The NACE Blog Is Ready for Takeoff; Career Services and College Recruiters – Join Us!

kevin grubbA Blog by NACE Ambassador, Kevin Grubb.
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

The airport runway

The runway has been cleared, bags are neatly stowed away in overheard storage areas and there’s a pack of career services and college recruiting professionals who are ready to take flight with this blog for the 2013 – 2014 year in NACE.

At the 2013 NACE conference in Orlando, I had the pleasure of writing as a featured blogger, doing my best to bring you along with me as I attended sessions and reflected on what was learned over the course of those few days.  I am happy to report that, throughout this year, I will serve as the “NACE Ambassador” as appointed by current NACE President, Dan Black (thank you, Dan), to continue that work.  As part of my duties, I will be here on this blog, writing about our profession and, at times, bringing you the inside story from NACE regarding what our committees and leadership team are doing.  My goal for this year is to help be a link between the membership and the volunteers and staff of NACE who work to move our profession forward.

In addition to my posts, there will be several other career services and college recruiting pros who will be adding their voice to this blog on a regular basis.  With specialties in assessment, social media and student marketing, I expect this group will provide valuable insight and ideas all year long.

Follow the NACE blog

In the upper right-hand side of the blog homepage, click on the “Follow” button.

I invite you to join us for this year, and the best way to stay up to date with us is to “Follow” the blog to get automatic updates when a new post pops up.  If you follow NACE on Twitter, you’ll also see the posts tweeted out as new content becomes available.  I would also encourage you to join the National Association of Colleges & Employers group on LinkedIn, where updates will also be shared.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you more, NACE members, and to all of the discussions we’ll have on this blog.  What are some things you most want to read about on the NACE blog this year?

Highlights from the Social Media Mashup, #NACESocial

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center

Twitter: @espie_s

I am happy to report that NACE’s Social Media Mashup in San Jose exceeded my expectations. Here’s my best attempt to give you a synopsis of the two-day event.

Day 1:
Eager to mash it up with colleagues familiar and new, I arrived to #NACESocial like a geek – fashionably early. I was warmly welcomed by NACE’s Marilyn Mackes and Mallory Gott-Ortiz, and key organizer Dawn Carter from NetApp. Not before long, I was surrounded by nearly 100 colleagues, all excited to learn about trends and best practices in social media – present and future.

First on the agenda was David Spector, Global Head of Mobile, TMP Worldwide, who gave the opening keynote address: The Art & Science of Social Media.

David reminded us of how far technology has evolved since the 90s – when there was dial-up internet through “classic devices” and you could not use your phone and the web at the same time. But now we can’t live without our mobile devices, and even though many have a choice of going to a laptop or desktop, a majority of us favor using our smartphones over any other device:

• 81% of searches are done via mobile because of either speed or convenience
• 77% of mobile searches are conducted at home or work
• Only 17% of searches are conducted on the go

By 2016, it is predicted that 92% of all college graduates will own smartphones.
The key takeaway for me was that if you aren’t designing your product or services for a mobile device/smartphone, then you are behind the curve.

However, despite the inundation of social media, David emphasized that human interaction still prevails. The need for people to connect is at the center of why social media was created in the first place.

After the opening keynote, I had the difficult task of deciding which concurrent session to attend. After much debate, I settled on the following:

Student Panel: Successfully Engaging Students With Social and Digital Media
Tom Devlin from UC Berkeley moderated a panel of recent grads and current students to discuss how they used social media to conduct their job and internship searches. All panelists commented that LinkedIn strongly contributed to their success in landing positions. They also said the trend is moving away from using Facebook, but more activity on LinkedIn and Twitter with YouTube and Instagram as additional popular social media platforms.

The key takeaway from this session was that students are beginning to use LinkedIn more and more to connect with employers. Employers – beef up those company pages!

