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Posted September 19, 2019 by

Employing People with Disabilities Shouldn’t Be a Challenge

(Note: Both interviewees, Paula Golladay and Gerry Crispin, will be panelists at the upcoming College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY on December 12th in New York City.)

While there has been an increased effort over recent years to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the focus has been primarily on gender and ethnic diversity. That leaves out a large and important group—people with disabilities. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act became law in 1990, many would agree that employers have failed to live up to the promise of this act.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed as of June 2018, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities who are actively seeking work is 9.2 percent—more than twice as high as for those without a disability (4.2 percent).

Fortunately, a recent study (the first of its kind) has dispelled many of the misperceptions about employing people with disabilities. In fact, the results, as reported by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities, show that companies that hire people with disabilities outperform other organizations, increasing both profitability and shareholder returns. More specifically, revenues were 28% higher, net income was 200% higher and profit margins were 30% higher.

As it turns out, employing people with disabilities is good business.

“Persons with disabilities present business and industry with unique opportunities in labor-force diversity and corporate culture, and they’re a large consumer market eager to know which businesses authentically support their goals and dreams,” said Ted Kennedy, Jr., Disabilities Rights Attorney, American Association of People with Disabilities. “Leading companies are accelerating disability inclusion as the next frontier of social responsibility and mission-driven investing.”

So, how do job seekers with disabilities find opportunities, address their disability with potential employers and advocate for inclusion? We talked to two experts on the subject to answer some common questions. While you’ll find more agreement between our experts than not, there are some differences in opinions, which provides some thought-provoking insights to consider.

1. Should job seekers with disabilities bring these to the attention of a prospective employer and, if so, when and how?

Paula Golladay: This can be a touchy area, and one that’s very personal. Overall, you are not required to disclose the fact that you have a disability, unless hired under the authority of Schedule A. Schedule A refers to a special hiring authority that gives Federal agencies an optional, and potentially quicker way to hire individuals with disabilities. The other exception is if your disability requires a special accommodation. For instance, if you have a mobility issue, you need to disclose this to ensure that you can gain access to and navigate the building. In general, I tell people to wait to disclose their disability until they must do so, because, unfortunately, people still have biases.

Gerry Crispin: Absolutely and fearlessly. It’s better to learn whether acceptance is an issue as quickly as possible. However, timing is essential. If the hiring process will require an accommodation for testing, interviews, etc. then you must make the disclosure upfront. If an accommodation to the job itself will be necessary, then I’d suggest discussing the disability at the end of the interview as a precursor to employment—assuming you’ll be offered the job. If your disability/different ability is not relevant to the job, than it should not be an issue. If you demonstrate that you have trust issues before there is evidence to be concerned, then you’re leading with a negative attitude. Let the employer’s representative, the hiring manager or the recruiter be the one to accept your disability, or not; selecting you based on your ability to do the job alone, and then manage the evidence they present regarding acceptance accordingly.

2. Is it easier for those with disabilities to find career-related employment with some employers than others and, if so, how should job seekers identify which employers are more likely to hire someone with a disability?

Paula: Yes. For instance, the federal government has a mandate to hire a certain percentage of people with disabilities each fiscal year—12% with non-targeted disabilities and 2% with targeted (more severe) disabilities. Of course, some federal agencies do better than others at fulfilling these requirements. And, certain jobs have medical or physical requirements to consider. In addition to the federal government, I would look for a business that owns one or more contracts with the federal government of at least $10,000 annually. These companies must meet similar hiring mandates. Do your research. Disability.gov lists information on user-friendly sites designed for those with disabilities. Also, every public college or university is required to provide career services for people with disabilities.

Gerry: There are many ways to find employers that are more likely to hire those with disabilities. Employers typically want to publicize their commitment to diversity and hiring candidates with disabilities. If you do some research and look at the career section on companies’ websites, you may find evidence such as photos of employees with disabilities, testimonials, videos of employees with disabilities doing their jobs, and employee affinity groups dedicated to mentoring and promoting opportunities and acceptance of people with disabilities. Companies may also display awards they’ve received from national disability organizations or feature case studies. In addition, you may note whether the company is involved with community activism and/or philanthropy that is consistent with the values of people with disabilities.

