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

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/

Posted July 11, 2019 by

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

Of course, it’s important to earn a living wage. And, while a great salary may top your “wish list” when job hunting, there are other important factors to consider. In fact, some aspects of a potential job can have a much greater impact on your overall satisfaction and long-term happiness than a paycheck. For instance, if you have children or crave work-life balance, flexible hours may be a significant benefit. If you love to travel, more vacation days can help you pursue your dreams.

Surveys show that employees rate the following factors as “extremely to very important” when deciding on a position.          

1. Interesting and/or challenging work, with room to grow.

In a 2018 poll by Korn Ferry of nearly 5,000 professionals, the top reason people were looking for a new job was boredom. That’s right they were bored! If you think about how many hours you spend at work, you can see how continually doing mundane tasks can take its toll over time. Most people want to be engaged in their job and challenged by new experiences. Based on interviews with employees at companies that have been designated as the Best Places to Work, “Doing things that I enjoy and am good at” ranked as the number one reason for loving their job. Having “learning or growth opportunities” was also rated highly. In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 59% of employees think that opportunity for personal growth and advancement was a very important job aspect.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike! (Lexington Law)

So, as you consider prospective positions, be sure the job responsibilities include tasks that truly interest you. Not every aspect of a job can be exciting, or even interesting, but overall, the position should entail something you enjoy doing and excel at. Also, be sure to ask about opportunities for continued training and growth, which will not only challenge you, but may result in a bigger paycheck down the road.

2. Organizational culture.

It goes without saying that a company with a toxic or dysfunctional culture is not going to be a great place to work. Not surprisingly, research shows that a negative atmosphere can reduce productivity and increase turnover, while a positive culture can improve performance, attract and retain employees and make a company more competitive.

While there has been a great deal of momentum around changing the face of corporate cultures over the past 10 years, Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report reveals that only 33% of employees in the U.S. rated their workplace culture as positive or engaging. There is obviously room for improvement.

Start by looking for a company that has taken the time to develop a mission statement and a set of values and that actually puts them into practice. In short, a mission outlines what a company stands for and defines its purpose. According to Forbes, mission-driven employees are 54% more likely to stay for five or more years at a company and 30% are more likely to become high performers. In summary, a great work environment can boost morale, motivate you, and enhance your quality of life.

“Culture” shouldn’t just be a buzzword for the company. And, it doesn’t always mean that the company has ping-pong tables and meditation rooms! A positive company culture is one that encourages teamwork and collaboration; offers opportunities for growth; and places a high value on its employees. They may also serve the community and encourage employee participation in that outreach. In short, there is no single rubric for company culture. However, you can get a sense of whether that culture is a good fit for you by researching the company, asking questions in the interview process, looking for comments on social media and, if possible, talking to other employees.

3. Accessible leadership.

Although this often goes along with a positive culture, having access to leaders and developing good working relationships with them is key to employee satisfaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, 60% of employees surveyed said their relationships with their supervisor or manager positively impacts their focus and productivity at work and 44% said it impacts their stress levels, leading to higher productivity and satisfaction overall.

Accessible leadership makes employees feel valued. It involves listening to employees and making them feel heard, acknowledging their feedback and doing something about it, recognizing employees for a job well done and giving credit where credit is due.

It can be difficult to get a feel for the leadership of a company prior to working there, but you can ask questions about reviews and feedback opportunities during an interview. In these days of social media, you can also often find comments from employees. Other indicators: Has the company been named as one of the best companies to work for? Have the company’s leaders received recognition for their direction?

4. Open communication/transparency.

Transparency and open communication fosters trust, and employees who trust organizations are more likely to be engaged in their everyday work life (TalMetrix). This makes sense when you consider that we are all more likely to trust someone when we feel they will share necessary information with us. Again, open communication is a big component of a positive company culture, but it’s important enough to be considered separately.

Some aspects that contribute to open communication and transparency are annual performance reviews, keeping employees informed about company performance on a regular basis, clearly communicating the company’s mission and values, creating an atmosphere where employees can voice concerns or make suggestions without fear of repercussions, and holding team-building activities.

Again, you can get a feel for a company’s communication style by asking questions during an interview about how often reviews are done and whether there is a forum for employee feedback. Companies that value open communication will also typically communicate this well on their website.

5. Employee health and work-life balance.

The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer revealed that a large number of employees value flexible schedules more than salary. Flexibility was more important for parents, with 84% naming it the number one factor to consider in a job. Meanwhile 80% of surveyed employees said work-life balance was the most significant factor. Of course, the two are closely related.

