March 16, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Fake email addresses. Copycat web sites. Requests for personal information before a job is offered. Interviews conducted only via instant messaging. Promises of salary that are too good to be true. Requests to submit payment to move to the next step of the job search.
These are just a few of the dirty tactics scumbags use to try and scam job seekers, including inexperienced job seekers like recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. The threat is real, and like any online or cyber threat, the people conducting the fraudulent activity are often trying to gather information to steal one’s identity or money.
The team at College Recruiter takes the threat of job search scams and fake job postings seriously, and has implemented a multi-step process that identifies and blocks the vast majority of identity thieves and other scammers from ever posting a job to College Recruiter. In fact, every single job advertisement placed on College Recruiter goes through an in-depth verification process to prove the job posting is legitimate, and all ads are verified through actual contact with a human with the employer posting the job ad – something not every job board can claim.
“Here at College Recruiter, we take these fraudulent attempts very seriously and work daily to ensure all the jobs that are posted on our web site are from verified employers to protect our job seekers from applying, interviewing, and becoming victims of identity theft,” says Dani Bennett, Sales and Client Services Manager at College Recruiter.
In the article Rise of Recruitment Scams Hurt Both Job Seekers and Employers Alike, the team at global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas identified some recent and unfortunately, popular job search scams. What may be surprising to many is that these scams don’t just target small companies. Here are some examples:
- Scammers created a false ad for Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations. When a job seeker responded, the person who received the email asked for additional personal information, such as tax files, driver’s license, and birth certificate. Scammers then used this information to open credit cards and bank accounts. The messages from these so-called recruiters sound legitimate. In the Rio Tinto case, the recruitment email included an application with the company’s name and logo.
Remember, anyone can set up a fake web site or email account, for example through free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. College Recruiter, however, will not accept any job postings that use a free email provider to receive job applications.
- In another incident in Houston, scammers set up an actual interview, via Google hangout, using the name of a reputable company, and then offered a position. The scammers then asked the job seeker to move around large sums of money, in this scenario, up to $3,000. To carry this out, they sent fraudulent checks made out to the job seeker to start a home office, then asked the job seeker to forward that money to a third party vendor.
“Any time a company asks you to pay or hold money for them, you should immediately see red flags,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “A credible employer would never ask their employees to move money through their personal accounts. That’s why companies have accounting departments.”
- In July, Shell Oil, one of America’s largest oil and natural gas producers with over 22,000 employees, posted a notice on its careers site warning job seekers that scammers were using the Shell name and logo to recruit for positions.
Besides the obvious problem for job seekers, the toll these scams can take on a company’s reputation is huge, says Challenger. Most employers don’t know these fraudulent job postings are out there until they are contacted by job seekers who have figured out it’s a scam and contacted the legit company directly. By then, the company reputation is already damaged with those job seekers.
“From a recruitment perspective, once a company’s brand has been associated with these fraudulent ads, it may be difficult to attract the talent needed when a position becomes available,” says Challenger.
College Recruiter Founder Steven Rothberg added, “Some job boards, like College Recruiter, have formalized, proactive, anti-fraud measures in place, but many job boards are more reactive and rely upon their users to complain about fraudulent postings before the job board takes any action.”
Not only do cyber criminals post fake job ads, unethical recruiters also post fake job ads, often on sites where they can post free job ads. Why would they do that? To act like they are “well-connected” and have a long list of candidates to choose from. A recruiter may submit these resumes to the employer for which they are hiring for, to show activity – which employers value when working with recruiters – and that they have an active pipeline of candidates, when they have no intentions of responding to, interviewing, or hiring these employees.
How can a job seeker spot a fraudulent job posting, or job search scam? Follow these tips from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota:
February 24, 2017 by Contributing writer Ted Bauer
Hiring assumptions are everywhere. They often reduce the effectiveness of the hiring process. Admittedly, it’s impossible to remove all potential subjectivity and bias from a hiring process. Even as we’ve introduced more technology into recruiting (for example, Applicant Tracking Systems), a human being–a flawed human being–makes the final decision after some person-to-person meetings. A candidate’s dress, speech, overall manner, specific responses to questions, and more can potentially trigger biases and assumptions in even the most level-headed hiring manager. Confirmation bias is hugely powerful psychologically, and we can’t ignore that.
