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

Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter

Posted February 11, 2020 by

What has changed in the job board industry since College Recruiter went live in 1996?

College Recruiter’s chief executive officer, Faith Rothberg, was recently interviewed by a learning and development company. One of the questions they asked was how the job board industry has changed since our site went live way back in 1996.

Two of the biggest things that have changed are how employers treat candidates and the technology used to bring the two together. 

Employers treat candidates with far more respect now than they did in the mid-90s. Some of that has to do with the economy because it is far harder to hire well-qualified people today than it was 25 years ago. But some of that has to do with efforts by groups like The Talent Board, which runs the Candidate Experience Awards. We were very active in helping that organization get off the ground and continue to advocate for it. It uses a carrot instead of stick approach by praising employers for treating candidates well instead shaming those who don’t. 

On the technology side, we can use College Recruiter as an example of how much and how fast it has changed. We have had seven versions of our website in 23 years. That might sound like a lot, but that’s an average of one roughly every three years.

When we launched in 1996, only 50 of the Fortune 500 had websites and none of those had a searchable database of jobs that allowed candidates to apply on-line. Instead, you could sometimes search but usually there would just be a generic page that described at a high level the kinds of candidates the employer was seeking and you’d be asked to mail, fax, or maybe email your resume instead of applying online to a specific posting. Today, virtually every company with more than a few hundred employees has an applicant tracking system and, therefore, searchable job postings that allow you to apply to specific postings. Many of those integrate assessments so you sometimes aren’t even able to apply if you’re unqualified. In short, as compared to 25 years ago, candidates and employers spend far less time today trying to find each other and candidates spend far less time applying to jobs. That allows them far more time to make sure that they are a good fit for each other.  Are there any trends you’re following for 2020? In terms of technology or otherwise?  

A trend we’re following for 2020 is something that we’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and money preparing for. College Recruiter is one of the only niche job boards in the world to have successfully migrated our employer customers from duration- to performance-based pricing. Duration-based pricing was like buying an ad in the newspaper: you paid $X to run your ad for Y days. We still offer $75 postings for 30-days because many employers prefer to buy that way, but most of our customers now pay for every candidate that we send to them, usually by click. If we run an ad and don’t send candidates to the employer then we don’t get paid. Our interests, therefore, are better aligned and the employer no longer has to post-and-pray.

At the same time as pay-for-performance is rolling over some of our out-of-date competitors like a tsunami, automated systems are determining where job ads run. This is called programmatic job ad distribution and the sites which get to run an ad, for how many days, and for how much money will be the ads which get the best results. In the mid-1990’s, the sites that got the ads were those which had the funniest Superbowl ads. If your job board delivers quality candidates in the quantity desired by the employer, then you’re going to continue to receive similar ads from that and other employers and the amount you get paid for the candidates you deliver to the employer will increase, so you’re making more money and your customers are happy about that.

In addition the changes taking place on the tech side, there’s also been a lot of changes on the candidate side. In the mid-1990’s, the candidates entering the workforce were the youngest members of Gen X and oldest Millennials. Now, the oldest Millennials are approaching 40 and the generation entering the workforce is Gen Z. With the rise of Gen Z has also come a lot of talk about the future of work. Will there be work or will AI displace all of us? If there is no work or not enough for the vast majority of people, will we all receive a universal basic income (UBI) and, if not, how will we survive?

There’s been a long term trend moving away from living to work toward working to living. What I mean by that is far more than Baby Boomers, Gen Z wants to make a positive impact on the world. They place greater value on their personal relationships and understand that they cannot count on an employer to be loyal to them during difficult times. They value working hard and seek financial security but, sadly, they don’t expect to find it. 

Regarding the future of work, look for more freelancing and gig work not because the people want it but because corporations are demanding it. Look for more flexible working relationships including project-based work and remote work. 

Employers should be prepared: the gig economy will make recruitment easier but retention harder. Employers will be able to staff up and down faster but their workforce will be less experienced and be less efficient. 

In our college recruiting niche, we’re seeing a rapidly increasing minority of employers becoming school- and even major-agnostic. Employers are starting to use productivity data to determine where their best hires come from and they are finding that its more about the person and less about the school or major. We’re excited about that, because we believe that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career, not just those from the elite schools. 

We’re sometimes asked if there is one thing that we would advise talent acquisition teams to do differently with these Gen Z candidates. The answer is no different than if we were to advise them as to what to do differently with a Boomer, Gen Xer, or Millennial because we all want the same thing from prospective employers: do a better job of communicating to the candidates about the positive impact they can have on the world around them by working for your organization. Gen Zers get the attention around this issue because it appears to matter more to them at the age they’re at than it did to previous generations, but who doesn’t want to make the world a better place, both while they’re at work and on their own time?

