March 17, 2017 by Anna Peters
To be a successful in federal government recruiting, you need deep knowledge of staffing systems and federal hiring practices and laws. However, you must also be willing to use innovative technologies and alternatives to posting on USAJOBS. College Recruiter spoke with Kyle Hartwig, Senior Human Resource Specialist with the National Institute of Health (NIH). Hartwig developed a tool for federal government recruiters who are engaged in targeted outreach. The tool has 7 steps which guide recruiters in finding and engaging talent for hard-to-fill positions. There is a link below to the full 7 steps. Here you can read a summary and watch our 5-minute interview with Kyle to hear major tips and takeaways.
This tool attempts to address unique challenges in federal government recruiting.
According to Hartwig, a lot of agencies are afraid of doing active outreach. The reason is that they are concerned about is ethics. There are very stringent laws associated with hiring. Thus, HR specialists in agencies across government often shy away from taking real steps to find talent for unique roles. More often than not, many federal agencies don’t feel they have the freedom to recruit and find their own talent. With strict or even confusing federal staffing regulations, recruiters often opt for simply posting the opening on USAJOBS, or a few other places. After that, they just wait to see who applies. Hartwig says he built this tool because “we owe the American public our best efforts to keep our agencies fully staffed and running at capacity to fulfill their missions.”
In another vein, many federal HR specialists are unaware of the specific competencies necessary in each role they recruit for. Understanding those competencies would allow them to actively pursue ideal talent. Hartwig says that this is possible. “I’ve found proactive and specific talent sourcing and outreach to be a challenge in the Federal government but not impossible.” His tool allows HR specialists to use best practices while also following federal guidelines.
Don’t buy into the myths.
Congress certainly provides guidance for government recruiting and hiring practices, and we definitely need to follow all regulations. But there are myths out there that perpetuate assumptions about recruitment and hiring practices. Hartwig says, “Don’t immediately think there’s a regulation against this, or there’s a law that prohibits this,” or there is a reason not to employ certain recruitment practices. Many times, Hartwig says, if you investigate further, you’ll find these are myths. Don’t be afraid to expand your outreach to beef up your candidate list. Hartwig says he is often confronted with the assumption that outreach is easy. Wrong. Outreach—the kind that results in high quality hires—takes a lot of work. “Working with an entire hiring team, and finding the exact target skills of the desired candidate is not easy.” The 7-step tool, however, breaks it down into a methodical process.
The seven steps in the tool are not ground breaking. They are quite simple: Continue Reading
August 26, 2016 by William Frierson
For many college students and recent graduates, networking is likely to be part of their job searches. Their success or failure when interacting with recruiters and hiring managers will depend on their approach. While securing internships or entry-level jobs is a priority, college students and recent grads don’t want to come off as too aggressive when asking about career opportunities. Job seekers should not assume that just because they are eager to work that employers will automatically tell them about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market.
When networking, students and graduates can inform professionals about who they are and what interests they have. At the same time, they can ask questions to learn more about potential employers and what they have to offer. Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, discusses a key mistake to avoid when networking and shares helpful tips for a better experience.
“The biggest networking mistake is asking people if they know of any open jobs. It’s good to be aggressive and show you’re looking for work. But why should anyone recommend you, especially if they don’t know you or your work ethic?
The best way to network is showing curiosity about what people do. Ask them and tell them you’d like to learn more about their profession; establish an interest in them. They may recommend you and say “This person is interested in…and may be good for the position.” Asking employers if they’re hiring won’t be as effective as “Hey, what do you do?” Avoid that mistake and you’ll be better at networking.”
Marc Prosser is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for 10 years. He joined as FXCM’s first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.
August 22, 2016 by William Frierson
Attending networking events on college campuses is a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to interact with and build relationships with college students. By engaging in conversations with college students, recruiters and hiring managers can find potential candidates for entry-level jobs, internships, or other career opportunities. It is also important to keep in mind that networking is a two-way street. While it is important for students to follow-up with recruiters, recruiters should do the same.
