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

Posted September 30, 2019 by

How Internships Impact Employability and Salary

It’s finally Fall, and with it come thoughts of cider mills, football games and cozy sweaters. And, of course, applying for next summer’s internship! If you’ve been putting it off or debating whether internships really matter in the big scheme of things, let us assure you, they do!

In fact, one of the most basic factors separating students who find it relatively easy to land a well-paying job upon graduation from those who end up unemployed or underemployed is whether the students had internships or notand whether those were paid vs. unpaid internships. 

Consider the Stats

According to the results of the Class of 2019 Student Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), “more than half of all graduating seniors who applied for a full-time job—53.2 percent—received at least one job offer. Within this group, 57.5 percent of students who had an internship and 43.7 percent of graduating seniors who did not have internship received a job offer.”

In addition, the students who completed at least one internship prior to graduation were significantly more likely to receive multiple job offers for positions after graduation. For those who completed at least one internship, the average student received 1.17 job offers. Meanwhile, those without an internship received 16 percent fewer job offers: an average of only 0.98 per student.

Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

The study also revealed a difference in employability and salary based on whether the internship was paid or unpaid. Although many legal experts believe that unpaid internships are illegal (unless the employer is a governmental or non-profit entity), that doesn’t mean that companies don’t still use them. Unfortunately, studies show that nearly half of all internships are unpaid. Companies defend the use of unpaid internships by meeting a set of criteria that includes providing training that is “similar to that which would be given in an educational environment.” In other words, the unpaid internship must benefit the intern more than the company hiring them.

However, according to the NACE study, being paid during an internship makes a difference in employability. The study showed that 66.4 percent of 2019 graduates who had a paid internship received a job offer. On the other hand, just 43.7 percent of unpaid interns were offered a job. That means that if you graduate with an unpaid internship and your friend graduates with a similar but paid internship, she is 34 percent more likely to receive at least one job offer upon graduation. Ouch.

Choose Wisely

Finding a paid internship versus an unpaid internship may be easier in some industries than others. For instance, you’re more likely to find a paid internship in the transportation, manufacturing and engineering fields, than industries such as fashion, journalism and entertainment. So, what’s a student to do? Getting an internship, whether paid or unpaid, should still be at the top of your “to-do” list. Obviously, everyone would like to get paid for the work they do, especially if you’re responsible for paying for education, rent and other living expenses on your own. However, if you are financially able and the internship provides a truly valuable opportunity (i.e., training, hands-on experience and networking vs. coffee runs and cleaning) than it may be worth accepting the offer. Before accepting an internship, be sure to ask what the specific job responsibilities will be and how the internship will benefit you.

Posted August 26, 2019 by

How Important are Internships and Co-Ops?

Employers ranked identifying talent early through internships and co-ops as the most important recruiting factor.

It can be a bit confusing trying to determine what employers want from you as a student or recent grad. While teachers often focus on education and technical skills, surveys show that employers are looking for soft skills, such as being a good communicator and having the ability to work well in teams. The truth is that candidates need to be well-rounded, with a balance of necessary skill sets. However, among all the factors that employers consider, it appears that gaining experience and demonstrating your talents through internships and co-ops ranks at the top of the list.

Specifically, 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 “identifying talent early through internships and co-ops,” with 94.9% indicating it as “very” or “extremely” important.

This makes sense when you consider the value of experience from both the students’ and the employers’ standpoints. As a student or recent grad, working in an industry, company or job function, allows you to determine whether you’re really interested in pursuing this career. A job description is one thing, but actually doing the work is another. From the employer’s view, your experience means you have successfully demonstrated your skills and may require less training to get up to speed. In other words, you start with an advantage.

While grades are important, the ability to apply your skills in a real-world situation is critical. Internships and co-ops give you a chance to put what you learned in the classroom to use. Again, not only do you learn what tasks you excel at and what areas you may need to improve upon, employers find it “less risky” to hire someone who has proven themselves.

Finally, internships and co-ops help you build a reputation and form relationships. While you may or may not receive a job offer from your internship company, your supervisor can be a great reference or write a recommendation that helps you land your dream job. Or, a co-worker could introduce you to someone who is hiring at another company. Networking can be powerful!

If you’re still trying to decide if you should apply for an internship or co-op, or just spend next summer chillin’ on the beach, here are a few stats to consider:

  • Your competition has experience: In 2018, over 84% of U.S. college grads had at least one internship or co-op on their resume.
  • Potential job offers: Approximately 50% of students who intern/co-op accept positions with their intern/co-op employer after graduation. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), participation in multiple internships in college helps students to secure employment or enter grade school within six months of graduation.
  • Higher starting salary: Studies by NACE show that graduates with internships and/or co-op experience reported a 9-12% higher salary, on average, than those without similar experience.

Not only do internships and co-ops help you grow personally and professionally, they give you a significant advantage during your job search.

Sources:

2018 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

“Just how important are internships and co-ops?” by Katy Arenschield, June 2017.

“Study Shows Impact of Internships on Career Outcomes,” by NACE Staff, October 11, 2017.

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

(more…)

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…)