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Posted May 18, 2017 by

[Infographic] Apprenticeships are a new way for corporate employers to attract talent

Apprenticeships are a new way for employers to attract and develop talent

 

An apprenticeship is three things:

  • It’s a job
  • It’s education
  • It’s a great opportunity

That’s according to Apprentice Washington, a Division of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. While apprenticeships are common in the trades, apprenticeships are also valuable ways for college students and recent college grads to add and learn new skills in just about any profession, including jobs in the corporate world.

Apprentice Washington says: “There are apprenticeships for nearly any job you can imagine: From high-tech manufacturing to health care.”

And that’s why employers looking to attract, recruit and retain talented workers, should consider the benefits of implementing an apprenticeship program, or hiring apprentices.

Apprenticeships are making a worldwide comeback

Apprenticeships are suddenly popular in the United Kingdom because the government recently implemented a new tax on corporations which requires corporations to pay a “use it or lose it” tax that can be used to train apprentices, therefore incentivizing corporations to hire apprentices, or to turn current employees into apprentices through learning and development contracts.

“I believe this is one of the largest changes to workforce planning in many years in the UK,” says Ilona Jurkiewicz, head of the Early Careers Program at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm. In her role with the Early Careers Program at Thomson Reuters, Jurkiewicz leads internal and external strategy for how Thomson Reuters attracts, assesses, develops, engages, and retains early career talent, including those completing apprenticeships. “And, although this feels like a seismic shift, apprentice strategies are in place in a number of countries already and commonly used, for example, in Germany, France, and Australia.”

In May, Government Canada announced plans to invest $85 million in apprenticeship programs. And now, United States business leaders are starting to take note. On May 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $4.2 Million in federal funding was secured to expand New York’s apprenticeship program. Forbes’ recently wrote that it’s time for America to expand the modern Apprenticeship, stating that “calls for the U.S. to expand apprenticeship programs seem to be gaining more traction daily.” This is backed by news that the Trump Administration has plans to adopt a nationwide target to hire five million apprenticeships in five years. Hertz, Sears, CVS Health, WalMart, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are among five large U.S. employers who already have apprenticeship programs in place.

John Ladd, Administrator at the USDOL/ETA Office of Apprenticeship, is fired up about the role apprenticeships can play in today’s workforce, saying “apprenticeship is big-tent business, and the tent continues to expand. It’s drawing in new champions from the business and philanthropic communities every day, linking their resources to those of state and local workforce agencies, education partners like community colleges and school districts, industry associations, unions and other apprenticeship sponsors.”

The approach is aggressive. And that should be a welcomed approach for employers seeking alternative methods to finding skilled workers in both the trades, and corporate world.

“We need more pathways for job seekers, and as the world realizes that diversity of background and approach is important, I believe apprenticeships will become a more viable and available opportunity for students,” says Jurkiewicz.

How one employer benefits from an apprenticeship program

Growing Leaders is a global nonprofit that encourages and equips young adults to take on real-life opportunities and challenges in the classroom, in their careers, and in the community. The company implemented an apprenticeship program for recent college grads, citing the opportunity to live out the company’s internal values to train up the next generation of leaders.

“Some view this next generation as a problem, we view them as a solution,” says Tim Elmore, President of Growing Leaders, and author of Marching Off The Map, which provides understanding and how to practically apply the latest research on Generation Z.

Apprentices gain a chance to invest further in a set of skills (project management, selling, customer service) or in a function (marketing, operations, sales), said Elmore.

“Depending on the apprenticeship, it can also give the student quantifiable results that he or she contributed to,” added Elmore.

It also gives the employer a chance to train the employee their way, and also, try before they buy – similar to an internship – where they can determine if an apprentice is the right fit for a full-time job.

“An apprenticeship allows more time to train a new graduate before they enter a full time position, and allows a trial period to see if he or she would be a good fit on our team,” says Elmore.

What exactly is an apprenticeship?

In simple terms, an apprentice is someone learning a skill, says Jurkiewicz. An apprentice can be someone just starting their career, or learning a trade, or someone like a recent college grad at the beginning of their career and entering the world of work. An apprentice can even be an experienced professional working towards an advanced degree or certification.

What employers need to know about apprenticeships

  • Apprenticeships are often paid
  • Apprenticeships vary in length, so it tends to be driven by type of apprenticeship you are implementing and then the way the person is learning.
  • Employers often implement one off apprenticeships (hiring an individual for a specific role), as well as more programmatic approaches (a full apprenticeship program, with set criteria, similar to an internship program).

An apprenticeship is unique and different from an internship or internship program. During an apprenticeship, there is a formal or informal contract between the apprentice, an employer, and sometimes a certifying body (a university or education body) through which the apprenticeship is attaining skills, says Jurkiewicz. At Growing Leaders the apprentice commits to an eight to 12 month apprenticeship, versus say a summer internship, which may be three or four months.

“At the end of an apprenticeship, a student will have a more in-depth understanding of a certain function of business and clearer picture of how an organization operates,” says Elmore.

