“What Now?” Employer Panel – Part 1

“What Now?” Employer Panel – Part 1


(female)
Good morning. My name is Wanda Elliott,
and I’m a recruiting manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. We are obviously a
rental car company, but Enterprise is much more
focused on the home-city market. I’m sure you’ve
seen our commercials. We’re much more of that
company that goes out and picks customers up and brings
them back to the location. People who need transportation,
their car has been repaired. So that’s why we look for that
college-educated person to come in and run one of
our home-city branches. The position that we
typically hire in for is the entry-level sales and
management training program. I started in that position,
all of upper management. You need to start there, learn
the basics of the business. And then from there
be able to move up into the upper
management level. Our location, our administrative
office is in Eagan, Minnesota. I primarily recruit
just from Minnesota. But we have locations all over. We also have some international
operations as well. As far as our hiring, you know,
right now we have a very good group of individuals that
will be starting with us. We have about 15 individuals
starting with us on Friday. Then we have another 15 to
20 starting with us in June. After we get those
individuals on board, we’ll see exactly where we’re at
for our growth and hopefully be able to open up our
positions again in July. (female)
I’m Shelley Chamberlain. I’m with the Minnesota
Council of Non-profits. And I’m the operations manager. So operations and
human resources. We’re a very small organization,
we have about 30 staff. So definitely a lot smaller
than these two companies. We’re a state-wide non-profit
membership association. So we have about
1,900 non-profit members. How we serve our members is, we
produce information in the form of publications,
research reports, such as the report I’ll
talk about in just a minute. We convene a lot of events. We do a lot of trainings for
people looking to brush up their skills, or issue
briefings, things like that. We do a lot of public
policy advocacy. So we go to the state
legislature and we lobby on issues that affect this
sector more broadly, so usually tax issues,
budget issues primarily. I should mention
this right away, one of our best resources
for job seekers is, we have an online
non-profit job board. So if any of you have been
looking in the non-profit sector you might have
stumbled across that. And if you wanted that address,
I have my business cards. You can go to our Web site. It used to be about
500 jobs at one time, but now it’s more like 350. So the non-profit sector
has seen a big impact because of the current economy. In terms of what hiring will
be like for the industry as a whole, usually we say
non-profits are impacted by changes to the
economy 18 months after the rest of the sectors, because non-profits are impacted
by things like funder payouts. So a lot of foundations and
grant-making organizations see their endowments go down, but
they’ve made commitments several years in advance. So they’re still paying
out past commitments, but probably in the future we’ll
continue to see things like grant dollars, and certainly
have been seeing individual donations go down as well. So as a result, non-profits are
seeing their revenues reduced, but a greater
demand for services. Which is kind of interesting,
because we have a lot to do, not a lot to pay. I think what that might mean is
there are going to be a lot more part-time jobs and
internships available. And I’ve noticed this on
our job board as well. So that might be
something to look for. But it’s tough. We’re seeing a lot of people
coming from other sectors wanting to work in
the non-profit sector. It’s tough if you’re just
entering the job market and competing with those folks. But at the same time I
think it can be good, because I think people are
afraid to hire people who will leave once the
economy gets better. So I think it’s a really
interesting time for non-profits. I think if you can be flexible,
it can be a good time to get your foot in the door. But a full-time paying
position could be hard to get. But there are lots of
other options out there. (female host)
Great. Thanks. Are there any
questions off the bat that you guys have? Or topics that you want
to make sure we address in the next 20 minutes or so? (male)
Shelley, I wanted to
ask, do you network with the Council for Non-profits
in any other states? (Shelley Chamberlain)
Yes. We are a part of an
organization called the National Council
of Non-profits. And there are
state associations. It changes pretty frequently,
but I want to say it’s like 30 or so states. There is an organization that
formed recently in Wisconsin. There’s I think a fledgling
organization in Iowa. So there’s definitely
some regional ones. Is there a particular
state you’re looking for? (male)
Massachusetts. (Shelley)
They do. I think it’s called the Council
of Human Service Providers in Massachusetts. So if you go to the National
Council of Non-profits Web site, they have a state
association directory. And a lot of them
provide similar services. (female host)
Okay. I think we had another
question back here. (female)
I was just wondering
about following up after applying for jobs? Most of the jobs I’ve applied
for don’t have a name or contact information. So are you still
supposed to do that? And if you do, who do you
call and what do you say? (female host)
Great question. Anybody want to start with that? (female)
Sure. Following up without
the contact information. I would say, use the Internet. Try and Google that company
and see if you can find a main number. And then call and ask to
speak to human resources or recruiting division. Ask and mention, you know,
I’m just following up on an application I submitted
on such-and-such date. And I just want to see, what
is the status of this position? Are you guys still hiring? Could you just let me know? [inaudible] And that will get
to the appropriate recruiter, and they will call you
back with a response. I will say, I think following
up maybe once or twice after you apply is good. Sometimes you see people
following up on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times a day. [laughter] You want to be able to follow
up and be persistent, but not overly. So I think it is very good to
follow up if you haven’t heard a response, I would say within
a week to two weeks, for sure. And even again, Google, find
that main number and ask around, and you’ll eventually get
to the appropriate person. (Wanda Elliott)
For us, we
actually have our contact information
on our Web site. But if we didn’t, for example,
what I would just recommend for you to do is actually
call one of our locations, or call a store. Whatever company,
may have some local, regional kind of locations. And contact them and see if
the HR recruiting department, which Jill had mentioned, they
should be able to forward you to the right person. But you have to do that. I mean, it’s one of those
things in this economy. If you can get your name
out there more and more. You don’t want to be
too aggressive with it like she was mentioning. But e-mail or phone call I
think is definitely appropriate. (female host)
Can any of you offer,
any of you two, when I’m a candidate and
I call to follow up, what might be an appropriate
question or methods that I want to connect
with the recruiter about? Or what would be something that
might stand out when I call you as a candidate when I’m
following up on a job? (Wanda Elliott)
I always like to hear that
you’ve done research on my company. That you know exactly
what position that we’re hiring in for. So I would call to say, Hi,
my name is Wanda Elliott. I just completed the
application online. I did some research on your
company and I’m very excited about the opportunity
that you’ve offered. Is there a way that
I can meet with you? Just be pretty aggressive
with it in the sense that, one, is there an opportunity
that I could come in and talk with somebody? What would you suggest at this
point in order for me to maybe learn even more
about the company? Just to try to get your
foot into the door that way. (Shelley Chamberlain)
And I’ve noticed, I
think with non-profits, it kind of depends on the size. So if it’s a
smaller organization, it may take awhile to
hear back just because they’re so overwhelmed. And maybe they’ve
eliminated their HR person because it’s not essential. They’re not a
fundraising person. They’re not a program person. And so they’re
doing more with less. So I think, you know, often
times we actually sometimes put “no phone calls” on
our application postings just because it’s overwhelming. And really if the strength of
your application is enough to get you through the
interview process, you’ll hear from us. So I think that might be
typical of other organizations. [end]

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