many large employers, entry-level roles are often the hardest to fill as the competition for college-educated talent is increasingly fierce. One of the largest sources of entry-level talent are students and recent graduates of one- (vocational and technical schools), two- (community or junior colleges), and four-year colleges and universities. These schools award certificates as well as Associates’, Bachelors’, Masters’, and PhD degrees.

Also, recruiting on-campus or through online media like College Recruiter and other job boards provides employers with easy access to the early careers talent, which typically are younger adults. For companies with high-volume hiring needs, recruiting students and recent graduates is one of the best ways to hire potential candidates at-scale.

Regarding the younger adults, today’s students are no longer from the Millennial generation. Instead, they’re members of Generation Z, often abbreviated to Gen Z. They’ll make up 30 percent of the workforce within a decade and are the first generation to be digital-natives, meaning that they don’t remember a time when the devices they used every day were digital. They’ve always had laptops, tablets, and smartphones at their fingertips.

What is a virtual college hiring program?

It is important to note that a rapidly increasing minority of employers are hiring students and recent graduates through what many call virtual college recruiting programs, meaning that they do not send recruiters or hiring managers to individual schools and instead use online media such as College Recruiter and other job boards to target, engage with, generate applications from the students and recent graduates. The primary benefits of recruiting students online instead of on-campus are:

  • Speed. This directly impacts time to hire. It takes months to plan, schedule, and visit even a few campuses. Advertising a job using job postings, targeted emails, or targeted display or mobile banner ads takes hours to days. Employers can be far more responsive to the needs of the hiring managers who often don’t know months ahead of time what their hiring needs will be.
  • Cost per hire. This is typically about 10 percent for candidates who are hired through job boards like College Recruiter versus on-campus. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that the average cost of hiring a student through on-campus recruiting is about $6,275. The average cost of hiring online is about $460 and often below $100 for hourly roles.
  • Diversity and inclusion. When you visit only five, 25, or 500 schools you’re only reaching students who attend those schools and not those who attend the rest of the 7,400 one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Some employers will argue that they visit pretty much the same schools year after year as that’s where they get their hires from, but that reasoning is circular as they’re not including students from other schools in the process and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that students from other schools aren’t hired.
  • Productivity. Few employers measure the effectiveness of their recruiting efforts based on how productive those employees prove to be and even fewer measure the effectiveness of their college and university relations programs that way. Those who do are often surprised to learn that the students they hire online, on average, outperform the students they hire on-campus. Why? Because top students from top schools tend to job hop more than students from secondary schools. The longer an employee stays with you, the more productive that employee tends to be.
  • Scale. Most employers are hoping to hire one person for each open requisition, but that’s not the case for employers with college recruiting programs. For them, hiring multiple people into the same or similar roles is the norm, and that means that they need to hire-at-scale. Most of College Recruiter’s employer customers want to hire dozens or even hundreds into the same or similar part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level jobs. This kind of hiring is typically called high-volume hiring (HVH), and programmatic job ad buying and other types of automation offered by College Recruiter and other media sources is a perfect fit for these needs.

How to build a college recruiting team

Employers who want to build a college recruiting program will first want to hire a college recruiting team. Some teams consist of one person. That person’s job title is typically college relations manager, university relations manager, or early careers manager. In larger organizations, they typically report to the vice president of talent acquisition. If there is no talent acquisition unit but instead just human resources, then the head of your college recruiting team will likely report to the head of your human resources department.

Larger employers will have multiple people on their college recruiting team. One of the more common roles will be that of a college recruiter, which some employers call a campus recruiter. These people search for talent at college campuses and sometimes online with College Recruiter and other job boards. In the fall and winter, they often travel from campus-to-campus hosting information sessions, attending career fairs, and interviewing students who are searching for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. Their primary goal is to source, attract, and hire entry-level talent.

An increasing minority of employers with college recruiting programs have employment branding specialists and occasionally those people sit within the college recruiting team. These employees are often tasked with recruitment marketing initiatives, building a communications plan that will reach the career service offices and students, and enhancing their company’s employer brand. Generally, however, these duties fall to the college recruiters who therefore are responsible for both marketing their company’s job openings and also working with the hiring managers to conduct interviews, assess and otherwise evaluate candidates, and extend job offers. Some also onboard the new hires and run the internship and co-op programs.

The average compensation for a typical college recruiter is about $65,000 annually, which equates to $31.25 per hour. This compensation figure includes base salary, bonus, commission, profit-sharing, and benefits. It does not include travel and other costs such as career fairs, advertising of job openings, and wining and dining of professors. These costs need to be included when calculating your total cost of running your college recruiting program if you’re going to measure the effectiveness of your team, at least in part, on their average cost-per-hire.

