ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

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Posted April 14, 2019 by

Is it too late to find a great internship or entry-level job?

In a word, no.

They say that with age comes wisdom. Well, I’m certainly a lot older than I used to be and, hopefully, a lot wiser. When I was in college and then graduate school and then when I graduated, my vision of how the job market worked was fundamentally flawed. And being a typical, young adult, no person who had gone through a similar circumstance before me was going to convince me otherwise. They couldn’t understand. They didn’t go through what I was going through. They just don’t get it. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The reality is that the vast majority of students and recent graduates of high schools, one-year technical and vocational schools, two-year community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and graduate schools are not employed before they graduate. Never have been and probably never will. It is absolutely true that there are a very, very small number of very, very elite schools where the vast majority of the graduating class is either employed before graduation or have accepted offers to continue their education, but those schools and therefore those graduates are outliers. If you’re in that group, fantastic. Stop reading as this article is not for you.

Still with me? Great. Let’s talk frankly about the road in front of you and, perhaps, alleviate some anxiety and wasted time. First, and to emphasize, your situation is the norm. The vast majority of employers hire reactively. They only start looking when they have an opening, and openings occur all of the time and often quite randomly. The employers you’ve seen who interview on campus are the one percent of the one percent in that they plan months and even years ahead of time how many they’re going to hire, from where, and what skill set they need. But the vast majority of employers operate more like, “Oh? Maggie in accounting just quit after being here for only three months? Damn. Well, post a few ads, let’s get some resumes over the next few weeks, and we’ll hire the first good person who we find.”

Let’s break that down a bit. The employer didn’t know they had a hiring need until Maggie created that need by quitting. The response? Look at the candidates who applied three months ago for Maggie’s job, were well-qualified, but weren’t hired because Maggie was better qualified? Nope. To most employers, those candidates cease to exist when they decide to hire someone else. Stupid? Absolutely.

Another component of the response was to post a few ads. Note that the response was not to contact the career service offices, schedule on-campus interviews, conduct those interviews, and then hire. Why not? Because you can’t do that reactively. You can’t just call up a school and show up in a couple of days. They plan months ahead of time. So unless you’re that one percent of one percent employer, career services aren’t an option.

Notice that the employer didn’t specify where to post the ads. As much as this founder of job search site College Recruiter would like to think otherwise, the reality is that most employers have very little loyalty to their media partners. If they have a hiring need and they’ve had good results from you in the past and you somehow come to mind, they’ll be likely to advertise with you again. But they’re also just as likely to advertise with a site whose sales rep happened to call them five minutes after Maggie quit. So where you find the job posting is also less than logical, but that’s not a big deal because the vast majority of job search sites share their postings to ensure that just about every candidate who visits their site has a lot of well-targeted jobs to choose from, which makes for a better candidate experience and also generates more revenue for the job boards.

Another item of note: the employer plans to hire the first, well-qualified candidate who applies. Well, actually not. They said “good”, as in meet the basic qualifications. Most employers fill most jobs with a “got to put butts in seats” philosophy. If you’re qualified and you applied before other qualified candidates, the job is yours. So applying as soon as a job is posted greatly increases your chances of success, as is making it easy for the employer to quickly understand that you’re qualified. If they have to read your resume and start making inferences and guesses as to your qualifications for and legitimate interest in their job then they’re likely to add your resume to the “maybe” pile and move on. And when they move on and then next candidate does a better job of marketing themselves, it will be that next candidate who gets hired instead of you.

At this point, you may be thinking that isn’t fair. That you don’t have the time to start customizing cover letters and resumes for every job you’re applying to. And I will call b.s. on that. When I hear that and scratch the surface, I almost always find that the candidate doesn’t have the time because they’re applying to five, 10, 20, or even more jobs A DAY. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

As a member of the Career Advisory Board, a think tank sponsored by DeVry University, I learned of research that showed that candidates who applied to a TOTAL of five jobs were far more likely to get hired far more quickly than those who applied to 10, 20, or even more jobs PERIOD. Not a day. Period. By applying to only five jobs, you’re able to spend the time you need to customize your cover letter and your resume so that both use the language used by the employer and draw to their attention that you either meet every requirement and preference they’ve stated in their job posting ad or you have other qualifications which should overcome your deficiencies.

