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

Posted November 11, 2016 by

Workplace mentoring: part of your inclusion strategy

Mentor coaching two employeesIn a scramble to create more inclusive workplaces, many companies have implemented mentoring programs. The programs live in the Diversity and Inclusion space because often, minorities and women benefit the most from having a mentor. Research by Catalyst has found that female employees with mentors increase their salaries by 27% compared to women who do not have a mentor. Having mentors, says Kerry Stakem at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is “like having your own board of directors.” Depending on your situation, you seek help from different board members. If you have or want a mentoring program, think through these tips and examples.

Set your objective. “One of the main mistakes many organizations make when starting a mentoring program is not having a goal or program objective,” says Lori Long. Long is a business professor at Baldwin Wallace University who specializes in understanding and promoting effective workplace management. There are four objectives commonly found among mentoring programs, according to research done by APQC. Those are: “the transfer of discipline-specific knowledge; career pathing and counseling; the development of business acumen and soft skills; and the dissemination of “insider knowledge” about an organization’s structure, norms, culture, and professional networks.”

Get everyone involved. Even if your program is intended to help women and minorities catch up to their White male counterparts, you should include all employees in the program. Often companies may only provide the opportunity to participate in the program to certain groups of employees, thus excluding some employees that may really benefit from such a program,” says Long. Plus, given the disproportionate number of White males in senior leadership, you likely need their participation as mentors. It’s a numbers game.

Many companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Boston Consulting Group, assign mentors to all employees. To make a match, organizations may use demographic or personality questionnaires. Lori Long says that one approach is “to host mentoring networking events to allow potential mentors and mentees to meet each other informally.   Then the program can ask mentees to request their preferred mentors. “She believes mentees should make the request. The formality of the networking event can ease the intimidation of asking someone “Will you be my mentor?”

PwC recognizes that not all matches are made in heaven. Employees can change their mentor every year during PwC’s open enrollment. Kerry Stakem, PwC’s Northeast Talent Acquisition Leader, says “If it’s not working then it’s doing neither side any good.” If an employee swaps their mentor for someone who they prefer, their buy-in goes up and participation becomes more voluntary. A voluntary evolution of the mentor-mentee relationship is key. They will naturally build a trusting relationship.

Mentoring can evolve into sponsorship and advocacy. If the mentor-mentee relationship goes well, the mentor can become more of a sponsor. While a mentor can be passively available to guide their mentees’ development, a sponsor is more active. Lori Long says that the “sponsor’s role is much more proactive and can usually have a more significant impact on one’s movement within an organization. “ A mentor is good. Even better is a sponsor, and a real advocate is ideal.

At BCG, Matt Krentz leads the Global People Team. Their mentors, he says, are responsible for tracking their mentee’s engagement and watching for someone in the company who can be a sponsor, and hopefully an advocate. An advocate is someone who more naturally puts themselves on the line for someone else.

It should be reciprocal. Advocates and sponsors should benefit from the relationship too. Employees being advocated for should help their advocates look good. Kerry Stakem says that aside from the warm fuzzies of helping others develop, mentoring others builds her own leadership and listening skills.

One company that is doing this right is Sodexo. They have programs for mentoring women at all levels, from entry-level to senior management. Here’s what they do for their entry-level hires (excerpt from BCG’s recent report, “The Rewards of an Engaged Female Workforce“):

“French food services and facilities management company Sodexo is globally recognized for its commitment to diversity. …Sodexo launched mentorship programs at all levels, many targeting high-potential women and focused on operational roles. For example, promising junior women are offered networking opportunities and exposure to female leaders through virtual webinars. …“It’s a high-touch process,” says Anand, “but that level of people investment is part of our culture.” …Selected employees get matched to senior mentors, who are chosen through a similarly rigorous process and trained in good mentorship practices. The program matches people across business lines to ensure broad exposure for mentees. Most important, it works: women in the program are promoted significantly faster than their peers.”

If your goal is to create a more inclusive workplace, a mentoring program can be part of the solution, but not the whole solution. Inclusion must be a core value and be integrated into the fabric of the organization.