The people you hire and responsibilities you give them will largely be driven by your strategy. Will they focus on recruiting on-campus much like organizations did in 1952, or will they take a more modern approach and focus their efforts online, perhaps even being school and major agnostic as more and more of the most sophisticated employers of students and recent graduates have become? In all likelihood, your team will do some of both, so you’ll need to create a plan for how your team will be managed. That plan will define which employees will travel to the colleges and universities and which continue to work from your corporate or their home offices.

How many people you hire, what skills they need, and where they’re located will also be driven by the schools at which you will recruit and whether that will be done primarily in-person, on-line, or some combination of the two. You’ll also need to consider how you will gather and manage the information you collect from the students, including their resumes. If you end up with a multi-person team, the ability to share that information will be critical.

Creating a college recruitment strategy

Historically, only the most elite employers of the most elite students who attended the most elite schools invested significant resources into on-campus recruitment in the fall semester. Over the past couple of decades, however, most employers of students and recent graduates are planning their on-campus efforts by June, making travel plans by July, and hosting information sessions and conducting interviews by September.

The bulk of fall recruiting wraps up by the end of October and almost none after mid-November. There’s a pause for during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday periods and then efforts resume in January and continue through March.

April, May, and June are busy months for college recruiting teams as that’s when interns and entry-level hires are wrapping up their school years and being onboarded by their employers. At the same time, college recruiters are starting their plans for the next year.

A college recruiting strategy is very similar to a marketing plan. The first step is to define your audience. What worked 20 years ago when recruiting the leading edge of Millennials may not resonate so well with Gen Z, and what works well for attracting business school talent may turn off those who want to become social workers.

Put yourself in the shoes of your candidates. What matters to them? What will likely turn them off? What will likely turn them on? If you were your candidate and faced with the option of working for your organization and a similar one located across the street, what would cause you to pick one organization over the other? If your answer is just higher pay, you’re likely wrong. Pay is important, but far from being the only important factor.

Whether you’re going to recruit most of your students through on-campus or online initiatives, your communication will be key. It needs to reach the right candidates with the right message at the right time. That may not be, and likely won’t be, at the time most convenient to you. Quite frankly, what is convenient to your organization isn’t all that important to the candidates you want to hire. If you’re going to succeed, you’re going to need to adapt to their needs and not expect them to adapt to yours.

Some organizations are fortunate to have a strong and positive employer brand amongst their target, student audience. For those employers, building name recognition isn’t all that important as the students already know about the organization. Other organizations have a strong but negative employer brand. These organizations need to focus their marketing efforts not on building name recognition but accurately communicating to the student why that organization is a good place for the student to start their career.

If a major scandal damaged your brand but you’re able to acknowledge it and demonstrate how you’re successfully emerging from it, that message will resonate. But don’t lie to your candidates: they’ll smell your lie from a mile away and, even if you trick a few, you’ll end up with a massive retention problem. It is better to work harder to get an informed candidate who chooses to accept your offer than to save time and end up with an uninformed candidate who leaves your company as soon as they can.

Business-to-business organizations often have little brand recognition with students, and they will need to invest in building their employer brand. Do so before you arrive on-campus. Targeted emails, display ads, and mobile banner ads are effective tools to reach your target audience, introduce your organization, engage with them, and encourage them to meet with you when you’re on-campus or apply online if you’re choosing a more virtual strategy.

You’re also going to want to weigh the relative costs and benefits of automating some of the recruiting functions. Many college recruiters will spend a lot of time posting jobs “for free” by emailing them or otherwise submitting them to individual schools. That’s okay if they’re doing that with one or two roles at one or two campuses for one or two months but doesn’t scale when you’re trying to reach students at dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of campuses or promote dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of roles. In that case, you’re going to want to automate the job posting process so that you don’t have humans adding, editing, and inactivating your postings. College Recruiter and other premium job boards can scrape from your applicant tracking system (ATS) just the jobs you want to promote and then keep those jobs up-to-date so that if you edit the job title or compensation on Monday, those changes are reflected on the job board by Tuesday.

When candidates do see your opportunity — whether that’s through on-campus or online efforts — you’ll also want to manage them through recruiting software, which can take a lot of different shapes and sizes. Some software is built specifically for managing college recruiting programs, while others are more general. Many employers will use assessment software to provide objective metrics to hiring managers. Almost all will require the students to apply at the employer’s career site through their ATS. Few employers are willing to accept printed or emailed resumes as those applications are difficult to track and, therefore, defend should your organization be audited by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for potential discriminatory hiring practices. Given the costs of litigation, even if you win a battle like that, your legal costs will have caused you to lose the war.

