Less Pomp and Other Circumstances

Although there may still be snow on the ground in parts of the nation, for some people springtime is already in the air. In colleges and universities across the country another group of students is preparing to be sprung into the workforce. And many soon-to-be graduates are already fielding offers from companies wishing to woo them. But what distinguishes the class of 2001 from preceding classes? What is it these candidates want? What a Difference a Year Makes? A CollegeHire survey of 5,631 computer science and computer engineering students about to graduate points to several differences between this year’s students and last year’s grads. According to Monica Feid, vice president of BizCom Associates and spokesperson for CollegeHire, the survey shows these students want more money up front – a lot more money. More than 80 percent of surveyed respondents expect to earn more than the average salary of students who graduated last year from the same programs. While class of 2000 graduates earned an average $47,000 annually their first year in the workforce, more than 51 percent of soon-to-be graduates are aiming for starting salaries in the $51,000 to $70,000 range. And, where last year students were enticed by the lure of IPO riches, in the aftermath of the dot-com shakeout, there is less interest in stock options. As far as where they’d like to work, there is about an even split between those who are interested in startups and those who prefer big tech corporations. Last year’s grads, by contrast, were more enticed by dot-com employment. All in all, class of 2001 is looking for more stability when it comes to employment. ?And Not Similarities also exist between this and last year’s class. Feid says the survey indicates that students still seek to make an impact on a company. The survey shows that, while making that contribution, they want hands-on access to the latest technology. Student respondents from the class of 2001, like last year’s class, believe they can attain their career goals and find their dream jobs. And, like 2000 grads, they are also receiving multiple job offers. Carefully Considering Their Options Though the number of offers may be consistent, this group is responding somewhat differently. “By and large they’re holding out and taking longer to decide. And many will probably not accept until after graduation,” says Feid. Students also tend to be more analytical. “They are doing a lot more research and looking more at the business plan and the validity of the company over time,” Feid says. Recognizing that the students who participated in the CollegeHire survey are elite students at top universities, Feid acknowledges that they are “a little more in the driver’s seat than the average student.” Reach Out and Hire Someone Yet reaching out to college students, regardless of school or major, continues to be a challenge for many organizations. There are, however, organizations focused exclusively on the college market. Given the competition for candidates, you may want to explore what these organizations have to offer and how any or all might further your college recruitment efforts. CollegeHire, an organization specializing in matching graduating college students and high-tech companies, can help address IT needs. Among the services offered to companies is student screening and qualification. CollegeHire will also create and maintain a company presence for its clients, both on campus and online. Stressing personal attention to students and client companies alike, details about CollegeHire’s employer services are available at the company’s Web site. Select “Find Out More” under “For Companies” to get information about “The Mission,” “The Service,” “The Students,” “The Companies,” “The Site” and “The Team.” College Recruitment Resource Another company that can help your company reach the college market is CollegeRecruiter.com. While CollegeHire works to match computer science and computer engineering students from top universities with employers in need of high-tech talent, CollegeRecruiter.com’s services are geared for a broader audience. A resource for the general college population and employers seeking to fill positions of all types, CollegeRecruiter.com features a job board where IT positions are advertised, along with jobs in public relations, finance, healthcare and other fields. A full-service site aimed at being a destination for current students and college graduates, CollegeRecruiter.com also offers access to educational opportunities (including online learning through a partnership arrangement with PlanetLearn), articles, loan and scholarship information. Going for the Brass BrassRing Campus is another online resource designed to connect you with candidates on campus. A college recruitment network, BrassRing Campus features a job board at its website. It also provides students with tips about their careers, finances and life. Much is available online at BrassRing Campus and, in addition, the company hosts “live” career fairs. Select “career events” at the homepage to see a listing of job fairs throughout the country. BrassRing Campus offers a number of events that are general in scope, along with many focused exclusively on technical positions. Getting the Grads Companies like CollegeHire, CollegeRecuiter.com and BrassRing Campus can provide assistance when it comes to your college recruitment efforts. However, keeping current with trends and student expectations is also advisable. CollegeHire’s survey is focused on the expectation of computer science and computer engineering class of 2001 members. And, while results may be applicable to other fields as well, a general survey conducted by WetFeet.com may prove useful. Campus Pulse 2001, which can be downloaded at the WetFeet.com’s website, can shed some light on college internship programs, campus recruiting, student job preferences and their starting salary expectations. WetFeet.com also offers a number of services related to college recruitment you may want to explore. Select “For Employers” at the site’s homepage, and then “WetFeet Campus” for details. Minding Your P?s Anyone who thinks recruiting the class of 2001 is going to be easy should keep in mind the title of an article by Larry Keller at CNN.com – “IT grads in play: Primed, picky, patient.” All indications are that, regardless of occupational choice, when it comes to the class of 2001, these three p’s will prevail. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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Paula Santonocito is an e-recruitment strategist and columnist for AIRS, the global leader in Internet recruitment training, tools, news and information. AIRS News:www.airsdirectory.com/news/newsletters/ AIRS Training:www.airsdirectory.com/products/training/ AIRS SearchStation:www.airsdirectory.com/products/tools/searchstation/

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