NACE Evolution, Post-Pandemic, with NACE CEO Shawn VanDerziel

Our topic this week? How the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) is evolving post pandemic. And who better to talk about it than the CEO & President of NACE, Shawn VanDerziel. We're looking forward to digging into campus recruiting & how its changed (and is still changing).

NACE Evolution, Post-Pandemic, with NACE CEO Shawn VanDerziel

Our topic this week? How the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) is evolving post pandemic. And who better to talk about it than the CEO & President of NACE, Shawn VanDerziel. We're looking forward to digging into campus recruiting & how its changed (and is still changing).

Chris Hoyt, CXR
I have to I have to ask this because because I am a would it be called TV a phile? What would it be called Gerry, if you want you just you love television.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:07
I think you’re crazy is really what it is.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:10
Well, that doesn’t have anything to do with what… maybe it does with what I’m watching on TV. So what do you got? What do you guys watching? You got to show you’re binging on Shawn or something you’re kind of hooked with?

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 0:21
I watch just about anything that is on so I love reality. I know a lot of people don’t, but I do. And I also love documentaries. So I’ve watched just about everything. So the supermodel documentary about the original supermodels just came out on Apple TV, and it’s fantastic. Really well done. I just watched the one on I think Netflix about the Juul, the vaping. And the story of that, which I just found fascinating because I didn’t know that history. But it is a fascinating story, I’d definitely recommend that one if you haven’t seen it. So I like like to watch a lot of things like that.

Speaker 1 0:59
Netflix does a good job with documentaries lately. Like there’s just a slew of them. Gerry’s laughing at me. But like I’m watching chip is a Chimp Nation. I think it’s yeah, it’s about these chimpanzees and this fight for the alpha and like all it’s really, really interesting, would encourage I would encourage everyone to check it out. There’s

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 1:21
some subliminal things in there. I’m trying to say.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:24

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 1:24

Gerry Crispin 1:27
I actually learned from Chris because he tells me about these crazy things he watches and you know, and so, so then I find a way to look them up and I watch them or you know, eat into them. But I kind of sample you know, the only show that I really like on a regular basis that I would say I am obsessed with doing is CBS Sunday Morning. Oh yeah. It kind of sets my stage for doing good stuff. I mean, it’s just always got it filled with something really interesting. And I was amazed this week that that I saw Sunday morning I thought was very good. And then Sunday night on 60 minutes, they repeated everything that was on Sunday morning. I’m going Don’t you guys have an original show or something that you’re supposed to be doing?

Speaker 2 2:16
I did I did really enjoy the story on Pink, Pink the artist. I thought it was excellent. Yeah, it was a really good uplifting.

Speaker 1 2:25
One more I would tell you to watch Tommy Lee Jones, Jamie Foxx. I think it’s called The Burial. We watched that the other night. It’s a true story. It’s really good. Jamie Lee Fox plays this you know, high end ambulance chasing lawyer and he gets hired by Tommy Lee Jones to take a case that is way out of bounds for for Jamie Lee or Jamie Foxx’s character. Highly recommend you watch it. True story. Hang in for the credits at the end. It kind of gives you what really happened at the end and some follow up. Really good. Really good show.

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 2:59
Awesome, I’ll look into it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:01
All right. Well, are we ready to talk shop? Yep, let’s do it. Okay, here we go.

CXR Announcer 3:07
Welcome to the CXR channel. Our premier podcasts for talent acquisition and Talent Management. listen in as the CXR community discusses a wide range of topics focused on attracting engaging and retaining the best talent. We’re glad you’re here.

Speaker 1 3:36
Welcome back to the Recruiting Community Podcast show. I am Jam Master Jay. And this is my partner, DMC, how are you DMC? How are you partner in crime?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:46
Just dandy.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:48
It’s an old school reference.

Speaker 4 3:49
All right, it certainly is. GTC would be more appropriate. But the DMC is fine. I just don’t think I’m going to be able to be there for that, either.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:00
Well, it’s lovely that you’re with us today. How about that? We run with that. All right, we got a couple of things we’re going to talk about really quick. A little housekeeping. If you are streaming on YouTube, we are streaming you are watching YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, if you’re on CXR at Works slash podcast, you can watch this where we’ve got it live. If there’s a chat window where you’re at, feel free to drop in a note there. If you’ve got a question for our guest, I’ve got a question for us. Or you just want to say hello, you can do that feel like doing a little schmoozing, a little networking, drop your LinkedIn profile in there, connect with other folks who are listening. Also, as a reminder, this show is a labor of love. So you’re not getting 20 minutes to chat and 30 minutes of advertisements. You just get in 20 minutes to chat. And that’s what we do. So we pull in folks who we think are doing interesting things and that we just want to have a little bit of time to kind of showcase that or shine a light on it. And we got it. We have a fun one for you today. I’m excited to introduce Shawn in just a second. I think lastly, a couple of things we want to call out Gerry the CXR Learning – we just launched a new course. I’m super excited about that. I will throw the throw the URL up. Do you want to talk about Roy’s class that just just launched?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 5:08
Yeah, Roy,

