ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

Posted November 21, 2012 by

Three ways to facilitate more live conversations with prospective college students

CollegeRecruiter.comColleges and universities that are interested in enrolling more students to their schools may want to consider strategies involving live interaction.

As I present the findings from the latest E-Expectations research with clients and colleagues, one of the areas that generates the most discussion is the apparent interest prospective students show in using Webcams and other tools to have live conversations with current students, faculty, and admissions representatives.

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Three ways to facilitate more live conversations with prospective college students

Posted November 23, 2010 by

Business, Engineering, and Computer Science 2011 Grads Most Sought After by Employers

Marilyn Mackes of the National Association of Colleges and EmployersEmployers are most interested in hiring new college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the business, engineering, and computer science fields, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Nearly 62 percent of the organizations taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey cited plans to hire accounting graduates. Other popular degrees at the bachelor’s degree level included:

  • Finance degree (57 percent of respondents);
  • Electrical engineering degree (53.5 percent );
  • Computer science degree (53 percent);
  • Mechanical engineering degree (53 percent); and
  • Business administration degree with a specialization in accounting, finance, and management (52 percent).

(more…)

Posted November 15, 2010 by

Easily Source Veterans and Disabled From Two- and Four-Year Colleges

Many of our largest employer clients are federal government and Fortune 500 organizations because our two most popular recruitment advertising tools are well suited to organizations with large hiring needs. News out of Washington, D.C. last week got me to thinking about whether we could help our clients hire veterans and disabled college students and recent graduates. In short, the answer is definitely.

I learned just before Veterans’ Day that the federal government’s primary method of hiring interns may be illegal because federal agencies are supposed to give hiring preferences to veterans. The Federal Career Internship Program (FCIP) was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships but a number of agencies have abused it. An arbitration board just ruled that FCIP illegally circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles regarding veterans.

If FCIP is dead, the agencies could shift to targeting college students who are veterans or disabled as those groups are to receive hiring preferences. But are there enough veteran and disabled college students and how can we help the agencies and our corporate clients reach those valuable candidates?

I had our targeted email campaign and cell phone text messaging campaign data guys do a bit of research and found that we can email or text on behalf of our employer clients over one million veteran or disabled students and recent graduates:

So clearly we’re able to help a federal agency, Fortune 500, or any other client that wants to hire veteran or disabled students or recent graduates. And we can drill down by targeting, for example, those who are (1) disabled, (2) juniors and seniors of four-year colleges, (3) accounting or finance majors, (4) with GPA’s of 3.0 to 4.0 and (4) are African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, or Native-American.

If this intrigues you like it intrigues me, let’s have a look at how for as little as $2,250, CollegeRecruiter.com can help your organization reach veteran and disabled college students and recent graduates or just about any other demographic you wish. Just email your targeting wish list and we’ll figure out how best we can help you reach your recruiting goals.

Posted November 14, 2010 by

Lawsuit May Have Killed the Federal Career Internship Program

Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

An important decision by a key administrative agency that the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) violates a statute relating to veterans’ preferences illustrates one of the fatal flaws in this program, the leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees said.

President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has been leading the fight to curb widespread agency misuse of the FCIP and eliminate the program, which circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles. “I welcome this highly significant decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which ratifies NTEU’s longstanding position regarding the illegality of the FCIP,” said Kelley. NTEU filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the MSPB. NTEU also has a pending suit, which is a more broadly based challenge to the FCIP. That suit challenges the program as applied to all employees, not just veterans, and is awaiting a ruling in federal district court. NTEU is seeking the prospective elimination of the FCIP along with the conversion of all FCIP hires to the competitive service without loss of pay or benefits.

The cases at issue in the MSPB decision involve two disabled veterans, one of whom was seeking a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Board said it identified two specific legal flaws in the FCIP. The first flaw is that the program improperly permits agencies to classify a position as being in the excepted service—rather than in the competitive service—after a vacancy announcement is issued, and even after applications are received. The second, the MSPB said, is that the positions can be placed in the excepted service without a showing, as required by statute, that such a decision is “necessary” for conditions of “good administration.”

