We linked up with Noah Clinton, who did 300% of his sales quota his first year out of school. Not only a top performer, he adds to culture of the organization and is very purpose driven. He's the candidate you want to hire, so where can you find him? How can you get his attention?

1. Whenever companies are going out and talking to candidates, you make sure that they are talking about the impact that somebody like you can come in and bring to an organization

2. If companies do have a Campus Ambassador Program, or opportunities where people kind of give you a day in the life, make sure that those individuals are not either reading the same thing off of a marketing brochure, and be just really contextualizing that conversation

3. If you as a company want to engage students, instead of just going where everybody else's and in a really noisy feel like a career fair, or what have you try to shoot for student organizations that, you know, based on the things that they're doing on campus, they have a bigger impact besides just having fun, right? Because the students there are spending a lot of time resources skills, trying to make that organization what it is, and find a way to maybe potentially bring an alumni back, that works for that company back to the organization to sort of guide the candidates so that the candidates can see themselves after that person to really increase your conversion

Rishav Khanal 0:03

Cool. Well, Noah, you know, we talked a little bit about this before hitting that record button. As far as the why behind this, where a lot of recruiters right now are simply struggling. And I think the struggle has always been there, virtual recruiting has just accelerated a lot of the challenges, right and, and really the golden nuggets of recruiting and the test guide to this big inevitable test that's coming up, you have all the answers to your recent graduate, you went through that experience. So to really hear it from a student as far as like, hey, if you would have done this, this would have been great. If a company had done this, this would have been fantastic. That's really what we're looking for here. So I guess help us understand, I know, you've mentioned that you took you took a little bit of a different path as far as proactively cutting through the noise, and finding opportunities and going after them by networking, getting referrals and finding your way, way, finding your way into the company. But let's say tomorrow, Alex, and I put you in a position, snap our fingers, and now you are in a position to completely revamp the way a company recruits college graduates. And I know you've mentioned that with this company, as well as others, you are in a position to say okay, maybe I want this offer. Maybe I don't. What do you think the companies that you once had in your bucket could have done to always remain Top of Mind in a productive way? Like is it sent emails to give you calls? Like, how could they have humanized that experience where you might have chose them? Is that a company that you work for now?

Noah Clinton 1:43

Yeah, no, that makes complete sense. So I think one of the first big things that comes to mind is really emphasizing how much impact you're going to be able to have in that role. I think that's huge. And there are a lot of career minded and hungry college graduates, you know, seniors come out of college, and they want to know that the role they're looking to get, you know, where they're ending up. They're not just stepping into a role. And it's like, yep, you know, they're not really cared about, it's not really a role that's going to bring value to the company, they want to know, hey, I'm stepping into this role. I'm filling a need. And this is something where I'm immediately stepping onto the floor. And I'm going to have impact, and I have the ability to go into this role to come onto this team, whatever the situation, wherever the role is, and bring my ideas, you know, bring my talents, whatever it might be. I think that's huge. And I think when companies kind of give a lot of that insight, and in just conversation they don't have, it doesn't have to be all packaged up and oh, here's what it looks like to advance your career, here's the impact you're going to have, but makes you feel like, the role you're going to be in is valuable. I think that goes a long way.

One of the many student insights we gathered regarding interactions with potential employers during campus/virtual events

Rishav Khanal 2:57

And that's I you know, I feel like most employers obviously don't do a good job of that, right? It's almost like, Hey, we have jobs come apply. And if you do great if you don't talk to you later, it's just they're just dealing with such high number of applicants coming in, and to humanize that experience, and to let somebody like you know, what to expect and the level of impact you can make? Yeah, that'll turn anybody's ears and eyes to saying that why this opportunity would be great for them. So taking that a step further. You've gone in, right, like you're saying, Okay, I think this opportunity is right for me. And then I don't know, like, were you one of those students? Or did you have friends in your circle where, let's say they pass the first round of phone interviews, and then they've got another one coming up. But it's like three weeks from now. Right? Like, and nothing really happens. There's this sort of like black void, like things are like, I don't know, like they said, second interviews? How can companies stay relevant in that time, like between the first round of interviews, and between the second like, as somebody that recently went through it, like, what would you have liked to see from companies to always constantly stay engaged with you in a productive way? Yeah. Well,

Noah Clinton 4:08

it's funny you say that, because I remember some of my roommates, and they would have an interview, and it would go great, they would be, you know, super excited about it. And they'd be like, Alright, yeah, got the next interview. And it was like, the next month, you know, you know, two weeks out two and a half weeks out, whatever it is, and then it would just kind of be like, two weeks would go by and you're like, Oh, so you got an interview this week? And meanwhile, they were just kind of like, okay, like, when's this gonna happen? Looking forward to this excited about it, but there's, you know, nothing going on in between. Now, obviously, there's a balance of you know, they do have a lot of applicants, but at the same time, I think if that individual is a really great candidate for that role, someone that that company is going to want to hire, you're going to want to keep that person engaged in that two weeks, because then that two weeks, there's other companies, I mean, I experienced this myself, who are coming in, and if that's a standout candidate, there Trying to hire that person. So that two weeks of not talking, that's huge. That can be a difference between saying, yep, that interview goes great. And then you get an offer, but too late, I was already talking to other companies. So I saw that a lot. And you know, just that engagement, it can be as simple thing as a phone call, hey, looking forward to our interview in two weeks, you know, a week out or whatever it is, and symbol engagement, I think can go a long way if like, Okay, great. This is something that, you know, I still have a lot of excitement for and looking forward to.

