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

Posted July 15, 2019 by

Can I Text You?

Can I Text You? (Is it okay to use text messages during a job search?)

Scrolling though job listings and even applying for jobs on your phone’s web browser is becoming more commonplace. But, is it okay to communicate via text with prospective employers?

According to Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, a talent acquisition agency in Washington, D.C., the answer is “no.” “It is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a candidate to text a potential employer during the job search process,” says Ducci.

Unless you’re specifically asked to send a text by an employer, you should skip texting for several reasons:

1. It’s too informal. Texting is convenient and used more than calling or emailing these days. However, while its perfectly fine for friends, partners and even co-workers in some cases, it’s still considered too informal by most employers. Remember, you’re trying to be professional and create a good impression.

According to some recruiting experts, an inappropriate thank-you note after a job interview is worse than sending no thank-you note! For instance, handwriting a note on casual stationery would be considered too informal, as would a text. This is especially true if it’s a conservative industry/business.

2. It’s a missed opportunity. Even though it’s more intimidating to call and talk to an employer, it gives you an opportunity to really communicate with that person and make a human connection. Talking conveys tone of voice and inflection, which are lost or often misconstrued in texts. It also allows you to answer questions and expand on subjects. In other words, talking is better for two-way communication, which helps build relationships.

If you’re writing a thank you letter (and most experts agree that you should), it gives you an opportunity to reinforce your qualifications, express your enthusiasm for the positions and the company, and demonstrate your communication skills.

3. You don’t know how the person feels about texting. According to a Gallup poll, sending and receiving text messages is the most common form of communication for many Americans under 50. However, while you and your friends may use texts as your primary means of communication, others might take offense to receiving a text. Text messages can seem “flippant” or dismissive, which may cause the employer to feel that you’re not taking the job seriously, even if that’s not the case.

Of course, the exception to this is if the person has already texted you first. For example, if the employer texts you first to ask for more information or schedule a follow-up interview, then it’s fine to text back. In general, however, save the texting for keeping in touch with friends or urgent messages with already-established business contacts.

Now, having said all that, don’t be surprised if texting becomes more accepted in the future. TopResume’s career expert Amanda Augustine says she wouldn’t be surprised, at least for newer professionals, if texting becomes a commonplace thing. After all, everyone is looking for ways to save time and be more efficient. So, don’t be shocked if the recruiter or hiring manager from your next interview follows up via text. If that happens, feel free to text back!

Sources:

“Can I text a thank you after a job interview?” by Rose Mathews, Chron.com, 2019.

“Forget the phone – your next employer wants to interview you over text messages, by Courtney Connley, CNBC, March 2018.

“This is one thing you should never do during a job search,” by Jennifer Parris, The Ladders, May 22, 2018

Posted July 11, 2019 by

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

Of course, it’s important to earn a living wage. And, while a great salary may top your “wish list” when job hunting, there are other important factors to consider. In fact, some aspects of a potential job can have a much greater impact on your overall satisfaction and long-term happiness than a paycheck. For instance, if you have children or crave work-life balance, flexible hours may be a significant benefit. If you love to travel, more vacation days can help you pursue your dreams.

Surveys show that employees rate the following factors as “extremely to very important” when deciding on a position.          

1. Interesting and/or challenging work, with room to grow.

In a 2018 poll by Korn Ferry of nearly 5,000 professionals, the top reason people were looking for a new job was boredom. That’s right they were bored! If you think about how many hours you spend at work, you can see how continually doing mundane tasks can take its toll over time. Most people want to be engaged in their job and challenged by new experiences. Based on interviews with employees at companies that have been designated as the Best Places to Work, “Doing things that I enjoy and am good at” ranked as the number one reason for loving their job. Having “learning or growth opportunities” was also rated highly. In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 59% of employees think that opportunity for personal growth and advancement was a very important job aspect.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike! (Lexington Law)

So, as you consider prospective positions, be sure the job responsibilities include tasks that truly interest you. Not every aspect of a job can be exciting, or even interesting, but overall, the position should entail something you enjoy doing and excel at. Also, be sure to ask about opportunities for continued training and growth, which will not only challenge you, but may result in a bigger paycheck down the road.

