Second Semester Gear-Up

Well, the holidays are over, and all of 2001 looms ahead. While most college students are still enjoying an extended winter break (or toiling away at winter internships), this is an excellent time to review how your fall recruiting efforts went and gear up for second semester. Before you know it, January will be a memory, students will be back on campus, and you’ll be recruiting again. So how can you most efficiently spend the next few weeks – aside from revising your New Year’s Resolutions and returning unwanted holiday gifts? Review The Fall Semester Take some time to review with your team. Find out what progress was made on college hire goals and where you should be focusing energies for the next semester. Take a look at what your schedules for on-campus interviewing are for second semester and how you might want to supplement them with other types of hiring efforts. Have a session on “How we’ll do it differently next year” as soon as you can. You want to do this while everything is still fresh in your mind. These sessions are not about apportioning blame but about improving process and marketing. Take a look at how each member of your team is doing. The kinds of metrics, which are most useful at this time, are the quality of students they have suggested for second round interviews and the offer/acceptance ratio. While measuring the second is obvious, you can measure the first by soliciting opinions of hiring managers. Ask them to give feedback on why they liked or disliked the candidates and tie this information back to individual team members. Provide them useful and constructive feedback to use in assessing candidates in the semester ahead. Start Thinking About Internships And Last Minute College Hires If you haven’t already, get those intern hiring goals set and review the schedules on-campus. Most managers don’t want to start thinking about summer interns until March, but many of the best candidates are taken by that time. Finalize those job descriptions and start posting them as January comes to a close. If you were very proactive, you did much of your college hiring over the first semester. However, it is never too late and you might be interested in supplementing that hiring effort. When seniors go home for the holidays, everyone starts asking them about life after graduation. There is often a surge of job searching going on while they are home for winter break. Take advantage of the Internet sites which cater to the college recruiting market during this time and post some jobs. What About August Grads? Most of the students you are recruiting are graduating in May and have been searching for jobs since late September to early October. However, there is a small percentage of students who will graduate in August and may just be coming on the job market now. Think about running ads targeting these students. Put in your description that you are looking for students finishing up in the summer and looking for fall employment. Keep In Touch Finally, don’t forget to keep in touch over the holidays, especially with any students with outstanding offers. Chances are you have the student’s email address. Take a few minutes to send a note over the holidays or better yet, get the hiring manager to do it. A quick note wishing a happy new year demonstrates you are thinking of them and that can often make a big impact for a little investment. All of this may seem like a long to-do list for the month of January, but it will get you ahead in making the second semester pay off. Whether you are making up for a tough fall recruiting season or getting a jump-start on spring, a little effort in January can make all the difference. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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Maggie Ruvoldt (mer@FutureCollegeGrads.com) runs FutureCollegeGrads.com, a website devoted to helping students and employers find each other and to maximizing the internship and entry-level job experience for both. Ms. Ruvoldt also consults for organizations developing college recruiting and internship programs. Ms. Ruvoldt is also working towards completing the Masters Program in Human Resource Management at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. More information about her work, consulting services, and job listings can be found at FutureCollegeGrads.com.

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