Archive for the ‘Recruiting & Professional Development’ Category

5 Tricks to Make Hiring a Treat

Halloween hiring tricksHalloween may be here but don’t “freak out” when a top performing staff member has left your company and you have big shoes to fill!

Here are a few tricks to help make the recruiting process “less scary.”

1.) Stay positive 

Finding top talent for your company is a process, so don’t get discouraged when finding the best person doesn’t happen right away. Also, be sure that you don’t settle for someone just to fill the role.

2.) Promote from Within

This is a great way to boost morale and to provide career pathing for existing employees. Career growth and development are top aspects that employees identify as factors they must have at work. According to RecruitLoop, internal recruiting can also save you time and money, reduce training time, improve productivity and morale, and facilitate succession planning.

3.) Write a Compelling Job Description 

It may be hard to replace top talent, but if you can clearly identify the traits, skills, and experience needed for a candidate to succeed from the get-go, it will make the process a lot easier to find the person who will meet your company’s needs. Also, make sure you put time and effort into a short description. Four times as many people read the short description than actually clicking through the ad itself.

4.) Turn to employees, they are great resources

Try reaching out to other staff members for referrals. They know your industry, company culture and may have contacts to network with.

5.) Utilize search services to streamline the process

If time and resources are scarce, using a search firm like Govig can help you  tap into a network you don’t have access to as a company. Typically, a search firm can reduce the time to fill by 50 percent.

Are you in need of executive recruitment services? Learn more about Govig & Associates by checking out our LinkedIn Company Page and get in touch with a recruiter today.



Registration: Each team of two must pay a $75 entry fee that can be paid in the following ways:

1) Through this PayPal link
2) Directly to Be the Match – Please send confirmation of donation to Katie Hesselmann at
3) Through cash or check given to Katie Hesselmann in person.

If you’d like to sponsor a silent auction basket or have any additional questions, please email Katie Hesselmann at

Five ways to attract top talent through an internship program

A recap on Govig’s Summer Internship Program

Govig Graduates seven interns from their Summer 2016 Intern Class

Govig graduates seven students from its Summer 2016 Internship program

Internships are not only a competitive process for students. Attracting top talent on the company side can be a difficult process as well. With internships sometimes looking the same on paper by presenting similar ‘real-life’ work, what can a company offer to set themselves apart?

Govig & Associates not only provided its first class of seven summer interns with ‘hands-on work’ experience with leaders in the executive recruiting industry, they also offered students extra ‘life learning’ through educational seminars, as well as additional opportunities for self-improvement and team-building.

Here are five tips on how to make internships stand out among the crowd and attract top talent.


  • 1.) Create an intern project program

Beyond working on daily tasks and projects in their respective departments, Govig tasked their sales, social media and human resources interns with a special assignment: a summer intern project.  The interns researched and developed their own projects on various topics. At the end of the summer, they presented their projects to the executive team with the opportunity of their ideas being implemented by the company.

Projects ranged from ideas to increase company brand awareness at Arizona State University to a proposal to enhance company social media through establishing Snapchat geofilters and creating more video content.

By tasking interns to draft their own project ideas, they are given the autonomy to express their ideas creatively. Knowing that leaders in the organization will hear their voice gives them a sense of pride in taking ownership of their projects. The extra responsibility of an intern project also teaches them effective time-management skills.

“Juggling an intern project and day-to-day work is difficult, but it prepares you for a real job, so it’s important,” said Alexa Pereda, a Govig summer sales intern. “It makes the internship more than just superficial learning, it is more applied and you get more out of it.”


  • 2.) Offer additional “life-learning” seminars
  • Govig interns learned about topics such as wealth management in their summer seminars

    Interns learned about topics such as wealth management in summer seminars

Hosting seminars on topics such as Corporate Do’s and Don’ts and Wealth Management shows interns that you care about their professional as well as personal learning.

Tim Crown, co-founder and current Chairman of the Board at Insight Enterprises, spoke to Govig interns on how to achieve success and happiness in their lives.

“I really enjoyed Tim Crown’s presentation on how to achieve happiness in your career,” said Melissa Schonberger, another Govig summer sales intern. “It’s very helpful to hear about how he got where he is today in (the IT solutions industry).”

It is not common for school curriculum to cover personal financial literacy. Social Media and Design Intern Francisco Diaz said that the wealth management classes from Kate Seastone of Simplicit Financial were really informative, especially the components on saving strategies, opening a credit account and managing debt.

