• 5 internship recruitment solutions for government agencies

    May 16, 2017 by

     

    Federal agencies seeking to hire interns or implement internship programs should take a cue from their private sector counterparts, says Mel Hennigan, VP of People at Symplicity Corporation, an Arlington, Virginia-based company that specializes in enterprise technology and information systems management for higher education, government, and businesses.

    In other words, they should evaluate, research, and learn the value of implementing a robust internship program as a way to attract college students and recent college grads to their organization. Don’t expect today’s student or grad to find you – federal employers have to find them through creative methods involving technology, social media, and the right advertising approach.

    “A one-size-fits-all approach does not work, so employers, even at the federal level, need to be creative,” says Hennigan, who has spent nearly a decade of her career in roles that support the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies. Hennigan is also a member of the Society For Human Resource Management Talent Acquisition Panel. “Don’t expect interns to find you,” says Hennigan. “Employers have to go where the talent is, and become visible to the college student or college grad.

    Kyle Hartwig, ­­­­­­Senior Human Resource Specialist with the National Institute of Health (NIH), agrees. The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the nation’s medical research agency. To be a successful in federal government recruiting, employers need deep knowledge of staffing systems and federal hiring practices and laws. However, employers must also be willing to use innovative technologies and alternatives to posting on USAJOBS. Hartwig discussed that and more in the College Recruiter article and video 7 steps for successful federal government recruiting.

    “Student marketing in parallel with federal government hiring is never easy,” says Hartwig. “The first challenge, however, is engaging with the talent you seek.”

    Hennigan and Hartwig provide these tips for government agencies seeking new internship recruiting solutions:

    1. Understand the new student landscape

    Many students and recent college grads first find out about internship programs/opportunities, campus hiring fairs, or how to connect with recruiters at federal agencies through commonly used online tools – social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

    “Skip the usual power point and start using social media conversations,” says Hartwig. “Throw out the calendar of events and list digital outreach tactics you plan to use before you show up on campus.”

    2. Form partnerships

    Government agencies can benefit from forming partnerships with colleges and universities. Develop relationships with campus career counselors, department leaders, professors, and alumni. Seek out opportunities for employees of your organization to speak at their alma mater, even narrowing it down to a specific set of students, grads or by department. Also consider participating in university employer summits or planning activities at university career centers. Find what approach works best for your organization and develop that approach. Federal employers should also read research reports from Corporate Leadership Council or Partnership for Public Service, says Hartwig, to stay on top of trends and issues.

    There’s additional partnership options too, like thinking outside the box and partnering with College Recruiter. How so?

    Government clients who want to hire hundreds or even thousands are typically going to look at packages which integrate targeted email campaigns, targeted display ad campaigns, and targeted mobile banner advertising campaigns, each of which allow College Recruiter the opportunity to deliver to the career sites of those employers thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of candidates targeted by geography, school, major, year of graduation, diversity, military veterans, occupational field, and more.

    3. Don’t wait for interns to come to you

    The first step, for federal agencies to take, says Hennigan, is to identify the type of talent they need to hire for an internship position. Do they need a STEM graduate, a marketing professional, an IT professional, administrative, technical expert, or other?

    Then employers must find out where those students and grads are, and meet them where they are at. By forming those partnerships, they can quickly identify where they can best find qualified students to apply for internship opportunities.

    “The landscape has changed, and employers need to figure out how to get talent interested in their opportunities,” says Hennigan.

    4. Identify talent

    Once the employer has identified the type of talent they need to find, they need to create a plan for attracting that type of talent. Federal employers need to look beyond just being a federal agency to attract employers. “Personalize the engagement,” says Hennigan. “Today’s college student and grad is looking to be wowed, and wants to know why working for your company is the right choice for them.”

    Federal agencies compete against the private sector, and that includes Silicon Valley firms, Fortune 500, and hot new technology startups. Leave the boring behind when working to attract interns.

    “It’s very easy for a federal agency to sell the message of how working for the government is contributing to the mission of the country, and patriotic, but today’s students and grads want more than that.”

    That’s why federal internship programs or internship opportunities need to clearly outline a value proposition, says Hennigan. It needs to clearly outline what the organization can offer the intern (real world training and experience, working on real world projects, solving problems, contributing), and the outcome (invaluable skills that helps them become more marketable for the next step in their career, or if possible, an opportunity to apply and interview for a full-time job with the organization).

    “Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes,” says Hennigan. “They want to be able to contribute and make an impact, show them how they can do that as an intern.”

    5. Learn from other successful internship programs

    An internship should add value to the intern, not the company, says Hennigan. But through that internship, the intern can add value to the company by working on real projects, solving everyday business problems, and making a contribution from day one.

