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Posted October 20, 2016 by

Growing Your STEM Career

Love your science careerGuest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF

The STEM workforce is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, a global chemical company, examines ways that recent college grads can establish a strong foundation to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. The first post in this series examined the different education paths to consider when preparing for a STEM and the second post examined the STEM career opportunities available. 

STEM employment will increase rapidly: about 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM jobs will outgrow non-STEM jobs by almost two to one.

If you are planning a career in STEM, you should know which areas are expected to have the most job openings. For instance, the fastest-growing STEM undergraduate degrees in 2013 were statistics, computer information technology, administration and management, and environmental health engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Once you’ve landed your STEM job, how do you advance your career?

Forward-thinking companies recognize the importance of creating a strong internal talent pipeline in order to fill the skills gap, and seek to attract and retain employees with growth potential. Many businesses now provide unique opportunities for employees to design their career in a variety of ways and explore multiple job functions within a variety of disciplines, rather than limit professional development to a linear career ladder.

A great way to learn about other jobs is to immerse yourself in the company as a whole, and look for opportunities to participate in projects or interests that are outside of your job description. Some companies offer employees the chance to work with different groups and take on new responsibilities, exposing them to other roles from both an upward and lateral perspective. For example, BASF offers leadership development programs to help employees master new skills and discover additional talents. We organize these programs as rotational assignments, which provide entry-level hires with diverse working experiences. This is a good way to build their skills and professional network through cross-business training programs in areas such as marketing, engineering and supply chain management.

Get creative

Previous generations typically followed a linear career plan. However, today’s workforce seeks career experiences that are diverse, engaging and innovative. BASF offers unique non-linear career journeys, described as “career roadmaps” rather than “career paths.” For example, a manufacturing engineer working in plastics can use his or her product knowledge to switch over to a marketing position. Mid- or senior-level employees in the same field may have had very different career journeys that landed them in similar positions.

It’s important to take ownership of your career goals, rather than adhering to the conventional belief that you need to perform at a certain level to reach a certain role by a particular age. Businesses today are empowering employees to embrace the freedom to creatively pursue their career goals. Through formal mentoring programs along with advanced training and education opportunities, companies are helping employees shape their aspirations and continue to develop their skills both on and off the job.

It’s important to have regular conversations with your supervisor to set career goals for yourself and track your performance. If you discover a passion in an area outside your particular realm, see how you can work together to integrate new responsibilities into your role or transition into a new position.

The STEM industry offers great flexibility to explore new interests and opportunities on and off the job. If you are an entry-level employee, be sure to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. You may be surprised by where your career takes you.

luciana-amaroLuciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit.  In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.

Posted October 13, 2016 by

Exploring STEM Career Opportunities

1392453Guest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF

The STEM workforce–science, technology, engineering and mathematics–is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. Today’s STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than at any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, examines ways that college students and new grads can establish a strong foundation that equips them to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. Read the previous post about different paths to consider when preparing for a career in STEM.

Students entering the STEM industry today have more career opportunities than ever before. That’s because there will be an estimated shortfall of 2 million workers in manufacturing over the next decade, with six out of every 10 positions going unfilled due to a skills gap (Deloitte). Simply put: we don’t have enough STEM grads to meet the demand.

This shortfall has created fierce competition among companies seeking the best scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians. For example, if you are a petroleum engineer, your field will grow 10 percent by 2024 due to increased oil production in the U.S.

As a new STEM job candidate, where should you look?

Making an impact

Many truly game-changing positions that impact society require a degree in a STEM discipline. Feeding a hungry world, developing housing, improving transportation and creating innovative energy solutions all require a STEM education. Some of the exciting positions open today include:

  • Research and development scientists who are discovering alternative fuel options;
  • Software developers and industrial designers who are inventing the next smartphone or life-saving medical device; and
  • Structural and mechanical engineers who are improving infrastructure and building bridges.

With a breadth of jobs available, it is important to select a company that offers broad opportunities for innovation and advancement.

Landing the role

To land your dream job, begin building a professional network. One great way to do this is by joining a professional association such as the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) and NAM (National Association of Manufacturers). Associations offer a specialized network of professionals with similar values and goals, which can be incredibly helpful as you seek a mentor to help guide your career development. You can also join a group on LinkedIn such as STEM Educators & Researchers or MentorNet, where you can interact with other professionals to better understand their positions and solicit their advice.