 

lori-longLori Long is a Professor at Baldwin Wallace University and instructs courses in human resources and general management. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the Human Resource Certification Institute. Lori is also the President of LK Consulting, LLC, a human resource management consulting firm and she is the author of “The Parent’s Guide to Family Friendly Work” (Career Press, 2007). Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

 

kerry-stakem-pricewaterhousecoopersKerry Stakem is the Northeast Market Sourcing Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers with specialties in Assurance, Tax and Advisory Recruiting. She is excited by opportunities to connect people with their passions through her work.  Connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

 

 

matt-krentz-boston-consulting-groupMatt Krentz joined The Boston Consulting Group in 1983. He is a Chicago based Senior Partner and head of the firm’s Global People Team, which is responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining top talent across all cohorts. He is also a member of BCG’s Executive and Operating Committees, as well as the Consumer and People & Organization practice areas. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

 

Posted June 03, 2016 by

Onboarding benefits interns and new hires

Training photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Employers can take different approaches when it comes to their onboarding programs. Some companies focus more on management, while others concentrate on the social aspect. These approaches and others shape new employees into the company culture. Beverly Behrmann, Academic and Career Advisor at Keene State College, discusses how certain companies help college students and new hires succeed in the onboarding process.

“As for onboarding programs, bigger national companies like Liberty Mutual have extensive management programs that work closely with new hires to ensure success. There is a mentoring component and a rotation so new hires can see various aspects of the company and how divisions work.

Here in Keene, there are two local employers we work with often. They are Barton Associates and Electronic Imaging Materials. Both companies build in a social component to integrate new employees. This might include potluck lunches, games, and “fun” gatherings. Both companies also have extensive internship opportunities so college students can get acclimated to workplace scenarios and behaviors in a lower risk situation. If the internship works out, students may transition into full-time employees and have been “socialized” to a certain extent by the time they start as full-time employees.”

Looking for ways to build an onboarding program? Head to our advertising solutions page and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Beverly Behrmann, Academic and Career Advisor at Keene State College

Beverly Behrmann, Academic and Career Advisor at Keene State College

The Office of Academic and Career Advising believes in empowering students to develop lifelong skills that will serve them beyond their time at Keene State College. This philosophy is paramount in creating successful and meaningful outcomes and one Beverly Behrmann wholeheartedly shares. As career advisor, Beverly helps students gain essential skills needed to pursue their academic and career paths. By working with students through individual appointments and class presentations, she provides resources to help them navigate the career development process.

Posted May 10, 2016 by

How to select a career mentor

When you graduate from college, you lose daily, immediate access to some of your greatest mentors and teachers—faculty members, advisors, and career services professionals who have guided you through some of the best and most formative years of your life. When starting your first entry-level, full-time job, it’s important to begin seeking out a career mentor.

This five-minute video, created by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, will help you select a quality career mentor.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

There are at least two types of mentors you need to find, ideally, when you begin your first full-time, entry-level job. The first type of mentor you need to find is a workplace mentor. This mentor works for the same company or organization but has at least a few years of experience under her belt. She probably works for the same team or within the same division and can provide you with guidance related to company policies and procedures, the ins and outs about how to make coffee in the breakroom, and other important tips about surviving on a daily basis within your organization.

This video and article will help you select the other—and more important—type of mentor: a career mentor. A career mentor is a lifelong mentor; your career mentor has years of experience, preferably decades of experience, and works in your “dream career field.” A career mentor will provide career guidance and mentorship over the course of your career journey. When selecting a career mentor, be picky. You should spend at least a few months observing professionals and contemplating “fit” before asking someone to serve as your career mentor.

Here are a few tips to aid you in selecting your career mentor.

1. Look for elevator people.

Elevator people are defined as people who bring you up, while basement people bring you down. This trait is especially important in mentors. When you’re asking someone for advice and guidance, you don’t want to leave every conversation feeling controlled, manipulated, deflated, or picked apart. Not only does that type of relationship sound very unhealthy, but it’s also completely unproductive. Seek out a career mentor who lifts others up. Is the mentor you’re considering territorial with her ideas? Does she appear jealous when you discuss something you’re working on that’s exciting to you? Move on and consider option B.

2. Go for the “gel.”

Can you completely relax when talking to your career mentor? This doesn’t mean you need to think of your career mentor as a peer; she’s not. You should have a great amount of respect for your career mentor.  Competent communication is defined as communication that is both effective and appropriate. Of course you want to interact with your mentor with an appropriate level of respect; you won’t talk to your mentor about the party you hosted Saturday night or your conflict with your boyfriend. You discuss those matters with your personal friends.

But it is crucial to select a career mentor you “gel” with. Can you be honest about your career goals, or do you feel intimidated to discuss the future? Are you afraid your career mentor will laugh at your dreams? When you make mistakes at work (and don’t worry—every new entry-level employee makes mistakes), do you feel comfortable confessing those mistakes to your career mentor and seeking advice about how to overcome them? If not, you probably need to consider seeking out a new career mentor.