How to create a budget for your college recruiting program

At College Recruiter, we see some employers who claim to have no college recruiting budget while others have a budget but do not include the appropriate elements into it.

Your budget, like all other budgets, should include in it all of the resources you’ll need in order to successfully meet your business objectives. Staff time, both dedicated staff and those who assist with your efforts like hiring managers, should be included. So must be the cost of travel, career fairs, advertising, and time spent posting ads at school and other so-called free job boards.

Consider that NACE reports that the average cost of hiring a student through on-campus recruiting is about $6,275. Are the students you’re hiring likely to be more expensive than average, such as students from elite schools or majors like computer science? If so, that $6,275 might be $10,000 or even more for your organization. On the other hand, maybe you’re hiring a lot of liberal arts grads from community colleges. If so, that $6,275 might drop to $1,500. Regardless, estimate that cost and then multiply by the number of desired hires. That number provides a pretty good estimate for what your total budget will need to be. It may be eye-poppingly large and, if so, welcome to the fun world of budgeting.

Typical items included in a college recruiting budget are:

  • Compensation paid to your team as well as the staff from other teams who provide you with assistance. Be sure to include their salaries, bonuses, payroll taxes, benefits and more. If you don’t know the costs of their payroll taxes and benefits, add 30 percent to their salaries as that’s pretty typical.
  • Travel costs including airline tickets, hotels, meals, rental cars, ground transportation, tollway fees, and even laundry.
  • Recruiting technology such as software you may use to manage the candidates you’ll meet at campus career fairs.
  • Career fair booth collateral including the cost to design and purchase the booth itself, shipping it, and flyers or other handouts.
  • Swag that you may give away to entice students to visit your booth, including items with your brand on it, candy, or other such items that you might pick up at the last minute.

Once you have a starting point for your overall budget, you can to work on ways to reduce that, which will increase the chances of getting it approved by your manager, your employer’s Chief Financial Officer and other C-suite members, or whoever needs to approve your budget. Is it really necessary to hire students in the most competitive majors from the most competitive schools? Do you have data that demonstrates that they’re more productive within your organization or might you recruit students from a wide variety of majors from second- and even third-tier schools and then spend a little money training them? Do you really need to travel to dozens of campuses or could you reduce that to five and hire the rest virtually (online) through College Recruiter and other job boards that primarily target students and recent graduates? When you do travel to campuses, could you visit ones closer to home to reduce your airline and hotel costs?

How to ensure the success of your on-campus recruiting event

Most medium- and large-employers now have college recruiting programs, most of those recruit at least some of their students and recent graduates on-campus, and most of those host or participate in campus recruiting events like information sessions and career fairs. That said, a rapidly increasing minority of employers are looking carefully at their productivity of their employees and discovering that their most productive, entry-level hires are those they hired virtually (online) and therefore are either scaling back or even eliminating their on-campus hiring efforts.

For those organizations who do visit college campuses, the outcome they want to see isn’t a completed trip to a campus but, instead, hires from that campus. Showing up and expecting a line of well-qualified candidates outside of your interview room is just a dream. Like anything else in life, if the outcome is important then it is also important to put the effort in ahead of time to properly prepare.

The employers who have the most efficient (lowest cost-per-hire) and effective (most productive hires) college recruiting programs tend to:

  • Build a strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationship with the campus career service offices at their target schools. These efforts need to start months and even years before you expect to see results. Plant your seeds today if you want to be eating months and years from now.
  • Attend campus job fairs. Employers often report that these are very effective for meeting a large number of interested students, but the returns on investment tend to be low as the costs to exhibit are often high when you include the staff time needed. Still, attending a job fair often puts you in a favorable light with the career service office that organizes it as much of their budget comes from hosting events like this, and putting money into their pockets will help build your relationship with them.
  • Build a thoughtful communications strategy. Don’t wait to introduce your brand until after the students arrive at your event. Instead, market your brand to those who might attend the event in the days and even weeks ahead of time. Targeted emails, display ads, and banner ads that target your desired candidates by school, major, year of graduation, grade point average, and diversity are very effective.
  • Use software that will help you manage the candidate flow. Walking away from a career fair with a stack of resumes doesn’t help most of the medium- and large-companies that attend as they require candidates to apply through their ATS in order to be considered an applicant. Good software can help you identify who you met with and then follow-up with them afterward.
  • Consider what metrics are relevant. There’s a saying that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Metrics are all about measurement. Before you invest time, money, and other resources into any business initiative including attending an on-campus event, define the metrics that will allow you to determine whether the event furthered your business objectives. Is it all that important how many people came to your career fair booth, or it is more important how many of those then interviewed with you the next day?