However, let’s call out some of the biggest hiring assumptions. Perhaps increased awareness can help us to be more vigilant, and minimize the impact of our biases on recruiting and hiring. Some of the most common hiring assumptions include:
Assumption #1: “The perfect candidate is always out there somewhere!” This is an ideal, but often not the reality. To find the best candidate for a given job, a hiring manager/HR professional needs to understand three different concepts: (1) the work itself, (2) the current composition of the job market for that type of role, and (3) what other jobs in that geography (or remote) are offering. Internally at companies, HR and hiring managers tend to understand (1), but less so (2) and (3). If you need an “agile scrum manager,” and your local market just hired dozens of that role, then when you go to hire, it’s a depleted market. The perfect candidate may not be out there, and it may be better to delay the posting instead of hiring someone short of your needs because of this hiring assumption.
Assumption #2: Complicated hiring processes weed out less passionate candidates: Many times, companies will create intense early-stage (top of funnel) hiring processes. For example, their candidates must take written tests, complete projects, etc. The theory is logical: having these as mandatory will weed out less-passionate “passive” candidates. Unfortunately, though, this is also a hiring assumption that can backfires. Intensive, jump-through-hoops hiring demands can end up just being barriers, and weed out highly-qualified people, who may simply choose not to apply. Additionally: if your hiring process is very demanding, that might be fine. But please make sure it correlates with competitive compensation at the end. No one wants to prove a skill set 17 times over to then be offered an under-market salary. Continue Reading
February 22, 2017 by Libby Rothberg
In today’s “Q & A with the Experts”, College Recruiter spoke with Chrissy Toskos, Vice President Campus Recruiting at Prudential Financial. We asked Chrissy about how much Prudential Financial allows, expects or accommodates mobile job applications. We also are including insight from College Recruiter founder and president Steven Rothberg, who adds a birds-eye view of employers trying to attract entry-level applicants with mobile applications, and how they measure their success.
What changes are necessary to make a good mobile job application?
Chrissy Toskos: Prudential was an early adopter of mobile applications, having introduced it in January 2015 when less than 20% of Fortune 500 companies had this capability. The mobile application was launched with the intent to provide an easier and more modern way for students to apply for internships and full-time positions at Prudential. We created a student friendly application by reducing the number of fields that the students are asked to complete which resulted in a shorter application and significant increase in applications.
We eliminated duplicate content and created specific parameters to ensure that the information captured from each candidate is accurate and specific. By tailoring the language and reorganizing the application to the student perspective, we found a significant increase in submissions and accuracy of completed applications.
Steven Rothberg: Over the past two years, the percentage of traffic to College Recruiter from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has increased from 15 to 50 percent. The huge and likely permanent increase in the share of traffic coming via mobile versus websites is only exasperating a problem that many employers have.
Do you notice a difference in quality between non-mobile and mobile job applications?
Chrissy Toskos: We have not seen a difference in the quality of applications via mobile device vs non mobile device since the processes mirror one another. After applying via mobile device, students are asked to submit their resume online to fully complete the application process.
There’s no difference in quality between the mobile and non-mobile versions of the Prudential Application. Both application platforms provide applicants with a user friendly look and feel when searching, applying and submitting an application. The only functional difference is for applicants that need to upload a new resume in that the mobile application will not allow for resume uploads. Therefore, applicants need to save their submissions and later access their account via a non-mobile device to fully complete and submit their application. Once their resume is updated in the system, applicants can apply to jobs with ease via their mobile devices.
What challenges come with mobile job applications and how do you respond?
Chrissy Toskos: We have found that we may have to reach out to candidates with a reminder to upload their resumes after they have applied. Other than the follow-up this has been a seamless process allowing us to provide a more accessible way for students to apply to positions at Prudential.
As mentioned above, one of our ongoing challenges is the inability to upload a new resume to their profile. We are currently monitoring the system functionality to solve for this current challenge.
Steven Rothberg: The majority of employers make little to no effort to accurately and automatically track their sources of candidate traffic, applicants, and hires. Many rely upon candidate self-identification such as “how did you hear about us” drop-down boxes or, even worse, asking candidates during an interview. Studies show that drop-down boxes are very likely to provide inaccurate data, and it is likely that interview stage questions provide even worse data. These employers would be better off collecting no data than collecting data which is that inaccurate.
