Author Archives: Jeff Goodman

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.

 

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.

 

Read the rest of the article at ERE.net

CSP Newsletter – Focus on Internships Part 1: The Kickoff

This is the first in a series of articles on internships

It’s that time of year again: intern recruiting season. Hard to believe, but there are only about 20 weeks before summer interns will be reporting for their first day of work. Regardless of whether your intern program is large or small; well-established or new, there are always things you can do to help improve it going forward.

As you think about your summer intern program and what lies ahead, we at CSP strongly recommend holding an intern hiring kick-off meeting to ensure all of your key stakeholders are aligned regarding your program and process. Suggested topics to include on your agenda include:

  1. The purpose of the intern program
  2. Hiring timeline
  3. The interview process
  4. Offer process (offer decisions, offer approvals, extending offers)
  5. Roles and responsibilities for recruiters, recruiting coordinators, hiring managers and interview team members
  6. Intern performance management
  7. Summer events & key dates

We know everyone is going to be very busy for the next few months. Good luck and let the countdown to the interns begin!

University Recruiting and Relations 101

After more than three decades of wandering through the wilderness of American universities with little direction and even less insight, campus recruiting professionals now have access to a field guide of sorts.

By Jill Cueni-Cohen

Thanks to the Bethlehem, Pa.-based National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies and organizations now have a clear framework and expert advice when establishing or strengthening their university relations and recruiting programs. 

Unveiled for the first time at NACE’s annual conference in June, the Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting were designed through the NACE Foundation in a collaborative effort by NACE employer members to help smooth the way for university recruiting professionals. According to NACE Executive Director Marilyn Mackes, “organizations that are engaged or want to engage in university recruiting will now have clear direction for achieving results.”

The standards are available to view here.

In July 2012, approximately 40 recruitment experts from companies large and small began working on the new set of standards with the mission of helping HR recruiters be moreeffective in their university relations and recruiting practices.

“This was a long time in coming,” says Dan Black, director of Americas recruiting at New York-based Ernst & Young and president of NACE’S board of directors. Black worked on the standards and says it has been nearly 40 years since recruiters had any kind of formal guidance in place.

“Creating the standards was a much-needed starting point, and there was a big mountain to climb, because we basically had nothing,” he says.

Black credits the group’s success to bringing outside consultant Jeff Goodman in to lead the project. “As an extension of NACE, he enlisted the help of dozens of practitioners, each to work on a specific high level of expertise,” says Black. “To be able to offer up to our membership and beyond this amalgam of great leadership by people who are known and respected; that makes it a uniquely useful product.”

Currently the principal of Campus Strategic Partners, in Dallas, Goodman calls the process of creating the standards a really “daunting task,” noting that the original standards had been written in 1976. “They had been typed on a typewriter,” he says, “but what’s struck me is that everything written back then still rings true today. Yes, there is so much more detail that needed to be conducted, and that was what I set out to do.”

<<Read the rest of the article at Human Resource Executive Online>>