KARE11 interview with Scott Dettman on professional development during the pandemic

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KARE11 interview with Scott Dettman on professional development during the pandemic

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman joined Lauren Lemancyk on KARE11 to share advice for people seeking professional advancement during the time of COVID.

“Mentorship is another way to think about support and sponsorship,” Dettman said. “The people who persevere through difficult times are those who turn to their networks. For those just entering the workforce, mentors can help you navigate the first steps of finding a job. Mentors help you think outside the box. It gives you the chance to bounce ideas off another person and ask questions.”

Watch the full interview for more insights.

 

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What You Need to Know About Today’s Entry-Level Workforce

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What You Need to Know About Today’s Entry-Level Workforce

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Hiring for any role is complicated. But hiring at the entry level brings special challenges—so many that 41% of employers say entry-level roles are the hardest to fill. Why? Candidates don’t have track records. They don’t have work references you can check. They don’t have previous work accomplishments to show you. Plus, most of today’s college graduates (55%, in fact) will leave their first job within a year—up to 20% of new hires may quit within their first 45 days.

A New Generation (GenZ) Enters the Workforce. But They’re Not Alone.

On top of those daunting figures, employers today are anxious about welcoming a new cohort (hello, GenZ!)—who may have very different ideas and expectations about what a first job should be—into a workforce where different demographic groups (Boomers, Millennials, GenX) sometimes struggle to get along. GenZ is by far the biggest group in this category—they will soon make up 20% of the workforce. But entry-level roles may be filled by other groups, too: career changers, parents returning to work after raising families, or workers transitioning from the military to the private sector.

Whoever your new hires are, there are some important things you can do to help them be successful—during the hiring process, once they are employees, and beyond.

What You Need to Know About Today’s Entry-Level Workers

  • Most of Them Are True Digital Natives. While Millennials can tell you what a VHS tape is, the newest crop of young adults (Generation Z, born after 1996) have always lived in a world with email, the Internet, and phones that could do lots more than just make calls.
    • Guard your reputation. Entry-level job seekers will carefully research your company, including on review sites, where you can’t control the message. Your reputation is everything, so develop a strategy for assessing and responding to online reviews.
    • Power up your social media presence. More than 54% of GenZ job seekers expect to find their next gig through social media, and they favor channels like SnapChat and Instagram. Will they find you there? And how will you keep them engaged after they’re hired?
    • Enable personal connections. Although this is the most tech-connected generation of workers, 74% actually prefer connecting with colleagues face to face.
    • Don’t assume they know your tech. Yes, most entry-level workers today have been surrounded by technology all their lives. But that doesn’t mean they know how to use your office systems—benefits portals, video-conferencing systems, or your inventory-management tools.
  • They Were Shaped by the Great Recession. GenZ watched their parents struggle with layoffs, foreclosures, and shrinking wealth. Older entry-level workers (returning moms and dads, military veterans) experienced those scary times firsthand, too. And they learned some valuable lessons about security, stability, and planning for the future. Only 56% of GenZ thinks they’ll enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents. And 35% say they plan to start saving for retirement in their 20s.
    • Help them grow their skills. Skills mean employability, and today’s entry level workers know it. According to one recent survey, 2019 college graduates ranked professional development as the most important factor in choosing a job. A survey from a few years ago found that while 80% of entry-level hires expected their new employer to offer formal training, less than half of those companies did so. You can use training to set your company apart and improve your retention rates.
    • Show them there’s a path forward. Entry level hires want to see that they have opportunities to advance—and that you’ll help them do it. Earn their loyalty by taking time to learn about their individual strengths, setting clear goals for growth, and following through. This could also mean setting up internal mentoring or networking programs.
  • They value transparency. As a group, GenZ wants authenticity and accountability. They’ve grown up with unprecedented access to information, and they don’t want their employers to keep things from them. This holds true for older entry-level workers, too. They want to be in the loop, and they don’t want spin.
    • Show them why they matter. Today’s entry-level workers don’t want to be cogs in a machine. Help them see how the work they’re doing impacts your company’s business.
    • Provide regular feedback. Especially as they transition—from school, the military, or being at home with kids—they are likely to be unsure of their performance. Conduct regular, informal feedback through check-ins, conversations, project debriefings, and more.
    • Give them clear goals they can achieve. At the entry level, workers are hungry for the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. That’s why it’s important to provide a combination of short- and long-term goals that are challenging but reachable—like managing a small project or delivering a presentation by themselves.