Reaping the benefits  

Many careers in the STEM fields promote innovation and allow you to be at the forefront of emerging ideas. The myriad career options also allow you to explore different areas to uncover your passions. For instance, you may begin your career in plastics but later discover that agriculture is more interesting. Companies such as BASF provide young professionals the opportunity to discuss their career roadmap with their supervisor in order to determine their preference in becoming a generalist or a specialist in a particular area.

A STEM career can pay well. The starting salary for a petroleum engineer is $88,700 and a nuclear engineer is $62,900. Jobs in the STEM industry on average pay about 1.7 times the national average, according to the BLS.

While compensation is important, there are other considerations that you should take into account before selecting a role and employer. For example, at BASF we offer a rewards program that encourages work-life balance, professional development programs, and travel opportunities.

Read next week’s post in our series, “Growing Your Career in STEM.”

luciana-amaroLuciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit.  In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.

Posted July 25, 2016 by

10 digital skills to help you land an amazing job

Young photographer at the studio doing some retouching photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The digital age arrives with many benefits. Our lives are faster, online, and the information is easily accessible at the click of a button. However, you cannot be left behind, and you need to keep up with technology because it might end up replacing you if you don’t. In fact, it’s already happening. Many jobs that have been a staple of society in the past 100 years are slowly being given to automatons.

Those are the jobs that require little social interaction and are based on pure demand or logical thinking. A human employee in simple services can be replaced by a few buttons. We’re moving forward, and many already believe that the younger generation needs to make sure their digital skills are sharp in order to fit into the future. How do you defeat this robotization of services and jobs? Learn to be the one who controls and creates them.

It does not mean you necessarily have to learn how to build robots, but it means that you need to understand what sort of skills and talents future employees expect from you. Digital skills are certainly among them because they will play a major role in shaping the future. Your concern should be to belong among those who participate, instead of those who just watch, and here’s what you should definitely know to land a great job.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Even though SEO has been around for quite a while, it’s not known to many who have had no handle in creating or taking care of a website. However, keep in mind that skills using it are required by around 14% of companies in the digital industry, and that number is expected to grow. It’s an essential tool used to optimize a website in order for it to generate traffic and conversation. It’s an imperative skill for many jobs and one that will definitely impress employers in the industry.

2. Coding (HTML5 or JavaScript)

It may sound like a no-brainer, but coding is a major part of web browsing, especially in an age where websites are becoming more interactive. Numerous tech giants have switched to HTML5, dropping previous languages in order to create a better and seamless internet experience. The same applies to JavaScript, which works greatest with animation and making interaction an easy process. They’re tools that will be used in the future and some highly recommended for those interested in the field.

3. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

In essence, it’s a very simple method that companies are looking for regarding marketing. It implies increasing a specific website’s traffic by buying ads on search engines that make potential customers click on it. However, you need to hone your skills in identifying promising keywords, creating a compelling ad, and measure the results. These will be excellent skills to have if you’re aiming to submit a winning job application at a tech titan in the industry.

4. Analytics

It’s not enough to implement digital strategies. Analytics are crucial and highly sought-after by employers because it means you are comfortable with analyzing and evaluating how those techniques are progressing. You need to be able to compare them constantly with others and provide excellent insight. It’s an incredible skill that will certainly land you a job. Everyone is looking to get better.

5. Android or iOS Development

Smartphones are taking over, and learning either one of these two platforms will look great on your resume. They have tremendous potential for the future because they are not going anywhere. You could find an amazing job if you master at least one of them.

6. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Cloud software is everywhere, and many believe that they will ultimately become the quintessential platform for companies. PaaS is a tool that will help you develop these web applications that will no longer require customers to download sizeable programs on their hard drives. It’s a builder of accessibility.

7. Personal branding

Through the use of social media, you can create an excellent personal brand that will land you a fantastic job. You only need to learn how to do it. It implies understanding the use of all social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, blogs, and everything else to create a beneficial image of yourself.

