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Author: Nathaniel Rottenberg (page 2 of 4)

Finding top entry level talent

For every business or organization, attracting top talent is crucial for long term success and should be the goal for all levels of hiring – entry level to executive. However, determining if an entry level candidate is excellent is a little different than upper level hires. Namely, entry level candidates usually have no previous relevant job experience, making it harder to gauge their suitability. So, how do you assess entry level candidates? Here are three things I believe will help you determine if someone is truly egg-cellent:

Look outside the class room

What have they accomplished or participated in? If it’s relevant to your business, that’s a big bonus, but it’s much more important that the candidate can demonstrate that they have interests and followed through on/committed to them. Did they play on a sports team or were they involved in a club? A person who has done something beyond the bare requirement to graduate shows that they are dedicated, and willing to work hard to succeed.

A question to students and new graduates: Have you accomplished something that you’re proud of? Is it on your resume? I strongly believe it should be. In my resumes ‘accomplishments’ section I include that I earned my blackbelt. Are the skills I learned relevant to any position I may apply for, hopefully not. But it does show dedication and that I achieved success in something that I was passionate about.

Passionate about something, anything

The airport test – Could you spend twelve hours stuck in airports and on planes sitting beside the person you’re about to hire without wanting to repeatedly bang your head against the seat in front of you?

When you’re hiring a new graduate, find out what they do for fun and what their interests are. Your more senior employees are the people who are going to be spending time training and dealing with their countless questions. It’s important that they fit your existing team dynamic and won’t drive your employees crazy.

The extra effort

Here’s a no brainer: have they put in the extra effort to get the job? For example, if you’re hiring for an entry level marketing role, did the person include a marketing plan or some ideas on how they would approach the role? If the person is willing to put in the extra effort to standout, then they will put extra effort in their work.

How do you determine if an entry level candidate is excellent? What is the number one attribute you look for in an entry level hire?

How to keep interns engaged and why it's important

I’ve been an intern before. I’ve grabbed the coffees, cleaned the kitchen. I’ve even driven the boss’ car to pick someone up (didn’t mind that one). But on top of the trivial tasks, I also did some pretty meaningful work – tasks like writing proposals to attend conferences and making wicked presentations that were seen by hundreds of people. These tasks benefited the business and freed up other employees’ time.

Meaningless tasks are part of the intern life, but that’s okay as long as you get to do challenging and rewarding stuff too. If an intern is engaged and learning then they can be very productive and beneficial to your business.

Here’s why I think it’s important to keep interns engaged:

  • An engaged intern will achieve better results and free up your ‘real’ employees’ time, allowing them to do more important tasks.
  • Treating your interns poorly says a lot about your company culture. An intern may even write about how awful their experience was on their blog, and who wants to have to deal with the consequences of that? Far-fetched? Maybe. Impossible? No.
  • An engaged intern will be more likely to want to take an entry level position after they complete their internship. Hiring a former intern is less risky than hiring a complete stranger for an entry level position.

I’m guessing a lot of you who are reading this agree with the benefits of keeping interns engaged. The tricky part is how. Interns have no experience and require a lot of hand-holding which takes valuable time away from the employees who are responsible for managing them. Below are three ideas on how to keep interns engaged so you can free up your time and focus on your responsibilities:

  • Before you take on an intern, develop a project that they can focus on and run with. Let them know that this is their project and they are responsible for the results. This will make them feel more like a full-time employee and free up your time, too.
  • Challenge them. Assign them a task that’s beyond their skill level and ability and see what they come back with. It’s important to let them know that their assignment is beyond their abilities so as not to discourage them. Young people like a challenge, especially if they think it’s ‘cool’. And who knows, they may even come back with a great result. Bonus.
  • Tell them about a challenge that is facing the company or a certain department. Let them brainstorm ideas on how they would tackle the challenge. Not only is this a great way to engage them, they may also come up with some great ideas.

An engaged intern will be productive and eager to take on the menial tasks. If you’re going to have interns why not treat them as a potential employee and get them to be as productive as one?

Do you have interns at your company? How do you keep them engaged?

Focus on Agriculture

Today is the beginning of our week-long Focus on Agriculture! The Focus on Agriculture includes a ton of free career resources for students and new graduates interested in starting their careers in the agriculture industry in Canada.

Each day, you’ll find valuable articles, videos and job opportunities from top Canadian employers, like TD Agricultural Services, Casco, and Cargill Limited.

Check out the video of Lauren explaining how to make the most out of our agriculture resources:

If you’re interested in a career in agriculture, or curious about what it means to work in the agriculture industry, this is the resource for you!

Entry Level Hiring: It's not all about grades…

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m going to mention it again – when it comes to entry level hiring I strongly believe that organizations should hire based on potential for future success. In my last post, I explain why I think this is the correct way to go about entry level hiring. This post will focus on one way to identify someone’s potential: looking at what an applicant has done outside of academics. Are they doing something egg-ceptional? (sorry.)

Let’s take a look at someone who is doing something cool:

Riana is a student at Queen’s University, and she’s doing something cool (Coincidence? I think not). In Riana’s words:

This year I started a club called the Substance Free Social Club, which, like it sounds, is a club where people hang out without drugs/alcohol. It’s open to anyone whether they are already substance-free or just looking to take a night off from their usual lifestyle. It also hopes to connect people on campus who have similar interests and allow people to relax and have a good time.

The club’s overall objectives:

  • Demonstrate to students that having a good time does not have to involve harmful substances.
  • Encourage a healthier lifestyle where students take better care of their bodies.
  • Spread awareness about the opportunities available for students to meet new people and discover new interests.

Riana is demonstrating some very important attributes that businesses and organizations should look for in an entry level hire:

  • Passion: Passionate people will do great work because they believe in what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you hiring people who are passionate about what you do?
  • Initiative: Most, if not all, entry level hires are inexperienced. A person who demonstrates the ability to take initiative and learn on their own is a great asset.
  • Hard worker: Dedication and the ability to put in the hours to succeed will eventually make up for a new graduate’s inexperience.

What attributes do you look for in an entry level hire?

Doing something cool and want to be featured in our It’s Not All About Grades Series? Know of someone who should be? Send an email to nathaniel@talentegg.ca explaining what you’re up to.

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