We’re Moving the Blog to a New Home

We've moved

The NACE Blog has moved. You’ll now find our bloggers writing about professional issues, life in their offices, and career development at http://community.naceweb.org/browse/blogs

The blog remains available to all—NACE members and nonmembers.

Blogs published in the past will remain here in the WordPress archive. (Just scroll down.)

If you are a NACE member and would like to join the blog team, contact Claudia Allen.


It’s That Time of Year Again…BACK TO SCHOOL!

by Marc Goldman

The dog days of summer are a thing of the past. August is no longer about taking that family vacation or catching some remaining rays at the beach. Okay, maybe for some people that is still the way of the world. But for many career services professionals, it is about the start of the fall semester, and there is no rest for the weary. Many career office staffs no longer notice the difference between the summertime and the academic year outside of warmer weather and a more casual dress code. Even if things calm down due to a decrease in student and/or employer presence, summer months mean gearing up for fall. And August? It’s crunch time!

What are some of the things I tackle individually or with my team in August as we look towards wrapping up the summer and starting another exciting academic year? Here are some highlights:

  1. Program Planning and Scheduling – With job fairs, on-campus interviewing, information sessions, networking nights, workshops, and panels on the docket for fall, we need to sort out the what, when, where, who, and how of all of our programming for fall. This is far from a simple task at any college, but across two campuses with students already facing the rigors of a dual curriculum (religious and secular learning) and all the activities and involvements of undergraduates, scheduling can be a puzzle to say the least. And let us not forget the other offices, academic departments, and student organizations scheduling events for the same times.
  2. Forging and Re-forging Collaborations – During the academic year, time can rapidly fly by, and you realize you never had those key meetings with colleagues and stakeholders you were hoping to have. Or you need to debrief and regroup with internal and external collaborators with the goal of new ideas and continued successes for the coming year. There may even be staffing changes throughout the institution that you want to get caught up on to establish connections for moving forward before things go full steam ahead.
  3. Employer Outreach – Since on-campus recruiting seems to start earlier every year, August (if not all summer) is spent coordinating employer dates, logistics, and participation. Of course, employers are on their own summer timetables, so there can be some challenges in making contact, setting up meetings, and confirming involvement. The term “stalker” would be inappropriate here, but “persistence” on the part of my team is certainly Job #1.
  4. Annual Report  August is typically a time I reserve for reflection on the year that was, and accordingly, my directors and I begin to compile our annual report to present to my direct supervisor and the college administration. It is always fulfilling to be able to look back at all we have accomplished in a single academic year, knowing that at the heart of it is a group effort to help students achieve their goals.
  5. Performance Evaluations – Something that staff might not look forward to about this time of year is the annual performance review process. While people find this process to be a bit intimidating, and others view it as less than crucial due to constant feedback loops on the team, it is a part of the institutional human resources establishment. I try to ensure that it is a positive and productive experience, more about looking forward to the new year than gazing back at the one already in the books.
  6. Suit and Tie Drive – Many career centers offer suit closets or the like for students who need to borrow an interview suit for a variety of reasons or just in a pinch. We wanted to offer a similar service to our students who might be in need of proper job search attire, but we did not want to expend the bandwidth or physical space to handle this all year. Instead, this summer, we did our first Suit & Tie Drive, accepting donations from the campus community. When the students return, we will offer free suits, jackets, shirts, and ties to those who need them. Any items not taken by a student will be donated to an external clothing drive in NYC. We are very enthusiastic to see how this turns out.
  7. Credit Internship Papers – Toward the end of August, our business school students will complete their summer internship experiences. A number of them have done these internships for academic credit. Since our office administers the business school credit internship program, we get to grade the students’ experiential papers. This provides insights into how our students spent their summers, which employers are prime to contact for further development, and allows us to serve as grammar, spelling, and content sticklers for a brief, shining moment.
  8. My Second Career as a Voiceover Artist – In an effort to scale some of our offerings and increase accessibility to students, my team is moving more content online. We already have a fairly robust website of information and resources, but the new goal is to integrate more seamlessly with the academic enterprise at our institution, so we are putting video content and PowerPoint decks on Canvas. This has given me the chance to bring my voice talents to the masses. It is not quite having my own morning radio show, but it’s a start.

I hope everyone has (had?) a glorious end to their summer season, and I genuinely wish you all, my colleagues far and wide, an amazing fall semester!