By providing interns with worthwhile knowledge and handouts from experts in their field, they can start to connect the dots on what additional skills are needed to get them from college to a successful career.


3.) Host outings for interns/staff

Govig interns and staff bond over volunteer time at Feed My Starving Children

Govig interns and staff bond over volunteer time at Feed My Starving Children

Interns should feel like they are part of the team, even if it is only for a few months. Inviting them to staff meetings but also to other activities outside the office can create camaraderie.

Interns at Govig bonded over outings at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game, tested their teamwork at the Epic Escape Game Phoenix, as well as volunteered at Feed My Starving Children where they packaged meals for children in need.

“We wanted the interns to not only learn and become better team members inside the office but also provide them with other fun team building and volunteering opportunities,” said Todd Govig, president and CEO.


4.) Provide consistent check-in points with a mentor or supervisor

Weekly or bi-weekly touch base sessions with interns allows managers to give necessary feedback on what interns are doing well and what they could improve. When interns have a mentor or supervisor whom they can have an open conversation with, they are more likely to ask questions, be more involved at the office and ultimately produce valuable work.

HR intern Brittany Ater really enjoyed her one-on-one time with her manager and felt like the feedback she received gave her more confidence during her internship.

“I liked the hands-on experience and the trust I was given when screening candidates,” says Ater.


5.) Let the interns express their voices

At the end of the day, the internship should hopefully provide a great experience. Ask interns to fill out a final evaluation sheet to get a sense of what the interns enjoyed and what could have been improved about their experience, a Inquire about how their internship helped to advance them professionally, how helpful were additional learning sessions or seminars and what tips they would give to future interns.

Another tool to showcase an internship program is to highlight an intern’s experience or voice through a personal blog. Read about one intern’s summer in “10 Things I Learned During my 10 Weeks at Govig.”

Insights from an intern blog can be used to make adjustments and improvements for future intern programs but could also provide material for future company marketing materials.

Creating a successful internship program may take time, but by implementing a structure that offers students more a complete learning experience may set a company on its way to attracting top talent.

Are you searching for a hands-on business internship? Learn more about opportunities at Govig & Associates by checking out our LinkedIn Company Page or email and get in touch with a recruiter today.

10 Things I Learned During My 10 Weeks at Govig

Things I LearnedDuring My

As a Summer HR Intern for Govig & Associates, I learned the traditional and technical skills needed for internal recruiting such as phone and resume screening, interviewing, and using an applicant tracking system. More importantly, I’m pleasantly surprised to say I learned a great deal about myself both professionally and personally.


  1. A Resume is your first impression – make it count!

Learning how to screen resumes has confirmed that the “Six Second Rule,” the amount of time recruiters actually look at a resume, is definitely accurate. For better or worse, I’ve realized that a one-page document is sometimes all you get to make yourself stand out. Snap judgments often occur based on your employment dates and education alone.


  1. How to escape my comfort zone

For the first few weeks of my internship, the idea of conducting an independent phone screen was very intimidating. While reading a script and asking questions about a candidate’s job history seems simple, I initially resisted the opportunity to do so. Finally, when my manager asked if I could conduct a phone screen for her, I decided I was ready.  And of course, the preceding anticipation and anxiety was much scarier than the interview itself.


  1. Asking for help is okay & always beneficial

Each time I struggled with a screening a resume or conducting a phone interview, my managers happily gave me feedback, even going so far as to listen to my recorded calls and reviewing them with me. As a result, I feel that I’ve exponentially grown in my ability to efficiently and effectively screen candidates.


  1. My voice matters (even as an intern!)

I constantly felt like I had a say in various aspects of my day, what projects I wanted to work on, the internship experience itself, and even some larger company decisions – something many interns would not be able to say! For example, when I expressed interest in learning more about social media, my manager provided me with the resources and permissions to get involved with the company’s output and messaging.


  1. Govig & Associates encourages and inspires professional development

I’ve had the opportunity to attend seminars and focus meetings on topics ranging from the components of the HR process to negotiation and sales tactics, while also learning about wealth management and healthy living. It’s exciting to be working in an environment that inspires individual growth.


  1. An effective and involved manager makes all the difference

As an HR intern, I worked under not just one, but two managers who personally cared for my well-being and personal development. Our bi-weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss my progress and goals have become one of my favorite parts of the internship. After having this experience, I hope to continue cultivating similar open relationships with my future managers.


