Welcome: Updates from the CDC and Major Takeaways from the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2016 Conference

Filed in Welcome by on July 13, 2016

Gompei overlooking the WPI Quad

Greetings from the WPI Career Development Center (CDC). We have been busy this summer making site visits, attending conferences, and preparing for the upcoming academic year and recruiting season. We hope you take a moment to peruse this edition of our employer newsletter as we have several exciting updates to share. At the top of our update list is our switch from Simplicity (i.e. Job Finder) to Handshake as our job posting and recruitment management platform. Handshake is a modern, user-friendly system that will allow your organization to streamline operations and connect with students from universities across the country. To learn more about the system and how to get started, check out the Recruiter’s Toolbox section of this newsletter. Registration for WPI’s Fall Career Fair on Wednesday, September 21 is now open and accessible through your Handshake account.

In addition to internal operations, CDC staff members have been on the road this summer visiting a variety of companies to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing relationships. These site visits are great ways for both parties to learn more about each other and identify recruiting strategies for the future. Three members of our team attended the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference in Chicago and a fourth attended the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) annual conference in Philadelphia. Within the employer relations sphere, we identified three themes we felt were prevalent throughout both events:

First was the focus on career-readiness and building the bridge between skills students are obtaining in school and skills needed in the workforce. With the growing complexity of the world, high cost of education, and increasing demands of the 21st century workforce, producing graduates who can seamlessly navigate the school-to-work transition has never been more important. NACE recently defined seven core competencies related to career readiness in order to increase communication and collaboration between higher education, workforce development, and public policy. NACE is also working on developing a tool kit to help organizations more easily assess the career readiness of potential employees.

Second was the increased need for targeted recruiting strategies. While virtual recruiting is not replacing the in-person component, a one-size-fits-all approach is proving to be less successful. Mike Tomasello of collegecareerspeaker.com presented “Death of the Company Information Session,” which clearly resonated with both employer representatives and career services professionals—his session was beyond standing room only. Mike reviewed the T-TALA-Blank method (“Think, Talk & Act Like a Blank”). He recommends pinpointing the specific population you want to target and developing marketing content and recruitment strategies based on their needs, wants, styles, and preferences. Similarly, Liz Wessel, CEO of WayUp, presented “How Traditional Companies Can Attract Innovative Talent” and reiterated the importance of communicating to students in ways they communicate, such as through Snapchat and text messages.

The third focused on strategies to increase retention and engage new hires. Often, so much time and energy is spent on recruiting talent that onboarding these new hires is easily overlooked.  Keynote speaker Dustin Garis discussed the value of providing “Life Profit” by giving employees experiences versus “things.” However, it is also recommended to provide resources and have processes in place to increase the resiliency of employees so they are better able to combat stress, conflict, and the intersection of work and life. To read more on these and other topics, visit the NACE website.

Have a wonderful rest of the summer. We look forward to working with you during the 2016-17 academic year.

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