Rishav Khanal 5:30

and engagement is always going to be the topic right within these HR teams to figure out how to do it in a productive way. And something that always comes up is engaging students as far as virtual events and doing things like this via zoom. But Alex and I recently surveyed, you know, a bunch of Hokies actually, who came back and said, like 60% of those students said that they found virtual events to be completely useless, useless as in like, they would just go on the company's website and find the same information. So being somebody that went through the process. And granted, you are still a little bit early when COVID was like becoming a big thing. And you sort of took a pivot, but I'm sure you've attended your fair share of info sessions, as companies like to call it. And even while it was in person, no pun intended, it was still awful, right? It was still disengaging. So what advice would you have for campus teams, who really want to figure out how to engage students like you whenever they're coming onto campus? And having some of these events? Or if they're hosting some of these events on resume? Like, what can they do tactically?

Noah Clinton 6:33

Yeah, well, I think it might even tie back into what I was talking about before, but like, giving the candidates coming to these info sessions, like a vision, like, like, Hey, this is like, this is what the rules that we're hiring for look like, here are success stories here is you know, how people just like you just recently hired, here's where they are in the company now. And bringing them in and having them talk, you know, things that, like when you roll up to an info session, and it's just the same information that you read on the job description, or the pamphlet, or whatever it was, whatever material that you were handed, just kind of like, well, I just got told that twice, that wasn't really, you know, wasn't helpful. It didn't go anywhere. But if you go to, you know, an info session, or you're on a virtual event, whatever it is, whatever the medium, and it's engaging, and you're getting excited about that company, that that I think is a pretty cool experience. Where if you go to that event, and you walk away excited about the role versus saying, Oh, great, I just heard that twice, and I was bored. Those are two separate camps. And I think two separate things happen. If you play that well.

Rishav Khanal 7:40

And have you seen like, speaking of success stories, and having somebody serve as like the model, right, like, Whoa, this is somebody that went through the experience, this is what they had. And we've seen that I mean, this is why I would say in person sort of spring up is students do a really good job some sometimes, right? If they're empowered correctly, of packaging, their insights and giving, you know, a no like Bs, like great look into a company that really spills it all. And you understand it without all the buzzwords, I guess, could you help, like us understand and maybe other campus managers? Where does an ambassador program like that go wrong in your eyes? Like, like, let's say, a student came up and talk to you about their experience? why or how, based on what they did? You know, if they did something, would you sort of say like, oh, like, I don't know, if I would want to work for that company? Yeah.

Noah Clinton 8:42

I think I think a lot of it can be just being authentic. Like, if I'm, I have a lot of these experiences where you're talking to a Campus Ambassador, and it just seems like they're just regurgitating, like a call script to you. It's just kind of like, okay, like, especially if you're friends with that person, or you know, them from campus or whatever. It's just kind of like, you know, I know that person that wasn't, you know, they weren't excited about that. That wasn't a whole lot of, you know, they were just reading the the marketing material that the recruiter told them to say, whereas if you talk to a Campus Ambassador, who is like, genuinely excited about their job, you know, it, like they're telling you about it, and you're connecting with that person in a much deeper way. And then you get excited about if like, oh, wow, you know, there might be an opportunity for me there. And that sounds really appealing. I think part of being Campus Ambassador, comes back to, you know, the culture of the company. Like, if that's a program where it's not just like, Hey, you drew the straw, you got to go to campus to talk to people. Like, if it's something where it's like, hey, like, we want more talent, like this is something that our culture is built on. We get excited about this. I think that flows over into the Campus Ambassador and they get excited about their job, rather than feeling like oh, this is just you know, super weird. job that I was given, they get excited about it like, Oh, I'm actually playing an integral part in this company's recruiting strategy. That's, that's, I think, where you talk about a student being empowered. There's some results that come from that.

Rishav Khanal 10:13

And I guess, to flip that question, take us back to taking us back to your recruiting experience where I'm sure if you're anything like me, you had a lot of questions about the process and what to expect. And I know I felt this way where I was like, oh, man, the recruiter probably thinks I'm asking them a million different questions, right? Like, you just want to know it all. But you also want to ask questions that you're like, sometimes are like, is that the appropriate way to ask that, like, Am I doing that correctly? And so thinking about experiences like that, if you had it going through the recruiting experience, while you are senior at Tech? What type of questions do you feel like an ambassador can really shine some light? Or maybe if you're connected with an ambassador? Would it helped you in your process?