    Building an internship program takes dedication – many private employers hire people solely to manage and develop an internship program. It would be helpful for federal agency’s to consult with industry professionals or colleagues who work on building internship programs to get advice. What works for them? What do private sector employers do that can be implemented in a federal organization (they are more similar than most think). Partner with organizations like SHRM, or participate in industry panels or summits to learn more, and build a network of resources who can provide cost-effective solutions for creating an internship program.

    A typical internship should last from eight to 12 weeks says Hennigan, and in the end, the goal should be to keep that intern or group of interns interested in pursuing employment opportunities with the federal organization they are interning with.

    “Every internship should have the end goal of funneling fresh talent into the organization,” said Hennigan.

    According to Hartwig, government agencies are afraid of doing active outreach because they are concerned about ethics. There are very stringent laws associated with hiring. Thus, HR specialists for government agencies 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 an opening on USAJOBS, or a few other places.

    That approach doesn’t always work. There are other options available.

    Working for a government agency holds prestige for many students and college grads. But that’s not enough these days.

    “It’s no longer a world where the candidates don’t have options,” said Hennigan. “The organizations who communicate the best value and opportunity to the student or graduate are going to attract top talent.”

    Want more tips and strategies on how government agencies can connect with interns? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Are your interns valuable contributors or low-priority grunts?

    September 12, 2016 by
    Ted Bauer

    Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

    By Ted Bauer, contributing author to College Recruiter

    Let’s be blunt here: a bad, or poorly-contextualized, hiring process can cost you lots of money and time. As a result, internal recruitment (essentially promotion from within or adjustment of roles) has gained some favor in recent years.

    One of the best ways to approach internal recruitment is how you handle interns. An organization’s approach to interns typically resides somewhere between these two extremes: Continue Reading

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

    September 08, 2016 by
    Happy business team with a focus on woman in the front

    Happy business team with a focus on woman in the front. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Summer internships are wrapping up at small and large employers across the country. College students are back to campus, and recent college grads are completing internships and looking for full-time employment. Some interns have secured full-time employment with the company for which they interned. Others are back in the job search, seeking a new job with a different company.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    An intern isn’t the only one getting invaluable experience and training. Employers can also benefit from hiring interns, even if they don’t become full-time employees. Want to learn more about how to find a great intern or improve your internship programCheck out our blog and follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

  • 10 tips for college grads who complete an internship without a job offer

    September 06, 2016 by
    Person pointing at job search

    Person pointing at job search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Many recent college graduates head into a summer internship hoping they secure full-time employment with that company once the internship is completed. But, for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t always work out that way.

    Now what? How do recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers move forward in the job search when they don’t secure a full-time job from an internship?

    With confidence, because they just gained the invaluable on-the-job training employers covet.

    Because, for recent college graduates, the number one goal of any internship should be to gain work experience in a professional business setting, says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.

    While larger companies tend use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for employment in a subsequent year, small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Not getting hired full-time is in no way indicative of an interns performance on the job.

    “Either way, internships are a great way for students to apply their skills in meaningful work, and learn how to receive feedback and apply coaching tips from supervisors,” says LaBombard. “Even if an internship does not result in a full-time job offer, the experience should help interns better define their value proposition to employers by gaining a more focused appreciation for the core skills they possess, and how they have been successfully applied in the workplace.”

    So what should job seekers who completed an internship without a full-time job do next? Start by registering as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

    Next, consider these tips from Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, and Tel Ganesan, Board Chairman of Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, and Managing Partner of Kyyba Ventures. Both have experience working with recent college graduates who have completed internship programs. They help answer the question:

    My internship is over, now what:

    1. Be flexible: College graduates looking to land their first jobs need to be flexible, proactive and creative. Consider volunteer assignments or temporary work as a way to continue to gain additional experience and build your skill set, says Driscoll.

    2. Network: Online and off. Many companies don’t advertise open positions, so networking plays an important role in finding out about hidden job opportunities. “Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, whether in-person at industry association events, or using professional networking websites,” says Driscoll. “You’d be surprised at who might be able to help.”

    3. Use college career center/alumni resources: College career centers usually welcome recent grads and can help in your job search. You also might be able to connect with other alumni who can provide advice. These resources are often underutilized by recent college grads who don’t go back to their college/alumni career center seeking assistance. They are ready to help you – even now that you graduated. Learn more about how to use your college career center in the job search.

    4. Don’t overlook your online image: Applicants need to actively monitor and maintain their professional reputations online. Keep a clean online profile. Future employers are watching.

    5. Initiate contact: Research companies you would like to work for and ask for an informational interview to learn more about the organization. “It also can help employers get to know you so you’re top of mind when that company has a vacant position,” says Driscoll.

    6. Meet with a recruiter: Staffing executives can be your eyes and ears in the job market. Recruiters also provide useful feedback on your resume and interview skills, and help you locate full-time and temporary jobs.

