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Developing a Student Recruitment Plan Using Part-Time Work

Developing a Student Recruitment Plan Using Part-Time Work

The decision to leverage students’ talents through part-time “test drive” opportunities can be greatly beneficial to your business. But as important as it is to identify an immediate problem the student can solve, you must also think about the future. How do you know if this one assignment will give you a true representation of how this student might fit in at your company? In this post, we’ll provide you with a recruitment rubric that you can use while you’re leveraging part-time work for students.

Measuring the success of your student recruitment plan with part-time work

Modernising the traditional internship system

Let’s take a step back and consider the traditional college-recruiting environment. Many companies have established internship programs, where they hire by asking for an essay or cover letter and a transcript before conducting an in-person or phone interview. Then the student spends an entire summer working for the company on a full-time basis. This may be the norm now, but there are several aspects of this method that require updating.

First, how informative can an essay or cover letter truly be? Even if it is sophisticated, concise, and well-conceived, what does it tell you about someone’s ability to think on his or her feet? How do you know if this person will fit in with your company culture until he or she is exposed to it? These are the questions that can only be answered through actual experience working together, even if the position is remote.

Second, in today’s fast-paced business environment, three months is a very long time to give someone a test drive at your company. If the fit isn’t a good one, for whatever reason, that can mean an extra two months or more of both sides feeling unhappy with the decision.

Creating a rubric for success

Part-time projects give students the opportunity to back up what they claim on their resumes. For example, if you’re looking for a student to help you write marketing content, you have probably asked your applicants to submit writing samples. But how do you know that they were actually written by these students? Even if the student conducted all the research and posted the finished piece to his or her personal blog, how do you know that it wasn’t heavily edited by someone else? Through a short-term assignment, you can judge his or her writing or editing skills for yourself.

This is why it’s imperative to pair the right student with a project that not only emphasises the student’s skills, but also serves as a fair representation of the work to come if you were to offer him or her a full-time job. Even though different industries and roles have their own required skills, there are some catch-all indicators that can let you know whether you’re on the right track:

  • Does the student meet the deadlines you set?
  • Does the student follow directions? How different is the end product of the project from what you asked for at the beginning?
  • Does the student ask questions, rather than assuming he or she knows the answers?
  • Is the student willing to conduct additional research to get the job done well?
  • How well does the student take feedback and constructive criticism?

Once you have your rubric in place—including any other aspects you’re seeking to connect with your company culture—try it out on a few different students. It’s a win-win-win situation: You get the help you need with a project. The student has the opportunity to see what it would be like to work with you. And at the same time you get a real sense as to whether you’d like to offer this student a job in the future.

Want to hear what sort of work other companies have been entrusting to students? Check out our Student Spotlight series for examples.

Improving Social Media Presence by Leveraging Students

Improving Social Media Presence by Leveraging Students

As someone who runs a company with an ear to the ground, you’re already aware of at least some of the benefits that social media can bring to your business. It’s free, it’s efficient, and its successes are measurable. But as easy as it is to write a Tweet or post to Facebook, an effective social media strategy takes a much more nuanced understanding of the platforms and the various ways to leverage them. In other words, your business may require a partnership with someone who has native familiarity with social media and how it has changed over time.

If you have big-picture goals you’d like to see with respect to your social-media plan, there’s an easy way to begin before you take a gamble on a full-time job applicant: Seek student help! Today’s college students leverage these tools everyday for more than making friends. They also use them to check the news, connect with their university communities, build professional relationships, and even begin branding themselves. More importantly, many students already have hands-on professional experience managing social media for startups and small businesses. In this post, we’ll provide you with a plan to help students help you in building an engaging online presence.

Tips for improving your social media presence via part-time assignments for students

Ask yourself what you still need to learn

Turning over the voice of your company to a new employee, no matter his or her age, is probably not your aim in looking for help. So before you begin, take the time to identify what it is you want to know about how social media works. Do you know the difference between platforms? Do you have an understanding of the different user bases, supported media, and tools for analytics? These are perfect questions for students, who not only use social media themselves, but also pay attention to how their universities do and have dug into the analytics for companies they’ve worked with.