How to build a successful internship program

Many of the largest employers of students and recent graduates recruit almost no recent graduates. How can that be so? Because they view their internship programs as temp-to-perm, talent pipelines. For every 100 interns they hire, they’ll extend offers to 90 and 75 will convert into permanent hires upon graduation. These employers plan out how many interns they hire by deciding how many recent grads they want to hire, discount how many interns won’t accept their offer, discount how many interns won’t get offers, and that gets them to the number of interns to bring on the previous summer.

The three R’s of a successful internship are recruitment, recruitment, and recruitment. If you don’t convert your intern into an entry-level hire upon graduation, then that internship has been a failure for you and the student. To help ensure the success of the internship:

  • Be selective. It is better not to hire an intern than to hire the wrong intern.
  • Be supportive in and out of the office. This is likely their first professional job. What might seem second nature or common sense to you at the age of 40 or 50 just isn’t to someone who is only twenty. They’re going to make mistakes and they’re going to need guidance. Be there for them and they’ll be back with you after graduation.
  • Accountability is not a four-letter word. It cuts both ways, actually. When they mess up, make sure they know but do so constructively. It is your job to improve their work performance, not make them feel bad. When they succeed, praise them and do so publicly so that everyone knows that the intern did a great job.
  • Create and build a positive culture. People might go to work for a company, but they stay for the people. Your culture is what will inspire that intern to do great things and is what will inspire them to stay with you for years to come.
  • Be flexible. We’re all people. We all have personal lives. We all need employers who understand that some days we might need to come and stay late or might need more guidance on an issue than someone else.
  • Reward referrals. Just as your best engineers or accountants know great engineers and accountants who work for other companies, the best students know the best students. Reward them through praise and monetarily for helping you connect with those best students.
  • Provide regular feedback. If you wait until the end of the summer to provide them with their performance review, that’s too little and way too late. Provide them with a couple of minutes every day the first week or two, then every other day, then every week. Make sure they know they can come to you for feedback too and that they should provide feedback to you. Maybe you’re emailing instructions to them and they’re having a hard time understanding what you want and so could perform much better for you if you could meet with them for a couple of minutes at the beginning of each day to make sure they’re on the right track. At College Recruiter, we call these daily stand-ups and they’re invaluable, especially for our newer and/or less experienced employees.
  • Conduct an exit interview. Don’t let them leave the internship without knowing how they did. Be detailed, be specific, and be positive in your exit interview. If they messed up, tell them (remember accountability?) but also tell them how they succeeded (accountability cuts both ways).

How to measure the success of your college recruiting program

As is the case with all business objectives, your return on investment needs to be positive when it comes to determining whether your college recruiting program is a success. To determine that ROI, you need to know your return and your investment. That sounds easy, but for many organizations, it isn’t.

First, let’s talk about the return. What benefits did you gain? Some organizations will measure the productivity of the people they hired through their college recruiting program. For salespeople, that’s relatively easy: what revenues (or gross profit) did the employer generate from those salespeople.

For other organizations, the return is the cost savings they achieved by hiring through their college recruiting program as opposed to using third-party (executive) recruiters. If you hire 20 people at $50,000 each, that’s $1,000,000 in first-year salary. A typical executive recruiter will charge about 20 percent of first-year salary, so the cost of hiring these 20 people through an executive recruiter would be $200,000. If your college recruiting program’s budget — including staff time, travel, etc. — is $150,000 then your return is $50,000 as that’s the cost-saving to the organization of hiring these candidates through your program instead of a headhunter.

Now, to the investment. What did you spend to generate that return? Going back to the first example, let’s say that the salespeople you hired generated a gross profit for your company of $1,500,000 and the cost of your program was $150,000. Your return on investment would be the $1,500,000 return divided by the $150,000 cost, so 10 fold. For every dollar your company invests in your program, you return $10. You’re going to have one happy boss if you can show that.

Using the second example, your company $50,000 by hiring the people through your program instead of through an executive recruiter. Your program cost $150,000 to run. Your return on investment is the $50,000 return divided by the $150,000, which is 0.33. For every dollar your company invests in your program, you return $1.33. Not as nice, but still quite nice.

Where you don’t want to end up is running a program that costs $1.5 million and is only able to demonstrate gross profit or cost savings of say $500,000. Your return on investment, in that case, is negative. You’re reducing your company’s net income. Without a significant and speedy change, your program won’t survive.