As I write this article, the grass is struggling to poke its way through a few inches of snow left over from a spring snowstorm that us Minnesotans have to suffer through. High school grads are inching toward their last classes and then finals. Students in post-secondary schools are typically preparing for and writing their finals. And most will be unemployed. If you’re in that group, you’re in good company. But you need not be for long.

Grab a sheet of paper and draw three lines down it. At the top, write these headings: competencies, interests, values, compensation. Under competencies, write a word or phrase that describes every single thing that others would say you’re good at. Don’t worry if they’re not related to your career. Write ’em down. Under interests, write everything that motivates you or causes you to take interest in it. Under values, write down everything that matters to you. And under compensation, write down what you need to make in hard benefits like wages or salary, medical insurance, and retirement plans and soft benefits like flexible working hours and the ability to occasionally telecommute.

Look for common themes on the sheet of paper. Hopefully, you’ll discover that there are some things for which you’re competent, interested in, and value. Which of those will provide to you the compensation you need? Now you’ve got a list of jobs or career paths to guide your search. Go to our home page and enter two or three keywords to describe those and the location in which you want to work. Review the jobs that come up in the search results and modify your search as necessary until you’ve narrowed down the list to a manageable size. For some, that might be a few dozen jobs. For others, that might be ten jobs.

Zero in on three to five of the jobs and apply to them. Be sure to include a customized cover letter that helps the employer understand what you want to do in the future and how their job fits into that. What you want to do in the future will, of course, be partly guided by what you’ve done in the past so your cover letter will inevitably discuss some of your educational and work backgrounds. Your cover letter should provide to them enough information that they can see that you’re qualified for the work that they want you to do. No need to include jobs or other experiences that are irrelevant to the job advertised by the employer. Send the application. Follow-up with the employer in a few work days using the contact information that is in the ad, which rarely happens, or on the employer’s website, which is almost always there.

Best of luck!!

Posted March 19, 2019 by

It’s crummy to search for a job based upon its distance. Now you can search by commute time.

Minneapolis, MN (March 19, 2019) — It has only taken 410 years, but help wanted and other recruitment advertising is finally catching up to what job seekers have always wanted to know: how long will it take me to get to this job?

The movable type, printing press was invented in 1609 and within decades employers were placing help wanted ads in them. George Washington’s Continental Army posted recruitment ads in local newspapers. But for that entire time, employers, newspapers, online job boards, and other sources of classified advertising have shifted the effort of determining how long it will take to get to a job to the candidate by publishing the location of the job and, even then, often only publishing the city in which it was located. As a candidate, you can guess at how long it will take to get from your apartment to a job, but wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to guess but instead would just see a list of jobs that match your interests along with the commute time to each of them by driving, transit, cycling, and walking and both during peak and non-peak times? Now, you can.

College Recruiter was an early, early partner of Google’s with its Cloud Talent Solution product. A little over a year ago in January 2018, we replaced our job search engine with their search technology. The jobs you see on College Recruiter were posted to College Recruiter so you aren’t searching the entire web as you are when you’re on Google.com. Since before we even signed our licensing agreement with them, they’ve been superb partners in helping improve the discoverability of the hundreds of thousands of part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs advertised at any given time on our site, as well as matching those jobs with the right candidates. For employers, reaching a larger talent pool is consistently top of mind, and we and our partners at Google also hear from — and listen to — job seekers about their unique job search and employment needs.

College Recruiter and Google are always working to add new features and functionality to connect employers and job seekers. Last year, Google added job search by U.S. military occupational specialty code for College Recruiter and other Cloud Talent Solution customers in the United States. Today and together, we’re announcing that College Recruiter now supports commute search by driving, transit, cycling, and walking AND candidates can search our site using any of 100+ languages, so if their primary language is Spanish and secondary language is English, they can search in Spanish, we’ll display the job posting ads in English, and the employer who receives their application will be well on their way to hiring a well matched candidate who has the highly sought after skill of being bilingual.

“At College Recruiter, we’re very excited about the enhancement to the Cloud Talent Solutions commute search option,” said Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter. “Many of the job seekers who use our site are looking for part-time, seasonal, and internship opportunities while they’re in school, and many of them would strongly prefer to work within walking or cycling distance so they can avoid the cost and hassle of driving or using public transportation. Now, they can search for a part-time, retail job within a 10-minute walk from their apartment instead of having to weed through dozens or even hundreds of part-time, retail jobs which are listed within their city.”

