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

Posted May 24, 2019 by

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete for Top Talent in a Tight Job Market

When it comes to recruiting top talent, it’s always been a challenge for smaller businesses to compete with large, well-known companies. While large organizations have name recognition, big marketing budgets and fully-staffed departments dedicated to human resources and talent acquisition, smaller companies must find more creative ways to attract and retain high-quality candidates.

In today’s tight labor market, this challenge has become more formidable. Consider this: In June of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are 6.7 million jobs open in the U.S. and only 6.4 million available workers to fill them. Low unemployment coupled with a shortage of talent in many areas, has made hiring a tough job for companies of all sizes, but particularly for small- to mid-sized organizations.

According to a 2018 report from Vistage International, a peer mentoring organization for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-sized companies, 61% of small and mid-sized businesses expect to increase their workforce in the next 12 months. In addition, a recent CareerBuilder survey found that companies across the globe are looking to revamp their hiring efforts to fill both temporary and full-time positions in 2019. The same survey found that 44% of businesses are planning to hire full-time employees and 51% are planning to hire temporary employees. But roughly half of all the hiring managers surveyed said they are unable to fill much-needed positions due to a lack of qualified talent.

The heightened competition for talent has increased salaries and benefits across many industries, as well as the number of company perks. In this highly competitive environment, smaller companies, who are not able to offer the same type of compensation and benefits packages, must find other ways to grab the attention of job seekers and find the best candidates for open positions. Some proven strategies include:

1. Form Relationships with Candidates

The first step in forming relationships is to “get social.” Smaller businesses must have a strong presence on LinkedIn and other social media. A Pew Research Center survey found that 79% of Americans who were looking for work used the Internet to view job listings, learn about companies and apply for jobs. Of those, 34% said online resources were their most important tool.

It’s also important for small businesses to have a well-developed LinkedIn profile. These profiles are free and offer great exposure. They help candidates find businesses that they would otherwise never know about. LinkedIn also serves as a free resume database, allowing job seekers to search though hundreds of candidates and reach out to those who are a great match. Keep in mind, however, that LinkedIn is far more popular amongst Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers than Gen Z’ers and Millennials. LinkedIn’s own statistics indicate that only 1.5% of Gen Z’ers and Millennials use LinkedIn even on a monthly basis.

In addition, forming a relationship involves being more “hands on” throughout the recruiting process. Provide company updates or news and check in with candidates via a personal phone call or email. During the interview process, include executives and managers who may be working with this person. This shows the candidate that they’re valued enough for the CEO or other executives to take the time to speak with them.

To relate with younger candidates, it’s also important to adopt a mobile-enabled application process, which means that not only must it be possible to apply for a job using an Android or iPhone, but that it’s easy to do without having to use third-party services such as “Apply With LinkedIn.” Most candidates either don’t have those third-party services, don’t know how to use them, or don’t want to use them.

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming more entrenched in our everyday life, especially within younger populations. According to Glassdoor, 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching and 45% use it to search for jobs at least once a day.

2. Attend Networking Events and Job Fairs – and Seek Referrals

When you’re shopping for caviar, but you have a fast food budget, you must work harder to find candidates. Simple job postings rarely do the trick. Even with a small staff, it’s worth the time and effort to attend networking events and job fairs. While the big company names draw candidates to an event, it puts you in good company. Not only do these events expose you to candidates who don’t know who you are, it allows you to present your company “in person.” Talking with someone face-to-face and conveying your enthusiasm and passion for your workplace and the position are more effective than a job posting. Of course, that means sending the right person to represent your company at job fairs and other events! Make sure they’re representing your company in the best light possible.

A Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study found that 39% of job seekers rated initial contact with a company as making the biggest impact on their impression of an organization. You can capitalize on this by presenting a friendly, but knowledgeable face at job fairs, taking the time to really get to know candidates and what they want, and following up with personalized emails – something that larger companies are unlikely to do.

Small businesses can also broaden their reach by working with the right partners, such as recruiting agencies, co-ops, chambers of commerce and professional networking groups, which may result in listings in professional directories and word-of-mouth referrals.

Finally, look inside your company. Your employees can be your most passionate advocates. In fact, research by Deloitte found that employee referrals are the number one way organizations find high-quality hires. Fifty-one percent of companies surveyed named employee referrals among their top three most effective sources. Let employees know you have open positions and encourage them to share job postings with family, friends and professional associates. You may also consider offering a small bonus to employees who recommend someone who is hired. Of course, the more you rely on referrals, the less diverse your workforce will be — and numerous studies prove that diverse workforces are more productive.