Day 2:
After a great breakfast and some in-person networking, I, again, was tasked with choosing between some equally enticing presentations. Luckily, I would be conducting a presentation on “Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from their LinkedIn Experience” during the final presentation timeslot, so I had one less decision to make.

First, I attended: The Changing Face of Social Media in Career Services, presented by Manny Contomanolis from RIT and Trudy Steinfeld from NYU.

Manny and Trudy had the most hilarious slide from the entire mashup, describing social media sites, deconstructed from the toilet.

They had some many great takeaways from their presentation, but here my favorites:

• What’s Next in Social Media? It’s mobile, visual, greater integration (easier to share content across multi-platforms), social at the institutional scale, content affirmed as king, and the importance of brand management

• Key Principles in Social Media Strategy Development
1) Flexibility 2) Content driven 3) Appropriate investments 4) Involve the right people
5) Commitment

• Don’t be too quick as to use every social media application that comes out!
• Know your institution and what would suit it best. For example, Pinterest is dominated by female users, so it may not be most the effective use of time if your campus is male-dominated.
• If nothing else, just ask yourself the following to drive your strategy: “Is it concise, accurate, relevant and timely?”

Next, I chose to attend: Is Campus Recruiting Really a Thing of the Past?, presented by Rob Humphrey from LinkedIn.

Basically, the answer is no! Phew, I still have a job! With the creation of things like University pages, lowering the user age to 14, and “CheckIn” which gives employers easy access to candidate data for career fairs and other events, LinkedIn will continue to complement the campus recruiting experience through the use of social technology. Campus recruiting is reinventing itself with the ease of LinkedIn’s tools.

Lastly, Ryan Glick from Google gave the closing keynote address: Search & Social.
Ryan talked about lots of great ideas for using Google tools for social recruiting. He discussed the trends and changing landscape of the job industry, mobile as a social tool, and the use of video (YouTube) to grow and engage your audience. And I especially enjoyed learning how Google+ can help build communities.
Again – my key takeaway from his presentation amongst a lot of great content is MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE! Job seekers are using their smartphones to look for jobs, not to apply for them per se, but to search for them, making mobile a huge part of the job-seeking experience. (Job seekers and employers looking to build a mobile site should look at Indeed.)

There was so much great information to be gained from #NACESocial that I am so happy that NACE is sharing the presentations with us online. I look forward to continuing to dialogue about trends and best practices in social media with my colleagues in career services and recruiting.

Leveraging Social Media to Engage Students

Dan BlackA post from Dan Black, Americas Director of Recruiting, Ernst & Young LLP
2013-14 NACE President

On Thursday, August 22, I’ll be moderating a panel of employers as they discuss their digital engagement strategies at the NACE Social Media Mashup (#NACESocial).

We’ll be discussing best practices, including how to leverage social media to engage students.

At Symantec, for example, Emma Hooks and her team don’t just use social media to push content: Instead, they’ve built a lot of interactivity into their Facebook page. (The downside according to Emma: Maintaining the Facebook page in real time can be challenging.)

eBay focuses on just-in-time interactions, responding to posts 24/7/365. Jen Lamorena says eBay has very clear goals for all of its social media channels, and sees that having a “face” or “voice” behind eBay’s efforts is critical.

InternMatch provides unique content to its target audience while maintaining a voice that is true to the company’s culture and brand, explains Ashley Mosley. InternMatch also uses Google+, a tool that many employers are eager to learn more about.

And Emily Vera says Northrop Grumman strives for the “viral reach” by focusing its strategy on generating quality content that not only engages its immediate following, but prompts them to share it so it reaches an exponentially higher number of users.

Also of particular note during the Mashup will be the introduction of NACE’s Career Counselor’s Guides to Social Media in the Job Search. Written by career services professional for careers services professionals, these free resources cover LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs, and will help practitioners assist their students in creating strong profiles, networking and connecting, and finding jobs and internships on these networks. (Thanks to Kevin Grubb, Villanova University; Shannon Kelly, University of Pennsylvania; and Megan Wolleben, Bucknell University, for all their work!)

