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

Posted November 17, 2017 by

Workplace culture of happiness and leadership: How Whole Foods retains entry-level employees

 

One of the core values at Whole Foods Market is “team member happiness.” Making team members happy doesn’t happen by accident. Melissa Simpson, Talent Acquisition Manager, spoke with us about how their workplace culture is designed to keep employees engaged and to develop them into leaders.

Melissa Simpson will be joining other leaders in HR, talent acquisition and university relations at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on December 15. Simpson has deep insight into filling and moving the pipeline from entry-level to leadership, and we look forward to hearing more of her thoughts and questions at the event! To join us and hear what strategies and tactics you might not have considered yet to attract and retain entry-level talent, register for the bootcamp here. (more…)

improving the candidate experience should be the goal of every employer, and every talent acquisition specialist. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted June 01, 2017 by

Why employers should focus on improving the candidate experience

Candidate experience, according to Jibe, is defined as “how job seekers perceive and react to employers’ sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes.”

Why candidate experience matters

Improving the candidate experience should be at the top of every Talent Acquisition Director’s recruitment and retention strategy. It’s that important. Want more proof? Check out these statistics from Lever, which provides software that streamlines the hiring process and simplifies the Applicant Tracking System:

  1. 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% of talent say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
  2. 60% of job seekers have quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity.
  3. 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same.
  4. 80% of job seekers say they would be discouraged to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. Yet, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified.
  5. Talent is 4 times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback.

Employers looking to reduce attrition, hire high volume in cost-effective ways, and develop low-cost tactics to recruit diverse talent, need to pay close attention to improving the candidate experience.

“Candidate experience is everything,” says Sanjoe Jose, CEO at Talview, a digital interviewing, talent engagement, and hiring analytics software company. “The most important aspect of improving the candidate experience is recognizing that you’re not just dealing with candidates, you’re dealing with people. They want respect. Respect their time and efforts. Don’t make them take a day’s leave and travel for a first round interview, use tools. They want clarity on timelines and the process. Respond to their queries in near real-time, by using technology like chatbots.”

Candidate experience touch points

These scenarios all influence the candidate experience:

  • The experience a candidate has reading a job description and instructions given on the job description.
  • The simplicity – or difficulty – of using an applicant tracking system to apply for that job.
  • The introductory email or auto respond email that is generated after the application is submitted.
  • Follow-up communication, such as being called for a phone interview, or in-person interview. Or, a follow-up email notifying the candidate they weren’t selected to advance in the process.
  • The interview – how the candidate is greeted and treated in the interview.
  • Post-interview follow-up – is the candidate kept informed of timeline/when a decision will be made?
  • Presentation of an offer.

The candidate experience helps build an employer brand,” says Jose. “Even if people don’t want to work for you, a good candidate experience can lead to them becoming ‘brand ambassadors’ passing on the good news about your company to others that might be interested.”

And people are certainly going to share their candidate experiences online via social channels.

“Social media means that people talk more now than ever before,” says Jose. “It means that word of mouth is now global, rather than local.”

Improving the candidate experience

There are three main components to a candidate experience, says Jose, and understanding the role each component plays can help employers and talent acquisition specialists present a strong candidate experience:

  1. People: Including recruiters, hiring managers, and even the receptionist who is the first person the candidate meets if he/she comes into your office.
  2. Systems: All the tools candidates use during the process impact the candidate experience, including: The applicant tracking system used to apply for the job, tools used for video interviews, assessments and/or onboarding tools, are all a part of the many systems employers use that relate to the candidate experience.
  3. Process: The efficiency of the process, turnaround times, automated messaging, followup are all part of the candidate process.

Improving all of those is essential to improving the candidate experience.

Jose recently heard from the CEO of a large technology company who said one frustrated candidate wrote to the CEO expressing disappointment in the lack of follow-up after an interview. This is a prime example of a poor candidate experience. If it happens to one person, it’s likely happening to others.

That has both long and short-term effects.

“In the short-term, candidates will drop from the funnel,” says Jose. “In the long-term, a poor candidate experience leads to a poor ability to attract good candidates.”