    7. Ask for references: Before your last day, ask your manager, and/or co-workers if they will be references. Professional references can sometimes hold more value than a supervisor from a work study program, or college professor (but those are both viable references if need be).

    8. Update your cover letter and resume: Did you track your achievements and successes at the internship? Be sure to update this information on your resume and put it at the top of your resume, right under education. “Highlight any unique activities you partook in that may set you apart from the competition,” says Ganesan. Include project work and results, being a part of a team, technical/computer skills learned/used, and any other success story.

    9. Apply for more than a handful of ideal jobs: Set target companies or jobs, but be flexible in your search. “Consider numerous possibilities, especially when you’re just starting off,” says Ganesan.

    10. Use your social network: Use your social media network, as well as family and friends, to find a personal connection at particular companies. “That individual may be able to assist in securing an interview or simply provide advice and insight into the organization,” says Ganesan.

    Don’t view the completion of an internship without a job as the end. View it as a new start, and a new beginning to a job search that is now backed by real world internship experience – something every employer craves.

    For more tips on how to secure a job after your internship is completed, and other job search and career advice, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

  • Dream vs. Reality: What Happens After Graduation

    July 14, 2015 by
    Happy graduate student in cloak with diploma

    Happy graduate student in cloak with diploma. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Congratulations, you’ve made it to graduation. So, what’s next? After three years of university, you’ve increased your knowledge so much that you have become an expert in your field. Now more than ever, you feel ready to face the real world, and hopefully you can become a valuable member of the workforce.

    Most graduates would wait for the end of the summer to get started with their job search, but not you. Your career consciousness doesn’t allow you to spend a minute of your time not figuring out a plan for your next move, and working towards your professional goals is your main priority at the moment. Continue Reading

  • Strategic Ways For Students to Jump-start Their Career This Summer

    June 30, 2015 by
    Create Your Future card with a beach background

    Create Your Future card with a beach background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Summer is the time for students to relax and have fun. After all, a whole year of studying is not a joke. But if you want to secure a healthy career right after college, you have to spend your summer wisely before you lose the chance.

    Planning for the future this early is great for your success. You’ll gain experience early and boost your confidence when you start a real job. Experience is the key in establishing a good foundation for your career. And the earlier you build it, the more competent you become, no matter what job or career path you take.

    There are plenty of ways to establish your career. Here are some of the activities you can do this season: Continue Reading

  • Considering A Career As A Criminal Lawyer

    March 13, 2015 by
    Lawyer and judge speaking next to the criminal in handcuffs in the court room

    Lawyer and judge speaking next to the criminal in handcuffs in the court room. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Criminal lawyers defend individuals, organizations, and entities that have been accused and charged with a crime. These attorneys handle a diverse array of criminal cases, ranging from violent crimes to drug crimes and corporate crimes. Like all other lawyers, criminal lawyers must obtain the necessary degrees and certification wherever they intend to practice. Continue Reading

  • How The Use Of Social Media Can Reshape The Education Sector?

    February 20, 2015 by
    Social media concept: text Social Media on green chalkboard on grunge wall background, 3d render

    Social media concept: text Social Media on green chalkboard on grunge wall background, 3d render. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    In the last few years, internet has drastically revolutionized the education sector. In addition to this, social media has added more interest by changing communication medium and creating more impact on education. Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are two chief and largely used mediums to explore and market education. Today, students, professors and education experts can connect with each other through social media medium and create awareness. The rising interest and availability among young students is an undeniable fact. Continue Reading

  • 5 Incredible Ways for Fresh Grads to Enrol In Internship Programs

    December 26, 2014 by
    College graduates proudly holding diplomas

    College graduates proudly holding diplomas. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    We all understand the importance of internship programs for a prosperous future. Fresh graduates enrolled in internship programs to get hands on experience with professional people. Some organisations pay for internships, some do not. While some companies hire interns to benefit by their updated qualification. However, if you’re a fresh grad and want to add experience to your resume then you’re reading the right content. Take a look at the information shared below to kick off your career with the best opportunity. Continue Reading

  • How Can Law School Graduates Obtain Law Work Experience?

    July 08, 2014 by
    Smiling female law school graduate in university library, holding degree, diploma, or certificate

    Smiling female law school graduate in university library, holding degree, diploma, or certificate. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    It is a fact that in most of the jurisdictions, the license is a must to give legal opinions and represent clients in court of law. As the legal industry is frequently firmly regulated, acquiring particular experience of lawyer work can be quite tricky. There are some jurisdictions that still allow legal apprenticeships, where an individual can work with the guidance of a lawyer who has a license, performing different duties that a legal representative would perform. In its place, there are many jurisdictions that require future attorneys to attend a law school and get knowledge about the actual lawyer’s work through internship programs, supervised clinics, and other means like work positions made available to graduate students while they are looking for license. Continue Reading