You don’t need to worry about imbuing your student employees with industry knowledge or mastering your company’s voice right away. Instead, ask them to conduct an audit of how you are already doing in the social sphere. Is Facebook the best place to post your videos? Is there a visual aspect of your business that you’re not capturing on Instagram? Chances are, they’ll identify some gaps in your strategy that you didn’t even realize you had.

Understand what can be accomplished in a short amount of time

Even if a student signed up to work with you for an entire semester or school year, there are limitations to how much he or she can accomplish at once. There are certain aspects of social media that will only become clear through trial and error.

For example, what time of day is your target audience most often interacting with your content? If you Google this question, you’ll read a lot of expert opinions that aren’t in agreement, but you won’t know the truth until you measure it. While it can take months to get a definitive answer, you can ask a student to demonstrate how to schedule Tweets in advance or use analytics to review the results. That way you’re set up for success when you begin your experiment.

Set measureable goals

It’s 2016, which means that your business is likely already embracing SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals. But when it comes to setting up a successful and beneficial social media project for students we suggest you put extra emphasis on the “measurable” aspect. Social media posts have minuscule shelf lives. Plus when you consider that many people engage with them on phones or tablets, it’s easy to see that if you’re not holding someone’s attention, he or she can dismiss you with the flick of a finger. The point here is that no single, perfectly worded, strikingly convincing Tweet is going to boost your profits.

But this should be liberating for you, the professional, because it demonstrates how your focus should be on those measurable elements. These include frequency, time of day, which targeted campaign you’re discussing, and more. By asking a student expert to demonstrate how you can measure these variables using analytics, you’ll still be able to maintain control of your voice.

To find students with social media expertise who can have an immediate positive impact on your business, sign up for HireOwl and start browsing resumes for free!

Using Seelio Career Portfolios to Make Better Hiring Decisions on HireOwl

Using Seelio Career Portfolios to Make Better Hiring Decisions on HireOwl

Matchmaking algorithms? Got ’em! Video profiles? Got ’em! Reviews of students from other businesses who have worked with them? Got those too!

If you’ve used HireOwl to source talented students for internships and freelance projects, then you already know that our technology provides the most comprehensive screening tools to help employers make informed hiring decisions.

Today we are taking another giant leap forward in our quest to help employers find and hire the best students for their jobs and internships!

HireOwl and Seelio team up to change the way employers incorporate career portfolios in candidate screening

HireOwl is excited to announce that it is partnering with Seelio, the leading provider of student-focused career portfolios, so that employers can view real examples of students’ actual work without ever needing to leave HireOwl. All the screening tools employers need are now in one place!

What is Seelio?

Seelio’s career portfolio technology enables students to showcase the work they have produced both in the workplace and in class, bringing their skills to life far better than standard, old-school resumes.

How does this help employers?

With students’ Seelio portfolios now fully integrated into HireOwl, forward-thinking employers are able to engage in visual recruiting like never before.

Employers come to HireOwl because they know they’ll find some of the best graphic design talent, top writers, skilled video producers, and creative marketing minds for affordable prices. If looking for a designer, for example, knowing that graphic design is a student’s major or seeing relevant experience on his or her resume is helpful; but it’s not enough.

To make the most educated hiring decisions, it’s often best to view the actual work students have produced. In fact, 83% of recruiters in a Jobvite survey said they look for examples of written and design work in a candidate’s social profiles. Furthermore, 79% of employers in a Gallup survey revealed that a candidate’s applied skills in a field are very important. Only 28% placed the same level of importance on a candidate’s major.

That’s precisely why HireOwl incorporated Seelio’s portfolio technology directly into the platform employers are already using to source and manage top interns!

To see samples of the Seelio portfolios you’ll find inside the HireOwl community, head on over to our new Student Showcase and check out actual work produced by students: hireowl.com/showcase. Then put this talent to work for your business by posting a job with us!

Have questions? Contact the HireOwl support team at HireWisely@HireOwl.com or the Seelio support team at support@seelio.com.

Happy hiring!