Speaker 4 5:09
Baladi, he used to work for a smart recruiters. He’s doing his own thing with Jobs for Humanity. He’s Lebanese and good part of the time he’s in Lebanon. And when broadband goes out, he goes to another country to work it out. A lot of people really love Roy and his work. He’s certainly paying it forward. In a lot of the work that he does that, I think, is extraordinary, because it expands our view of inclusion and diversity. He looks at refugees, immigration, I mean, I just, I just love the the aspiration that he has for what he’s doing.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:55
Yeah, I’d encourage anybody to check it out at CSR works last learning ROI, our latest addition to that for underrepresented I think, honestly, I think there are eight or nine segments in there, some of which we’d never would have thought of, on our own to do a training or a session on. And I believe we even have a component in there where you are able to walk through with someone who is visually impaired, who is who is legally blind, how they use some of the software like Excel or Microsoft Outlook in their day to day, they do kind of a brief walkthrough to kind of wrap your head around what the other side of the equation is going through when you as a recruiting professional or are trying to work with them, connect with them, you know, screening them in and out of the process. And I just I just think it’s a wonderful course fundamental for anybody. Yeah, good stuff. The other thing I want to call out, Gerry. We, November 29th, we’re going to be over in Sydney, if anybody wants to join us, we’re doing a one day meeting out there. Atlassian is going to host CXR dot works slash Sydney. So if you’ve got a cohort or you’ve got a team member over there, or a TA professional that you think would enjoy a day of networking, we’re gonna talk strategy, we’re gonna talk tech stack with fun, really fun agenda planned for that day. So send them over to CXR dot works slash Sydney. I don’t know you want to add anything to that, Gerry?

Speaker 4 7:17
You know, I think it’s cool. I you know, Australia is a different way of looking at who we are.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:23
Agreed, agreed. And I haven’t been there in years, at least since pre pandemic. So I’m really looking forward to get back in there. All right, anybody else wants anything else? They can check out CXR that works. It’s slash events slash podcast slash learning. We try to keep it simple. Alright, so with that, I want to go ahead and introduce our guest today. We can jump right in. There he is. Hello, Shawn. Welcome back.

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 7:46
Hello. Great to see you.

Unknown Speaker 7:49
So Shawn, you I was like,

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 7:52
Don’t I get a DJ name or something? I thought that was a thing.

Speaker 1 7:54
Oh, mix mix. master vandy, how’s that? So Shawn Mixmaster Vandy is the CEO of NACE that and for those who don’t know, it’s National Association of College and Employers that is super popular for conferences, research professional development. But Shawn, I want to give you a chance to kind of give us an escalator pitch of who Mix Master Vandy is. Where you’ve been what you’re doing now and kind of your focus and then let’s jump in. We got some questions about what you guys are doing post-pandemic.

Speaker 2 8:27
Yeah, sure. So the easiest way to describe NACE is every college campus has a career center on it, that develops the talent on the campus. We represent the people who work in all of those career centers as their membership association. And we also represent all of the recruiters from companies that go on to college campuses to recruit early talent. And so we have just about every college and university think up is probably a part of our membership. And just about any large company that you can think of that you would know the name brand of is probably also a part of our community. We focus on everything from internships, apprenticeships, co ops, all the way through full time employment. And we study what is happening across the full community. What are the best practices? Where are the challenges? How are people getting through those, and we develop connections among that community. And they’re very deep connections that are formed in with relationships so that everyone can succeed. We all have a mission and that mission is to create equitable outcomes for all because every student who goes to college who has invested that amount of money, we know the number one reason that they go to college is to obtain a job and a great career when they leave, and every student deserves that. So let’s match them up with an employer where they can succeed. Everyone has skills, everyone has talent, and let’s figure out the best place for them.

Speaker 1 10:00
Got it. And I just do a plug here because the conference is coming up. We were talking about this in the greenroom pre, and they can find the link out on the site. But you’re open now for speakers, if we’ve got some TA professionals who are doing really interesting or compelling work in this space of campus and early career recruitment, this is this is where they may want to go to get a light, shined on on that work and share that more broadly. Right with with the nice community.