And then the cycle continues, recruiting costs go up, attrition rises, positions go unfilled, and the company suffers.

“Every single candidate touch point—the online application experience, each interaction with the scheduler, the preparedness of the interviewers, the turnaround time in communicating with candidates, the way an offer is delivered—reflects on the employer,” said Elaine Orler, CEO and founder of talent acquisition consultancy Talent Function, in an SHRM article. “If you’re missing the mark, the world soon knows about it…and highly skilled people juggling competing offers will certainly factor their experience as a candidate into their final decision, so it impacts offer acceptance rates.”

That’s why improving the candidate experience should be the goal of every employer, and every talent acquisition specialist.

Want more advice and tips on how to improve the candidate experience? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

docstockmedia/Shutterstock.com

Posted May 02, 2017 by

Onboarding new employees starts before first day on job

 

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. (more…)

Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! (Or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Next Generation)

 

For a Gen-X professional like myself, all the recent talk about millennials in the workforce can make you feel a little bit like Jan from the Brady Bunch when it seemed like all she ever heard about was, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”. These days, it’s almost impossible to pick up an HR trade publication or even a top-tier business publication and NOT read something about, “Millennials this,” or, “Millennials that.” With all this talk about millennials, if you are not part of the generation that was born between 1980-2000, it’s hard not to feel like the neglected middle child. Except it’s not our metaphorical over-achieving older sibling who’s getting all the attention, it’s our hipper, hungrier, younger relation that’s nipping at our heels, hogging the spotlight and challenging our assumptions.

But the truth of the matter is, with millennials making up more than 50 percent of the workforce and growing (they surpassed that milestone in 2015, according to Pew), there is no longer any denying the current and ongoing impact they are having on the way businesses operate today. And that’s a good thing. Millennials are precipitating change in many important and significant ways, I would argue for the better.

As baby boomers continue to retire, companies are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining millennials to replenish their ranks. With this backdrop, understanding the kind of corporate culture millennials desire and the forces that motivate them is key. But when you dig a little deeper, you will find that many of the same forces that motivate millennials also have a broader positive impact on the entire workforce, no matter their generation or demographic.

Millennials: They aren’t as different as you think

Despite differences, millennials share more in common with other generationsThere has been a lot of talk about how millennials are different from other generations, but the latest studies show that may not really be the case. The differences between the older and younger generations have more to do with age and life stages than with the different generational experiences they had growing up.

Millennials share many of the same long-term career goals as older workers. These include making a positive impact on their organization, helping to solve social and environmental problems, and working with diverse people. They also want to work with the best, be passionate, develop expertise and leadership capabilities, and achieve both financial security and work–life balance. In fact, only a few percentage points separate the number of millennials, gen-Xers, and baby boomers who claim these as their top goals.

That doesn’t mean that companies don’t need to adjust and evolve to attract and retain millennials; it just means that the changes they make will resonate with, and increase employee engagement among, all their employees, not just the youngest. And while there are technology solutions that can help out in this area, technology alone won’t compensate for a corporate culture that doesn’t focus on showing workers true appreciation.


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How to stop worrying and embrace the millennial transformation

If you’re a business looking to boost millennial appeal and improve overall employee engagement, consider making the following changes:

Emphasize a broader purpose. Create excitement around the company’s mission and purpose by connecting to broader social causes and cultural movements.

Encourage collaboration. Break down silos and encourage collaboration between diverse teams across your organization. Use team-building activities to help employees get to know each other and build interdepartmental connections.

Provide frequent feedback. Recognize contributions. Encourage employees to develop their skills and expertise by providing with training opportunities along with frequent feedback. Create a culture that recognizes and rewards achievements.

Provide opportunity. Look for employees who are ready to take leadership positions and give them the chance to show what they can do. Hire and promote from within rather than bringing in outside experts.

Reward and recognize. According to the “Happy Millennials” Employee Happiness Survey, 64% of millennials want to be recognized for personal accomplishments, but 39% of them report that their companies don’t offer any rewards or recognition. Show employees you appreciate and value their hard work by recognizing and rewarding their efforts and achievements.

