Look What’s Coming…URR Competencies

competency image_033016_csp2884ac

After a competitive process, NACE awarded the CSP Team NACE’s project to develop University Relations and Recruiting (URR) Competencies. This assignment will create professional job competencies for URR individuals that will align with the NACE-URR Professional Standards developed in 2012 for organizations.

Jeff Goodman, CSP Managing Partner, is serving as project team manager. You may recall that NACE selected Jeff in 2012 to develop the NACE Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting. The NACE Professional Standards have been widely acclaimed for their benefit and value by many NACE members.

NACE Competencies Advisory Council
For the competencies project, Jeff pulled together a team of NACE member advisors and CSP team associates who are researching and developing the NACE-URR competencies. NACE recognizes this important need to provide guidance on best practices for its URR member professionals.The project team is working expeditiously to meet NACE’s timeline for the competencies to be published late spring/summer 2016.

The NACE Competencies Advisors represent various organizations including Fortune 500 companies, smaller employers, government entities, private consultancies and the non-profit world. This broad representation will provide a full range of proficiencies necessary to excel in the URR field and help organizations advance in their recruiting efforts and university relationships.

The CSP competencies project team is performing a much needed service for our members – codifying URR professional competencies that will align with NACE Professional Standards for URR. This work will help NACE members “up their game” in recruiting the very best qualified students for their companies and deepen employer relationships with our university partners. – Jeff Goodman, NACE project team lead, CSP Managing Partner

How Competencies will Advance URR Professionals
The NACE Competencies will advantage URR professionals and organizations in many ways. At various career levels the competencies will, among other benefits:

  • Clearly delineate knowledge, skills, abilities, attributes, qualifications, and the expertise of URR professionals necessary for specific roles;
  • Identify expected employee performance results, methods for URR professionals to self-assess their own competence, and ways to assess the competency levels of employees under supervision; and
  • Identify paths and areas for individual professional development and growth

Look for your opportunity in late April to comment on the draft NACE competencies. CSP and the project team will seek comments from NACE membership through a public forum platform where the competencies may be reviewed and opportunity will be provided for feedback.

As a recipient of The CSP Letter and as a NACE member you will get early notice of our progress and the precise review opportunity. Of course, as a CSP Letter recipient you will also have the advantage of blog postings in upcoming months that will discuss various research findings and some key URR Competencies.

To learn more about the NACE-URR Competencies Project or to talk with a CSP consultant about ways to enhance your URR staff’s results, please contact Mary Cooperwasser, CSP Communications Director at 734.255.9182.

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Right Metrics – Where to Start and What’s in it for YOU?


Copy of Cloud 3You may think metrics are boring. They are! But metrics can help you “tweak” your UR program, and make your leaders take notice and say, “Good Job”.

The answer to the question, “What are the right metrics for me?” may sound like a typical refrain: metrics need to be customized.  That’s because they do! Let’s take a step back before we dive headlong into traditional metrics that measure steps to the hiring funnel, look at college hiring as a whole, and ask what we need to do and why.

Why metrics?  We need to manage university relations with metrics just like a business, because it is common for most other business functions to use metrics for strategic planning and improvement initiatives.  University relations can be thought of as a program:  a series of business processes comprised of inputs and desired outcomes with a specific vision and mission that are tied to the company’s business goals, strategies, and values.  Metrics will help you rationalize your university relations program and build a business case for changes to your UR processes, which may mean adding more resources.  And who doesn’t want their UR program to be recognized as strategically aligned with the organization’s needs, well staffed with people throughout the company involved in the UR process, and adequately supported financially?  

