Young adults these days are not just worried about hiring for a degree-related job post graduation; they are increasingly concerned with field-related summer and semester internships. Interestingly enough, many of these young adults are students currently enrolled at universities and colleges around the nation and are eager to apply their newly-acquired skill set to the real world.
For businesses, recruiting and hiring summer interns can result with a fairly inexpensive, educated, part-time labor force. And for young adults, taking a summer internship will yield substantial business knowledge, the application of school work, and importantly: resume development. It’s a win-win situation.
So what types of ways are successful businesses recruiting and hiring these potential employees?
1.Businesses are going directly to the source. A good method for recruiting students is by directly going to the universities and colleges. Many schools have several job fairs, which offer the opportunity for students to get associated with businesses hiring within their field. With little to no work (other than poster display, etc)recruiting businesses can have several resumes of potential candidates. Recruiting is as easy as that. Getting involved with these job fairs isn’t too difficult either. One quick Google of ‘job fair + (university name)’ usually yields the numbers/emails required to sign-up. Otherwise, calling admissions directly and inquiring about job fairs works too. Also, advertise in collegiate newspapers, on collegiate radio stations, and in “beat” publications (i.e. not just mainstream papers, you’ll have to go on campus to find these small papers)
There are other ways to get involved with the schools as well. Some schools offer recruiting programs that set up interviews on campus. Students are able to sign up for these interviews online and the rest of the details (room, dates, and timing schedules) are handled by the program. All they need are the businesses. In addition, most schools have organizations on campus that are completely dedicated to hiring and professional development. Students love hearing first-hand testimonials about the professions they study.
But be warned: these young adults will see through any recruiting description you might present about your job being ‘great’ and ‘flexible’, trust me when I say that they will be much more receptive toward honesty.
Some professors are very interested in guest lecturers and speakers within the field. A) It offers something different to maintain interest and B) It provides real life hiring experience to the ‘stuff’ that’s being taught in class. This can be a little more difficult, but if you have familiarity with the university or college, admissions can more than likely provide you with a name to discuss this. You could always emphasize to the professor that you are more than willing to take resumes at the end of class. Not only will this get the students to show up, but they will stay the entire time as well.
2. Businesses are offering free stuff. College students love anything that’s free. So, let’s say you are recruiting for a position and want to consider hiring from a local college. First, create a meeting (preferably on campus or close to campus) that will outline the employment opportunities within the organization. Secondly, hang several flyers around campus for a meeting to discuss this “INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY FOR EMPLOYMENT!” You can advertise anywhere: on bulletin boards, above water fountains, at the student recreational rooms, on the back of bathroom stall doors, on chalk boards in classrooms, be creative! Third, offer incentives to attend the meeting. Pizza is usually a good bet. One time, I attended a meeting where asking a question (about the company or the product) yielded a $5 reward. Over 300 students were there for close to two hours. That session may have cost the company $150, but it created awareness among 300 students, who more than likely told their friends about how great ‘such-and-such’ company was.
3. Businesses are reevaluating their environment and avoiding negative experiences. Keep in mind that there is such a thing as bad publicity. Most college kids really do care what their peers are saying. If someone reports to have had a bad hiring experience with an organization or company and there is no ‘positive image’ rebuttal, the organization is out. Most kids won’t even double check the implications against the business. At this point recruiting at that university is potentially futile. Another important aspect to hiring young adults is job atmosphere. Are headphones allowed for clerical work? What’s the dress of the job (if you don’t make it clear you might be surprised with what it thought of as acceptable). Is the office rigid and strict or do the employees chat here and there? When recruiting it’s important to weigh whether you’re actually going to provide a place where young adults wants to work.
When hiring keep in mind that if the student is serious about their major and this job then they will want to learn all aspects of it. So, letting them get involved is important. Students are also generally understanding, they realize that they will be doing clerical work, but they also want to attend things like office meetings, and client discussions–anything that is really ‘hands on’ to get a good idea about the job. Plus, it would only make them more knowledgeable about the company in the long run which could result in hiring them full time post graduation.