The long-term benefits of apprenticeships for employers

The reality is, not every college graduate is equipped with the right skills needed to succeed in the real world. Whether it’s soft skills, technical skills, communication skills, or the ability work with a diverse workforce that spans across generations. When an employer hires an apprentice, they are dedicated to providing further on-the-job training, while being able to mold the employee to fit their needs. While that seems to benefit the job seeker, it also benefits the employer, because it helps them create a pipeline of talent that could eventually be hired into a full-time role. If hired, these college grads are already familiar with the company, business, products, services, clients, and colleagues. They can move right into a full-time role, saving time on training and reducing time spent recruiting.

“Businesses gain by having an on-boarding pathway to find stellar graduates who can offer up their gifts and talents to help an organization succeed,” says Elmore. “Millennials are the largest generation in the workplace and those organizations who can succeed in leading them well will have the upper hand. Apprenticeships literally give an organization a chance to observe a new, young professional at little cost.”

Want more information on apprenticeships? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

Posted May 16, 2017 by

5 internship recruitment solutions for government agencies

 

Federal agencies seeking to hire interns or implement internship programs should take a cue from their private sector counterparts, says Mel Hennigan, VP of People at Symplicity Corporation, an Arlington, Virginia-based company that specializes in enterprise technology and information systems management for higher education, government, and businesses.

In other words, they should evaluate, research, and learn the value of implementing a robust internship program as a way to attract college students and recent college grads to their organization. Don’t expect today’s student or grad to find you – federal employers have to find them through creative methods involving technology, social media, and the right advertising approach.

“A one-size-fits-all approach does not work, so employers, even at the federal level, need to be creative,” says Hennigan, who has spent nearly a decade of her career in roles that support the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies. Hennigan is also a member of the Society For Human Resource Management Talent Acquisition Panel. “Don’t expect interns to find you,” says Hennigan. “Employers have to go where the talent is, and become visible to the college student or college grad.

Kyle Hartwig, ­­­­­­Senior Human Resource Specialist with the National Institute of Health (NIH), agrees. The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the nation’s medical research agency. To be a successful in federal government recruiting, employers need deep knowledge of staffing systems and federal hiring practices and laws. However, employers must also be willing to use innovative technologies and alternatives to posting on USAJOBS. Hartwig discussed that and more in the College Recruiter article and video 7 steps for successful federal government recruiting.

“Student marketing in parallel with federal government hiring is never easy,” says Hartwig. “The first challenge, however, is engaging with the talent you seek.”

Hennigan and Hartwig provide these tips for government agencies seeking new internship recruiting solutions:

1. Understand the new student landscape

Many students and recent college grads first find out about internship programs/opportunities, campus hiring fairs, or how to connect with recruiters at federal agencies through commonly used online tools – social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

“Skip the usual power point and start using social media conversations,” says Hartwig. “Throw out the calendar of events and list digital outreach tactics you plan to use before you show up on campus.”

2. Form partnerships

Government agencies can benefit from forming partnerships with colleges and universities. Develop relationships with campus career counselors, department leaders, professors, and alumni. Seek out opportunities for employees of your organization to speak at their alma mater, even narrowing it down to a specific set of students, grads or by department. Also consider participating in university employer summits or planning activities at university career centers. Find what approach works best for your organization and develop that approach. Federal employers should also read research reports from Corporate Leadership Council or Partnership for Public Service, says Hartwig, to stay on top of trends and issues.

There’s additional partnership options too, like thinking outside the box and partnering with College Recruiter. How so?

Government clients who want to hire hundreds or even thousands are typically going to look at packages which integrate targeted email campaigns, targeted display ad campaigns, and targeted mobile banner advertising campaigns, each of which allow College Recruiter the opportunity to deliver to the career sites of those employers thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of candidates targeted by geography, school, major, year of graduation, diversity, military veterans, occupational field, and more.

3. Don’t wait for interns to come to you

The first step, for federal agencies to take, says Hennigan, is to identify the type of talent they need to hire for an internship position. Do they need a STEM graduate, a marketing professional, an IT professional, administrative, technical expert, or other?

Then employers must find out where those students and grads are, and meet them where they are at. By forming those partnerships, they can quickly identify where they can best find qualified students to apply for internship opportunities.

“The landscape has changed, and employers need to figure out how to get talent interested in their opportunities,” says Hennigan.

4. Identify talent

Once the employer has identified the type of talent they need to find, they need to create a plan for attracting that type of talent. Federal employers need to look beyond just being a federal agency to attract employers. “Personalize the engagement,” says Hennigan. “Today’s college student and grad is looking to be wowed, and wants to know why working for your company is the right choice for them.”

Federal agencies compete against the private sector, and that includes Silicon Valley firms, Fortune 500, and hot new technology startups. Leave the boring behind when working to attract interns.

“It’s very easy for a federal agency to sell the message of how working for the government is contributing to the mission of the country, and patriotic, but today’s students and grads want more than that.”