What are you trying to accomplish?  We can start at a 50,000 foot view of college recruiting with more questions to be answered:

  • Why do you need a college recruiting program in the first place?  The purpose of your program could simply be to backfill for attrition (butts in seats) or for company growth.  You could also be trying to develop your own talent pipeline, rejuvenate your organization with fresh ideas and perspectives, or build your workforce of the future.
  • What is the strategic impact of college hiring?  Ideally, the answer begins with strong workforce planning processes.  Workforce planning identifies the gaps for strategic roles that can be filled with new college graduates.  This establishes a long-term plan for how the UR program will help sustain and grow the organization.  It may also supply some high-level goals for college hires that are tied to the overall strategic talent acquisition plan, such as a targeted mix of college vs. experienced hires.
  • What else do you want/need to know?  It could be answers to questions your leaders are asking.  Of course, you’ll need to consider how you will measure success, where you will focus your recruitment efforts, how you evaluate individual campus performance, and refine the list of current schools selected for recruiting.  

What are you trying to measure?  The bottom line is that metrics need to measure effectiveness (how well did you do) and efficiency (how well you did with what you had).  

Think of this sports analogy to understand how to measure effectiveness:  

You need to keep track of the score of the game while you are still playing it and then recap the game after it is over.  Knowing “the score” of your hiring status during recruitment allows you to make adjustments as necessary.  A post-game recap “box score” might be used at the end of the recruitment season (your year-end report) to show important statistics and provide analysis of how well you performed.

Efficiency metrics may include things like cost-per-hire or quality-of-hire measures such as retention, new-hire performance, and satisfaction surveys.  These metrics tend to accompany process improvement initiatives and typically occur between recruitment years.

Note:  Data for data’s sake is like jogging in place – you may get exercise, but you don’t get anywhere.  Metrics should be used to drive actions.  Metrics should also be used in an internal or external comparison.  Internally, you might use a trend analysis to measure your performance against yourself over time.  Externally, you measure your own performance against other companies through established standards or benchmarking studies.  For those who say, “I don’t have time to call other businesses to compare UR metrics”, please note that Campus Strategic Partners performs cost-effective benchmarking studies for many companies in a large variety of industries. We answer complex or simple questions that help frame direction in various aspects of the UR program – all to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of your program.

What other metrics are helpful to measure?

The time difference for an experienced professional hire accepting an offer and starting to work is relatively short.  However, in the college recruitment world, you may be starting your hiring process in the fall for students who may not actually report to work until the following summer after they graduate.  The lag time between “accept date” and “start date” dictates that we should look at actual “accepts” as a measure of progress towards our hiring goal.  With the college graduate lag time to job start, it is critical to keep the prospective new hire engaged with the company.  Measuring accepts vs. hiring starts can also be a testament to the quality of your UR efforts or a signal of an area for improvement.

Standardization.  In order for your metrics to be valuable for internal comparison across business units, you must be measuring the same thing, the same way, all the time.

  • What is the definition of a “recent college graduate”?  Okay, so that’s a silly question.  Hopefully, we’re recruiting students before they get their degree and start soon afterwards.  However, what about students who take a break or another job before they come to their senses and go to work for you?  How long after graduation is a candidate considered to be “recent”?  If they gain practical experience in their degree field before joining your company, does that factor into your definition?  How you answer these questions is less relevant than the act of defining your standard and sticking with it.
  • What is your college recruitment year? – The academic cycle does not align with annual or most fiscal calendars and therefore requires some standardization for what constitutes a “hire”.  I have seen client hiring managers who wanted to flip-flop back and forth between the academic calendar and the annual calendar as it suited them for meeting their hiring goals.   It is important to establish a standard and communicate it.  

A final thought on “why?”.  You may have heard the old adage “what gets measured gets done“, but I prefer John H. Jones’s addendum – “…what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated“.  Yes, this is true. Use metrics to drive your program’s performance, feedback the results to your leaders, continuously improve your program, and gain recognition and reward for those who participated.

There are lots of moving parts in UR, so It is important to communicate your results to everyone involved in the college recruiting process (especially those who lent a hand, like Senior Execs).  With the Right Metrics, you will continue to build your UR program to be an effective performer for your company.  The Right Metrics can provide concrete proof of your UR program’s great value and that of your leadership.

We’re going to blog about common metrics and those specifically applicable to college recruiting over the next few weeks.  CSP hopes this series of posts will encourage you to take a look at what you’re doing for your own organization and help you maximize the potential of your campus recruiting program to achieve greater success and wide appreciation for your UR team’s efforts.  Email me at jeff@campusstrategicpartners.com if you have specific questions about metrics for your organization.