What are some examples of returns or, put another way, goals? Yello offers these suggestions:

  • Source more candidates. You can measure this by looking at the size of your talent pool, number of events you attended, sources of hires, and number of job applications completed.
  • Improve the quality of candidates. Use a data-driven approach to improve the quality of applications, look at the number of qualified candidates who apply for each job opening, attend your recruiting events, or even attend the schools you recruit at. At College Recruiter, we believe that the best measure of the quality of an applicant is if the hiring manager chooses to interview them. Why? Because the applicant’s resume should provide enough information that the hiring manager can see if the candidate meets the basic requirements for the position and, perhaps, some additional items that are preferred. If so, that candidate is qualified and, therefore, quality. Looking to see if the candidate was hired is not an appropriate recruiting metric because recruiters don’t hire candidates and, therefore, should not be held accountable for whether the candidate received an offer, accepted, or started. Those are metrics to evaluate the performance of the hiring manager, not the recruiter and not the job board, school, or other sourcing tool used by the recruiter.
  • Improve your engagement with candidates. How many candidates did you contact, how many open your marketing emails, how many like or otherwise engage with your social media posts?
  • Reduce your recruitment process. How many days does it take to hire someone or even just particular steps in that hiring process?
  • Reduce your costs to hire. You could look at the total costs and divide by the number of hires to come up with a cost-per-hire or even just look at the time it takes you to hire on average as that factors in the lost opportunity cost of having an unfilled opening.
  • Reduce turnover. To reduce your employee turnover, first you have to measure it. What percentage of your employees do you retain each year? How many openings (vacancies) do you average? What are your rankings on Glassdoor and other employer review sites?

College Recruiter can help with some, but not all, of the above. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale, meaning dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates who are searching for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. These employers advertise their job openings with us, whether the jobs are part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level and whether the work is on-site or performed remotely by virtual interns or other employees. Depending on their need, we might market those job openings through single job postings, JobsThatScale job posting campaigns, targeted email campaigns, display ads, or mobile banner ads. For more information, email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com or call 952.848.2211.

Posted May 06, 2020 by

KPMG and PwC deserve massive praise: all 2020 summer interns receiving offers for 2021 entry-level roles

The COVID-19 crisis hit American employers, students, and recent graduates at just about the worst possible time. The bulk of students seeking internships and recent graduates seeking entry-level roles had already applied to jobs and many had interviewed and even been hired. The partial shutdown of organizations nationwide resulted in many employers adapting and even rescinding offers of employment. But there are some bright spots, and those organizations should be praised.

Two of the largest employers of students and recent graduates are the accounting and consulting firms, KPMG and PwC. Year after year, they recruit many of the top students from the top schools. Both organizations understand that their lifeblood is talent and that even a crisis like this pandemic must not be allowed to destroy their recruiting efforts. A phrase that I heard years ago and have used many, many times since is that one should use strategic measures to combat strategic problems and tactical measures to combat tactical problems. In other words, if the problem you’re facing is short-term like this pandemic will hopefully prove to be, then don’t make massive, long-term changes to address the problem.

There is no doubt that KPMG, PwC, and virtually every other employer in the country are in the midst of a massive disruption. Some employers, I believe foolishly, responded by panicking and rescinding their offers of employment. In the short-term, that approach may have made sense as those interns and new grads wouldn’t become financial burdens to the employers. In the long-term, however, that approach will prove to be devastating. If you’re an employer who goes on campus or uses job search sites like College Recruiter next fall to try to hire students or recent grads, how are you going to respond when those candidates ask you what you did as compared to other employers when we were all in this crisis together? Your honest answer will be that you discarded this year’s candidates to further or at least protect your own interests. Candidates who you want to hire next year and for years after will know that your organization places little value in the well being of its employees, as evidenced by your discarding of them in response to this crisis that faces all of us.

But then there are organizations like KPMG and PwC who, over years, built the financial and moral ability to withstand even a crisis like we are in the midst of and who chose to do more than they needed to in order to be good citizens and, at the same time, protect their own long-term interests. They saw that those two things were not mutually exclusive and, in fact, closely linked. By protecting the interests of their candidates, those two organizations were also protecting the interests of their organizations.

This fall and for years to come, representatives of KPMG and PwC will be able to hold their heads up high when talking to candidates. They’ll be able to say that they were unable to safely have interns work for 12 or so weeks in their offices but, instead, adapted the program to offer two-week internship programs so that the interns would get a taste of what it would be like to work there permanently. Even more importantly, representatives of KPMG and PwC will be able to tell future candidates that all 2020 interns were offered entry-level jobs starting in 2021, which is just superb.