One mistake some recruiters make is not following up during the hiring process. This can not only create a less impressive candidate experience but can also a company or organization’s reputation. Kevin Fallon, Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), discusses the negative effect left on college students when recruiters do not follow up during the hiring process.
“The single biggest mistake we often see recruiters and hiring managers make during the hiring process is a lack of follow-up or follow-through. College students will come to us and say ‘I never heard back from (recruiter) at (name of company) – Should I follow up with them?’ This lack of following through on communicating with students is damaging to an organization’s brand, and it leaves them with an unfavorable view of the organization. It especially does when you consider the contact management software available today.”
Kevin Fallon serves as the Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), where he leads the delivery of career and professional development services to more than 8,000 students enrolled in, as well as alumni from 42 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in business, education, science and technology, and the liberal arts. Prior to joining Salisbury, Fallon’s 22-year career included talent acquisition and talent development leadership roles with global Fortune organizations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, and Bank of America, as well as university career services leadership roles with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland College Park and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
August 16, 2016 by William Frierson
As recruiters and hiring managers search for top talent, it is important they understand how to approach potential job candidates. Employers should think about treating candidates the way they would want to be treated when searching for internships or entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t assume just because they arrive on college campuses that they will make connections. Taking time to speak with college students who attend networking events shows sincere interest in them and create a favorable impression of an employer. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains the importance of connecting with candidates in a genuine manner.
“Networking is a way to build professional relationships on a personal level. But many recruiters fail to connect with potential candidates in a meaningful way. Communication is the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit. If you can’t explain expectations and describe opportunities in a clear, straightforward way, candidates will go elsewhere. Job seekers aren’t interested in vague, unclear information. They want to know if an opportunity is right for them so help them see if they can fit into the role.
It’s easy to spot common offenders when you’re at networking events. Keep an eye out for card spammers, people who throw their business cards around attempting to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. This is not just unprofessional; it’s also offensive.
You can’t build relationships by skimming the surface and trying to get your information in as many pockets as possible. Why would I want to build a trusting relationship with you when you can’t seem to take the time to fully engage with me?
Instead, start a conversation and express a genuine interest in connecting. Being inauthentic and focusing only on the result is off-putting. Don’t force anything; sometimes, there just isn’t a fit. Express what you can offer and how you can help potential candidates.
Follow-up if you sense some interest, but don’t be pushy. There is a human side to business, and talented candidates appreciate when they are treated as a person, not a commodity.”
Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.
August 01, 2016 by William Frierson
You don’t like getting spam, do you? Well, neither do hiring managers. It may be quick and efficient to upload your resume on popular job sites and send employers the same robo-resume, but hiring managers view these generic, mass mailings as spam. They can spot one-size-fits-all resumes in a nano-second and quickly discard them.
Here are four tips from hiring managers featured in the book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to create a winning resume:
1. Add a short profile statement and your key selling points at the top “above the fold”
Realize your resume is an ad for branding yourself. Like a newspaper, an ad, or web page, the most important “real estate” is in the top half of your resume. Branding resumes begin with a profile or qualifications statement, a couple of crisp sentences that define your value. A strong profile statement is critical for recent graduates. You don’t have an impressive job title and career history yet, so you’ll need to specify your career focus and value proposition in your profile statement. In fact, many hiring managers told me a big problem with new graduate resumes is it can be hard to determine what entry-level job the new grad is looking for, especially if the grad doesn’t have a career-specific major like accounting or computer science. A profile headline like “Seeking an entry-level positioning” is too generic and doesn’t convey your career path. Remember, it’s your job to convey your career identity, not the hiring manager’s. For example, a recent grad named Erin who was a psychology major pursuing a career in marketing began her profile with the headline, “Aspiring marketing assistant: Psychology grad with pulse on the consumer mindset,” followed by a few bullets outlining her focus, strengths, and marketing credentials through two internships.