Noah Clinton 11:04

Yeah, I think I think like, when it comes to a day in the life, right? Like, you ask these questions of like, okay, like, what, what is this role really look like? There can be a number of different answers, like, here's what the job description says, like, here's what the to dues are, like, what's your responsibility, but a day in the life can look very different than even when you ask the hiring manager, like, even when you ask the hiring manager, hey, what's a day in the life look like? That can look different? You know, it can look different day by day. And even when they tell you an answer, like it looks different every day, that still doesn't answer the question. I think a lot of Campus Ambassadors that do really well in, you know, conveying what a day in the life looks like. They're, they're not answering that. And oh, you do X, Y, and Z, they're giving you the big picture, like, here's what you do, here's how it plays into the like, here are the strategies, here are the priorities that your team is working towards. Here's what we do as a team, here's, you know how it trickles down to you, they give you the full picture, versus here are the behaviors you do every day, or Hey, it looks different. But this is kind of what it looks like. It helps to give you a more full picture. And they might even still be telling you the same type of information. But they're just packaging it a little differently to where you walk away. And you're like, Okay, I understand what a day in the life of this role really looks like and how that plays into the big picture.

Rishav Khanal 12:30

Yeah, so they're just contextualize in that conversation. And I think I might have liked this one more clarifying question on my end before we wrap things up. Unless Alex, you've got any other questions to ask Noah here is thinking through next recruiting season, and a lot of companies right now are in their planning phases? To figure out, you know, we talked about this a little bit engagement, right, and how to put themselves in a position to find more Noah's who can just come in, blow their quota out of the water just completely exceeded expectations? Where do companies go to find people like you in an engaging way? Like we've seen some companies write like post on handshake posts on LinkedIn? But like, how can they get in deep into the crevices of like, Virginia Tech and go to a place where they know you're going to be hanging out along with your other friends? And everyone's going to be excited? Like, how do you get recruiters to go to these places?

Noah Clinton 13:29

Yeah. So I think, and this is just one idea off the top of my head, but I think a lot of it could be through organizations. What I saw people do really well. And it wasn't done often. Like it was sort of a rare thing where someone who was a previous member of that organization would come back. And if this is, if this is an organization where there's high achievers in it, there, they're going to look at that former high achiever and be like, okay, hey, actually, I'm listening. Now. This is somewhere that I want to go versus career fair, super loud, super noisy, everyone's saying the same thing. Versus they're connecting, it's, it's a different setting. Um, I think setting has a lot to do with it. And if you can find the organizations, the clubs, that they're having an impact on campus, they're having an impact in the community, wherever it is, it's a club, it's an organization that has, you know, a goal outside of just having fun, um, that really has a lot of people tied to it, that are hungry, to have an impact in their role and organization, whatever it might be. Those are people that when they transfer to their job, that hunger for that impact in the role in their club, that transfers over the job that makes them a high achiever, there. Um, there's a lot of people in these organizations who really pour a lot of their time and energy into these these organizations, these clubs, whatever it might be, and they go to the job fairs and it's just kind of like Yeah, I don't know where to go I, I think I have a lot of great skill sets that can really benefit a company. But I'm not, I'm not being directed versus when someone comes back and speaks in a different setting to that organization. Again, kind of context setting, it can really kind of break through that noise. And, and people listening are like, okay, actually, now I have some direction, I think I want to listen to this person and see what they have to say.

Rishav Khanal 15:27

makes sense to me. Yeah, those are all kind of the questions, I had a couple of my takeaways, let's say, one, whenever companies are going out and talking to candidates, like you make sure that they are talking about the impact that somebody like you can come in and bring to an organization, that was kind of the first thing that you know, jumped out of the page for me. Second, is, if companies do have a Campus Ambassador Program, or opportunities where people kind of give you a day in the life, make sure that those individuals are not either reading the same thing off of a marketing brochure, and be just really contextualizing that conversation. And three, if you as a company want to engage students, instead of just going where everybody else's and in a really noisy feel like a career fair, or what have you try to shoot for student organizations that, you know, based on the things that they're doing on campus, they have a bigger impact besides just having fun, right? Like, because the students there are spending a lot of time resources skills, trying to make that organization what it is, and find a way to maybe potentially bring an alumni back, that works for that company back to the organization to sort of guide the candidates so that the candidates can see themselves after that person to really increase your conversion. So the couple of things that I kind of took away, Alex, anything from you before we kind of wrap up here? Yeah,

Alex Strathdee 16:53

I'm really excited to see where you end up in a year. I think, obviously, we're going to see some really good things and obviously want to dive into some more topics at some, at some point, like your incredible onboarding at Red Hat. I think that might be our first expert content panel piece that we might actually do. At some point. you've kind of got me thinking there. But yeah, it sounds like Red Hat has gotten really lucky. And hopefully after listening to this, we can have some other companies learning some things here as well.