Some of the advise we give to candidates has changed over the years, because the underlying issues have changed. For example, we talk a lot more now about starting salary because that has become so critical. Employers tend to increase pay by percentages rather than the value you deliver, so if you start off being paid too little you’ll likely always be paid too little. If your boss doesn’t value your work as shown by underpaying you, try to find a different job within the same company where your work will be better valued as shown by your compensation. And if that doesn’t work, find a new employer. 

Hopefully, candidates understand that we are NOT telling them to quit their jobs to get paid better. That strategy can work, but it is far better to find a way to get paid better by your current employer. A key to making that happen is for the employee to understand that the vast majority of employers want to compensate their employees fairly. Unfortunately, some hiring managers don’t know what fair compensation is. The reality is that employees can find this information as easily as employers and employees should use that information to negotiate a fair starting salary. This has become even more crucial for Gen Z candidates than generations before because Gen Z employees are carrying so much more student debt when they finish school than previous generations.

The last couple of questions for Faith were about industry jargon. She was asked for her favorite and least favorite terms. Her favorite was CPC (cost-per-click) because our successful migration from duration- to performance-based pricing such as CPC is driving fantastic growth at College Recruiter.

On the flip side of that jargon coin, she said her least favorite was matching technology, simply because it doesn’t work. It would be great if it did work but the reality is that it needs massive amounts of great data to work well. The data partially comes from the resume which is a backward-looking document and Gen Z candidates are so early in their careers that their resumes simply don’t have much data on them.

The data also comes from job postings which are forward-looking documents and tend to be very poorly written. For example job postings almost always talk about the employers requirements, many of which are actually preferences, and typically talk little about job duties. So you’ve got this situation where the Gen Z candidate can’t show much yet but the employer will only be matched with them if they’ve accomplished a lot professionally. That might work well for an engineer with ten years of experience but it fails miserably for a young adult who has had a couple of part-time jobs and maybe one internship.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted January 15, 2020 by

More employers are including in their college recruiting programs community college and other non-traditional students

There are millions of employers just in the U.S., but the vast majority of them have between one and three employees. Tens of thousands are large enough to hire at least one intern, but almost all of the attention is paid to the hundreds who hire dozens to hundreds. 

I’m excited about the shift amongst employers to using productivity as their key metric of recruiting success instead of more traditional and less meaningful metrics such as hires per school or even cost-per-hire. Getting butts in seats is not a business goal, but building a productive workforce is. 

That said, a rapidly increasing minority of employers are shifting from an on-campus, school-by-school approach where they’re only willing to consider juniors and seniors from a small number of elite schools to a more diverse and inclusive early careers approach which welcomes those who have the demonstrated ability to do the work. These employers are very likely to welcome into their applicant pool and workforce students who are enrolled in community colleges, are transitioning out of the military, or otherwise are what many employers refer to as “non-traditional”. 

Rather than trying to generalize about whether employers as a whole are willing to include community college students in their early careers programs and then marketing your students to all of them in the same way, I would encourage a more nuanced approach where you target those employers who are ready, willing, and able to hire the kinds of students who attend your school.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted January 14, 2020 by

How to hire PhD students through on-campus recruiting

It is a good idea to partner with a university’s career service office, professors, and others to reach Ph.D. students when they are physically on-campus or otherwise engaged with their school. But it seems pretty clear to me that there are many other ways of reaching these same people.

For most of us, the equivalent to being a student is being an employee. We might spend eight hours, five days a week working, so roughly 40-hours a week. If you figure that the average person sleeps eight hours a night, that means we spend about 40 of 112 waking hours at work. Deduct holidays and vacation days and we’re now talking close to one-quarter of our waking hours are spent working, which means that about three-quarters of our time are spent away from work. 

It seems logical to me that employers trying to reach Ph.D. (or any other student) should recognize that only marketing to those students when they’re on-campus or otherwise engaged with the school means that they’re missing three-quarters of the opportunities to engage with those students. Yes, you can reach a student while they’re on campus, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to reach them. For many employers, the real question is really about how to reach these students during the three-quarters of the time when they’re not on-campus or engaged with their school. That’s where target marketing comes into play.

Think about it from your perspective. When any organization wants to market their products, services, or other opportunities to you, do they only do it when you’re at work? Or do they use media such as TV, radio, print, billboards, Internet, email, and other marketing channels? The more targeted the audience you want to reach, the more targeted the media must be that you use.