Don’t Rely on Stereotypes. And Be Patient.

There are broad characteristics that may hold true across groups, but no generation is a monolith. GenZ is the most diverse cohort to ever enter the workforce—in fact, the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Don’t assume that your fresh-out-of-college hires will adhere to all the stereotypes you may have read about.

And whatever age your entry-level hires, patience is key. Entry level workers make mistakes. They won’t understand every aspect of your business right away. And they may take time to adapt their behavior, expectations, and attitudes as they transition into the world of work. But you’ll need to adapt, too.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

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9 Keys for Avoiding a Bad Hire

Insights

9 Keys for Avoiding a Bad Hire

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

LinkedIn

We’ve pretty much all been there. Your new hire is struggling. You’ve done all the right training and onboarding, followed up with coaching and constructive feedback, but the work isn’t good, and the rest of your team knows it. Not only is your new hire getting dirty looks from coworkers, but a few of those are now aimed at you. But you don’t want to admit your mistake, and you definitely don’t want to go through the hiring process again. They’re going to catch on eventually. Right?

Probably not.

Made a Bad Hire? Act fast.

Bad hires, no matter the position or level, can negatively affect your team’s productivity in so many ways:

  • Poor work quality
  • Missing project deadlines
  • Poor work attendance
  • Don’t work well with others
  • Abilities don’t match what they represented during hiring  process
  • Negative attitude
  • Unprofessional behavior including bullying or harassment
  • Criminal or unethical activity including theft or fraud

A bad hire can do a lot of damage (keep reading to see how much). The sooner you act, the better—for you and your entire organization. Start documenting the situation, having difficult conversations about performance, and laying the groundwork for termination.

How Big is the Problem?

Really big. A Career Builder survey reported that 74% of companies have made a bad hire.  And that’s probably low. Anyone who’s ever worked anywhere can tell you a story about a disastrous hire in their organization. Even the most successful companies aren’t immune: Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has said that bad hires have cost his company, “well over $100 million.”

Which brings us to…

Bad hires are expensive. Here’s why.

In a Career Builder survey, employers reported losing an average of $14,900 for each bad hire. The U.S Department of Labor estimated that a bad hire can cost up to 30% of that employee’s first-year salary. Other estimates say that figure is more like 50%. And some have gone as high as $240,000 for higher level roles.

Where’s all that money going?

Measurable costs. These are the hard dollars you can easily see: recruitment and advertising fees for job posting, relocation fees, and training fees. Staff time, including the hours put in by HR and hiring managers. There could be costs for a severance package or outplacement services. And in the worst cases, there might be legal expenses.

Hidden costs. These are hard to measure, but they’re much more serious. A bad hire can infect morale, hinder team performance, and harm workplace culture. It can derail important projects, alienate key customers, weaken your company’s brand image, and cause you to miss out on big opportunities. There are also emotional costs like stress, resentment, and burnout.

And then you add in the cost of replacing a bad hire—now you’re talking serious money.

Why so many bad hires?

Employers spend more time than ever in hiring (research from Glassdoor shows that the time employers spend on interviews has almost doubled since 2009), but bad hires are as common as ever—maybe even more common. Why? Low unemployment has made it a job-seeker’s market, so employers often feel rushed to land a candidate. Another reason, as The Harvard Business Review points out, is that workers change jobs much more often than in previous generations (therefore internal promotions aren’t as common) and companies today are constantly having to hire outside talent; they’re in scramble mode.

And an unexpected result: they’re not as good at hiring for entry-level jobs.

