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Communication skills factor into who gets promoted

 

Are communication skills a factor in deciding who gets a promotion?

According to research from Accountemps, CFOs say poor interpersonal skills is the most common reason for employees to fail to advance at their company. For example, you need verbal communication skills to explain the reasoning behind business decisions to various audiences. You need to master public speaking or presentation skills in order to move up the ladder into leadership roles. Even if you are in an entry-level position, it’s not too early to learn to present information in a compelling way, and to package information and explain technical information to stakeholders.

What are examples of how employees do not have good communication skills? 

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Posted September 08, 2016 by

7 ways employers benefit from internship programs, even if interns don’t become full-time employees

 

College students are looking for internships this year, and some interns will secure full-time employment with the company for which they intern. Others will go back to the job search, seeking a new job with a different company.

It can be a dilemma for employers: Can we keep our rock star interns and hire them permanently, or do we let them go and watch them succeed somewhere else? That’s not always the best way to look at it.

“Regardless if you are able to add a talented new college grad or entry-level employee to your staff, employers should always remember the best internships are those that are well-designed, have specific goals, and set appropriate expectations for the interns that are hired,” says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.

Translation: If you can’t hire an intern for a full-time job, all is not lost. Here are seven reasons why:

1. Strong Internship programs create a buzz/build your brand

“Given the enormous growth of social media, the best internship programs are important tools in enhancing and expanding the brand image of the employer on campus and in creating positive buzz about the company,” says LaBombard. Interns talk. They spread the good – and bad – about your company. Treat them well, and your business – and reputation – will benefit.

2. Internships help recruit for future job openings

The best interns may go on to working full timeEvery business has specific business goals and needs when hiring interns. Larger companies tend to use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for current or future employment (such as after graduation), while small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Both are crucial to business success.  And so is treating interns as you would any other employee.

“Even if full-time jobs will be only offered to a small subset of total interns, it is essential that each intern feels that she or he benefits from the experience and was treated fairly,” says LaBombard.

Can’t hire that intern now, don’t fret.

“Hiring needs can change rapidly, and that intern may soon be on your radar when seeking to fill a future opening,” says LaBombard.

Or, if that intern has a positive experience, they may seek to apply for other future job openings even after they have received one or two years of experience elsewhere.

Related: Northwestern Mutual’s internship program is their solution to an aging workforce

3. Internships build networking and business opportunities

If your intern goes on to do great things, and had a positive experience with your company, they may come back to seek your company services in another role, mention you to clients or vendors, or seek to partner with your business for future projects. You may be developing a future business partner.

4. Develops strong pipeline of future talent

Internship program fills your talent pipelineDid you hire a number of interns from one college or university? Did they have a great experience, but had to move on to other jobs? Don’t worry. These students will go back to their campus career center, professors, or peers, and reference the positive experience they had with your company. That means students from that college will be sure to keep your company at the forefront when seeking future internships, or full-time employment. Be honest and upfront with interns and keep lines of communications open about their performance, future opportunities, and next steps. This will ensure they view your company as a best place to work, and a place they would consider working for in the future. And a place they recommend to peers, professors, and campus career counselors.

5. Interns can make a positive impact on corporate culture

New ideas. New personalities. A new outlook. Those are all traits interns can bring to a department or business. This can help improve a company’s corporate culture, especially for employees who may be stuck in a rut. Maybe that new intern helps bridge some personality gaps and brings a team closer.

Also read: 5 reasons to look beyond your top schools and majors 

“A positive corporate culture is attractive to potential future hires,” says Bill Driscoll, District Presidentat Accountemps. “As much as possible, strive to develop a positive work environment where interns make the most of their skills and are exposed to different departments so that they will view the internship as a positive experience.”

6. Internships provide a way to get candid feedback about the company

Before saying goodbye to interns, make sure to conduct an exit interview. “It’s important for companies to part ways professionally because there is a chance you may work together again in the future,” says Driscoll. But take it a step further – use the exit interview to learn about areas where the company could improve or concerns that come up. These are things full-time/permanent employees may never share.

