Baking a New Employer Outreach PIE
Baking a New Employer Outreach PIE
EACE Blog contribution by Angelique Torres Kim, Associate Director of Employer Relations, Salem State University
Congratulations! You have just been hired as the new Employer Relations Professional within your Career Center at a College/University. What is the strategy you would take to make new employer connections that would support the desired goals concerning the career outcomes for students and graduates?
Employment opportunities for students upon graduation are going to be measured more closely and will be factored into both the accreditation process and financial aid distribution. This will impact the decision parents make on which schools their children attend. A more strategic approach in employer relations is warranted by taking a whole look at the PIE versus just a slice: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.
What’s Happening in Higher Education
In response to trends in higher education, accreditation, and the return-on-investment for parents sending their children to specific schools, more and more colleges are creating positions that focus on employer relations.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, President Obama is holding higher education more accountable in providing opportunities for students which is directly related to colleges receiving financial aid dollars. He is pushing for a new pathway for accreditation which includes job placement of students. The White House website even has a College Scorecard that parents can use to make a decision which will include job placement data in the future. When it comes to accreditation, one of the criterion associations look for in accreditation is the quality of opportunities available to students.
The Whole PIE
When Planning your efforts, you learn what the specific employer outreach needs are by meeting with different college groups to find out what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are with employer outreach. This approach gives you the opportunity to guide your outreach efforts by generating a list of employers to focus on for each department. Once you discover the employer outreach needs for the college, you can create a mission statement to guide your efforts.
You can then focus on Implementing your strategy by actually making those connections and engaging different groups in your efforts. You must first analyze your audiences by identifying them and their needs. You actually have internal and external audiences. Any thoughts on what those may be?
You can then craft a message for outreach. In your message, it is important to find a common ground, look for advice and information, keep it general, and don’t make specific requests off the bat. The key here is to get your foot in the door and open dialogue to mutually beneficial relationships. Connections are then made in a multi-faceted approach, whether it is using social media, networking events, or cold calling.
Now that you have made those connections, how do you engage employers with your campus? Ultimately, employers should be able to get involved through a menu of options. These may include being a guest speaker for workshops, recruiting events, and hosting student site visits. The key here is to engage the employer in the best way that would meet both its and your institution’s needs that would lead to a long-term relationship.
As with finishing an actual pie, you would need to Evaluate your experience. But how do you measure the success of your connections? An assessment process would then have to be created to measure your efforts through planning, measurement, communication, revision, and hitting repeat.
So for those of you just starting out in Employer Relations or those who are already in the field, now is the time to bake a new Employer Outreach PIE for your office.
Angelique Torres Kim was a Recruiter in the University Relations space in the private sector. She is now the Associate Director of Employer Relations with Salem State University. Prior to joining the Salem State Team, Angelique was the Employer Outreach Specialist at Endicott College within the Career Center where she built the foundation for the Employer Outreach Initiative. She has served on the Board of the Career Counselors Consortium, Northeast and currently serves on the Road Trips to the Real World and Professional Exchange Visits Committees through the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE). She presented during the EACE Annual Conference in May 2013. Angelique holds her MA in Organizational and Corporate Communication from Emerson College.
Angelique is a connector and has a passion for helping others by making connections that fulfills the needs of both students and employers.