 

Secret Weapon – Executives Can Make A Difference

Many topnotch UR programs have both the backing of C-level executives (direct reports to the CEO) and an executive presence on campus that reinforces the recruiting effort. With “skin in the game”, senior leaders have reason to help achieve recruiting success. These firms have discovered how to navigate the time commitment in order to effectively use the talent of their most senior executives.

CSP has worked with firms across many industries — finance, professional services (accounting and consulting), aerospace/defense, as well as manufacturers, and has developed a Campus Executive Program (CEP) tailored by our consultants for each client. The CEP judiciously includes high-level executives in the plan.  CSP matches senior executive availability and interests – business and personal, with campus needs to maximize their impact.  A CEP can also provide the UR program with documentation to underscore these methods and training for executives to be successful.

Using top executives effectively in the UR program provides visibility, distinguishes the company among key university notables, helps reinforce the brand and sends the message that the company’s leaders are committed to their employees and the university, Here are just a few tips from the CSP Campus Exec Program for you to use in your UR efforts:

  • Start with an endorsement from your the top executive and involve him or her in the process of developing a campus executive program
  • Create a titled position such as “campus executive” (CE) to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the institution and provide a direct liaison with the school’s top leadership.
  • Assign colleges strategically, where CE involvement will have the greatest effect. CEs must feel they make a difference to justify their time
    • Match CEs to their alma mater, where possible:
    • Analyze hiring needs and assign geographically, based on interest and practicality
    • Correlate business needs with academic program strengths, the CE’s expertise and/or interest
    • Select schools where the greatest student talent is for your company by examining current priority business hiring needs; assign CEs accordingly
  • Develop a CE job description with brief, clear expectations of time, effort and specific activities; most importantly – train CEs on their roles and your expectations
  • Do the legwork and suggest participation wisely.  Arrange an initial meeting on campus for CEs to meet with university VIPs: deans, presidents, provosts, chancellors, department heads, key faculty, and influential alumni
    • Set up follow up lunches, dinners, student club events, and meetings
    • Learn about committees, boards, advisory groups; alumni chapter speaking opportunities and other campus activities for CE participation
    • Guide the CE to lead the company’s philanthropic support
    • Make personal introductions to further the relationship including involvement in the company internship program
  • Facilitate contact with your best prospects who receive offers to help close the deal
  • Make it easy for your CEs by creating templates for thank you notes; congratulatory emails; or communication to alert prospects of upcoming firm events – all to deepen your firm’s university relationship
  • Demonstrate the results of the campus executive program to your firm’s leaders:
    • Produce monthly hiring reports showing results measured against the plan
    • Compare results to prior efforts that did not include CE involvement
    • Distribute the analyzed results to leaders throughout the organization to encourage growth of your campus executive program. This can instill competition within the organization to spur excitement, boost efforts and improve outcomes.

CSP has many more good ideas, which can be customized to creatively involve senior executives in your UR program.  Please feel free to contact Mary Cooperwasser directly at (mary@campusstrategicpartners.com) to learn more. The CSP experts are eager to share more tips and help you take your UR program to the next level.

Building a Business Case for URR

Surveys from multiple sources have predicted that the 2014-15 campus recruiting year will be very competitive for undergraduates and MBA students.  For employers to be successful, it is critical that a well researched plan be put in place perhaps as long as six months to a year prior to setting foot on campus.

We have determined that there are fifteen key components that make a campus recruiting program successful.  This series will commence with the first step:  Building the Business Case for a Strategic University Recruiting and Relations Program (URR).    As defined by the popular reference Wikipedia:  “a business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task.  It is often presented in a well-structured written document, but may also come in the form of a short verbal argument or presentation. The logic of the business case is that, whenever resources such as money or effort are consumed, they should be in support of a specific business need that adequately captures both the quantifiable and unquantifiable characteristics of a proposed project.”

