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Recruiting & on-boarding new college grads

Whether you are hiring the tail end of the Millennial Generation (students that graduated by May 2018), or you are engaging Gen Z as interns (they entered college in fall 2015), the tips below may be useful.

The Spring 2018 meeting of the Minnesota Association of Colleges and Employers included one guest speaker who addressed the topic of on-boarding new college grads.  Below are highlights from Jeff Butler‘s talk.

A. Millennials are known to ‘delay adulthood’ – they get drivers’ licenses later, experience first jobs later, live at home longer, get married and purchase houses later in life than previous generations.    This demonstrates a reticence for long-term major commitments, so it should be no surprise to us when these young adults move around and change jobs frequently.

B. Young people live in a world where almost all information appears instantaneously, so it should be no surprise to us that they might be caught off guard when we tell them finding an internship/job may take a while.  Patience may not be their greatest virtue.

This generation has been accused of being unrealistic about many things.  To set expectations, maybe we need to be more clear and consistent in our messaging.

  • Be clear about describing your workplace culture and the type of individual that thrives there.
  • Instead of talking about how many years it takes to get promotions, describe the skills and knowledge required to move ahead to new roles.

If feedback is of interest to young adults, but negative feedback is scary, describe the first few months on the job as ‘probationary’ or a ‘trial period, ‘ and let them know they will be watched, reviewed and coached throughout.  Normalize feedback in this way.

Two unique practices:

  • IF you are recruiting for areas that are competitive and you are having challenges finding enough of or the right type of candidate – create a video of yourself (from your office computer webcam) talking to the candidate.  Then, imbed this within an Email message you are sending with information about the role and your hiring process.
  • IF you work in a high tech environment where incoming college grads may know more about the latest apps, technology, and social media than some staff, create reverse mentoring opportunities.  The new hires get inspired and see this as a growth opportunity.

There you are, the latest suggestions about recruiting and on-boarding new college grads!  All the best to you!

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Advice from Employers

Here are some tips from Employers who are looking to hire students.

  1. It would be beneficial if you could get exposure to jobs or internships related to your major whilst in college. This will better enable you to look for the right type of jobs post-graduation.
  2. If an interview is scheduled and you are unable to attend, ensure that you communicate with the potential employer and let them know if you wish to reschedule or cancel the interview.
  3. If an organization offers internships, 49% prefer students to be in their junior year and 40% would accept applications from freshman or sophomores.
  4. You are encouraged to use your college career webpage because these employers who are trying to reach you. Visit the Career Development Center’s Job & Internship Listings frequently.
  5. It is important to research and know about the company before attending interview sessions.
  6. Read the position description and have several questions ready for the interviewer about the job role and company.
  7. Customize your resume based on the jobs you are applying for.
    E.g. list “technical skills” on a resume when applying for a technical position.
    You can attend one of our resume writing seminars hosted by the career development center or learn from our online resources to get help with drafting your resume.
  8. Employers expect you to research market rate salaries to get more realistic expectations about salary offers.

Source: Minnesota Job Outlook Survey 2016


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What new grads want from employers

Student and New Hire perceptions about the job search, selecting employers, and the workplace

Before results come out from the Class of 2016, I wanted to share with you some insights from the Class of 2015 about their job search preparation and selection process.

In this survey of current students and recent graduate hires (1-3 years after college), respondents included 126 current students, and 147 recent hires.

What impacts decision to accept a job offer:

  • The nature of the work/job content
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Location

Suggestions and activities that would help them:

  • Host job shadowing
  • Day-in-the-Life exposure
  • Access to talk to recent hires (non-recruiting staff) during the interview process
  • Internships
  • More specific job descriptions

Major Observations & Themes:

  • In hind-sight, I believe that internships where students only work on a single, special project is not as helpful to them as digging in to the real, daily work of the department.
  • Students need exposure to and comfort with ambiguity.
  • Students want to hear about what ‘work-life balance’ really means.
  • Students want authenticity and honesty in the recruiting & hiring process.
  • Students want to hear why people have stayed with their employer.


Source:  Workplace Expectations – Mary Scott, of Scott Resource Group

Time period of survey:  April – June 2015