A well run internship program does not regard its interns as cheap or short-term sources of labor. Instead, a well-run internship program is all about recruitment. If the intern is not offered a job upon graduation, then that internship is a failure both for the student and the employer. KPMG and PwC typically extend offers of employment upon graduation to a large majority of their interns but, this year, they’re extending those offers to all of their interns. And, for that, they deserve our praise.

Posted May 01, 2020 by

Ask the Experts: I was about to start a new job but my offer was rescinded due to COVID-19. What should I do?

First Answer:

First, take a step back and congratulate yourself for obtaining this fantastic new opportunity and release any doubts that this was a reflection of anything other than the response to COVID-19. Your ability to receive this offer shows that you have a strong resume, good interview skills, and the experience needed to get you hired, which are all great things to have on your side. In the first instance look to this rescinded job offer, have you reached out to inquire about a delayed start date, contract work, or part-time work? While the chances are slim, this will show your dedication and adaptability.

Moving beyond that, think about the hiring managers who chose you over all other applicants and were excited for you to join the team, are you able to reach out to them and thank them for the offer, let them know you understand the situation, and ask for them to keep you in mind should they hear about any other opportunities?

Networking gets you a lot further than just an application, and these contacts may be well poised to support your future endeavors.

Outside of that, you are now at step one of the job search, remember you made it to the finish line once and will do it again, so review your resume, polish your cover letter, and start applying using your network, initiative, and perseverance. This will not be easy, but COVID-19 and the current situation is not forever, and we will recover with job opportunities increasing in the future. 

—  Jillian Low, Director of University Partnerships, Virtual Internships and CRCC Asia

Second Answer:

I recommend the candidate to first ask the question why the offer was rescinded. This is an important question to ask as it will determine what he/she should do next. It is important to ask this question because you can determine if you have a future at this company or not. As a candidate during COVID-19, there is a lot of unpredictability in the job market which means that you need to be ready for any possible situation. Even before COVID-19, hiring freezes occurred and offers rescinded all the time, but given the nature of the situation and the uncertainty, you should not wait around for a job offer that’s on hold or for a hiring freeze to lift.

I also recommend if you are really interested in this position to get in writing from the hiring manager that they will hire you back on a specific date. In the likely scenario where that isn’t possible, resume your job search and keep looking.

— Lorenz Esposito, Digital Marketing Specialist, PotentialPark

Third Answer:

First – feel how you feel. By that I mean, don’t start by putting a brave face on it if that’s not your experience. This is a tough time for many and letting yourself experience the grief, fear, sadness or whatever else might be going through you now is important. 
And then – take stock. 

  • Are you disappointed and still interested in working with them? Follow up with your prospective employer and if true, let them know you remain interested and are open to ways to help them out through project-type work. Showing off your skills before a permanent role also might give you a leg up once hiring opens up again.
  • What skills or experiences were you hoping to get from this role? Do your best to think broadly beyond the job title or specific company, and look at the lists of companies hiring on sites like College Recruiter. Which roles might be a good fit for getting these learnings in a different way, even if you don’t think they’re your dream job?
  • If you’re not sure what you want, check out sites like ParkerDewey for micro-internships to get exposure to different types of work in different industries so when hiring defrosts a bit, you’ve got greater clarity on what good looks like for you.
  • Tap into your network, or your friends & family network and let folks know what you’re looking for (or have some informational discussions if you’re not sure what that is). The adage of up to 80% of jobs never being posted is likely still roughly right even amidst pandemic, so making sure people who know about you and can advocate for you are aware that you’re looking and what you’re looking for are invaluable.
  • Depending on your financial situation, volunteering may give you skills you would like to learn. You can still take credit on LinkedIn and your resume for experiences and skills you gained that you weren’t paid for.

Surround yourself with the people, activities and experiences that “keep your batteries charged” through this. And then remember the experience so when others are in your shoes in years to come, you’ll be sure to pay it forward.

— Pam Baker, CEO of Journeous.

Posted April 30, 2020 by

Top colleges telling students they’ll pay full tuition even if campuses are closed this fall

We were tipped off by a friend that University of California, Davis recently sent an email to its incoming freshmen telling them that the school’s campus may be closed this fall or it may be open but housing may not be available but the tuition will be the same whether the delivery of education is on-campus or on-line. The letter read:

Congratulations on your admission to UC Davis, ________! We look forward to welcoming you as a member of our proud Aggie family.

While we navigate these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. In order to help ensure your safety, UC Davis is implementing new policies and procedures.

In support of social distancing guidelines, some or all instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Students will continue to receive an outstanding education from our top-five public institution.

