It's been all over the news - more and more people are resigning from their jobs after years in the workforce. But what does this mean for recent college graduates who are about to start their careers? Ally Baldwin, the Director of Career Services and Employer Relations at Fisher College, shares insights and industry trends as she explains what this phenomenon, known as the "Great Resignation" will mean for Fisher students. .
Q: Fisher students are required to complete two internships before they graduate. Do you think students will have responsibilities in their internships because of staffing shortages? Do you know of any current students who have experienced this in their internships?
A: I think students might experience a higher level of autonomy in their internships at a faster rate than in the past, since their overall workload may be increased. However, I think that gives students a more realistic picture of what it takes to succeed in their field of interest. As they see the demands placed on their internship supervisors and the ways that these supervisors respond, it gives them an important understanding of priorities and different ways of working, while also giving them an opportunity to imagine and propose newer or more efficient ways of doing things. While they may have different responsibilities than they had in the past, it will likely give them a chance to innovate and make lasting contributions, since they have more ownership of their work.
Q: It can be hard for recent graduates to find a job because they do not have much experience. Do you anticipate it being easier for recent graduates to find a job because of that?
A: Overall, one of the biggest changes for employers to navigate in respect to hiring college graduates since the pandemic began has been a shift to virtual recruiting practices. This shift to virtual recruiting has enabled a lot of students and graduates to feel more confident about interacting with employers, since they could do so from the comfort of their own home. In addition, virtual recruiting has opened doors for companies who might not otherwise think to recruit from a small college like Fisher, to begin interacting with our talented students and alumni.
For example, in the last 3 months, 158 unique employers reached out to Fisher students and alumni about internship and job opportunities that might match their experience and skills through Handshake, Fisher’s career management platform. These employers include well known organizations such as: Amazon, Bank of America, Scribe America, City Year, Bright Horizons, Eliot Community Human Services, Goldman Sachs, AT&T, EY, Fidelity Investments, May Institute, Marriott International, TJX Companies, Ford Motor Company, Google, Walt Disney Company, Santander, L’Oréal, Nike, CVS Health, The New York Times, and more. Beyond in-platform messaging, employers are also offering virtual events through Handshake, giving students and alumni even more opportunity to engage with them from wherever they are most comfortable. This increased accessibility is the biggest factor in increasing opportunity, since establishing a strong network can be so instrumental to helping students and alumni to achieve their career goals.
Q: If you answered “yes” to this question, do you anticipate recent graduates having more leverage than they might have in the past to negotiate better salaries or benefits for themselves despite their lack of experience?
A: When employers are hiring, they are aware of the importance of offering competitive compensation and benefits, but they also have other tools at their disposal to lure prospective employees. In a lot of cases, folks are willing to forego additional compensation for the ability to work remotely, for example, because of the reduced amount of time spent commuting, potential for reduced childcare or transportation costs, and flexibility of working hours. Additionally, many companies are highlighting enhanced wellness offerings, employee resource groups, and other perks. While it is a competitive market for hiring, employers who offer these benefits are going to be more comfortable using them as a negotiating tool since they are not always offered across the board.
Q: On the other side of this coin, the lowest resignation rates are among workers 20-25, the age range of recent graduates. Would this potentially lead to more competition among entry level openings? If so, how would you advise recent graduates to stand out in interviews
A: In my opinion, the competition for entry level openings has remained fairly consistent despite lower resignation rates for this age group. According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), hiring for recent college graduates increased by 7.2% for the Class of 2021 compared to the Class of 2020 despite the pandemic’s influence. More recently, employers responding to a NACE survey projected that they will be hiring 26.6% more college graduates from the Class of 2022 than from the Class of 2021. Many of the folks in this age range had already expected to remain in their current role for a shorter period of time compared to previous generations, so entry level positions opened more frequently than senior level positions on average, but the rapidly shifting hiring trends made conditions even more favorable in this case. Despite having a steady supply of positions to apply to, it’s still incredibly important for students and recent graduates to be prepared to communicate the value of their experience and skills during an interview. Employers are looking for students and recent graduates to translate their skills and experiences to better align with the language used by the company and in the job description, while also providing examples from their experiences. By providing examples and aligning their language with the words used in the job description, students and recent graduates can help their interviewers to imagine them being successful in the role they are hiring for.
Q: Do you think that remote work is the future of work? If so, do you think that will be hard for people who have never had the experience of being full time in a workplace, or will that be so normalized in the next couple of years that it won’t have a huge effect?
A: According to the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey, 7 in 10 executives responded that their organization’s shift to remote work had a positive impact on the well-being of their employees. Many folks are searching for a greater balance between their work and home lives, and employers are beginning to recognize the role that a flexible work location, or offering remote work, plays in retaining their employees. Given the increasingly competitive conditions faced by recruiters and hiring managers, and the rising costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and onboarding talented new employees, more employers see employee retention and remote work as important cost savings measures as well as influencers on the overall organizational culture. Remote work may not become the norm for everyone in the future, but it is absolutely here to stay in many industries and types of roles. Those who never worked full time in a physical workplace location may have more of an initial adjustment period to get acquainted with working in person, but luckily for those individuals, everyone is still in a transition period where we are all acclimating to a brand-new set of workplace norms, with masking, social distancing, and vaccination status adding a layer of complexity that most are not accustomed to thinking about. It will be a learning experience for everyone to undergo together.
Q: Many people leaving the workforce are at a middle stage in their career and are citing burnout as a factor in leaving. What tips do you have for people about to enter the workforce to avoid burnout later on?
A: Adjusting and acclimating to a brand-new environment and culture can be really challenging for those entering the workforce, especially during a time of so much transition. For those who are seeking to prove themselves and their value to the organization, it can be tempting to rush through onboarding and try to get started on making an impact early. However, trying to do too much, too soon, can be exhausting and contribute to burnout later on.
The best way to prepare for success after joining a new team or organization is to start building relationships, which will help you to establish a sense of camaraderie and community on your team, allow you to receive mentorship from experienced professionals, give you a chance to develop a supportive and trusting relationship with your manager, as well as gain a sense of what helps someone to succeed at the organization. By building a network of supporters and colleagues, you will feel more connected not only to the folks you work with, but also to the mission of the organization?
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