New study, new data
In a recent survey by Gallup and Strada Education Network, 36% of U.S. adults stated they would change their college major if they could go back and do it again. In analyzing the results of this survey, Strada’s executive vice president of mission advancement and philanthropy Carol D’Amico came to the conclusion that “the most valued source of advice comes from work-based people, [such as employers] yet it is the least used.” She then issued the challenge to figure out how to increase access, “especially for our first-generation students.”
New data, new approach
The goal of this article is to humbly suggest a shift in the status quo – a framework for developing relatable content that helps students through their career discovery process. We’ll take a quick look at a content marketing strategy that campus recruiting teams can use to attract, engage and hire relevant candidates.
The competency model framework
The Competency Model Framework identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that a globally competitive workforce requires. Competency models are widely used in business for defining and assessing competencies within organizations in both hard and soft skills. And for educators, the framework helps create competency-based educational structures that enable personalized learning. The collection of competencies students attain through their education define successful performance in a particular work setting. These models are tools for creating career pathways.
After developing competency models, all stakeholders can map course learning outcomes to required competencies for specific jobs, job groups, organizations, occupations, or industries. Employers that connect their employer brand and entry-level opportunities to competency models will be more capable of creating an engaging candidate and applicant experience for students in the career discovery process. Employers can use language introduced by competency models to connect courses and careers. This creates a much more approachable and engaging employer brand for students during the career discovery process. As a result, content marketing strategies become more efficient, thereby reducing the average cost per hire of $4,000.
Content distribution has evolved drastically, but the content has not. New technologies, platforms, and user experiences have been introduced to millennials. Students can engage with an employer brand (virtually anywhere) through the power of social media. But, career content (including how companies translate the responsibilities and requirements of their opportunities) often generates confusion among students. This can impede career discovery and engagement.
Successful employers in 2018 will take time to identify, synthesize, and then relate to their candidate personas. A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate. Effective personas consider the competencies and professional values that describe a relevant candidate. Course-to-career stories for each persona provide a bridge between the key learnings from a student’s collegiate experience (identified in the competency models) and a career pathway. These stories (published as short articles) reduce the friction in communication caused by the language barrier between students and employers.
Getting personal at scale
Traditionally speaking, developing a content marketing strategy for campus recruiting would require additional resources. Applying the competency model framework eliminates the need to create entirely new content. Much of this content already exists and simply needs to be repositioned. Once the effort is made to translate existing content, recruiting can be scaled virtually and automatically.
More than half of U.S. adults would change at least one educational decision, and 36% would change their college major if they could go back and do it again. Implemented properly, the competency model framework could significantly reduce the fact that Millennials will change jobs about 4 times in the first 10 years after undergraduate university (according to Guy Berger, an economist at LinkedIn, reported by EdSurge in July 2017). This is because course-to-career stories have the unique capability to help students own their educational experience and career discovery process in a holistic and approachable way. Even further, when the employer brand utilizes these stories to create a more transparent and engaging career path, student job seekers are much more likely to visualize their long-term growth, thereby reducing churn by a significant margin.