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

Posted July 12, 2019 by

Is it Time for the Unpaid Internship to Die?

Is it Time for the Unpaid Internship to Die?

A quick online search will find you as many unpaid-intern horror stories as you care to read. From having to beg or borrow money to pay for transportation or work-approved clothing, to single-handedly moving a manager’s personal furniture out of one apartment into another, to picking up dog excrement, there are employers who think no task is too awful or undignified to assign to their poor unpaid interns.

The dismal reputation of the unpaid internship has led to a debate over whether this type of internship has outlived its usefulness—and common decency. The debate gained new momentum in January 2018, when the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) rolled out new guidelines that make it easier for companies that want to hire unpaid interns.

The Primary Beneficiary Test

These new rules established a seven-point test, known as a “primary beneficiary test,” that determines whether the unpaid internship benefits the intern more than the company (the link to the DoL page showing the seven factors is listed in the Sources section of this article). If an analysis of the situation reveals that the intern is actually doing the work of an employee, he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

However, the seven factors are open to interpretation, which some labor advocates fear will allow them to justify even the most mundane tasks—for instance, fetching coffee—as “learning the industry.” And while most of us agree that it’s never a bad thing to work your way up from the bottom, the potential for abuse by more unscrupulous employers is still there. This can open all employers up to lawsuits; in fact, the new DoL guidelines came about in response to lawsuits filed by interns alleging that their unpaid work on a film violated the FLSA. The courts agreed.

Future Disadvantages

A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that students who took unpaid internships or co-ops were less likely to receive a full-time offer of employment and, if they did receive an offer, a lower salary than their counterparts who took paid internships or co-ops.

Paid internships or co-ops with private, for-profit companies resulted in the highest offer rate, while similar, if less drastic, disparities were seen in other industries (figures are paid vs. unpaid):

  • Private, for-profit: 72.2% vs. 43.9%
  • Nonprofit: 51.7% vs. 41.5%
  • State/local government: 50.5% vs. 33.8%
  • Federal government sectors: 61.9% vs. 50%

There were also disparities in starting salary offers (again, paid vs. unpaid):

  • Private, for-profit: $53,521 vs. $34,375
  • Nonprofit: $41,876 vs. $31,443
  • State/local government: $42,693 vs. $32,969
  • Federal government sectors: $48,750 vs. $42,501

Other reasons to put unpaid internships to rest are simple ones:

  • Happier, more productive interns (a paycheck is a powerful motivator!)
  • Positive feedback from employees is better for an employer’s brand
  • Paid internships attract top talent, which is more likely to lead to full-time hires  
  • Students who are paying their way through school and need the money from an internship to continue their education, or who have taken on student debt they have to begin paying back after graduation, may be great candidates—but they won’t be able to work for any company that doesn’t provide a paycheck

Of course, not all unpaid internships result in horror stories. With a principled employer, the result can be a rewarding one; if not financially or in future prospects, at least in knowledge and experience. However, if you’re offering unpaid internships now, it’s worth studying the ways you can improve the process and reward your interns for their hard work on your behalf. Even an upgrade to minimum wage will give a worker a sense of empowerment and dignity that can make them a fan of your company—and, quite possibly, a future valued employee.

Sources:

https://www.thecut.com/2018/07/7-people-on-their-most-insane-unpaid-internship-stories.html

https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/internships/exploring-the-implications-of-unpaid-internships/

https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm

https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/internships/paid-interns-co-ops-see-greater-offer-rates-and-salary-offers-than-their-unpaid-classmates/

Posted July 03, 2019 by

Are You a Recruiting Early Bird?

Are You a Recruiting Early Bird?

It’s such a familiar quote that it’s almost cliché, but only because it’s true: The early bird really does get the worm. It also gets the best college graduates and interns.

If your recruiting efforts tend to focus only on the most recent batch of candidates, you may have noticed that your hires often don’t quite match up with your vision of the ideal employee. And yet, year after year you see other companies boasting about their own lineups, which reliably consist of the best and the brightest graduates and interns—the ones you would have sold your soul to have working for you.

How do they do it? Do they have an inside track? Are their starting salaries that good? Do they offer a free trip around the world with each internship?

Or…could it be that these companies know that the best way to get their candidates of choice is to be the early bird? 

Getting the Grads

According to the results of a survey by recruitment process outsourcing firm Futurestep/Korn Ferry, 64% of the business executives surveyed believe the best time to start recruitment for graduates is before their graduation—more precisely, at the start of their senior year. And 21% start looking for their future talent during junior year. Is it any wonder that by the time they graduate, students have already had a chance to vet their future employers?

“In our experience, students who know what they want to do and are driven to pursue their career goals while still in school make the strongest employees,” says Futurestep’s Adam Blumberg, vice president, Key Accounts. “Solid recruiting programs start early and focus on securing the most qualified talent months before they actually graduate.”

Which makes sense when you think about it: There are only so many students who will graduate in any given year. The law of averages dictates that a limited number will be considered superstars. And of those superstars, only a certain percentage will have the right degree and experience for your company.

Especially in a job seeker’s market, when candidates have the luxury of choice, if you’re not there when their focus turns to their future employment options other companies will be—and your dream candidates will have offers in hand before you even step foot on campus.

Getting the Interns

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 65% of bachelor’s degree candidates participate in internship or co-op education. Summer is traditionally the most popular season for internships, but companies actually bring interns on board any time during the year for assignments that range from special projects to extra help in a busy-season crunch.

Given the absence of milestones that mark a graduate’s availability, is there a best time to recruit interns? Yes, there is. Once again, back-to-school time is considered the best time to introduce your internship offerings to students, whether you’re looking for summer or year-round interns.