In one case, a veteran alleged he was unable to apply for a position because he was not aware of vacancies; openings to be filled under the FCIP are not subject to the same public notice requirements as are competitive service jobs. In the other, a veteran applied for one of nine VA vacancies under an announcement limited to eligible veterans—but the agency filled all nine positions using the FCIP.

The FCIP was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships; instead, a number of agencies have come to use it for all new hires. Often, agencies use it to undercut the competitive hiring process in ways that limit promotion opportunities for current employees.

The MSPB decision comes at a time when the Office of Personnel Management, acting in response to a presidential directive earlier this year, is reviewing the FCIP and making recommendations to the administration about the future of the program.

Posted November 14, 2010 by

Job Seekers Want More Employment-Related Content On the Social Media Sites of Potential Employers

Shannon Seery Gude of Bernard HodesBernard Hodes Group, a leading provider of integrated talent solutions, released the results of a new research study focused on the utilization of social media networks by companies interested in sourcing and recruiting new talent. The study, entitled “The Employment Conversation: How Employers & Talent are Meeting on the Social Web,” additionally reveals how the online population utilizes social media for seeking career-related information. Among the most interesting findings is that only one-third (32%) of those surveyed and searching social media sites found an employer presence containing helpful job-related information.

“Our research supports the importance of a social media presence from a recruiting and branding standpoint,” said Alan Schwartz, president and CEO, Bernard Hodes Group. “Companies must be committed to nurturing their social web presence and ensure that they are connecting with potential candidates in an honest and authentic manner.”

According to human resources professionals who participated in the Hodes study, the biggest challenges to deploying social strategies for recruiting purposes are managing internal training and resources needed for implementation, convincing co-workers or superiors that it is a worthwhile endeavor, funding, and organizational reluctance to change.

“Through this research we discovered that although companies are developing social strategies and using social networks to create a community, they are still having challenges utilizing social networks to engage or connect with potential employees,” said Daria Friedman, vice president and director of research, Bernard Hodes Group. “Although connecting through social communities has become the norm for individuals, many companies still have not incorporated sufficient recruitment content into their social sites.”

Even with challenges, using social media strategies is considered by most HR professionals to be very or extremely important for recruitment and employer branding. Nearly 80% have or plan to have a social media presence on their career site, use social media to keep in contact with alumni employees, optimize their career site for mobile access, and implement social-recruiting training.

“Social recruiting strategies are extremely important to companies that are both actively and passively recruiting. Without a social presence, employers are potentially missing out on the opportunities to build relationships with candidates, seek out talent that may have specialized skills, and bolster their own reputation through a social strategy,” said Shannon Seery Gude, vice president digital and social strategy, Bernard Hodes Group.

Posted November 12, 2010 by

Employer Branding Is More About the Candidate Experience Than Fancy Graphics

Kelly Bartkiewicz of MARSJonas Barck, marketing manager for Universum Communications, invited me to attend their employer branding conference this past Wednesday at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. In addition to the facility being absolutely top notch, so was the content.

At about 2pm, a recruiter for one of the many Fortune 500 employers in the room commented that his takeaway from the day was that employer branding was a lot more about delivering a positive candidate experience than fancy brochures, web sites, pamphlets, or career fair giveaways. Yes! In one sentence, the recruiter absolutely nailed it. All of the fancy collateral in the world won’t result in the improvement of your organization’s brand unless there is real substance to back-up the style. In other words, actions speak louder than words. If you tell candidates that you have a collaborative work environment — which Gen Y loves — then they better not walk into your office and find a Dilbert-esque cube farm.

One of the presenters who did a great job talking about branding was Kelly Bartkiewicz, Personnel & Organization Director – Talent Management at MARS. You’d think that with all of their wonderful candy, pet food, and other consumer goods that branding would be the least of their problems and yet it actually is one of their most significant problems. You see, consumers and therefore candidates have preconceived notions about MARS because MARS has a strong consumer brand. But that brand isn’t what they want to project to their candidates because working at MARS is a lot different than eating their candy or feeding your dog Greenies or any of their other pet-related products. So MARS has to stay true to its consumer brand yet also carve out a different employment brand. That’s not an easy task but it seems that Kelly and her team are having real success in achieving that goal.