3. Some employers, particularly those which are small, have little experience managing employees with disabilities and so may be reluctant to extend an offer of employment to a disabled job seeker. What should a disabled job seeker do when they encounter such an employer?

Paula: Technically, that’s discrimination, but it’s usually very difficult to prove. Certain questions are illegal, in which case you are within your rights to say, “You can’t ask that.” For example, an employer can describe the job and ask if you are able to perform the functions, but cannot ask “Are you disabled?” or “Have you ever filed a worker’s compensation claim?” The best thing to do is to be your own advocate and demonstrate that your disability doesn’t affect your ability to do the job. It may not be fair, but it is a reality that disabled persons must often go the extra three miles to prove themselves. Come to interviews prepared to address potential issues. You must sell yourself and your ability to do the job. In truth, your attitude can be your biggest barrier or your greatest asset. Be knowledgeable and confident in your behavior.

Gerry: Ask them “Are you aware if any of your employees have friends or relatives with disabilities—here or, perhaps with a different employer? What have you learned from them about how people with disabilities want or need to be treated?” Their answers will tell you whether it’s useful to move forward.

4. Is there a difference between diversity and inclusion and, if so, what?

Paula: Oh, yes there is! As mentioned in the introduction, employers are making an effort to increase diversity, but when it comes to making people feel included, they often fall short. For example, if there’s a meeting or a company function that an employee with a disability is unable to attend due to accessibility or telecommunications issues, then the company is not being inclusive. It could be as simple as making restrooms accessible, or more complex, such as offering accommodations for those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or those with cognitive issues to take part in presentations, meetings, etc. To advocate for inclusion and acceptance, you must own and accept your disability. If you can’t accept your disability, then how can you expect others to do so? Overall, it’s important to be positive and address issues professionally.

Gerry: I’m told there is, mainly by folks who believe that diversity is too aligned with more traditional issues around race and compliance. To me, inclusion tends to point to how we are all diverse…and the same. If there is a difference, then diversity tends to focus on what we can see—observable behavior, gender, skin color, etc., while inclusion offers a path to how we might all behave to ensure we understand, respect and learn from our differences.

Right now, the labor market in the U.S. is very tight, and yet, many people with disabilities remain unemployed. The Accenture analysis reveals a very inspiring statistic: Hiring only 1% of the 10.7 million people with disabilities has the potential to boost the GDP by an estimated $25 billion! Perhaps, once companies begin to realize the economic benefits, as well as the fact that diversity of all types provides fresh insights (especially into developing and marketing products and services that meet the needs of diverse consumers), they will embrace the idea of creating both diverse and inclusive workplaces.

_________________________________________________________________________

Paula B. Golladay

Paula Golladay’ s previous employment was within the profession of a Sign Language Interpreter for over 25 years. Currently, Paula serves as the Schedule A Program Manager for the Internal Revenue Service. She has helped the IRS develop leveraged partnerships nationwide to include, but not limited to, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations vocational rehabilitation centers that foster employment for Individuals with Disabilities (IWD). Paula has developed presentations that encompass all aspects of disability employment. In addition, she has presented on topics such as disability culture and diversity and inclusion. Paula has been recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal and private sector organizations as a subject matter expert regarding Schedule A hiring, promotion and retention. She has participated in local and national workshops both within the interpreting field and employment arena. Her expertise regarding how to prepare a federal resume is well recognized by established partnerships.

She has presented previously at Deaf/Hard of Hearing In Government, now Deaf in Government, Amputee Coalition of America, Freddie Mac, Internal Revenue Service national and local conferences. She has been an invited panel member for various college and university disability awareness events. She has presented at Veteran’s Day events, as well as several National Disability Employment Awareness events. Paula is one of the contributors of the development and evaluation of the anticipated OPM Special Placement Program Coordinator training curriculum.

Paula has received several awards in her career as the Schedule A Program Manager. In 2018, she was honored by receiving The Careers and the disABLED Employee of the Year award.

Gerry Crispin

Gerry Crispin describes himself as a life-long student of how people are hired.

