GradLeaders, the market leader in campus recruitment and career services technology recently collaborated with Dartmouth College’s Center for Professional Development (CPD) to redefine career services. Over the past year, the two offices worked together to understand how the next generation of students absorbs career advice, and how technology can enhance the job search process from discovery to offer acceptance. Based on the successful, year-long pilot project with Dartmouth, GradLeaders is releasing the new LAUNCH program to all school partners for the 2018-19 academic year, at no additional cost, to solve for several industry challenges career centers face.
More than 80 percent of students cite the prospect of a job as a critical factor in their decision to enroll in college, yet few feel confident in their ability to participate in the job market and the workplace. Only a third of students believe they will graduate with the skills and knowledge to be successful in the job market (34%) and in the workplace (36%) according to a new report by Gallup and the Strada Education Network. Some other pain points career service offices are tackling today include:
- The next-generation of students expect resources to be available anytime, anywhere
- Budget cuts have resulted in staff cuts and smaller teams are expected to do more work
- Career centers are under immense pressure from students, parents, admissions office and the government to deliver ROI
- Many career service offices, especially those with limited staff don’t offer a formalized and virtual process their students can follow
Roger Woolsey, Director and Assistant Dean of Dartmouth College and Jack Gainer, CEO of GradLeaders recognized these challenges and knew there had to be a better way. Together, they made it their mission to discover a more effective method to help students find a career path they’re passionate about.
“Having two children recently go through the job search process, and to hear the challenges career centers discuss at our conference year-after-year, I knew there had to be a better way to present career information to students,” says Jack. “The next generation demands a greater level of personalization than any other generation because they’re being raised in a time where everything – from TV, radio and even advertising -- has always been customized to them. We’re thrilled to align with Dartmouth in our new approach and disrupt the market with a personalized and virtual to-do list for students, to change the way we aid them in their job search.”
In partnership with Dartmouth, GradLeaders developed the proprietary LAUNCH Program, designed to personalize the career discovery experience and virtually guide students through the job search process.
Dartmouth College rolled out this new initiative to roughly 2,000 students in October of 2017, utilizing their Dartmouth CPD Career Center platform and one-of-a-kind CareerTracker tool, powered by GradLeaders. For reporting and research purposes, students were divided into two groups: a focus group, including those using the LAUNCH Program for all career search tasks, and a control group, encompassing students using their career center as they normally would.
Students participating in the LAUNCH Program were also provided additional career-related resources including assessments, salary/labor market research tools, electronic career advice guides, automated email newsletters with relevant jobs and events, and a virtual task list to track progress.
The early results speak for themselves. LAUNCH templates significantly increased student engagement with the career center and its virtual offerings by 40%. Participants exhibited increased profile completion rates, more resumes uploaded, more events attended and other increased job search activity. Here are some additional highlights:
- Personalized communication via automated email newsletters resulted in 50% email open rates and 10% click-thru rates (3x national averages) to job-seeking students
- 90% of students surveyed reported that they found the provided assessments useful in the career development process
- 80% of students surveyed felt that their revised resume was “very good quality” after going through virtual training
- 75% of students surveyed reported that they felt better about applying for jobs after completing the process
With the new LAUNCH Program templates, schools have the ability to customize tasks as they see fit and they can even create unique templates based on class year, major or other identifiers. Roger Woolsey of Dartmouth is excited about the innovative new approach and will roll out the LAUNCH Program to students for the upcoming school year.
“I think the metrics speak for themselves,” says Woolsey. “Reducing student uncertainty about postgraduate endeavors is critical among career educators. To fully achieve uncertainty reduction, the impetus is on early and continued student engagement with our offices. The LAUNCH Program is designed to take students through an organized yet flexible process to discover their career objectives and prepares students for meaningful interactions with employers. LAUNCH is successful at assisting students with understanding of self in relation to majors, abilities and careers. The program built student confidence, especially with interviewing. Not only did it drive engagement with our career center office, but it sustained engagement throughout the course of the school year.”
For more information about LAUNCH, or for help setting up templates, please visit gradleaders.com/LAUNCH
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