• Onboarding new employees starts before first day on job

    May 02, 2017 by

     

    A new employee who is not onboarded the right way is going to have difficulty finding a sense of belonging inside an organization, says Scott Redfearn, executive vice president of global HR at Protiviti, a global business consulting and internal audit firm.

    “Employees who don’t have a meaningful career experience aren’t going to last, and they will not perform to their full potential,” says Redfearn. Continue Reading

  • How employers are using gamification to recruit recent college grads

    November 29, 2016 by
    The movie the Internship used gamification to recruit new team members

    The movie the Internship used gamification to recruit and hire new team members.

    Google. Microsoft. Deloitte. PwC. Cisco. Domino’s Pizza. Marriott International.

    Those are just some of the employers using gamification in recruiting. What is gamification?

    According to recruiterbox.com, Gamification is the concept which uses game theory, mechanics and game designs to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. According to this Society of Human Resources Management article, “Recruiting experts say gamification can stir people’s interest in job openings, project an innovative image of an employer, and deliver accurate previews of applicants’ future job performance.”

    John Findlay, co-founder of Launchfire, a digital engagement shop that turns boring content and mandatory training materials into a fun, easy-to-digest, game-based learning experience, agrees. Recent college grads are a tech-focused generation and the use of mobile, video, virtual reality and gamification go a long way in recruiting and assessing recent college grads and entry-level job seekers, he says.

    “Today’s employers face the challenge of recruiting and hiring recent college grads and Millennials, the largest generational demographic in the American workforce,” said Findlay. “Many companies are finding that using game-based learning and gamification, which integrate points, badges, competition and role-playing, can be used to effectively attract and assess candidates.”

    Gamification in recruiting came on fast and furious, said David Kirk Chief Revenue Officer of CloudApps, a behavioral motivation and predictive data analysis consultancy and solutions provider.

    “It was all the rage, especially in the IT industry, where technical skills change fast and traditional resumes don’t always tell the depth of job seekers skills,” says Kirk.

    Gamification is commonly used in IT. Want to recruit a top coder? Run a competition to find them, says Kirk.  But it’s also being used in many other industries, like hospitality. Marriott International created a recruiting game to attract Millennials called My Marriott Hotel. This game was delivered through Facebook, and according to the SHRM, allows candidates to experience what it’s like to manage a hotel restaurant kitchen before moving on to other areas of hotel operations. Players create their own virtual restaurant, where they buy equipment and ingredients on a budget, hire and train employees, and serve guests. Participants earn points for happy customers and lose points for poor service. They also are rewarded when their operation turns a profit.  Continue Reading

  • Analytics and data in recruiting: Don’t let competitors steal your talent

    September 07, 2016 by
    Group of businesspeople at work

    Group of businesspeople at work. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Five years ago, Steven Rothberg, founder of CollegeRecruiter.com, rarely heard employers talk about using analytics or data when making hiring decisions.

    “Now I can hardly walk down the hall at a recruiting conference or spend 30 minutes on a call with a client and not hear some reference to it,” says Rothberg. “There is no doubt that HR professionals recognize the value in using data-driven decisions, but probably fewer than one percent of employers are good at it.”

    Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier, a company that develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions, talked about the impact of analytics, specifically to campus recruiting and the hiring of recent college grads, in the College Recruiter article Analytics, data changing way employers recruit, hire college graduates.

    “This is no longer a nice to have,” Cook said in that article, referring to the use analytics and data to drive recruiting and hiring decisions. “Everyone knows the game has changed, and if you are not using analytics to play the best you can then you will be left behind.”

    The reality is, if you are not using analytics and data, your competitor who already is using analytics to recruit and hire recent college grads and entry-level job seekers probably has already interviewed or hired that candidate that may have once been interested in your company.

    “If you don’t dive into analytics, then you are increasing the likelihood that your competitor will be able to scoop up all the great talent that you need,” says Cook.

    The move to using big data and analytics for campus recruiting, hiring recent college grads or entry-level employees has been met with resistance by both small and large employers. Many of those employers believe their campus recruiting efforts, combined with a strong social media outreach, and robust campus careers page, drives success recruiting recent college grads or entry-level job seekers.