Speaker 2 10:24
Yeah, so glad you brought that up. It’s a great opportunity to talk about innovation that’s happening in the field where success is happening, but also what challenges are happening and the experiments that are being done to create the positive outcomes. We over, we have close to 17,000 members right now. So we’re at the highest point we’ve ever been. And we’ve grown over the last three years by about 5000 members. And so we would certainly invite anyone who’s not a part of the community to become a part of the community and those that we have know the power of the community. So the conference is a great place to really experience it,

Speaker 4 10:58
We absolutely encourage members to budget for that conference, which is going to be in June in Phoenix.

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 11:05
Yes, indeed.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 11:06
Very cool.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:07
So and I’ll throw I’ve actually got here, I’ll throw the URL out there while we’re talking about this a little bit. So it’s NACE web dot org, if you want to get out there, and check it out. So one of the things, I’d love to get your take on this Shawn, so one of the things that was positive that I think came out of the pandemic was the impact it had on diversity related to college recruiting. I think historically, we haven’t talked about this yet. So just for anybody who’s watching and listening on the treadmill, the thought that there were these 11 or 12 super schools that most big organizations traditionally just went to, right? And that was for whatever reason, those were their premier schools or that sort of thing that got flipped on its head during the pandemic, because you just you couldn’t go, we have members who saved upwards of easily quarter of a million dollars, half a million dollars, because their strategy was forced to change and become more digital. And the feedback they got in those first when they went fully digital internships and have now progressed into you know, these these hybrid models of internships. And next year, well, I guess we’re this year, but as we move forward is going to be really interesting. The feedback we got was it was the most diverse pool of interns they had brought in. And they were meeting or exceeding expectations and blowing everybody’s mind. Well, not everybody, some people knew this was long overdue, right? So I’ll set the stage with that’s one area aspect that Gerry and I often talk about with leaders, what the pandemic did to college recruiting, early career. So now I want to ask you, how has how has NACE sort of, and I want to circle back, but how has NACE adapted its strategies for college and employer engagement, post-pandemic? And does any of that sort of echo with with the with the work that you guys are taking on?

Speaker 2 12:53
Oh, and I could go on probably for days on this particular topic. Yeah, the COVID pandemic really spawned a change in college recruiting and opened up the world and a different way for companies to recruit students or to think differently about it. And we now find that particularly larger companies who had, let’s say, 12 schools that they went to, and maybe they recruited a few students from a few others, because they were favorites of the partners of the firm or whatever it may be that now there, they have a much more reduced set of core schools that they may be going to, but then they’re agnostic about all the rest of their hires. And so they’re finding new ways to reach them through web recruiting, electronic recruiting. But they’re also being very strategic about how they get onto campus. So our latest survey is telling us that they’re actually coming back to campus full force, which is a little surprising to me. I figured, you know, the last two years, it’s been primarily web-based recruiting and figuring out good systems for that, which still is the case, but many employers are making a bet that for their brand purposes, and for a competitive edge that they need to get on campus. And so surprisingly, in-person career fairs are back in full force. But employers are being much more selective about which ones they’re going to. And we’re also finding that attendance from students is up at those career fairs. So they’re getting right back to pre pandemic levels and in some cases even higher, again, all a surprise to me. From a diversity perspective, demographically, it certainly has helped to improve the demographics of students coming into both internships but also full time employment opportunities. And one of the things that we have seen, which is really interesting is that when students who are let’s say Hispanic or Black or women who are underrepresented traditionally in internships, and all of our studies pan that out they’re way underrepresented proportionately in internship experiences, when they go through those internship experiences, though, they are more likely to actually get a job offer, and they are more likely to actually accept the job offer. So when our employers are looking at their pipeline, the most important reason that they do the internships to begin with, that it is a great bet for them, particularly with more diverse pipeline coming through.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:52
Oh, interesting. So it sounds like some of that a little bit of the shift is a little bit of a surprise to you, too. We knew, we know that the orgs are headed back in full force. But I’m super excited to connect with a lot of them coming back about I guess the take on that from campus, because the employment offices and career services have been saying, Come back, come back, come back. And it looks like this is the year folks are really pulling the trigger. Or can you? Can you talk a little bit, Shawn, about maybe the most significant shifts you’ve observed in campus recruiting specifically since the onset? Is it? Is it the events or the return of events?

Speaker 2 16:26
Yes, so career fairs are back full force, but I will tell you on campus, interviewing is not. So that is still a shift. So what’s happening is they’re front loading the process for branding purposes. And then the rest of the process, or many other steps in the process are still being done, you know, over zoom or in other modes. Because it’s much more economical. It’s much more efficient and effective. So, so recruiting hasn’t been lost at all. It’s just shifting in the places and when in the process, it’s actually happening. So that is a little bit of a, I should say, it’s a pretty big change from what was happening pre pandemic, but also even what’s been happening over the last couple of years.

