Inspirational speaker and educator helping people embrace change, diversity and growth. Jamie’s specialties include managing generational differences, leveraging interpersonal style differences on teams, enjoying and promoting diversity, Millennial and Gen Z career development, negotiations, recruiting, onboarding, conflict resolution and women’s leadership issues.
What are the best practices you’re seeing among energy companies who hire college graduates?
The best companies are realistic about the cyclical nature of the industry, and they know entry-level hiring will be one of the first things to pick up when things improve. As a result, the best companies are staying involved on campus with branding activities, even if they’re not hiring much or at all. We’re seeing more energy companies volunteering to guest lecture, presenting to student organizations, helping with mock interviews and resume reviews, and sponsoring leadership and diversity programs that aren’t focused on hiring.
Should companies be on campus if they’re not hiring?
Don’t attend career fairs or host interviews if you’re not hiring. But it’s important to keep a strong brand on campus to position you for future hiring. The best companies are currently doing programs that target freshmen and sophomores so those students will feel a strong connection to the company when they are graduating and entry-level hiring has improved again. Otherwise, you risk being forgotten, and you won’t get the top candidates when you return in the future.
As Gen Z starts to enter internships, what can we expect?
I survey thousands of college students each year, and Gen Z is definitely different from the Millennials. Gen Z is very comfortable solving problems independently and even implementing their own ideas with limited involvement or oversight from others. For this reason, it’s important that new hires are very clear on what types of things need approval prior to moving forward. It is also important to be very clear on what information can and cannot be shared, and with whom, and under what circumstances. This is a generation that has been very successful through crowdsourcing, so they are less likely than the Millennials to seek approval before asking questions or testing ideas outside of their own departments.
How should you attract Gen Z to the energy industry?
As with the Millennials, it is still important to tie your company’s work and mission to a larger meaning. The more you can talk about how your company is improving the world and the lives of people in it, the more exciting you are as an employer. Social entrepreneurship is big with this generation, so showing how your company impacts the “triple bottom line” (people, profit, planet) is critical. The students also want to see a family atmosphere in their potential employers. Team-building activities and co-workers who socialize are big perks for younger hires. They no-longer expect work-life balance as much as work-life integration. They may play Pokemon Go at their desks on occasion, but they will also bring work home and work on projects after hours.
Get to know the HR Pro
What “lesson from Mom” do you still live by today?
Find something nice to say. Complaining and gossiping never got anyone anywhere.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’d love to visit the Galapagos Islands and see all of the unusual wildlife.
What’s the worst mistake you ever made in life that taught you a valuable lesson?
I took a job right out of college, just because it was in my field, without really thinking critically about the company. It was a terrible fit for my values system, and I cried all the way to work every day. That decision has made me passionate about making sure other college students don’t make the same mistake I did!
Prior to her position as Assistant Dean for Career Services at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, she managed Recruiting and Staffing at The University of Texas at Austin. Earlier at UT, she built McCombs’ first MBA Career Services group.
She is a founding member of the global MBA Career Services and Employers Alliance. She is the recipient of the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2012 Professional Change Maker Award and the 2013 Innovation Excellence Award in Diversity Programming for one of her books on career development. She is also an Ironman and a mother of two.