That’s because the cycle is similar: companies post summer internship opportunities in the late fall/early winter time frame, students consider their options, and by May the top students have made their choices, been chosen by a company and are ready to start their internship once school lets out.

As you can see, when it comes to recruiting your graduates and students of choice, it’s all about the timing. It’s vital to be top of mind when a senior’s thoughts turn to their post-college employment prospects—or when the talented, motivated and hardest-working students start wondering where they can get their internship experience. Adjusting your recruiting schedule to include a September kickoff will not only give students a chance to take a long look at you. It will give you the chance to take a good look at them and see how well they fit into your vision for the future of your company.

Sources:

https://www.kornferry.com/press/the-early-bird-gets-the-best-college-graduates-korn-ferry-survey-shows-best-time-to-recruit-grads-is-the-autumn-of-the-candidates-senior-year

https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/internships/exploring-the-implications-of-unpaid-internships/

Posted August 23, 2018 by

What to do with a degree in Criminal Justice: Interview with the FBI

 

If you’re studying or thinking about studying Criminal Justice, we are excited to have some great career advice for you, via FBI’s Recruitment and Selection Unit. They answered our questions about what is available for Criminal Justice students, and not surprisingly, your options go beyond what you see on TV. We asked about misconceptions around the field, career opportunities, what kinds of skills this degree will give you, where you might have to grow, and what makes a Criminal Justice degree worth it. (more…)

Posted July 20, 2018 by

A data-driven university selection approach: You can too!

 

At Micron Technology, Dmitry Zhmurkin uses a fantastic method for basing their university relations decisions on data. Zhmurkin is their University Relations Program Manager, and his method helps them decide whether to visit a campus and work with career services, or whether to recruit virtually. College Recruiter’s president and founder Steven Rothberg recently spoke with him about his methodology and said that Zhmurkin “just greatly improved the college recruiting practices at probably dozens, maybe hundreds of organizations.”

Want to know the secret formula? Below we summarize Zhmurkin’s presentation, including a description of his methodology. (more…)

Posted May 23, 2018 by

Do you dread going to work every day? You don’t have to.

 

We spend about a third of our adult lives at work. That’s a big slice of your time, but is work more a source of pain or pleasure for you?

According to a recent Gallup poll, about 70% of people surveyed in the United States (compared to 85% worldwide) indicate that they “hate” their jobs. This is a huge waste of time and talent if you are among this very high percentage.

Let’s explore how you can avoid falling into a trap of staying at a job that you dread! (more…)

Posted April 20, 2018 by

Job seekers, here is how to defend yourself against a bad reference

 

If you are going to interview for a job, or if you already have, you are one step closer to when that employer will call your references. They will likely call all the references you provided, but don’t assume they will only look into those people. If you’re worried that the employer will contact someone who has a biased or negative perception of you, we have some advice. You can prepare for it and defend yourself appropriately.

First, if you’re worried about the potential new employer spilling the beans at your current employer, recruiters get this. They understand the negative impact of spoiling your secret to your boss. Some job applications build in a box to check that says “please do not contact current employer until the offer stage.” If you are afraid of your boss finding out that you’re considering leaving, check this box. If you don’t see this box, you can write this exact phrase into your references document. (more…)

Posted April 17, 2018 by

Consider launching your career in the public sector: Interview with the SEC’s Jamey McNamara

 

If you looking for an internship or full-time entry-level job, you will find many opportunities within government agencies. A public sector career can feel different from a career in the private sector. To sort out the differences and help you understand whether to pursue a government job, we asked Jamey McNamara, the Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). McNamara draws his advice here from years of experience developing employees and leaders, in recruitment and retention, performance management, compensation and benefits, and labor relations.  (more…)

Posted April 04, 2018 by

Job search advice: What to audit on your social media, and how to use recruiters’ tactics on themselves

 

The recent movie everyone’s watching about Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica should make job seekers hyper aware of the information they post online. Political analysts might build psychological profiles, but what do you think recruiters do to find the right candidates?

Some entry-level job seekers are surprised when they discover that recruiters search online for information about them. Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter says he finds this interesting. Some candidates get uncomfortable “when they discover that potential employers have looked at social media, talked with people not listed as references, and more.” But think of it this way, says Rothberg: you likely “have no qualms about looking at social media, talking with people who aren’t recruiters or hiring managers about that potential employer.” (more…)

Posted September 25, 2017 by

HR metrics: Surprising truth about reducing cost-per-hire

 

Do you take all costs into account when you measure cost-per-hire? That is, staff time, travel costs, etc. If you do, Steven Rothberg is guessing that you’ll notice something about on campus recruiting versus online recruiting. Rothberg is the president and founder of College Recruiter and has both depth and a breadth of knowledge of employers’ HR metrics, and how they tend to use cost-per-hire, as well as how smart employers reduce it.

Think cost-per-hire is the best way to measure the performance of your recruiting team? Think again. Read Steven Rothberg’s insight below about the best key performance metric, and more. (more…)

Posted November 23, 2016 by

Calling all frustrated job seekers: make your voice heard

Frustrated job seekerIsn’t it great that today we can find employers from across the world online? Our parents would have had to scour the newspapers and ask everyone they knew and still found only a fraction of the opportunities available. If you are like many job seekers, however, all this information doesn’t make the the job application process any less frustrating.

One company is dedicated to hearing your complaints and calling for change. Potentialpark conducts an annual global survey that aims to make it easier for job seekers to interact with companies, find career information and apply to the right jobs. Their survey recently opened in the U.S., and you can participate here. (Bonus for participating: you can win prizes!)

Potentialpark goes through thousands of career websites, job ads, online applications, and social media channels. They check what they find against the survey results. Finally, they make a powerful case to employers to make things clearer and more accessible for their applicants.  (more…)