For an employer who only wants to reach Ph.D. students (and perhaps just those who attend certain schools and majors), then untargeted media such as TV, radio, billboards, etc. are poor choices as the vast majority of your ads will be seen by the wrong people. Instead, you need highly targeted media. One example of this would be permission-based (opt-in) email lists. A good list will allow you to target by any combination of fields including school, major, year of graduation, degree (i.e., Ph.D.), geography, diversity, languages, and even citizenship for roles where that is a legitimate requirement.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How the CIA uses productivity data to win support for its D&I programs

Most of Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire dozens or even hundreds have diversity and inclusion programs because their talent acquisition and other human resource leaders know that the more diverse and inclusive a workforce, the more productive is that workforce.

But many and perhaps most of these TA and HR leaders struggle to get the resources they need for their D&I programs. Why? Because these TA and HR leaders have not been able to win support for these programs from their CEO, CFO, and other C-suite executives.

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our closing keynote presenter was Roynda Hartsfield, former Chief of Hiring for the CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovations (DDI) and current Head of Talent Acquisition for Excel Technologies, LLC. Roy wowed the 125 people in the room plus the hundreds watching the livestream as she walked through how she and other members of her team at the CIA first used data to demonstrate to its C-suite how their most diverse and inclusive teams were also their most productive teams and then won the resources to make the CIA’s diversity and inclusion efforts even stronger.

After her presentation, Roy was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Gerry Crispin, Principal and Co-Founder for CareerXroads and Co-Founder of TalentBoard.org, which works to improve the candidate experience by defining, measuring, and improving the treatment of job candidates;
  • Ankit Somani, Co-Founder for AllyO;
  • Marjorie McCamey, Corporate Development for intrnz and Corporate Recruiter for Franklin Templeton.

Are you struggling to win the resources you need from your C-suite? Watch the one-hour video:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How to recruit employees with Asperger’s Syndrome

Conferences can be tremendous opportunities to learn, but too many conferences cover the same topics over and over and over again and sometimes it is even the same presentation by the same speaker. But not always. Sometimes, the topic is new to the attendees, or presented in a markedly different manner.  

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our featured presenter was Jo Weech, President & CEO of Exemplary Consultants. Jo shared with the 125 talent acquisition leaders in the room plus several hundred watching the livestream how and why leading employers are reaching out to candidates with Asperger’s Syndrome not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes business sense to do it.

After her presentation, Jo was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Keca Ward, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Phenom People;
  • Jon Kestenbaum, Executive Director of Talent Tech Labs;
  • Janine Truitt, Member of College Recruiter’s content expert board and Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations; and
  • Lois Barth, Principal and Human Development Expert for Lois Barth Coaching & Consulting Services.

Are you debating whether to recruit people with Asperger’s or struggling to retain them? Watch the one-hour video:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates, including those with Asperger’s? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

How EY built a better workforce through diversity and inclusion

One of the nice things about attending conferences is the opportunity to learn from experts.

At our College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference, our opening keynote speaker was Ken Bouyer, Americas Director for Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young. Ken shared with the 125 talent acquisition leaders in the room plus several hundred watching the livestream how EY built a better workforce through gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and generational diversity and inclusion.

After his presentation, Ken was joined on the stage by panelists:

  • Dawn Carter, Director, Global University Recruiting for Uber;
  • Kimberly Jones, former talent acquisition leader for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, GE Aviation, Raytheon, Honda, and Nationwide and currently CEO of Kelton Legend;
  • Pam Baker, Member of College Recruiter’s Content Expert Board and Founder and CEO for Journeous; and
  • Jo Weech, President & CEO of Exemplary Consultants.

Are you struggling to improve your diversity and inclusion efforts? Who isn’t? Watch the one-hour video of the presentation and panel discussion:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted January 08, 2020 by

Why should we care about diversity and inclusion?

Employers all claim — and most of them mean it — that they want to hire the best person for the job. At College Recruiter, we call that putting the right person in the right seat.

No one would dispute that an employer should hire the best person for the job, but reasonable people often differ as to how to determine who is the best person. If you’re hiring a salesperson, is the best person the candidate who has already demonstrated their ability to sell your kind of product to your existing customer base? Or is it the person who seems to have the most potential to sell the most to your existing customer base but who has not yet demonstrated that ability? Could it be the person who is most likely to sell your product to an entirely new customer group? Something else?

We recently discussed these issues at length at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY, our 17th employer user conference. We chose to spend the day with 125 talent acquisition leaders discussing why and how employers should diversify their college hires because so many of our customers use our targeted email and other products to reach out to underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, military veterans, people with disabilities, and more.  These leading employers know that the more diverse and inclusive their workforces, the more productive are those workforces.