He founded CareerXroads in 1996 as a peer community of Recruiting leaders that today, in its third decade, includes 130 major employers who are devoted to learning from and helping one another improve their recruiting practices for every stakeholder…especially the candidate. 

In 2010, Gerry co-founded a non-profit, Talentboard, to better define and research the Candidate Experience, a subject he has been passionate about for more than 40 years. Today the ‘CandEs’ has firmly established itself around the world and establishes benchmarks for employers each year in North America, Europe, Asia and soon South America as a ‘bench’ that shares their Candidate Experience data and competitive practices.

In 2017, Gerry helped launch ATAP, the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals.

Additional Sources:

Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage 2018, a research report by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities

“Hiring People with Disabilities is Good Business,” by Ted Kennedy, Jr., New York Times, 2018.

Join Paula and Gerry, along with your fellow university relations, talent acquisition, and other human resources leaders from corporate, non-profit, and government organizations at the:

College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY
Organized by College Recruiter and hosted by Ernst & Young
Thursday, December 12, 2019
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM (EST)
Ernst & Young World Headquarters
121 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
GET YOUR TICKETS: www.CollegeRecruiter.com/BootcampOnDIatEY

Posted August 26, 2019 by

Employing People with Disabilities is Good Business

While there has been an increased effort over recent years to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the focus has been primarily on gender and ethnic diversity. That leaves out a large and important group—people with disabilities. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act became law in 1990, many would agree that employers have failed to live up to the promise of this act.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed as of June 2018, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities who are actively seeking work is 9.2 percent—more than twice as high as for those without a disability (4.2 percent).

Fortunately, a recent study (the first of its kind) has dispelled many of the misperceptions about employing people with disabilities. In fact, the results, as reported by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities, show that companies that hire people with disabilities outperform other organizations, increasing both profitability and shareholder returns. More specifically, revenues were 28% higher, net income was 200% higher and profit margins were 30% higher.

In addition, Workplace Initiative, a network of companies, nonprofits and government agencies working to remove barriers for those with disabilities, reports that those companies also experienced reduced turnover, lower recruiting costs, increased productivity and customer outreach.

As it turns out, employing people with disabilities is good business.

“Persons with disabilities present business and industry with unique opportunities in labor-force diversity and corporate culture, and they’re a large consumer market eager to know which businesses authentically support their goals and dreams,” said Ted Kennedy, Jr., Disabilities Rights Attorney, American Association of People with Disabilities. “Leading companies are accelerating disability inclusion as the next frontier of social responsibility and mission-driven investing.”

So, how do companies attract and retain employees with disabilities?

4 Ways to Attract and Retain Employees with Disabilities

1. Create an inclusive culture.

There are many ways to build an inclusive culture. Some companies have appointed a diversity champion who works with disability-specific resource groups and ensures that company messaging reflects their efforts across all platforms. Companies may also choose to partner with outside groups. For example, General Motors partners with several outside groups, such as the Michigan Alliance of Autism, to find qualified candidates. They also have a disability advisory council that meets quarterly where people with different abilities are present, welcome and accommodated to discuss internal processes and systems and other issues.

The most important aspect of inclusion is that it must be ingrained in all aspects of the company culture, with support from senior leadership, and not just lip service or a few images on the website. It’s more than providing accessibility to the building and conference rooms—it’s about creating an environment that feels welcome and inclusive for all employees.

2. Expand your recruiting practices.

Most companies do a great job recruiting at colleges and job fairs, but to reach those with disabilities, these practices must include community organizations and disability-related advocacy groups. Recruiters should also be trained on laws related to disabilities, as well as how to engage with candidates that have unique needs. If possible, include employees with disabilities in your company-wide recruiting efforts, such as on college campuses and career fairs. Some resources to find qualified candidates with disabilities include:

  • The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) – a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire and retain employees with disabilities.
  • State vocational rehabilitation agencies – provides counseling, evaluation and job placement services for people with disabilities.
  • The Workforce Recruitment Program – connects federal and private-sector employers with college students and recent college graduates with disabilities.

Companies can also host tables/booths at disability-related job fairs, establish summer internship and mentoring programs and post open position at independent living centers.