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva UniversityMarc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University
Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman
Blogs from Marc Goldman

Focusing on Diversity on College Campuses

by Tom Borgerding

Last in a series.

Expanding the diversity at a company can look like a challenge at times, especially when looking for college students. It’s not as easy as showing up for a career fair or hosting an information sessions. Below are a list of five ways to expand your diversity recruiting efforts on college campuses.

  1. Career Services: The offices of career services are set up to help employers connect with and find students who are a match for available careers. Take the time to speak with the employer relations staff within the career center. This may sound like a simple solution but employers rarely spend the time to ask the career services staff what they think are the best recruiting opportunities. The staff is most familiar with the different options available on their campus through career services as well as having relationships with students who fit the profiles you are looking to reach. Slow down, ask questions, and get involved. A single job posting is rarely enough effort to reach the best students. Career services typically offer mentoring programs, resume reviews, mock interviews, and other training to help students. Employers are encouraged to be part of those efforts. Ask and then take the next step to engage.
  2. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity Departments: Most medium and large universities will have an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which will include diversity, LGBTQ, and many other subgroups. These departments have separate events that are not tied to the career centers. Look at sponsoring and having recruiters available at those events. While there, develop long-term relationships with these departments. They are uniquely setup to engage and connect with the diversity groups on their campuses. Offer mentorship programs to students who fit your target audience. Offer information about careers in the industry your company lives as many college students (not just diverse candidates) are exploring which career paths to pursue including up until they graduate.
  3. Student Life: The Office of Student Life (or similar titles) houses many student-run organizations, up to hundreds of them on a single campus. They approve the groups each year or semester. Fraternities, sororities, clubs, and associations fall into this category. Reach out to Student Life to find out which student groups may be a fit for you: women in business, student government, Hispanic students, African-American students, religious groups, Native American students, female students, non-U.S. citizens, etc. Serve as a mentor to specific student groups that fit the target candidates you wish to reach.
  4. Leadership: Many campuses also have an Office of Leadership and Development. The students involved with this office are those who are stepping out and being trained in leadership skills they would not have had access to prior to college. Again, you have the opportunity to provide speakers for retreats or specialty topics these students want to learn. Diversity training and inclusion can be part of the leadership messages they hear.
  5. Your Careers Website: Make sure you speak to diversity topics on the careers pages of your employer’s website. Speak to the specific topics that students of diversity care about, topics such as the diversity groups available at your company and how to get involved, what each group is designed to do, support available, etc. Let this be a jumping-off point for students to dive in deep into the transition from hundreds of options for engagement and support that exist on campus to an employer setting and the fact that they can still be connected and supported while at your company. Develop videos for the diversity groups available at your company. Show pictures of current diverse employees. Don’t make the assumption that if you list that you have diversity groups at your company be the only way students can find employees who are relatable to their interests.

Diversity doesn’t and shouldn’t be a scary endeavor. Use the departments on campus who are there to support students of diversity and engage not as a bypasser for each but get involved beyond the job posting. Mentor, sponsor and engage the offices and groups listed above. You’ll find new ways to stand out as an employer by doing so and in the end find more qualified students to fill your hiring needs.

Tom BorgerdingTom Borgerding, President/CEO, Campus Media Group, Inc.
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/borgerding
Twitter: @mytasca, @Campus_Media

Using Digital Marketing to Build Your Employer Brand

by Tom Borgerding

As an agency who helps employers develop their brands and engage students, Campus Media Group had the pleasure of working with many notable companies over the past 15 years. During the past five years and especially the past two, we are seeing digital marketing making a shift…again.

Two key elements we are seeing is:

  1. the use of digital marketing to reach students to create engagement without having to go to events, and
  2. the use of advanced digital marketing.

Students most frequently apply to companies they have heard of and have researched. More companies are starting to use digital and social media to help engage more students and then keep them engaged by using social, mobile, video, and banner advertising to those who have already visited the careers page of the employer. We see quite a few employers going this direction. How this works is by using “cookies” placed on your careers pages. Once the cookies are there, advertising can then be purchased to reach those specific applicants. This is called “retargeting” with most agencies or “remarketing” when using Google.