8. Writing online content

Everything is on the internet, and the ability to create quality content is highly sought-after. If you combine it with SEO and a few marketing skills, you could reach for a high-paying digital marketing job. It’s important to know how to flow between platforms, and manage your content for every situation.

9. Web design and creating websites

There are numerous tools out there to use, and mastering a majority of them will certainly make you desired on the job market. All you need is a bit of coding, tremendous amounts of creativity, and the patience to actually learn all the tools. Everyone and everything needs a website. Be the one who creates them, and you will be needed as well.

10. Image and video editing

Online digital media is in full force, so there will always be a need for someone who has extensive skills of image and video editing. Be it for advertising, marketing, or basically any industry, these are very valuable skills to learn. They look impressive on your resume, and every company needs someone with these abilities. If you truly want to impress them, grab the Adobe collection and master it.

We have moved fast into the future, and our steps need to be quick in order to keep up. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is now not something employers require, but something they expect. Focus on the most advanced tools that will set you apart from the crowd of millennials still stuck behind technology.

Want more information about how to integrate technology into your career? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks is a digital marketing intern and a part-time writer, passionate about social media and personal branding. She loves helping individuals create unique online identities and achieve their much-desired professional acclaim.

Posted May 27, 2016 by

Onboarding should focus on new hire experience

Job, new, time photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When creating onboarding programs, employers should consider the interests of their new hires. This means focusing on what makes new hires comfortable and engaged with the onboarding process. Companies can take steps to create a smooth transition into the workplace for new employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares ways employers can build effective onboarding programs for new hires.

“A strong onboarding program is created with the new hire experience in mind. Many employers fail to make the first few days for employees exciting or fun. Bring people on and get them excited immediately.

Onboarding starts before new employees ever step foot in the office. So provide them with plenty of information about the company, who they’ll be meeting in the first few days, and what to expect from the entire process of getting oriented with their workspace, team, and tasks. Create an agenda before hiring employees.

Make employees feel comfortable with a clean, new space to work and introduce them to their colleagues. Encourage the staff to build casual relationships with new hires by taking them out to lunch; it establishes trust and respect. Essentially, employers are assigning mentors, employees the hires feel comfortable reaching out to.

Training should cover all of the protocols and procedures, but it needs to be engaging and can even be fun. Make it interactive; create games like scavenger hunts or other competitions to break the ice while also being informative. Technology is great for onboarding because it provides a convenient, easily accessible resource for new hires to find basic information including the dress code, benefits details, and the like, and to see how they fit within the company as a whole.

Be clear about company expectations and invest in training new hires over several weeks. This makes it easier to offer feedback, and go over the first performance evaluation. Consistent feedback and constructive critiques will help them improve on concerns as they arise, resulting in better evaluations and improving the company’s quality of hire.”

Need advice for creating an onboarding program? Get onboard our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted May 21, 2016 by

What kind of degrees can be pursued online?

Learn photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The availability of online colleges has increased drastically even just over the last 10 years, and with that change, the degree offerings have also become more widespread. Today, students can find almost any degree level or major offered through an online institution. With a little effort and commitment, they can find a career path that works for them and take them where they want to go. So, consider all of the possibilities offered today when it comes to online degrees.

Certification levels

Previously, the certification levels provided through online colleges were limited, but today, students can find degrees at any level to meet their needs. Here’s an overview of certifications and degrees available at most colleges and universities.

•Certification: Many professional fields require ongoing certification to keep a license up-to-date. Fortunately, there are many certification program options, including those in medicine, education, counseling, and even business.

•Associate Degree: Two-year associate degree programs are a good choice for many career options, and online institutions typically offer a wide variety of programs at this level.

•Bachelor’s Degree: These four-year degrees are among the most popular online degree programs. Most online schools offer the widest variety of bachelor’s degree programs.

•Master’s Degree: These options used to be much less common, but students can now find online programs to obtain an MBA, MS, M.Ed., or MA.

•Doctoral Degree: This level of degree is still the rarest to be found on the internet; however, even doctorate degrees are increasingly offered online today. There are a variety of options ranging from business to education and even theology.

Majors

Many students believe they’ll be limited in their major choice if they choose to opt for an online program, but that simply isn’t the case. Online colleges offer a wide range of major options, including those in humanities, fine arts, business, finance, technology, science, health, medicine, education, and even law and criminal justice.