3. Build and Maintain College Campus Relationships

The first step in working with colleges is to carefully research which schools are the best fit for your organization — including majors, quality of programs, student population, school location, etc. Once selected, the most successful university relations and recruiting programs take a long-term approach, building and maintaining relationships. Work closely with the career center staff to learn about a college’s culture, student demographics, degree programs and traditions. Then take it a step further by getting to know other key contacts, including faculty and administrators.

Even when your company is not hiring, be sure to maintain these relationships. Look for ways to stay involved: Can you offer a co-op or internship program (internships are a highly-effective way to find full-time hires and increase retention)? Can you volunteer to help with mock interviews or critiquing resumes? Can you speak to students about skills that employers are looking for?

Another factor to consider is whether you need to target candidates by which school they attend (or attended) at all. A rapidly increasing minority of employers, both large and small, are using workforce productivity data and discovering that the college an employee attended is poorly correlated (and sometimes even negatively correlated) with the productivity of the employee. Why? Reasons vary, but one explanation is that those who graduate from elite schools rarely stay with their first employer for as long as those who graduated from second- or third-tier schools.

If you want a diverse, inclusive and productive workforce, you should supplement your on-campus recruiting efforts with so-called virtual recruiting efforts, which typically means advertising your part-time, seasonal, internship and entry-level jobs on sites like College Recruiter that primarily target students and recent graduates of all one-, two- and four-year colleges and universities.

4. Promote Company Culture

When you can’t compete with compensation, you can still attract top talent by promoting your company’s culture and perks. The good news for small businesses is that competitive wages aren’t the only thing that can attract employees. Younger workers consider overall culture to be a major contributor to job satisfaction, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey.

You may not be able to offer a fully-stocked kitchen and exercise rooms ala Google, but flexible work hours, remote work options, monthly workplace events, professional development courses, community-involvement and other perks can be very attractive to the right candidates.

According to a 2018 study by SCORE, a business mentoring network in the U.S., employee perks not only attract better, more qualified employees, but they are also such a powerful selling point that they can boost employee retention and job satisfaction levels. In fact, SCORE reports that benefits and perks in the workplace are often more important to employees than higher pay. The percentage of employees who took the following perks/benefits into account when choosing an employer were:

  • Flexible hours – 88%
  • More vacation time – 80%
  • Work-from-home options – 80%
  • Student loan assistance – 48%
  • Free gym membership – 39%
  • Free snacks – 32%
  • Weekly free outings – 24%

If you offer special perks, be sure to promote them. A great way to do that is to include video in your marketing efforts. A small number of job boards, including College Recruiter, not only allow you to include video within your job postings, but even let you do so for free!

5. Highlight Intangible Benefits

There are many benefits to working with a smaller company, such as greater flexibility, more diversity in day-to-day responsibilities, less bureaucracy, closer relationships, teamwork and the opportunity to make a direct impact on the bottom line. These benefits can be particularly attractive to younger workers who value “hands on” work that results in meaningful contributions from the get-go.

In addition, top talent is drawn to companies that are innovative and offer opportunities to grow and learn. You can use this to your advantage by talking about how candidates won’t be “boxed in” by a role, as happens within many large organizations. The nimble nature of small companies allows employees to wear many hats, which can be very appealing and can often compensate for a lower salary.

Today’s candidates have far more power during the job search and are also job hopping more than ever before. To succeed in this candidate-oriented job market, it’s important for small businesses to develop innovative recruiting and hiring strategies to fuel growth.

Sources:
“Best Practices for Recruiting New College Graduates,” by Mimi Collins, National Association of Colleges and Employers, NACE, October 13, 2017.
“Recruitment Statistics 2018: Trends & Insights in Hiring Talented Candidates,” TalentNow.com, February 2, 2018.
Vistage International, 2018 CEO Report on Business Growth
“What’s More Important at Work: Better Perks and Benefits or a Higher Salary,” Biospace, June 27, 2018.
“7 Tips for Small Businesses Competing with Large Employers for Talent,” Collegeforamerica,com, Workforce Insights, June 28, 2017.

Posted May 21, 2019 by

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

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

While I doubt that the lyrics of that iconic song were referring to job posting ads, I do think that video is killing the text-only job posting ad. Why? There are 86 million members of Gen Z who are entering the workforce and relying on YouTube and other video sites for information far more than their Millennial older siblings — and even more so than their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents.