I’m excited to be a part of this unique event and I’m eager to share the ways we at EY use social media to brand ourselves and attract top talent. And because of the robust group of presenters and attendees and the breadth of the programming, I know I’ll leave San Jose with a greater knowledge of how we can leverage social media to achieve our goals.

Debrief of #NACE13: Day 1

Sarah MartinA post by Guest Blogger, Sarah Martin, College Relations and Social Media Recruiter, Garmin International
Twitter: @workatgarmin
LinkedIn: had the privilege to attend 3 workshops on Day 1: Setting Standards for the Candidate Experience, Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting, and Effectively Utilizing Mobile Technologies. Conferences tend to be information overload, so I’d like to share my quick take-a-ways from each workshop.

Setting Standards for the Candidate Experience:
• Build your own business case with numbers and dollars
• Audit yourself
• It’s critical to seek feedback from your candidates (and not just those you end up hiring)
• Match your medium to your audience
• Be truthful when answering candidate questions
• Deliver what you promise
*Presenter: Gerry Crispin, CareerXroads

Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting:
How many of you knew there were URR standards published in 1976? Did you realize those standards were recently updated for the first time?! Thank you #NACE13! The updated standards are currently available through the NACE13 app and will be on the NACE web site within the next couple of weeks. I’m impressed that 40+ individuals came together to “get it right.” This document is sure to help employers across the country assess the current state of their College Recruitment programs, as well as, provide guidance for a lasting, successful future. I’m eager to take a closer look at the details!
*Presenter: Jeff Goodman

Effectively Utilizing Mobile Technologies:
Not surprising: Nearly half of all 18-29 year-olds who access the Internet on their phones, do the majority of their online browsing on their mobile device. Surprising: Many companies utilize text messaging as a successful medium for recruitment. We have a list of avenues in which we intend to reach out to our candidates, but text messaging hasn’t even been on our radar. The numbers don’t lie, though. The case studies presented in this workshop provided insight to several successful campaigns. The biggest take-a-way for me: mobile is where the action is! If you don’t have your hat in the ring, you are missing out on quality candidates. When communicating with candidates through mobile technologies, it’s essential that you are concise, relevant, and professional. We are all aware that we have a very short period of time to make an impression on our candidates… and mobile technology shortens that timeframe even further. Now, time to strategize and get a plan in place.
*Presenters: Lindsay Stanton, Job Search Television Network and Jay Floersch, PeopleScout Inc.

Overall… a very impressive Day 1!

UNC Chapel Hill’s Innovation in Career Services: Climate, Leadership, and Process!

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen


UNC Chapel Hill never ceases to amaze me. They remain on the cutting edge with social media and innovation, and I am always excited to hear what they have to say. Gary Alan Miller and Katherine Nobles’s workshop shed light on fascinating data about what either fosters or impedes innovation in career services offices. With the increased emphasis on ROI in higher education, it is even more crucial that career services professionals consider the  factors that produce innovation. UNC Chapel Hill took the assessment method that PricewaterhouseCoopers uses, and looked at what makes an organization MORE likely to be innovative.

Climate, Leadership, and Process were the factors considered.

Gary and Katherine showed that 79% of offices who think they are innovative, also feel comfortable taking bold action. The majority also agree or strongly agree that they feel comfortable being bold because leadership supports them. More about leadership in a bit. Not surprisingly, lack of time and lack of budget are reasons that the innovation process was stifled. I highlighted some of the main ideas that came out of the small group discussions that took place throughout the workshop.


Hiring the right people Let’s not mess around with our talent. From the very beginning, make sure that you are hiring people with not only a vision, but an ability to enact their vision and yield concrete results. My favorite interviewing question to ask potential hires is, “Tell me about a time you had an idea, brought it into fruition, and it yielded positive results.” Feel free to steal that.