  1. Know when to speak up and when to listen

Listening is a skill that is both difficult to master, and consequently, not often practiced. I learned about the power of listening through an organized seminar on the topic, and more importantly, through my office relationships. When I restrained my knee-jerk reaction to share my thoughts and opinions when I didn’t agree with someone, my interactions went more smoothly (shocking!), and I was able to learn more about my coworkers and their interests.


  1. Time management

My managers at Govig provided me with a great deal of autonomy that cultivated my time management skills, and ultimately taught me how and when I work best. I was given projects to work on, as well as sufficient direction, but also had complete freedom to schedule my days in a personally efficient way.


  1. Take time for personal development and improvement

One of my favorite aspects of the internship was the structured reading plan. The books ranged in content from the best practices of Google’s HR team to the most effective methods to manage your money. Reading these texts reminded me how important it is to constantly be improving, learning and bettering yourself.


  1. It’s okay to trust your employees

My favorite part of interning at Govig has been the trust and freedom I’ve been allowed on a daily basis. Being treated like a valued and capable employee increased my desire to produce truly great results for my team, and ultimately presented itself as one of the outstanding aspects of the company.


Written by: Brittany Ater, HR Summer Intern

Four Ways Executive Recruiting can Help Offset Hiring Costs



When it is time to fill an executive position, hiring and recruiting managers may find themselves asking, “How much will hiring a new employee cost?”

It is natural to think of that question in direct monetary terms such as an employee salary, benefits, training, relocation costs and possibly a sign-on bonus. But there are other indirect hiring costs to consider when searching for that right employee, especially if a vacant position is being filled.

The total cost of hiring one new employee could be as high as $5,000 or more, varying by industry.

So how can some of these hiring costs be avoided? Perhaps more importantly, how can a bad hire be prevented? Here are four ways an executive recruiting firm, like Govig & Associates, can help offset those indirect costs.


1. Give back time

A candidate should no doubt be a good technical match for their position, but also be a good fit culturally within a company. After all, an employee can be a company’s biggest competitive advantage and brand advocate.  But finding that right fit takes time – even more so at the executive level.

The average time to fill a position could be as little as two weeks and as much as two months. It’s commonly known that time = money, so when staffing talent internally proves to be too time consuming it can be costly. Outsourcing the recruiting process could be the most effective method for hiring a quality candidate.


2. Provide sufficient talent intelligence

Positions listed on an employment website can be time consuming to monitor and update. They can also be ineffective in attracting the right person because the ideal candidate may be currently employed.

Many times the most qualified candidates may not be actively seeking a job, so a passive approach like a job board most likely won’t get their attention.

An extensive recruiting network of qualified talent in the right industry can be the key to locating the ideal applicant for the position. Bear in mind, it’s not about finding a long list of resumes that may fit the job description; it is about searching for those few potential candidates and then securing the right person for the position.

“The benefit of being hands-on within niches every day gives recruiters a great advantage of understanding and proactively reacting to changes,” said executive recruiter Jim Capelle. “Companies rely on recruiters to provide the highest level of talent to help build their companies and we strive to stay in tune with that pulse to continue to be the leader in a specific market.”


3. Reduce chances of turnover

Ultimately, a new hire should not only fill a position but also help a company move business forward. Recruiters look beyond the skills and qualifications bulleted on a resume. They assess the candidate holistically, ask the tough questions, take into account current and past jobs, references and behaviors to help predict whether or not the candidate will be the right fit and ultimately reduce the chances for turnover.

It is predicted that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. When you think about the time-to-fill being between two weeks to two months, the cost margin is huge!

 A study by American Center of Progress found that the average cost to replace a highly educated executive position could be 213% of their salary. For example, the cost to replace a $100k CEO is $213,000.


4. Foster relationships for future hiring success

Getting into a new relationship is always tough, but the information shared by utilizing the services of an executive search firm can build rapport with a firm’s recruiters to create a more streamlined experience the next time a company is in need of a new hire.

By the second, third and fourth hire, recruiters are more knowledgeable of the company, its goals, expectations and culture. A faster search and placement time can mean less hiring costs (both money and time) spent internally.

 Are you in need of executive recruitment services? Learn more about Govig & Associates by checking out our LinkedIn Company Page and get in touch with a recruiter today.


Executive Recruiting Blog Entry


Intern Summer Reading List

Reading Photo

Our summer interns meet weekly to discuss the reading and have a round-table discussion. Each individual gains something unique from our Summer Reading List and is able to share and debate with the rest of the group. See any books you’ve read? How about a novel we should include? Let us know in a comment. Pick up a book today and commit to becoming a life-long learner.