Even if the employer is trying to automatically and accurately track their applicant sources, it is very difficult to do so accurately when candidates use mobile devices. One problem is that it is likely they will conduct their initial research on their mobile but then come back hours, days, or even weeks later on a laptop or another device that allows them to upload a resume. Tracking across multiple devices is very difficult and often impossible.
Chrissy Toskos is the Vice President Campus Recruiting at Prudential Financial. She leads the transformation of Prudential’s multi-faceted campus recruiting strategy to identify and invest in the long-term engagement of top talent while providing innovative practices for building a leadership pipeline for the company. Connect with Chrissy on LinkedIn.
About Steven Rothberg: Steven’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age. Disciplined in fifth grade for selling candy during math class and in college for running a massive fantasy hockey league, Steven managed to channel his passions into something more productive after graduate school. A fully recovered lawyer, Steven founded the business that morphed into College Recruiter and now, as its visionary, helps to create and refine the company’s strategy and leads its business development efforts.
December 21, 2016 by Anna Peters
The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. If you are interested a government internship, especially related to economics, investing or the stock market, consider the SEC. We heard from Temeka Thompson, the Recruitment Outreach Program Manager at SEC. She shared about how they hire and utilize interns.
Sometimes interns are seen as performing grunt work only. What’s the attitude at Securities and Exchange about interns?
Temeka Thompson: Interns are considered valued contributors and perform a wide array of duties and responsibilities while on their internship. Legal students conduct research/fact finding, prepare briefs and memorandums for high profile cases. Business students can find themselves leading marketing campaigns, auditing and investigating programs for effectiveness. Our managers who utilize student programs believe this is an excellent opportunity to fill entry level mission needs with fresh, energetic talent, whom they highly enjoy collaborating alongside.
How do you identify the stronger candidates? What are the metrics you might use?
TT: In addition to reviewing the completed application, the resume with any financial services or legal experience is key. One of the oldest; yet tried and true methods of identifying great interns is face to face interviewing or even now, virtual interviewing. Applicants who have the ability to address behavioral questions, have a history of taking the initiative and eagerness to learn and contribute are the interns that typically succeed and are in a better position to compete for full-time positions upon graduation.
How do you convert strong interns into full-time employees?
TT: The process is organic. Internships are working interviews and the interns who exhibit the ability to produce, takes pride in their work products and the mission of the SEC and perform really well are in a better position to compete for full-time opportunities. 3Ls/Judicial Law Clerks (current & pending)/Legal Fellows can apply to our Chairs Attorney Honors program (a highly competitive and prestigious entry level attorney hiring program) and our Business Students have the opportunity to apply to any Pathways or full-time opportunity that best fits their skill sets.
(Big thank you to the SEC for hosting the College Recruiting bootcamp this month!)
December 14, 2016 by Anna Peters
The same tools that save recruiters time often make the application process feel robotic and cold, at least from the job seeker’s point of view. As you work to woo people into your company, it would be a bad idea to turn them off. You can use time-saving technology and still be respectful and applicant-centric.
Your employer brand will suffer if you don’t take steps to be respectful.
Any negativity that a candidate experiences can go viral. Your employer brand doesn’t just depend on the culture you create for current employees. The experience you create for potential employees, including everyone who never gets an interview, is also part of your company brand. Recruiters may groan at having to sift through 500 resumes for a single position, but that’s a gold mine for branding. That resume stack represents a captive audience. Unlike your passive followers on social media who you wish would just click “like” occasionally, those job applicants are eagerly waiting to hear from you.
Recruitment skills are like sales skills, so recruiters: sell your brand and your company’s experience. Don’t overlook how important your own customer service skills are. Your candidates are your customers.
Don’t risk losing the top candidates
When you treat candidates like a herd of cattle, think about who you are losing. Employers large and small consistently place soft skills at the top of their wish list. Those skills include integrity, dependability, communication, and ability to work with others. A candidate with high integrity will drop out of the race quickly if they sense that a recruiter doesn’t regard them as worth more than a few seconds of their time. If you lose integrity from your pool, what do you have left?
Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group, agrees that the lack of respect for candidates has consequences. “It can be very devastating to hear nothing. Even bad news can be taken better than radio silence for days or weeks.” Candidates may have gotten used to being treated insignificantly during the job search, but that doesn’t mean they’ll put up with it for much longer. As companies start to figure out how to treat them better, you don’t want to be the last company standing with a humorless, disrespectful and overly-automated job application process.
A few little tweaks can make a difference
Like other great salespeople, good recruiters know how to read people. Let your recruiters bring their own humanness to the process. Don’t stifle their instincts to be respectful by automating every step of the way. If they truly have no time to insert a human touch along the way, then ask the most jovial member of your team to come up with better automated responses to candidates. Compare these two auto-emails: Continue Reading
December 09, 2016 by Anna Peters
Parental involvement during the job application process is on the rise, as we are all well aware. For older generations, the ways parents get involved may seem shocking, but it does no good to just scoff. Employers should know how to respond to both candidates and parents when they get that phone call from a mom or dad.
Feedback for candidates
It is entirely possible that a candidate’s mom or dad is intervening without their child’s knowledge. This might be to the utter embarrassment of the candidate, but it is important for them to be aware. Brandi Britton is District President of OfficeTeam. She says it’s important to “reinforce that behind-the-scenes parental involvement is totally fine, such as reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews or offering networking contacts, but direct contact with companies is inappropriate.”
After you’ve made it clear to candidates that you would rather not deal with their parents, make sure they know you are not going to discount them in the application process. This is important: an applicant’s skills are independent of their parents and you should not punish them for their parents’ behavior.
Being proactive may be the best approach of all. Christy Hopkins of Fit Small Business suggests providing applicants with an FAQ that accompanies your confirmation of their application. Those FAQ may be exactly what a parent may want to know, like pay rate, number of hours, application timeline. If the applicant forwards it to mom or dad, hopefully you have just avoided that awkward phone call.
Feedback for parents
Have the same response prepared for every parent. This preparation saves you time and ensures objectivity. Hopkins suggests something along the lines of: “Thank you so much for emailing/calling me to say hello. I appreciate how invested you are in your child’s success, and I can understand since I am a parent. However, in order to keep things fair for every applicant, I cannot talk about our selection process. Thank you very much for understanding.”
If you are like many HR professionals, it is annoying to deal with parents. However, as recruitment marketing becomes more strategic, remember that each interaction with any stakeholder presents an opportunity. “Being approached by a job applicant’s parent, or indeed anyone closely connected to the candidate is an opportunity to build your employer brand,” says Kevin Mulcahy, author of The Future Workplace Experience.
It’s not your job to teach them a lesson, but Joanie Connell at Flexible Work Solutions includes a scare tactic in her response to parents. She tells them, “We find that applicants whose parents call in are less serious about the job than applicants who contact us directly.” This response is fine as long as you are not actually discounting the candidates’ applications.
While it may be tempting to take all this into account in your hiring decision, be careful. Presumably most candidates do not have their mom or dad calling you, so beware of introducing an additional measure that only applies to one or two candidates. However, if a candidate reacts badly to your feedback, that may tell you something about how they may behave as an employee.
This may go without saying, but don’t take parents up on their attempts to influence your decisions. If they contact the hiring manager outside of HR, the manager should know to politely decline, noting the importance of privacy laws.
Embrace the change!
Enterprise is a company that embraces the relationship with parents during recruitment. They see that it builds a stronger relationships with candidates. They invite parents to interns’ final projects, and has a Bring your Parent to Work Day.
Maybe parental involvement doesn’t have to be annoying. Recognize that Millennials’ relationships with their parents are just different than those of Baby Boomers. Not worse or better, but different. You may call it hand holding, but many of the changes that Millennials’ present can be good for all of us. For example, more positive feedback, more work-life balance, and perhaps a mentor are good things for all your employees, not just the twenty somethings.
December 01, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
Employers are constantly looking for new ways to recruit and assess new talent and hires. The standard method of asking candidates to submit a resume and go through an interview process works for some employers – but not for others.
Because of that employers are now using gamification to recruit and assess recent college grads.