That’s why federal internship programs or internship opportunities need to clearly outline a value proposition, says Hennigan. It needs to clearly outline what the organization can offer the intern (real world training and experience, working on real world projects, solving problems, contributing), and the outcome (invaluable skills that helps them become more marketable for the next step in their career, or if possible, an opportunity to apply and interview for a full-time job with the organization).

“Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes,” says Hennigan. “They want to be able to contribute and make an impact, show them how they can do that as an intern.”

5. Learn from other successful internship programs

An internship should add value to the intern, not the company, says Hennigan. But through that internship, the intern can add value to the company by working on real projects, solving everyday business problems, and making a contribution from day one.

Building an internship program takes dedication – many private employers hire people solely to manage and develop an internship program. It would be helpful for federal agency’s to consult with industry professionals or colleagues who work on building internship programs to get advice. What works for them? What do private sector employers do that can be implemented in a federal organization (they are more similar than most think). Partner with organizations like SHRM, or participate in industry panels or summits to learn more, and build a network of resources who can provide cost-effective solutions for creating an internship program.

A typical internship should last from eight to 12 weeks says Hennigan, and in the end, the goal should be to keep that intern or group of interns interested in pursuing employment opportunities with the federal organization they are interning with.

“Every internship should have the end goal of funneling fresh talent into the organization,” said Hennigan.

According to Hartwig, government agencies are afraid of doing active outreach because they are concerned about ethics. There are very stringent laws associated with hiring. Thus, HR specialists for government agencies often shy away from taking real steps to find talent for unique roles. More often than not, many federal agencies don’t feel they have the freedom to recruit and find their own talent. With strict or even confusing federal staffing regulations, recruiters often opt for simply posting an opening on USAJOBS, or a few other places.

That approach doesn’t always work. There are other options available.

Working for a government agency holds prestige for many students and college grads. But that’s not enough these days.

“It’s no longer a world where the candidates don’t have options,” said Hennigan. “The organizations who communicate the best value and opportunity to the student or graduate are going to attract top talent.”

Want more tips and strategies on how government agencies can connect with interns? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Working abroad can help recent college grads build lifelong skills, and contacts. Image by StockUnlimited.com

Posted May 09, 2017 by

Work abroad: Why recent college grads should conduct a global job search

 

Jobs that require travel or allow recent college grads to work abroad can help build cultural awareness, strengthen one’s ability to navigate through dynamic environments, and cultivate a level of agility, which is required by most employers today, says Ayana Pilgrim-Brown, assistant director of career competencies at the Center for Student Professional Development within Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

It’s no secret working abroad can help recent college grads land that first job. That’s why recent college grads seeking frequent travel to exotic locations, should explore options as tour guides, travel consultants, and within the airline industry, says Pilgrim-Brown. For a business student who wants to solidify his or her status as a global business professional, jobs in consulting, supply chain management, and sales offer the chance to travel to vast locations throughout the world. New graduates who aspire to make a difference in the world should consider non-profits and non-governmental organizations. There are several pathways in the areas of development and humanitarian assistance, adds Pilgrim-Brown. And for the multilingual applicant, there are solid prospects using language skills as a TEFL instructor, translator, or interpreter.

“Job seekers should do their due diligence to make sure these opportunities are formalized and in writing with agreeable terms of employment,” says Pilgrim-Brown.

Rustic Pathways is a non-profit organization that facilitates educational experiences for students through travel and philanthropy.

“Traveling equips recent college grads with a unique and necessary skill set that will help them create successful careers,” said Chris Stakich, CEO of Rustic Pathways. In fact, Stakich is quick to credit how traveling throughout the world for work the first four years of his career helped build professional skills necessary to become CEO.

“Most of my success has been a result of living out of a bag for the first four years of my career,” he says.

In addition to service opportunities–such as working with Peace Corps, or with a multinational organization or large employer, or through a non-profit–there are more opportunities than ever for recent college grads to work abroad, and get paid to travel. There are also training opportunities, such as the Rustic Pathways Leader Corp program, which are designed for recent college grads looking to make the transition from college to career.

Traveling for work, and working abroad, teaches these important soft skills that employers covet, says Stakich:

(more…)

Posted May 04, 2017 by

[Infographic] 4 reasons recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

 

Recent college grads seeking work and travel jobs can often do so by finding employment with a multinational organization that has offices throughout the world. So instead of taking a year off to travel the world after college graduation, why not find a job that allows one to travel for work – and get paid for it, while gaining valuable professional and personal experience?