    “We do hear the ‘our college recruiting program is a well-oiled machine’ from some employers,” says Rothberg.

    But at the same time, both small and large employers are now successfully using analytics and data to drive hiring decisions. That list includes these three well-known companies:

    Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Dylan Schweitzer of Enterprise Rent-A-Car spoke publicly about how they use data to track their sources of hire and that allows them to reduce their spend on schools, job boards, and other sources which are more expensive than their other sources.

    Lockheed Martin: Alton Fox of Lockheed Martin mentioned at TalentBlend 2016 that they’re shifting more and more of their university relations budget toward job boards and other virtual sourcing tools because the cost-of-hire is far lower AND the employees are far more productive.

    Uber: Uber tests, tests, and tests some more with different job titles, geographic targeting, job descriptions, landing pages, and more. They work with a wide variety of media partners and many of those partners are paid on a performance basis, so if the ads they run work well then Uber keeps working with the media partner and probably increases how much they spend with that partner, says Rothberg. If the ads don’t work well, Uber shifts those resources to better performing sourcing tools.

    Using analytics and data to make recruiting and hiring decisions should be viewed as a way to bridge the gaps that can be cause with human oversight or human error. Analytics and data also provide a unique insight that has never been available before. So why not use analytics and data when making hiring decisions?

    Many organizations are focused on analyzing candidates, such as by resume parsing or extended social profile analyses, in order to improve their likelihood of landing a great hire, says Cook. Others are taking a more strategic approach and attempting to analyze the workflow and outputs of the recruiting function.

    They are looking at questions such as:

    • Can we recruit faster?
    • Are we spending our sourcing dollars in the right place?
    • If we change up our process, do fewer people abandon their applications?
    • Which sources consistently produce employees who stay and perform?

    These are complex questions involving multiple data sources, but they are all are aligned to ensuring the function is delivering what the business needs.

    “Predominantly, we see industries that need to recruit a lot of high value talent being early adopters or ahead of the game when it comes to talent analytics,” says Cook. “Organizations that hire lots of software engineers or technical medical staff or specialists with financial skills understand the value that comes from being data-driven as opposed to following the old ‘post and hope’ model.”

    College Recruiter has been using analytics and data for years, providing employers with specific and organized reports to help achieve their recruiting and hiring goals. But many recruiters and HR professionals simply fear change, or the challenge of implementing analytics into the decision-making process.

    “The biggest reason that I see employers resisting the use of data and analytics is the fear of math,” says Rothberg.

    Here is an example: Rothberg recently asked the head of HR for a 5,000-employee company if they would like a detailed proposal that walked through the outcomes of the various recruitment advertising packages being considered. This proposal included projections on the number of candidates that would be sent to that company’s applicant tracking system from College Recruiter, how many would apply, how many would be hired, time-to-hire, and cost-per-hire.

    “She asked what I needed and I asked her how many people she wanted to hire and over how many months,” recalls Rothberg. “She didn’t know. I asked how many applications she would expect to generate for every 1,000 clicks we sent to her ATS. She didn’t know. I asked how many hires she would make for every 100 applications. She didn’t know. As unfortunate as all of that was, she didn’t want to know. She was the head of HR for a 5,000 person company and she didn’t want to admit that math scared her.”

    Don’t let analytics scare you. Employers, both large and small, are using analytics to drive talent decisions. Dive in, before your competitors steals your next great hire.

    “We can always find ways to save a little money, hire a little faster, diversify a little more, and hire people who perform a little better and are retained for a little longer,” says Rothberg. “Data and analytics help us identify those areas where we can improve, whether there is only minor or vast room for improvement.”

    Wondering how analytics can help drive your recruiting decisions and successes? Contact College Recruiter today to learn more, and be sure to Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

  • Analytics, data changing way employers recruit, hire college graduates

    September 02, 2016 by
    Business training at office

    Employers are using analytics to make hiring decisions. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Workforce analytics are transforming human capital strategy, said Mark Schmit, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, executive director of the SHRM Foundation. That’s why it’s more important than ever for employers to understand how analytics and data will drive recruiting and hiring decisions. Schmit’s comments were part of the Society of Human Resource Management’s release of the Use of Workforce Analytics for Competitive Advantage Report in June of 2016.