“Today’s employers face the challenge of recruiting and hiring recent college grads and Millennials, the largest generational demographic in the American workforce,” says John Findlay, co-founder of Launchfire, a digital engagement shop that turns boring content and mandatory training materials into a fun, easy-to-digest, game-based learning experience. “Many companies are finding that using game-based learning and gamification, which integrate points, badges, competition and role-playing, can be used to effectively attract and assess candidates.”
When using “games” as a recruitment tool, employers are looking to assess problem solving, creative and critical thinking skills, says John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology. Although they are meant to be engaging and somewhat entertaining, recent college grads must treat these games as carefully as one would any actual professional assignment.
Large employers such as Google, Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC, Cisco, Domino’s Pizza, and Marriott International are among the many employers using gamification as part of their recruiting strategies.
“If you’re hoping to gain employment with the organization, you should take all gamification exercises seriously and remember that this is all part of the interview process,” says Reed. “Don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a professional reflection of you and this is, most times, your first impression with hiring managers and you want to put your best work out there.”
Some colleges and universities are already introducing gamification to its students in hopes of better preparing them for the job search, and for real-life gamification-focused recruitment processes. Kaplan University uses gamification as a way to better prepare students and recent college graduates for the job market. Kaplan University has a main campus in Davenport, Iowa and headquarters in Chicago, and serves 42,000 online and campus-based students.
“Career Development doesn’t just happen, it’s an ongoing process of building skills and abilities and we’re utilizing gamification as a way to reinforce and reward career development with our students,” says Jennifer Lasaster, Vice President of Employer and Career Services at Kaplan University.
Kaplan University students are invited to participate in an internal CareerNetwork that was built with a video game developer and includes badges and quests for students who build and receive critiques on resumes and social media profiles, read field-related and career related articles, practice interviewing, review, and apply for jobs. Students are introduced to Kaplan’s CareerNetwork through classroom interactions and begin to accumulate points and badges throughout their time as a student, and can continue to do so after graduation.
The team at Kaplan has also built a feature for students to compete against each other in a resume showdown that will premier in 2017. In that scenario, Kaplan partners with an employer who shares a job description. Students are then encouraged to submit their resumes for that job. Five resumes are then selected for competition. Personal information is blocked out and the recruiter provides feedback to students on how and why one resume is declared the winner.
“This teaches students the importance of customizing their resume for each job, and that a quality job search is much more valuable than just taking one resume and sending it to various employers,” says Lasaster. “It’s also a great way for employers to receive resumes and feel like they are making a difference by teaching students what they need to do to apply for jobs at their company.”
“We’re using gamification as a way to better prepare our students for the real world,” added Lasaster.
The reality is, whether or not one is involved in a gamification-based recruiting process, recent college grads should still treat the job search like a game, says John-Paul Hatala, Ph.D., Director, Research and Development for SnagPad, a tool that enables career professionals and the job seekers they support to learn about and manage job search activity in a visual and strategic way.
“The most important challenge job seekers face today is conducting a strategic job search,” says Hatala. “In order to win this game, the idea is to think of it as going from step-to-step in the typical hiring cycle. The length of the cycle depends on the type of job/industry.”
For example, if a recent college grad is looking at an entry-level position, the cycle might be eight weeks until interview or job offer, says Hatala. So if a job seeker has applied to a job but hasn’t heard back in four weeks, move on to focus on the next opportunity.
“The more cycles you get involved in, the greater your chances of getting an interview or hired,” says Hatala. “This way you can stay realistic about your chances of a getting a particular job and move on to the next. This will help maintain a level of motivation that is necessary for a job search.”
Many projects that can be used during the gamification process are based on actual business issues or reflect what a new hires responsibilities will entail. Findlay points out two ways recent college grads can use gamification to their advantage in the recruiting process:
- Experience a “Real” Work Culture: Do you ever wish you could experience a company’s culture before you even take the time to apply for the position? Many companies are using simulations to allow prospects to live a week in the job. This not only allows the candidate to better understand the role and their job responsibilities, but helps sets realistic expectations about what they could expect in the position. That way if candidates don’t like the experience, they don’t have to apply, saving everyone time.
- Is this position for me? New college grads often think they are interested and qualified for one position when in reality, another type of position may be a better fit. Game simulations can be used to introduce candidates to positions that they may not have otherwise considered. This not only shows candidates the wide variety positions that could fit their skill set but gives applicants a realistic preview of what the work really looks.