3. Find a great listener.

Motivational speakers may seem inspiring when you meet them, but remember when seeking a career mentor, you must find someone who can listen as much as she talks. You’re going to come up against obstacles over the course of your career journey, and it’s important that your career mentor listen well (without placing judgment). Only excellent listeners can offer excellent feedback and suggestions. Great career mentoring relationships tend to look alike—be sure yours matches up.

4. Reflect on your feelings.

Always reflect on your feelings after spending time with potential career mentors. Weigh pros and cons, make lists, and attempt to make a clear-headed decision before selecting a career mentor, certainly. But at the end of the day, relationships like this must be based at least partly on gut instinct. After going to lunch with your career mentor, do you feel better or worse? When you have a phone conversation, do you feel more positive or disheartened? Do you feel more motivated to go back to work and to try to reach your goals, or do you feel like taking the day off after talking to your mentor?

5. Don’t discount your feelings before you make the final decision about asking someone to serve as your mentor.

Lastly, when you decide to ask someone to serve as your career mentor, be gracious and grateful. Your career mentor is doing you a huge favor and will likely invest hours—if not days—of her life in yours. Mine has.

For more advice about starting your first full-time job off right, read our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted August 11, 2014 by

From Classroom to Conference Room: Insights and Tips to Getting Hired

Male student with computer taking notes in university class

Male student with computer taking notes in university class. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Walking off the stage after receiving your college diploma can feel a bit like stepping into the void – a vast void of unemployed graduates all hoping to land the best job offer for their chosen field. Some job seekers focus with a laser-like intensity that blocks out opportunities disguised as “poor fits,” while others make it to the interview only to freeze and not communicate their experience and desire for the job.

Just as receiving your degree was the result of discipline, preparation and hard work, so too is the journey to receiving the right job offer. Here are a few insights and tips to help speed your path to the career you’ve worked so hard to launch: (more…)

Posted June 02, 2014 by

Need Help Managing Millennials on Entry Level Jobs? What Employers Can Do

Employers who feel challenged when it comes to managing Millennials on entry level jobs can get some advice in the following post.

New college graduates are full of confidence and multitasking techniques, but their first roles in the workforce often leaves them feeling unfulfilled. The culprit? It might not be entry-level pay or the smallest cubicle, but a factor you wouldn’t expect: lacking opportunities to continue learning in their first jobs. The 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey, released recently by

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Posted April 01, 2014 by

Internship Finder, Develop Hard and Soft Skills to Improve Your Job Search

As an internship finder, learning to develop hard skills and soft skills during your experience can benefit your job search.  In the following post, find out how to develop both types of skills in your internship.

Each internship presents two sides to your potential learning… the tangibles and the intangibles. These are commonly referred to as “hard skills” and “soft skills”. To increase your chance to get hired, you’ll need to learn from both of these sides of your internship. Many interns make the mistake of only focusing on the hard skills. They don’t realize that

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Posted March 24, 2014 by

How College Students and Recent Grads Can Turn School into a Chance to Find Entry Level Jobs

While college students and recent graduates might not think they have enough experience to land entry level jobs, they can use their time in school to show potential employers what skills and experience they bring to the table.  Learn more in the following post.

Many college students and recent grads face the “I don’t have experience” dilemma in their job search. In one recent blog post I included this: Most new grads have more experience and skills than they give themselves credit for, and then struggle with turning it into value statements for employers.

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Posted February 27, 2014 by

Why Big Wins are Good for Colleges But Bad For Potential Students

A basketball next to a blank basketball tournament bracket

A basketball next to a blank basketball tournament bracket. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s almost time to start talking about this year’s NCAA Tournament — but not for the reasons you think. Turns out, enrollment often goes up once a school makes it into the Elite Eight or the Final Four, and while that’s good for the college or university in question, it’s less good for the matriculating first-year student hoping for individualized attention and a leg up on his or her peers. (more…)

Posted February 26, 2014 by

5 Ways to Achieve Career Progress on Entry Level Jobs for 2014

For graduates who want to achieve career progress on their entry level jobs this year, the following post offers five ways to do so.

The new year brings promises of fresh starts, new habits and hope that life will be different. But already, a little over a month into 2014, your best intentions are followed by little change. Why do 90 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail? Because we don’t reflect on the year that was or

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Posted November 25, 2013 by

Young Professionals, Don’t Feel Like Your Entry Level Jobs Are Worth the Time? 3 Steps to Help You Make It

Young professionals who are not happy with their entry level jobs could easily quit them, or find out why they’re unhappy with them.  The following post shares three steps to help these workers make it on their current jobs.

You open your eyes, remember it’s a weekday and feel a crushing weight come down on your chest as you think, “I really don’t want to go to work again. What am I going to do?!” We’ve all been there, dreading the moment when we have to get

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