7. Helps understand true cost of recruiting and retaining employees

Don’t think you can afford to hire an intern right now? Can you afford to let that internship go to a competitor, or can you afford to spend more money to recruit and train a new employee in the future? That star intern already has experience with your company and can move right into a full-time role without missing a beat. This saves on the costs of recruiting and hiring a new employee, and keeps business moving forward, producing results with the intern who is now a full-time employee and that is already trained in and understand their role and the company.

An intern isn’t the only one getting invaluable experience and training. Employers can also benefit from hiring interns, even if they don’t become full-time employees.

Posted May 11, 2016 by

How to conduct a successful informational interview

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Interviewing is hard. And stressful – especially for the recent college graduate or entry-level job seeker who has limited experience in an interview setting. To gain more experience, and to expand your professional relationships, consider conducting an informational interview. The purpose of an informational interview is to gather information and meet someone who is in a role or company you aspire to be in. It’s not a job interview – the person conducting the informational interview (you) should be the one asking the questions.

“Informational interviews are a good way to get the answers you need to make career choices,” says Bill Driscoll, the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. “Asking experienced professionals who have specialized expertise about their role and what it involves can give you real-world insights.”

In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it’s likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

Although informational interviews are not intended solely to seek a certain position in a company, it can set you up for consideration of future roles if you make a good impression. It could also lead to referrals to other contacts or job openings.

Informational interview etiquette guidelines

There are some basic etiquette guidelines to follow when requesting an informational interview, says Driscoll:

  • First, narrow down who you would ask for an informational interview. Create a list of companies you would like to work for, identify career paths that would suit your strengths and interests, and consider which industries interest you. Once you’ve identified these key factors, do some online research to choose the correct contact to interview.
  • Email is a good introductory mode of communication. Keep it simple – be concise but friendly. Briefly go over your background, state the reason you are reaching out to them, and request a meeting or phone call. Be sure to include why you want to meet that person in particular.
  • Look to your professional network to make an introduction. Seeing a message from a familiar name may increase your chance of getting a response.
  • LinkedIn can help you identify contacts and send messages. Keep in mind that people don’t necessarily log on to LinkedIn each day or check their messages on the site, so you might not get a quick response.
  • A phone call is another option to reach an informational interview candidate. Be prepared with what you’ll say in case you get a hold of the person or their voicemail.

How to prepare for an informational interview

Research the company and person you are meeting. Informational interviews tend to be short, so use the opportunity to ask the questions you genuinely want answered. Come prepared with your list of questions. Things you might want to ask are:

  • How did you get started in this industry/company/career path?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What are the most important skills required in this role/industry?
  • How did you get your job?
  • Can you name some industry associations that I should join?
  • What do you like most about your company?

Dress professionally for your informational interview – just like you would for a job interview.

“Remember this is a business meeting and the way you dress can say a lot about you,” says Driscoll.

Go into an informational interview with a clear understanding that this is a chance to learn about a career, industry and company, to expand your professional relationships and to become better prepared for future interviews. Just don’t expect it to always lead to a job or job interview with that company.

“An informational interview is a great way to meet someone who can make hiring decisions, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t lead to a job interview,” says Driscoll. “The point is to learn and establish an important business relationship.”

When the informational interview is done, don’t forget to show gratitude. Always mail a handwritten thank-you note after an interview and keep your new contact updated on your job search and career progress.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Bill Driscoll, Accountemps

Bill Driscoll, New England District President of Accountemps

Bill Driscoll is the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and is based in the company’s Boston office. Bill oversees professional staffing services for Robert Half’s 23 offices throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and portions of New York. Bill is considered a local and national expert on recruiting practices, hiring and job search trends, and other workplace issues.

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

Posted February 03, 2016 by

Overcoming employers’ preference for candidates with work experience

Many employers prefer job candidates to have work experience when they apply for jobs. While gaining work experience gives college students and recent graduates a leg up on their competition, there are ways to overcome not having it. Bill Driscoll, District President of Accountemps, discusses the work experience dilemma and offers advice to college students and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs. (more…)