Other resources include the following:

  • The Recruitment and Retention section of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) website contains comprehensive information for employers about recruiting and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities.
  • The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is dedicated to helping employers integrate or retain people with disabilities. It is a leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment.

3. Increase awareness.

Make sure your efforts are brought to life through awareness activities. For instance, many companies celebrate National Disability Employment month and highlight related activities on the website and/or on social media. Beyond just featuring images of employees with disabilities on the company brochure or website, make sure the message feels authentic by celebrating accomplishments, including stories that feature employees with disabilities making a difference within the company, and all employees working as team. If your company has received awards or recognition for your efforts, make sure they are easy to find by prospective employees. Finally, consider starting an employee resource group to support employees who are disabled and help create a positive onboarding process, which increases internal awareness.

4. Consider all areas of inclusion.

Many companies do a good job of providing access to people who use canes or wheelchairs, allowing them to easily enter/exit the building and navigate halls and doorways. However, inclusion goes far beyond creating access. Inclusive design means that people with disabilities can use websites and digital tools; can participate in conferences and meetings; and join in company events. Providing accessibility and accommodation in all areas of the business should be the goal.

For example, GM’s Disability Advisory Council, which is made up of employees at all levels, has championed captioned broadcasts, a process for handling requests for accommodations, and hosting educational lunches for all employees.

Right now, the labor market in the U.S. is very tight, and yet, many people with disabilities remain unemployed. The Accenture analysis reveals a very inspiring statistic: Hiring only 1% of the 10.7 million people with disabilities has the potential to boost the GDP by an estimated $25 billion! Perhaps, once companies begin to realize the economic benefits, as well as the fact that diversity of all types provides fresh insights (especially into developing and marketing products and services that meet the needs of diverse consumers), they will embrace the idea of creating both diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Learn more about diversity and inclusion at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at E&Y.

Date and Time:
Thursday, December 12, 2019
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM (EST)

Location:
Ernst & Young World Headquarters
121 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

GET TICKETS

Sources:
“Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities, 2019.
“Ways to Hire More People with Disabilities,” by Deborah Stadtler, SHRM, February 2019.

Posted August 02, 2019 by

How to Use Your Disability as a Strength When Applying for a Job

Lois Barth is a Human Development Expert, Speaker, Life and Business Coach, and Author of the book, “Courage to SPARKLE; The Audacious Girls’ Guide to Creating A Life that Lights You Up.” Lois will be a panelist at the College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY on December 12th in New York City.

Did you know that bones that were broken and healed properly are stronger than bones that have never been broken at all? It’s a fact, as well as a great metaphor for those with disabilities. As a life and business coach, I often tell my clients to use that fact in an interview, not harping on the disability, but being strategic in sending the message that adapting to, and in some cases, overcoming a disability, makes them a far stronger candidate than someone who has never gone through adversity.

There are, in fact, many ways to turn a disability into a desired ability when applying for a job. Of course, it all depends on the type of disability, the position and the company culture.

Start with Some Research

There are many factors to consider about a company before applying for a job. I guide my career-coaching clients who are getting ready for an interview to think of themselves as an investigator out to solve a mystery. Begin the process by looking at the company on a broad-stroke level. What does the website tell you about the organization? You can learn a lot about the culture from the messaging, the use of buzz words (such as diversity, inclusion, team engagement), company values, charitable contributions, community involvement and recent initiatives. Additionally, pay attention to the images: Do they include photos of employees who are diverse? Do the images reflect a company that is more conservative, or one that is more progressive?

You can also Google them to discover any current or past newsworthy trends in both their industry and their organization that may impact hiring. For instance, if they just received a “Best Places to Work” award, it’s likely that their culture is positive and inclusive. On the other hand, if you find a backlash for recent marginalizing of a group, you may want to steer clear. Review sites like Glass Door can be tricky because it’s usually the employees who have extreme experiences (they either love it or hate it) that take the time to write, which means you’re not getting the full picture. You may, however, notice themes among the reviews.

Once you get a company overview, take a deeper dive into the job description. What are the primary functions? Whom are you serving? What core competencies are they looking for and is your disability an asset (it often is) or a deficit? How do you spin it to either show how your disability will make you a better candidate or at the very least, won’t hinder your performance?