In today’s digital world, it’s much easier for companies to allow flexible work schedules as many jobs can be accomplished anywhere via computer. Remote workers are, in fact, a growing population.

In addition to flex hours and respect for work-life balance, employees who are most satisfied with their job site “wellness initiatives” as important. Companies that promote and encourage healthy habits show that they care about employees as people. The Global Talent Trends study found that 50% of employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company, including physical, psychological and financial wellness.

Companies that are committed to the health and wellbeing of their employees often offer a variety of wellness programs, such as on-site health screenings, lunch and learn sessions, on-site gyms, mental health days, standing desks, and more. Typically, these programs are featured on their websites or other recruiting materials.

What do you value? This is the question you need to ask before embarking on your job search. While there is no guarantee, finding a company that shares those values is more likely to lead to long-term job satisfaction. 

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.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 25, 2019 by

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

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

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

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

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates of all one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs.

In this historically tight labor market, are you struggling to hire the dozens or even hundreds of well-targeted, well-qualified students and recent graduates for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs? Would it make sense to either schedule a 30-minute call so that I can better understand your hiring challenges or email those to me so that I can make specific recommendations for how College Recruiter can help?

Posted January 09, 2019 by

Identifying talent through internships and co-ops ranked as most important by employers of students and recent grads

A pretty common question that we get at College Recruiter is, “What do employers care about?” Sometimes, candidates are asking because they want to know how they can become better qualified or better communication their existing skillset. And sometimes we’re asked by other employers who are considering creating or improving their college and university relations programs.

A recent survey of employer members of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicated that those mostly large employers are most concerned with their early identification of candidates and their branding efforts. “Identifying talent early through internships and co-ops was rated the highest, with 94.9 percent of respondents indicating it is “very” or “extremely” important. Trailing slightly was branding their organization to campuses, as 90.2 percent indicated it is “very” or “extremely” important. Other factors of high importance were diversity (87.4 percent) and measuring the results of their university relations and recruiting program (83.5 percent).”

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Posted June 14, 2017 by

Combating bias in the hiring process [video and slides]

 

Last week, College Recruiter co-organized an in-person and live stream event, “Eye Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting,” alongside WCN and Stinson Leonard Street. Presenters spoke about four topics: why and how diversity matters, combating bias, big data, and non-discrimination employment law. This blog post shares what Ann Jenrette-Thomas,  Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Stinson Leonard, presented in part 2: combating bias in the hiring process.

Scroll down to watch the presentation and download Ann’s slide deck.

Implicit bias: slow brain vs fast brain

Implicit bias is the underlying thing that ends up creating problems in the hiring process. Another term for this is unconscious bias. Think of it as shortcuts in your brain. We use mental processes to quickly categorize information so that our brains can function optimally.

We receive over a million pieces of information per second. This is information we gather from all of our senses. Our brains are detecting so much, but in order to function well, we can’t focus on a million pieces of information. The prefrontal cortex in the front of the brain is the slow brain. And it’s the slow brain that actually is necessary for critical thinking.

If you repeat a slow-brain activity enough, it gets buried into the reptilian brain, otherwise known as the fast brain or the unconscious brain. Because these processes happen so rapidly, your conscious mind can’t even detect when something unconscious is happening. Take breathing—unless you make an effort to focus on it, you are not thinking about breathing. Another example if how we all learn to drive. When you first started to drive, you focused on putting your hands at ten and two o’clock. As experienced drivers, we’ve all had the experience of getting in the car, somehow arriving home and not even remembering the trip. When you learn to drive, you use your slow brain. When you’ve gotten to the point where it’s automatic, that’s your fast brain.

This has everything to do with hiring. Some of the things that are embedded in the unconscious part—the fast brain—are cultural norms. Different cultures place value on different styles, of for example, leadership. When Americans think of leadership, we often think of someone who is decisive and confident. Herein lies a challenge for many international employees of multinational corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. In order to advance in the company, many international employees do a stint in the U.S. so that they can have the right qualifications and move up the corporate ladder.

In Asia, they call that stint the “killing field”. Because in many Asian cultures, a valued leader is someone who is collaborative and who builds consensus, often someone with a much quieter leadership style and different type of confidence. This looks vastly different than an American version of “leadership”. So these particular employees are in a double bind. They have to come here in order to advance their careers. But once they come here, their leadership style prevents them from climbing the corporate ladder.

