5 Ways to Recruit the Best and Brightest Graduates from the Class of 2013

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iStock_000024577981XSmallOver the past month, tens of thousands of college students across the United States earned their associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees. And after the graduation celebrations die down, these students will each begin pursuing a profession in a number of different career fields.

So what does this mean for you as a small business owner? How can you capitalize on these young, energized and passionate young adults?

A number of graduates will begin working for large companies because these businesses can offer enticing salary, benefits and security packages, as well as opportunities for advancement. As a small business owner, it may seem impossible to compete with larger companies in order to recruit top talent from the class of 2013.

One challenge facing small businesses is a simple lack of information for these graduates about the benefits of working for a small company. And while you may not be able to offer incentives big companies can offer, recruiting graduates can be simpler than you think with the right strategies.

1. Have Good Relationships with Local Schools

The importance of a college education is much more than just making good grades in order to graduate. It is also about having opportunities to network with businesses in the area. Students value the opportunity to network with potential employers. By establishing good relationships with local college and universities, these school can keep you connected with students who are close to graduating or have just recently graduated. This can also keep you informed on when the schools are hosting job fairs so your business can attend.

2. Use Your Size as a Benefit

Big companies have the brand name and look glamorous, but they aren’t always ideal for a graduate’s first job. At a small company, an employee can have the opportunity to get exposed to a number of different areas of the business as opposed to one department or task. They can also attend important meetings, communicate and connect with team leaders, directors and even the CEO on a daily basis — an opportunity that wouldn’t be possible at a larger company. (For example, here at Zoho, we all have the opportunity to reach out and speak with CEO and co-founder Sridhar Vembu whenever we want).

3. Talk About Your Company’s Culture

One of the most important aspects of a job for recent graduates is not necessarily the salary and benefits. It’s the work environment and culture of the company. Millennials want a job they enjoy going to on a daily basis at a company with a culture and personality that fits their own . Make sure graduates understand they are free to be themselves at your company and emphasize how the company values hard work and dedication. This can go a long way in recruiting talented and excited graduates.

4. Look at Students Before They Graduate/Offer Internships

There are a number of resources available for companies to begin looking at prospective employees before they walk across the stage. Use alumni networks, the local college career centers and offer both part-time and full-time internships for students. One of the best ways to avoid competing with other companies for a graduate is to establish a relationship with the student before he or she gets their diploma. Many students go on to work for the company they interned for during school, so don’t underestimate the power of an internship.

5. Place Importance on Your Online Presence

Finally, focus on creating a strong online presence for your company. From a visually impressive website to social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, millennials want to know they are working for a tech-savvy company. Make sure your website has engaging content and visually impressive videos that attract young candidates. You can also utilize social media to post ads and highlight job opportunities at your company.

Believe in Your Business

You don’t have to be a large company to recruit the top talent from the graduating class of 2013. By implementing the above strategies and remaining confident in your company and company culture, there is no reason you cannot find talented, passionate and hard-working millennials who can help build your company on a daily basis.

Utilizing Employee Referrals in Your Recruiting

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I had a roommate in college who, like many students, put a lot of importance on his social life. He went to parties on the weekends — even the occasional weeknight — joined a number of organizations and went out of his way to meet as many people as possible during his four years of undergrad.

One day he was leaving for another meeting when I made a comment about how busy his schedule was. Just before walking out the door he turned around and said, “it’s not the grades you make, it’s the hands you shake.”People waiting for job interview

Despite sounding like an excuse to not take school work very seriously, the comment made a lot of sense; however, it wasn’t till after graduating that I fully realized the truthfulness of his statement. The most recent example was three and a half months ago when I was working on a freelance project from home and a chat window opened in the bottom right corner of my laptop screen with five words in it.

“Interested in a new gig?”

The message was from another friend of mine from college and the “new gig,” was a writing job in the marketing department at the company he worked for — Zoho.

A few emails back and forth, some research, two tryout articles and one interview later, I landed the job. And while I still believe you have to have the necessary skills and adequately prepare for the interview, it was the hand I shook back in 2007 that got my foot in the door.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

To some degree, this old mantra is very true. Think about all the jobs you have had in your life. From waiting tables to working as a lifeguard during summers at the public pool and even starting your career, there’s a good chance that you got one of those jobs from knowing somebody who already worked there.

Turns out, employee referrals is a common way of recruiting not only talent, but also trustworthy employees who fit your company’s culture. In fact, according to Jobvite, the online employee recruiting firm, employee referrals make up 40 percent of hires across the nation.

Referrals also speed up the hiring process. Jobvite also found from their research that it took an average of 29 days to hire an applicant from a referral — 10 days quicker than a job board and 26 days quicker than a recruiting site.

The Top of the Resume Pile

iStock_000017600891XSmallThe concept of “who you know,” is nothing new for the hiring process, but it has become increasingly more advantageous, especially during the recent recession.

In a January article from The New York Times, writer Nelson D. Schwartz says there is a, “fundamental shift in the job market…big companies are increasingly using their own workers to find new hires, saving time and money.”

For the global service firm Ernst & Young, employee recommendations make up 45 percent of nonentry-level jobs, a 28 percent increase since 2010. And like any job, getting to the top of the resume pile is one of the biggest challenges.

“A referral puts them in the express lane,” said Larry Nash, Ernst & Young director of experienced and executive recruiting, to The New York Times.