2. Organizational culture.

It goes without saying that a company with a toxic or dysfunctional culture is not going to be a great place to work. Not surprisingly, research shows that a negative atmosphere can reduce productivity and increase turnover, while a positive culture can improve performance, attract and retain employees and make a company more competitive.

While there has been a great deal of momentum around changing the face of corporate cultures over the past 10 years, Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report reveals that only 33% of employees in the U.S. rated their workplace culture as positive or engaging. There is obviously room for improvement.

Start by looking for a company that has taken the time to develop a mission statement and a set of values and that actually puts them into practice. In short, a mission outlines what a company stands for and defines its purpose. According to Forbes, mission-driven employees are 54% more likely to stay for five or more years at a company and 30% are more likely to become high performers. In summary, a great work environment can boost morale, motivate you, and enhance your quality of life.

“Culture” shouldn’t just be a buzzword for the company. And, it doesn’t always mean that the company has ping-pong tables and meditation rooms! A positive company culture is one that encourages teamwork and collaboration; offers opportunities for growth; and places a high value on its employees. They may also serve the community and encourage employee participation in that outreach. In short, there is no single rubric for company culture. However, you can get a sense of whether that culture is a good fit for you by researching the company, asking questions in the interview process, looking for comments on social media and, if possible, talking to other employees.

3. Accessible leadership.

Although this often goes along with a positive culture, having access to leaders and developing good working relationships with them is key to employee satisfaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, 60% of employees surveyed said their relationships with their supervisor or manager positively impacts their focus and productivity at work and 44% said it impacts their stress levels, leading to higher productivity and satisfaction overall.

Accessible leadership makes employees feel valued. It involves listening to employees and making them feel heard, acknowledging their feedback and doing something about it, recognizing employees for a job well done and giving credit where credit is due.

It can be difficult to get a feel for the leadership of a company prior to working there, but you can ask questions about reviews and feedback opportunities during an interview. In these days of social media, you can also often find comments from employees. Other indicators: Has the company been named as one of the best companies to work for? Have the company’s leaders received recognition for their direction?

4. Open communication/transparency.

Transparency and open communication fosters trust, and employees who trust organizations are more likely to be engaged in their everyday work life (TalMetrix). This makes sense when you consider that we are all more likely to trust someone when we feel they will share necessary information with us. Again, open communication is a big component of a positive company culture, but it’s important enough to be considered separately.

Some aspects that contribute to open communication and transparency are annual performance reviews, keeping employees informed about company performance on a regular basis, clearly communicating the company’s mission and values, creating an atmosphere where employees can voice concerns or make suggestions without fear of repercussions, and holding team-building activities.

Again, you can get a feel for a company’s communication style by asking questions during an interview about how often reviews are done and whether there is a forum for employee feedback. Companies that value open communication will also typically communicate this well on their website.

5. Employee health and work-life balance.

The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer revealed that a large number of employees value flexible schedules more than salary. Flexibility was more important for parents, with 84% naming it the number one factor to consider in a job. Meanwhile 80% of surveyed employees said work-life balance was the most significant factor. Of course, the two are closely related.

In today’s digital world, it’s much easier for companies to allow flexible work schedules as many jobs can be accomplished anywhere via computer. Remote workers are, in fact, a growing population.

In addition to flex hours and respect for work-life balance, employees who are most satisfied with their job site “wellness initiatives” as important. Companies that promote and encourage healthy habits show that they care about employees as people. The Global Talent Trends study found that 50% of employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company, including physical, psychological and financial wellness.

Companies that are committed to the health and wellbeing of their employees often offer a variety of wellness programs, such as on-site health screenings, lunch and learn sessions, on-site gyms, mental health days, standing desks, and more. Typically, these programs are featured on their websites or other recruiting materials.