Most organizations fall into one of three categories:  1) they have no program and want to create one; 2) they “do some college recruiting”, but want to create something more strategic with a solid return on investment,  or 3) they have a well-defined program with a desire to make continuous improvements.

As we work with clients, the first question we ask them is, “Why do you want to create or establish a college recruiting program?  What are your motivators for taking action?   Often, the response is “…..it just seems like the right thing to do because we need people.”  Answering the question “why” is a good place to begin building a URR business case.  Here are a few qualitative and quantifiable reasons typically used by companies starting a campus recruiting program

Why Have a University Relations Program?

The company:

  1. Needs the latest technologies being taught at the universities to address skill gaps; gain a competitive advantage, and/or up-skill current employees by infusing talent from the best universities.
  2. Must address workforce turnover, which includes pending retirements, voluntary and non-voluntary departures, replacements, promotions, and/or relocations.
  3. Has enjoyed business growth, which necessitates hiring new employees.
  4. Would like to establish closer ties between the organization’s research with partner universities and faculty.
  5. Can lower salary costs by hiring new campus graduates rather than experienced professionals.
  6. Can build a bigger and better diversity pipeline through campus clubs and organizations at key schools.

Creating a compelling business case for URR should incorporate the most important reasons of what you want to accomplish using internal data and metrics to support those arguments, where possible, including key outcomes and success factors.  Additionally, you will need to provide estimated costs and resource requirements, then analyze the financial and cultural impacts, and assess your organization’s capability/readiness to carry out your program.  Ultimately, you will need to document a project plan (which includes main activities/milestones, a timeline and key decision points) and a change management plan.

Establishing a strong business case for URR — clearly understood and embraced throughout the organization — is the first of the strategic elements that make a campus recruiting program successful.  Whether you are starting a new university relations and recruiting program or making improvements to an existing one, creating a well thought out business case based on facts is a good place to start.

 

Focus on Internships Part 4 – Critical Success Factors

Congratulations!  You’re nearing the end of The Gap, done all you could to close your top intern candidates and you now have a pretty good idea of the talent joining you this summer.   Now, the really fun part starts – revving up your internship program!  No doubt, you’ve already ironed out most of the program details, but, how can you ensure it’s “all it can be” for success this summer and in the future?

There are a number of factors which are critical to ensuring a perennially successful internship program, i.e., one that is not only a competitor, but is an ongoing leader in the marketplace.  At a minimum, contenders will be able to check off most or all of the following events & activities:

  1. Dynamic Opening & Closing Receptions with Executive Speakers
  2. Corporate & BU-specific Orientations
  3. Alumni Panels
  4. Training & Career Development Sessions
  5. Intern / Program Performance Reviews with Focus Groups & Surveys
  6. Intern Presentations
  7. Networking Events & Social Media
  8. Exit interviews
  9. Intern Ambassador Program

Underpinning these activities is a need for a compelling business case and adequate resources.  An intern program is a double-edged sword which can HELP or HURT an organization’s all-important brand in equal measure.  Done correctly, it will yield exponential branding & recruitment returns, as interns spread the good news about your firm / program on campus.  If executed poorly however, you can count on interns to spread the bad news just as rapidly.  So the bottom line is you need to set the groundwork by presenting a convincing intern program business case to organizational leaders over time in order to secure adequate resources to ensure an ongoing successful program.

This article will focus on several critical success factors for the following key stakeholders:  intern program directors, hiring manager/intern supervisors, and the interns, themselves.

Intern Program Director CSFs

One of the fundamental activities critical to the success of intern program directors is some level of strategic planning:  developing a strategic plan, establishing objectives, and implementing strategies to achieve those objectives.  If you are developing a new program, you may find it helpful to employ Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits maxim, “begin with the end in mind”.  For example, answer the following questions:  What would a successful Intern program look like at your organization?   What would be the components?  Who are the key stakeholders?  How will the program be differentiated from competitors?

