PRE

Survey Reveals Fundamental Shift in Entry Level Hiring Strategies

COVID Brings Changes for Employers That Are Becoming the New Paradigm of Work Life

SEATTLE, WA, March 24, 2022 — (PR.com) — The COVID pandemic has fundamentally changed how employers recruit candidates and build culture with their current employees, according to a recent survey by entry level job site CollegeGrad.com. The most obvious difference is the virtual office revolution allowing virtual employees to work from anywhere. “While some companies had to rapidly adapt,” said Brian Krueger, CEO of CollegeGrad.com, “others were already well-positioned to handle the shift and respond to the continuing evolution.”

“At Asurion, we've always prioritized employee wellness and work-life balance, said Kellye O’Connor, Senior Manager, Professional Recruiting & Early Careers Programs at Asurion. “We had flexible, remote and hybrid options long before the pandemic required it. As we ‘return to normal,’ we're seeing that this attribute continues to serve our employees well.”

Krueger also noted: “Flexibility is a common trait of the employers that successfully navigated the uncertainty of the initial stages of the global shutdown. This is especially true of entry level hiring, where many employers were physically tethered to campus hiring as their primary source.”

“Our team came out of this better than we were in the initial stages of the pandemic because of our ability to adjust our approach to what the market was bearing,” said Sharon Garcia, Vice President Talent Acquisition at Echo Global Logistics. “The changes we made to spark candidate interest in Echo and keep them engaged throughout the recruiting process continues to be an ongoing focus to help us compete in today’s market.”

Krueger points out that “Employers had to quickly pivot and learn what would and would not work well in the new hiring environment.”

“We started by learning about the wants and needs of the entry-level market as it stands today,” said Delaney Bradley, Internal Recruiting Manager at ALKU. “We conducted research on compensation in our industry as well as new and unique benefits being offered by employers to their talent pool.”

Employee working from home on video call
Employee working from home on video call

In addition to hiring, employers had to quickly adapt their development of new entry level hires. “We have a supportive culture that helps individuals who would like to start their career,” said Mary Claire Wente, Supervisor, Client & Customer Services at North Star Resource Group. “We provide training and growth opportunities to help our team meet their goals.”

Employers identify and nurture new employee growth in a variety of ways. Krueger said, “Many entry level college graduates think that learning is finally over for them. The reality is that their learning journey is just beginning.”

“All our employees have a thirst for continual learning in our fast-paced, knowledge-based, technology-driven world,” said Joan Ravanelli Miller, VP Human Resources for Acuity. “Therefore, we provide continued education on the job as well as support for their advanced learning through both traditional educational institutions as well as industry associations.”

As the workplace continues to change employers collaborate with their newest employees in developing new ways to develop and maintain culture.

“Nobody knows what the next road bump will be, but we figure it out together,” said O’Connor. “We remain transparent and flexible with virtual and in-person hiring, interviews and day-to-day work. We fundamentally believe in putting our employees first, so they can feel supported and, in turn, do great work.”

Krueger commented: “Employers are quickly adapting to both the changes and the resulting ramifications. The personal touch is more important now than ever with many employees seldom, or never, meeting in-person. So employers are figuring out how to convert ‘no touch’ into ‘high touch’ whenever possible.”

Jessica Schaeffer, VP at LaSalle Network, shared one way organizations accomplish this: “To ensure the connection remained strong and our culture stayed intact, we focused on hosting virtual and socially distanced events to keep employees engaged.”

Krueger continued: “This goes for recruiting new talent, as well, since candidates expect more individual attention. Satisfying these wishes, in addition to regular forms of compensation and benefits, is a major focus of companies that want to remain competitive for top talent.”

Makenzie Shearson, Manager, University Relations at Kearney & Company commented: “We treat every Kearney team member with compassion and support them in good times and in times of crisis. In a virtual recruitment environment, adding a special layer of authenticity and uniqueness to their candidacy experience is something that we execute year- round.”

Krueger noted: “Employers taking this new approach to hiring have had to look to a new generation of leadership internally to expand their hiring.”

“With these offerings in place, recruiting was bolstered with hiring leaders willing to post ‘Anywhere, USA’ openings that are appealing to those seeking hybrid or other flexible arrangements,” said Kellen Baker, Head of Talent Acquisition at RS&H. “We have been able to expand talent pools to candidates previously unwilling to relocate and/or in geographical areas we weren’t appealing to prior.”

“Virtual hiring and work have allowed employers to broaden their geographic reach beyond former limitations,” added Krueger.

“As Blackbaud has transitioned to a remote-first workplace approach, the early career talent team continues to provide virtual internship opportunities across the globe,” said Kristi Alu, Director, Early Career and University Programs at Blackbaud. “We see this new approach as an opportunity to expand our university portfolio, ultimately diversifying our talent pool. We’re looking for top talent regardless of geographical location.”

It’s not all about volume, though. Krueger noted: “With geographical barriers fading, recruiters are finding qualitative benefits in this new approach to hiring.”

“While the hybrid world is preferred by students, it has also allowed us to be more efficient with our on-campus recruitment efforts,” said Bradley. “We prefer being on-campus, of course, but we also find value in hosting events virtually depending on the nature of the event itself. Our Internal Recruiting team here at ALKU has specialized so that we can be more proactive to meet hiring needs for both our full-time and internship roles, and our College Relationship Development team has expanded its reach by casting a wider net.”

So what is the net impact? Krueger summarized by saying: “Those employers who have pivoted and launched in this new direction are the employers who are leading hiring during this time of unprecedented entry level job growth.”

###