How to Avoid Making a Bad Hire

This is a tough situation, but you can improve your odds. Here’s how

  • Hire for the person and their potential, not the resume. Too often, employers hire according to a checklist of technical skills rather than looking at core values and so-called soft skills—things like, integrity, professionalism, collaboration, and communication. These things are often essential, you can always train for the rest.
  • Build a standardized hiring process. If you don’t have one, you’re five times more likely to make a bad hire, according to a study by Brandon Hall Group and Glassdoor. A good process includes powerful tools for both HR and hiring managers—including standard interview questions, peer-to-peer evaluations, and more.
  • Design a welcoming and robust onboarding program. If you have a consistent showing-the-ropes program, you can improve retention by 82%, according the same research cited above.
  • Do a thorough background check. This service isn’t free, but it’ll save you money and heartache in the long run.
  • Get an objective perspective. Involve third parties in the hiring process—this could be a full service partner that screens and matches candidates for you (hey, Avenica does that!). Or even another employee from an unrelated department. You need somebody who can give you unbiased feedback.
  • Be clear and honest about your company and culture. Many times, it’s not that the employee is a poor worker, just that they’re not the right fit for the role or your company.
  • Let your candidates see what the job is like. Again, sometimes a bad hire is just a mismatch. Give candidates an unvarnished view of what the role is like. Some companies (Google, Marriot) have turned to gamification, letting candidates play a game that simulates the skills and challenges involved in the job.
  • Trust in your recruiting professionals. Not everyone is great at interviewing and identifying potential, especially in entry-level candidates. This is the time to let your HR professionals and partners do their jobs.
  • Measure your hiring success. No company would spend millions on an ad campaign without measuring how effective it was. But according to the Harvard Business Review, only about a third of U.S. companies monitor whether their hiring practices lead to good employees.

Hiring will never be a perfect process. But there are two key things to remember. You don’t have to be stuck with a bad hire—act quickly and you can minimize the damage. Secondly, there are clear steps you can take to avoid future disasters.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

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Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss TheDream.US partnership

Insights

Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss TheDream.US partnership

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss the newly-announced partnership with TheDream.US and the goal to help prepare DREAMers for careers after college through one-on-one coaching and mentorship, high-impact training and upskilling, and personalized career planning designed to support DREAMers connect to meaningful, right-fit career paths.

Watch the full interview HERE.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

Related Articles

Avenica and TheDream.US Announce Strategic Partnership

Insights

Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss TheDream.US partnership

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss the newly-announced partnership with TheDream.US and the goal to help prepare DREAMers for careers after college through one-on-one coaching and mentorship, high-impact training and upskilling, and personalized career planning designed to support DREAMers connect to meaningful, right-fit career paths.

Watch the full interview HERE.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

Related Articles

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman authors article for Training Magazine

Insights

Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss TheDream.US partnership

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman joined Jeff Wagner of WCCO | CBS to discuss the newly-announced partnership with TheDream.US and the goal to help prepare DREAMers for careers after college through one-on-one coaching and mentorship, high-impact training and upskilling, and personalized career planning designed to support DREAMers connect to meaningful, right-fit career paths.

Watch the full interview HERE.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

Related Articles

Dettman Interviewed for New Fortune Magazine Article

Insights

Dettman interviewed for new Fortune Magazine article

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman was featured in a Fortune Magazine article by McKenna Moore to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the hiring process for both job seekers and employers. While companies shift their focus onto new ways to work and remain relevant in the current environment, Dettman also expects to see changes in the way companies recruit and evaluate potential hires. Read the full story HERE.

If you’re a student nearing graduation, a recent grad, or an early professional looking to take full advantage of your degree, check out our Avenica Pathways career development program for behavioral assessments, personalized coaching, and other valuable insights.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers. To learn more about partnering with Avenica for your workforce needs, visit our partners’ page.

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Avenica Honors Juneteenth as a Company Holiday

Insights

A Day to Celebrate: Avenica Honors Juneteenth as a Company Holiday

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Earlier this month, we announced steps we’re taking to create what we hope will be meaningful and impactful change to create safer, more equitable, and more inclusive workplaces and communities.

As we look around, we’ve been encouraged by so many other companies across the country commit to doing the same in their own ways. Because we know that it isn’t our actions alone that will solve or end systemic racism, it’s all of us, taking individual steps in the right direction, that will turn the tide and create positive change.

Today we’re proud to take another step as we announced that from this year forward, Avenica will recognize and celebrate Juneteenth as an annual, company-paid holiday.

“Our hope is that this helps bring awareness to the significance and importance of this day and gives us all time to reflect and further educate ourselves,” says Scott Dettman, CEO, Avenica.

For more information and history on the “oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States,” please visit the Juneteenth website.

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Avenica CEO featured in Fortune Magazine

Insights

Dettman interviewed for new Fortune Magazine article

Katie Drews

Katie Drews

Chief Experience Officer

Biography

Avenica CEO Scott Dettman was featured in a Fortune Magazine article by McKenna Moore to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the hiring process for both job seekers and employers. While companies shift their focus onto new ways to work and remain relevant in the current environment, Dettman also expects to see changes in the way companies recruit and evaluate potential hires. Read the full story HERE.