Another large but very different organization that we learned about was the National Security Organization. Lori Weltman, marketing manager, delivered the keynote presentation on how the NSA connects with its candidates. As a very selective intelligence agency, it takes them months and months to go from the point of initial contact to extending an offer of employment and just that delay frustrates a lot of candidates and inevitably costs them some good hires. Yet they’ve also learned that their candidates value working on some very, very leading edge technology without the pressures of earning a profit this fiscal quarter and their candidates want to do real, meaningful work that helps their nation. So the NSA focuses is branding messages on those and other hot button issues. Unlike MARS, the NSA has no consumer brand as it doesn’t sell anything to consumers. Yet that lack of consumer brand presents challenges to the NSA as they need to explain what they do to an awful lot of very highly qualified and difficult to hire candidates. Again, Universum picked a great presenter as Lori did a great job of communicating their tactics and strategies and her employer seems to have great success in achieving their goals.

Kudos to Universum and all of the presenters. The conference was informative, engaging, and well worth the time for everyone in attendance.

Posted October 29, 2010 by

Leading Businesses Launch Training Initiative to Prepare U.S. College Students and Young Professionals for the Workforce

Today, Business Roundtable and HR Policy Association announced the release of JobSTART101: Smart Tips and Real-World Training, an online course for college students and recent graduates that introduces the professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. Even in a time of soaring unemployment, a survey revealed that 61 percent of U.S. employers report difficulty in finding qualified workers to fill vacancies at their companies. JobSTART101 addresses the gap between employers’ needs and workers’ skills by helping students understand the real-life challenges and expectations of the workplace.

The United States needs a well-equipped workforce that is prepared for the challenges of today’s job market. However, many college graduates do not have an opportunity to learn what employers expect and have not developed the professional skills that will help them succeed after they are hired.

“While our nation remains focused on job creation, it’s equally important to focus on ensuring that our workforce has the skills and training needed to succeed in today’s economy. Business leaders are concerned that many entry-level employees lack the communication and analytical skills that are necessary for sustained job success,” said William D. Green, Chairman and CEO of Accenture and Chairman of Business Roundtable’s Education, Innovation and Workforce Initiative. “JobSTART101 helps prepare new employees meet the challenges of the job market which is essential to building a competitive workforce.”

JobSTART101 is a first-of-its-kind course that’s free and available to college students and recent graduates nationwide. The course includes interactive components such as videos and course workbooks that cover topics ranging from how to communicate and solve problems to how to develop a professional persona that helps drive a career for long-term success. It is designed to be engaging and fast-paced, with the option for students to complete the entire course in approximately 90 minutes or tackle the six topical modules one at a time.

“A student or young professional who spends 90 minutes with this course will be a more productive employee and experience greater satisfaction in his/her first job without having to undergo extensive – and expensive – coursework or training,” says Alexandra Levit, an expert on business and workplace issues and the online instructor for JobSTART101.

Prior to today’s release, a group of college students provided feedback on the course. Six institutions participated in the pilot evaluation: California State University at East Bay, Coppin State University, DeVry University, Duke University, Northern Virginia Community College and University of Michigan. The majority of students reported that the course engaged their interest and included useful information and relevant examples that would help prepare them for situations they would face at work.

The need for JobSTART101 was identified by The Springboard Project – an independent commission of thought leaders convened by Business Roundtable – who recommended specific actions that would help Americans get the education and training they need to succeed in the evolving economy. The experts urged employers to better communicate workforce needs and expectations to students and increase American’s workplace readiness and competitiveness.

Posted October 28, 2010 by

ERE offers real solutions by real practitioners

Today is my last day in Fort Lauderdale. I have been here for meetings, the International Association of Employment Web Sites fall congress, and ERE conference.

Last night vertical job search engine and CollegeRecruiter.com partner Indeed.com hosted a reception. One of the people with whom I spend a fair amount of time commented on his first ERE conference by saying the speakers were great as they were real practitioners and offered real solutions. I don’t think that David Manaster, CEO of ERE, could have said it any better.