Noah Clinton 17:17

I appreciate that. Yeah, excited you guys knocked it out of the park. That was a great wrap up

and continue to work with you guys here. Always any insights I can provide. Happy to do that. Cool, um, real quick, uh, you know, we always love to be able to

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

You wore your favorite outfit; you shared your favorite stories and you had an excellent date.

The person on the other side feels the same way.

You exchange numbers and it seems like a perfect fit. And then...? 🤔


While you’re running around doing a million other tasks, thinking you’re all set, you barely communicate with the person you went out with.

Next time you meet, the excitement is "meh."

The scenario sounds silly and you’re probably thinking, “wtf are you talking about?”


This happens in university recruiting every year.

Recruiters spend a ton of time getting the decision, but once the candidate has said yes?

Well… Silence.

Now before you shrug this message off - ask yourself - How do you engage with your candidates once they've said yes? 🤔🤔🤔

If the answer is either, "well, we send them an automated email" or "we let the hiring managers take it from there," I'd lean into the message here.


Because you have a rare opportunity to bring clarity and a little fun into your candidates' day by making them feel good.

But there isn't a need to overcomplicate it.

Thanks to Colin from Revature for sharing his insights because according to him, whatever information you do have, share it and handhold them through the process.

You'll be amazed at what a little clarity can do to keep the relationship alive with your candidate who's set to start the following year 😎

Rishav Khanal 0:02

Cool. All right, Collins, super excited to do this. listeners, welcome back to recruitingU again. Like I said, we're short, we're sweet. We're straight to the point. And we really get strategic about campus recruiting now, before our introductions before the topic of choice, got a little bit of a different guest. Different spin to it this time around. Love to start these things out with a fun fact. So Colin, I'm not sure if you knew. But it's actually impossible for a pig to stare up into the sky. When the pig is in its normal position. Yeah, they have to be laying on their backs because it's something anatomically with their neck, they can't really stare up.

Colin Jones 0:44

make sense now.

Rishav Khanal 0:45

Yeah. Never think of that. But as our listeners are kind of thinking about that, visualizing that pig, give us a little background, you know, who you are, what Revature is a little bit and something that your colleagues or the people listening to this may not know about you? Right off the bat.

Colin Jones 1:01

Sure. So thank you very much. First foremost, for having me. As you mentioned, my name is Colin Jones. I work for Revature. I'm an account manager on their banking and finance, a little about myself, fun fact almost that, you know, my associates wouldn't know about me is I love to play guitar. And, sorry, what did what was the other question? Yeah.

Rishav Khanal 1:24

And I got a bit of background into Revature, like what it is because, yeah, elevator pitch, if you will.

Colin Jones 1:30

Absolutely. So we're a technology training and development organization. You know, our main focus is to launch college, recent college graduates into their, into their next it career.

Taken from Revatures Our-Story page

Rishav Khanal 1:42

Make sense? Probably tons of demand for that right now. Um, so guitar, I give you a song to play immediately, you have no preparation for it. What are you playing? What's your go to lie Georgia by John Mayer. Wow. All right. And you knew that really quickly. Um, so this is the exciting part, right? Because I've been calling like, you have conversations with campus recruiters, Human Resource Officers, CHRO's that are responsible for bringing on that entry level talent, young professional college, almost on a daily basis. So feel like you've seen the good, bad, and the ugly. And the scenario that I want to kind of draw out and extract and get your take on today is, look, I'm a campus recruiter. And something that I'm having a really hard time figuring out is kind of two things, one, assessing the long term value of a candidate coming in, like ultimately, it's hard for me to do that. And then second is, I don't really know how to get them excited, I don't really know how to get them to be so excited that they become productive workers from day one. So I know it's really broad, really ambiguous, but I'll kind of turn the mic over to you, as you know, so you can hopefully help me out, kind of give me the game plan from A to Z, so I can go out and execute it.

Colin Jones 2:57

absolutely Yeah, what happy to be happy to share with you. So first and foremost, I would say the biggest thing is trust, if you can, and, you know, easier said than done after just a brief call a brief first initial touch. But you know, as you grow your relationship and you know, build more rapport with these with these people that you're talking to, it's you can really try to find that trust will be the biggest thing that is going to get folks, you know, on the same page, folks, that will get folks to be excited, I would also say is just trying to feel out that passion. I mean, I know given now, with COVID, you know, things are a little bit more tough in terms of meeting in person, but you know, over the phone or over zoom when you're when you're speaking with people, it's really just trying to find that passion, deep down inside. And that that will take them a long way on both sides as a campus recruiter and the person that they're recruiting. And then going back to that, I would just say, trying to treat it as a normal conversation, you know, peep, people don't want anything, you know, that's crazy formal, anything too salesy as they say, but, you know, a formal conversation is always a great way to you know, address something and you know, even build a build a new relationship with someone.