Listen to today’s episode of The Chad and Cheese Podcast for more information about the background of why College Recruiter chose to replace its search technology with that it licenses from Google, the impact of that decision, or the latest features that we’ve rolled out as a result of that partnership. During the podcast, hosts Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman discuss all of these issues and more with guest, Steven Rothberg, the founder of College Recruiter.

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?

LinkedIn head office

Posted February 23, 2019 by

1,000’s of colleges invested heavily to advocate for LinkedIn over the past decade. Did they do so wisely?

LinkedIn recently published a summary of the demographics of its users. The results were quite interesting.

I think that we can all agree that thousands of college career service offices and leaders have invested massively over the past decade in advocating and, in some cases, requiring their students to become members of LinkedIn. Quite frankly, I’m a fan and very active user of LinkedIn, as is the job search site company that I founded some 28 years ago. So I’m not writing this to denigrate LinkedIn nor the career service offices and leaders who have invested so much of their time, energy, and resources in promoting it to their students. What I’m wondering is whether all of that advocacy has been worthwhile and if, in hindsight, different decisions should have been made.

A few numbers that jumped out at me and which surely will provoke some thought and, hopefully, discussion amongst readers of this blog article:

  • 13 percent of young adults are members.
  • 44 percent of LinkedIn users are active on a monthly basis, from which I infer that about 5.7 percent of young adults use LinkedIn on a monthly basis.
  • 26.1 percent of LinkedIn users are in the U.S., from which I infer that about 1.5 percent of U.S., young adults use LinkedIn on a monthly basis.

There are approximately 20-million students who are currently enrolled in U.S. one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities plus another 20-million recent graduates for a total of 40-million students and recent graduates. If 1.5 percent of them are active LinkedIn users, that’s about 600,000 users.

Now, I understand that some of my inferences may be off and I would be happy to be corrected as to the actual number of active users who are U.S. students and recent graduates, but if my numbers are correct, then they indicate to me that the tactics and strategies employed by thousands of colleges for years have not born the fruit they should have. So, I ask, should colleges continue to promote LinkedIn to their students — sometimes even to the point of requiring the students to register in order to graduate — and, if so, how should that promotion be different tomorrow than it was yesterday?

Posted February 14, 2019 by

Why including video in your job board postings is crucial if you’re trying to hire students and recent grads

They say that video killed the radio star. At least that’s what The Buggles sang way back in 1980. Could they have actually been singing about the death of text-only job posting ads? Doubtful, but I suppose possible.

So although I doubt that The Buggles were considering job posting ads while writing out the lyrics of that iconic song, I do think that video is killing the text-only job posting ad. Why? There are 86 million members of Gen Z, they’re beginning to enter the workforce, and they rely upon YouTube and other video sites for information far more than their Millennial older siblings and even more so than their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents.

Our friends at Google recently conducted a survey with Qualtrics Research to better understand how 18- to 24-year olds decide who to date. The decision of who to date is not quite the same as who to work for, but there are similarities. Some 41 percent of this age cohort learned about dating apps like Tinder through online video sites like YouTube. Taken alone, that number didn’t surprise me. But it did when I found out that it meant that 57 percent more of this age cohort found out about dating apps using online video sites than did 25- to 34-year-olds.

In addition to using video to learn about dating, Gen Z uses video for just about all kinds of learning. Indeed, 80 percent of teens turn to YouTube as a source of information. Why does this matter to employers? Because a generation that prefers to learn through video is going to be more likely to apply to a job posting from your competitor that includes video instead of your posting that does not.

A few years ago, College Recruiter embarked on what others in the job board industry told us was foolish: to exponentially increase the number of postings on our site with embedded video by offering that feature for free to our employer customers. Today, hundreds of thousands of the postings on CollegeRecruiter.com have video embedded into them, even though most job boards don’t allow employers to embed video. Of the minority of job boards that do offer that feature, most of those are very large and charge employers a fortune. Our strategy to encourage the inclusion of video isn’t unique, but it sure is unusual.

Quite simply, College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career and we’re passionate about the candidate experience. Anything that we can do to help the job seekers using our site find that great career in a way that creates a better experience for them is something that we’re going to want to do. And video fits that description perfectly.

Whether you’re posting a single job for 30-days or using our JobsThatScale product to help you hire dozens or even hundreds, we’re going to want you to embed your YouTube employment video into your posting and we make it really, really easy for you to do that…for free.

