The Importance of Internships

By Joyce Bethoney on January 21, 2014

In today’s competitive marketplace, there is no better move a college student can make than to take on an internship (or two). Gone are the days when being a graduate from fill-in-the-blank-university is enough to get your foot in the door.

But the rise of internships as “must haves” rather than “nice to haves” isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing for any impending graduate, particularly if you secure an internship at a company or within an industry you want to work for.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

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Why LinkedIn Is Great, But You Still Need A Recruiter

By Mike McDonnell on September 24, 2013

You’d be hard pressed to find a recruiter or hiring manager who doesn’t see the value in LinkedIn. It streamlines the process of finding candidates. It’s updated by users, so information is typically current and accurate. It makes connecting with people by industry and discipline easy. It’s an incredibly powerful recruiting tool and database. And, at Communications Collaborative, we use it just like everyone else.

So, with all of its benefits, is LinkedIn on the verge of replacing the entire recruiting process? Will recruiters and hiring managers soon be obsolete? Unsurprisingly, we think “no.”

LinkedIn is extremely useful when it comes to finding candidates, but it does not solve the problem of getting to know them. Understanding the person behind the profile, which sounds mysterious and maybe even a little ominous, is simply about vetting a jobseeker’s personality and having them articulate— to a live person— their background and skills.

Furthermore, a LinkedIn profile won’t tell you about salary requirements, walk you through a portfolio, provide a point of view on cultural fit, or outline commute considerations. And these are the criteria that can mean the difference between hiring the right candidate and the wrong one.

So, yes, LinkedIn has revolutionized recruiting and staffing. It’s a smart tool for anyone looking to hire. But it’s still an online database, not a replacement for the recruiting process. Taking the time to get to know and make an informed decision about a potential hire is still the job of a recruiter, hiring manager, or both.

So, You Graduated College…NOW WHAT?

By Megan Greene on July 30, 2013

Congratulations! You survived college. You managed to juggle a heavy course load, master APA style, perfect your footnotes, make friendships, and attend a party (or two) along the way. And you’ve graduated!

So…NOW WHAT?

Arguably the biggest challenge upon graduation is figuring out how you are actually going to land "the job" that will lead you in the direction you want to go.

As a marketing communications student, I knew I wanted to build relationships, be client facing, and initiate marketing strategy in some way. That said, I wasn’t sure where I would end up or how I would get there. The one thing I did have was a passion for an industry and a drive to determine what I was set out to do.

One of the most important pieces of advice I ever received as a soon-to-be graduate was to implement a job search strategy. Here are a few ways to start. Read More...

Hire To Last

By Mike McDonnell on July 02, 2013

Sometimes a great company hires a great candidate, but the relationship turns out to be…not so great. A seemingly good employer/employee fit doesn’t go the distance and a really talented new hire is let go before 90 days.

When this happens, the obvious question is, why? Every situation is different, but there is a hiring trend right now that seems to be a factor in some short-term engagements, namely— too much interviewing, not enough onboarding.

Companies are spending more time than ever interviewing potential hires. It’s fairly common for a candidate to meet with scores of people, prepare presentations, and wait months before hearing a decision. Extensive interviewing is a company’s choice, and there is nothing wrong with a vetted process. However, the amount of time and effort put into interviewing should be proportionate to the amount of time and effort put into onboarding. In a few examples we’ve seen, where an otherwise good hire doesn’t make it to 90 days, it seems like the interview process was robust and thorough, but once the candidate was hired, there was a bit of “What now?”

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to assist in alleviating this issue.

For the employer:

  1. Ensure that the onboard process is well considered. Are the first three weeks mapped out? Are expectations clear? Is training in place?
  2. Implement an open door policy for feedback and questions. Don’t wait a year to sit down.
  3. Introductions are in order. Don’t neglect what is often an overlooked step in hiring a new employee. Cultural fit and relationships are a big piece of settling into a new job. Helping your new hire get the lay of the land will help them to become comfortable in their new role.
  4. If you are working with a staffing firm, continue to tap into them after the job begins. It will help you stay on task. And if things appear to be unclear, the firm can assist in navigating through this period and confirming expectations between both parties. A staffing firm is just as invested as the client and the candidate. Nobody wants to see what should be a solid employer/employee relationship end in 88 days.

For the employee:

  1. Make sure you do your homework before you accept the job. Have you screened your new employer properly? Do you have a good read on your new manager and the company’s cultural? Getting a reference from someone who works or who has worked at the company is a smart idea.
  2. Take initiative and speak up. If you are unclear about your role and priorities, ask. Ensuring that the first 90 days go smoothly takes communication on the part of your employer and you.
  3. If you are working with a staffing agency, keep in touch. The hiring process doesn’t end after the interview, and a staffing firm is still a resource for you to ask questions and get advice within those critical first three months.

Recruiting is costly and time-consuming. Looking for a job is no walk in the park. Be sure that no one’s time and effort goes to waste by dedicating the appropriate level of attention to the first 90 days. It really does increase the likelihood of employers and employees enjoying long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

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