20 Years, 20 Questions with Bess Cadwell

Bess Cadwell has been a force to reckon with for years. Anyone in the construction recruiting world knows her name and all in the MRINetwork have heard her roar. Our beloved Bess has just celebrated her 20th year at Govig and Associates – 20 years of sass and kick-ass. From disco to f-bombs, Bess shares with us her insight on what it really takes to be an award winning recruiter; sometimes it’s as simple (or as complicated) as connecting the dots.


Q1 What field is your background or education in?

A I started off in the air-force in the military police. When I got out I worked in Big 8 accounting, start-ups and then 3 years working for Danielle Steel the romance author. I have a very diverse background in a lot of different types of business.

Q2 Biggest change you’ve seen at Govig?

A I would say the culture has significantly changed to be more employee centric.

Q3 Favorite thing to wear on casual Friday?

A Birkenstocks.

Q4 Favorite thing about Arizona?

A Mid-September when the summer breaks.

Q5 What are you most looking forward to about our move to a new office space?

A Better acoustics, ability to walk to the Fashion Square food court, and cutting edge technology.

Q6 What is one new thing you’ve learned this year?

A I learned to look down when I’m walking into my house so that I don’t trip and break my kneecap.

(She just tripped and broke her kneecap.)

Q7 Interesting or random fact about yourself?

A I used to jump out of airplanes and I once broke both of my ankles and had to be in two plaster casts for 6 weeks. I still won a disco contest with two rubber feet on the end of my casts in 1978.

Q8 What is your favorite drink?

A Yoohoo!

Q9 Favorite thing to do on your day’s off?

A Watch tennis. I never play, I just watch.

Q10 Biggest inspiration?

A I have two. First inspiration would be my husband. He’s going to be 86 yrs. old and he works out 6 times a week and is healthier than most 30 year olds. My other inspiration would be Bobbi Moss, [her former manager], because she gave me the opportunity to be in this business with absolutely no experience and she waited 10 months for me while I relocated.

Q11 How would your clients describe you?

A Very direct, very few filters, and someone who knows how to perform.

Q12 Favorite book?

A My favorite book is Anna Karenina.

Q13 What’s the hardest thing to learn when becoming a recruiter?

A Connecting the dots. Understanding that we bring tremendous value to every call that we make and every person that we touch [is hard to learn]. A lot of recruiters feel that they’re interrupting as opposed to us bringing candidates opportunities to improve their lives. And I think a lot of people have a hard time with [learning] that [they are bringing value].

Q14 What is one of your pet peeves?

A Someone who doesn’t crash the party. I don’t like people who ask for permission – I like people who ask for forgiveness.

Q15 Where do you see yourself in five years?

A Five years older doing exactly what I’m doing now, but hopefully a little better. Recruiting is sort of like life in that you never have it down, no matter how good you are. You can always learn.

Q16 Favorite thing about working at Govig?

A The ability to positively impact people’s lives, which is a double edged sword because it gives you a lot of power and if you do it right it also gives you a lot of responsibility.

(We think Uncle Ben would agree.)

Q17 What are three words that describe your recruitment style?

A Direct. Transparent. Laced-with-a-lot-of-f-bombs (that counts, right?).

Q18 What do you always have to have at your desk?

A My glasses.

Q19 Favorite job placing story?

A There’s been too many. I’ll do [one of my] biggest learning lessons. My first year I had a very attractive young man who I had recruited for a Forensic Accountant position. Every time he came into the office his eyes were red and he asked if I could find him some eye drops because he had allergies, and I believed him. We placed him and it turned out he was struggling with addiction. He got fired and we ended up losing the business. So, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

Q20 What advice would you give yourself as a young recruiter?

A I would say, “If you look at every mistake that you make as a learning opportunity you will continue to get better.” Second thing is, sometimes you just have to give yourself a pass when you screw up.

Four Tips for a Successful Summer Internship

Office Stock PhotoBy: Michelle Penot

So you got a summer internship? Congratulations! You dressed up, printed out your resume, shook hands with recruiters at career fairs, sat through numerous interviews, sent follow-up emails and finally you got an offer. It could be your dream internship at a prestigious firm, or it could be a local company that needed a few interns for the summer. Regardless of the name, the revenue of the company, or if your friends ask you “Where is that? I’ve never heard of it,” you are now an official employee of a company.