What do you value? This is the question you need to ask before embarking on your job search. While there is no guarantee, finding a company that shares those values is more likely to lead to long-term job satisfaction. 

Posted May 14, 2018 by

Graduated but don’t have a job yet? Tips and words of wisdom from VP at Robert Half

 

If you’ve graduated from college and the reality of the job search has sunk in, you’re not alone. We spoke with Kathleen Downs, who is Vice President with Robert Half Finance & Accounting. She has advised many entry-level job seekers and professionals in launching their careers, and we offer her advice here. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel–there are jobs for grads out there–and Downs has concrete tips for fixing some possible mistakes you might be making in your job search. (more…)

Posted April 04, 2018 by

Job search advice: What to audit on your social media, and how to use recruiters’ tactics on themselves

 

The recent movie everyone’s watching about Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica should make job seekers hyper aware of the information they post online. Political analysts might build psychological profiles, but what do you think recruiters do to find the right candidates?

Some entry-level job seekers are surprised when they discover that recruiters search online for information about them. Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter says he finds this interesting. Some candidates get uncomfortable “when they discover that potential employers have looked at social media, talked with people not listed as references, and more.” But think of it this way, says Rothberg: you likely “have no qualms about looking at social media, talking with people who aren’t recruiters or hiring managers about that potential employer.” (more…)

Businesswoman interviewing candidate for a job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted May 11, 2017 by

Ask Matt: How to respond to the 5 most basic interview questions [video]

 

Dear Matt: I recently completed an interview, and realized, I wasn’t prepared to answer the most basic interview questions. I spent more time preparing for that odd, or unique question that may come up, and not enough time on the basics. What are some answers or responses to the most basic interview questions every recent job seeker should be sure to master before the next interview?  (more…)

Posted October 18, 2016 by

Beyond the hammer and hard hat: Don’t overlook unique career opportunities in construction industry

jobs in the construction industry

Photo courtesy of Stockunlimited.com

Are you an entry-level job seeker looking in accounting or finance, information technology, human resources, project management, engineering, customer service, or administration? Are you a woman or minority seeking an industry with career growth and upward mobility?

Then look no further than a career in the construction industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the construction industry to see an employment growth of 13.6 percent, or almost 520,000 new jobs by the year 2024. Companies across the country are seeking recent college grads to fill open positions, but old school stereotypes about the type of jobs and skills needed to succeed in the construction industry still exist – and that causes many recent college grads and entry-level job seekers to overlook careers in the construction industry.

Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA), understands those challenges and stereotypes, and he and other industry professionals are working diligently to change the perception and awareness about opportunities in construction.

Breaking down construction industry stereotypes

Kraus Anderson has about 500 employees, is based in Minnesota, and has a wide variety of divisions, but is primarily known for its commercial building division. When recruiting for open positions, Mayer and team face many of the same stereotypes as other construction companies across the country.

“The biggest misconception is one of men in hard hats swinging hammers and providing other labor,” says Mayer. “This is obviously a big part of what is needed in the industry, but also neglects the need for highly-educated and trained people in the construction and support roles listed above. In actuality, the construction industry is really a service industry with a focus on building and maintaining relationships.”

Tips for recent college grads seeking a career in the construction industry

Mayer says current college students and recent college grads seeking opportunities in the construction industry should research a company where they are interested in working at to find out about internships, and current job openings. The Kraus Anderson college recruiting program focuses on project and field engineer internships, and has also hired interns in accounting and HR role, pending on need. The company has developed relationships with about 13 colleges and universities to help fill internship roles throughout the company.

“I think there are some major misconceptions about careers in the construction industry that I have seen proven wrong time and time again in my over five years in the construction industry,” says Mayer. “I think most people would be surprised to learn that construction is also a very well paying industry, with an entrepreneurial spirit, where development and increased responsibility are readily available to those willing to learn and stretch their skills.”

