• Chad and Cheese

Building Talent Pipelines

How can hiring companies build real talent pipelines?


Protect Your Brand is a Limited Podcast Series. The Chad & Cheese call on a real cast of experienced characters including Gerry Crispin, Principal & Co-Founder of CareerXRoads, Deb Andrychuk, VP of Client Services with Shaker Recruitment Marketing and Steven Rothberg, Founder and President of CollegeRecruiter.com to answer the questions employers should be asking themselves.


Lead question: How are employers protecting their brands and talent pipelines by adapting their internship programs?


Support provided by our friends at Shaker Recruitment Marketing - COVID might keep us at home but it won't keep us quiet!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions helps companies find talent in the largest minority community in the world – people with disabilities.


VIDEO AVAILABLE HERE


Announcer:

Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts, complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad & Cheese Podcast.

Chad:

I'm Chad Sowash with the Chad & Cheese Podcast. Joined by ...

Joel:

Joel Cheesman, the cheese segment of the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Chad:

Yeah, everybody can remember him. Gerry Crispin, the recruiting soothsayer, I think somebody has called you that before.

Gerry:

I'm here. I'm not about to call myself that.

Joel:

Soothsayer and sightseer.

Gerry:

I'm like a tiger of some sort.

Joel:

Tiger king. I like it.

Chad:

Tiger king of recruiting crossroads. We have Deb Andrew Truck. She is the industry veteran and VP of, I said recruitment branding goodness. I feel like that is Deb in good recruiting branding.

Deb:

That can be, I'm going to change my business card to say that.

Chad:

I like it.

Joel:

I like it.

Chad:

Over at Shaker Recruiting, Joel has a logo there to share. Last, but never, but always least, Steven Rothberg. Nobody can have a college recruiting discussion without Steven Rothberg actually popping his head in.

Joel:

Steve Rothberg Canadian. Welcome Steve.

Chad:

President, founder, collegerecruiter.com. The theme of today's discussion is protecting your brand in the realm of college recruiting. Steven, this one's going to you, buddy.

Steven:

Hey.

Chad:

Are you ready?

Steven:

As always.

Chad:

How are employers protecting their brands and talent pipelines by adapting their internship programs?

Steven:

Most of the large employers understand that their college recruiting programs, whether it's internships or new grads, are strategic. That's where their next generation of leaders come from. This small number who look at interns as chief sources of labor, or basically temporary help are doing a terrible job of protecting their brands. Those are the ones where we're seeing the biggest layoffs. Small startups who brought in a bunch of interns because they've got a project that needs done, and they had no intention of converting those interns into, well, we have to come up with a better word, permanent hires. No hire is permanent. The vast majority of the large employers, and it's the large employers who hire most students and recent grads. That's where the bulk of that hiring comes from. The vast majority of them I think are really trying hard to do the right thing. They're trying to do the right thing, not just because they're trying to protect that student, that grad, and do the right thing for that person, but they're also being mindful of their own business.

Steven:

By doing the right thing, you're doing the right thing for the candidate, and you're doing the right thing for your business. If they were to turn around and rescind their offers, then they lose this year's class, and they're probably also going to lose next year's class and the class the year after. Because every one of those students that has an offer rescinded, or just has the employer treat them like shit, is going to tell 5,000 of their closest friends on Facebook, Twitter.

Joel:

TikTok.

Steven:

Oh, you stole my thunder man. I was going to say, there's going to be Tik Tok videos with people doing little dances, talking about how they had their offer rescinded. As disturbing as that would be with just the dance thing, to lay that over would be even worse, but word will spread very quickly. You'll have career service offices counseling students to not accept an offer from the terrible employer A, and instead accept an offer from employer B. These big brands, I think it took them a couple of weeks to grasp the monumental problem that they faced. They have a huge cash flow problem. They have a huge problem in adapting the work so that these people can do meaningful work from home, but I feel like they almost all realized they needed to do it.

Steven:

I've actually been really amazed pleasantly at how unusual it is when we hear of big brands not doing it. They almost all are rising to the occasion. It's been very encouraging. It's been very collaborative.

Joel:

Gerry, one of the things with my military background, the Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, always amazing recruitment. Right? The process might not be great, but amazing recruitment. One thing I can't understand from companies is why they haven't started their ROTC programs, the Reserve Officer Training Corps types of programs, where they put them in and say, "Look, you're a recruit. You're coming in. You're going to be a developer at my organization. We're going to stick with you through these years, whatever it takes, but your hours, and we're going to pay for tuition or whatever that is. Why haven't companies adapted to be more advanced, because that is advanced, and that is true pipeline.

Gerry:

It's a long time since I've heard ideas like that, to be honest with you, probably 20, 30 years. What happened about 20 or 30 years ago was we stopped developing people. We want to hire people who can work today.