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

In addition to using video to learn about dating, Gen Z uses video for just about all types of learning. Indeed, 80 percent of teens turn to YouTube as a source of information.

Why does this matter to employers? Because a generation that prefers to learn through video is going to be more likely to apply for a job posting from your competitor that includes video instead of your posting that does not.

Videos Can Give Small- to Mid-Sized Employers an Advantage

In a tight job market, small- to mid-size employers often need to work harder to attract top talent. Video could be your secret weapon! Consider this:

  • Video gives candidates a better glimpse into your organization. They can determine whether they’re a good fit with your culture, your expectations and the position. Consider doing a “A Day in the Life” video that showcases your unique environment along with the position’s responsibilities, or a “Meet the Team” video that allows prospects to see faces and personalities. This can be especially helpful if you have a diverse team and you’re trying to attract more diversity.
  • Videos are persuasive because they resonate with candidates — they allow them to see, hear and feel the excitement a hiring manager has for the job and the company. They are generally perceived as being more authentic or believable than written job postings. More importantly, younger candidates are accustomed to this type of visual/audio experience to make decisions.
  • Videos help increase your SEO. In fact, according to Google stats, job postings that include video are more likely to show up in a job seeker’s search results than those that don’t.
  • Videos send a message that your company is on the cutting-edge. What you lack in size, you more than make up for innovation!

Finally, a study by TheLadders found that the average prospect spends only 50 seconds on a job posting description before moving on. They spend only 22 additional seconds reading the postings that describe a job that they’ve decided to apply for — meaning that they apply for jobs without knowing much about them. If your top prospects can’t muster enough excitement about a job description in less than a minute, it’s a good bet that those individuals will not apply for that job. Video provides that spark of excitement and holds a prospect’s attention longer.

A Fool’s Errand or a Smart Move?

A few years ago, College Recruiter embarked on what others in the job board industry told us was foolish: to exponentially increase the number of postings on our site with embedded video by offering that feature for free to our employer customers.

Today, hundreds of thousands of the postings on CollegeRecruiter.com have video embedded into them, even though most job boards don’t allow employers to embed video. Of the minority of job boards that do not offer that feature, most of those are very large and charge employers a fortune. Our strategy to encourage the inclusion of video isn’t unique but it sure is unusual.

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

College Recruiter is the leading job search site used by students and recent graduates of all 7,400+ one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities who are searching for internships, part-time jobs, seasonal work, and entry-level career opportunities. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other employers who want to hire dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year. Our mission is to connect great organizations with students and recent graduates.

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

Posted May 13, 2019 by

Salary Statistics and What They Mean to You

First, the good news: The unemployment rate in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been since 2001, and the percentage of prime working age adults who are employed is the highest it’s been since 2008.1 Though this improvement in the job market hasn’t been consistent across all industries, job functions and regions, there appears to be an overall improvement.

While this is undoubtedly positive for both graduates seeking jobs and the economy, it presents a few challenges for agencies and employers, particularly small to mid-sized companies. Many positions are getting harder to fill and candidates now have more choices, and therefore, increased bargaining power, often giving larger employers an advantage.

Though location, benefits, flexible hours and work environment are important factors in a career decision, salary is still ranked as the most important influence. A recent survey by Glassdoor shows that 67 percent of job seekers pay attention to salary when scanning job ads, more than any other piece of information on a position.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered some statistics on average starting salaries for 2018 graduates to help with your recruiting efforts this year.

Average Starting Salary Projections by Discipline/Bachelor’s Degree for the Class of 20181

1. Engineering $66,521 +less than 1% over last year
2. Computer Science $66,005 +less than 1% over last year
3. Math & Sciences $61,867 (Physics – $69,900) +4.2% over last year
4. Business $56,720 (Marketing – $62,634) +3.5% over last year
5. Social Sciences $56,689 +6% over last year
6. Humanities $56,688 +16.3% over last year
7. Agricultures & Natural Resources $53,565 no information available
8. Communications $51,448 -less than 1% versus last year

 

According to NACE’s Winter 2018 Salary Survey report, students earning engineering, computer science, and math and science degrees are not only expected to be the highest-paid graduates at the bachelor’s-degree level but will also be in the highest demand.

WHAT’S LOCATION GOT TO DO WITH IT?

While an entry-level Software Engineer in the San Francisco Bay area can expect an average salary of $109,3502, the same position in Michigan has an average starting salary of $64,544.3 This is just one example of the often-sizable differences you’ll find in salaries based on geography. As you might expect, the two major factors that determine these variations are demand and cost-of-living.

