Dessa Augsburger of the Columbus Chamber: Your Questions Answered

The Columbus Chamber provides numerous resources to help businesses large and small thrive. Hiring young, growing talent is one piece of the puzzle. Through her position as Talent Connections Manager at the Columbus Chamber, Dessa Augsburger connects employers with the resources necessary to tap into the employment market. She keeps a pulse on the the best ways to attract and retain talent, with a strategic eye on how businesses can do it better.

Below Dessa answers The Metropreneur’s questions on how businesses large and small can use the Chamber’s resources to built their talent pool – especially with the younger generation.

[M] Tell us about your role as Talent Connections Manager.

Headshot---D-AugsburgerMy role is to help employers and talent connect more easily. I explore the disconnect between business and talent daily to provide employers perspective, strategy and tactics to help traverse that chasm. There’s another party that’s camped out somewhere by that chasm, and that’s education – talent has to either get through education or around it on its way toward employers. So I also try to help employers and education connect more easily since talent will flow through.

To help myself help these parties connect, I strive to keep a pulse on trends, topics and technologies related to talent acquisition, recruitment, development, engagement and retention – particularly of the Gen Y flavor. I stay involved in education – which is where my career began – networking and interfacing with existing programs and new initiatives. I network and consult with businesses to uncover challenges and best practices related to talent here in the area. Finally, I dig into data – regional job openings, regional educational completions, enrollments, salaries and wages.

[M] What kind of support and connection services do you offer for small business?

We provide Gen Y Talent Services, specifically around emerging talent. A few services that can make connecting with Gen Y talent easier include:

  • · Internship Program Development & Sourcing
  • · Internships-in-a-Box: a plug-and-chug framework that sells to students, plugs in with academia and works for business.
  • · InternAdvantage: a half-day training module designed to boost business savvy, confidence and independence of green workers.

We also offer recruitment consulting and strategy. Small business runs a million miles an hour, and often there’s no time or staff to stop and strategize how to land qualified talent. I provide intel, creative thinking, recommendations and/or connections to relevant professionals around talent recruitment.

For example, here are some ways I’ve helped businesses this past year:

  • · Design or market appealing opportunities for all talent levels, using available intel, like wages and candidate supply.
  • · Tap into existing pipelines or create or find new ones through internships or other activities.
  • · Keep up with the Joneses: understand social recruiting and employer branding, the latest online job boards and trends – tools that can make the recruiting and hiring process easier.

[M] What are some of the trends and topics related to talent acquisition and engagement for younger generations?

One thing we know about millennials is that they crave constant, meaningful feedback, which is important for managers to understand. It turns out that regular, positive-feedback management that looks more like coaching is good for business overall, not just with Millennials. Companies are realizing that investing in employees through development is integral to not only retention, but can be used to recruit candidates as well.

“Employer Branding” is all the buzz. This basically means, what is it like to work in your environment? Is it welcoming? Would you want to come back? Employers are realizing that managing the employee experience – from candidate to hire – has to be as integral as managing the customer experience. From internships to onboarding, a candidate’s opinion and loyalty to the company can be influenced, just like that of customers. For emerging talent, internships can be a vehicle not only to staff roles over the summer and throughout the school year, but also serve as a platform to increase visibility and reach of a company in terms of attracting talent, and more so, fitting and quality talent.

[M] Small businesses don’t always have the time to strategize about their next hire. What advice and recommendations do you provide to small businesses to help them effectively staff their operations?

Don’t start from scratch if you don’t have to. Start with us. Even if a role isn’t fully fleshed out, tell me a little bit about what you’re looking for, and let me put my creative thinking cap on and get into some databases. I can find language, titles and wages, and provide some recruiting flare to help position the position. Many times it makes sense to grow your own talent. Again, don’t start from scratch, count on us to get connected to education sources that align to your work, whether through internships or other ways of engaging with young talent.