Success also requires a systemic approach in order to create an organized, robust and synchronized program in which all stakeholders are adequately resourced, engaged and coordinated to support the program.  The result is a smoothly operated program firing on all cylinders, working in unison toward the same measurable goals.  Some other critical success factors for program directors touch on organization and program design elements:

  • Hold a kickoff meeting to mobilize and coordinate the activities of various corporate stakeholders & participants: executives, hiring managers/supervisors, HR / college recruiters, campus teams, communications, training & career development,  I.T. / technical, mentors, employee resource/young professionals groups, etc.
  • Design a program incorporating the millennial mindset – what excites, motivates & inspires them, e.g., corporate social responsibility, community projects & making an impact on society, career advancement, interesting & challenging work, training & mentoring, etc.
  • Deliver presentations on critical success factors to intern account managers
  • Install mechanisms to ensure program is optimized and interns stay on track as well as for continuous improvement, e.g., intern performance reviews (mid-term & end-of-summer), intern program evaluation via surveys & focus groups, adequate program support and coordination from corporate, etc.
  • Document your program and institute metrics – maintain intern database, assess lessons learned, measure progress over time, etc.
  • Utilize key best practices resources­ – including NACEweb.org, Regional ACE conferences, roundtables & workshops, InternBridge.com, Internship.com, College Networking Resource Group

Hiring Manager/Intern Supervisor CSFs

Establish a customized intern program plan to support your organizational structure:

  • Develop onboarding materials to help interns understand the role of your group within the organization as a whole as well as account strategy and goals
  • Provide real work, not administrative, assignments to your intern
  • Make yourself available to the intern as much as possible
  • Expose intern to multiple aspects of the business (consider rotational assignment, job shadowing, etc.)
  • Provide continuous feedback to the intern about their performance and contribution
  • Encourage interns to network, participate in all activities and to share experiences with other interns
  • Keep intern program director informed about intern status, plans for the future, etc.

Intern CSFs

The intern program director and hiring managers/supervisors should communicate the following messages to interns throughout the internship.

  • Understand & leverage resources across the entire company to complete work assignments
  • ‘Use It or Lose It’ – Resourcefulness, proactivity, curiosity and openness are important but if interns don’t use (apply) these traits, they lose their potential effectiveness.  
  • Take responsibility for your own success and apply yourself.
  • Participate.  Be engaged
  • Learn as much as possible about your job, business unit, industry; ask questions
  • Identify gaps in your own knowledge and abilities and take steps to fill the gap; don’t wait for manager to initiate
  • Freely provide your (highly valued) perspectives
  • Network with diverse set of interns across the company on different teams, working in different functions, at other grade levels, schools, etc. Utilize intern social networking events, use available social media, & participate with employee resource groups
  • Have Fun!

We hope you find these suggestions useful.   Wishing you highly successful internship program this summer!

 

Recruiting Against the Private Sector: What Government Can Do Better to Compete for Talent From Campus

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 6.57.27 AMIn a previous article, we described the keen interest in employment in the public sector by millenials. Federal employment provides many of the most important attributes that students identify as attractive for their careers. This is evidenced by federal agencies being chosen among the top “ideal employers” identified in Universum’s student survey of tens of thousands of college students: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Institutes of Health, Peace Corps, Department of State, and NASA, to name a few. However, despite the appeal of public sector careers, most government agencies are quite inefficient in their recruiting and selection processes and consequently lose many top candidates to the private sector.

Compounding this handicap is the fact that the job market for new campus graduates has heated up once again. According to the 2014 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, employers plan to increase their hiring from the class of 2014 by 7.8 percent for their U.S. operations. While the job market is certainly tough for some recent graduates, the most sought-after candidates are receiving multiple offers with higher salaries. Agency recruiting and hiring practices must change to effectively for the desired talent.

Here are 11 suggestions that the public sector might deploy that parallel successful practices in the private sector: keep reading on ere.net…

CSP Newsletter – Focus on Internships Part 3: The Gap

Congratulations, by now you have probably completed the majority of your intern hiring (or almost)!  But now what?  Most of your interns don’t start work for another two months. Undoubtedly you have lots to do to prepare for their arrival but often this work is internal preparation and there are not a lot of opportunities (or need) to communicate with your hires until just before their start date.  Aside from the random questions about housing options and dress code, what can you do to keep your intern hires engaged and not suffer from prolonged radio silence on both sides?  Here are some suggestions our consultants have seen in action and wanted to share.  Whether you chose to do one, two, or several of these things, we think it’s a good idea to plan a few official touch points to help fill the potential communication gap.