Freedom – with boundaries and mentoring Young talent often come in bright eyed and bushy tailed – fearless of failure. As managers its important to let them initiate their ideas, but with guidance. Don’t be a dream killer. Rather, ask them questions that force them to see where there might be holes in their ideas. Support them in finding the right strategy. It takes a bit more time, but the long term investment is worthwhile. You never know, it might just result in a NACE Excellence Award.

Talking to outside constituents about their strategies Sharing ideas and best practices is so crucial to success. That’s why I love conferences like NACE. However, even if you can’t swing going to a large conference, simply reaching out to individuals who are doing work you are inspired by is a great way to build your network, and to find out how others overcame challenges you currently face.


The data shared definitely showed that leadership is instrumental in whether or not an office innovates. Those who felt supported, also felt comfortable innovating. It is important as leaders to make sure these ideas are fostered so our offices can continue to grow, and our students are exposed to the most cutting edge resources possible.

During the small group discussion, we brainstormed leadership tactics to create an innovative office.

Provide alternate forms of communication I definitely related to the “introvert’s nightmare” comment during the NACE awards. Introverted staff members might feel awkward bringing up ideas in large meetings. Being open to an email or other online discussion to get the conversation going can generate a wider range of ideas.

Take the time to cultivate new leadership I don’t mean to brag, but my boss is pretty awesome. I have worked for her over the course of five years, starting out as an entry level employee, and now as an Associate Director and senior member of her staff. My ideas have literally never been shot down. As a result, our social media presence has grown exponentially, and the office continues to innovate.

Empathize It gets harder to relate to the day-to-day activities of your staff. Taking the time to see what’s going on with their projects and empathizing with their stress will help them feel supported and cared for within the office.


Gary and Katherine discussed the most utilized resources career services use to innovate. Some of these were pretty surprising.

Top 5 Resources Used 



Career Services

Professional Associations


Top 5 Resources Not Used


Social media

Other service organizations

News media



Entrepreneurship Program Partnerships

Mobile Apps

Kiosks on campus to search jobs

Virtual fairs


“You don’t want to be blind to routine things that we are blind to making things better.”

“Sometimes we might live in the iterative. I can make this better by stapling it on the left side instead of the right.”


Gary’s Recommendation:

10 Faces of Innovation byTom Kelley

My Recommendation

Leadership in Career Services: Voices from the Field by Manny Contomanolis and Trudy Steinfeld

That’s all for this fabulous session! I hope everyone is enjoying the rest of their time at NACE! Stay tuned for my next blog!

Early Talent Management

Helen HongA post by Guest Blogger, Helen Hong

College Relations Manager, WellPoint Inc.

Twitter: @wlpcollege plan much? It should only be natural for us think about how we’ll be replacing our current interns and new hires with the next generation of talent but many times it’s an afterthought that only occurs when we’re presented with an urgent need. We typically put a lot of attention and focus on workforce planning for middle and senior management in our organizations (and hey, they’ve been doing this for years in the sports world!) But it’s almost more imperative for us to be thinking about this in the college recruiting space because of the limited time that they occupy their positions. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see more attention and investment in the freshmen and sophomore classes. Some planful employers are even investing heavily in individuals who won’t even be eligible to be on their payroll for several years. Other companies have used creative ways to leverage times that students aren’t even in the classroom (case in point, Deloitte’s innovative Alternative Spring Break program).

I attended Prudential’s presentation on early talent management on Wednesday and was incredibly appreciative of their willingness to share the highs and lows of their college program. Even in the midst of their own leadership change, the small but mighty team showcased their commitment to growing their own through two creative programs. Many of us could relate to their frenzied experience of going from a centralized program to decentralized to centralized again. (Let’s not even try to imagine the incredible culture shift and re-education involved with so much change!) But push forward they did and they created two early talent ID programs:

  • ASAP (Actuarial Success Awareness Program) – a one week program, introducing math and actuarial students to an actuarial career
  • Peak Leadership Conference – provide underrepresented individuals (women, minorities, veterans) early exposure to Prudential’s business and career paths

It was also very compelling to learn how they were tracking and sharing data and metrics internally so that everyone knew what was going on at any time. Since it’s still a fairly new program, I’m curious to see what happens in the next year when they start seeing more movement into internships and full-time positions. No doubt, they’ll keep a close eye on how many of those positions are filled with those from their early talent ID programs.