1. Work and travel jobs provide unique on-the-job experience.

Traveling for work, or as part of a job, is a great way to see the world, while building important professional and life skills that will benefit individuals throughout the rest of their career. (more…)

Posted April 25, 2017 by

[Infographic] 10 reasons why college grads should consider entry-level sales jobs

 

Entry-level sales jobs present a great opportunity for recent college grads to learn professional skills that last a lifetime. And below, a variety of entry-level sales professionals, as well as business owners and sales executives with experience at companies like Google, IBM, AOL, and Dell Computers, talk about the unique and life-long skills developed through an entry-level sales job. Here is what every recent college grad needs to know to succeed in a career in sales: (more…)

Posted April 17, 2017 by

Recruiting salespeople who are adaptable, not just competent

 

You obviously want a competent sales team, as that’s tied to the rest of your financial performance and metrics. But the definition of “competence” may be somewhat shifting in the sales function. You need to be recruiting salespeople who can adapt and adjust to a new environment fairly quickly. And that’s likely to require new approaches to thinking about, and measuring, candidates in our sales pipelines.

The value and quantification of sales

Sales is also one of the most trackable elements of an organization. While the ROI on a training program or employee engagement program could be more subjective, sales is often very direct. Salesperson A sold X-items for Y-total, and Salesperson B sold A-items for B-total. If Y is higher than B, we can infer Salesperson A did a better job in that time frame (typically a quarter).

At the intersection point of “crucial function” and “relatively easy to measure/compare,” we come to this question of whether hiring managers overrate competence.

Competence and adaptability

First: in this context, I define “competence” as conventional recruitment markers of success. For a salesperson, you’d measure their previous sales. For an entry-level salesperson, it might be GPA, college attended, etc.

One of the biggest arguments against hiring on conventional competence measures is that skill sets can be learned. Today, salespeople need to be adaptable. The idea of “adaptability” is that a salesperson could learn a new skill set (or learn how to sell a new product/service) within a relatively short amount of time, even if his or her background was in an entirely different industry. In essence, it means someone who is receptive or responsive to changing priorities at work.

Don’t hire brilliant jerks

There are some generalizations here. In a long-form article on Quartz a few years ago called “This is why people leave your company,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had this to say (see photo below):  (more…)

Posted April 13, 2017 by

[Infographic] The best job interview questions to ask employers

Right interview questions to ask-2

 

Dear Matt: Do you have any interview tips? I always read about how important it is for recent college grads to ask the right interview questions during a job interview, but, I never know what job interview questions to ask. Can you provide a list of these interview questions and what employers want recent college grads and entry-level job seekers to ask?

Matt: I will say this, I wish I had a list of job interview questions to ask when I was interviewing for entry-level jobs. Because it certainly would have not only helped me ask the right interview questions, it would have also helped with interview preparation, and confidence.

Good news! There is a great, extended list of the best job interview questions to ask employers listed below, featuring outstanding advice from recruiters from corporate America, and career management leaders from two of the top business schools in the country.

The reality is, if you are confident, and prepared, going into an interview, you can relax, be yourself, and shine.

But many job seekers, especially recent college grads, are shy or timid when going into those first job interviews. I was one of them, and looking back at those early interviews, I never did ask the right questions, because I wasn’t prepared to ask the right questions. That makes a huge difference in how employers view you, and your potential to succeed in the job and fit in with the team.

“Not asking questions can signal lack of interest, and a missed opportunity to sell yourself,” says Susie Clarke, director of Undergraduate Career Services at Indiana’s Kelley School of Business. “It is important to remember that an interview is a two way street and they expect you will have questions, so show them you are prepared and interested in their position.”

Corinne M. Snell, Ed.D., the Assistant Dean of Student Professional Development at Fox School of Business at Temple University, agrees. Prior to her current role, Snell worked in corporate America, working in college relations roles for Campbell’s Soup Company, Siemens Health Services, and Lutron Electronics.

“A certain level of spontaneity is expected in any job interview, but candidates should have a list of questions prepared in advance,” said Snell. “The worst thing one can do is indicate he/she has no questions or say something like, “Um, I think we already covered everything.”

One of the biggest things a college student or recent graduate needs to remember is that just as much as the recruiter or hiring manager is interviewing them, they are also interviewing the potential employer, says Justin Bischoff, Talent Acquisition Advisor at Buffalo Wild Wings, a casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise.

“Ask questions about the things that matter to you,” says Bischoff. “These should be things that you feel will make you stay with an employer long term.”

Try to keep it conversational, says Bischoff. For example, if you’re interested in sales, ask something such as “earlier in our interview you mentioned that one of the main focuses of this role is to drive sales in the restaurant, can you tell me a little more about that?”

Asking about the culture of the organization and development programs also impresses employers, says Bischoff.

“I am also impressed by a candidate who has done their research on the organization and the position prior to the interview,” says Bischoff. “By asking questions on matters that are truly important to you about what you have learned, you are able to showcase the time and effort you’re putting into joining the organization’s team.”

Snell puts it bluntly, saying “Job seekers need to prepare for that moment when the employer turns the table and asks ‘what questions do you have for me?'”

That’s what impresses today’s corporate recruiter, says Asma Anees, a Talent Advisor with Blue Cross, a Minnesota healthcare provider. She leads college relations at Blue Cross and is one of the first persons to interview/phone screen recent college grads and entry-level employees who interview with the company.

