• Not sure what to major in? See if your passion fits these in-demand degrees.

    August 16, 2017 by

     

    If you haven’t selected a major yet, you are probably getting all kinds of advice from peers, parents, faculty and everyone with an opinion on social media. Many advise that you study what you’re interested in. To follow your heart, because that way you’ll find a job you’re passionate about.

    Considering a major that will actually be in demand

    I agree wholeheartedly that you should study what you care about. But shouldn’t you at least know what degrees are actually in demand, so you can make an informed decision?  Continue Reading

  • Northwestern Mutual’s internship program is their solution to aging workforce challenges [interview]

    August 02, 2017 by

     

    The financial services industry, like many industries, is facing significant aging workforce challenges.

    The demand for financial advisers is expected to increase 30% from 2014-2024 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). However, some estimates predict that 35% of advisers plan to retire or leave the industry within the next 10 years (Cerulli & Associates). Northwestern Mutual’s Internship Program Director, Michael Van Grinsven, shared with College Recruiter how they plan to overcome the looming talent shortage.

    Watch our discussion with Michael Van Grinsven here, or read major takeaways below.

    What Northwestern Mutual is doing to overcome the talent shortage

    Michael van Grinsven says that Northwestern Mutual anticipated this 20 years ago. Their internship program has been around for 50 years. When their program was 30 years old they started to notice how the whole workforce was aging. Van Grinsven explains how Northwestern Mutual “made a concerted effort to grow the internship.” They knew that the retiring age of the baby boomers, economic problems, and environmental changes were on their way. “We needed to have a young, vibrant fuel source that would match the marketplace.” Before 1997, Northwestern Mutual had around 400 interns. Now they have 3700.

    Northwestern Mutual’s ‘handcrafted’ internship program utilizes a lot of technology and builds leadership to help create a continually welcoming environment for the interns. Van Grinsven explains the importance of keeping the program as an individually customized experience no matter how much it expands in numbers. The program gives interns insight to what their career would look like and their potential in that career path.

    To recruit for skills or train?

    The hardest part is teaching interns how to handle rejection. As simple as it sounds, says Van Grinsven, it’s a very common part of the workforce experience that many college grads have little experience in. Northwestern Mutual helps their interns and young professionals understand that they should meet the market where it’s at. When the market is doing well, Northwestern Mutual will work with them and decide how to help them.

    Recruiters at Northwestern Mutual try to spot this ability in candidates. They look for “the skills that the interns use at that time of the rejection and what lessons they learned afterward.” Northwestern Mutual wants to see how these interns take a difficult situation and work it into their favor to equip themselves for future opportunities. They also however, do work with them and sharpen their skills. If they have to, they will teach them the foundation plus the skills on how to toughen up a little.


    PONDER THIS: College Recruiter knows how to drive enough highly targeted traffic (not too many and not too few) to our customers, who are mostly Fortune 1,000 companies and federal government agencies. Would it make sense for you to learn how we do this?


    Identifying an internal drive is more important than personality

    “We’re always looking for students that have that internal drive,” remarks Van Grinsven. Having a lot of flamboyant energy or a bubbly personality can influence an interviewer, or even be helpful, but the employer should care much more about an internal drive. Not only do interns find their inner strength when you empower their capabilities, but that also start to shape their personalities at work. If you take a snapshot of an intern just starting a program, six months later or a year later, you’d be thoroughly impressed.

    The most common feedback that Van Grinsven hears from interns is that they grew as a person. They grew because of being outside of their comfort zone.

    Employers should hire the candidates that have room to grow and seem to be a person who will appreciate a learning experience—not necessarily somebody who has got all the boxes checked on their resume.

    Diversity of internship program will affect future leadership

    Van Grinsven says they have a concerted effort in recruiting gender and ethnicity diversity. “There is a larger representation among our interns than in the company’s general population,” he comments. These are the future leaders and so to increase diversity amongst the interns should increase the diversity within the company. The focus is on helping the field leaders understand that they need to look for talent in places they’ve never been before.

    Related: Strategies and mistakes in diversity recruitment 

    “That’s the exciting part about it,” says Van Grinsven. The goal is to represent the marketplace. If we can do that we’ll be successful long term.”

    Clarifying misconceptions of what a financial career can be

    In order to be successful in financial services, you don’t have to be that familiar with finance. A lot of the calculations are done by the actuaries, not financial advisers. Van Grinsven says Northwestern Mutual wants to always have “smart people that are able to understand the emotional connection that they have to have with clients. They’re there to understand the client’s story, know their role, their goals, and their challenges. Our employee’s role is not necessarily to do the talking but to understand the client.”

    Van Grinsven’s team also finds itself clarifying another important part of the internship program: the software and technology tools that are available.