Is early talent management something that’s on the forefront of your minds as well?

Mobile Engagement – The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup of #NACE13 Sessions

Doug MillerA post by Guest Blogger, Doug Miller, faculty member and New Media Manager, DePaul University

Douglas Lee Miller – Chicago, IL | On Twitter: @douglasLmiller

Once upon a time, hip youngsters strutting down the street and oblivious to anything but their mobile device looked a little bit different…

Yet, as much as the music, devices, and marketing seem to have changed there are many things that stay the same. The taste of chocolate and peanut butter is still a favorite (and why not?) and youth still seems synonymous with the early adoption of technological trends.

Despite these consistencies, we who work in Higher Education consider it a given that there is a need to stay on top of the world of our audience (and why not?) so we can better communicate with and prepare them. In recent years this has been especially so when it comes to the myriad ways technology has taken center stage in nearly every aspect of our lives.

First it was the Internet – a digital revolution that had us all predicting the death of the printed page. Suddenly every conference presentation and professional learning module is peppered with talk of moving services online, building websites, sending emails. Then we perseverated over all things Social Media – if there were no comments, it wasn’t Web 2.0 enough and everybody was learning about the predicted death of one-way communication and the end of emails. Today, the object of our obsession is Mobile – if there isn’t an app for it, you’re doing it wrong, and you might as well Snapchat that resume tutorial and set it to expire in seven seconds.

The truth of the matter is that the printed page is still alive and well, most of us would like nothing more than to see the death of email (which is nowhere in sight) and doing “mobile” right may not necessarily require building an app at all.

But we still must perform our due diligence to keep ourselves educated about the world of our audience. What then must we cover? How then must we learn? These are exactly the types of things we aim to cover in our learning session about Mobile at NACE13.

There is so much data covering the rise in adoption of mobile devices. We will cover some of that in specific terms from a variety of sources which are by no means exhaustive but hopefully a great start. Then we will talk about some options on the table for how to approach thinking about folding mobile contexts into your strategies in general. Then we will discuss some specific tactical mobile deployments and cover the entry points of how-to and where to find more information.

One of the common themes of the session will be to discuss the ways mobile, social, and Internet in general all stem from that same great combination of flavors that has fueled the fusion of technology, community, and communication. In some ways and in some situations, the best answer for mobile may look a lot like the best answer for social.

And, who knows – maybe we’ll bring some Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups along just to drive the point home and leave everybody happy. Won’t you join us?

Is there something about mobile you are dying to know that you think we may not cover? Let us know in advance via this Google doc form:

Mobile Issues You’d Like to See Covered via our Session at #NACE13 #NACE13mobile

Also – there are a number of sessions that will likely talk about Mobile this year, yes? Let’s aggregate everything under the tag #NACE13mobile, shall we?

See you in Orlando!

Mobile Career Services: The Next Frontier in Student Engagement

Track: Branding & Marketing

Level: Intermediate

Program Format: Peer-to-Peer

Audience: College

Want to reach students? The mobile web is where you need to be: Nearly 60 percent of college students use smartphones, and an increasing percentage are using them to access web resources from mobile devices. Before you launch your own mobile initiative, learn from this panel of experts about trends, adoption, and user behavior, and find out how key technologies—geolocation, APIs, and social media—impact the mobile experience.

Presenters: Janet Sun, ConnectEDU; Doug Miller, DePaul University; and Harold Bell, Spelman College

NACE – Workshops: NACE 2013 Conference & Expo