    The report stated: “For HR practitioners, it will be increasingly important to understand analytics and to be able to present the findings to senior executives. In a data-driven world, organizations will establish specialist HR teams and recruit data-oriented personnel.” In that same report, Schmit highlighted a 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit survey that found 82 percent of organizations recognize the importance of talent-related data in managing recruitment, retention, and turnover, and increasingly see workforce analytics “as a critical tool to shape future business strategy.”

    That’s no secret to Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier, a company that develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions.

    “If you don’t dive into analytics, then you are increasing the likelihood that your competitor will be able to scoop up all the great talent that you need,” says Cook.

    College Recruiter has been using analytics and data for years, providing employers with specific and organized reports to help achieve their recruiting and hiring goals. Active in industry organizations and events, the team at College Recruiter helps employers identify strategies that leads to  success recruiting and hiring recent college graduates and entry-level employees.

    Remember this: Analytics aren’t just used to make decisions on executives. Forward-thinking organizations are already using analytics and data to drive campus recruiting efforts and to recruit and hire recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers. For example, Visier delivers a workforce intelligence solution that makes the management of data, the formulation of analysis, and the sharing of business insights simple. And it can be customized. If campus recruiting is important to your organization, analytics and data can be used to identify which schools deliver graduate hires that stay with the organization the longest, and that progress upward in the organization.

    “We understand that campus hiring is a unique process and have analytic content specifically related to this type of hiring,” says Cook. “We enable organizations to track the true costs of their campus work and then relate this back to the successful – and not so successful – hires that come through this channel.”

    Cook points out that it is becoming more common knowledge for employers to move away from hiring from specific schools and to instead look more broadly at the profile of the individual. Cook knows of some organizations that did a longitudinal study of the performance of their graduate hires. They found that work experience prior to and during school time, athletic achievement, and extracurricular activities, such as committees or volunteering, were more predictive of a future good hire than the specific school or the candidates grade point average (GPA).

    “This completely changed their approach to campus recruiting,” says Cook. “Previously, they over-spent to chase the students with the top GPA’s from the best schools. Now, they would source more broadly, and reduce the weight given to school and GPA in their overall selection process. This has increased their retention of graduate hires and reduced the overall cost of their campus recruitment program.”

    The SHRM report also noted that “Organizations wanting to exploit ‘big data’ to gain a competitive advantage are setting up small specialist teams of data analysts, training their existing staff in the use of big data, and recruiting college graduates with skills in workforce analytics.”

    Employers should focus on finding recent college graduates with a background in analytics, perhaps through an internship, and start implementing analytics as an important part of their recruiting and hiring plans.

    Data, and more specifically, analytics, should be seen as a decision support mechanism, says Cook. “No analysis can remove the need for a decision, nor replace the human judgement within the decision,” he says. “However, analytics has been shown to improve the speed and quality of the human decision-making process such that substantial business value is gained.”

    And, the benefit of analytics over intuition or ‘gut-instinct’ is the removal of bias, indecision, and all the other factors that are known to cloud human judgement.

    “This is no longer a nice to have,” says Cook. “Everyone knows the game has changed, and if you are not using analytics to play the best you can then you will be left behind.”

    For more advice and tips on how employers are using analytics to drive hiring decisions, stay connected to College Recruiter. Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    Ian Cook of Visier

    Ian Cook of Visier

    About Ian Cook
    Ian Cook heads up the workforce domain for Visier, which develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions. Ian has been involved in driving forward the datafication of HR and is a speaker and blogger on the subject. Prior to Visier, Ian built Canada’s leading source of HR benchmark data. His expertise has also been developed through years of international experience solving strategic HR problems for brands in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100.

  • 10 most tricky HR questions for students

    July 16, 2016 by
    Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

    Why should I hire you?

    This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

    This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

    Why is there a gap in your work history?

    You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

    Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

    You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

    You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

    What is your biggest weakness?

    A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

    The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

    Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

    This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

    Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

    Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Tell about a day when you messed up at work

    Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

    How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

    Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

    Will you be out to take my job?

    Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

    How did you prepare for this interview?

    Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

    Where would you really like to work?

    ‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

    Last words

    The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

    Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.