  • Diversity in the workplace: recruitment tips and tactics Part 2 [expert panel discussion]

    July 31, 2017 by

     

    As demographics change in the United States, including at college campuses, we should be seeing more diversity in the workplace. So why is the needle moving so slowly? In today’s panel discussion with College Recruiter’s Panel of Experts, we explore strategies for talent acquisition professionals to improve their diversity recruitment. Today our discussion touched on what an inclusive recruitment process looks like, differences between the government and private sectors, and concrete tips for talent acquisition professionals. Continue Reading

  • Fall 2017 college recruitment trends and challenges [white paper]

    July 27, 2017 by

     

    As the 2017-18 school year creeps up, recruiters are looking at their plans, and wondering what to keep from last year and what to change. College Recruiter teamed up with our friends at NAS Recruitment Innovation to create a white paper chock full of insight into trends and offer advice for talent acquisition teams with a high volume of entry-level hiring needs this fall. Continue Reading

  • Gender diversity in tech: one simple part of the solution

    April 03, 2017 by

     

    Gender diversity in tech companies has been a major issue for over two decades now. One part of solution to recruit more women in tech is a simple concept: more effective structured interviews.

    The numbers don’t add up. The EEOC reports that women currently make up roughly 56% of the overall workforce, but are underrepresented in tech. Only about 28% of proprietary software jobs currently held by women.

    Why is it important to have gender diversity in tech?

    The financials tend to resonate more in enterprise companies. Various reports, including one from Catalyst and one from McKinsey, have shown that companies with more female leadership tend to outperform both their market and their rivals. An additional study, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, showed companies with 30% or more females in leadership outperformed rivals by an average 6% net profit margin.

    Women are often associated with being empathetic leaders. This is not true of all women of course, and many men are also empathetic. But if we can generally associated empathy with female leadership, we see a compelling reason to recruit more women in technology. Half of the ten most empathetic technology companies are also the fastest growing. They have grown about 23.3% per year, compared to a weighted average of 5.2% growth of all technology companies, according to one study.

    Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter and named by RecruitingDaily as a top woman in HR technology worth watching, remarked: “While I know many men who are empathetic, including my husband, I’ve generally seen a higher degree of empathy from female leaders I’ve known and worked with. When you look at these 4x growth stats for companies led from a more empathetic place, and factor in the power of technology in terms of growing a company, having more females at the helm of these types of organizations seems both crucial and a no-brainer.”

    Why is diversity in tech seemingly so far behind?

    This is often framed as a “pipeline problem,” and that might be true. For example: according to Girls Who Code, 74% of young women (i.e. high-school aged and lower) express interest in STEM (technological) courses and career paths, but by the time decisions need to be made about taking those classes in college, only 18% choose STEM/computer science pathways. (And that’s actually dropped: in the 1980s, women held 37% of computer science degrees, for example.) 

    What can be done about the technology gap for women? Continue Reading

  • Programmatic advertising in recruitment: start paying attention

    March 15, 2017 by

     

    Programmatic advertising is alive and well in the present. However, many recruiters still think of it as a future strategy. Programmatic advertising will account for 50% of all digital ad sales by 2018, if not even sooner. That is only a year from now, so if you’re still not putting dollars into this method of recruitment, you should start paying attention. Despite this rapid scalability of programmatic advertising, it’s been slow to adapt to the recruiting and entry-level hiring space. Here we will explore how this new technology will look in the recruitment space.

    A primer on programmatic advertising

    The overall concept of programmatic advertising can be very nuanced. Essentially, it’s based on artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time bidding (RTB). It automates the decision-making process for where to place advertisements online. As digital and mobile technologies scaled, programmatic was a way to help maximize the ROI of advertising budgets. Consider this: there are more than 41,000 zip codes in the United States alone. To manually optimize and target campaign efforts is beyond the scope of most human beings. Here there was a natural space for programmatic advertising, which can automatically understand where to place advertisements based on a web user’s data patterns. As Digiday has summarized, albeit a bit flippant, “It’s using machines to buy ads.”

    Programmatic advertising kills “post and pray” in recruitment

    The standard recruiting approach for years has been “post and pray.” A company will create (or recycle) a job description and then mass-post to a variety of boards. Then, they just hope some ideal candidates roll in. The ROI on this process is suspect, and it’s even more suspect if you’re a company with high-volume hiring needs. While you need a lot of candidates, you also need to stay within budget — so there has to be a degree of strategy and targeting to the process. Unfortunately, there often is not.

    Programmatic advertising attempts to solve some of these issues. It proves a clearer ROI and makes sure that recruitment advertising budgets are slotted towards the most important vacancies. And, above all: the processes that used to give recruiters the most headaches are now almost entirely automated.

    A breakdown: What does this look like for recruiters?

    If you are a recruiter just trying out programmatic advertising, here’s how it breaks down at the ground level: Continue Reading

  • Recruitment marketing across social media: Best practices

    March 08, 2017 by

     

    Many employers have embraced recruitment marketing across social media. Here we’d like to share best practices and answer common questions.