Ideas on how to stay connected with your intern hires between when they accept your offer and their start date:

  • Intern Class Introduction Email: Once you have completed your intern hiring, sending an introductory email to everyone joining for the summer is a nice way to start some camaraderie among the group.  Interns, especially those relocating for the summer, often reach out to each other about potential housing options.  Just be sure to ask permission from each person to share their personal email address with the larger group.
  • Housing Options Email: Speaking of housing options, if your company does not offer housing for the summer interns, sharing some suggestions about where to look for housing can be very helpful and well received.  If you have not done this in the past, check to see if local colleges and universities rent out dorm rooms during the summer, or if there are websites that people in the area typically use to advertise rentals and sublets. (InternHousing.com is a great resource.)
  • Phone Call from Managers: Task your hiring managers with picking up the phone and calling their intern just to say hello and reiterate how excited they are for the intern to be (re-)joining the team this summer.   You can even provide a few bullet points about the summer program to make it really easy for managers to place the call.
  • Summer Calendar:  Once you have finalized your summer program calendar, it’s nice to share some highlights to help get the interns excited about what is in-store for them in the coming months. Information can include orientation/onboarding schedule and key dates for events that may be taking place after hours, on weekends, or may involve significant others.  Giving the interns a heads-up on these dates is much appreciated when they are planning their summer.
  • Pre-Hire Paperwork Email: Whether your interns can complete all of their pre-hire paperwork online or need to print and bring materials with them on the first day, an email detailing out everything they need to do is a must.  Otherwise you will have a lot of follow-up work after their first day.  A reminder about employment verification paperwork (i.e. I-9 documentation) is essential.  How many times have you had interns calling their parents to overnight their passport because they thought a photocopy would suffice?
  • Company Meeting or Event: If appropriate, consider inviting the interns to attend a company meeting or social event prior to their start date.  This is a great way for interns to reconnect with hiring managers and learn more about the company including perhaps: future plans, strategic initiatives, and organizational culture.
  • Exam Kits: Who doesn’t like a box of brownies or other yummy treats to share with their friends and help them through studying for exams?  Sending a little goodie box and a “good luck with exams” note is a very thoughtful way to stay connected with your soon-to-be interns.
  • Social Media Sites: Creating a social media site for your intern class where they can communicate and get to know each other a little before starting work is a definite nice to have.  Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Hangout are a few good options and will allow you to create private pages/groups and invite the interns to join.  Just remember, if you do choose to do this, you should designate someone to moderate the site and respond to any questions/content directed towards your company.

We hope you find these suggestions useful and good luck bridging the gap,

Your Friends at CSP

CSP Newsletter Focus on Internships Part 2: The Waiting Game

This is the second newsletter in a series on internships

Interviews conducted – check! Offers extended – check!  All relevant information about the job communicated – check! Now the tables have turned and the waiting game begins. No longer are the candidates trying to impress you. Now you are trying to woo the candidates to accept your offer.

While we have all probably encountered the over-zealous student who accepts their offer on the spot, this is not always the norm. Students often want some time before making a decision. In many cases, schools mandate offers remain open until a certain date to allow students time to finish interviewing with other companies, consider all their options, and talk with career services, advisors, friends, and family to help them decide which opportunity is best for them.

So aside from reverting to voodoo and black magic, how can you increase the odds of students accepting your offer over other offers that may include office foosball tables and free lunch every day? Okay, we admit, it’s hard to compete with free lunch. However, you have worked really hard up until this point, so don’t leave things to chance now. Below are a few suggestions on how to put your best foot forward to help increase your acceptance rate and close your top candidates.

