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

Posted July 18, 2019 by

Community College Graduates: An Overlooked Sweet Spot

Community College Graduates: An Overlooked Sweet Spot

When you say the word “college,” most people automatically think of four-year institutions that award degrees in traditionally white-collar fields like marketing, accounting, journalism or human resources. When you’ve earned that college degree, you’ve got your golden ticket to prestige and (hopefully) a good-paying job.

On the other hand, talk about community colleges and the stereotypes kick in: “It’s just a cheap way to get your basic classes in.” “They’re for students who can’t get into real colleges.” “Easy way to pull a 4.0.” “You know, the teachers aren’t real professors—they have day jobs.” “All the degrees are useless these days.”

Let’s quash those stereotypes now. Long derided as the last bastion of education for disappearing industries like manufacturing, the fact is community colleges are adapting to changes in today’s workforce at an admirable rate. Today’s students leave community college prepared for their future careers, both specific and translatable to a number of other fields.

To give you an idea of the types of programs being offered these days, here are just some of the associate degree offerings available at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

  • Engineering Technologist – Manufacturing
  • Welding Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Powertrain Development Technician
  • Accounting
  • Business Office Administration (Administrative Assistant or Law Office Administration)
  • Management
  • Retail Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Child Development
  • Construction Management
  • Construction Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal Studies/Pre-Law
  • Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement
  • Baking and Pastry Arts and Management
  • Culinary Arts and Management
  • Digital Video Production
  • 3D Animation Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Photographic Technology
  • Web Design and Development
  • Computer Science: Programming in Java
  • Information Systems: Programming in C++
  • Computer Systems and Networking
  • Cybersecurity
  • Nursing – RN and LPN
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Radiography
  • Surgical Technology
  • Broadcast Media Arts
  • Journalism
  • Technical Communication

This list doesn’t even include the many transfer programs for students who plan to continue their education at a four-year college—or remain at the campus to finish their bachelor’s degree through one of the many community college-university partnerships available these days.

It also doesn’t include the dozens of certificate and advanced certificate programs available to students and professionals for continuing education. And depending on the size of the institution, many community colleges offer other types of programs for ever-in-demand professions like emergency medical services, diagnostic medical sonography, respiratory therapy, civil technology, plumbing, fire science and much more.

The next time you update your recruiting plan, be sure to include community colleges. Especially since a major segment of students are 25 years and older (7.6 million students in 2018, according to the National Center of Education Statistics) you may very well be pleasantly surprised at how easily graduates’ education and skills translate to the positions you’re looking to fill.

Sources:

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

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 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).”

(more…)

Posted June 15, 2018 by

What can I do with an English degree?

 

Majoring in English and unsure of where to go after college? Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) has great advice for English students and grads. Having studied English herself, she knows firsthand how the degree is worth it and where it can take you. Here we hope her tips help you learn how to use your degree and unique experiences to get you the job of your dreams.

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Posted June 06, 2018 by

How college students and grads can make the most out of their summer internship

 

If you are starting a summer internship you’re most likely very excited, but also nervous. Here we offer some expert advice from Dr. Robert Shindell, President & CEO of Intern Bridge and Pam Baker, Founder & CEO of Journeous. These experts want to help you get the most out of your internship. In our interview with them, we discussed how you should approach the program, how to overcome the trickiest parts of getting started, how to avoid some of the most common mistakes, and what you can learn from even a poor internship experience.

Watch the full half-hour interview with Shindell and Baker at https://youtu.be/WGS-1apIpCA

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Posted May 15, 2018 by

Entry-Level Job Seeker’s Guide to Interviewing

 

Got a job interview coming up? We would love for you to get that job! We’ve been connecting students and grads to entry-level jobs for many years now, so we know a thing or two about what will make you stand out. Don’t make the mistake of showing up unprepared. To help you prepare, we put together a guide just for entry-level job seekers. Download the Entry-Level Job Seekers Guide to Interviewing here (no registration needed). (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 06, 2018 by

What to do with my degree: Entry-level communications jobs and salaries

 

The biggest misconception about majoring in Communications is that it’s a fluff major, or it’s for students who don’t really want to study. In reality, though, the field of communications – which encompasses public relations, marketing, mass communication, journalism, and advertising – is a versatile major that opens the door to a wide variety of careers. It’s not a fluff choice; it can be a very smart choice. Here we dive into entry-level communications jobs and the salaries you can expect. (more…)

Posted February 12, 2018 by

Entry level finance jobs and the skills you need to land one

 

If you are considering a career related to finance, what are your options? Here we share entry-level finance jobs that are available to you, along with the salaries you can expect. We’ll also share the skills you need to launch and grow your career, and what makes a Finance major worth it.

You will find finance jobs in just about every organization, across all industries. Eunice Frey, HR manager and blogger says, “It is up to you to select the industry that you feel works best for you and has the right level of career progression available for you to take advantage of.” She sees a lot of professionals in finance and banking end up stagnant and frustrated because they are not advancing in a meaningful direction. You should reflect on what career path you might enjoy most, and choose an industry and organization that can provide that to you. (more…)