2. Expand your skill set to take advantage of new market opportunities
Be willing to take advantage of where the momentum is in the marketplace. During her job search for marketing jobs, Erin, our aspiring marketer mentioned above, noticed big retailers were advertising entry-level jobs and internships in merchandising, an area related to marketing that involves selecting products and evaluating sales performance. She decided to expand her job search and pursue both career paths: merchandising and marketing. Because there were a lot of merchandising internships online, she snagged a three-month, part-time internship at a large global retailer. But Erin needed a different elevator pitch and resume to apply for full-time merchandising jobs, and now with her internship, she had a story to tell. She had a hands-on role in compiling trend and competitive analysis reports, which gave her specific marketable skills. Here is Erin’s new profile statement for her merchandising resume, “Merchandising assistant with strong analytic, merchandising, and marketing skills.” She included new skills such as “completed Excel reports for accurate demand forecasting that resulted in a 10% improvement in accurate buying.” Before long, Erin was offered a merchandising job at a top global retailer.
3. Play to keywords and how the resume robots screen resumes.
The first “person” your resume has to impress is not likely to be a human being but a computer. Due to the volume of resumes that large and medium-sized companies receive, most companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems). Most ATS’s are not kind to new grads since they are programmed to check for a strong keyword match. Since most recent grads have limited experience, they don’t score high on an ATS (Only 25% of resumes make it past the resume robots). If you do have a strong skills match with a job posting, take the time to use the same exact words in your resume so the resume robots pick them out. Your resume can also be discarded if you format it incorrectly. Keep the layout simple with commonly used section titles like profile, work experience, education, etc.
4. Emphasize skills, experience, and results in the “Action + Numbers = Results” format.
Employers now give twice as much importance to specific skills and work experience as academic courses and grades. How do you make your abilities and skills stand out when you’re a new grad with limited work experience? It might take more effort than for an experienced job seeker, but you have more experience and accomplishments than you realize. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in internships, school projects, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, and the like. Then, follow this formula to create a powerful results bullet:
Action + Numbers = Results
Did [A] + as measured by [N] = with these results [R]
Here are a few examples of how college students and recent grads have created marketable results bullets out of internships and part-time jobs:
• Raised $55,000 in first month calling alumni for university capital
campaign; the top student performer all four weeks.
• As a brand ambassador interning at X Company, challenged to increase
website traffic, wrote ten blog posts that generated over 240 responses,
and helped boost sales.
• Prepared detailed Excel reports and pitches for business development
group at fast-growing technology company that
increased response rate by 15%.
The key to a successful resume and job search is to go for quality over quantity. You need to invest a little more time to create a resume that is right for each job, but it will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be on your way to an interview in no time.
Catherine Kaputa is a Personal Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the newly-released book, Graduate to a Great Career: How Smart Students, New Graduates, and Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You. (April 2016. graduatetoagreatcareer.com). She is the author of two best-selling books, You Are a Brand and Breakthrough Branding for entrepreneurs. She is the Founder of SelfBrand (selfbrand.com). Speaking clients include Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, Citi, Merck, Northwestern University, New York University, and University of Illinois.
July 11, 2016 by William Frierson
In their search for entry-level jobs, college students and recent graduates should not assume all employment opportunities are made public. Sometimes, there are opportunities available they can’t find in the newspaper or even online. Students and graduates should talk to people (including their families and friends) about the type of jobs they are looking for. This is part of professional networking. Networking is an opportunity for job seekers to engage in meaningful conversation advancing their careers.
While much of this conversation today happens online, meeting recruiters, hiring managers, or other professionals in person should not be forgotten. Speaking with recruiters, talent acquisition leaders, and hiring managers face-to-face can benefit college students and recent graduates when searching for entry-level jobs. By introducing themselves in person, students and grads can learn more about potential employers, which can help them stand out from the competition. Karen A. Young, President and Founder of HR Resolutions, LLC, shares advice on networking concerning entry-level candidates.