Specialized degrees

Today’s online colleges are even equipped to offer a wide range of specialized degree programs, such as a board certified behavior analyst program that can teach students to see the big picture. These degrees require specific preparation and advanced techniques that make them perfect candidates for an individualized online program. To pursue endorsement through a program like the behavior analyst certification, students are often required to complete specific prerequisites prior to applying for the program to ensure their success.

There are more online degree options available today than ever before. Online colleges offer programs at all different certification levels, as well as degree programs in various subjects. The possibilities are unlimited.

Are you thinking about going back to school? Find college majors with top entry-level jobs and go to our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

Posted May 18, 2016 by

5 onboarding tips to make the first day a success for new hires

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The first day on the job is always nerve-wracking, especially for the recent college graduate starting their first job, or the entry-level employee taking that next step in their career. That’s why it’s important for employers to create an onboarding program to acclimate new hires and make them feel welcome from day one.

“Sometimes the simplest things get overlooked and the smallest things make a huge impression,” says Julie Desmond, a talent acquisition specialist with Tennant Company, a manufacturer of indoor and outdoor environmental cleaning solutions with over 3,000 employees worldwide.

Here are five onboarding tips to make the first day a success for new hires:

1. New hires must know exactly what to bring
According to a 2009 study by the Aberdeen Group of senior executives and HR staffing and recruiting personnel, 83 percent of the highest performing organizations began onboarding prior to the new hire’s first day on the job. Do this by sending the new employee a checklist of things to bring for that that first day: Driver’s license or form of identification, social security card, and names and numbers of emergency contacts, are a good start. Let them know they will be completing paperwork such as a W-4 or I-9, benefits and payroll forms.

“I’ve been in onboarding sessions where this information wasn’t conveyed in advance,” says Desmond. “As a result, it took longer than necessary to get through this step. We know this is a high-hassle moment for new employees. Making it easy is very, very simple.”

2. New hires must know exactly where to go
We’re not talking directions to the office. And it’s not enough to simply tell new hires what time to arrive that first day on the job. There should be a clear onboarding plan in place, says Desmond. Tell them “when you arrive, ask for Jane Smith. Jane will meet you there and bring you to a conference room where you will complete your new hire paperwork.”

This gives them a point person to reach out to versus showing up and sheepishly asking the front desk staff who to ask for and where to go.

“When people know what to expect, they are more comfortable, better able to learn and process information, and from day one they understand that, here, we communicate clearly and don’t waste time guessing at what’s going to happen next,” says Desmond.

3. Don’t assume the employer knows what you know
The worst part about a new job is just that – it’s new and there are unknowns. That’s why an established person within the company needs to make sure the new hire knows the company dress code, where the bathrooms are, how to ask for days off, and where they can get coffee or a bite to eat. “Everyone forgets these things, because insiders already know,” says Desmond.

4. Have the new hires’ technology in place
This person has been planning for their first day on the job for the past two weeks. So, why is it that new hires always spend part of the first day on the phone with IT?

“Good talent is hard to come by,” says Desmond. “When our new hire heads home at the end of the day, do we want him or her to tweet, “first day on the job, got a cool new laptop and got started on a cool new project already.” Or do we want them to say, “Not sure about the new gig. Spent all day with Freddie from the IT Help desk.”

5. Make the first day special
The little things count, says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs. Make sure the new hire’s work station is ready, announce the new hire company-wide via email (with picture, if possible), describe their background and role and have top executives or department leaders personally introduce themselves to the new hire. “Make sure the new hire knows their presence is important,” says LaBombard. After paperwork is complete, the new hire should meet with their manager, and new team members. If possible, take the new employee out to lunch to get to know them better.

This may just be another day for HR, a manager and other company employees, but for new hires, especially recent college grads, this is arguably the biggest day of their professional career to this point.

It’s important to them – and should also be to employers.

“Day one matters more than ever for new recruits,” says Desmond.

For more onboarding tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Julie Desmond, a Talent Acquisition specialist with Tennant Company

Julie Desmond, a Talent Acquisition Specialist with Tennant Company.