“Use this opportunity to analyze the kinds of projects you’ll potentially be working on and be honest with yourself about whether or not these are aligned with your goals, strengths and desired career path,” says Reed. “While you should be presenting your best work, you should also evaluate whether or not the work is something you’d enjoy long term.”
While you’re the one being assessed for a role, this is also your chance to get deeper insights into the organization.
“Before you get to the in-person interview, the gamification process will let you choose whether or not you’d like to move forward with the process,” says Reed. “Take the time to get a feel for the culture and organizational goals of the company and use this opportunity to make a sound decision about next steps.”
Are you ready to take the next step in your job search? Register with College Recruiter to get the latest jobs emailed to you! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
November 23, 2016 by Anna Peters
Isn’t it great that today we can find employers from across the world online? Our parents would have had to scour the newspapers and ask everyone they knew and still found only a fraction of the opportunities available. If you are like many job seekers, however, all this information doesn’t make the the job application process any less frustrating.
One company is dedicated to hearing your complaints and calling for change. Potentialpark conducts an annual global survey that aims to make it easier for job seekers to interact with companies, find career information and apply to the right jobs. Their survey recently opened in the U.S., and you can participate here. (Bonus for participating: you can win prizes!)
Potentialpark goes through thousands of career websites, job ads, online applications, and social media channels. They check what they find against the survey results. Finally, they make a powerful case to employers to make things clearer and more accessible for their applicants. Continue Reading
October 20, 2016 by Anna Peters
Guest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF
The STEM workforce is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, a global chemical company, examines ways that recent college grads can establish a strong foundation to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. The first post in this series examined the different education paths to consider when preparing for a STEM and the second post examined the STEM career opportunities available.
STEM employment will increase rapidly: about 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM jobs will outgrow non-STEM jobs by almost two to one.
If you are planning a career in STEM, you should know which areas are expected to have the most job openings. For instance, the fastest-growing STEM undergraduate degrees in 2013 were statistics, computer information technology, administration and management, and environmental health engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Once you’ve landed your STEM job, how do you advance your career?
Forward-thinking companies recognize the importance of creating a strong internal talent pipeline in order to fill the skills gap, and seek to attract and retain employees with growth potential. Many businesses now provide unique opportunities for employees to design their career in a variety of ways and explore multiple job functions within a variety of disciplines, rather than limit professional development to a linear career ladder.
A great way to learn about other jobs is to immerse yourself in the company as a whole, and look for opportunities to participate in projects or interests that are outside of your job description. Some companies offer employees the chance to work with different groups and take on new responsibilities, exposing them to other roles from both an upward and lateral perspective. For example, BASF offers leadership development programs to help employees master new skills and discover additional talents. We organize these programs as rotational assignments, which provide entry-level hires with diverse working experiences. This is a good way to build their skills and professional network through cross-business training programs in areas such as marketing, engineering and supply chain management.
Previous generations typically followed a linear career plan. However, today’s workforce seeks career experiences that are diverse, engaging and innovative. BASF offers unique non-linear career journeys, described as “career roadmaps” rather than “career paths.” For example, a manufacturing engineer working in plastics can use his or her product knowledge to switch over to a marketing position. Mid- or senior-level employees in the same field may have had very different career journeys that landed them in similar positions.
It’s important to take ownership of your career goals, rather than adhering to the conventional belief that you need to perform at a certain level to reach a certain role by a particular age. Businesses today are empowering employees to embrace the freedom to creatively pursue their career goals. Through formal mentoring programs along with advanced training and education opportunities, companies are helping employees shape their aspirations and continue to develop their skills both on and off the job.
It’s important to have regular conversations with your supervisor to set career goals for yourself and track your performance. If you discover a passion in an area outside your particular realm, see how you can work together to integrate new responsibilities into your role or transition into a new position.
The STEM industry offers great flexibility to explore new interests and opportunities on and off the job. If you are an entry-level employee, be sure to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. You may be surprised by where your career takes you.
Luciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit. In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.