Now it is up to you to make the best of your new position.  Here are a four tips to help make your time at your internship as successful and beneficial as possible.

  • Take the Initiative

A lot of information is going to be thrown at you in the beginning, and it is OK and encouraged to ask questions.

However, it is essential to pay attention and keep up. Internships should be challenging. Don’t be afraid to take notes when your manager is running through something new with you. Bring a notebook and pen to every meeting.

TIP: After something is explained to you, repeat it back to them to make sure you are clear with directions. You’ll learn things quicker and won’t need to interrupt your manager for assistance every time you work on a project.

Don’t sit around and wait for your manager to give you another task after you complete something, be autonomous.

TIP: It could be something as small as organizing files or cleaning up a database. You will find your manager will trust you with more projects and give you more creative freedom.

  • Be advantageous

Internships are not meant to be a clock-in-clock-out job. Ultimately, you applied because you wanted a professional job experience to help launch a successful career. Start your day by thinking, “How can I be an asset and how can my skills be utilized?”

Pay attention to your manager’s schedule and responsibilities. Think of yourself as an extension of their role and how you can help them achieve their work goals.

TIP: If your manager hasn’t already set up one-on-one meetings with you, ask to set aside 20-30 minute once or twice a month to go over your progress and plan out goals for the summer.    

  • Challenge yourself to be innovative

It can be intimidating to speak up to your company with new ideas. However, interns are some of the best resources of knowledge of the inner workings of the company.

If you think of a solution to a company problem, write out a plan and present it to a supervisor. You can always list your internship on your resume, but what really stands out is your impact and success there.

TIP: “Saved x amount of money for the company by designing and implementing a new program or system” is a significant accomplishment you can speak of in future job interviews.

  • Keep track of your work

You will be learning and digesting a large amount of information at your internship so it is important to keep a log of all the work that you perform or industry/job tips or tricks you learned along the way.

TIP: If you haven’t already done so, create a portfolio of work or projects you have produced at internships or other clubs/organizations. Whether it be papers, blog articles or charts/reports displaying your accomplishments, all these pieces showcase your abilities, talents and value you could bring to a potential employer.

Most importantly, be yourself and take time to reflect on your internship. This is a summer to discover more about YOU, what kind of work YOU like and the type of company YOU want to work for. Challenge yourself each day and make the most out of your internship.

Have a great summer!

Industry Tips for the New Graduate

new graduate

You have tossed your mortarboard, taken pictures with friends and have that very important diploma in your hand. Now what?

Entering the job market and launching a career can be both exciting and intimidating for a new graduate. Having worked with recruiting and staffing needs in numerous industries, the Govig & Associates team weighs in on how to begin your career in the right direction.

The Job Market

You picked a great time to enter the job market. With nearly 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, there is a talent shortage on the horizon. The majority of baby boomers will be retired by 2020 when the millennial generation will make up around 46 percent of the workforce.

There is an experience gap between retiring baby boomers and millennials entering the workforce, but there are also significant aspects of opportunity. With the technology-enabled workplace, all employees—at all experience levels—will have to learn from the ground up. Since millennials are known for being early adopters with technology, they can have an advantage in the increasingly technology-driven job market.

The Whole Process Goes Mobile

Searching and applying for the perfect job is changing for today’s graduates. According to Glassdoor, nine in 10 job seekers use a mobile device to search for jobs. Recruiting efforts are following the trend.

Sites like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and many corporate career sites have shifted to a mobile platform, making it easier for you to search and apply for jobs from your device.

Technology is also allowing you to not only find the right position, but also to research industries and companies to find the one that aligns with your personal and professional goals and values. Review websites, like Glassdoor, as well as word of mouth and social media give today’s candidates more company insight than ever before.

Online research helps you be informed about where to apply and why. But take it a step further. Show some of your tech-savviness skills by understanding the industry, challenges facing professionals and share insight into how you—as a new graduate—can help them solve these problems.

Show Your Strengths

You got an interview—great! It isn’t a secret though; other generations have voiced what can be challenging about the millennial generation in the workplace. Don’t focus on that, because millennials have a lot of talents that make you the type of candidate they should hire.

  1. Millennials want to do a good job, they want to excel and they are motivated!
  2. New graduates have seen so many advancements already that they are empowered by limitless possibilities. They want to make a real difference.
  3. Whether it is a new technology, or new company leadership, millennials are adaptable because they are frequently asked to change, adapt or upgrade.

Get Busy!