 

Julie Desmond is a Talent Acquisition specialist with Tennant Company, a manufacturer of indoor and outdoor environmental cleaning solutions with over 3,000 employees worldwide. Tennant Company is committed to providing a rewarding work environment where employees have opportunities to contribute their unique talents and skills to building an even stronger Tennant.

 

 

Bob Labombard

Bob Labombard, CEO of Gradstaff, Inc.

Bob LaBombard has more than 30 years of business experience in the chemical, environmental, professional services and staffing industries, including 18 years of staffing industry experience as CEO of GradStaff, Inc., and founder and CEO of EnviroStaff, Inc. He is a leader in helping client companies develop comprehensive strategies to fill both short- and long-term staffing requirements.

 

Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

Woman writing photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted April 30, 2016 by

3 employment options for recent grads

Graduation male student with different careers to choose courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Tom Wang/Shutterstock.com

Considering the economy and technology are on the upswing, many recent grads start their careers while studying at college. And we are not talking about part-time at the campus café; college students often have jobs that bring them valuable professional experience, and ensure a tangible level of income. So when graduation day comes, college students are not a bunch of scared rookies but professionals with decent backgrounds in their fields. Nevertheless, there is still a question: what form of employment is worth the effort? Startups and freelancing look more attractive, yet they conceal many tricky pitfalls. As for good old full-time employment, it needs serious reshaping and improvement to attract young professionals. There are at least three employment options for recent grads, but which option is best?

It is all in the mindset

According to recent surveys, three out of five students expect they will be able to work remotely, and less than a half of 18-29 year olds employed are working full-time. It is not a crisis or an unexpected epidemic given that youth follow the elder generations; Gen Z (this is how sociologists and HR experts categorize people born in the mid to late 1990s through the 2010s) had a Millennials rise as a model to follow. The same surveys indicate about 30% of Gen Y started businesses while in college, and about 91% are considering changing their current jobs within three years. With this in mind, we can tell the younger generation has been raised in the spirit of freedom and solopreneurship, now demanding a different approach from HR departments and recruiters. Yet, the last say goes to employees, and here are things they should consider before accepting job offers and jump into their careers or solo businesses. Let’s take a look at each of the following three employment options for recent grads to consider.

Start a company

Starting your own company is rather challenging, though many examples have proven it to be successful. The idea is to push your passion into profit and convince others that your business is worth all the efforts.

Startup advantages:

– Working for yourself
– Creating great financial opportunities
– Implementing your own ideas
– Great life experience

Startup disadvantages:

– Tough competition
– Investments needed
– Lack of “job security”
– Startup is riskier and more costly

Understand that starting your own business calls for an award-winning concept necessary to enter the entrepreneurial world. Those who choose to make such a living should be patient, as niche startups are likely to bear fruit no sooner than 12 months after launch.

Freelancing

Freelancing is actually quite similar to starting your own business. On the one hand, it comes rather risky though you do not have to invest. On the other hand, you are free to follow your commitments with passion and drive.

Freelancing advantages:

– Benefit from flexible hours (Sleep until noon, if you like. No one will ever bother you unless the project deadline is approaching)
– Take control of your customers and tasks (Choose whom you are going to work with and opt for the most appealing tasks)
– Keep all the profits (You are the boss. You don’t have to split the profit or pay salaries, yet be aware of taxation and other expenses)
– Stay wherever you want (Freelancing is perfect for a travelling enthusiast)

Freelancing disadvantages:

– Lack of steady workloads (At some point, you can suffer from the lack of orders unless you’ve managed to create a solid customer base)
– Insecurity (There are numerous occasions when freelancers are not paid or become victims of fraud)
– You pay for yourself (No social package or any other benefits provided by the employer. You’re the boss, remember?)

Full-time job

The most influential thing about a full-time job is a contract and guaranteed salary in addition to employer’s benefits, a workplace provided, and more. However, the current economic situation will hardly provide you with total job and financial security, while being hopeless in enabling your professional development.