States with the highest cost-of-living, such as Washington D.C. and California must adjust salaries upward in order to provide “livable compensation” and attract talent, while states with lower cost-of-living, such as Mississippi and Arkansas will typically offer less in for the same position.

States with the Highest Cost-of-Living

  1. Hawaii
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. New Jersey
  6. Maryland
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Alaska
  10. New Hampshire

Source: The Motley Fool, “15 States with the Highest Cost of Living,”
Christy Bieber, July 5, 2018.

Demand for a particular job also affects salaries. In fact, job availability is a major factor for candidates when determining where to live. Based on research by U.S. World News and Report, the states with the highest overall job growth are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. North Dakota
  3. Colorado
  4. Utah
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Nebraska
  7. Minnesota
  8. Iowa
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Wisconsin

Of course, these rankings refer to overall employment. Demand for specific jobs may differ by state, as well. For example, web developers and solar panel installers are in high demand in California, while Ohio is looking for more registered nurses to fill open positions.                            


SAME OCCUPATION, DIFFERENT PAY?

In addition to geography, the salary for a particular job can differ dramatically. The most obvious reason is that no job is exactly the same, even if a position has a similar job title. Variations in job responsibilities, company size and requirements all impact pay for jobs within the same occupation. The wider the variations, the greater the salary ranges. Some of the factors that affect salaries in the same occupation include:

Education/credentials: In many cases, jobs that require advanced degrees or professional certification earn more than others in the same occupation who don’t expect these credentials. Employers who require more credentials typically offer higher salaries, even when the job title is the same.

Experience and skill: In general, the longer someone does a job, the more productive he or she becomes and can, therefore, command a higher salary for their expertise. Candidates who have in-demand skills also may earn more.

Industry or employer: Salaries for the same or similar job titles often vary by industry and employer due to working conditions, type of clientele, training requirements, and demand.

Job responsibilities: Not all Marketing Managers are created equal! There are wide variations in job responsibilities under certain job titles. In major corporations, for instance, this position may require managing a large department and a very generous budget, while smaller enterprises will have fewer people to oversee, smaller budgets and comparatively less responsibilities.

Competition and performance: Some occupations are extremely competitive, and therefore, must offer higher salaries to attract the most successful employees. Workers whose pay depends on their job performance also might have very high wages.

The occupations with the biggest differences in salaries/wages are:4

  • Arts, entertainment and sports
  • Healthcare
  • Management
  • Sales, business, and financial
  • Science, math, and engineering

As you look to recruit talent in 2019 and beyond, knowing what salary to offer based on your industry, job demand, geography and job requirements can help you attract and place the best candidates for every position.


1National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2018 Winter Salary Survey
2PayScale, 2018.
3Indeed.com, 2018.
4U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018.

Posted November 15, 2010 by

Easily Source Veterans and Disabled From Two- and Four-Year Colleges

Many of our largest employer clients are federal government and Fortune 500 organizations because our two most popular recruitment advertising tools are well suited to organizations with large hiring needs. News out of Washington, D.C. last week got me to thinking about whether we could help our clients hire veterans and disabled college students and recent graduates. In short, the answer is definitely.

I learned just before Veterans’ Day that the federal government’s primary method of hiring interns may be illegal because federal agencies are supposed to give hiring preferences to veterans. The Federal Career Internship Program (FCIP) was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships but a number of agencies have abused it. An arbitration board just ruled that FCIP illegally circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles regarding veterans.

If FCIP is dead, the agencies could shift to targeting college students who are veterans or disabled as those groups are to receive hiring preferences. But are there enough veteran and disabled college students and how can we help the agencies and our corporate clients reach those valuable candidates?

I had our targeted email campaign and cell phone text messaging campaign data guys do a bit of research and found that we can email or text on behalf of our employer clients over one million veteran or disabled students and recent graduates:

So clearly we’re able to help a federal agency, Fortune 500, or any other client that wants to hire veteran or disabled students or recent graduates. And we can drill down by targeting, for example, those who are (1) disabled, (2) juniors and seniors of four-year colleges, (3) accounting or finance majors, (4) with GPA’s of 3.0 to 4.0 and (4) are African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, or Native-American.

If this intrigues you like it intrigues me, let’s have a look at how for as little as $2,250, CollegeRecruiter.com can help your organization reach veteran and disabled college students and recent graduates or just about any other demographic you wish. Just email your targeting wish list and we’ll figure out how best we can help you reach your recruiting goals.