There is more to how the unconscious mind affects hiring. We process everything from body language to eye contact, in order to assess whether someone is a good hire.

Various types of bias in the hiring process

  • Affinity bias means we tend to gravitate toward people who we perceive as similar to ourselves.
  • Confirmation bias is when you magnify things that confirm what you already thinking. Or, you minimize things that contradict what you already think.
  • Attribution bias is when you give a more favorable assessment to somebody that is in your ‘in-group’. Now, what defines an in-group could be a variety of things, and that’s where individuality comes into play.
  • Availability bias describes how we prefer the quick and easy. When we mine for information, we grab what is readily available. Quick: imagine a fire fighter. It’s unlikely you had the image of a woman in your head. The readily available image of a firefighter is a man.
  • Groupthink is very similar to affinity bias. The notion of groupthink is where people are not willing to go against the brain of the homogeneous group.

Combating bias starts with you

It’s time to get to get to action and it all starts with you. If you don’t know your own biases or the fact that we are prone to them, then you’re not going to be able to help the system at all. And you have to also educate the people around you in the hiring process. Here are some suggestions for moving forward:

  1. Take the Implicit Association Test. There’s a variety of tests out there: go to projectimplicit.org. It’s free. This just gives you a baseline of where you are on these issues.
  1. Take some time to become socially confident. Learn about any particular cultures with which you are working, for example what leadership looks like.
  1. Assess your hiring process with the assumption that implicit bias is there. Why? Because statistically speaking, it’s there. It could be present where you post your jobs, how the descriptions are actually written, who and how the resumes are reviewed, how the interviews are conducted and who conducts the interviews.
  1. Review your job descriptions for bias. There are certain words and phrases in a job description that could lead to fewer diverse applicants because they will self-select out. For example, women are less likely to apply for a job where there are masculine coded language, like “aggressive” or “adventurous.” Interestingly, men are negligibly affected when it they read feminine coded language, like “collaborative”. When diverse candidates read job descriptions that are more neutral, they are less likely to scrub out any identifying information, for example clubs and organizations that might be specific to an ethnicity. You want to make sure that your job descriptions only include information that is absolutely necessary to perform the job well.
  1. Get used to operating outside your comfort zone. This is ultimately a relationship game. Recruit from a broader circle, go to different places. Ensure that you are also posting on sites that cater to a diverse community. Make sure you understand what other comparable programs are out there beside your core recruiting schools.
  1. Evaluate every resume the exact same way. There are programs out there that can strip demographic information from resume, so that’s one way to try to make things anonymous. It’s also important to develop a standard evaluation form with detailed metrics so that everybody is evaluated on the same criteria.
  1. Identify what you want before the interview begins. If you are clear about the skills, qualities, credentials, etc. that best suit the position, then you can craft questions that speak to those specific skills, credentials, etc. You can develop a checklist of these factors and give them to the interviewers beforehand so that everybody is clear. Prepare the interviewers. Make sure they are aware of the potential for bias. Use a diverse panel of interviewers.

Finally, don’t get overwhelmed by the challenge of combating bias. Your unconscious biases are going to pop up. It takes effort and time to keep trying to change these things. Be patient, keep at it, and know that you’ll get there.

 

Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email sales@collegerecruiter.com.

Download the slides from this presentation here.

Watch the presentation of this content by Ann Jenrette-Thomas at Stinson Leonard Street from “Eye-Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting”:

Posted March 06, 2017 by

Diversity recruitment lessons from law enforcement: Inside the research

 

College Recruiter is introducing a regular feature called “Inside the research”. We will dive into recent research that can be applied to practitioners in recruitment, HR and talent acquisition. 

Policing and race relations are topics of national interest these days. A study from the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice1 looked at how several law enforcement agencies market their opportunities to communities of color, and their success in diversity recruitment. Drawing a parallel between police and corporate recruitment highlights just how much effort recruiters must put into hiring diversity. That is, if you want results. Here are six lessons that recruiters can glean from this study.

Understand that institutional racism is around us. “Police agencies have been criticized for what is perceived as institutional racism in the recruitment, retention and promotion of Blacks and other racial minorities,” write the authors of the study, titled “Recruiting for Diversity in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Practices Used by State and Local Agencies.” While police have been in the hot seat, recruiters of all sectors and industries must turn the mirror upon themselves. Many would agree that institutional racism exists in business across the board.