Use Story-Selling to Make Your Pitch

Recently I worked with a client whose disability was fairly obvious from the get-go, but given his non-profit focus, it was an asset, because he had overcome so much to get where he is and the job that he was interviewing for was serving an underserved and neglected population. I strongly suggested that he lead with his “story-selling pitch” which was a wonderfully touching story about learning to deal with his disability, and how, in the process, he learned so much about empathy, persistence, critical thinking, and determination, all of which were desired qualities for this position. Within the story, we weaved in his hard skills that embodied a whole slew of accomplishments that were germane to the position. The interviewer became intrigued and after several interviews with board members, he was offered the job.

If your disability is blatantly obvious and may be perceived as a deficit, but nobody’s talking about it, using a well-crafted story that highlights the key qualities the employer is looking for can be very impactful. Many job descriptions list qualities such as critical thinking, determination, adaptability, and self-starter, to name just a few, that people who have successfully navigated their disability have had to develop.

However, if your disability may bring to question functionality and the ability to perform a job, then that needs to be addressed head-on. It’s best to do this in a fluid, conversational tone, using examples from the past to dispel any concerns a potential employer may have.

As a rule, I suggest candidates do more listening than talking. Ask thoughtful questions and focus on being interested versus interesting, which works for people with or without disabilities! Don’t play the disability card, but don’t try to avoid it either. Rapt attention, genuine interest, enthusiasm and energy are rare these days, which means demonstrating these qualities will take you far. Of course, you also need the hard skills to back up your competency.

Finally, don’t be afraid to bring humor to the situation. When appropriately stated, humor can go a long way to dispel any tension that may be present. It shows that you are not overly sensitive, that you have a sense of humor and humility, but you’re not ashamed of your disability. In general, people hire people they like; people whom they can relate to and trust, regardless of a disability.  

Know Your Strengths 

One of my colleagues had very intense dyslexia and ADHD. She couldn’t sit still for more than 20-30 minutes, and paperwork that should have taken 10-20 minutes took hours and was tortuous. On the positive side, she was amazing with people, could pivot on a dime, had tons of energy and loved making people feel special. She was also hilarious, passionate about health and loved helping people.

Fortunately, the health club where she was working saw her strengths and was smart enough to move her from a stifling mid-level administrative position to a sales job where she could meet and greet clients. Her people skills, creativity and natural curiosity about others, made her very good at this position and, in turn, the position made her very happy. Within the first month, she became head of sales.

Before you begin applying for positions, take a realistic assessment of your strengths: What do you bring to the potential employer? Do your abilities mesh with the job description and the qualities they value? Again, be sure to do your research on the industries, companies and jobs that provide a good fit with your unique assets.

For instance, if someone has ADD, a job that demands constant switching of tasks or mostly short-term projects takes advantage of this person’s proclivities. Meanwhile, someone with OCD may excel at a job that requires being very precise and detail oriented. For people who don’t pick up social cues and operate at their best by themselves, a strong analytic research job that requires long hours of solitary focused work may be a perfect fit. In other words, depending on the job, “alleged disabilities” may be a huge benefit.

Do Your Research. Lead with Enthusiasm. Make it About What You Can Provide.

Those are the three main takeaways when applying for any job. Remember, you may have a disability, but you are much more than your disability. You’re a whole person, with skill sets and talents that are valuable to the right employers. With every disability, there is another ability that has gotten strengthened to compensate. That’s why, even though it’s become quite PC, I do like the phrase “learning differences.” We all have challenges and we all have assets. Nobody’s exempt from the human being club that’s full of complexity and diversity. The more you embrace it as just one of the many facets of your humanity, the more you can celebrate (and sell) the one-of-a-kind gem that you are.