As you know, UC Davis guarantees on-campus housing to all incoming first-year freshmen, transfer students, and second-year returning students. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Davis may amend or withdraw this guarantee in the case of public health guidance or other extenuating circumstances. We encourage you to learn more about UC Davis’ response to COVID-19 and contact us with any concerns:

Student Housing and Dining Services, 530-752-2033
Undergraduate Admissions, 530-752-2971
Financial Aid, 530-752-2389

Please remember that MyAdmissions remains the best way for you to stay on track as you continue looking toward the future.

If you haven’t already done so, we hope you will accept our offer of admission and respond with a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by the SIR deadline.

If we can be of any assistance in helping you and your family make this important decision, please feel free to reach out to Undergraduate Admissions and our campus partners.

Undergraduate Admissions, Ask an Advisor, 530-752-2971
Student Housing and Dining Services, 530-752-2033
Financial Aid and Scholarships, Contact an Expert, 530-752-2389

Once you submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), you can schedule a remote Aggie advising appointment. Your advisor will help you build a course schedule so that you are ready to register for courses in August.

We congratulate you once again on your admission to UC Davis, thank you for your resiliency in the face of challenge and look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Don Hunt
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Enrollment Management

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career, and attending the right school is an important step in that process. One of our core values is to be a thought leader, and we’ve taken a pretty active role in helping disseminate to students, college career service offices, employers, and others the changes that are occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently wrote an article, for example, about Boston University becoming the first of probably many schools to announce that it was making plans to deliver its educational services remotely if it was unable to open its campus in time for the fall semester.

The student who received the above email and her parents were very unclear as to what it meant. I wrote to Don Hunt hoping that he could clarify this for me and told him that we intended to publish an article on our site and then share it with our 200,000+ social media followers about the announcement from UC Davis and I wanted to be sure that we had our facts right. I asked him the following four questions:

  • You wrote, “some or all instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year may be delivered remotely”. Does that mean that the student may choose to have the instruction delivered or that the school will make that choice? 
  • The letter states, “Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year”. What if the school believes that it can provide a safe environment for the vast majority of students and so re-opens but students who are more risk of serious illness or even death choose not to attend. Is it your position that those students will still need to pay for their housing, tuition, etc. and, if not, why was there no mention of reasonable accommodations being made for those students?
  • Does the school plan to test the entire staff, faculty, and student population before they descend on-campus to help ensure that everyone stays healthy and, if not, why not? Also, why did the letter include no mention of any safeguards that UC Davis is considering?
  • The email provides no indication as to whether or when the school will provide additional information even if it is just another email with an update that simply says that no decisions have been made but another update will be emailed within X days. Does the school plan to provide additional updates and, if so, is there a schedule for when those updates will be provided?

Unfortunately, the response was as vague as the initial, confusing email to the students:

Thank you for your patients. These are challenging times, especially for our young people and their families making important decisions for their future. We understand. We want to do all we can to help.
 
The safety and well-being of our campus community is our top priority. We are closely following the directives and guidance of our county health authority and the state — including measures for social distancing, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing through our Student Health and Counseling Center.
 
At this stage of the pandemic, it is too early to tell whether or not instruction will be delivered remotely or in person. Our chancellor has established two committees that are working on possible scenarios for instruction and campus operations.
 
We regularly communicate with our admitted students and families, and as we look forward, those in the next stage of admissions who submit statements of intent to register. Admitted students can access information through the MyAdmissions portal. Our campus home page and others highlight our coronavirus website. It includes regular messages from the chancellor and information for admitted and prospective students and their families. We also highlight ways to be in touch with advisors, students housing, and financial aid.

Don’s response did not state whether the student would be able to choose whether to learn online or if that choice would be the school’s. My inference is that it will be the school’s. Seems to me that both should have that choice as the school should be able to determine that it isn’t safe for them to re-open their campus but the individual students should be able to decide that they don’t feel safe attending classes in-person even if the school deems the risk to be low enough to re-open.

In answer to my question about whether students who didn’t feel safe to live on-campus or attend classes in-person would be reasonably accommodated, Don’s response seemed to indicate that the school would follow the directives and guidance from the county health authority and the State of California. That makes sense, but isn’t the school the best judge for determining what is safe for its students, staff, and faculty? What if the county and state say it is safe but the school feels otherwise? What if the county, state, and school say it is safe but the student feels otherwise?

Don’s answer to my next question regarding testing and safeguards was a simple copy-and-paste from his previous answer. Again, UC Davis is abdicating to other authorities and that’s both surprising and disappointing to me.

Finally, in answer to my question about whether and when the school planned to again communicate with its incoming students, Don indicated that UC Davis communicates “regularly” and students can visit its website. Fair enough about the website, but what does “regularly” mean? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Seems to me that one of the best schools in the country could do a better job of committing to a communication schedule such as, “We will email you at least two weeks to provide specific updates on this rapidly evolving crisis and how it impacts our community”.