Additionally, a new study by three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York also found that an employee referral was twice as likely to get an interview. And of the interviewees, the referral has a 40 percent better chance of getting the job.

Finding the Right Balance

Of course, not every hire comes from, or should come from, an employee recommendation. It’s about finding the right balance between recommendations and also potential employees through applicant tracking and recruiting software.

At Ernst & Young, their goal is for 50 percent of hires to come from employee recommendations. Other companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car want to make sure they don’t get past that halfway mark to make sure others still have a chance.

“I think if you begin to creep up to 50 percent or higher, you start to worry about people not getting the opportunity to talk to us,” said Marie Artim, vice president for talent acquisition at Enterprise Holdings.

Using employee recommendations can be very beneficial for your business, but it really is a balance that is unique to your company. Find what works best for you and get the employees who will take your company to the next level.

Zoho Recruit: Reach Out to Candidates Faster with an SMS

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The biggest challenge in the field of recruitment is to ensure that the job vacancies are filled on time. Talent acquisition is not an easy task, and contacting potential candidates when vacancies appear, following up them for the interviews, etc., can often be frustrating, expensive and a time-consuming experience. In recent years, mobile technology has proven to be a powerful communication tool than email because of its faster reach. That’s why we have been working on a new feature that will help you overcome the obstacles of recruitment and make the process much easier.

We are happy to announce the New Integrated SMS feature in Zoho Recruit, that will help you communicate effectively and efficiently with candidates and contacts during the hiring process.  A single click, and voi-là! You can send text messages to multiple candidates using Zoho Recruit! Not just that! You can also create custom SMS templates that will save your time from re-typing the same messages every time. All the messages you send will be recorded in Message History for future reference.

We hope you like this new feature. We look forward for your feedback!

Happy recruiting!

Get through your email faster

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Email has been revolutionary in the world of business communication. Finding the most productive way to make your way through the overflowing inbox is an important task for any recruiter. The mail add-on in Zoho Recruit helps you to seamlessly track all the email communications within Zoho Recruit.
Still, with such a vast pool of talented prospects pouring-in emails to Zoho Recruit, you will only find yourself hoping to find the needle in the haystack!
What if we give you a magnet? Yes! We mean it!
mail-magnet
Introducing the new MailMagnet feature from Zoho Recruit, that finds email messages addressed only to you, from candidates and contacts and sorts them for you. Thus enabling you to pay attention to those messages that you really care about first. We have made your work easier and faster, and a cute little ‘envelope’ will now tell you the number of emails you have received. You now will never have to worry about missing an email from your candidates and contacts that require immediate attention. You can also view the attachments and instantly respond to the email from the notification page.
Check out the new MailMagnet feature and let us know what you think.
Happy Recruiting!

Dependency Picklists, Custom Interview Types and More – Now in Zoho Recruit

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Every couple of weeks we make enhancements -big and small- to Zoho Recruit. Most times we focus only on the bigger things and we forget to talk about the smaller enhancements that quickly add up to a better experience.

So today I wanted to highlight some of the things we’ve recently done to make Zoho Recruit’s user experience more convenient and easier:

Dependency Picklists

This is something many of you have been asking for and we’ve are happy to announce that we’ve added Dependency pick list as an option for all Modules in Zoho Recruit. You can now create dependencies between two pick list fields and define the filter values – you can read about this in the Dependency pick list online help.

Add Attachments while scheduling an Interview

Add Attachments while scheduling an Interview is the most recent addition in our series of enhancements in Zoho Recruit. Apart from adding notes, this will help the interviewer add assessment report about the candidate for any future reference.

Custom Interview Types

We’ve added the ability to add Custom Interview Types in Zoho Recruit. They enable you to add custom interview types according to your organization needs – like first level interview, second level interview, one-on-one interview, etc.

Merge Fields in Forward to Client/Hiring Manager

Previously you could only forward resumes to clients only with the pre-defined merge fields. Now Zoho Recruit supports merge fields in “Forward to Client” with all the form fields.

We hope these improvements help make Zoho Recruit just that much more convenient and easier for you! If you have any comments or suggestions, please dont hesitate to get in touch.

Get Better, Faster and More Exact Search Results

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Searching qualified candidates within your own database is just as important as to search for and import new candidates into the system.

We have made a major enhancement to the existing Advanced Search, to help you search the right candidate by any keyword within the candidate profile, candidate form fields, attachments, etc. This reduces the search time and increases efficiency.

You can narrow or broaden your search depending on the option you choose:

A “Match All Keywords” search will search every candidate record that include ALL of the supplied keywords, no matter what order those keywords are located in the candidate profile.
For example: Search for Robert Florida would return all candidates record containing the words (Robert and Florida).

A “Match Any Keyword” search will return results where just one, some or all of the supplied keywords is found.
For example: Search for Java Oracle C++ would return all candidates record containing any of those words (Java or Oracle or C++)

A “Exclude Keywords” search will return results with Candidates records which doesn’t contain any of the supplied keywords.
For example: Search for PHP Cobol would return all candidates records that does NOT contain PHP and does NOT contain Cobol.

“Specify Criteria” search returns results with Candidates record for the specified search criteria. This option allows you to add multiple criteria.

Hope you will like it. Please try it and let us know your feedback.

Happy Recruiting!