Helpful hints for closing candidates:

  • Closing Teams: Assigning a closing team to each offeree is a great way to stay in contact with a candidate and gather important intel about major decision factors the student may be considering. We recommend assigning a two person team to each candidate: one senior-level employee to offer-up the “wow” factor, and one junior-level person (ideally within two years of graduation) who recently went through a similar decision making process. When assigning closing teams, look for things in common between the candidate and the closing team members (i.e. same school, played the same sport, club affiliations, professional interests) to help break the ice.
  • Gather Candidate Intel: Leveraging your closing teams (see above) and other interactions with offerees, gather as much information about competing offers and other decision factors important to the student. For example, the type of work each position offers, compensation, geography, other attributes of the intern program, likelihood to lead to full-time employment, etc. The more you know, the more you can try to sell them on your offer. If you are unable to answer a student’s question, find someone in the company who can and make an introduction.
  • Employ Program Ambassadors: Former interns are a great recruiting tool. Recruiters can talk until we are blue in the face but when one student tells another student about the great experience they had working at your company; all of a sudden it resonates. Don’t be afraid to ask former interns to touch base with classmates and offer to answer questions and share their experience. Hint: if you do this, it’s nice to offer up a small token of appreciation to these program ambassadors.
  • Offer Gifts: By this point in time, students have so many water bottles, t-shirts, pens, and other tchotchkes emblazoned with company logos, the thought of sending more may be a real turn-off. However, if you have “bigger, nicer” gifts that you reserve for top candidates, this is the time to put those to use. Consider something like a signed copy of a book authored by a person at your company or a goody box of things from the city where your company is located. Or when all else fails, send cookies with a nice note congratulating the student on their offer.
  • Office Visits/Sell Event: Expectations for the amount of wooing required to close a candidate can vary greatly between industries. The norm for one industry may not even be a factor for students considering opportunities in another industry. For example, it’s not unusual for students pursuing opportunities with banks, large consulting firms, and law firms to be invited to events where they are “wined and dined” by company executives and participate in programs designed to convince them to accept one offer over another (we won’t even mention the ski weekends and trips to tropical locations). However, these types of events may not be the norm for students who want to work at smaller companies or in other industries such as technology, engineering, communications, and marketing. Planning a dinner for all of your offerees to meet each other and members of your leadership team, or inviting them to your office for a half-day of programming may be a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Incentivizing Early Accepts: Incentivizing students to accept sooner rather than later (i.e. exploding offers and diminishing signing bonuses) can be a touchy subject. Some schools have strict policies against it. Our advice is to do your due diligence and be aware that some companies employ this tactic.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful; good luck getting that acceptance rate up!

Think You Know How Your Brand Measures Up On Campus? Think Again

By Melissa Suzuno

Picture this: You’re at a campus career fair. Your booth is all set, you’ve got a perfectly poised pyramid of water bottles to hand out, you’re pumped and ready to get students fired up about working for your company. There’s just one teensy problem with this scenario—when it comes time to actually talk to students, none of them have even heard of your company. This kind of kills your mojo, especially when you see competitors who have long lines of students who can’t wait to speak to their recruiters.

This scenario is sadly pretty common with companies that are new to college recruiting, but the good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to measure and  build your brand on campus. We caught up with Jeff Goodman, Principal Consultant at Campus Strategic Partners to learn more about branding your company on college campuses.

<< Read the rest of the article on the AfterCollege Employer Blog site>>

Millennials Are Attracted to Public Service, But Government Needs to Deliver

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.26.32 PMThis is not an easy time to be a public servant. Heated budget battles and rhetoric about the size, function, scope, and effectiveness of the public sector have generated criticism — not just of government, but also of the public servants who deliver government services.

It’s ironic that while the government is being criticized, Americans continue to ask public servants to solve some of our nation’s toughest problems: revitalizing the economy and putting people back to work, supporting a war that has stubbornly persisted for more than a decade, protecting the public, eliminating poverty, improving our education system, providing affordable health care, and so on.

This paradox — attacking public servants while also expecting them to solve problems other sectors can’t handle — presents an extreme challenge for government leaders and agencies as they strive to maintain or improve performance despite harsh criticism and shrinking resources.

 

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