Want to learn more about why we should care about diversity and inclusion? Watch the 15-minute video:

Want to learn more about how College Recruiter helps Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale reach diverse candidates? Go to http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising2 or email us at Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted December 24, 2019 by

Innovative ways quick-service restaurants and other small business owners are recruiting candidates for low-wage jobs

Almost inevitably, when I speak with owners and operators of quick-service restaurants or other businesses that rely on relatively low-paid, hourly workers, they complain about the shortage of talent and the resulting difficulty in recruiting employees. But when you scratch the surface, they actually don’t have a recruitment problem. They have a retention problem. They’re always recruiting because they’re failing to retain.

A typical quick-service restaurant (QSR) employee has a tenure of three months, which means that the employer must hire four people every year per role. If they could extend that tenure to even six months, they’d only need to recruit half as many people. So, rather than looking at how to better recruit and spending more and more money there, they should instead be looking at how to better retain. Which of their employees are with them for the longest period of time? Ask those employees what causes them to get out of bed and come to work, day after day, to a job that is almost identical to many others. Use that feedback to then find employees with similar traits. 

Spell out the traits of your successful employees in your recruitment ads. If flexible work schedules — where the employee and not the employer control the flexibility — are important to your longest-tenured employees, then emphasize that in your recruitment ads, your interviews, and your onboarding. Drill that in. If ability to advance is important, emphasize that in your ads, interviews, and onboarding.

Posted October 24, 2019 by

Chipotle now covering 100% of tuition costs, even for part-time employees

It isn’t hard to admit: I’ve been a fan of Chipotle’s food since it opened a restaurant near my home about a decade ago.

If you’ve never been, think Subway but for burritos, tacos, and tortilla-less meals served in a bowl. Think concrete floors and lots of stainless steel. Think freshly cooked, savory meats. Think fresh, yummy guacamole. But I digress into a hunger causing diatribe.

Working in a restaurant — any restaurant — is not for the faint of heart. The work is usually fast-paced, customers can be jerks, and the hours often very early or very late. But it is good, honest, hard work. Every minute of every day your work is appreciated by customers who want a little treat, either in the sense of rewarding themselves or rewarding their taste buds. Or both.

Keeping workers happy and retaining them is an incredible challenge for almost all restaurants, especially those whose pay is at the lower end of the scale, which includes almost all fast-food restaurants. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get rich working in a fast-food restaurant, but you’ll earn your pay, you won’t get bored, and you’ll almost certainly make some great friends amongst your co-workers.

But now there’s another benefit to working at a fast-food restaurant. To be clear, not just any fast-food restaurant. Just Chipotle. At least for now. Chipotle, consistent with its mission to Cultivate a Better World, just announced an incredible tuition reimbursement program. Together with Guild Education, Chipotle will cover 100 percent of college tuition costs for all eligible employees, including hourly (crew) members. When I read that, I skeptically thought, “Yeah, but who will be eligible?” I’m often wrong, and this was one of the many times when I was very happy to be wrong.

The news here isn’t that Chipotle has a tuition reimbursement program. Yawn. Lots of employers, including College Recruiter, do. And the news isn’t even that the program covers 100 percent of the tuition costs. That’s a higher bar than most but, at best, evolutionary and not revolutionary. The news here is that to be eligible you need only have worked at Chipotle for four months (120-days, to be exact) AND work at least 15 hours a week. That’s right. Those working only 15-hours a week will get 100 percent of their college education paid for by Chipotle. That’s revolutionary. Kind of like their one-pound, barbacoa, burritos. But I digress again.

There are some limitations, but they’re VERY reasonable. Only certain degrees qualify, but there are 75 of them and range from high school diplomas to bachelor’s degrees in business or technology. The courses are online, but include VERY well respected schools like Denver University. Not satisfied with their schools? No problem. Chipotle will continue to offer its tuition reimbursement program, which allows eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 a year at the school of their choice. That’s not going to come close to covering the full cost of a typical, elite, four-year university, but it could easily cover a third or even a half at many state colleges and perhaps all of the costs of a community college. Or, slap that baby together with a nice scholarship or two and now you’re back into the free zone. Where you can enjoy a pork carnitas taco. With green chili. Mmmm.

College Recruiter, we believe that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. That guiding principle leads us to push some employers to treat their employees better, sometimes by paying them better, sometimes by creating better working conditions, and sometimes by helping those employees achieve their life goals. With this new program, Chipotle is setting a new bar for other employers and, I hope, many others will follow their lead. Kudos, Chipotle.

Posted October 16, 2019 by

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

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

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

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