· “If students want to set themselves apart, I want to meet them in person! I can, probably, already find them online.
· This generation already has a bad reputation for being too “connected.” Get out and see and talk to people.
· The workplace is about face-to-face connections (even in a virtual workspace), so demonstrate you can present yourself in that environment.”
Karen Young is the award-winning Founder and President of HR Resolutions, a full-service human resources management company. She has over 25 years of experience in personnel and human resources, as well as being recognized by the HR Certification Institute as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the Society for Human Resource Management as an SHRM-SCP. Karen has worked with numerous organizations to improve workplace environments, lower HR costs, and increase the bottom line.
July 08, 2016 by William Frierson
When attending your next career networking event, remember that hiring managers are watching your every move from the moment you enter the door until the second they begin networking with another job seeker. You can separate yourself from the competition by making the right first impression with recruiters. In addition, you should tell potential employers if you know someone at the particular company or organization. Referrals improve your chances of getting a foot in the door because a current employee can vouch for you, which hiring managers will respect. Internal referrals—referrals made by employees working within the organization—are the best kind of referrals to obtain. Never pass up an opportunity to mention people you know who work for an organization, particularly if you have genuine relationships with those individuals. This isn’t name dropping; it’s networking.
Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, shares his opinions on networking to find jobs and how networking influences hiring managers.
“Networking is the best way to find a job no matter what industry you are in. Those of us in hiring positions are constantly receiving resumes from recruiters and job applicants, and it’s really impossible for us to sift through the good resumes from the bad ones. When either meeting someone personally who impresses us or getting introduced to someone through a trusted friend, we’re much more willing to look at a resume and contact the applicant, and we also have social pressure to do so.”
Eden Chen is the Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, one of the fastest growing software development agencies in the US. Eden is a serial entrepreneur and heads up various other startups including Knife and Fox (design agency), Ctrl Collective (co-working), Glo Bible (app with 3 million+ downloads), Zolo Studios (game studio), and Dev Crew (international software development).
June 30, 2016 by William Frierson
Building a relationship with anyone requires time and effort. Once a relationship is established, both parties must work to maintain it. If recruiters and hiring managers want to really connect with college students, they should consider showing up on college campuses. These are networking opportunities not only for students but also for employers. Employers can create connections by personally interacting with college students, answering their questions, or by handing out business cards or other company information. Recruiters and hiring managers who spend time and energy on college campuses can not only network with students but also potentially build long-term relationships with schools. Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific, shares his thoughts on the importance of recruiters attending networking events on college campuses.
“It’s important for organizations with ongoing hiring needs at the college degree level to build and maintain excellent working relationships with their target institutions. Many times, it takes a year or two for given organizations to begin building strong brand reputations at colleges and universities that will attract the top caliber talent they (and other employers) desire.
Creating good recruiting relationships means you want college students talking to and talking up your organization to other students. Nothing is more powerful than trusted friends making a referral based on their own first-hand experience. Approved sponsorship opportunities with key student groups can also help cultivate student recognition of your organization.
Developing a strong partnership with the college’s career services operation is probably the most important thing an organization can do. Doing so can open all kinds of opportunities to engage students and even faculty potentially. In my 20 plus years doing this, I have seen time and again those employers who commit to long-term relationships with schools (i.e., don’t abandon the relationship even when employers are not hiring or there may be a market downturn) will be the most successful.”
Tom Vecchione is the Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University, specializing in college student career development. Tom has 22 years of progressively, responsible experience in career services/placement and university student affairs and works extensively with employers seeking to hire college students or alumni.
June 22, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
Kenneth Heinzel’s 33 years of experience shine through in his recently published book, Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads. Throughout the job search process, Heinzel suggests that job seekers never underestimate the power of networking and your network. Ever. Your personal network and support group are two key elements of a successful job search.