     

  • How employers can maximize relationships with career services

    July 14, 2016 by

    Most successful college recruitment plans include strategic relationships with key colleges and universities. One of the best ways to develop relationships with colleges and universities is by developing relationships with career services professionals on target campuses. This three-minute video, featuring The WorkPlace Group Executive Partner, Dr. Steven Lindner, explains how employers can maximize relationships with career services professionals. Dr. Steven Lindner also explains why talent acquisition leaders this matters in the grand scheme of the hiring process. Dr. Steven Lindner is hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace.


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

    Career services matters, Dr. Steven Lindner states, because career services is the avenue for sharing information about job postings with college students on campus. Career services professionals allow employers to access students’ resumes and to participate in career fairs. Career services professionals make employers aware of student organizations and opportunities for sponsoring events held by organizations; for employers, these can be affordable, unique branding and marketing opportunities.

    Dr. Steven Lindner shares two specific tips from The WorkPlace Group with employers.

    1. Invite college students to visit your organization to conduct a site visit.

    Let them experience your company culture and work environment. While conducting the tour of your company headquarters, introduce college students to current interns and recent graduates you’ve hired who are thriving within your organization. Explain your targeted candidate profile and success profile. Keep in mind that students who visit will likely share their experience with other students on campus; try to ensure that students return to campus sharing positive information about your organization.

    2. Be persistent when interacting with career services professionals.

    Remember that career services professionals are incredibly busy and are interacting not only with college students on campus but also with all the employers vying for their attention and assistance. One of the best times to reach out to career services professionals is during the summer months before students return to campus in the fall.

    For more assistance in improving your relationships with career services professionals, follow College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner for The WorkPlace Group®, is a talent acquisition, assessment, and hiring process expert. Under his leadership, The WorkPlace Group® has helped employers hire thousands of job seekers across 44 different countries. The WorkPlace Group® is a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. In addition to their Recruitment Outsourcing and Project Based Hiring Services, they are one of just a few recruitment providers with specific expertise in College Recruitment.

  • How to implement a yearlong onboarding program

    June 01, 2016 by
    How to implement a yearlong onboarding program

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    From learning the ins-and-outs of a company’s culture to specific job tasks, joining a new organization and starting a new job can be daunting.

    That’s why it’s important for employers and HR professionals to establish a strong foundation for new employees to launch a productive and meaningful career by creating a strong onboarding program, says Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services.

    While many organizations focus on how to properly onboard an employee that first day on the job, most don’t have a dedicated yearlong onboarding program to help the employee through that first year on the job.

    “When combined with functional training, a yearlong onboarding program can provide new employees tools to do their jobs, but additionally, can drive engagement through demonstrating employee and business success go hand-in-hand,” says Shofner.

    Below, Shofner provides five onboarding milestones and strategies that help drive new employee engagement at Ecolab:

    Day 1: Provide transparency in expectations and culture
    All new employees start their first day eager, excited, and hopeful. Ensuring new employees feel welcomed and informed is the first step in maintaining this attitude beyond the first day, says Shofner.  Create a program that is consistent with company expectations and demonstrates your organization’s culture. Demonstrate not only “the what” but also “the how” work gets done. “This can help drive the environment that you want every employee to feel and help create,” says Shofner.

    First 30 days: Enable a community for ongoing support
    If you ask any employee at Ecolab why they work there, the resounding answer will be “the people” says Shofner. Knowing that relationships are part of Ecolab’s culture and success, the organization intentionally provide a system for networking. The “Buddy” program assigns new hires a contact to answer day-to-day questions, serve as a networking agent and helps them find a community within Ecolabs large organization. “Having one or two close contacts at work can be a powerful driver of initial job satisfaction,” says Shofner.

    3 Months: Focus on engagement
    Host a dedicated session that demonstrates commitment to employee engagement by providing specific activities to lead and socialize. “At Ecolab, leadership reminds us that are accountable for two areas,” says Shofner. “To grow our business and to grow our talent. Investment in growing talent can significantly impact an employee’s commitment to the company, but only if they are aware of the investment.” At this session, provide specific examples including leadership development programs, employee resource groups, a defined talent planning process, and social events such as intramural sports or team celebrations of success.