Speaker 4 17:14
Are students handling themselves differently, post pandemic, do you think in terms of either their attitudes, or what they’re asking for? Or how they’re responding to the virtual effort? I mean, is, yeah, what are their differences?

Speaker 2 17:29
Oh, there are quite a few of them. What we’re finding is, particularly at career fairs as an example, or an in person meetings, students are a lot more casual than they have been in the past, that it’s more of a while, while there are certain campuses where you’re still going to get the students and the ties and the and the suits, you’re going to find that there are many more that are taking a more casual approach, because they’re shopping, right? That’s, that’s the approach to is that they’re shopping and they’re trying to figure it all out. And, and maybe they don’t have the wherewithal to buy a suit just for that one event, right? And so they’re, they’re thinking about it a little bit differently. But also, they have a change in what they’re actually looking for from that employer in terms of what they want to hear from the employer in the sales pitch. And for them, the our studies are showing it’s been pretty consistent over the last two years, which is they’re looking for job security, to develop job specific skills, and they’re looking to obtain applied skills. So what this all means to me is that they’re not that they’re looking for a job where they’re going to stay for the rest of their lives. But what they’re looking for is a company that’s going to say that they’re committing to them, and that they actually mean it. And that they can, during the exploration process, understand what that means with that company, that they’re going to be loyal to me. The skills are the things that are the newer ones. These students are very different than previous generations, they’re saying, I know that I may only be with you for 2, 3, 4 or five years. And so while I’m with you, I’m going to make the most of it because I know that you may be a stepping stone for me, whether it’s within the company where I need to grow, or it’s outside the company. So I want to get those jobs-specific skills in the industry or in the type of job that I’m doing, and I want to take away those applied skills like being able to demonstrate my leadership, being able to demonstrate really great communication skills, written and oral. All of those things are things that they want to take with them. So I think the sales pitch for recruiters is much different than it had been pre pandemic.

Speaker 1 19:48
Shawn, do you think there’s been because we’ve seen this in other areas of TA and I certainly have opinion I’m sure Gerry does, too. Do you think there’s been a little bit of level setting from the power dynamic between organizations and students post pandemic?

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 20:02
Well, absolutely, because the market has been in favor of the candidate. And so that that’s the case, even at the, at the college level, what we have found increases in the hiring of college graduates just going through the roof. And so particularly two years ago, but it continued for this last graduating class. Now, having said that, we do see a slowdown coming. And so there may not be continued increases, and in fact, next class may see a little bit of a decrease from the hiring that was the previous year. But it’s still going to be a strong market. But it does play in favor of the candidate in those circumstances.

Speaker 1 20:45
Interesting. Are there any new initiatives that say NACE is rolling out to, I guess better serve the colleges and the employers? And I guess what is this new landscape, this new digital, and I guess, student centric landscape we’re looking at?

Speaker 2 21:03
One of the big things that we’re really focused on are is competency work. So we believe, particularly when you’re talking about equity, the equity situation and diversity that we hear time and time again, from employers that there is a skills gap, right, we hear this all over the place, there’s a skills gap. Our theory is that there’s actually not a skills gap. From those who are graduating college, what there actually is, is a gap in communicating about skills and competencies. So students are learning skills and competencies throughout their experiences. But the system has been failing them in helping them to articulate what they have learned, how they’ve learned it, and how they’ve applied it. Because these students aren’t doing project management in their classes. They are doing, they have great verbal and written communication skills, because they have to prove it in their classes and extracurricular activities. They’re learning leadership skills in extracurricular and in classroom activities, etc, etc. And so what we’re doing is working both on the college side, as well as with the employers to understand what that means to help with the articulation process. So that there is more confidence among those students that are more sellable. And that employers who say that they’re doing skills based hiring or want to do skills based hiring, can get a better idea about how they can actually do it.

Speaker 1 22:36
So this, I have to say, and Gerry, I know you have an opinion on where I’m about to tie this to. So I’d love for you to chime in. But what this sounds like, to me is more communication, less cattle call. And there is an element that Gerry has been flying the flag for within candidate experience specifically like that he’s really been focused on in the last year or so. And that is where the candidate feels like they have been heard. They really feel like they had the opportunity to communicate all of the things that they bring to the table. And it sounds like campus recruiting is now seeing a shift where that’s that element is really being paid attention to where there’s really a spotlight on that.