Mayer is the prime example. He works in the construction industry, but he fills an important human resources leadership role in that industry. He received a B.A. in History from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN., and an M.A.in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from University of Minnesota’s Industrial Relations Center at the Carlson School of Management. Prior to KA, Mayer worked at Mortenson Construction, where he served as senior talent acquisition specialist.  He was also a senior professional recruiter for Manpower Professional.

“Even though I have never built a project, I take great pride in pointing out landmark projects that the company has built,” says Mayer. “There is a real pride with the tangible and long lasting nature of our end products. The value of our work to society can never be underestimated as it is always visible.”

Women and minorities encouraged to apply

As for those seeking opportunities to wear the hard hat and swing a hammer – those opportunities are also available, and KA and other construction companies are working hard to attract more women into construction opportunities. There are many local and national organizations that partner with construction firms to help promote opportunities for women in construction and the trades. The National Association of Women in Construction is a network for professional women in the field of construction.  The Washington Women in Trades Association was created for women working in the trades to gather and share information. Tradeswomen, Inc., is one of California’s first organizations for women in the trades and one of its goals is to recruit more women into construction and related non-traditional trades. Just about every state has an organization that supports careers for women and minorities in construction and the trades. Kraus Anderson is active in sponsoring and partnering with women’s campus organizations, as well as growing their partnership with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

“We have a variety of initiatives to continue to build diversity into our workforce with recruiting efforts targeted toward women, minorities, veterans, and others underrepresented in our field,” says Mayer. “These efforts not only target recent grads and experienced hires, but build deeper foundations through community involvement and support of organizations that reach students in elementary school to continue to build the notion that construction is a great field.”

Mayer continued: “I think old stereotypes persist, because there was some truth to them for such a long time. We realize that different educational backgrounds, skill sets, approaches, and life perspectives bring great value to our ability to deliver projects now and into the future.”

Soft skills crucial to success in construction industry

What do recruiters look for when hiring recent college grads in the construction industry? Soft skills stand out, says Mayer.

“Relationships are the cornerstone of our business, and because of that we seek candidates that can effectively communicate and coordinate/lead/manage large groups to foster these lasting relationships focused on solving problems,” says Mayer. “It is a given that a candidate needs to have a core set of construction skills to work in this industry, but the soft skills are the true differentiators that we seek. In today’s market, the candidates that have these skills are typically well taken care of and happy where they’re at. To get these candidates in the mix we are focusing on leveraging employee referrals and building a strong employment brand.”

Recent college grads, don’t overlook careers in the construction industry. It’s a great place to build a career. Get a jump start on learning about careers in the construction industry by signing up for personalized construction industry job alerts here. 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.

For more job seeker tips and advice visit our blog and follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

 

Featuring Tim Mayer, Kraus Anderson, on careers in the construction industry. Jobs in the construction industry.

Tim Mayer is Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company.

About Tim Mayer
Tim Mayer is Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA) where he is responsible for creating and leading the company’s end-to-end hiring strategy. Mayer is strategically implementing a proactive strategy to attract top talent for KA’s immediate needs and build a pipeline for future needs, as the company grows. He applies a big-picture approach to provide an excellent candidate experience, while recruiting managers, grooming company leaders and providing a seamless transition as long-time employees retire.

 

Posted September 20, 2016 by

What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

By Ted Bauer, contributing author to College Recruiter

Diversity is a complicated topic, especially in this modern political climate where it seems like many are trying to define other groups as the enemy. It’s also semantically complicated — it means many different things to many different people. Some think of it as skin color, some as gender, some along socioeconomic lines. It varies.

What’s more — diversity and inclusion are actually very different concepts, although they’re not often treated as such. Your efforts at diverse recruiting need to differentiate between the two ideas. (more…)

Posted August 26, 2016 by

Biggest networking mistake you can make

Asking photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

For many college students and recent graduates, networking is likely to be part of their job searches. Their success or failure when interacting with recruiters and hiring managers will depend on their approach. While securing internships or entry-level jobs is a priority, college students and recent grads don’t want to come off as too aggressive when asking about career opportunities. Job seekers should not assume that just because they are eager to work that employers will automatically tell them about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market.