If you’re a student nearing graduation, a recent grad, or an early professional looking to take full advantage of your degree, check out our Avenica Pathways career development program for behavioral assessments, personalized coaching, and other valuable insights.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers. To learn more about partnering with Avenica for your workforce needs, visit our partners’ page.

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Why Avenica Pathways is Personal

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Why Avenica Pathways is Personal

Muneezeh Kabir

Muneezeh Kabir

Executive Vice President of Workforce Strategy

LinkedIn

This week, we are officially launching free access for graduating seniors impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to our Avenica Pathways program – a career development program for college students that leverages expert assessment, coaching, and job readiness training to drastically impact the marketability of entry-level talent. We’ve taken Avenica’s signature candidate experience and curated it for the anxious college senior in an easy-to-use online experience. Again, this program is now free! Did I mention it was free?

There were a million reasons for us to do this – we understand that college seniors are experiencing extra anxiety, we feel that we have a moral obligation to help however we can in a crisis, we know pocketbooks are extra tight – the list goes on. But in many ways, this program feels personal. Current pandemic aside, we know the plight of being a college senior who doesn’t know what they’re doing after graduation.

We were them.

In 2010, I was a senior at the University of Texas at Austin – a campus of 50,000 and home of the diehard Texas Longhorns. I was in the English Honors program and had my sights set on graduating. Over the years, I had toyed with a number of ideas – entering academia, becoming a lawyer, covering the Arab Spring as a rogue journalist – but nothing held firm. I ended up staying a fifth year after being elected Student Body Vice President. It gave me time to add on a second BA, this time in Women’s and Gender Studies, and also gave me the incredible experience of being a student leader on a huge campus. But it also had the adverse effect of delaying the inevitable.

So in my super senior year, I was juggling an honors thesis, student government responsibilities, and LSAT prep classes. I was busy but unfocused, and if I’m being really honest, I think that was by design. As May loomed closer and the high from student leadership was wearing off, I was running out of time and ideas. I applied to Teach for America and freaked out at their offer to be placed in Tulsa, OK. I didn’t do as well on the LSAT as I’d hoped. (I mean, how could I have been surprised with all the roadblocks I’d created for myself?)

Look – I’m going to pause right here to say I know, I was a big nerd in school. And I had the luxury of being able to even consider different options, even if I failed at them. But today’s reality of frozen pipelines and rescinded offers is a stark contrast. I’m getting there.

So, May came and went. I moved back to my hometown of Houston and started working on a mayoral campaign. I realized city politics wasn’t for me. I tried my hand at technical writing. The lack of human interaction left me wanting more. Through good friendship and fortune, I landed an entry-level management consulting role at global giant Accenture. I felt like I’d finally hit my stride – I was constantly surrounded by people, I was challenged by my work, and I enjoyed the structured learning process and career path.

The rest, as they say, is history – or at least, it’s documented in my bio on the Avenica leadership page. But the importance of my time in consulting is that it gave me the gift of knowing more about myself: what motivated me, how I preferred to learn, how I preferred to work, my strengths as a teammate, my weaknesses with detail-oriented tasks, and much more.

I realized this: self-awareness is the key to finding the right job.

Today’s market is unlike anything we have ever seen. I was a scared and confused college senior during a “normal” time, and I can’t even begin to imagine what today’s seniors must be feeling. We are seeing record unemployment, corporate layoffs, and frozen or rescinded offers. There are so many things we can’t control. But here’s the good news – the one thing you can control is you.

I’m so proud of our Pathways program because it provides deep insights into a student’s existing potential and abilities. Being equipped with self-awareness and the tools to harness your gifts is a potent combination for job hunting at any level and in any economy. You have to know yourself to effectively sell yourself and convince an organization that you are uniquely suited for their team.

I can’t wait to help the class of 2020 see themselves as the amazing talent we already know they will be.

To register or learn more about Avenica Pathways, click HERE.

About Avenica

Avenica is an innovative education-to-work platform focused on bridging the skills gap to connect more people to better career opportunities. Through high-impact training and a comprehensive career discovery process, Avenica has helped thousands of people kickstart meaningful careers.

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