Anees suggest job seekers break down interview questions into four categories, focusing on asking about:

  • The position/job
  • Evaluation
  • Training
  • About the company

Anees provides these job interview question and answer tips:

The position/job
Job seekers who ask about the challenges of the position stand out, says Anees. Employers like candidates who want to be challenged, and who want to know about what it takes to succeed in that role. “It helps me understand their willingness to take on certain duties,” says Anees.

Evaluation
Anees likes it when job seekers ask job interview questions such as “What are the performance expectations or how will I be evaluated?”

“These students have received grades for everything they do for the last however many years,” says Anees. “These Millennials want to know where they stand, and I can appreciate that. It tells me they want to perform well and be rewarded for it.”

Training
Good question to ask: Will there be any training or mentorship for this role? Anees says job seekers who want to pursue professional development opportunities stand out to her.

Company
Job seekers who are curious about the business, strategic plan, how the company makes a difference, and if the company is growing, are “all great questions,” says Anees. “It tells me they care for the well-being of the organization and their future.”

Snell provides these sample job interview questions to ask employers:

1. Questions related to the position:

  • What are the key qualities necessary for someone to excel in this role?
  • What are your expectations for this role during the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
  • What is the typical career path for someone in this position?

2. Questions related to the company?

  • How would you describe the company culture (or values)?
  • What do you like best about working for this company?

3. Questions related to the industry (these should vary from industry to industry):

  • What recent changes has the company made to product packaging?
  • How has industry consolidation affected the company?
  • How does the economy affect company sales?
  • What percentage of revenues does the company invest in R&D?
  • How is the company challenged by government regulations?

4. Questions related to the hiring process:

  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • When do you expect to make a decision?

“The likelihood of having sufficient time to ask a multitude of questions is slim, so the candidate needs to be prepared and have several questions ready,” says Snell. “Interviewing is a two-way street and employers do expect job seekers to be prepared with thoughtful, insightful questions.”

Remember this though – thoughtful and insightful do not revolve around asking how much vacation time one gets, salary, or benefits. In time, that information will be discussed.

Some of the best job interview questions to ask employers, says Clarke, include:

1. Would you please tell me about yourself and your career path?
Yes – job seekers should ask the person conducting the interview this. This will allow you to learn more about the employer, what this person likes about the company, and could create a common interest to make the follow-up connection stronger. “It is all about building relationships and showing genuine interest is important,” says Clarke.

2. What are the reasons you stay with this company, or why did you recently join the company?
Their response will typically tell you a lot about the work environment/culture of the company. “For many college students and recent college grads, the company culture is an important criteria when making their decision,” says Clarke.

3. What skills or characteristics have led to your success here?
This is an opportunity for you then to highlight your strength that relates to one of these skills if you have not already.

4. I have learned a lot today and even more excited about this opportunity, so is there anything else I could provide or questions I can address about my ability to do this job?
“This shows that you want the job and want to eliminate any concern that they might still have,” says Clarke.

When the interview is near completion, and if the employer has not covered this already, Clarke says you should always ask: What are the next steps in the interview process?

“This is important, so you know what to expect and when to follow-up if you have not heard back from them,” says Clarke.

Asking the right questions during your interview can impact your chances of landing the job, says Bischoff.

“When a candidate asks thought-provoking questions, it shows that they have solid communication skills, are genuinely interested in the opportunity, and are looking to make a long-term investment,” says Bischoff. Ultimately, asking the right questions makes that interview and the candidate memorable when it comes time for a hiring decision.”

Dara Warn, Chief Outcomes Officer, Penn Foster Education Group, says that asking questions about how the company onboards new employees can impress employers:

How does the company onboard new employees? Can you talk about what that process looks like?
Why this question: By asking this question, the job candidate is demonstrating their interest in the company culture and its commitment to employees and their career path and setting them up for success from the outset. “The first several months in a new job are a key period in building the relationship between employee and employer, and the candidate wants to know that the company is a place they can grow and mature,” says Warn. “In our work with employer partners, we’ve helped design mentor programs, where new employees develop and strengthen workplace and interpersonal skills.”

Another good question, says Warn, is asking “How does your company encourage its employees to collaborate/work as a team, and demonstrate integrity and initiative?”   
Why this question: This question coming from a candidate demonstrates that he/she already possesses some “soft skills” that are typically learned and honed once in the workforce. This student may have graduated from an institution that offers soft skills (or “power skills”) training in the form of a standalone program and is already ahead of the curve when it comes to developing these critical work/life skills.

Good questions will show that you have researched the position, company, and even highlight some of your strengths. “This signals to the employer that you are very interested and enthusiastic about the opportunity,” says Clarke.

Show enthusiasm and interest when wrapping up the interview.

“I appreciate when candidates take the last couple of minutes to reiterate their interest and why their skills and abilities would make an impact to the team,” says Anees. “Don’t forget to smile and a firm handshake.”