    If college students don’t use Facebook as much anymore, should employers even consider branding on Facebook to reach millennials?

    According to Fluent – a customer acquisition platform – in 2016, 41% of millennials use Facebook every day*. That generation was part of the days when you had to sign up with Facebook using your college email address. While the use of Facebook has since changed, millennials are using it to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as receive news.

    The organic reach of brands on Facebook has been reduced dramatically. Nowadays, you have to “pay if you want to play.” Therefore, companies have to allocate a budget to advertise on this platform. Even though organic reach is almost nonexistent, a company should post regularly (2-3 times a week) when advertising. Here is why:

    If your company is sponsoring posts (ads) and candidates click on these posts, they are sent to a landing page outside of Facebook. But candidates can still visit your company’s Facebook page. If that’s the case, your page has to grab the visitor’s attention. If there is no sign of recent content or content of value, the visitor will not likely take interest in the ad or your company.

    One great thing about advertising on Facebook is how granular companies can target candidates. You can focus on certain universities, majors, graduation date and more. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to brand your company as an employer to the most relevant audience.

    *Note: That same study shared that the older millennial generation (ages 25-34) use Facebook most in comparison to the younger millennials (ages 18-24). 

    Where else should companies invest in social media marketing?

    Facebook may not be the best channel to use for recruitment if you’re not paying to play, but Instagram and Snapchat are two channels that can support your efforts to reach college students and millennials. These social networks can assist with attracting these candidates because both are all about the visuals. Leverage them for your employer branding efforts and tell your company’s story through videos and photos, but don’t forget about Snapchat Geo-Filters.
    Continue Reading

  • Diversity recruitment lessons from law enforcement: Inside the research

    March 06, 2017 by

     

    College Recruiter is introducing a regular feature called “Inside the research”. We will dive into recent research that can be applied to practitioners in recruitment, HR and talent acquisition. 

    Policing and race relations are topics of national interest these days. A study from the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice1 looked at how several law enforcement agencies market their opportunities to communities of color, and their success in diversity recruitment. Drawing a parallel between police and corporate recruitment highlights just how much effort recruiters must put into hiring diversity. That is, if you want results. Here are six lessons that recruiters can glean from this study.

    Understand that institutional racism is around us. “Police agencies have been criticized for what is perceived as institutional racism in the recruitment, retention and promotion of Blacks and other racial minorities,” write the authors of the study, titled “Recruiting for Diversity in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Practices Used by State and Local Agencies.” While police have been in the hot seat, recruiters of all sectors and industries must turn the mirror upon themselves. Many would agree that institutional racism exists in business across the board.

    Put your money where your mouth is. The authors write, “Today’s typical police recruitment campaign is managed almost exclusively using advertisements in those news publications that cater to the greater (White) community at large.” As a recruiter you might be thinking, but we advertise across many different channels, including Facebook, which is very diverse! That may be true, but try doing a little exercise. Compare all the places where you advertise, and how much money you spend on each channel, to your recruitment goals. If you have a goal around diversity, you have to put your advertising dollars where your mouth is.

    Police agencies desperately want to hire diversity, precisely because they know they have a trust problem with communities of color, particularly the African American community. The study points out what should be common sense: “When citizens see that a police department has personnel who reflect a cross-section of the community, they have greater confidence that police offers will understand their problems and concerns” (Streit, 2001). The study found, however, that these agencies are just not putting their money where their mouths are. There are points of contact in the community where recruiters may connect with more of their targeted candidates—churches, hair salons, shopping malls, for example—and yet the agencies studied here did not take advantage these opportunities.

    Be aware of hypocrisy. Companies who include diversity in their core values, and especially companies who flaunt their inclusive environments, would be wise to check their authenticity. The study reminds us of what we already know about policing: “when community partnerships are seen as being superficial, agencies risk alienating candidates who might be aware of hypocrisy where such activities are inconsistent with reality.” (Syrett & Lammiman, 2004). You should communicate your commitment to diversity, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Effective diversity recruitment makes it so. Continue Reading

  • The do’s and don’ts of recruiting summer interns

    February 15, 2017 by

     

    Recruiting interns requires being strategic. Here are a few ideas.

    The competition for talent ranks as one of the biggest challenges with recruiting interns.  Whether contending with large corporations that have more established programs, or smaller businesses with better compensation and perks, companies are only successful in the long term with an effective recruitment strategy and strong employment brand.