Put your money where your mouth is. The authors write, “Today’s typical police recruitment campaign is managed almost exclusively using advertisements in those news publications that cater to the greater (White) community at large.” As a recruiter you might be thinking, but we advertise across many different channels, including Facebook, which is very diverse! That may be true, but try doing a little exercise. Compare all the places where you advertise, and how much money you spend on each channel, to your recruitment goals. If you have a goal around diversity, you have to put your advertising dollars where your mouth is.

Police agencies desperately want to hire diversity, precisely because they know they have a trust problem with communities of color, particularly the African American community. The study points out what should be common sense: “When citizens see that a police department has personnel who reflect a cross-section of the community, they have greater confidence that police offers will understand their problems and concerns” (Streit, 2001). The study found, however, that these agencies are just not putting their money where their mouths are. There are points of contact in the community where recruiters may connect with more of their targeted candidates—churches, hair salons, shopping malls, for example—and yet the agencies studied here did not take advantage these opportunities.

Be aware of hypocrisy. Companies who include diversity in their core values, and especially companies who flaunt their inclusive environments, would be wise to check their authenticity. The study reminds us of what we already know about policing: “when community partnerships are seen as being superficial, agencies risk alienating candidates who might be aware of hypocrisy where such activities are inconsistent with reality.” (Syrett & Lammiman, 2004). You should communicate your commitment to diversity, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Effective diversity recruitment makes it so. (more…)

Posted February 02, 2017 by

Cultural awareness training is too simple to effectively manage diversity

 

For global companies–or any organization–with multicultural and diverse teams, a good manager must be aware of cultural differences, and they must embrace team members’ differences. Differences can lead to conflict, but just participating in a cultural awareness training is probably not the answer. There is more to learn about effectively managing diversity.

Differences can lead to conflict within your team. And that is good. 

A 2014 study published in Securitologia, authored by Dr. Krystyna Heinz, pointed out that “if a company wants to do business internationally, it needs to have knowledge related to diverse management process.” I would add, even a company who only does domestic business needs to have this knowledge, given the increasingly diverse workforce.

Being more aware of different cultural values is the first step (but it’s only the beginning). If you’ve participated in any cultural awareness training, you’re familiar with the iceberg analogy. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll explain. Culture is like an iceberg. The aspects you can see or hear—clothing, food, language, etc.—are only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of what makes our culture unique is hidden from view. The Heinz study puts it this way: “Culture values are invisible behaviours.” Many cultural values will impact business and relationships at work, for example “family, money, religion, seniority, individualism, hierarchy, and others.”

Your challenge is not to overcome these differences, but to embrace them. These cultural differences may lead to conflict, but in business that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, teams whose members don’t challenge one another end up being less productive. According to the Heinz study,

“For most people the word conflict has negative connotations, but if no conflicts occur during team working, the team will probably not be effective.”

The manager’s job is to “identify the underlying cultural reasons of conflict, choose the right strategy, and to intervene.” Cultural differences can lead to obstacles to high performance if they are not addressed, so the manager’s role is absolutely critical to making diversity work.  (more…)

Posted December 16, 2016 by

College recruitment matters to Diversity & Inclusion: Q&A with the Experts

 

College Recruiter is introducing a new regular blog feature, “Q & A with the Experts”. In this monthly feature we will draw insight from experts in talent acquisition and HR. For today’s post, we spoke with Loreli Wilson, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at Veterans United Home Loans; Saïd Radhouani, Co-founder at Nextal; and Steven Rothberg, founder and President of College Recruiter. We asked Loreli, Saïd and Steven about the connection between college recruitment, and Diversity and Inclusion.

 

What do you think is the importance of college recruitment to diversifying the workplace?

Saïd Radhouani: Universities are great channels to bring new diverse talents into organizations and promote a diversified workplace. Both local and immigrants students form a big pool of diverse talents. They may differ greatly in terms of language, culture, religion, or color; yet ultimately study toward the same goals. These talents are already diverse and know how to perform in a diversified environment. College recruitment is a big enabler to diversify the workplace.

Loreli Wilson: Colleges and universities are a great source for smart, passionate, and innovative applicants from marginalized communities. It’s a smart move to align with those institutions to engage students and cultivate our workforce by our own specifications.

 

What are best practices for recruiting a diversity of college students?

Saïd Radhouani: If diversity is part of your organization’s priorities, you should empower some individuals to serve as diversity advocates. They can promote and keep diversity goals active during the recruitment process. These advocates should include college recruitment into their plans. A few best practices they can suggest to the recruitment team include: (more…)