When networking, students and graduates can inform professionals about who they are and what interests they have. At the same time, they can ask questions to learn more about potential employers and what they have to offer. Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, discusses a key mistake to avoid when networking and shares helpful tips for a better experience.

“The biggest networking mistake is asking people if they know of any open jobs. It’s good to be aggressive and show you’re looking for work. But why should anyone recommend you, especially if they don’t know you or your work ethic?

The best way to network is showing curiosity about what people do. Ask them and tell them you’d like to learn more about their profession; establish an interest in them. They may recommend you and say “This person is interested in…and may be good for the position.” Asking employers if they’re hiring won’t be as effective as “Hey, what do you do?” Avoid that mistake and you’ll be better at networking.”

Want to improve your networking skills? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

Marc Prosser is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for 10 years. He joined as FXCM’s first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.

Posted August 19, 2016 by

Networking isn’t all about you

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

How do you handle networking opportunities? Is it a one-way or a two-way street? The mistake you can easily make is that networking is all about you. Because you’re so focused on landing an internship or an entry-level job, no one else seems to matter. Having that perspective is a mistake.

Networking is about communicating with professionals or other job seekers and building relationships with them. If you’re not just talking but taking the time to listen to someone else, you can learn valuable information to benefit your career. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains why networking isn’t all about you and offers good networking tips.

“We live in a culture obsessed with personal branding, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem occurs when the only thing professionals focus on is themselves. Don’t attend networking events to tell your story alone; focus on listening, as well. After all, networking should be a dialogue, not a monologue.

It all comes down to authenticity. Are you joining professional groups and meeting people to only serve your career and to be the loudest, most talkative person in the room? If so, you will get nowhere fast.

Show a genuine interest in meeting new people, sharing ideas, asking questions, and developing strong relationships. Nobody wants to associate with selfish, egotistical blowhards who try controlling every conversation.

Being authentic also requires gratitude. Many young professionals forget to thank whoever takes time to talk to them. Express how much you appreciate each person’s time and energy. This leaves them with a positive impression of you and solves another common networking mistake, which is failing to follow-up.

Most people assume their contacts will seek them out on their own. Don’t leave it to chance. Instead, be proactive, and connect online and schedule follow ups with a simple email or a request for a lunch meeting. Take charge, be humble, and maintain a level of professionalism.”

Find more networking advice on our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.

Posted August 16, 2016 by

Absence of genuine networking discourages job seekers

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As recruiters and hiring managers search for top talent, it is important they understand how to approach potential job candidates. Employers should think about treating candidates the way they would want to be treated when searching for internships or entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t assume just because they arrive on college campuses that they will make connections. Taking time to speak with college students who attend networking events shows sincere interest in them and create a favorable impression of an employer. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains the importance of connecting with candidates in a genuine manner.

“Networking is a way to build professional relationships on a personal level. But many recruiters fail to connect with potential candidates in a meaningful way. Communication is the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit. If you can’t explain expectations and describe opportunities in a clear, straightforward way, candidates will go elsewhere. Job seekers aren’t interested in vague, unclear information. They want to know if an opportunity is right for them so help them see if they can fit into the role.

It’s easy to spot common offenders when you’re at networking events. Keep an eye out for card spammers, people who throw their business cards around attempting to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. This is not just unprofessional; it’s also offensive.

You can’t build relationships by skimming the surface and trying to get your information in as many pockets as possible. Why would I want to build a trusting relationship with you when you can’t seem to take the time to fully engage with me?

Instead, start a conversation and express a genuine interest in connecting. Being inauthentic and focusing only on the result is off-putting. Don’t force anything; sometimes, there just isn’t a fit. Express what you can offer and how you can help potential candidates.

Follow-up if you sense some interest, but don’t be pushy. There is a human side to business, and talented candidates appreciate when they are treated as a person, not a commodity.”

Want more networking tips? Make your way to our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.