Posted October 25, 2010 by

The Power of Cell Phone Text Messaging

CollegeRecruiter.com has been delivering targeted cell phone text messaging (sms) campaigns on behalf of our employer and consumer marketing clients for about five years now and we’ve learned a lot in that time. For example, it used to be that we’d send the text then follow up with an HTML (graphical) email a few days later and the open and click through response rates would be far higher than if we just emailed the same people.

Now we are seeing comparable open and click rates but the real response rate — applications for employers or leads/sales for consumer marketers — are much higher than you’d see with just an email.

We also continue to see far higher response rates than other types of media such as banner ads. Our numbers are consistent with those published by the Direct Marketing Association in its 2010 Response Rate Survey. It saw click through and conversion rates of 0.76 and 4.43 percent for banners, 6.64 and 1.73 percent for email campaigns, and 14.06 and 8.22 percent for sms campaigns.

So what does this mean to you if you are marketing employment or consumer marketing opportunities? Well, a click is not a click is not a click. Clicks from sms campaigns convert better than those from emails but banners outperformed both. On the other hand, banners grossly underperformed both sms and emails in generating the clicks in the first place. At the end of the day, sms campaigns are proving to be very effective and efficient sources of clicks and, more importantly, applications or leads/sales.

Posted October 21, 2010 by

Human Capital Supply Chain

Human Capital Supply Chains book coverOne of the people that I hoped to meet with at the recent HR Technologies conference in Chicago was Tim Giehll, CEO of Bond Talent. Tim has over 30 years of experience in the staffing industry with an emphasis in technology and manufacturing. He’s drawn on his years of experience of managing workforces at IBM, Manpower, Sequent Computers, Chen Systems and Control Data in which more recent work with helping over 800 staffing firms automate their operations.

Tim wanted to discuss the new book that he co-wrote with Sara Moss, co-founder and CEO of The Code Works Inc.. The book, entitled Human Capital Supply Chains, initially put me off because I really, really hate the term “human capital.” I find it, quite frankly, dehumanizing and therefore demeaning. I wanted to talk with Tim about his ideas for the workplace and also see if I couldn’t persuade him to move away from the use of terms like human capital but the meeting just couldn’t happen due to my schedule. Tim was very understanding and even reached out to me after the conference to offer to meet back in our hometown of Minneapolis. He also sent to me a copy of the book.

I’ve read through the book and really like what Tim and Sara have written, even though I still wish they had used a term like “talent” or “human resources” rather than “human capital.” But if you can get past the “human capital” phrase or perhaps not be bothered by it at all, the points that Tim and Sara make in the book are excellent. As stated on the introduction page of their web site, “Corporate leaders who are able to react to market improvements with agility are best positioned to hire the best human capital faster than their competition. Human Capital Supply Chains explains how companies can link their strategic workforce planning and staffing functions more tightly to their business planning functions to optimize workforce productivity and decrease the total cost of human capital, while maintaining or increasing the overall quality of their workforce.”

When I first read that and also watched their YouTube trailer for the book, I was prepared for a cold, bottom line, who cares about people kind of approach to staffing. But that wasn’t the case. Instead, Tim and Sara make the case in the book that when we head into recessions — even terrible ones like we’re coming out of — business leaders should have a more fluid approach to managing their workforces. If the leaders had done a better job of understanding that their businesses were slowing, they would have done a better job of gradually ramping down their staffing levels such as through attrition. Instead, many and perhaps most business leaders reacted in a state of panic and engaged in massive and far more painful layoffs. Organizations of all sizes and the people who work for those organizations would be better served by leaders who “calibrate and fine tune their workforce, quickly responding to changing market conditions in small steps rather than in painful mass layoffs or mass rehire campaigns where workforce quality is likely to suffer.”

If you’re a leader of a large organization, a procurement manager, or a staffing leader, this is a book that you should read. The massive layoffs of this recession are still very fresh in our minds yet I suspect that few organizations have really sat down to de-brief what they did and what they should have done instead. This book will help them with that reflection and planning. We have an obligation to our organizations and shareholders to survive and thrive but we also have an obligation to our employees to treat them as human beings and that means with respect and compassion. Massive layoffs caused by panic in the executive halls is not respectful or compassionate. So whether your focus is on doing right for the bottom line or doing right for your fellow workers, this book will help you.