Posted February 07, 2019 by

AI, Algorithms, and Who Owns the Outcome

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine learning or machine intelligence, is in its infancy yet poised to fundamentally change how we work, are educated, and run our businesses. AI is already impacting how leading employers engage with students and recent graduates and then hire and manage them.

AI offers tremendous opportunities to those in talent acquisition and human resources as well as society as a whole, but also poses some threats.

On December 10, 2018, hundreds of talent acquisition and other human resources leaders gathered in Mountain View, California and remotely via live stream to participate in the College Recruiting Bootcamp on AI, organized by job search site, College Recruiter, and hosted by Google.

Our closing keynote was delivered by John Sumser, Principal Analyst for HRExaminer, an independent analyst firm covering HR technology and the intersection of people, tech, and work.

(more…)

Posted February 07, 2019 by

Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine learning or machine intelligence, is in its infancy yet poised to fundamentally change how we work, are educated, and run our businesses. AI is already impacting how leading employers engage with students and recent graduates and then hire and manage them.

AI offers tremendous opportunities to those in talent acquisition and human resources as well as society as a whole, but also poses some threats.

On December 10, 2018, hundreds of talent acquisition and other human resources leaders gathered in Mountain View, California and remotely via live stream to participate in the College Recruiting Bootcamp on AI, organized by job search site, College Recruiter, and hosted by Google.

Our featured presentation was delivered by Alexandra Levit, author of Humanity Works, speaker, consultant, futurist, Chair of the DeVry University Career Advisory Board think tank, and expert in all things workplace.

(more…)

Posted February 07, 2019 by

How AI Can Better Our Education, Careers, and Businesses

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine learning or machine intelligence, is in its infancy yet poised to fundamentally change how we work, are educated, and run our businesses. AI is already impacting how leading employers engage with students and recent graduates and then hire and manage them.

AI offers tremendous opportunities to those in talent acquisition and human resources as well as society as a whole, but also poses some threats.

University relations, talent acquisition, and other human resource leaders from corporate, non-profit, and government organizations gathered on on Monday, December 10, 2018 at Google for a highly interactive, collegial, and informative day of learning. It was goal of the organizer, College Recruiter, that the hundreds who attended either in person or via livestream left with a roadmap for how they and their organizations could not only survive, but also thrive by using AI to enhance their existing talent acquisition tactics and strategies.

This video captures the opening keynote and related panel discussion at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on AI at Google. (more…)

Posted January 21, 2019 by

Is matching technology the silver bullet that employers (and some vendors) want it to be?

Merriam-Webster defines a “silver bullet” as something that acts as a magical weapon, especially if it instantly solves a long-standing problem. Sounds to me like the promises that a lot of vendors make to potential customers, including promises made by some HR tech vendors to employers. 

A recent episode of The Chad & Cheese Podcast (note the capitalized The, as in The Ohio State University, but I digress) caused me to ruminate about this subject, and if there’s one thing about rumination that I don’t like, is that it often ends up as vomit. The guest was the bright and likeable Claire McTaggart, chief executive officer of SquarePeg. During the episode, Claire described her company’s mission, product, customers, pricing, and value proposition and then the hosts, Joel Cheesman and Chad Sowash, passed judgment. In short, they liked her but not her business model. There were a number of aspects of her business to like but also some deal killers, chief among them the reliance on matching technology. Joel listed examples of sites which had claimed to have superb matching technology but essentially no longer exist including JobFox, Jobster, and Climber. What the hosts did not take the time to dive into, nor was that episode the appropriate time to do so, was why none of these sites have been able to make matching technology work and why that may be an impossible task, at least for certain roles.

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Posted January 14, 2019 by

Should college career service offices allow multi-level marketers to post jobs or recruit students on-campus?

 

A college career service office professional emailed me earlier this morning to ask my opinion about whether colleges and universities should allow multi-level marketing (MLM) organizations to post jobs to the career service office websites and interview students on-campus. My answer:

I wish that I had an easy answer for you, but MLM employment is a tricky one.

On the one hand, we’re talking about educated adults, some of which could thrive in that environment. Not everyone wants to go the traditional routes and I don’t think that we should pass judgment or dissuade them from doing so, even if the work isn’t our idea of attractive. There are some very legitimate MLM’s such as Avon and so, to me, the issue isn’t whether MLM’s are inherently bad or immoral. The issue is whether the specific employer is and that could apply to many government, corporate, and non-profit jobs. Is it the role of career services to evaluate every employer and put up roadblocks to students who disagree? Even if we said it is, how feasible is that?
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