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Posted May 27, 2016 by

How new overtime laws will affect interns and recent grads

How the new overtime laws will affect recent college graduates

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

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

Changes to overtime laws

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

Salary versus hourly

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

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

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

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

Ask questions to clarify status

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

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

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

What do the new overtime laws mean for interns?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A ripple effect for college grads

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted January 26, 2016 by

How to make the most of professional networking events

If you’re like one third to one half of the U.S. population who consider themselves introverted, discussing professional networking events—whether career fairs, meet and greet hours held at conferences, or even happy hour with coworkers or potential employers—induces slightly sweaty palms. Networking events are often referred to as “shmoozy events” because of the negative connotations associated with networking.

Done the right way, professional networking doesn’t have to be socially awkward; you don’t have to push yourself on others or worry about saying exactly the right thing at just the right time in order to land a job or get a raise. It is important to remember, though, that first impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. That’s a powerful statistic and one that sticks; the primacy effect (the tendency to remember what we notice first, whether it proves accurate or not) has lasting impact on our brains.

This brief video provides college students and recent grads with simple, easy tips to implement at networking events. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a networking newbie, about to graduate and begin networking as part of your efforts to find your first full-time job.


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

1. Eat prior to arrival.

While light to heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served at most networking events, it’s never a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Be sure that the snack you choose isn’t heavy on onions or garlic-laden, though; you don’t want to carry offensive odors to your networking event.

Arriving without an empty stomach will help you feel calm and mentally alert. You will be more able to focus on potential employers, build connections, and enjoy yourself if you’re not hungry.

2. Dress conservatively.

Dress codes are all over the place for networking events. Play it safe and stay conservative, wearing business attire. You can’t really go wrong with a well-fitting business suit. If you want to dress it up, wear a brighter shirt or tie than you might normally wear, but don’t go crazy. Networking events aren’t the time to pull out your new sequined dress or to dress down either, thinking it’s more about socializing. Remember, you’re ultimately there to build professional connections; these connections might assist you in your job or internship search now or later.

3. Smile!

Smiling is the easiest way to let people know you’re approachable. If you’re introverted, intimidated, or simply not excited about the event, smiling is a great “fake it til you make it” strategy for making the most of networking events. You’re already there, so why not have a good time?

4. Go hands-free.

Keep one hand free at all times. If you must eat a quick snack, put down your drink in order to eat. Best case scenario, though, you will watch this video and read this article before you begin attending networking events, and you can adhere to tip #1 (eat prior to arrival). When you eat prior to arrival, you’ll find yourself able to more easily shake hands, exchange business cards, and carry a bottle of water because not carrying a plate of food.

Businesspeople shaking hands at networking event

Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

5. Prepare an elevator pitch.

At professional networking events, you’re most likely going to introduce yourself and be asked the question, “So what do you do?” repeatedly. An elevator pitch answers this question and then some. Your elevator pitch—if pitched properly, that is—communicates who you are (in terms of education and work history), what you do (related to jobs and careers), what you want to do, and why. It’s important that potential future employers understand that you have specific goals—that’s an admirable quality, one most employers seek in candidates.

Your elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 seconds (stay focused) and should end with a question. That question shouldn’t be, “How can you help me?” Even though we’re all seeking help from others in the job search process, the question should be focused on your new contact. Is your contact the CEO of a company? Ask him how he began his career in the business world. Ending with a question lets the other person know that you are not self-centered; networking is a two-way street, and getting to know your connections is vital to successful networking.

If your new contacts or potential employers want to get to know you further after you give your spiel, they’ll follow up with questions. On the front end, keep it short and sweet.

6. Talk less; listen more.

As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” General managers consistently rank listening as one of the top skills in the workplace, too. It matters, and people value you when you do it well.

7. Give and receive contact information.

Prepare business cards before beginning your job search or internship search. You can purchase very affordable business cards online from a variety of vendors or use a business card template available for free online. You definitely don’t want to arrive at networking events empty-handed, though.

When someone asks for your business card, it’s proper etiquette to ask for theirs as well (and vice versa). Don’t make it your goal, though, to procure as many business cards at networking events as possible. There’s no point in this behavior. Unless you actually established an initial connection with a real person at a networking event, a business card is just a piece of paper.

If possible, wear pants or a skirt with pockets or carry a small purse. You need a place to keep the business cards you gather. You might think of the whole “exchanging business cards” process as old-fashioned, but it’s still being done, and if you don’t bring cards to networking events, you’re the one who’ll be left out.

8. Call them by name.

When introduced to someone new at a professional networking event, call that person by name throughout the event. Not only will this help you remember the person’s name later, but it will also make that person feel recognized and provide a personal touch (give that person warm fuzzies), and there’s nothing wrong with that.

9. Follow up.

You don’t need to come home after networking events and immediately search for your new contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending invitations like a stalker. Connecting on social media is part of networking, but following up has many layers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Think carefully about each of your brand new contacts and how you might best connect with them individually before sending a mass email to 20 potential employers with your resume, references, and electronic portfolio attached.

Remember, networking—whether online or offline—is about building connections which hopefully last for a lifetime. These relationships are just like the other relationships you invest in; relationships require work, and relationships are about give and take. Those same principles apply to professional networking.