How Jobs for Full-Time Students Can Shape Your Company’s Future

How Jobs for Full-Time Students Can Shape Your Company’s Future

What does the future of the workplace look like to you? Thanks to the rise of the digital age and the after-effects of the 2008 recession, the students who are now entering the job market are more different than their employers than ever before. Millennials are used to having everything they need at their fingertips—from ordering food to booking vacations—which doesn’t always translate well with those of earlier generations who have had to go through more channels to get what they want. However it’s a great fallacy to think that this makes younger candidates any less hirable, or even desirable. In fact, with a bit of coaching, they can be a huge asset to your company.

The secret to shaping the future workplace lies in supplying jobs for full-time students

Just as they use mobile technology to buy movie tickets, students do the same when it comes to finding work. Gone are the days when established companies send representatives to a select few universities in order to uncover those who might fit in at their three-month summer internship programs. Instead, students need only flick their fingers a few times on a computer or smartphone before they uncover the wide variety of opportunities available to them. This can result in your receiving more applications from a higher quality pool of students, multiplying the work you need to do in identifying top prospects.

But while this might rock the boat a bit, it also brings some great benefits to you, the recruiter. While there are certainly many who have flourished under the established summer internship system, there’s no doubt you have also encountered pupils who don’t fit in at all. Perhaps they just weren’t interested in your industry after all and found it hard to be motivated. Perhaps they were overwhelmed with the amount of work required on a daily basis. Perhaps they weren’t quite ready for  the newfound freedom that comes with moving to a big city for the summer. Whatever the reason, in hindsight you can’t help but feel like the internship was a waste of time for both sides.

Today, you can curb these instances by pairing your internship program with part-time work for full-time students. Thanks to mobile technology (again), students need not be available to you in person in order for you to test drive their skills and see how they meet deadlines, follow directions and exhibit professionalism. Even better, their familiarity with the changing digital world might just help you find innovative new ways to reach your client base and move people through the sales funnel. In a way, you’re creating your own reference for them rather than relying on people you have never met before.

And while these students are helping you, you get to help them too. Whatever you envision for the future of your workplace, you can instill these traits in your future hires early on via smaller tasks that take much less of your time than the three months of a traditional internship. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for HireOwl today to see the students who qualify for your positions, review their resumes and see what other work they have already performed.

I Wish There Were More Hours In The Day

I Wish There Were More Hours In The Day

I wish there were more hours in the day.
How often have you heard someone utter those words?  If you’re like us, you’ve even said them yourself recently.
Time is one of our most precious commodities, and unfortunately it is a finite one.  When you have a deadline, there are only so many hours between now and then.  That’s stressful.
If you could use a little help beating deadlines with less stress, consider outsourcing some of your work in order to focus on the high impact projects that must be completed by you and only you.  No, we don’t mean delegate that work overseas.  Rather, make use of the high quality help right in your own backyard!
Recent years have seen an increase in options for “outsourcing” short-term projects.  Of course we’re biased, but we firmly believe that hiring a hard-working university student is one of your best, most affordable options for getting projects completed.  Not to mention, you get the added benefit of feeling good about helping a student pay for their education!
We have found that being busy and being productive are two very different things.  The former means you’re doing things.  The latter means you’re getting things done.  Since HireOwl began hiring students to help with our own projects, we are getting a lot more done.  This is critical because success depends on how efficiently you get the important things done, not how many items you cross off your to-do list.
Do yourself a favor.  Pull up your to-do list.  How many items are on it?  10?  20?  Many more?  Count how many of those must be done by you and only you.  How many are critical or necessary for an upcoming deadline?  Now count how many are going to take a while because they are time-intensive or involve tasks that aren’t your expertise.  Maybe there’s a project that involves detailed data entry and analysis.  Maybe you want to develop a website or create a blog or Facebook page for your business, but you haven’t had the time.  As you look at your list, you may start to realize that there are a significant number of projects that can be outsourced to a student.
What’s the point of stressing yourself out if you have a great option for getting these things done?  Focus on what you need to finish to meet a deadline, and outsource what you can.  This will ultimately add hours back to your day, reduce the stress in your life, and allow you to spend more time on the things that matter!
An Entitled Generation