Rishav Khanal 4:14

Gotcha. I mean, makes it makes sense, especially when you're talking to a much younger demographic, a different demographic than a professional level of recruiting where it's not a CFO or CEO, still a different audience. They provide a lot of value. And you mentioned passion, right? And something that I hear often is a lot of answers. But again, I'm not sure if the students themselves, they know what their passions are. So when you say passion, like what do you mean? How do I get them to talk about it? How do I get them to feel comfortable? Like what would be some tips or tricks that you've heard other recruiters implement into their strategies, so that way they build those relationships with candidates.

Colin Jones 4:56

Absolutely. So in going back to what I just said about Passion, it really doesn't have to be in one single direction. You know, I totally understand if you know you don't have, you don't know exactly what you want to do, when you graduate, I would say kind of transform your passion into your work ethic, you know, being able to adapt to, you know, new changes, always being open to wear multiple hats, I would say that's, that's something that it has tremendous value to, you know, someone that's joining a new company, really the ability to adapt to new changes, and the willingness to work in different groups, or, you know, like I said earlier, wear multiple hats.

Rishav Khanal 5:35

Makes sense. So how do I then, because the second part that I'm trying to figure out is, you know, I'm looking for trust, I'm looking for adaptability, and we hit it off, and the interview goes, great, we give them an offer. But then obviously, it's a little bit of time until they are physically in speed, they're able to start. And I feel like in between, when we talk to in between when they start the excitement that seems to fade away. You know, we can't get that rah rah spirit that we once had. So like, how do I keep that fire still liquid in these students so that way, when they get into their seats, they are that productive workers that we're looking for, from day one,

As researched by Select One:

Colin Jones 6:12

I would say keeping communication open, you know, in that grace period, as I like to call it between when someone's selected, and they're onboard, a new client, you know, I at Revature, I do it every day, almost every day when we're deploying folks to our to our clients, and I try to just keep communication open, be as fully transparent as possible with them, and kind of walk them through the process. You know, I always like to say that I've been in their shoes I was once waiting, anxiously waiting to hear back anxiously waiting to get my paperwork, and all that good stuff. And I want to get I want to say keep the communication open. And, you know, always, you know, always just be ready to, you know, adapt to something new. Like I've, like I've mentioned before,

Rishav Khanal 6:59

and any tips on that, I mean, you know, kind of going back to your role now at revenue, obviously, you've got new clients coming in. And I think this is an interesting thing for me to study how you do it, so that I can take it into my role of how you communicate with clients, because I don't want to just, you know, how people say you don't want to have a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting. I don't want to do the same thing when it comes to communicating. So when you're bringing on new clients, and there is a little bit of a grace period, when they can fully start working with you. What are some things that you share with them? or How are you communicating with them, so that way, the conversation remains productive, exciting, as opposed to you just sending them things that may just go into the junk mail?

Colin Jones 7:44

Sure, um, aside from the business side of things, I asked them about some things in their personal life, you know, I really tried to get establish a really good personal connection with them. Whether you know, we have mutual interests, or even mutual connections, I always try to, you know, again, I always try to build that, you know, professional relationship, as well as personal, I believe that's very, it's important to have both, and that that will lead into having great rapport and ultimately having great trust.

Rishav Khanal 8:12

Any quick stories that come to mind that like, paint that to light of some, some things that you work with your client, where you know, you've had a great relationship, and you're able to tap into their hobbies or passions that you were able to bring up in the meetings? Or what you communicate it back to them? Sure, yeah.

Colin Jones 8:29

I can think really well, when I first joined Revature, we were working with a client. And I established really good rapport with one of their talent acquisition leads, he was a great guy, and we like immediately knew right away that, you know, we definitely had some mutual interests. And we, you know, we would just talk about anything we would speak, we would text each other, and about the weather about, you know, hunting, and you know, all sorts of good stuff like that. So I would definitely, that that's my first memory of, you know, kind of breaking into that personal relationship, as I would call it.

Rishav Khanal 9:04

Cool. So I think I've, what I understand it's kind of in three buckets. First, in order to build that relationship, understand the value is, I've got to look for two things. One, is their trust, right, like from both sides, and also assessing for adaptability. So when students aren't sure exactly what their career path looks like, that's okay. Because what I'm trying to really understand is, are they somebody that kind of likes to roll up their sleeves and be flexible to move or spread across different different functional areas. So I've got that and in order to get them excited, he kind of went back in, you know, the light bulb sort of went above my head a little bit of, yes, keeping it formal is fine, but get to know them a little bit, have a conversation and I think organically, some things that they do outside of their day job as a student tends to come Come out and use that as a nugget or something that you anchor towards to keep that communication line open. I know you mentioned some things for your clients that you used, do the same thing for students. So that way I'm transparent. I still get them excited. They feel like they're coming into our second home. Because that's something that we haven't been doing. But I think we've got a good foundation to do. So. Anything else that that you'd like to add based on the two things that you suggested?