Lois Barth is a Human Development Expert, Speaker, Life and Business Coach, and Author of the book, “Courage to SPARKLE; The Audacious Girls’ Guide to Creating A Life that Lights You Up.” Lois supports her clients to overcome their negative self-talk, manage stress and advocate for themselves and dynamically create the next chapter of their life. She has worked with over 800 clients and on a professional level has helped them in every area from career transition, interview skills training, communication and building their business. The creator of Smart Sexy TV, she has been the makeover life coach for SELF Magazine; Fitness Magazine and Fit Blog (Sears) as well as the “Stress Less–Thrive More” Lady for C.T. Style TV (ABC Affiliate). A sought after expert, Lois has been quoted and published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, College Recruiter, SELF Magazine, to name a few.  Her speaking clients include L’Oreal, Women in Banking, Capital One, Mid-Atlantic Women in Energy, Society of Women Engineers, and the American Heart Association to name a few. 

Join Lois Barth, along with your fellow university relations, talent acquisition and other human resource leaders from corporate, non-profit and government agencies at the:

College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY

Organized by College Recruiter and hosted by Ernst & Young

Thursday, December 12, 2019

9:30 AM – 2:30 PM (EST)

Ernst & Young World Headquarters

121 River Street

Hoboken, NJ 07030

For more information and tickets, go to: http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/BootcampOnDIatEY

Posted July 29, 2019 by

Here’s How We Make Productivity the Result, Not the Goal

As founder and CEO of Journeous, which helps young adults choregraph meaningful careers, Pam Baker will be bringing 20+ years of hiring, managing, mentoring and coaching expertise Join us for the College Recruiting Bootcamp on Diversity and Inclusion.)

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

What motivates you? As someone dedicated to supporting those starting their journey, along with the organizations they work for, to make the most of what each of us brings to the world, I understand the importance of motivation. Yet, I was reminded recently of how different motivators can be for each person.

The first reminder came during lunch with a former colleague – someone I respect immensely who I’d feel fortunate to call a teammate once again. She’d recently started a new job at a hot tech company and despite the majority of MBA students I mentor expressing an interest in working there, she was flabbergasted by its lack of vision and focus. They’re a typical Silicon Valley tech company offering free lunch, ping pong tables and no expectation that anyone ever tucks in a shirt.

She couldn’t understand why people were clamoring to work there. With little leadership grit or direction, she equally couldn’t relate to why people wanted to stay. As I looked around the lunch area, though, it hardly looked like a bunch of demotivated and disengaged employees. The ping pong table was in use, and there was lots of animated chatter and laughter around us. I’ve been around checked out people. This was not such a group.

Winning is Motivation… For Some

My twin daughters provided a second reminder. They’d both played defense on the same soccer team, which ended up winning a total of one game during the season. As I drove them home after their last game, I asked them what they’d thought of the season. I looked in the rearview mirror to see one scrunching up her face and looking at me as if I’d asked the stupidest question possible (experience seeing that face a few dozen times now has helped me decode it). She grumbled, “It sucked. We only won one game all season.” My other daughter looked at her, then at me and said, “I thought it was great.” And then they looked at each other with their expressions seeming to say, “What team are YOU talking about?”

Same team, same position, same games attended, roughly the same playing time. But their motivators were entirely different. One wanted to win. Sure, she liked her team members, but she was driven to get better personally and as a team. The other wanted to be outside and be part of a team of girls she likes.

Their motivation for practicing was different: One wanted to get better, while the other wanted to be outside with her friends. Their motivation for games was also different: One wanted to see the result of her hard work at practice pay off with a win, while the other just wanted to be outside with her friends. Finally, as the season wound on with the losses piling up, their motivation for continuing was different: One because she knew she was getting better and could contribute to bringing the team up in the standings, while the other (you guessed it) could still be outside with her friends. She never even noticed what their team record was.

“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” – Norman Ralph Augustine

At my friend’s company, no doubt some were motivated by the company’s status. Others were driven by the freedom and flexibility. Still others by the occasional fun that was injected into their day since ping pong tables appeared to be as ubiquitous as bathrooms.

Leaders, and of course all of us are leaders in some capacity at work and home, must learn to understand and appreciate the differences in what motivates people, including ourselves. When we do, we unlock the key to staying engaged and motivated, as well as motivating those around us – in both easy and stressful situations.

Thankfully, there’s a science behind each of our motivations and needs. It might be the recognition of our work, of our convictions, or of who we are as an individual. It may involve giving us space and solitude, allowing for playful interactions, or incorporating action and excitement in our day.