Getting the most out of millennials and other generations in the workforce requires creating a culture that encourages, supports and rewards success. When companies do this it has a positive ripple effect across the entire organization, regardless of generation. So don’t fear or resent the millennial onslaught. Embrace them and the positive changes they are bringing to a workplace near you.

Josh Danson, AchieversJosh is Director of Content Marketing at Achievers. An accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the fields of marketing and PR, Josh graduated from Kenyon College and lives in San Francisco with his wife and 9 year-old daughter. In addition to work and family, he is passionate about music, politics and fly fishing (not necessarily in that order). Twitter: @dansonshoes

Posted January 20, 2017 by

Rugby championship: A unique college recruitment solution

 

If you think rugby has nothing to do with recruitment, think again. A Rugby championship was the unique solution to a recruitment challenge that Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company encountered. Jessica Choi, Assistant Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity, shared details with College Recruiter.

What challenges was Penn Mutual facing that prompted the unique solution of sponsoring the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship?

LIMRA states that the current average age of a financial adviser is 56 years old.1 From an industry perspective, we needed to find a way to connect with recent graduates and college students in order to get in front of the new generation of financial advisers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 300,000 advisers will be retiring over the next 10 years, which means there will be a 27 percent increase in adviser roles in this space.2 This is a tremendous opportunity for the life insurance industry, and connecting with the rugby community has been a great way for us to engage with college campuses and their students, coaches and administration in a different way. The rugby community is so welcoming and enthusiastic and has been a positive recruiting partner for us in this space.

What does the Collegiate Rugby Championship say about what it’s like to work with Penn Mutual?
The number one response that we get from the participants of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and outside rugby events is, “Thank you.” Because of our true support of the game and through our partnership with United World Sports, we have been able to make an impact on the growth of rugby in the United States. Rugby continues to grow and we are optimistic that we can provide career opportunities for ruggers, whether they are students, new graduates or alumni.

What changes has the company seen since starting its rugby sponsorship, in terms of hiring trends?

We have changed from recruiting talent to attracting talent. We now get more phone calls from talent, asking about the organization more than ever before. I believe it’s because we’ve shifted the model in terms of attracting, not recruiting, talent to Penn Mutual.

In terms of hiring trends, we take on a multi-faceted approach, so we employ other efforts in addition to rugby. Through our omnichannel marketing strategy and increased social media presence, we feel as though anyone who is engaged with us knows that we are growing.

Why are relationships important at Penn Mutual, and how does the company live that value?

Focusing on relationships is one of our core values at Penn Mutual. We live and breathe our values every day. My fellow colleagues live their passion and everyone is truly passionate about our purpose to empower our clients to live life with confidence. We’ve all been able to learn about the impact life insurance makes on people’s lives and we utilize different techniques to keep the company moving forward in innovative ways. We truly live the company’s values and feel a sense of belonging at the company.

What are Penn Mutual’s overall college recruitment strategies?  (more…)

How a Liberal Arts degree prepares students for managerial success

 

For employers who look exclusively for STEM backgrounds to fill their positions, they are missing out on a wide pool of qualified candidates. Students with a liberal arts degree offer distinct advantages, and employers should not overlook them.

Technical and engineering skills may fit only the short term

The technical and engineering skills that get a student hired initially often have an expiration date. Those skills unfortunately may also fall victim to automation. A recent study by Carl Frey and Michael Osboren of Oxford University suggested that 47% of all employment in the U.S. is at risk of being replaced by automation, including many mid-level technical and engineering positions. (more…)

Posted January 16, 2017 by

How to prevent high turnover

 

Contributing writer Ted Bauer

Turnover is a concern for businesses. While exact loss numbers around employees departing is hard to track, most CFOs agree that it hits the bottom line. There are obviously intangible issues with turnover, too. The remaining employees (a smaller number) have to share the same (or greater) workload, stressing them out. And certain employees are huge knowledge bases or social connectors. Losing them can strip your business of valuable resources well beyond any cost incurred hiring and training the replacement.