Colin Jones 10:25

Absolutely. And then there's just the there's one more thing I hear, I often hear that everyone is looking for that quote, unquote, Swiss Army knife. It's, it's something that I hear almost on a daily basis. And that goes back to you know, my point just about being able to adapt and wear multiple hats and always, always keep your mind open, and, you know, be willing to learn new things.

Rishav Khanal 10:49

I love that Swiss Army knife. I think some people call it I don't even know what they call it Swiss Army Knife is probably better than then probably why whatever random analogy that I have. But, Collin, appreciate it. Thank you again. You know, you're giving that elevator pitch back to Revature especially what you all do, how you all help companies. I think it's an exciting place to be, especially since tech talent changes on a whim, right? Like, I'm sure you experienced that every day. Yes, yeah, seriously, but thank you again, for coming on. Like I said, recruiting you. We like to keep it short, sweet, straight to the point. And we'll go back to thinking not only about the points you made, but also about how pigs can stare up, stare up at the sky.

Colin Jones 11:33

I have been thinking about that for a little bit. All right.

Have a good one.

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Imagine you had the opportunity to chat with Pam or Kelsey 🤔

Pam is a campus recruiter and she'll gauge if you're a good fit for the role.

She'll build rapport, ask you questions, pitch you the company a little bit, and try to move the interview forward if there is a fit.

Kelsey takes a different approach.

If you meet with her, she'll share new ideas that can help you in your career.

Would you choose to meet with Pam or Kelsey?

Kelsey, right?


Because Kelsey might give you some tips that can help you excel in your career.

You TRUST Kelsey 😃😃😃


Well, you don't get much out of the interview with her unless you're desperate for the job right then and there.

You don't trust Pam.

Why's this important? 🤔🤔

Well, 90% + top students you're interviewing aren't evaluating just YOUR offer when you interview them.

So if one of your main drivers is "candidate experience," you need to be more like Kelsey.

Instead of offering just an interview, offer to share some advice that can help your candidates in their career journey.

In this scenario, Pam and Kelsey are fake names.

But in this conversation, Tarah is real and she is a REAL GOOD campus recruiter.

So would spending a few minutes listening to her WHOLE blueprint be a value add to you?

It would?

Then continue to read below.

Rishav Khanal 0:02

Cool. All right. So Welcome back, everybody. We're super excited to have on and um, please do not be mad at me if I butcher the pronunciation because I was going in my head. Is it Tara or Tara? I forgot. I'm gonna go Okay, can

Tarah Williams 0:19

No, no, no Tarah, Tarah.

Rishav Khanal 0:23

Okay. All right. You can you can end the conversation now if you look. Yeah, seriously. Oh, there thanks so much for for agreeing to come on. Pretty excited. And as always, before we dive into the topics, anything like that, and I would like to start it off with a fun fact. So I don't know if you know this, but the smallest town in the US which has a population of one. It's actually a little known city in Nebraska, Monowi and the one person, she's the bartender, the librarian, the mayor. Yeah, well unique. Who knew just found that out? But I Oh, yeah, seriously, a little tidbit for you. But while everybody's kind of thinking about that, as far as their next travel destination post crona, which is Manowi Nebraska, and they're not paying me for this everyone. I give me a little bit of background into who you are. And you know, just something about yourself that I think most people wouldn't know, right off the bat when they meet you.

84-year-old Mayor, Bartender, and Librarian Is Her Town's Only Resident

Tarah Williams 1:28

Sure. Yeah. Let me I'll just give an introduction. And then I can say what, what people don't know about me if that works for you. Yeah, so as you said, my name is Tarah Williams. I'm a Southern California campus recruiter for a midsize accounting firm. That's based in California. It's called Armanino. So I've only been at the firm for about eight months. And prior to that I was in the accounting industry. And so this is a career change for me, and I love it so much. It's so great. And then I had to call my mom because think about facts that people don't know. So I think that my friends know this to some extent, but maybe not as far as it goes, but I am obsessed with true crime. And so I listen to podcasts, I watch law & order SVU every night as I'm falling asleep, it relaxes me and it scares me. So yeah,

Rishav Khanal 2:28

that's that's a mic drop of a statement. Yeah. Well, Tara, I am super excited to kind of have this workshop learn from you, as I'm sure all our listeners are. Now I'm second guessing myself every time every time I say Tarah. So if I flip,

Tarah Williams 2:49

I tell, I tell people tear a piece of paper. So just say you remember Tarah, I think that's okay.

Rishav Khanal 2:59

But all right. So I've come to you, right, and something I find really challenged you right now. And my boss has kind of said this is we are really having a hard time connecting with students on a deeper level. I feel like I'm not engaging them well enough. I don't know, what am I doing wrong? Like steer me in the right direction, please?