Joel:

Right.

Gerry:

The intern program is really the closest thing we have to job shadowing, but I get a chance to see and to buy later on. What Steven was talking about is not only do you lose the ability to get interns next year, if you screw up with the interns this year. That intern class that you have this year is actually where you get your early hires. Financial services probably the biggest example of that. Nearly 90% of all of their early hires come from their intern classes, their own intern classes in many cases, not just their competitors intern classes. The impact of this pipeline, if you will, is really intern to early hire. The truth of it is though that some companies could be doing some extraordinary things if they brought people in and made some promises for a longer term capability of developing that.

Gerry:

Now there are examples of that. In fact, in the city that Deb is in, you've got Enterprise Rent-A-Car. It's a great example of a company, that a huge percentage of their total hires, it used to be almost a hundred percent, basically come in at a single job. I wouldn't call it early hire because even if you retired and wanted to go work for Enterprise, that's the job you would get. Then from there, you can grow in a variety of different directions and from a development point of view. They could show that if you look at any mid-level or C-level person, the majority of them all started in the same exact place, in a store where they learned how to deal with the business at its base level. Those kinds of models though, are few and far between, and the majority of folks who do join companies from college often are gone within two, three, four years.

Gerry:

Some companies probably should be doing an ROI on what is the value longterm of bringing kids in, in that first job, because the investment in all of that doesn't really pay off for years. If companies did a better job of rethinking how they develop people for the longterm, they'd realize that they've lost a little bit of that investment possibility. You've raise a really important question. Corporations have to think more in the future about buy versus build, and early career hire interns are part of the build decision strategically. They should be thinking more longterm from that perspective.

Joel:

Chad, you're talking apprenticeships.

Chad:

Yeah, to an extent. I mean, we see this on the tech side more than we do anything else, but there's no reason why it can't be rolled over. Again, like in the ROTC program where the college is being paid for, and when you pop out of college, you are now in a three-year or four-year contract to be a developer on this level. During that timeframe, you've gone through some training, so when you come out you already know about that company. You've already been through training classes, probably certifications, corporate certifications, those types of things. At the end of that, you have a paid degree. You have a brand that you're going into, and again, that's a true pipeline.

Joel:

To me, most companies today are saying that they want to eliminate college degree as a requirement for a job, which offers a tremendous opportunity for a lot of people who've gotten good experience doing a lot of things, military, Peace Corps, a lot of other kinds of things, to coming into corporations, and then being part of a much bigger opportunity for apprenticeship, and college, and all of those things.

Chad:

You say companies want to do that. What's stopping them?

Joel:

A lot of talk and probably not enough walk is one thing.

Chad:

Okay.

Joel:

Everything we do in change is very slow, and you have tremendous resistance to change. The people who do the talking also need to step up and take risks to push that point of view.

Deb:

There's a large consumer packaged goods company that we all know that always has relied on new grads. I don't know this for a fact, but just watching them evolve over the last five or 10 years, we're starting to see this company start to lean more heavily on more experienced hires, right, and bringing in people from all different facets of work life. I think it goes back to the fact that I think when you are cultivating talent, I mean, Enterprise does it really, really well, but I think sometimes you can get into a situation where you end up turning out people that all are homogenous. Right? We all look, and talk, and do everything the same. Inclusivity and diversity is so important right now. I think companies are starting to recognize that they need to start tapping different silos to bring in the right people, and also to stay ahead of the technology and just how quickly things are changing. I don't know that when you only have homegrown talent, that you can always do that.

Chad:

Yeah. Well, I agree. I think though, we're talking about one piece of the pipeline, which is the pseudo entry level. Right? You have the experienced recruiters, and the C-level recruiters, and so on, and so forth. Everybody should be focused on and have goals, and be transparent with regard to diversity, period, whether it's veterans, individuals with disabilities, gender. It doesn't matter. Race. I mean, we should be more transparent. I think that's one of the biggest reasons why, my personal opinion, why we have pay inequity, because nobody knows what everybody's getting paid. It's behind closed doors. If everybody knew, I believe we could actually start to bring those up to where they were level if we had transparency, but we don't.

Steven:

In the spirit of transparency, no.

Gerry:

In the spirit of widening the net, I'm curious, your thoughts. One of the beautiful things about work from home is it scales pretty well from an educational standpoint. Right? It doesn't matter how big the classroom is in some aspects. In a work from home world, and I assume we're at least going to start leaning that way after this period, do internship programs get larger with more interns, and if not, why not?