    6 Months: Expand their vision
    Introducing functional training is a good way to help employees develop a strategic understanding of their role and take ownership of their career path. Training provides tactical skill development and visibility into the broader organizational structure. At Ecolab best practices include a field ride-along to experience a day-in-the-life of a sales employees and classroom training led by senior leadership teams. Coach leaders to incorporate their leadership journeys, to include career and personal “peaks and valleys” which validate your leadership model, says Shofner.

    One year anniversary: Celebrate
    An employee’s one-year anniversary is an important milestone. At Ecolab, the CEO makes it a priority to attend annual celebrations that are part of the onboarding program. “It is a demonstration of the organization’s commitment to hiring, training and supporting talent,” says Shofner. “Dedicating time to recognize this significant achievement reinforces to the employee that they are appreciated and valued.”

    Need advice for creating an onboarding program? Get onboard our blog and follow us on LinkedInYouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab

    Jennifer Shofner, Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab

    Jennifer Shofner is Manager, Campus Talent Acquisition at Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. Her career in talent management has included various university and corporate roles where she is energized by helping individuals build careers they are proud of. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering for Minnesota’s talent initiative, MakeIt.MSP.org (check it out!) and supporting her alma mater’s sports teams – go Gophers!

  • How new overtime laws will affect employers

    May 31, 2016 by
    How the new overtime laws will affect employers

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    The new overtime laws that go in place on December 1, 2016 will impact 4.2 million workers who will either gain new overtime protections or get a raise to the new salary threshold.

    This is cause for concern for both employees trying to understand the new overtime laws as well as employers who are doing everything they can to understand how these changes affect their business, hiring plans, and compensation packages.

    It could result in big changes for those who aren’t prepared, says Stephania Bruha, Operations Manager at Kavaliro, a national staffing agency that employs IT professionals, management, and administrative staff.

     

    “We at Kavaliro expect to see many more of our clients limiting employees to 40 hours per week, or requiring executive approval to work overtime hours,” says Bruha. “Recent graduates and new employees may have an advantage here, as they are starting fresh and don’t have to overcome habits from the past.”

    Bruha recommends employers get in front of this change. “We will be reassessing our employees more than a month before the new overtime laws go into effect to ensure that if status changes take place, they are well adjusted prior to the go-live date,” says Bruha.

    Communication will be key, as in all HR and hiring matters, to ensure your employees understand how they could be affected.

    “The worst thing that could happen is for your employees to misinterpret policies and think you are saying they are not allowed to report more than 40 hours a week,” says Bruha. “This is especially important for people who are new to the workforce, like new college grads, who may not know their rights, or have a little experience with labor laws. Employees need to know that you must report all hours worked, but they also need to understand if their company has set requirements for time entry.  Your employer may have severe penalties for violating the policy related to timekeeping because it is so strictly regulated by the Department of Labor.”

    Small and mid-sized employers are going to take a hit

    Employers – particularly small and mid-sized employers – are going to take a hit with the new regulations, 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. They will need to raise salaries over the $913 per week threshold or pay overtime.

    “This may mean employers hire more people so the need for overtime is less or they raise the costs of their products and services to cover the additional labor costs,” says Bischoff.

    New grads or interns looking for work typically don’t wonder whether their first post-grad job will be paid on an exempt (salaried) or a non-exempt (hourly) basis, points out Arlene Vernon, an HR consultant who works with small business owners and corporate clients providing HR strategy and management training. And it’s probably not a consideration regarding whether or not they take a particular job opportunity. However, since a new grad may find himself choosing between two job opportunities, employers need to realize that competitors may change how they present salary and compensation packages based on the new overtime laws, which in turn cold affect the decision an employee makes when deciding between two companies or job offers.

    Exempt versus non-exempt employment offers

    Let’s say Company A offers the grad $48,000 per year as an exempt position, and Company B offers the grad $46,000 as a non-exempt position. There is the potential that the resulting annual pay under Company B could be higher than Company A if the employee works overtime.  If the person is choosing a job based solely on compensation, this would be a consideration.  However, the real decision is whether the job is the right fit for the person, not whether the employee is eligible for overtime.