Get busy learning. Your diploma isn’t the end to your education. As our CEO, Todd Govig says, “A degree is simply a license to continue learning.” Whether you take advantage of free webinars, attend conferences or read books about your profession, now is the time to keep the momentum going.

Get busy building your network. You have friends from your school program who are probably also new professionals in your field. Instant network! One thing that hasn’t changed with technology is that your network is still the best source of the next great career opportunity. Now is the time to build your LinkedIn profile, join professional organizations, attend local events and put in the effort to build and maintain your network.

Get busy with mentors. Consider finding a mentor one of most valuable things you can add to your professional toolkit. You may find a supervisor, informational interview, fellow member of that professional organization you joined, or someone else is a great mentor. But, don’t forget to pay it forward and open yourself to the opportunity to be a mentor for the next wave of new graduates.

Find The Right Opportunity

Govig & Associates offers a number of opportunities for ambitious people to build a career. Learn more about being part of our team.

To Hire or Not to Hire: The Online Degree Dilemma

 Online degree diploma

By Kip Harrell 

The solution for winning the Talent War is not only about hiring and retaining the right people with the right skills, it’s also about finding and uncovering more sources for these people.  As is the case for many problems these days, this one is being solved partly due to technology.

One of technology’s great gifts is that education has been brought to more people in more places at a rapid pace. Online education and distance learning have lowered the costs and globally extended educational opportunity access to millions of people.  The end result – more educated candidates and potential workers available in the talent pool.  Because of the talent war, these candidates can’t be ignored forever.

The Expansion of Online Education

Students have chosen the distance learning route for many reasons.  Trying to juggle a career and a family are daunting.  The opportunity cost to stop work and complete an education or secure an advanced degree is huge.  A great school could be in another state or another country and a potential student’s obligations and location are simply not convenient for them to take advantage of a quality, campus-based program.

Many academics and professionals will continue to turn their noses up at the thought of hiring someone who has completed an online education.  There are commonly heard arguments against online education: not enough academic rigor, not enough student face time with peers and faculty, an increased risk for plagiarism and dishonesty, and limited ability to network.

Those in favor of online and distance learning as a delivery option will tell you that the quality of programs are increasing, that academic rigor is intensifying and that high admission standards and accreditation are quickly enhancing the value of many online degrees.  Combine these factors with technology to solve a lack of face-time with peers and professors, orientation and immersion weeks at the beginning and during a program, and facilitated team-based projects.  The result can and does mitigate the arguments against distance learning delivery.

Of course, there are those who just don’t care about where or how a degree was earned.  “I hire skills and not the degree” is a classic refrain.

Examining Online Degrees

Regardless of what your perspective is, online and distance learning programs are not without their problems.  Hundreds of for-profit companies are flooding the market with far less than legitimate offerings.  I have seen ‘state licensed’ included in some of the ads for online education.  A ‘state-licensed’ quasi-college can be a sign-me-up attraction for those not in the know about education accreditation.  Joe’s Printing and Mary’s Florist Shop are also state-licensed businesses, however it does not mean that they are qualified to offer an accredited college degree. Buyer beware.

As a talent acquisition or hiring manager, you must be absolutely confident in your hiring decisions.  To hire people with online degrees, you have to complete your homework, pun intended.  A real challenge is how do you determine if a candidate with an online degree is academically prepared for the role?  For one, research.  Check that the institution is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the US Department of Education (USDE) or if it is a business degree, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Second, ask about the program.  Does it closely mirror a full-time, campus-based degree at the same school?  What opportunities do participants have to engage and network with peers and faculty? Do students participate in collaborative projects or teams?  A good rule of thumb is if the full-time, campus-based program is highly rated, then chances are the online or distance learning degree will be rated high.

Finding the Right Fit

Don’t reject a candidate with an online or distance-learning-delivered degree without a good reason.  Treat them as you would a candidate who graduated from a full-time program.  Ask the online degree applicants similar questions about experience and skills to do the job.  But also ask about their soft and presentation skills, where they had opportunities to collaborate and work in teams, and how they obtained the experiences that mirror those candidates holding degrees from a campus-based educational institution.

Acceptance of online degrees is growing.  And although it may be little bit longer before professional services firms start paying attention to candidates with online degrees, at least a third of the top 100 MBA schools offer an online degree with more on the way.  If you fail to consider online degree candidates as part of the solution as the talent war heats up, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.  And if you and your company are coming up with a shallow talent pool, maybe it’s time to start filling it with candidates from online and distance learning programs, too.