Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Intern Life

When I started as an intern at Bayard Advertising, I had a lot of questions. Why are the walls in the office green and purple? Why is my boss using an exercise ball instead of a chair? Should I be doing something right now? And what on earth is recruitment advertising?

 

The famous green and purple hallway. Note the artsy photographs and metal wavy thing (courtesy of Phil Roberts, our Western Regional Manager!)

 

Thankfully, in the almost three months that I’ve been working here, I’ve learned the answers to those questions and more. I was hired in January as a social media intern, in a turn of events that took only a couple of days to complete. The very moment that I applied to the internship, my boss, Kyle, happened to have a few minutes off and was browsing his e-mail, so we were able to communicate within minutes of him receiving my application. I came in for an interview a few days later, and never looked back.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me describe myself a bit more. I’m currently a sophomore at the University of Denver, majoring in International Business and Marketing. I have lived in many different countries, and moved around a lot, so I usually tell people I’m not from anywhere. Truthfully, I was born in Seattle, so I guess you could say I’m from Washington. I love to read, ride horses, and scuba dive, though not all at the same time of course. As well as being a full-time student and an intern, I hold a job as a receptionist in the Political Science department. I love to be busy though, and I have no regrets with my choice to work at Bayard. This company never fails to impress me!

 

 

 

 

My other hobbies include hiking and pinecone hunting.

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about my office is the culture there. On the first day, I got introduced around the whole office, and not one person greeted me with anything other than a smile and a few kind words. Everyone seemed hard at work, but I could already tell that this was an office in which the employees had a lot of fun. It was clear to me that the people working here have both interesting personalities and industrious work habits. Put together, that’s a killer combination.

From the very beginning, Kyle let me sit in on important calls he was making, which shows the level of respect I’m offered here, despite only being an intern. His focus for me has always been less on the results of my work, and more on the knowledge I’m gaining from my internship experience. When I first began, I thought that doing social media would be simple, but unfortunately that was far from the truth. I had a whole ton of learning to do, and for the first two weeks, that was almost all I did. I watched videos, googled questions, and asked my friends for advice until I felt I was able to work on Bayard’s social media in a way that was valuable to the company.

I’ve had several challenges working here, but it’s never too much to handle. I feel vastly more equipped for an eventual career than I did when I first started working. Honestly, when I began I was worried that my work wouldn’t be up to par. Sure, I could toss together a research project or an essay like any other student at DU could. But would my work be up to par when it was an actual company that depended on it?

I now know that it is. I can hold my own with whatever projects are thrown my way, from making infographics, to getting estimates of the reach for an ad on Facebook, to simply helping Bayard’s name be better known in the social media universe. And whenever I get too stressed over something I’m doing, one of my coworkers is bound to stop and rib me about being an intern, or just ask how my day is going. That office camaraderie is vital for happy employees, and certainly has kept me content.

All things considered, I can say without any reservations that I really enjoyed my internship this past few months. And all my hard work here has paid off, since I’ll continue to be an intern here all the way until August, when I take off on my next adventure: studying abroad in England. Until then, though, I’m content to stay and work as hard as I can. There’s no class that could give me the practical knowledge I have gained, and continue to gain every day I show up.

The Candidate Experience

In today’s world of Glassdoor, Twitter and Facebook reporting on our organizations and the experiences candidates have with us, it has never been more important to insure the initial candidate interaction with us is a pleasant one.

Not only does it make for easier/faster recruiting and positive feelings about the company, but it also helps the money your organization is spending to advertise job openings and the time your team is investing in the process, provide the return it should.

Just for kicks, why not pretend to be a candidate?

Go to your company’s career site from your browser, not your internal link.  Navigate to the career/jobs/employment (take note on whether your company’s tab is labeled as it should be) tab and visit your organization’s career site.

  • What is your first impression?
  • Can you quickly find your area of expertise (or job family) in order to get a better understanding of a ‘day in the life’ in the organization in that particular role/position?
  • Are there video testimonials to help you self-select in or out?
  • If you wanted to “apply” right away, is there an “apply” button ‘call to action’ on each page of the career site?
  • Enter into your ATS and actually select a job/location; apply.
  • What happens?

Did you complete the process?  Hopefully you have a very user friendly experience; but perhaps you do not.  If you, someone who knows your site and how to navigate through it, didn’t, then how must a candidate that may have never been there before feel?

Be sure the experience candidates are having on your career site is a good one; otherwise you are wasting valuable resources – the time and effort of candidates (that might also be customers), the time and effort of recruiters searching through data for candidates that possibly should not be there and your recruitment budget dollars.

To learn more about best practice candidate experiences on career sites, please feel free to reach out to any of my colleagues at Bayard Advertising or me.  We’d love to chat about it.

Amanda Shewmake is a veteran in the recruitment communications industry and has been involved in many aspects talent acquisition communication efforts with a special interest in career sites and their critical role in providing the ROI required of her clients.  Her role at Bayard involves new business development. Amandas@bayardad.com