On top of all this, there is some belief that Millennials change jobs faster than Boomers. (Statistically, though, average U.S. job tenure is about 4.6 years — and in 1983, it was 3.5 years. So Millennials have actually gotten more loyal to companies.)

How can turnover be prevented, regardless of generation?

Let’s begin with a little science. Paul Zak is a specialist in researching oxytocin (a chemical in your brain). He gave a popular TED Talk in 2001. Oxytocin is one of the biggest drivers of trust-based relationships in humans, and more oxytocin release — which is tied to much greater happiness and less corporate turnover — tends to come from autonomy over work as opposed to increased compensation.

There’s Idea No. 1, then: focus less on compensation as a driver of behavior, and more on providing employees with autonomy over what they can do, i.e. do not micro-manage them at every turn.

The second idea is something called “The Hawthorne Effect.”

Per Wikipedia, the Hawthorne Effect is “when individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to being observed.” This all comes from a place called Hawthorne Works (get it?) in Cicero, Illinois and some experiments done with light bulbs. If you make the room more bright — increase the light bulb, in other words — workers end up being more productive. But if you dim the light bulb again, productivity drops back to normal (or below-normal levels).

The modern application of the Hawthorne Effect, then, is that if you’re more responsive to worker needs, those workers will be more productive. Care about employees. Listen to them. Engage with them. Be supportive of them.

Too often, we think we can solve an issue like turnover or low employee morale/engagement with a new software suite. We can solve accounting issues that way, or even business process (BPO) concerns, but engagement and turnover are distinctly people issues. You solve people issues by investing in people, not technology. That’s the big takeaway here.  

Want more recruiting and retention advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted January 11, 2017 by

Most desirable jobs survey results are in

The 2016 Most Desirable Jobs survey has some surprising results. The Career Advisory Board (CAB), of which College Recruiter’s founder Steven Rothberg is a member, released the survey recently. Their intention is to advise employers, who increasingly find themselves in steep competition for qualified talent. The results include ideal job characteristics, most appealing work styles and what employees value at work.  Employers will rejoice when they hear that they may not have to throw out their conventional wisdom.

One key finding that may surprise you: Millennials were more likely to want to work in an office every day than their older colleagues. We spoke with Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. She gave us her interpretation of the survey results, including what surprised her, trends of the Millennial generation, the gig economy, and more. Watch our interview with Alexandra:

Posted December 28, 2016 by

Talent Acquisition in 2017: Q&A with the Experts

In today’s “Q & A with the Experts”, College Recruiter spoke with Ashley White, Human Resources Director for The American Productivity & Quality Center. We asked Ashley about how 2017 might look the same or different regarding their recruitment strategy.

What does your recruitment strategy look like for 2017?

Ashley White: For 2017, our employee engagement and retention strategy is based on “manage and measure.” Management for us means managing the employee experience from the very beginning of their employee experience. In my experience, engagement is different for each individual and organizations that “do” engagement effectively create opportunities for their teams to connect with the organization’s mission and each other in different ways (team building, social events, charitable efforts etc). We expect to continue providing all of these in 2017. For example, our managers are expected to budget for and carry out team building events each quarter with their teams. With any strategy, measurement is important to justify expenses, make improvements and chart progress. APQC will utilize an employee satisfaction survey done twice annually to capture this data. The ongoing challenge with surveys is ensuring that you’ve crafted the questions so that you receive valuable feedback that creates actionable results. With that said, we will spend time utilizing best practice research to guide our question selection.

 

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Ashley White is the Human Resources Director for APQC (The American Productivity & Quality Center). She manages all aspects of human resources including benefits, compensation, recruiting, and strategies. She also leads the APQC operations team that focuses on developing next-generation leaders within the organization. APQC is a non-profit that produces some of the leading benchmarking and best practices research around talent management and other business topics. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.

 

Want to stay on top of other expert advice around college recruitment? Connect with College on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted November 29, 2016 by

How employers are using gamification to recruit recent college grads

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.  (more…)