MPACE Member Spotlight: Enterprise Holdings Inc. - October 2015
Adapting to Today’s College Student
Featuring Heather Jansen, Talent Acquisition Manager, Enterprise Holdings
Today’s digital world certainly has its advantages, but it can also pose challenges for college students in their career search. With a proliferation of online application portals that can often leave candidates in the dark, it’s a cold world out there for many college job-seekers.
Recruiting is personal. Even when working with a generation of digital natives, it’s important that candidates feel like they are more than just a resume or LinkedIn profile. They need human interaction.
As one of the largest privately held companies in the nation, with more than 91,000 employees in over 70 countries, Enterprise Holdings is always on the lookout for motivated college graduates to join our team. In fact, we hire roughly 8,500 college graduates each year! Most start in our renowned Management Training program, where they receive hands-on training and mentoring to learn every aspect of running a successful business. And with Enterprise’s promote-from-within culture, Management Trainees have many opportunities to advance in their careers.
To continue to attract top college graduates to our company, we are always adapting our recruiting efforts. The economy and job market is much different than it was several years ago. And I have to constantly remind myself that today’s student is looking for something different in a career than what I was looking for when I graduated almost 10 years ago.
Students are also turning to different sources for career advice. For example, we’ve noticed that parents and families have become increasingly involved in a student’s decision making process. While sometimes this involvement can go a little overboard, we recognize that family is extremely important to this generation of students and that they value their family’s advice. As a result, we try to make sure parents view our company as a great place to work.
I have been recruiting for over three years now. In my almost daily interactions with students, I’ve found they have a long list of criteria they use in their job searches. But the top attributes students today seem to look for in a potential employer focus on four common themes:
1. A great work culture
2. A strong work/life balance
3. A corporate commitment to community involvement
4. Opportunities for professional growth (not necessarily advancement but sometimes both)
Luckily, Enterprise has all of this to offer and more; the next step is communicating this to students and getting the top talent hired. In my experience, the key to success is building a solid brand on college campuses and creating relationships with students. College students are taking more time to make their career decisions. I am seeing more and more freshmen attend career fairs on campus than ever before, so cultivating a long-term relationship with these candidates is especially important.
For example, I met a sophomore about two and a half years ago. She was new to the career fair scene and trying to figure out the process. We spoke at that event and several other recruiting events I attended thereafter. When she became a senior, she needed an internship. Since we had already established a relationship, she naturally applied for and was accepted into the Internship program at Enterprise. She had such a positive internship experience that she subsequently accepted an offer into our Management Training program after graduating a semester later. She excelled in the program and recently earned her first promotion to an assistant manager.
It’s these kinds of success stories that make my job so rewarding. Whenever I talk to new recruiters, I always stress the importance of building your brand on campus and adapting your company’s offerings to the needs of today’s students. This is exactly what Enterprise has done to instill a successful recruiting program on college campuses across the country. It requires a personal touch with lots of student interaction, but it pays dividends in the end. If you understand that it’s not about the instant hire but rather the long-term investment, you will create a strong name for your company and ultimately attract more quality hires.