Tarah Williams 3:23

Sure. So I love talking about relationship building and engagement. And learning about that, too. So I, I think about it in two different ways. There's one there's engaging and attracting students. And then there's building long lasting relationships. And so I so with the engaging and attracting students, I have a little story, and it might sound off topic, but I will get get back to the point. But, um, so as I mentioned, I was in accounting, and I used to be in tax. And I got promoted from a staff level, which is like entry level to senior. And it's a big jump do you end up training staff below you and you kind of you've trained upwards, and some I mean, downwards and sometimes upwards. So it's a big, it's a big role. And so once I did that, I realized that when you get promoted, you kind of forget what people know, below you, like, you think that they just know more than they do. And so I would really try to get on their level and really just meet them where they're at and train them. And like, you know, really ask them like, Do you understand what x, y and z is like, just because they get a job in an accounting firm doesn't mean that they know what they're doing. And so, now with the transition to campus recruiting, I, I tried to do the same thing with students, I don't have stuff anymore. But with students, the recruiting process is so hard and so complicated and fast paced, and some of them are transfer students and just get thrown into it. And so I really try To get on their level and just define what a summer Leadership Program is, I try to help them understand what the different departments are so that they have, like, they don't feel so stressed out about which one to choose, because that's it, that's a huge decision. Just being in school and deciding your career right out of college, and you're like a sophomore. So I really try to, to meet them where they're at. And then with the engagement part, I really tried to be as raw as I can. And it helps that I was in the accounting industry. So I can share a lot of personal stories. And usually, I'm not highlighting the best parts of what I did on the job, I try to let them know that I made mistakes, and you can make mistakes, and that's okay. And I also tried to be transparent. The job is, I mean, accounting anyways, super hard. And so I don't want to put that in a negative light. But I also don't want to tell them, it's rainbows and butterflies. And it's going to be this amazing, amazing job where you don't have to work hard, and so that I found people come up to me after presentations, and they'll be like, you know, thank you for being so transparent, and so honest, I really appreciate that. And then the building relationships piece, I think I just tried to go the extra mile and grab coffee or lunch with them. If they ask, I don't try to push that or anything. But and I it's not too far out of the way I tried to schedule it when I'm on their campus. Because my personal time is also valuable to me, but I'll try to, you know, connect with them and help them where I can. And also, I try to be a career coach, as much as I can be, instead of just a recruiter who's just helping get that certain job. Like, at the end of the day, I want them to come to the firm that I work at, because I like it, and I want them to like it too. But there's a place for everyone. And my company may not be that, but I still want them to succeed. So I think that and, and building relationships, you don't have to be like best friends with them. You just want to check in on them, see how they're doing and keep in touch with or talk to them as you see them at events. And so that's what I try to do to try to initially get them to feel comfortable with me and then stay friends or acquaintances with them long term.

Rishav Khanal 7:19

Yeah, I mean, I think something that just stood out immediately is I can see that from a candidates perspective, how you balance being raw, but also at the same time, it's welcoming, right? It's not like you're a Debbie Downer by any means. In fact, quite the opposite. You're in a weird way, like you being authentic actually gets people more excited. And I just want to make sure I heard you correctly. So that when I go back, um, kind of doing what you're doing and modeling some of those same techniques is first knowing that students don't know everything, right. And what I heard was, yes, we work in a specific industry. But that does not mean that it's reflected from the students point of view, where it's so I don't know, second nature for them to understand the same acronyms or the same jargon for them to know that. So if I work in tech, they may not understand all the little nitty gritty details. So just kind of humanizing and letting go. The buzzwords is what I got. But and then the second thing is going that extra mile. But when you do that, painting that realistic picture so that they can assess for themselves whether or not that career or that role might be right for them, as well as our company because you're right. You want to be that coach, as opposed to a recruiter who's just trying to sell them on the job. Is that kind of the two two big fastest there I understood you correctly on?

Tarah Williams 8:42

Yeah, yeah, you summarize it. Great. So yeah, that's that's exactly what I would say.

Rishav Khanal 8:48

Yeah. And, I mean, the Career Coach aspect, that's a very unique take. I think it's one of those things that I find most recruiters that I talked to in this community setting, they aspire to be that, but everybody at the end of the day, when you're in the trenches, when you're in the peak of campus recruiting, you're just trying to fill those numbers, at least for me, right. Like, that's, that's where I see an execution. So, I mean, how have you kind of balanced that, like, I mean, that does take a lot of time to make sure that I'm taking care of, of candidates coming in. But at the same time, I want to ensure that we're filling our roles filling that pipeline. So any tips or tricks that you found really successful? I mean, you're eight months in anything that you're even curious to try, at least for this upcoming fall, or even the next year as far as how you can balance being a coach, but also someone that can execute heavily in this role.