Let’s take a look at an example. TechCo is looking to recruit two types of students: Programming/software students and customer service representatives (CSR). If you read the previous post about personas, you will recall that these two candidate personas are likely very different. One is concerned with access to new software programs, working in an agile-teams environment and works around the clock. The CSR is more concerned with upward mobility in the company, mentors, training, and social interaction with peers, both in and outside of work. The CSR is also likely best as someone who likes to help others achieve their goals and hearing a “I couldn’t have done this without you” from a client or coworker. These two personas want to hear and see different messages. A general message about the company will not work as well as one specific to their interests.

This plays out the same way through digital marketing. With “cookies” a company is able to segment the messaging a candidate sees based on the pages they have visited on your website. The programmer persona is more likely to continue to learn more about TechCo if they show a quieter work environment with the latest tech gadgets. The CSR persona will be more likely to respond to group pictures that have people laughing, hanging out together and generally socially engaged. This may sound overly simplistic but it’s important to show your target market (i.e., persona) what is important to them.

Let’s take this one step further. When someone visits the TechCo careers page and looks at the diversity page and programming career path, they should see videos, ads, and social media posts that relate to those two things and not the CSR career path. This is possible through the use of cookies.

Without getting too technical on how this works, it is now possible to buy video, banner, and social media posts that only people who have visited those specific pages will see. It’s also possible to get demographic information, interests, and online behavioral information (similar to what Google Analytics collects) to help develop a better persona background on your target personas. That information can then help influence your information session presentation, images, content, and stories to be more specific to what the typical persona characteristics.

The exciting part of digital marketing these days, is that if the lines of communication between marketing recruitment are open, both departments can help build a better profile and greater engagement with your ideal candidates.

As always, if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer any questions.

Look for the final part of the five-part series for recruiters by Tom Borgerding, Focusing on Diversity on College Campuses, on Tuesday, August 15.

Tom BorgerdingTom Borgerding, President/CEO, Campus Media Group, Inc.
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/borgerding
Twitter: @mytasca, @Campus_Media

Using Snapchat and Social Media to Connect With Students

by Tom Borgerding

The latest statistics show that the attention span of students is decreasing from 12 seconds for Millennials to eight seconds for Gen Z and will likely continue to decrease. Digital is one of the main reasons why. The use of social media, especially Snapchat, are causing this shift. RecruitingTrends ran an article (Making it Snappy) on the topic of how to use Snapchat for recruiting. It has examples of companies like Goldman Sachs and Cisco and how they are using Snapchat to recruit college students.

The shift in social media platforms being used by students is shifting and will likely continue to shift. Five years ago Facebook was THE social media platform to reach college students. Today, it’s hardly on the radar of the top social media platforms engaged by college-aged users. They’ve moved to Snapchat as the primary platform because it allows them to have greater privacy…that and the fact that their parents aren’t comfortable with Snapchat yet. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest were popular, but are already starting to lose ground with Snapchat. The beginning of the end for social media and youth has been parents’ familiarity with it and the self-serve ad platforms. Snapchat isn’t going away anytime soon, but the release of a self-serve platform will likely be the beginning of the shift.

Now, back to the attention span of Gen Z. If you haven’t seen it, ask a student to give you a tour of how they use Snapchat. You’ll likely see them show you “stories” of their friends and potentially a couple companies or celebs they follow. During the demonstration they will likely bounce from one image/video to another in the blink of an eye. Take notice in how fast their judgement is on which videos and images they engage, view and respond. That is where we are heading for attention spans.

What does all this mean for employers and recruiters? There’s a need to do two things:

  1. Get to the point. Your brand and messaging cannot wait 15 or 30 seconds before having a call to action. Great imagery will help, but remember the demonstration of Snapchat. It’ll give you a new found appreciation and immediacy for your message to be up-front and clear.
  2. Social media platforms are evolving. If you are going to engage students on Snapchat and other platforms, understand how they are using it. Then build a content strategy that integrates into their habits and generational norms. If you don’t, you’ll likely be skipped, not followed, or ignored.

What do you do with this information now? If you have not invested in Snapchat yet, it is time to look at what you can do now. If you are investing heavily in Facebook and other platforms, it may be time to lighten up those investments and increase your efforts in Snapchat. Content can be simple and short with 15- to 60-second interviews, announcements of your campus visit schedule, and community/environmental engagement efforts. Start testing. You’ll learn quickly what works and doesn’t work for you. Follow other employers who are currently on Snapchat to learn from them. There’s still an opportunity, but like the attention span of Gen Z, you’re window is closing fast.