An Entitled Generation

We have heard this phrase used to describe recent college graduates as well as those who are currently in college.  Some say they have been raised with a subpar work ethic and an inability to think on their own.  Critics often speak of a sense of entitlement permeating this generation.
Here at HireOwl, we believe this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Sure, there are some young adults who fit these descriptions, but is the percentage really that much higher than previous generations?  We don’t think so.
We are in a unique position to say with confidence that this generation of university students is as talented as any because we review the HireOwl profiles of all our highly impressive students and it wasn’t long ago that our founders were helping their former employers sift through the resumes of intern and first-year analyst candidates.  We are constantly blown away by the depth and diversity of these students’ skill sets.
HireOwl students’ talents are too numerous to list while keeping this to a reasonable length, but we’ll highlight a few.  At HireOwl, you’ll find computer programmers, social media experts, marketing whizzes, writers, researchers, graphic designers, video producers, photographers, tutors, care-givers, singers, pianists, guitarists, athletes, charity leaders, and engineers, just to name a few.
Languages spoken by our diverse workforce include Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Albanian, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Haitian Creole, and Hebrew.
Our gifted writers are helping businesses create highly engaging content.  Our detail-oriented students are doing an excellent job helping with data entry and analysis.  Many students are conducting market research or generating leads for businesses.  And more hard-working students are joining and contributing their talents every day!
There is a very high ceiling to what can be accomplished when you work with talented and motivated individuals.  Our students are eager to apply their skills and hungry to gain work experience, and we can confidently say that they are anything but an entitled generation.
Top 10 Businesses Started by University Students

Top 10 Businesses Started by University Students

“How does HireOwl ensure that students will deliver quality results?”
We get asked this a lot. It is of utmost importance to us that our students’ work is high quality. To that end, we spend a lot of time: 1.) screening students before they get on the HireOwl platform, 2.) enabling businesses to customize additional screens through our technology, and 3.) gathering feedback from job posters after every job. *
Working with top universities, we have a deep pool of amazing students at HireOwl. Taking a step back, however, we believe that students are some of the most talented, creative, and motivated workers and are capable of producing great results for businesses.
We are admittedly biased, so we created this impartial list of companies started by talented students. We emphasized brands everyone recognizes, but there are hundreds more that could have made the list that have been very successful and are a testament to the skills students can contribute to an organization. In no particular order…
  • Facebook (we all know the story here)
  • Google (started at Stanford by 22-year old Larry Page and 21-year old Sergey Brin)
  • Dell (Michael Dell started the business as an undergrad at University of Texas-Austin)
  • FedEx (CEO Fred Smith didn’t start FedEx as a student, but the concept was born in a term paper he wrote as a Yale undergrad)
  • Kinkos (started by USC undergrad Paul Orfalea; later acquired by a fellow member of this list, FedEx)
  • Citadel Investment Group (Founder Ken Griffin, now worth over $5 billion, started trading convertible bonds in his Cabot House dorm room at Harvard)
  • Yahoo (founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo while they were students at Stanford)
  • Reddit (started by UVA roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who has since proven that he’s not a one-hit wonder in launching, advising, and financing numerous other successful startups)
  • Snapchat (a relative newcomer on this list, the company founded by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown while Stanford undergrads now reportedly has a $10 billion valuation)
  • Napster (perhaps less well-known now than it was in its heyday, Napster was started by Shawn Fanning when he was a Northeastern student and had a profound impact on the way music is shared / sold)
It’s easy to say in hindsight that connecting to these founders when they were students could have supercharged the operations of any business, but in reality there are countless other students who can make an enormous impact.
Many high growth companies realize this and are even recruiting at the high school level now (Facebook, AirBnB, LinkedIn – http://bloom.bg/1pVZaEb). This goes to show that today’s notion of game-changing talent is not always dependent on years of experience.
Fortunately for you, HireOwl makes it easy to work with these talented students!
*We are happy to answer any questions about our screening and feedback processes if you email HireWisely@HireOwl.com.