Post-Pandemic Recruiting College Students and Recent Grads

Interview with

Steven Rothberg,


Segment One – Steven Rothberg

Steven Rothberg is the founder of, and during this episode, Steven discusses the shift in college recruitment post-pandemic and into 2022.  He talks about the shift in what jobs employers are trying to fill in today’s market.  He also addresses the issues facing employers being able to hire the types of employees needed to keep their businesses afloat.

Segment Two – Ira S Wolfe

Host and founder of Success Performance Solutions, Ira Wolfe, continues his discussion on pre-employment testing. He discusses how the right pre-employment test can support job relevance when deciding which test is most accurate and compliant for your company.


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  • Changes in College Recruitment…Differentiate the Different Groups (11:08)
  • A Significant Imbalance in the Labor Market (12:32)
  • We Should be Applauding People for Making Rational Financial-Based Decisions (14:56)
  • It Puts the Lid on the Compensation (18:25)
  • In 2021, “The Vast Majority of Interns are Working From Home” (21:52)
  • Paid or Unpaid Internships? “It Varies Considerably Industry to Industry (23:07)
  • Treat ‘Em Well, Pay ‘Em Well, and You Won’t Have Trouble Hiring (30:30)
  • It’s Validity, Reliability, and Job Relevance (38:57)
  • When Everyone is Measured by the Same Profile, Sometimes Scales Aren’t Relevant (46:26)

NOTE: Quote times may be +/- 30-60 seconds different for the audio version.

Podcast Notes

Changes in College Recruitment…Differentiate the Different Groups (11:08)

Rothberg discusses the differences in post-pandemic college recruitment and then “differentiates the different groups” (11:08).  He identifies three different types of college recruitment:

  •     One Year – trade school or certification programs
  •     Two Year – Junior colleges /Associate’s degree
  •     Four Year – traditional college experience – Bachelor’s degree

When it comes to college recruitment, most people think about four-year programs. In today’s market, he says recruiters are looking for part-time and seasonal jobs, and these jobs are not career-related, which means community colleges and trade schools are good labor markets for employers to recruit.

A Significant Imbalance in the Labor Market (12:32)

Because there are more employers hiring for open jobs than people applying for the jobs, there is “a significant imbalance in the labor market.”  Rothberg believes there are plenty of job seekers: for about the last five decades, employers have been able to get away with both paying and treating their employees “like crap.”  In today’s market, employers might be able to do one or the other, but not both.  Nevertheless, he admits that most employers want to pay their employees a fair wage, but they don’t know how to do it in this market.   

We Should be Applauding People for Making Rational Financial-Based Decisions (14:56)

As companies begin to reopen, many businesses cannot go back to Employees who were let go during the height of the pandemic, now can get higher-paying jobs elsewhere. They do not want to return to a job that pays less, especially if that company fired or laid them off. Rothberg takes an interesting point of view too. He says that we shouldn’t be upset by their decisions, but “we should be applauding people for making rational financial-based decisions.” He credits the likes of Amazon for creating a significant upward pressure in pay and benefits. Amazon, he notes, offers many benefits on the 1st day, while traditionally many businesses have a months-long waiting period. Who wouldn’t accept more pay, immediate vacation, healthcare benefits, and stable employment?

It Puts the Lid on the Compensation (18:25)

Wolfe asked Rothberg to comment on the recent New York Times story that Amazon churned 350,000 employees from July to October in 2020. While Amazon’s turnover seems to be alarmingly high, Rothberg believes that is intentional. “It puts the lid on compensation.” By having a high turnover, Amazon will not have to pay the extremely high salary that an employee with longevity will make. Rothberg believes Amazon is trying to change that model, and they are going to be hiring with retention in mind to address the expected shifts in jobs, hiring, and the labor market.

In 2021, The Vast Majority of Interns are Working From Home (21:52)

Starting in March 2020, “the vast majority of interns are working from home.” Most companies plan their internships a year or more in advance, and this year’s crop of internships is based upon 2020 planning. Rothberg suggests that 2022 may be more normal. Students who will be interning next year should not bet on working from home, as the vast majority of large companies want their employees back on site.

Treat ‘Em Well, Pay ‘Em Well, and You Won’t Have Trouble Hiring (30:30)

When asked about his prediction for a year from now, Rothberg warns that he believes we will see many businesses of all sizes going bankrupt, causing a significant problem for our economy.  He doesn’t think employers are willing to address the problems standing defiantly in front of them. Some employers will continue paying and underpaying workers as little as possible. These companies won’t be able to attract skilled and qualified employees, thus slowing growth, cutting hours, or sacrificing productivity and service. He believes that a labor market panic might prompt some employers to change if it’s not too late. He encourages companies to “treat ‘em well, pay ‘em well, and you won’t have trouble hiring.”

It’s Validity, Reliability, and Job Relevance (38:57)

Host Ira Wolfe expands his discussion from weeks past about pre-employment testing.  What three criteria does a pre-employment test have to include? Wolfe says, “it’s validity, reliability, and job relevance.”  Wolfe breaks each criterion down further:

  • Validity – Ensures that the assessment is testing accurately what it says it’s testing.
  • Reliability – If you repeat the assessment test, will you get similar results within an acceptable percentage?
  • Job Relevance – Do the abilities, traits, and attitude impact job performance?

Wolfe focuses today on the third criterion, job relevance.  He says that many of the popular pre-employment tests used today include the OCEAN Model (also called 5-Factor) to determine job relevance.  OCEAN represents:

O – Openness

C – Conscientious

E – Extroversion

A – Agreeableness

N – Nonemotion

When Everyone is Measured by the Same Profile, Sometimes Scales Aren’t Relevant (46:26).

With the majority of pre-employment tests, every candidate regardless of the job responds to the same questionnaire. The problem with that approach is “when everyone is measured by the same profile, sometimes scales aren’t relevant.” With Success Performance Solution’s Elite Assessment System, you can select which scales (test subjects) that are most important to the job. For example, it doesn’t matter for many jobs if the employee is extraverted or introverted, so why test for it?  Unfortunately, employers don’t have the option to remove those questions in most testing options. With Elite Assessment Testing, it just takes a click on your keyboard.  This makes Elite Testing the optimal solution for EEO compliance in pre-employment testing.


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