Let the summer be of green shoots

Getting ready to surf positive trends
As colleges matriculate approximately 1.8 million individuals into the economy, the unemployment rate for young people under 25 remains daunting.[1] However, despite previous quarters, there is upward momentum in hiring for this demographic with bright spots we certainly did not see 18 months ago.[2,15]

The Gloom is Far from Over, but Green Shoots Persist
Colleges across the country still experience uncertainty in placements. Campuses in Ohio, Georgia, Arizona and Oklahoma reported ongoing angst amongst their graduating seniors, where opportunities and successful placement has been mixed with ongoing difficulty in securing employment for matriculating seniors. [4,5,6]

Even in Canada, which has avoided much of the subprime meltdown and various extremeties in the US has expressed concerns surrounding youth unemployment. As in the US, the generation leaving school in this economic climate has led to speculation over them becoming a “lost generation.”[13]

Southern California can perhaps offer some hope; it’s unemployment for youth aged 19-25, graduating contracted as much as four times the next highest U.S. Region, the South. However, this trend has turned this quarter. Recruiters in Southern California have been reporting strong anecdotal evidence of recovery in tech employment. The Los Angeles area is absorbing talent into a strong base of tech firms seeking to capitalize on the social-networking trend in marketing. The strong presence of media and brand management in this zone is helping to transition ad budgets out of traditional print, radio and television into the growing space for online advertising. [8]

Ohio locales also report increases in collegiate hiring (Dayton, Cincinnati).[3,7]

What These Trends Suggest for Students in School
It behooves students in school to pay attention to this emerging space between marketing, media planning and computer science. Google will cease to be the only heavily-invested firm in intelligent ad placement (ie, adsense), as multiple firms seek to operate proprietary ad networks inside their own internet properties.

We see continued commitment to internship programs.[9] Having recently executed an internship program ourselves, we can testify to the effectiveness of training students for employment in your firm. Recent restatements of the wage/hour requirements for paying interns have clarified the treatment of interns, and guaranteed them payment when firms leverage their labor. Students should seek internships where the employer does not pay them, but trains them for roles in their industry. These positions, though onerous to complete, help the student to become literate in the culture of the firm.

Employers will likely continue to expand the role of internship programs in grooming incoming hires. Colleges continue to see employers using the internship program as a bridge between the current depressed environment and more liquid periods, where they can afford to onboard an employee full-time.[9,10] Despite the downturn in the economy, the need for STEM graduates remains high, and the criticality of skills in graduates is unceasing.

The Youth Vote: Barak Obama Owes You!
The heavy demographic favoritism of the Obama administration among college graduates has slowly engendered a federal policy toward creating jobs geared toward them. The Chief Information Officer of the Federal Government recently published a handbook on how to recruit millennial-generation employees, optimally suited to replace the massive crop of pensioned retirees. [11] We see continued commitment to hiring computer science and IT graduates in this space as the federal government increasingly derives new efficiencies from IT enablement, and the evolving role of industry luminaries like Eric Schmidt of Google in the federal government.

Given the solid favoritism of Obama within college-age demographics, the government would gain many motivated hires from young people, who also are victims of disproportionate unemployment.

Good news is there

We derive satisfaction from anecdotal evidence that students with good academic preparation are valued by corporate employers, no matter which school they hail from. [14] The landscape for absorbing talent remains flatter than ever, with corporations learning that they can source excellent, highly prepared people from a mass spectrum of colleges. We absolutely aim to underscore this hopeful reality for students outside major metropolitan areas, in states and cities less famous for research and innovation, but nonetheless capable of producing excellent hires.
What the Recruiters Want
The consensus among the recruiting community is that an ideal format for online recruiting is to form communities of talent, where recruiters can actively build teams of employees based on quick, efficient access to critical personal descriptors. [12] As these confluent trends of online sourcing, talent community, and more efficient business practices intensify, we intend to be at the center of it.
Expect the Counterintuitive?
The United Kingdom continues to absorb criticism from the business community that its public education system must increase skill levels of graduates.[10] Though this call to education is age-old, we see it as a partial call to arms to prepare for job creation, as firms penetrate new markets and explore opportunities in ever-evolving niches. Construction firms both in the U.S. (Las Vegas) and UK are announcing construction projects in the housing sector, an area most pedestrian observers would not expect.[9] In locales such as Nevada, new families rise and demands homes, and banks cannot efficiently sell their raft of foreclosed properties, so local builders courageously build new units, despite thousands of bank-owned properties sitting in ghostly neighborhoods. San Francisco also reports an upswing of tech-related hiring, which is driving new youthful owners into first-time home ownership. We expect career paths such as real estate agents and mortgage brokers, cautioned against two years ago will experience a need to absorb new talent.
Where’s the hiring, where’s the firing
In the recent instance of HP, we see massive layoffs and immediate, massive hiring. In their case, IT positions are made redundant through offshoring and automation, and new positions are made available in service, support and sales. These high-touch, 100% mobile positions reflect the need for IT companies to create a strong presence of expertise for clients. We sense that given the dire market for IT services such as software engineering in the US has caused many firms to favor hiring the crop of US and UK talent to forgo code, and take up the suit and briefcase. In this case, we see globalism driving higher caliber US jobs, and eliminating poverty in foreign locales.
In Ireland we see anecdotal evidence supporting the government strengthening education by hiring more teachers. A great move indeed to spread the talent of this newly-minted crop across potentially needy areas.[16] Progressivism on behalf of the government can stimulate this generation, get them responsible for growth and recovery, and eliminate social ills in one fell swoop.
In Sum
We know opportunities exist in the interstice between education and the labor economy, and we know positive synergy exists where talent can support the needs for cost-efficient growth. We continue to hold that a regionally-focused, grass-roots effort to connect employers with able-minded graduates is a win-win for both sides of the equation. We also foresee the continued need not only for social networking, but social computing of this type that is designed for progress. We see a student population that is agile enough to adopt the technology, who must benefit further from an increase in influence from the business community. Gone will be the days of the youth revolution, now that they know the dire straights handed to them. We also see a recruiting community who is frenetically building toolsets within the sphere of social networking, whom we know will drive innovation. We are pleased to live in this nexus.
Citations
City by city and country evidence:
6. Oklahoma, weakness in education hiring, http://muskogeephoenix.com/local/x2023208184/Sorry-no-vacancies
10. UK firms calling for skill development during this hiring freeze, http://www.bfnnews.com/display/?id=3854381&sectionId=standardNews
7. Cincinnati: optimism, and riding an upturn in hiring on campus, http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100517/BIZ01/5170306/Grads+++job+outlook+improves
10. Though the recession sluggishness persists:
11. US Federal Government: absorb millenials, http://www.cio.gov/Documents/NetGen.pdf
12. We see continuing demand for talent communities, which are utopian for recruiters, http://www.ere.net/2010/05/17/jenny-devaughns-utopia/
The fear of losing this generation of graduates to the crisis remains, even in Canada, which has avoided many severities of the crisis, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/managing/on-the-job/keeping-a-generation-from-getting-lost/article1596535/
14. colleges who are outside the top 10 but continue to see recruitment based on merit and domain experience, http://www.thedaonline.com/news/many-employers-consider-credentials-not-reputation-1.1480080
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About stefan bund

Founder of Next Acropolis. MS in Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University... Background in software engineering and teaching.
This entry was posted in campus recruiting, Corporate Strategy, global competitiveness, industrial relations, internet recruitment, labor market, Organizational Behavior, U.S. Employers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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