Want more career and job search advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Matt Krumrie CollegeRecruiter.com

Matt Krumrie is a contributing writer for CollegeRecruiter.com

About Ask Matt on CollegeRecruiter.com
Ask Matt is a new monthly career advice column that offers tips and advice to recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. Have a question? Need job search or career advice? Email your question to Matt Krumrie for use in a future column.

Job interview with candidate for office employment or negotiation for hiring. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 11, 2017 by

An entry level job seeker’s guide to interview outfits

 

The saying you only get one chance to make a first impression really holds true in today’s job market, says Melissa Wagner, Career Services Advisor for Rasmussen College. Your interview outfit is a big part of the first impression you make at a potential employer.

“An interview is the candidate’s opportunity to sell the employer that they’re the right fit for the position,” says Wagner. “So it’s important that candidates bring their best game to the playing field.” (more…)

Applicant tracking systems can help employers with their campus recruiting needs. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 30, 2017 by

How to use your applicant tracking system for college recruiting success

 

It’s no secret the advancement of technology has changed the recruiting game. The use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) – software applications that enable the electronic handling of a company’s recruitment needs – are responsible for the technological recruiting revolution. As outlined by ICIMS, a provider of cloud-based hiring solutions, ATS recruitment “allow organizations to collect and store candidate and job related data and track and monitor the process of candidates through all stages of the hiring process.”

ATS recruitment is designed to enhance the overall recruiting experience for both recruiters and candidates. But forward-thinking employers recruiting recent college grads focus on the job seeker’s needs – the candidate experience – first.

“It’s important to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply,” said Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, which uses BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite. “If your application is a time intensive process, people will drop out during the process or might not even try at all.”

There is some rationale for using the ATS to collect as much info as reasonably possible, including screening and ranking questions, but none of that matters if the candidate doesn’t hit “submit” adds Mayer.

“Interaction with the ATS could be the applicant’s first step in the candidate experience and can set the tone for a great, or poor candidate experience,” says Mayer.

What’s unique about applicant tracking systems is how they allow recruiters and hiring managers to customize their ATS for specific jobs, roles and even events. For example, a recruiter or hiring manager working a college recruiting fair or campus job fair could fully customize their ATS with functionality solely for that specific campus career fair, or hiring event.

SmartRecruiters is one example that allows recruitment marketing and collaborative hiring in the cloud. Bjorn Eriksson, Chief Marketing Officer of SmartRecruiters, offers some unique examples of how employers can customize an ATS for an event such as a college recruiting fair or campus job fair:

  • Prepare: Know which positions you are actively trying to fill. Be sure the representatives working the booth are familiar with the open positions and hard-to-fill niche career opportunities so they can speak to them when engaging with students. With some ATS’s, like SmartRecruiters, you can publish event specific job ads tailored for college job fairs.
  • Qualify: Prepare questions or a brief interview to pre-qualify applicants. Prepare questions to ask those who express an interest in your company to pre-qualify them. “It’s also a great opportunity to focus on providing meaningful information to students,” says Eriksson. “Don’t just recruit them, but ask their opinions, offer relevant advice and see if they are really a good match.” Make sure to capture students’ contact information so that you can continue the dialogue.
  • Connect: Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event. While the impression is still fresh, group your candidates into: Best matches, possible matches, and no matches. View each candidate as a potential customer or future client, and tailor your follow up message to each group.

Ultimately though, the success – or failure – an individual or employer has with the ATS isn’t solely technology-based, says Saïd Radhouani, Ph.D., co-founder of Nextal, a collaborative applicant tracking system.

“I believe that the ultimate success depends on how the ATS is used, and not on how it’s set up,” said Radhouani. “Yes the implementation and functionality has an impact, but even if the setup is good, it doesn’t mean that recruiters won’t make mistakes.”

When a recruiter starts using a new ATS, they often won’t understand all the features and functionality, says Radhouani. As time goes on, they sometimes fail to learn new functionalities, and don’t maximize the systems capabilities. So recruiters within the same organization who use the same system should meet monthly to collaborate and share experiences, functionalities, and tips on how to best optimize their applicant tracking system.

“Recruiters should also attend webinars put on by the ATS vendor,” said Radhouani. “If recruiters know other colleagues from different companies who are using the same ATS, reach out to them to see how they are using it to ensure they are getting the most out of their ATS.”

And if the ATS vendor has a community forum, be active in the forum, ask questions and provide feedback.

Recruiters should be sure to measure success – and failure – in their recruiting by using the analytics/metrics capabilities of their ATS.

“Most modern applicant tracking systems have analytics capabilities that provide very insightful metrics about the entire recruiting process,” says Radhouani. “If a recruiter doesn’t measure what they do, they’ll never know whether they’re improving their productivity or not.”

Over time, recruiters and hiring managers get frustrated if an ATS is not user-friendly, doesn’t have specific functionality and capabilities, and does not help enhance the recruiting process. Applicant Tracking Systems are not all equal, and as hiring managers move from company to company, and use different systems, they can find pluses and minuses of each system they use. The key however, is to take advantage of the functionality of the system that is in place, find what works, and align your recruiting needs with the capabilities of the system.