August 08, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
In today’s global, competitive workforce—where Millennials are the largest generation to date—jobs are tough to find and competition is more than 10 times worse than before the last economic downturn in 2008. For the past eight years, evidence shows a stalling, declining economy with pockets of hope but mostly despair. A recent poll cited that college graduates and Millennials under the age of 35 are moving back in with their parents in the homes they grew up in at alarmingly increasing rates. Other recent findings include the following factors that can hinder a graduate’s job search: taking too long to graduate while others fill jobs; going on to graduate school and delaying a career start; not being able to afford to work for less in a career start due to heavy college loan debt.
What is a newly minted college graduate to do? Is the college degree they hold in their hands worth it? Will they find a job? Will they make enough to pay off student loans and college debt while at the same time living independently from their parents?
Welcome to the “new normal” of what is the big Millennial challenge: Finding jobs that pay well enough to satisfy debt while at the same time affording a lifestyle.
In this brave, new world of global capitalism, government spending, and oversight, new regulations such as the new overtime mandate of paying salaried workers more for overtime…. graduates are in for a big wake up call! And more, older, qualified and more senior workers are standing in line for those jobs.
Happy yet? Keep reading. The US economy is stalled. Unfortunately, the government has decided to make it their role to tell employers how to run their businesses. Small businesses—the county’s backbone of entrepreneurship—have become stressed and many have closed or re-shifted to allow for these regulations. Some economists are predicting layoffs over the next few quarters as a result of a stalled economy coupled with higher mandated wages. Additionally, technology is often replacing workers in the workforce adding to the “do less with more” theme in many business operations.
Here are the top things you must do if you want employment in this US economy, and this includes being able to pay off debt:
Get more than one job: It may take a career start for less money combined with a job waiting tables on nights and weekends to make enough money. There is no shame in this, and in fact, future recruiters and employers will react positively to those Millennials who demonstrate a good work ethic.
Don’t expect it to be handed to you: Gone are the days of jobs awaiting. Employers want employees with “go get ‘em” work ethics. As an employer of Millennials, I am always looking for young talent willing to earn their way into my business.
We don’t care about your yoga, essential oils or feelings at work: They call it work for a reason. While some larger companies (Google, Twitter, etc) have offered amenities and benefits attractive to Millennials, these jobs are often reserved for the top few. A recent news report cited high competition for these coveted jobs. Most businesses cannot afford to “cater” to a certain type of demographic like the Millennials.
Communicate the old fashioned way: Look people in the eye, shake hands, talk persuasively, and send a hand-written thank you note. In a recent report by DC-based, NRF (National Retail Federation), communication skills place last on a list of training wants for Millennials. Placing first on the employer’s list? Communication skills. Millennials who understand what corporate recruiters are seeking will be those better able to get employed.
Secure a job that you know you can achieve in and take it: Work hard to prove yourself. My friend, Patti Clauss, Sr. VP of Global Talent for Williams-Sonoma and related companies says to “follow my lead and communicate with me like I communicate with you. Stay put in your job long enough to learn something valuable and transferable,” says Clauss.
Stay in your first job long enough, and work hard to generate results that are good enough to brag about: You must achieve results, get good feedback and move the ball down the field. Only then will people notice you and want to promote you or hire you away.
Don’t be a quitter: The problem with Millennials is they don’t stay put long enough to learn enough to make them valuable to the next employer: Hopping around in jobs is not a career enhancing practice. Employers will take note of a graduate who has moved around more than once within a two to three year time frame. Nobody wants to invest in someone if they know they won’t stay long enough to add value.
Reach out and engage with older, more established mentors in your job or career who can give you advice you won’t get anywhere else. Listen to those who have forged their paths before you and learn.
Read the local paper and read blogs by those in your area of work.
Know that your college degree is only as good as the paper it is on: While we believe a degree is a door opener, it is just that. What you do with it is what matters. A degree (or many) will not convince an employer to select you over others. We see many smart, degreed people out there looking for any job—often an entry level job.
Times are so different and it is critical that Millennials get into high gear and work to get ahead. They must understand that getting a degree is just one quiver in their pack of arrows. Today, they must have many other weapons with which to compete.
Amy D. Howell is founder and owner of Memphis PR firm, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC, a mother of a college student, high school student and author of two books, “Women in High Gear,” and most recently “Students in High Gear.”