Then, after Don’s email arrived, I received an update from the family of the student. Turns out that UC Davis told them that it will update them every two weeks. That’s excellent news.

The email from the family also indicated that the school considered charging a lower tuition if instruction needed to be delivered online. The response, disappointingly, was that UC Davis feels that it is a world-class institution (so do I) with world-class faculty (so do I) and so they are justified in charging full tuition even though it won’t have nearly the same expenses to deliver its services on-line than on-campus. That’s very disappointing and, quite frankly, greedy.

I also learned that students are able to defer to 2021-22 if they choose and, I suspect, many will but once a student accepts at UC Davis and chooses to defer they are prohibited from enrolling at any other school. Realistically, I don’t see how UC Davis can prohibit that but I could certainly see how they would refuse to accept credits earned at another institution. Again, in a time of crisis like this when we should all be working together for the betterment of us all, that strikes me as being greedy.

Are other schools struggling with how to deliver education this fall like UC Davis has been and will continue to? Certainly. We can agree to disagree about what UC Davis and other schools are willing and able to do in order to help their students during this very difficult time, but it is my hope that schools do a better job of clearly and frequently updating their students with what the school knows and doesn’t know and when the next updates will occur. A school may not know today that it will have an answer to an issue within the next two weeks as the issue may not be within the control of the school, but the school can control when it next provides an update and can commit to that. UC Davis is clearly trying to do the right thing but, it seems to me, there is an opportunity here for it to improve its communications to reduce unnecessary uncertainty in a time that is full of too much uncertainty for us all.

Posted April 21, 2020 by

Navigating Your Job Search During COVID-19

College Recruiter has been doing a pretty good job, I believe, in creating timely content for students, recent graduates, career service office professionals, employers, and other stakeholders who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that we’re the only good source.

We’ve always advocated for students and recent graduates to make better use of the expertise offered by their career service offices. The people who work in those offices are some of the most knowledgeable and caring career experts that you’ll ever find, and their only agenda is helping you find the best possible career path for you.

An example that I just ran across was a webcast delivered this past Sunday by New York University’s Wasserman Center for Career Development. In the webcast, Associate Director Graduate Career Development Services Kelly Graham and Undergraduate Career Development Manager Victoria DiMonica shared some great tips and tricks for NYU students, but made the video available to all. Pretty clearly, NYU recognizes that we’re all in this together and any help that they can be to students and recent graduates from other schools would be the icing on the cake.

Posted April 15, 2020 by

Boston University announces its campus may not re-open until January due to COVID-19

I can’t say that I’m surprised, but I can say that I’m disappointed and concerned.

A few days ago, Boston University quietly announced that it was preparing a recovery plan to address, in part, the possibility that that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020. If that happens, “then the University’s contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021. It also accepts the possibility that international students are likely to face unique burdens, such as travel restrictions and interruptions in the processing of visas, and it suggests that some popular master’s programs may have to be offered remotely.”

Boston University is one of the top schools in the United States and, indeed, the world. If the incredible brainpower within its walls (now most of that brainpower is working remotely) envision that the campus may not re-open this fall, then surely other colleges and universities are grappling with the same concern. The only difference is that BU, to its credit, chose to be more transparent than other institutions. Mark my words, BU will not be an outlier. But we should remember it as a leader.

What happens to the world of campus recruitment if campuses are closed. How will Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers of students and recent graduates reach, engage, and recruit their next class of mostly juniors for internships and seniors for entry-level jobs upon graduation? It is one thing for these organizations to say that they’ll use Zoom and other video technology, but that’s like saying they’ll just arrive on-campus and sit in a room and wait for highly qualified students to show up. That doesn’t happen without first reaching and then engaging with those students, and that means marketing your opportunities.

Pretty clearly, niche job boards like College Recruiter and virtual career fair companies are going to help with the entry level career and college hiring efforts of these organizations. We’ve always been a supplement to the on-campus efforts of these employers and, in recent years, increasingly a replacement for their on-campus recruitment efforts as a rapidly increasing minority of employers have shifted some or even all of their budget away from visiting college campuses to what some refer to as a virtual recruitment model where they leverage the power of the Internet to connect them with students and recent graduates who should be interested in the part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs offered by these employers.

How all of this shakes out will be fascinating and the topic of our upcoming webcast, “How to recruit on-campus if campuses are closed due to COVID-19 “, scheduled for Friday, April 24th at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific. No registration is required as we will stream to our YouTube channel, which also means that you can watch live, delayed, or even recorded. Join us!