Knowing and acting on the science behind our motivational needs keeps us from missing out on the talents of those around us. Improved productivity is the result (not the goal) and these diverse perspectives, talents and approaches then quickly become our most valued assets.

Join Pam Baker, along with your fellow university relations, talent acquisition and other human resource leaders from corporate, non-profit and government agencies at the:

College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY
Organized by College Recruiter and hosted by Ernst & Young
Thursday, December 12, 2019
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM (EST)
Ernst & Young World Headquarters
121 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

For more information and tickets go to: http://www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/BootcampOnDIatEY

Pam Baker is Founder and CEO of Journeous, which empowers participants with new tools to dig in and find answers to complex questions like, “What are my personal values and how might they relate to my career?” Pam founded Journeous after a 20-year healthcare career spent building, leading and mentoring teams where she saw firsthand the challenge – for herself and colleagues – of creating fulfilling careers. Without understanding what was meaningful, though, it was easy to end up in jobs that didn’t click. As a mom of two daughters, Pam’s goal is to change the pattern for today’s young adults to help them choreograph meaningful careers.

The mission of Journeous is to prepare those starting a new journey and the organizations they work with to make the most of what each of us brings to the world. They provide your students and employees the tools to design a meaningful career and to thrive by mastering the art of adaptive communication.

To learn more, visit https://www.journeous.com/

Jon Kestenbaum, Talent Tech Labs

Posted July 26, 2019 by

Find The Right Paid Interns With Targeted Job Postings

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Case in point, when Talent Tech Labs* wanted to hire two paid interns, they tried posting the positions on a number of job boards with disappointing results. Frustrated by the lack of response, they asked College Recruiter for a recommendation.

Simple but Effective

Because Talent Tech Labs wanted to hire two students or recent graduates, versus dozens or hundreds of candidates, our team suggested using a $75, 30-day job posting ad. As part of our standard implementation, the posting included their logo and YouTube video at no additional cost. Studies show that the quantity and quality of candidate responses greatly increase when employers include at least one of these elements in their postings. 

According to Jonathon Kestenbaum, Managing Director of Talent Tech Labs, “Although we posted the same job on a bunch of job boards, half of all the applicants we received and both hires came from College Recruiter. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.”

Targeting Makes the Difference

We attribute this success to the fact that College Recruiter’s audience is exclusively college students and recent graduates. By targeting the right candidates, employers can maximize their budgets, while improving response.

Because we work with companies of all sizes, we know that the recruiting needs of every organization is unique. Not every employer has the resources to use multiple recruiting tools and plaster their job postings on every available job board. That’s why our targeted approach is more effective for small- to mid-sized companies. We’ve found that many smaller employers are looking for candidates that have recently graduated and trying to find their first or second job or students seeking internships, which is our sweet spot!

And because our online job posting process is fully automated, it’s quick and easy. In other words, you don’t need an entire human resources team to get the job filled.

Making Great Connections

Of course, we offer more than simple job postings. College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great part-time, seasonal, internship or entry-level job, which is why our interactive media solutions, including job postings, are designed specifically to make great connections between college students or recent grads and employers.

“We view every client, big or small, as a valuable partner,” noted Faith Rothberg, Chief Executive Officer, College Recruiter. “Whether you want the value and ease of online postings, or customized, interactive solutions, we believe in creating a great candidate and recruiter experience and we’re passionate about customer service. That’s why we go the extra mile to offer free company logo placement and YouTube videos with our online job postings, while many other job boards charge extra.”

Start filling those open positions today with targeted online job postings that get results! Get started and post your job HERE. (link to pricing page on CR website).

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.

About Talent Tech Labs

Talent Tech Labs is on a mission to elevate the state of the art in recruitment technology and bring innovation to the world of talent acquisition software. Based in New York City and Palo Alto, Talent Tech Labs brings the language of vendors like College Recruiter together with the language of employers and other buyers to help vendors, buyers, analysts and practitioners understand what these tools do, how they solve business problems and where each falls in the acquisition process. In essence, Talent Tech Labs provides a structure that allows everyone to look at TA technology through the same lens and learn how these tools practically solve actual recruitment problems.

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.