Tarah Williams 9:42

Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, career coach kind of sounds like you know, a whole different jobs and it might take like so much time, but what I mean by that is just being a resource for the students. So, like, at the firm, I you know, I do presentations, and I do you know, the normal stuff like office hours and like, trying to think we have interviews and all. But like during those events, you can have touch points with the students that will really make them feel valued. So after your presentations, I'll stay for like, honestly, like an hour. And I'll say, and I'll talk to them. I know a lot of a lot of people say for like, 20 minutes, and they're like, bye, but seriously, I

Rishav Khanal 10:29

got to be.

Tarah Williams 10:31

Yeah, I think that I tried to build it into my day, it's something that's valuable to you. So I'll sit there, and I'll talk with them. And if there's some students that are interested in building a deeper relationship than just talking to me after an event, then they want to get coffee. And I'll just be like, Sure, I'll leave buffer time to like, talk to them, like after a presentation or something. So I make sure I kind of time it right. But then also, I have office hours, where I just like pre interview office hours, or I set that up. And I you know, try to talk to them about what they're specifically nervous about what they need help with what their resume needs help with. And, yeah, I just try to try to talk to them. And I don't tell them what to do or what decision to make. But I just tried to encourage them and be there and be a sounding board for them. Because I went through that same process. And I don't know if every campus recruiter has gone through, like, I know that not everyone has worked in the field that they're in. But I went through the accounting recruiting process, which is super stressful. It's like another job. It's like a full time job. So I want to be there for them. And it's like big life decisions. And it doesn't take a lot of extra work just acting like you You care, like giving individualized help, and not just being like, Okay, this is my job. And I'm just trying to fill roles. And that's it. So, I don't know if that answers the question. But yeah, no, no, I

In the spirit of all things gone virtual: The results from our survey on the students perspective of virtual events

Rishav Khanal 12:01

like, it's when you say that, I think, you know, the reason it may sound obvious to us, because it comes second nature, but when you hear it, and some of these reminders, I think are very necessary. Because in the day to day of this role, sometimes you forget that you forget that these are just students willing to take that big leap. And they are relying on you for guidance for what they believe is a true guidance. And especially now I think fall semester where there's so much ambiguity, right? For a lot of students going back, the senior year that they expected is really no more the market that they expected, really no more, a lot of things that they expected is really no more, and you now have to come in and be that person and kind of step up in that challenge, what from what I'm hearing from you is to be that person that just puts in that little extra effort, as opposed to only staying for 20 minutes, but instead of giving, you know, time for an hour making it productive. Because I think I think that's that that's what's going to separate anybody right now it's just carrying sounds obvious, but like, I think we need more more of that now now than ever is kind of some of the notes that I'm taking away. Um, so I think I've kind of got a good chunk of what I need to execute on first, is letting go of the idea that students that are coming into work for my industry, understand a lot of the jargon that we use on a day to day level. So for accounting, specifically, they may not know that, so I need to kind of humanize a lot of the language that I talked to to make sure everybody is on the same playing field. Second, it's just building that authentic relationships with the candidates going that extra mile. And then the last thing is becoming that trusted advisor for them and knowing that it shouldn't be a transactional relationship where I'm just trying to fill a role, but instead, I serve as that person that can guide them in the right direction, whether it's my firm or somewhere else. Anything else. Yeah, I'd like to add to the spectrum, because I think that is great advice.

Tarah Williams 14:00

Yeah, no, that was good. I was gonna say you asked me going forward, you know, how would you be that advisor? Since you know, I've been at this role, and for eight months, and I'm like, looking forward on how I can continue to be that and I think, right now, especially everything is just an on communication, and we hear it all the time. And it doesn't have to be like some some students, they text and I check in on them. And it doesn't even have to be that. But just, you know, if you have to push start dates, or if you have to change the structure of the internship, like pick up the phone, give them a call, don't just send them an email. Ask them if they have any questions, they can always reach out to you if they need to. You might not have all the answers, but you can try. So I think, you know, picking up the phone talking to them, emailing them, keeping them informed is all they're looking for right now. I mean, it's a scary time. So yeah, that's what I would say and one more thing going back to not assuming things that students know Certain things I would think it's it's students are know everything about the job that they're seeking and the industry they're going into, but also the recruiting process in general, some of them, I've never done an interview. Some of them, like are new to the school, and maybe just don't know how this works. So really educating them on the recruiting process, and the field that they're going into will really help them.

Rishav Khanal 15:23

That's a really good point, especially I correct me if I'm wrong, but for the accounting industry, where the recruiting process starts a lot earlier with a lot of these leadership programs where you're snatching up sophomores, or even freshmen, even that may not have gotten through that. No, that's a really good point and thinking about the the end person that that we're trying to convey to either come work for our firm or somewhere else. Um, well, this was awesome.

Tarah Williams 15:47


Rishav Khanal 15:49

we try to cap it right. Short and sweet. Thank you for coming on it. I learned a whole lot. And I think I'm kind of ready to execute on all of these principles moving forward. So thanks again, Tarah.

Tarah Williams 16:00

Awesome. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.