4. Businesses are flexible and offering competitive wages. Sure, most college kids don’t hold 9-5 jobs, but they are extremely busy between class, homework, part time jobs, and organizations. Most free time for them is at night (after dinner please, unless you are willing to offer it). So the businesses that are getting the most attention, recruiting, and hiring are offering workshops at 7pm on a Tuesday night. They are interviewing on Saturday afternoons. Sure,this seemingly overwhelming amount of recruiting can be a real pain–but the final results are going to make hiring a lot easier. These kids with jammed packed schedules are not only refining their networking skills, but they are learning the in’s and out’s of effective time management: a vital skill for the workforce. In addition, college kids aren’t too concerned with benefits, so a competitive wage is incredible incentive. Also, be clear and specific about job expectations when recruiting and hiring. Keep in mind that although they are educated, many students really have no idea “what you do” keep clear goals and instructions in mind and then let ’em go.
5. Businesses are willing to travel. Large universities and colleges are attracting students from all over the nation. Be sure to get out of your area and start recruiting in new places. Those markets are virtually untapped at different regions. For example, Pittsburgh kids might decide to go to Temple (Philadelphia) or Penn State for school but want to still work at home over summer break. They are having an extremely difficult time finding hiring businesses (within their field) at home. The reason is that businesses aren’t advertising, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring for alternate locations at schools that are father away. Recruiting at many different colleges is exceptionally helpful if your company is a chain of stores in both locations. All it takes it one phone call to the branch office in the area and contact and hiring information if any regional resumes come your way.
6. Businesses are taking advantage of the net. This current generation is technologically-savvy and quick thinking. They appreciate anything that is instantly at their fingertips. A perfect way to heighten this is to offer online recruitment meetings and group discussions. Developing an online seminar through a large campus organization ensures that at the very least most of that organization will be in attendance. Offering something new and different to students will not only put you ahead of the pack, but make your business highly desirable and fought for. Which by the way, makes recruiting a breeze. Consider hosting an online collegiate job fair, where businesses from all over the area (and other parts of the state/nation) are represented. Resumes could easily be exchanged via file transfers, and no one feels awkwardly out of place in their suits and ties. This also eliminates the worry of face to face confrontation. Prospective employees and employers will probably likely feel more comfortable chatting online in their own homes and rooms, plus this can also give each employer the opportunity to talk to several people at one time or only one at a time if discussion is individual chat-box based.
Avoid relying on phone calls as the predominant means of communication after recruiting and instead use e-mail to stay in contact for hiring. College students are constantly on cell phones, but cell phones also cost valuable minutes during day time hours. This can result in a tendency to avoid making phone calls to LAN and other service provider lines, especially at the end of the month. Alternatively, most universities have e-mail kiosks virtually everywhere and/or wireless internet access.
Another big trend among the current generation is Facebook, Myspace, and Second Life. Facebook (as described from the website http://www.facebook.com) “Is a social utility that connects you with the people around you. Facebook is made up of many networks, each based around a workplace, region, high school or college.” The premise of Facebook is simple, a user creates a profile with information about themselves, then the user can easily find other people they know and “friend” them. It’s like a virtual rolodex full of everything your hardcopy can’t contain: all important numbers, dates, and information, also pictures, comments, and interest groups. Myspace is very similar in regard to facebook, but myspace grants more freedom to the design of the webpage (i.e. basic html and flash programming). Second Life is different from the other two, because second life is its own virtual world. Everyday new entrants are joining the second life ‘metaverse’ and starting businesses.
In Second Life almost anything is possible, which is why many businesses are setting up ‘shop’ and holding meetings with clients from all over the world, recruiting for real-world employees, selling products and authorizing transactions (Second Life also has a currency that can be exchanged for $USD). Utilizing these mediums is vital for recruiting and hiring today’s generations. Corporations such as Apple and Dell are recruting on Facebook, many businesses are hiring people who are familiar with these sites to manage their online organizations,and many musical artists and even businesses leaders maintain a Myspace to offer a ‘blog’ of events which not only makes them seem more down-to-earth but easily assessable.
At the end of the day,recruiting today’s upcoming workforce isn’t that different from recruiting other generations. They are willing, able, and excited about applying their knowledge in the field. Remember when hiring that the generational differences can easily be thought of as strengths. For example, today’s entering labor force is even easier to get into contact with than before. Even though they are always on the go, with the recent explosion of cell phones and wireless technology, this generation is always connected. All today’s businesses need to do is sign on.