“If you don’t have what you love, love what you have,” said Radhouani. “Every ATS has its good and bad sides. Recruiters should focus on the good side and work with the ATS, not against it.”

Mayer agrees.

“Really embrace the entire suite of options your ATS provides,” says Mayer. “Automate where appropriate and make sure the ATS provides a candidate experience that aligns line with your employment brand.”

Want to learn more about latest recruiting trends? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Group of doctors and nurses in a hospital. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 28, 2017 by

How advanced degrees set nurses up for career success [infographic]

 

Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) is a great accomplishment, and there are many good paying, traditional nursing career paths that both LPN’s and RN’s can pursue upon completion of their degree.

But there are even more opportunities for career advancement – along with increased salary, for registered nurses who pursue advanced nursing degrees. In fact – be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this article to see a comprehensive list detailing advanced nursing career paths – as well as a cool infographic detailing nursing careers by degree and pay.

The article 15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs said: “To really thrive however, many RNs earn additional certifications, go for an advanced degree, and specialize in one particular area of nursing. This increases their earning potential by helping them qualify for positions at more prestigious hospitals. Some advanced practice RNs can even open their own clinics.”

Obtaining advanced nursing degrees is a challenge, but worth it for the nurse who aspires to continue to advance in their professional career.

“Advancing your nursing career from one level to the next can be an intimidating and time consuming endeavor, but in the end it’s worth it,” says Diann DeWitt, PhD, RN, CNE, chair of the Nursing program at Argosy University, Phoenix. “Highly educated and highly skilled nurses are able to exercise a higher level of autonomy, offer a greater degree of care to patients, and enjoy higher nursing salaries and a greater demand and satisfaction for their work.”

Once a nurse becomes an RN they can then focus on advanced degrees or specializing in an area of patient care, such as labor and delivery, pediatrics, or trauma (ER), points out Kerri Hines, MSN/Ed., RN, Department Chair for nursing at San Jacinto North Campus. San Jacinto College offers various nursing programs, including a Vocational Nursing (VN) Program, Registered Nursing (RN), and LVN – RN Transition Program. These programs provide an opportunity for students to have multiple pathways into a nursing career. The Vocational Nursing Program is a one-year program that prepares a graduate to work as a Vocational Nurse. Licensed Vocational Nurses work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, home health, schools, and other health care facilities to provide basic care to patients.

“These specialty areas usually require a RN degree and keen assessment and clinical reasoning skills,” says Hines.

Registered nurses also work in clinic settings, where they must have the ability to multitask and oversee medical assistance, as well assist the nurse practitioner or physician. “The nurse must take on a leadership role,” adds Hines. “All of the above career opportunities require excellent communication skills and teamwork. Some settings require the nurse to work more independently than others.  However, all nurses are part of a team.”

Nurses can also pursue nursing certifications, which allow nurses to demonstrate one’s knowledge and experience in a particular area, says DeWitt. Nursing certifications are available for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses depending on the program. In addition, current LPNs may be able to waive a portion of the RN program depending on their previous experience and the College or University admission requirements. Generally, transitioning from LPN to RN will involve taking general education courses, admission to and completing an accredited RN program and then registering for, and passing the NCLEX-RN examination.

No matter what area of study a registered nurse purses, compassion, professionalism and a caring attitude are trademark skills of nurses who find success and satisfaction in their work. “These skills also help inspire the motivation to pursue life-long learning, which is becoming increasingly important to the nursing profession,” says Dr. Michele Dickens, the online nursing program director for RN and RN to BSN degrees at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. “Learning new technologies and the ability to adapt to change is essential for long-term career success in the healthcare field.”

It’s a great time for nurses passionate about education, patient care and career advancement. Those who have some real world experience may be able to better understand the path they want to choose, and once they find that niche, the possibilities and opportunities are endless.

“Nursing, in my opinion, is the greatest profession to go into,” says Dr. Janet Mahoney, PhD., RN, APN-C, NEA-BC, Dean of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University. “Once a nurse has a firm foundation in nursing experiences and feels confident in his/her role as a nurse, the sky is the limit as far as career options go.”

For example, Forensic nurses are critical resources for anti-violence efforts. Forensic nurses collect evidence and give testimony that can be used in a court of law to apprehend or prosecute perpetrators who commit violent and abusive acts. If a nurse is interested in clinical practice, the Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees will give them the skills to be experts in the field. Monmouth offers Forensic Nursing, Nurse Practitioner and DNP programs, but not all colleges and universities do; so any nurse looking to specialize, needs to thoroughly research their educational options. Advanced degrees prepare nurses to apply evidence-based findings to their clinical practice. DNP nurses practice at the highest educational level and have an equal place at the table with other doctoral level professionals.