Full-time advantages:

– Steady salary (Your monthly payment is guaranteed)
– Governmental and social securities (Your contact is protected by social and economic policies)
– Constant workload (You will never witness a lack of tasks and duties)

Full-time disadvantages:

– Heavy workload (Too much work is not good for you. It results in stress and health problems in addition to a lack of personal time)
– Lack of professional development (You can stick to a routine without the slightest chance to develop your skills)
– Not enough salary (You will hardly find employees who are satisfied with their monthly salaries. Always keep in mind that every employer is eager to cut down on expenses. Salary is a key point in the list of expenses)

Each working arrangement comes with pros and cons. The best way to make up your mind is to consider every point we have discussed. No matter what you choose, get pleasure from what you are doing and never hesitate to make a crucial step and change your life for the better.

Need more advice regarding employment options? Search for jobs with College Recruiter and check out our blog. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Justine Thomas, guest writer

Justine Thomas, guest writer

Justine Thomas is a blogger and freelance writer. Her main interests are foreign languages, psychology, and fitness. Currently, she is working at educational company, Edubirdie.com, as a consulting editor.

Posted April 28, 2016 by

Google before interviewing job candidates

Homepage of Google.com courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock.com

Before requesting job candidates for interviews these days, recruiters and hiring managers are doing their homework. Thanks to Google, employers can learn more about potential employees on social media and elsewhere and decide whether or not candidates fit their company culture. The practice of Googling candidates is becoming more common. Joel Passen, Head of Marketing at Newton Software, Inc., says this practice is now normal and not just a trend.

 

“In the fourth quarter of 2014, we surveyed 350 corporate recruiters. These are recruiters at US-based, small and medium-sized businesses. We found 67% of these respondents do indeed Google search their applicants before making contact or a decision on whether or not to interview applicants. Our hunch was “Googling” applicants was more than just a trend; it’s become the new normal way to gather tidbits of social proof before engaging with job seekers. We found the pervasiveness of Googling job seekers so strong that we actually added a feature to our applicant tracking system to allow users to Google a candidate with one click. As such, Googling candidates during the early stages of the applicant lifecycle has become a feature!”

If you’re interested in more interviewing advice for employers or job seekers, go to our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Joel Passen, Head of Marketing at Newton Software

Joel Passen, Head of Marketing at Newton Software

For nearly a decade, Joel Passen spent his days in the belly of the beast as a corporate recruiting leader where he consistently drove change. Passionate about the intersection of technology and talent, Joel co-founded Newton Software, a technology company developing cloud-based recruiting solutions for small and medium-sized employers, where he serves as the Head of Marketing. In addition to his responsibilities at Newton Software, which was acquired by Paycor in 2015, Joel actively serves as an Advisory Board Member for two growing companies in the talent acquisition industry.

Posted April 27, 2016 by

Benefits of using video and phone interviews in recruiting

Female boss talking with applicants online on video conference courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com

While face-to-face interviews have not become obsolete, new interviewing methods are becoming more popular today. Video and phone interviews not only benefit job candidates but also benefit recruiters. Recruiters can save time and learn more about candidates to make the best hiring decisions. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, explains why video and phone interviews are effective in college recruiting.

“Video interviewing benefits both candidates and hiring managers. For an organization, pre-recorded screening questions create a consistent candidate experience by asking the same questions to applicants the same way. Candidates benefit because the technology is easily accessible and simple to use — just hit record.

Before in-person interviews, companies want to know the basics such as candidates’ skill sets, ambitions, what they can contribute to the company, etc. All of this valuable information is easy to gather through phone and video interviews.

The problem many organizations face when recruiting college students and recent graduates is a skills gap they possess and the skills needed to get the job done. While these interviews don’t fix the skills gap, they give recruiters a better understanding of the candidates. Recruiters can evaluate them more efficiently to avoid eliminating top talent who may not communicate their potential as clearly on their resumes, as they can when responding to specific questions. This affects the quality of hire, the most important measurement that tells employers how well their hiring teams recruit.

When using video interviews, recruiters are effectively finding high quality candidates and eliminating those who fall short. Additionally, they are reducing time to hire significantly and improving their return on investment (ROI).

We use our own talent management platform, which offers a video interviewing feature that seamlessly integrates candidates’ recorded responses with the applicant tracking system. This allows the entire hiring team to engage by watching the recordings at their convenience and collaborating by providing feedback through the platform.”

Do you want to learn more about phone and video interviews? Head to our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.