For more Tuesday Tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success and introduce you to great jobs, internships, and careers. Begin your search and apply today!

 

 

 

Posted November 16, 2015 by

The College Recruiter Difference

The College Recruiter DifferenceIt is far too easy for any organization to overlook the need to be more thoughtful and have better short- and long-term plans when you’re so focused on serving your customers. We’ve been no different but, thankfully, our leadership was able to find a substantial amount of time over the summer and early fall to look at what we were doing, what was working, what wasn’t working, what should remain unchanged, and what needed to be changed. In short, we’ve been doing a lot of strategic planning here at College Recruiter.

One of our conclusions was that we saw far better outcomes of our interactive, recruitment media campaigns when we forced ourselves (and sometimes our clients) to follow the process that we’ve developed over the 24 years we’ve been in business. This summer, as part of our strategic planning, we documented that process, gave it a name, and created a graphic to help our team and those with whom we interact an easy-to-follow checklist. We called the process, The College Recruiter Difference.

Note that there are five major steps: (more…)

Posted July 15, 2015 by

How Technology Is Driving the Future of College Recruiting – Part 1

“There’s this thing called the Internet.” And in 1995, with that remark, a career service office director forever changed the future of the business out of which College Recruiter would emerge.

The clock was ticking on the 1950’s era products and approach of students picking up magazines, pulling annual reports from filing cabinets, and even sitting across a table in an on-campus interview room. Today, some 20 years later, it is hard for the recent grads and students we serve to relate to a time when all college recruiting was very physical, very local, and very expensive. What will tomorrow bring and how will those changes impact career services, employers, and job seekers?

(more…)

Posted June 26, 2015 by

Negotiate your Salary Like A (and With the) Boss

Justin Ethington

Justin Ethington of Your Worth Salary Calculator

Most people shy away from confrontation with good reason. But avoiding confrontation doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate your salary like a boss. Here are the 6 main negotiation strategies for maximizing your salary without being disagreeable.

1. Don’t reveal your target salary too soon. Avoid disclosing your salary expectations until you know you’re a finalist for the job. Delaying the answer without upsetting your potential employer requires timing and diplomacy. To put off answering the salary expectation question, you’ll need your own personalized statement explaining your reasons. Practice this phrase so it sounds natural and friendly. It may save you thousands. Your employer should make the first offer salvo. (more…)

Posted June 12, 2015 by

Recent Grads! Reasons Why You Must Master the Art of Negotiation

Young business people negotiating in a meeting room

Young business people negotiating in a meeting room. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whilst everyone can benefit from a look at their budget; cutting a few costs here and there will not make a fundamental difference to your financial well being. The easiest and fastest way of doing this is to obtain a substantial rise in your salary. If you are fortunate enough to receive a $5,000 rise in your twenties and can afford to invest it, you can turn this small amount into over a million by the time you retire. (more…)

Posted May 18, 2015 by

A Graduate’s Guide to Negotiating Your First Salary

Smiling woman having job interviews and receiving portfolios

Smiling woman having job interviews and receiving portfolios. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations! Whether you’ve just graduated or you’ve had a couple months to contemplate the degree you’ve earned, completing a college career is no small task. And for many, it’s just the kind of warm-up you need for a successful job search. In my years counseling young professionals, I’ve helped many prepare for every step of their journey in landing the career they love. That’s formed the basis for this negotiation guide: (more…)

Posted May 18, 2015 by

7 enticing tips for recent grads to negotiate salary like nobody else

Show Me The Money card with sky background

Show Me The Money card with sky background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Searching for work can be a daunting task at the best of times. It can be even more difficult if you are looking for work in a niche area. It is possible that in the excitement of obtaining a job you forget the last, most important obstacle. Your salary! This is the main reason for working and the reason you have been studying hard for so many years. It may seem rude or ungrateful to negotiate your salary when you have not even started the job yet; in fact this is one of the best opportunities to go through this process.

The majority of bosses will have more respect for you if you negotiate on your salary. The following tips will ensure you remain professional: (more…)

Posted May 13, 2015 by

6 Steps for a SUPER Successful Salary Negotiation

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Brenda’s stomach twisted. She’d never negotiated anything in her entire life. But now at age 35 she would face the topic of pay when she returned for a second interview for a job she really wanted as Medical Center Operations Director of a local medical center. She had all the job requirements: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, experience in the field, and a diplomatic and clear communication style.

Brenda found some useful tips online to help her over the hump of speaking up for herself and pointing out her credentials, which should put her in a favorable position for the salary she wanted.

You can apply the same, regardless of the job you’re looking for. (more…)

Posted April 15, 2015 by

Want Better Candidates? Ask Better Questions!

David Sarnowski of HarQen

An effective screening process is one that identifies and brings the best candidates forward in the selection process. Unfortunately, many of the questions we ask during screening don’t give us what we really need to make good hiring decisions.

In this recorded webinar, David Sarnowski of HarQen discusses how to identify the information you need to make good choices and how to ask the right questions to get those details from your candidates. Key takeaways include:

  • Learn how your current questions may be leading candidates to give you unhelpful answers.
  • See how your best and worst performers can provide great questions for finding the perfect candidates.
  • Get great alternatives to the classic missteps: (more…)