    “From an employer perspective, all companies, including those hiring new grads, need to re-evaluate all their positions paying less than $47,476 to determine how to handle any job reclassifications to non-exempt status,” says Vernon. “This could impact all or some incumbents in jobs paying around this new limit.”

    In making someone hourly, companies are not required to merely take employees’ salaries and divide them by 2080 to get an equivalent hourly rate.  Many companies will assess what overtime the person might be working and recalculate the hourly rate so that when the employee works overtime the employee’s final pay equals the full salaried amount, says Vernon, admitting that this can get confusing.  But in this scenario, the employee may be making less per hour, but the same or even more on an annual basis when you factor in overtime, depending on the employer’s approach.

    Some companies will be giving certain employees raises to bring them to $47,476 and keep them as salaried. “This may ultimately cost the employer less money than paying overtime at the lower wage,” says Vernon.

    Employers must educate employees

    Employers should educate employees who are moving from exempt to non-exempt on what work can and cannot be performed outside of regular work hours, adds Vernon. Exempt employees are accustomed to answering texts and emails at night and during weekends.  They may work whatever hours are needed to get the job done.  As a non-exempt employee, they must track and get paid for any non-scheduled hours worked which will increase their pay, but may be against company policy. Typically hourly employees don’t get to randomly create their own work schedules, while salaried employees do.

    “This practice needs to be unlearned by managers and employees,” says Vernon.

    For example, are managers who email the now-hourly employees at night and over the weekend now authorizing the employee to respond to the email and inadvertently approving overtime?  Or do managers need to learn to save employee communication for the work week to control payroll costs?

    These are among the many changes, challenges and questions employers are sorting out.

    “December 1 will be here before we know it,” says Vernon. “This change will have considerable impact on all employers no matter their size and whether or not they hire one or more grads below, at or above the new FLSA range.”

    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.

    Ready to begin your job search? Start at College Recruiter today!

  • How new overtime laws will affect interns and recent grads

    May 27, 2016 by
    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.

  • Soft skills in the workplace: IBM offers tips to candidates

    May 19, 2016 by

    When entry-level candidates apply for jobs, they often claim to have great soft skills. However, after employers hire candidates, they may find that candidates don’t have the excellent soft skills they boasted about possessing. This creates a problem for employers in the onboarding process and afterward, too, as they are left to deal with new employees lacking basic soft skills required to adapt to the workplace and corporate culture.

    Can the new employees interact well with their teammates? Are they capable of making strong decisions on their own without input from management every step of the way? Do new employees manage their time well, resolve conflicts as they arise, and communicate clearly, effectively, and appropriately with clients and coworkers? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no,’ employers have big—often expensive–problems on their hands.

    Pete Joodi, Distinguished Engineer for IBM, provides entry-level job seekers and employers with insight into why soft skills matter so much in today’s workplace, particularly in the field of information technology. In this interview by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, Pete Joodi discusses the soft skills dilemma.


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

    At IBM, Pete Joodi, Distinguished Engineer, focuses on research and innovation in information technology. He focuses on optimization strategies; his goal is to find ways software and technology can improve energy efficiency, cost containment, and compliance.

    Pete mentions that within the last 50 years, the world has truly expanded thanks to technology. We need to know how to work with each other now more than ever. This is the reason soft skills are more important than ever before.

    IBM conducted a study in 2014. One of its findings indicated that soft skills are in great demand by employers but are most lacking in students graduating from institutions of higher education today. Pete Joodi doesn’t see this as a negative finding, however. Instead, it indicates an opportunity for growth and improvement for employers.

    At IBM, the focus is on leading and contributing to technological innovation in the ‘cognitive era.’ Candidates applying at IBM need the following soft skills in order to succeed: communication skills, teamwork and collaboration skills, problem-solving skills, adaptability and flexibility skills, language and translation skills, ability to interact well with colleagues and clients, critical thinking skills, and conflict resolution skills.

    Truly, soft skills are highly relevant at IBM. The world is more complex than it was, but it’s also more rewarding to work in the world today. In order to create consumable products, IBM and other companies must hire candidates with excellent soft skills.

    For more details about how to improve your soft skills, transferable skills, and non-verbal skills, visit CollegeRecruiter.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.