This past month, the iBlog has done a wonderful job of discussing the inherent value of college internship programs from both an intern and corporate standpoint. Katie Meeker even went as far as providing an overview of the legality behind unpaid and credit based internship programs.
I think everyone can now agree on the value that internships offer to college students as well as organizations. In addition to the mentorship aspect, internship programs have proven to be the best source of recurring entry level talent for competitive organizations across a wide array of industries.
Now that we agree on the value of internship programs and university recruitment, it is important to strategically map out a tailored university recruitment campaign.
Recruiting effectively at the university level, for both internship and entry level positions, is very different from experienced hire recruiting. Think about it, would the employment brand that appeals to C-level hires also appeal to recent college graduates? To optimize your university recruitment campaign, your organization’s university strategy should be tailored to reflect the interests and career aspirations of this targeted talent pool. With social media and Web 2.0 changing the face of university recruitment, successful corporations are placing less emphasis on passive recruiting programs and dedicating their time to online strategic resources. To compete for the most qualified talent at the university level, organizations should strive to implement a strategic university recruitment campaign that heavily relies on building and maintaining a strong, candidate focused, online presence.
While on campus information sessions and networking events are still extremely valuable, online networks, social media sites, virtual mentorship programs and interactive learning sessions are quickly gaining popularity on college campuses. These online resources allow candidates to connect and build relationships with members across your organization for extended periods of time. Innovative organizations are even building their social media campaign directly within their University Career’s page. Twitter RSS feeds show candidates what your current employees are saying and LinkenIn widgets help candidates identify who they are professionally connected to within your organization. Along with these external online resources, forward thinking organizations are redesigning their corporate careers site to include a separate sub page dedicated to University Recruitment. Separating these unique recruitment efforts enables organizations to tailor their employment brand to their university hires. Adding interactive elements, including video testimonial interviews with a cross-section of current employees, has also emerged as a best practice to attract and engage university candidates.
Furthermore, your organization’s College Recruiting Campaign should be as paperless as possible. Research has shown that recent college graduates are willing to take a pay cut if it will enable them to work for an organization who demonstrates corporate responsibility. Going Green with your university recruitment campaign is a great way to make a positive first impression on socially conscious college students as well as demonstrate your organization’s dedication to the environment. Not to mention, automated recruitment campaigns increase recruiter efficiency, decrease cost-per-hire and time-to-fill metrics, and often lead to higher caliber candidates.
Recruiting talent at the university level either through internship programs or university recruitment campaigns is the most cost-effective way to hire fresh, innovative and highly educated talent. Now that your organization has your University Recruitment campaign strategically mapped out, it is important to have the platform architecture in place to attract and manage this unique talent pool. iCIMS’ Talent Platform provides organizations around the world with a highly configurable talent portal dedicated solely to the management of a college recruitment program.
For additional information, click on iCIMS' University Recruitment video.
Yesterday, while sitting on Northeast Regional Amtrak train 186 from Washington DC to New York City, I had three hours and twenty eight minutes to reflect on the iCIMS User Group Breakfast I had just attended. Similar to User Group Breakfasts in the past, this event brought together 31 of iCIMS’ leading users in the DC area for a networking event and thought-provoking round table discussion. The breakfast focused on the theme “Evolving Strategies for Talent Management in the Coming Decade” and round table discussion topics ran the gamut. From OFCCP compliance to onboarding, Going Green, social media and performance metrics, the user discussion touched on all aspects of talent management.
Riding on the train, I found my thoughts drifting back to one topic in particular – Employee Referrals. A large portion of the round table discussion unexpectedly focused on leveraging employee referral programs. While I am familiar with a wealth of analyst research that highlights the benefits of employee referrals, I was taken aback by the inherent value iCIMS’ customers experienced from their individual employee referral programs. The round table discussion moderator went as far as to say that 53% of her organization’s new hires come from employee referrals.