    Developing the right recruitment strategy and implementing it on a consistent basis is critical.  Here are a few ways to become more strategic:

    • Host focus groups to learn how students perceive your employment brand, and what they are looking for in a potential employer
    • Encourage former or current interns to become ambassadors to further your reach on campus
    • Build and foster your school relationships, letting them know you’re open to new and unique opportunities to connect with students
    • Focus recruitment efforts in the fall. Your competition is probably recruiting interns to snap up top talent in January so it benefits you to start early.
    • Maintain a consistent message across all functions that are recruiting interns on campus, making sure what’s communicated aligns back to the larger organization.
    • Play up the positives of your company, being transparent about what a student may not feel is a benefit (students can see right through an inauthentic or generic message).
    • Increase your candidate pool and save on cost through virtual career fairs, info sessions, and video interviews.
    • Recruitment platforms, talent communities and niche job boards can help pinpoint candidates who you wish to hire.

    Dig into a few pools that you might be missing.

    Companies can broaden their candidate base through the use of talent communities and social media platforms.  A company’s own careers page can let students opt-in to receive notices about internship openings or related company news.  Social media platforms make recruiting interns easier by targeting and connecting with certain student populations (ex. HBCUs, STEM, MBA) through advanced filters and virtual presentations. Continue Reading

  • Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! (Or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Next Generation)

    February 08, 2017 by

     

    For a Gen-X professional like myself, all the recent talk about millennials in the workforce can make you feel a little bit like Jan from the Brady Bunch when it seemed like all she ever heard about was, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”. These days, it’s almost impossible to pick up an HR trade publication or even a top-tier business publication and NOT read something about, “Millennials this,” or, “Millennials that.” With all this talk about millennials, if you are not part of the generation that was born between 1980-2000, it’s hard not to feel like the neglected middle child. Except it’s not our metaphorical over-achieving older sibling who’s getting all the attention, it’s our hipper, hungrier, younger relation that’s nipping at our heels, hogging the spotlight and challenging our assumptions.

    But the truth of the matter is, with millennials making up more than 50 percent of the workforce and growing (they surpassed that milestone in 2015, according to Pew), there is no longer any denying the current and ongoing impact they are having on the way businesses operate today. And that’s a good thing. Millennials are precipitating change in many important and significant ways, I would argue for the better.

    As baby boomers continue to retire, companies are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining millennials to replenish their ranks. With this backdrop, understanding the kind of corporate culture millennials desire and the forces that motivate them is key. But when you dig a little deeper, you will find that many of the same forces that motivate millennials also have a broader positive impact on the entire workforce, no matter their generation or demographic.

    Millennials: They aren’t as different as you think

    There has been a lot of talk about how millennials are different from other generations, but the latest studies show that may not really be the case. The differences between the older and younger generations have more to do with age and life stages than with the different generational experiences they had growing up.

    Millennials share many of the same long-term career goals as older workers. These include making a positive impact on their organization, helping to solve social and environmental problems, and working with diverse people. They also want to work with the best, be passionate, develop expertise and leadership capabilities, and achieve both financial security and work–life balance. In fact, only a few percentage points separate the number of millennials, gen-Xers, and baby boomers who claim these as their top goals.

    That doesn’t mean that companies don’t need to adjust and evolve to attract and retain millennials; it just means that the changes they make will resonate with, and increase employee engagement among, all their employees, not just the youngest. And while there are technology solutions that can help out in this area, technology alone won’t compensate for a corporate culture that doesn’t focus on showing workers true appreciation.

    How to stop worrying and embrace the millennial transformation

    If you’re a business looking to boost millennial appeal and improve overall employee engagement, consider making the following changes:

    Emphasize a broader purpose. Create excitement around the company’s mission and purpose by connecting to broader social causes and cultural movements.

    Encourage collaboration. Break down silos and encourage collaboration between diverse teams across your organization. Use team-building activities to help employees get to know each other and build interdepartmental connections.

    Provide frequent feedback. Recognize contributions. Encourage employees to develop their skills and expertise by providing with training opportunities along with frequent feedback. Create a culture that recognizes and rewards achievements.

    Provide opportunity. Look for employees who are ready to take leadership positions and give them the chance to show what they can do. Hire and promote from within rather than bringing in outside experts.

    Reward and recognize. According to the “Happy Millennials” Employee Happiness Survey, 64% of millennials want to be recognized for personal accomplishments, but 39% of them report that their companies don’t offer any rewards or recognition. Show employees you appreciate and value their hard work by recognizing and rewarding their efforts and achievements.

    Getting the most out of millennials and other generations in the workforce requires creating a culture that encourages, supports and rewards success. When companies do this it has a positive ripple effect across the entire organization, regardless of generation. So don’t fear or resent the millennial onslaught. Embrace them and the positive changes they are bringing to a workplace near you.

     

    Josh Danson, AchieversJosh is Director of Content Marketing at Achievers. An accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the fields of marketing and PR, Josh graduated from Kenyon College and lives in San Francisco with his wife and 9 year-old daughter. In addition to work and family, he is passionate about music, politics and fly fishing (not necessarily in that order). Twitter: @dansonshoes