Below, we highlight a variety of nursing career paths one can pursue with advanced nursing degrees:

Health Informatics Technology: With the ever-growing integration of information technology in hospitals and other patient care facilities (including the advent of the Affordable Care Act requirement for electronic health records), this field continues to expand, says Dr. Kim Hudson-Gallogly, head of the University of North Georgia’s Department of Nursing. UNG has developed courses and degree options that can augment the traditional nursing degree and provide skills to meet the demands of the technology boom. Besides the nursing education needed for this pathway, it is essential that the nurse have extensive information technology course work to help the nurse manage data and processes associated with health informatics. To that end, nurses or students interested in this career path would do well to gain a good deal of experience in computer science. To market yourself effectively, hospitals and other care facilities will want to know how your skills can help them manage and process patient data. “Employers will be especially interested if you can showcase innovative software or programming talents that will make their other departments and employees more efficient at their own work,” says Hudson-Gallogly.

Clinical Trials Research: This field has become even more important as the push for research has increased across all patient care facilities, says Hudson-Gallogly. In this position, nurses study medical strategies, treatments and devices, and ascertain whether they are safe and effective for humans. A successful clinical trial typically reveals that the strategy or device in question either improves patient outcomes, offers no benefit, or causes harm. Registered professional nurses meet part of the requirements for this role with their extensive patient care experience, decision-making skills, and organizational skills, which are all essential abilities for the research nurse. However, nurses in this field will study more extensively in the hard sciences than their practice-based counterparts, as they will need to be exceedingly proficient in the scientific processes behind testing new treatments and devices. UNG is currently in the process of developing a clinical trials research degree for health care professionals that will launch in 2018.

Operating Room Nurses (or perioperative nurses): These nurses require a specialized skill set that includes being extremely organized, possessing a strong problem-solving ability, and being technologically savvy. While this pathway requires licensing as a registered professional nurse, it is so highly specialized that it is difficult to recruit and retain qualified applicants. As a result, there is a shortage of these nurses, says Hudson-Gallogly. Operating room nurses have the serious responsibility of planning for and supporting successful operations and surgeries, which includes a great deal — accurate and thorough patient assessment, detailed diagnoses, operating room suite planning, timely intervention when a an issue is identified, and vigilant evaluation once the patient has undergone a procedure are all critical functions of this nursing role. UNG has developed an introductory course to generate interest in this field in an effort to meet the needs and demands of the hospitals and ambulatory surgical sites. In 2018, UNG will launch a certificate that will prepare the nurse to be better prepared and more successful in this field, said Hudson-Gallogly.

Home Care Nursing: A home care nurse can provide intermittent care to home bound patients (visiting nurse) or provide around the clock care to patients requiring skilled nursing care. “Registered nurses need the skills to assess not just the patient, but the home care environment to ensure that the patient is receiving adequate care,” says Dr. Patricia Burke of Touro College School of Health Sciences Department of Nursing. The home care nurse needs to work independently and make clinical decisions coordinating care with other health care professionals (social worker, occupational and physical therapy) and providing comprehensive reports to the physician and insurance companies. One of the benefits of home care nursing is the flexibility and the ability to arrange visits to meet the nurses’ preferences. For instance, the nurse can arrange to conduct visits while their children are in school. Weekends and holidays are usually covered by per diem or on-call nurse, another added bonus.

A baccalaureate nursing degree is preferred but not required to become a home care nurse, however, at least one years’ experience as a nurse is required. For a specialty home care nurse, such as pediatrics, two years’ experience may be required. With home care nursing experience and a baccalaureate degree nurses can progress to coordinators of care, supervising home care nurses and ensuring that documentation of care meets regulatory standards.

Occupational Health Nurse: The occupational health nurse (OHN) needs basic assessment and education skills. The focus of the OHN is on the identification of workplace hazards, education regarding prevention and safety of employees, and preventive care. OHN’s also conducting employee risk assessment with management, compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and training for industry specific safety issues. “A benefit of being an OHN is that the hours are regular with no weekend or holiday requirement,” says Burke.

Research Nurse: A research nurse can function at all levels of research from obtaining consent, collecting the data through analysis and dissemination. “Attention to detail is one of the most important skills needed for a research nurse,” says Burke. Research nurses can work in pharmaceutical, medical, or nursing intervention trials. This job requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, a knowledge of the research process and clinical expertise in the area studied. Most research nurses will work Monday through Friday, 9-5, with weekends and holidays off. If the research nurse is working for a pharmaceutical company their position may involve travel and evening seminars to disseminate findings. The minimum requirement for a research nurse is a baccalaureate degree, however a Masters is preferred.

As nurses further their education and gain experience, more formal leadership opportunities arise.

“New graduates must understand that healthcare and nursing is a dynamic area that is constantly changing,” says Hines. “The key to success is to be open-minded to new heath care trends and adopt a lifelong learning mindset. Additionally, the nurse must understand flexibility, as things are always constantly moving and changing to best meet the health care needs of the patients, their families, and the community.”

For a greater break down of nursing careers by degree and pay, check out this cool INFOGRAPHIC from Ashworth College:

Nursing career paths infographic

 

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