Research has shown, and yesterday iCIMS users reaffirmed, employee referral programs are a cost-effective way to hire qualified talent. In addition to reducing cost-per-hire metrics by eliminating the need to post open positions to job boards, time-to-fill metrics are often significantly lower for positions filled by employee referrals. Perhaps the most important aspect of employee referrals is the caliber of candidates they produce. When comparing an employee’s original source of hire to subsequent performance assessments, iCIMS users found that employee referrals were their top source for the highest performing employees. After all, a current employee is often reluctant to refer someone to a position if they think that candidate will reflect poorly on their professional judgment.
After discussing the benefits of an organized employee referral program, the discussion transitioned to how iCIMS’ Talent Platform can streamline and automate the process. While many organizations in attendance were already leveraging their iCIMS Talent Platform to support their referral program and experiencing significant time savings, some were still managing the referral program manually. Those organizations with automated referral programs discussed the benefits of sourcing clients directly from the employee referral portal and tracking the referral payouts. Clients also spoke of recruiters who were once over-whelmed with manually tracking referrals now having their workload cut in half thanks to iCIMS. iCIMS’ referral functionality also encouraged employees to refer more candidates for jobs because it automated the process, providing them with a simple way to submit and track their individual referrals.
For those organizations that realize the inherent value of employee referrals but are still managing their program manually, I encourage you to look into iCIMS employee referral functionality. iCIMS’ robust Talent Platform can easily be configured to support any referral program, big or small. My experience at yesterday’s user group breakfast cemented my belief in the value of an organized employee referral program.
Out with the old and in with the new! 2010 promises to be a game-changing year for the talent management industry. As the economy and employment rates show signs of rejuvenation, recruiters are once again faced with the challenge of targeting and attracting top talent. To prepare for the forecasted increase in hiring (with, thanks to mandated layoffs, a bare bones recruitment staff), successful recruiting organizations have placed greater emphasis on passive candidate recruiting strategies. While HR technology and social media networks have made identifying passive candidates easier than ever, many recruiters still find it difficult to engage these candidates over extended periods of time.
Chances are these candidates receive an introductory email pitching the benefits of working at your organization, but does communication end there? How does your organization ensure that your employment brand remains fresh in the minds of these passive candidates over prolonged recruitment cycles? Maintaining a robust pipeline of engaged candidates is not an easy task.
For an increasing number of organizations, Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) now plays a central role in their recruiting strategies. CRM is the practice of building, and more importantly maintaining, meaningful relationships with candidates to keep them engaged throughout an extended recruitment process. An effective CRM program involves ongoing communication with both passive and active candidates and strategic marketing communications targeted at certain demographics in a candidate pool. Effective CRM programs use a variety of mediums to engage their pipeline, including: branded electronic postcards, promotional offerings, company newsletters, etc.
Once this robust pipeline of engaged candidates is in place, it is important for recruiters to take advantage of it; a well-managed and well-utilized candidate pipeline has been shown to significantly lower overall recruiting costs. To maximize their CRM program, a growing number of recruiters are leveraging CRM software technology to streamline their processes and ensure consistence. While it is sometimes necessary to implement a separate CRM technology, many organizations have access to enhanced CRM capabilities directly within their core Talent Acquisition System.
In conjunction with ERE, iCIMS is sponsoring the following webinar: “Leveraging Your Current Talent Acquisition System as a Candidate Relationship Management Tool”. Isn’t it time your organization maximized your HR Technology Investment?
This webinar will concentrate on the following:
- The importance of Candidate Relationship Management
- OFCCP compliance concerns and solutions for federal contractors
- Leveraging your system's electronic correspondence capabilities
- Using hot lists, candidate folders and search agents in your system
- Social Networking opportunities
- Task and campaign management
This webinar is being offered free of charge on January 20th from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET. Register Here.
Let us know how you are incorporating CRM into your talent management strategies!
Flash back to six months ago, Pomp and Circumstance is playing as you prepare to accept your diploma and cross over the threshold from college to the professional arena. The world is your oyster and you are confident that any day, a horde of employers will be banging at your door with hefty offer packages. Reality check: six months have passed and the grace period on your student loan has run out, yet that job offer has not arrived.