Chad:

Interesting. I'm not sure if they would get larger because like Gerry was alluding to earlier, the internship program, but the companies who do them well, is the source of new grad hiring. If you're going to hire 200 people a year as new grads, 175 of them probably came from your own internship program. I think the size of the internship program is really driven by the number of new grads that you're looking to bring on. A couple of changes that I think we're going to see, is I think it's going to, in some ways, level the playing field, rural urban. If you live in a rural area it's really, really hard to get an internship.

Joel:

Yeah.

Chad:

On the other hand, I think it's going to increase the barriers socioeconomically. You have to have pretty damn good wifi in order to do an internship remotely. You have to have a good computer. You have to be in an area where high speed internet is available. One of the things we're finding out right now is geographically, the majority of the country really suffers from really, really poor internet access. People in remote areas, in rural areas, are just really hurting right now. They're not able to watch Netflix the way we are.

Gerry:

I understand the tech argument. If you were going fishing, wouldn't you rather fish in a lake with more fish than less fish, even if you had a quota that you needed to fill?

Steven:

Yeah. Yeah. I think from an employer's standpoint, there are pros and cons. From society's standpoint, there are pros and cons. Yes, if you're going to have a largely remote internship program, you can cast that net a lot wider. I think that that gives you a greater opportunity to attract the talent. If you're an employer in St. Louis, just to stick a recruiter on an airplane and fly them up to Alaska is challenging from a cost standpoint. Now, you can hire that candidate in Alaska just as easily as you hire the candidate in Kansas City. That's going to help those people in Alaska. On the other hand, if you're in rural Alaska, you probably don't have good internet. You have good fishing.

Joel:

You're going to be able to fish from a lot of places is the point, as opposed to the one place you've been going all the time.

Chad:

Yeah.

Gerry:

I think that's, so we're going to see the potential for more diversity. I say potential because Steven's point, I think, is really an important one is that whether it's rural or whether it's from associate economic point of view, I don't have a computer. I haven't paid the money that gets me all of the wifi that I could be getting. Those companies are going to have to provide some subsidy just as they might subsidize where you live. If you moved someplace as an intern, then they are going to have to provide a subsidy to make sure that you have the proper technology or whatever else they need from a communication point of view. I don't see any reason why that wouldn't happen and why most companies would do that well. And so

Chad:

You do think, Jerry, that internships could expand.

Gerry:

Oh, without a doubt.

Chad:

More companies might be able to do more internships in more places if they concentrate on a balance of virtual versus face-to-face thing out of this thing.

Gerry:

Yeah.

Chad:

I believe that they're going to learn a hell of a lot this summer with the interns that came on in May, or June, because typically that's when they're coming on. They're going to learn an awful lot about how to do that better. I suspect that they'll struggle a bit, but the projects, how long those projects should be, what the cost of all of those things should be, all of those things I think are going to provide them with the ability to build a business case for what percentage of our interns should be this way and what percentage should be another way. I think the large companies will do that. I think there's still a lot of companies that in effect say to interns, "We're not going to pay you." Right? We don't see that in large companies, but there's entire industries in advertising, if you will, where, unless you're wealthy enough to do the internship, you're not going to get it. That's going to be more visible, I think, more and more as we build better opportunities for more and more people.

Joel:

Deb, where are you on that fence?

Deb:

Part of me thinks that yes, the classes could be bigger, or, if you're condensing the length of time, I think maybe some of these online programs, you could shorten them potentially just because you're making more efficient use of your time. I also think also, it really depends on how long this lasts, and how much damage it does to some of the companies that are out there. I was talking to an insurance company the other day and they were saying, "We would really have liked to been able to rescind all of our offers, and cancel, because we're hurting." People aren't paying their premiums. People are pulling money out of their 401K's. Things are just not great. I think it's all going to be dependent upon how long this lasts. I still do think that to Gerry's point, when you look at folks from a socioeconomic perspective, there definitely is going to be some imbalance. I do think underrepresented groups of folks are going to take the backlash of, they're going to take the brunt of it.

Deb:

I mean, really, when you look at, in the last recession, unemployment for African Americans was, I think, 13.4%, something like that. More than double what unemployment for a new grad today is. I mean, we know it happens. That's the thing that I worry about the most is the inequities that are going to come out of this. It does concern me.

Chad:

Those inequities have been there. The thing is that this crisis is bubbling them up to the top, and they're making them larger. I hope that we, as a society, start to care about that because they were there before. I hope this crisis actually moves us that way. Thanks, once again, for joining us everybody. Everybody out there in TV land, don't forget, there are other segments in this discussion. Check them out and go to chadcheese.com. Check out Little Shaker, Little College Recruiter, Gerry listening to some sooth saying of Gerry at CareerXroads. We'll see you next time.

Joel:

We out?

Chad:

We out.

Announcer:

This has been the Chad and Cheese podcast. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show. Be sure to check out our sponsors because they make it all possible. For more, visit chadchees.com. Oh yeah. You're welcome.

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