Your personal network includes people who can provide you with leads that result in your getting an interview or job. Your support group should include friends or associates who are also currently looking for work. Meeting with your support group on a regular basis allows you to share contacts, research information, and discuss what worked or didn’t work in a job search or an interview.
“Many, if not most, of the jobs that you land in your career will come from information and contacts discovered in your own personal network,” says Heinzel.
Heinzel also touches on the role recruiters and career professionals play in getting job seekers interviews and jobs. Remember these tips: Never ever pay a recruiter for anything. Almost all legitimate recruiters are paid by the client (the hiring company) in the form of a fee that is based on a retainer (fee paid in advance), or on contingency (fee paid after successful placement). If you are working with a career coach, employment agency or career marketer, Heinzel’s advice is to never pay more than $500 for those services. Before paying for services, check to see if these services are available for free through an organization like College Recruiter, which offers a free resume editing service. If you must pay, pay only for three things, says Heinzel:
- Help in improving your interviewing skills
- Your resume (especially if you’re not used to writing resumes or your writing skills are shaky)
- Contact names.
Do you apply for jobs but never hear back from an actual person?
Remember, Heinzel points out, HR’s number one job is to protect the company. They act as the screener for almost all incoming resumes. If someone in HR doesn’t feel that your resume is what they are looking for or if the resume screening software determines that your resume doesn’t have enough of the keywords found in the online job description, it won’t advance to the next step in the application process.
Picture this possible scenario, says Heinzel: The screener is an HR staffer and not feeling well that day, and even if he sees that you are marginally qualified, because he is a Cal grad and you graduated from Stanford… well, so long, buddy.
Remember, there are hundreds to thousands of resumes coming in, so the majority of HR’s time is spent eliminating candidates, says Heinzel.
The hiring manager is the one with the power to interview and hire you, not HR. So what do you do?
Get to the hiring manager – a direct contact responsible for hiring for the position for which you are applying. Networking with the right people at companies is important. This can be difficult unless you have a contact within the target company.
Heinzel provides encouragement and educates readers on the importance of being persistent but gracious. Getting an interview and getting a job is hard work.
“Looking for work is a full-time job in itself,” says Heinzel. “If you’re not putting in at least six hours a day in related job search activities, you’re not doing the job you’re supposed to be doing right now, until you find a better one.”
About Ken Heinzel
Ken Heinzel, author of Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads taught marketing and business management at Sonoma State University in Northern California from 2000 to 2009. Prior to teaching at SSU, professor Heinzel was an Executive Recruiter (Headhunter), in the high-tech industry. He placed scores of candidates over a ten-year period in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In addition, he was an executive and sales manager in corporate America for twenty years at large corporations, such as Xerox and Ameritech. He and his editor/wife Inese live in Santa Rosa, California.
June 10, 2016 by William Frierson
Before bringing new hires into their companies, employers might want to give each one a background check. These days, recruiters and hiring managers use social media as a tool to learn more about candidates, so take advantage of it and other helpful resources. After all, companies shouldn’t just hire quality employees but quality people. John Cass, Director of Marketing at OnSource, explains including a background check as part of its onboarding process.
“I work for OnSource, and we have a network of 15,000 people who conduct photo inspections for claims and underwriting purposes for insurance companies; the inspectors visit consumers and take photos of vehicles and property. The whole process for coming onboard as an inspector can take a few days. We require a background check, and if someone doesn’t have an existing background check, they will need to provide one to OnSource. We review the background check and then bring the applicants on board.”
John Cass manages OnSource’s marketing efforts for clients and OnSource’s network development.
John has over 25 years of marketing and digital marketing experience. A pioneer in the content marketing industry, he has been responsible for directing and managing content marketing and social media campaigns. John is the author of Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging, published in 2007, and is a Founding Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research, Past President of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and is the Co-Founder of the Boston Agile Marketing Meetup. He has worked at a number of technology brands including SDL and 48hourprint.com, was the Online Community Manager at Forrester Research, and has worked at several interactive and content agencies, including Pace Communications and Portent Interactive.