CBS News recently reported that the unemployment rate amongst recent college graduates has more than quadrupled in the past two years. In 2007 the unemployment rate for 20 to 24 year olds with bachelor's degrees was just 2.2 percent while current rates hover above 9.3 percent and are still increasing. What is even more disturbing is that the average college student graduates with $3,000 in credit card debt and $23,000 in student loan debt. How are these students expected to repay college loans when one in ten of them are unemployed and an even starker number are underemployed?
Okay, so now for the good news: organizations across the globe are still actively recruiting at the university level! While 31% of organizations stated that they were cutting back on university recruiting, very few organizations have discontinued their university recruiting programs altogether. To prepare for a potential hiring spike, many organizations are even re-investing in Talent Acquisition Solutions to re-vamp their university recruitment initiatives and help support a robust pipeline of qualified graduates for future employment opportunities. Although we are in for a slow recovery, these organizations value the vitality and fresh spirit that only recent graduates can bring to a workforce. For college graduates, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
A few words of wisdom for unemployed recent college graduates: make yourself marketable. Recent graduates are seeking advanced certifications or even higher degrees to make themselves more valuable candidates and gain a leg up in the competition. It is important to remember that the ’08 and ’09 graduates will soon be competing with the ’10 graduates for entry level positions- it is important to stand out. Expand your network. Networking is one of the keys to finding your dream job. Building a robust professional network and then leveraging it to your advantage is one of the best steps you can take while still in college or as a recent graduate. Embracing social networking outlets is often a great way to expand this network. And lastly, Stay Positive! As a college graduate, you have the advantage of an advanced education and that degree will pay off. Just think, the unemployment rate amongst high school graduates is three times higher than that of college graduates. On a more personal note, my younger sister is preparing to graduate in December with a degree in Criminal Justice and she just received her first job offer, there is hope.
How has your organization altered your university recruitment initiatives in response to the soaring unemployment rates?
With today’s unstable economy, business leaders’ number one priority has become survival. Executives are slashing budgets, cutting costs and grasping at financial viability. It is during these times of economic uncertainty that employee engagement requires the most attention yet most often goes over overlooked.
According to a 2008 Gallup Management Research study, less than 1/3 of the American workforce is actively engaged at their current positions. These figures are not unique to the United States; in fact, China experiences engagement levels as low as 10%. High levels of employee disengagement dramatically affect an organization’s bottom line: businesses are depending on less efficient workforces and productivity is suffering.
According to the Gallup Study, engaged employees have:
51% lower turnover
27% less absenteeism
18% more productivity
12% higher profitability
Employee disengagement has emerged as a serious problem in the current workplace but up until now little action has been taken, mainly because employers do not know how to remedy the problem. When it comes down to it, employee engagement is very difficult to measure and there are a myriad of factors contributing to the engagement levels of a given workforce. Here are a few overarching concepts that, when taken into consideration, can dramatically improve your workforce’s engagement level:
First and foremost, all employees want to feel valued and appreciated. Feeling taken for granted is one of the largest contributors of disengagement. Employers often fall victim to the notion that their workforce is lucky to be employed during a time of soaring unemployment rates. This is a VERY dangerous state of mind.
Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger business initiatives. Disengaged employees repeatedly state lack of clarity as a source of their dissatisfaction.
Engaged employees require continual professional development and growth opportunities. Investing in the training and professional development of your workforce increases engagement levels; it shows employees that their growth is valued at the organization and you are willing to invest in their professional advancement.
Employee Engagement Surveys are a critical part of measuring employee engagement, but not the end all be all. It is important to survey but it is more important to ACT on the data uncovered during these engagement surveys.
These four concepts only touch the surface of employee engagement. It is important to recognize that employees are the most valuable resource most organizations possess. An engaged employee is a higher performing employee and, in turn, a more profitable employee. Now is a great time to re-evaluate the current engagement level of your workforce and take action!