• Work engagement: Millennial expectations of inclusion and concrete tips for managers

    October 09, 2017 by

     

    To engage at work, an entry-level employee needs a lot of support at first. Managers play a crucial role in work engagement, and it isn’t an easy job. Two talent acquisition experts share their advice here on how to engage new hires, how that relates to inclusion, and what employers can do to retain their talent. In part one of this conversation, we discussed how engagement impacts the bottom line, and how to measure it.

    Watch our discussion here, or read the takeaways in the blog below.

     

    Janine Truitt is Chief Innovations Offer at Talent Think Innovations, and Alexandra Levit is a workplace consultant and author of the new book “Mom.B.A.: Essential Business Advice from One Generation to the Next.”

    Engaging managers check in with entry-level employees very, very often

    Truitt says that entry-level employees “come in with a set of high expectations. And so for that reason, in the very beginning, accountability to engage them falls more on the employers, specifically a manager, to touch base with them very, very often.” She contrasts today’s entry-level employees’ expectations with those of older workers. They don’t want to do grunt work just to pay their dues “the way we used to when we were kids,” she says. Instead, millennials “want to do meaningful work and make a contribution right away, and so we have to make sure that we are setting reasonable goals that allow them to do that.”

    Managers should meet often with entry-level employeesTo engage entry-level employees, managers must be willing to touch base with them very frequently. As Levit puts it, “no news is bad news. If they don’t hear from their manager a lot, then it means they’re doing a bad job.”

    Employees are also responsible. “The employee is responsible because they decide how they want to show up daily,” says Levit. “That is to say, if you are unhappy with the circumstances, you have options. Speak up and be heard. Allow for, and provide, a solution—or find a new place of work, understanding that it isn’t the right fit for you.” For entry-level employees, the onus is more on the manager, but “as tenure goes on, it becomes more of a shared accountability.”

    “Tour of duty” hires may increase work engagement

    Levit likes the idea of hiring entry-level or young professionals on for a term commitment. For example, each hire might agree to a three year “tour of duty”, to use LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s language. During that time, the employee and manager both agree on specific goals that will further their career and the organization. “It’s an understanding that you are going to be accountable during that time. But once that project is done or once the goal is accomplished, you then have to choose again. Do you want to find another project within the organization or do you want to leave?”

    This practice is a new way of looking at this. Levit thinks it’s great for the younger workers who know they won’t stay at an organization for 20 years, like their parents did.

    Engagement and inclusion go hand in hand, but millennials think your inclusion plan is strange.

    Inclusion means that different people can “show up as they are,” says Levit, “and be heard, seen, respected, and valued.” If everyone in the C-suite is invested in a set of values that allow people to be great when they come to work, says Levit, “I’m not sure that a plan is needed.”

    Companies who care about their employees’ well-being, including their lives outside of work hours, “tend to squelch the employee engagement crisis by focusing on the whole of the person.”

    For inclusiveness to positively impact engagement, it has to be about more than just getting a bunch of diverse individuals in a room. Those individuals have to be heard.

    Work engagement for millennials is inclusiveEntry-level employees, adds Levit, find the idea of an inclusion plan very strange. They question its authenticity and wonder why inclusion isn’t just “a regular part of what everybody’s doing.” Resources like affinity groups that many employers see as best practice in inclusion, don’t resonate with millennials. For them, says Levit, inclusion should be a given. You should be able to walk into the lobby of an organization and see all different types of people that have different experiences, expressing different perspectives.

    If your entry-level employees don’t feel they can express their perspectives, and that their opinions are valued, then they will not be happy with their organization, and will disengage. This is something that managers have to adjust to, “especially baby boomers who are more used to having young professionals basically keep their mouth shut until they’re in a position of authority,”

    What’s missing is individualized attention

    Ultimately, says Truitt, “if your goal is to be profitable and be the best in your industry, then you want anybody—whomever they may be—to come into your organization and help you achieve that goal.” She agrees that there is too much emphasis on surface identities because that doesn’t address real inclusion. You shouldn’t spend all your time calculating how many Blacks, how many women, and how many differently-abled hires have you made. That’s the wrong focus, and millennials get that intuitively. They don’t want to be identified by some protected class.

    Join the group to hear more talent acquisition advice

     

    What’s missing is individualized attention to people. “We can make really good statements all day about Gen-Xers. We can make blanket statements about Gen-Y. Ultimately, however, they’re not true of everybody,” says Truitt. And there’s no checklist for all the possible differences that people bring into your organization. The solution has to be treating everyone as an individual. “When they walk through the door we’re going to treat them as such and treat their needs and their wants and their motivations as such.”

    In Levit’s research with the Career Advisory Board, they have found recently that “it’s a myth that people don’t want to stay with organizations, that they want to jump around from place to place,” says Levit. If they are satisfied and they feel valued, they want to stay. Like any human beings, your entry-level employees like reliability and stability. So if your company demonstrates that you care, they’re going to want to stay there.

    Also read: Touch points during an employee’s tenure that can tell a story of engagement 

    Examples of companies that engage well

    1. Microsoft. Truitt points out how much she loves Microsoft’s tagline. It is Come as you are. Do what you love. This is engagement in a sentence.

    2. Not many, actually. When you look at the numbers that 87% of people are disengaged globally understanding, we see that no one is doing this particularly well, Levit points out.

    3. Netflix is an example, says Truitt, of a company that takes engagement seriously. They don’t want disengaged employees to linger and influence their environment. They have policies that essentially say, “hey, if doesn’t work for you anymore we’ll actually pay you to leave. Rather than have you sit here and be disengaged and drag down the workforce.” With a policy like that, people who stay tacitly opt in to engage. It’s a mental agreement where they decide to stay because they want to be there.

    4. Companies who care. In Truitt’s consulting work, she finds that the companies that achieve high engagement are “the ones that not only care about what they get out of people at work, but how their people are doing outside of work.” They care about their kids, their health and personal hardship.

    [Video]: How GSE succeeds in engaging their entry level employees

    Concrete tips for managers to engage entry-level employees today

    Tip for managers to increase work engagement

    1. Leaders should listen more than they speak. There is nothing worse than a manager who loves to hear themselves speak and believes they are the brightest person in the room.

    2. When there a small to complex issues to sift through encourage your team to offer up ideas either individually or as a collective. Ensure that there is a myriad of ways that team members can contribute their thoughts.

    3. Often times, the employees who are more vociferous by nature get to shine because they are first to speak up and the boldest. Create a safe space for the more introverted employee who may have great ideas, but do better in sharing ideas in a one-on-one environment.

    4. Don’t just ask for feedback, try to incorporate it.

    5. Customize career goals for each individual and map them to the big picture.

    6. Be accessible and talk to employees about what’s going right, not just when something is going wrong.

  • How and when technology can help reduce hidden bias in hiring

    September 12, 2017 by

     

    Technology can help facilitate the awareness of hidden bias, but the tools themselves are not the solution. We spoke with two talent acquisition and workforce planning experts to discuss recruitment technology. Our conversation went far beyond the tools available for recruiters.

    Bruce Soltys is the Head of Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategies at Travelers, and Janine Truitt is the Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations. They are both members of our Panel of Experts.

    Watch our discussion here, or read the takeaways in the blog below. 
    Continue Reading

  • 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. Continue Reading

  • 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