Speaker 4 23:13
There is a transparency issue that that I think, you know, is coming to the fore, where where we need to, we need to truly be, I think open about how you can communicate and what you’re going to be hearing on the other side. And they need a response something, somebody to respond to that. That that asks them if you will have you shared everything with us that you think is important to compete for this job. And doing more of that I think creates a sense of fairness on the part of everyone. And the only other thing I want to mention because it keeps rattling in my brain. You mentioned earlier that underrepresented groups were not as well represented, if you will, in internships. And yet there’s a significant increase in the percentage of interns that then get converted to full time jobs, especially in larger companies. So that has an impact, if you will downstream if we don’t have full representation, or at least equivalent of representation in the marketplace, to interns for underrepresented groups.

Speaker 2 24:28
Yeah, couldn’t agree more, Gerry, and you know, one of the things that we found in our research is just five years ago 75% of the jobs were being screened by GPA, or candidates I should say by GPA, and that’s down to 38% which is a great movement, but there can be even more movement right there are certain jobs where the GPA certainly is going to point to a brain that you need because of the type of job and the and the knowledge that is required for that particular job. But for the vast majority of jobs, it’s probably not necessary, right, we’ve got to get down to the skill. And the competency that’s required that can be applied to particular jobs. And there are a lot of talented people out there. But if they’re not, we don’t provide them with the candidate experience that allows them to shine in the interview, to be themselves, that are not going to be able to express all of that terms of their talent, and the skills that they actually have to do your jobs.

Speaker 4 25:30
That’s the kind of coaching I want to see elevated in among career services departments, clearly, I think there’s an opportunity there, to elevate their skills and knowledge. Because many of them, not all of them, but many of them don’t have that much experience, before they’re working in Career Services, helping other kids find jobs. And so a whole range of what they need, I think, is going to be important for the future.

Speaker 1 25:59
Well, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who really struggle with standardized learning, or like standardized tests, like the sort of the old school delivery, that we’ve seen a lot of a lot of legacy schools or a lot of colleges, and still get through with a four year degree and still come out of there looking for work. And I just think that’s sort of in my mind, that’s an elevated level of accomplishment. And that’s, you know, to rule them out, because they struggle in an old method. I mean, there’s some, there’s some exceptional talented people that we know, Gerry, that we have TA leaders who, who may have finished college with with a 2.0 or less, but who are extraordinary leaders in their own right and have done magnificent things for some very large organizations. I think that’s a great call-out.

Speaker 3 26:44
Yeah, and you don’t want to know what my GPA was when I graduated. Right? And, you know, I’m one of those stories, you know, I’m a first generation college student, right. So, and many of these students who are first generation college students don’t have any experience with professional level interviewing, they don’t know what that’s like, or what’s required, or they’re, they don’t have parents at home who are coaching them around. Gosh, you just did that you were the leader of a student activity, you need to, let’s pull out some examples that you can talk to this recruiter XYZ company about, they don’t have that. And so it behooves all of us if we’re really looking for talent, to coach the students through that to get them to that point,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 27:27

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 27:27
Both sides, the college side, as well as the as the company side.

Speaker 1 27:30
I love that. Well, Shawn, you know, we ask all of our all of our guests on the show the same question. And I know, Shawn, you have been an avid listener of ours, from the very beginning. This is episode 380 something. So you know, this is coming. What, what would the title of your book be if you if you wrote a book today?

Speaker 3 27:51
You do you. You know, I think that applies in so many situations that we all need to be able to be ourselves when we come into any situation. And that applies just as much to the recruitment process. And the candidate process that there is no one way to do it. And there’s no one way to be you. And there’s only one of each of us. But, we all have strengths. And we all have areas where we can improve. But let’s bring out the best in each of us.

Speaker 1 28:26
I love that. Yeah, I really love that. So Shawn, curveball, who, present company excluded? Who gets the first signed copy?

Speaker 3 28:37
Interesting question, huh? I would have to put that back probably to my parents, I would think and I think that would be the appropriate thing to do.

Speaker 1 28:46
Well done. Good stuff. Well, Shawn, thank you so much for your time today. We know you are super busy. And we’re so grateful for you to carve the time out and connect with Gerry and I and always happy to connect with you. And we’re looking forward to seeing you in Arizona at the conference.

Shawn VanDerziel, NACE 29:00
Great. Well, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been good fun.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:04
All right. Good stuff, everybody. We’ll we’ll cut with that. Thanks, folks.

CXR Announcer 29:11
Thanks for listening to the CXR channel. Please subscribe to CXR on your favorite podcast resource and leave us a review while you’re at it. Learn more about CXR at our website CXR dot works and slash career crossroads and on Instagram at career X roads. We’ll catch you next time.