If you are unsure of how Snapchat can work for you, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I’d be happy to discuss what it can look like for you and how you can take advantage of it while it’s still an option where students are engaged.

Look for part four of Tom Borgerding’s blog series, Using Digital Marketing to Build Your Employer Brand, on Thursday, August 10.

Tom BorgerdingTom Borgerding, President/CEO, Campus Media Group, Inc.
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/borgerding
Twitter: @mytasca, @Campus_Media

How to Develop Personas to Better Your Employer Brand/Marketing Efforts

by Tom Borgerding

Employers have an uphill battle—positioning your company as the best place to work for your target candidates when there are so many high quality companies available.

Each year, we learn about generational expectations as noted in this previous blog. With information about the differences between Gen Z and Millennials, plus the different candidate characteristics of the positions you fill, it can be challenging for employers to understand how to stand out in the crowd.

The following is an overview of the process we use at Campus Media Group to help employers get “on point” with their target candidates. This process will point you in the right direction. It won’t fit 100 percent of your candidates, but your messaging and targeting will be much better with these questions asked. Use these as your rule of thumb (80 percent of your best candidates) when thinking about what to present in information sessions, at career fairs, during student group presentations, in interviews, on your careers website, etc. The customization will take you a long way toward your end game…hiring the best candidates for your company.

Answer each of these questions for each type of position you are looking to fill. You don’t need to do this for every position, but the key categories are great starting points. For example, as you think through these questions, ask yourself or your team how this candidate type (aka “persona”) would be best described. For example, a customer service rep (CSR) will have a very different persona than a programmer. A CSR might typically be an extrovert, socially motivated and leadership motivated. The programmer is more likely to be introverted, wants access to the latest technology, and likes high detail while geting into the code. These two candidates will want to hear different messages when they visit your website or speak with a recruiter. Let’s look at the questions with the example of a CSR.

Create a Persona

Start with a name and picture

Example: Name—Customer Service Rep Rachel. Add a picture to help everyone on the hiring team visualize the persona.

Build the persona’s demographic information:

Example: 22-25 years old, a graduate from a large public institution; middle-class family; first in family to graduate from college; socially responsible; has 1,000+ friends on social media

What does a-day-in-the-life of this person look like?

Example: Two to three classes each day, sorority or fraternity meeting, lunch and dinner with friends, workout at the gym with a best friend, group study in library for a class project, and bed by midnight. Make a few assumptions: This person Snapchats with friends throughout the day, catches up on friends’ stories, texts location of meetings, and watches videos on Youtube of celeb news.

What are their pain points? What do you help them solve?

Example: Pain points—nervous a “real job” will limit their social lives and ability to connect with people; potential for upward mobility in the company; and work will not be as fun as college. Solutions—are mentors available? Are there new-hire social group options? Can you share stories of the impact other CSRs have had on clients and CSR team?

What does this person value most? What are his/her goals?

Example: Values—social relationships, being busy, and impact on others’ lives. Goals— making an impact, being with friends, knowing that he/she is leaving the world a better place each day.

Where does this person go for information?

Example: Friends, classmates, professors, sorority sisters, student groups, Youtube, social media, Google searches, and parents.

What experiences will this person look for in your company?

Example: Company stability, career path, peer connection opportunities, company sponsored social and professional clubs, impact on clients/team.

What are their most common drawbacks to your company?

Example: He/she doesn’t hear much about the culture of the company and thinks he/she she could get bored or feel alone within a large company. She won’t have any friends there. She’d have to move away from her friends to join the company.

Answers to these questions may be different for other positions.

Give it a try. See how it helps you define the characteristics of the best candidates and the message/branding/recruiting efforts you will use to reach them. It’ll help your recruiting messaging find greater success  by developing and using these persona questions.

I’d be happy to discuss what personas can look like for you and how you can take advantage of them to have greater recruitment success.

Look for part 3 of Tom Borgerding’s blog seires for recruiters, Using Snapchat and Social Media to Connect With Students, on Tuesday, August 8.

Tom BorgerdingTom Borgerding, President/CEO, Campus Media Group, Inc.
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/borgerding
Twitter: @mytasca, @Campus_Media