Posted November 14, 2010 by

Job Seekers Want More Employment-Related Content On the Social Media Sites of Potential Employers

Shannon Seery Gude of Bernard HodesBernard Hodes Group, a leading provider of integrated talent solutions, released the results of a new research study focused on the utilization of social media networks by companies interested in sourcing and recruiting new talent. The study, entitled “The Employment Conversation: How Employers & Talent are Meeting on the Social Web,” additionally reveals how the online population utilizes social media for seeking career-related information. Among the most interesting findings is that only one-third (32%) of those surveyed and searching social media sites found an employer presence containing helpful job-related information.

“Our research supports the importance of a social media presence from a recruiting and branding standpoint,” said Alan Schwartz, president and CEO, Bernard Hodes Group. “Companies must be committed to nurturing their social web presence and ensure that they are connecting with potential candidates in an honest and authentic manner.”

According to human resources professionals who participated in the Hodes study, the biggest challenges to deploying social strategies for recruiting purposes are managing internal training and resources needed for implementation, convincing co-workers or superiors that it is a worthwhile endeavor, funding, and organizational reluctance to change.

“Through this research we discovered that although companies are developing social strategies and using social networks to create a community, they are still having challenges utilizing social networks to engage or connect with potential employees,” said Daria Friedman, vice president and director of research, Bernard Hodes Group. “Although connecting through social communities has become the norm for individuals, many companies still have not incorporated sufficient recruitment content into their social sites.”

Even with challenges, using social media strategies is considered by most HR professionals to be very or extremely important for recruitment and employer branding. Nearly 80% have or plan to have a social media presence on their career site, use social media to keep in contact with alumni employees, optimize their career site for mobile access, and implement social-recruiting training.

“Social recruiting strategies are extremely important to companies that are both actively and passively recruiting. Without a social presence, employers are potentially missing out on the opportunities to build relationships with candidates, seek out talent that may have specialized skills, and bolster their own reputation through a social strategy,” said Shannon Seery Gude, vice president digital and social strategy, Bernard Hodes Group.

Posted November 12, 2010 by

Employer Branding Is More About the Candidate Experience Than Fancy Graphics

Kelly Bartkiewicz of MARSJonas Barck, marketing manager for Universum Communications, invited me to attend their employer branding conference this past Wednesday at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. In addition to the facility being absolutely top notch, so was the content.

At about 2pm, a recruiter for one of the many Fortune 500 employers in the room commented that his takeaway from the day was that employer branding was a lot more about delivering a positive candidate experience than fancy brochures, web sites, pamphlets, or career fair giveaways. Yes! In one sentence, the recruiter absolutely nailed it. All of the fancy collateral in the world won’t result in the improvement of your organization’s brand unless there is real substance to back-up the style. In other words, actions speak louder than words. If you tell candidates that you have a collaborative work environment — which Gen Y loves — then they better not walk into your office and find a Dilbert-esque cube farm.

One of the presenters who did a great job talking about branding was Kelly Bartkiewicz, Personnel & Organization Director – Talent Management at MARS. You’d think that with all of their wonderful candy, pet food, and other consumer goods that branding would be the least of their problems and yet it actually is one of their most significant problems. You see, consumers and therefore candidates have preconceived notions about MARS because MARS has a strong consumer brand. But that brand isn’t what they want to project to their candidates because working at MARS is a lot different than eating their candy or feeding your dog Greenies or any of their other pet-related products. So MARS has to stay true to its consumer brand yet also carve out a different employment brand. That’s not an easy task but it seems that Kelly and her team are having real success in achieving that goal.

Another large but very different organization that we learned about was the National Security Organization. Lori Weltman, marketing manager, delivered the keynote presentation on how the NSA connects with its candidates. As a very selective intelligence agency, it takes them months and months to go from the point of initial contact to extending an offer of employment and just that delay frustrates a lot of candidates and inevitably costs them some good hires. Yet they’ve also learned that their candidates value working on some very, very leading edge technology without the pressures of earning a profit this fiscal quarter and their candidates want to do real, meaningful work that helps their nation. So the NSA focuses is branding messages on those and other hot button issues. Unlike MARS, the NSA has no consumer brand as it doesn’t sell anything to consumers. Yet that lack of consumer brand presents challenges to the NSA as they need to explain what they do to an awful lot of very highly qualified and difficult to hire candidates. Again, Universum picked a great presenter as Lori did a great job of communicating their tactics and strategies and her employer seems to have great success in achieving their goals.

Kudos to Universum and all of the presenters. The conference was informative, engaging, and well worth the time for everyone in attendance.