Employer & Career Coach Panels – Pulling Back the Curtain: Conversations between Employers & Career Coaches 

MCDA – Employer & Career Coach Panels – Pulling Back the Curtain: Conversations between Employers & Career Coaches 

November 16, 2023      

Employer-Recruiter Panel 

Employers: Caitlin Braulick (H.B Fuller), Renne Davis (Park Nicollet), Carlie Donley (Andersen Corporation), Rachel Scherer (IC System), Joy VanderHeiden (Ehlers Inc.) 


  • Don’t use just blind Linked-In connection request; be specific with why you want to connect.  
  • Lying on a resume is worse than being honest about an undesirable part of history. It will come up on a background check! (Stated by all companies) 

Cover Letter: Many recruiters don’t care for cover letters,  especially for template cover letters, but meaningful cover letters are recommended when it: 

  1. Explains information such as gaps in employment. 
  2. Tells how one is unique in comparison to competition. 
  3. Describes more detail regarding projects worked on  

Compensation: Do recruiters post salaries in job posts? 

  • Yes, for higher level positions such as engineers but not for entry level positions. 
  • Some states now require salary listed in job postings; Minnesota may require in the near future.  

Job Fairs: Do the recruiter panelists use job fairs for recruiting? 

  • 3 out of 5 said that they rely on job fairs.  
  • Health Partners joins forces with other organizations when putting on job fairs.  
  • The medical organizations find job fairs are good for support staff positions but not for IT positions because they have far fewer IT positions such as Analyst available.  

Enticements: What benefits do employers provide for new applicants? 

  • Medical providers offer hiring bonuses for high demand positions such as ER Nurse, but they compete with five other organizations for talent.  
  • Some organizations provide “Talent-Up” opportunities such as in-house training leading to supervision and management positions. 70% of people in these programs land promotions. 

Assessments: Do recruiters utilize Personality and Work Style Assessments? 

  • Many prefer not to use assessments but rather rely on interview interactions to decern information.  

Diversity: Where do employers post to recruit unrepresented candidates? 

  • Recruit at places attended by target populations. 
  • Utilize social media.  
  • Make it comfortable for applicants to apply (e.g. – don’t make applicants re-enter information after resume is uploaded – pars information from the resume).  
  • Assure gender neutral language in postings. 
  • Some companies offer ESL language classes onsite.  
  • Hiring individuals with disabilities varies depending on the position.  
  • All organizations agree that they hire based on quality of interview because of disability disclosure. 
  • All organizations are very conscientious of DEI wording in postings. 

Career Coach Panel

Career Coaches:  Avery Bardell (Goodwill Easter Seals MN) Cindy Edwards (Finding Your Fit Coaching & Training Services), Carol Foley (Employment Guidance Counselor, Ramsey County Workforce Center), Naomi Hagen (Career Coach, Senior Consultant, Right Management), Will O’Brien (Associate Director & Career Coach @ UofM Carlson School of Management)  

Career Coaches Represented: Private Practice (Cindy Edwards); Higher Ed (Will O’Brien), Non-Profits (Avery Bardell), Government (Carol Foley); and Outplacement (Naomi Hagen) 

What do candidates look for in new jobs/ Employers? 

  • Leadership: Leaders who listen, coach and collaborate. 
  • Diversity: Do the job posting and company website display a welcoming environment. Does the website describe the managerial style. Larger companies have larger budgets to advertise information such as leadership, mission, leadership-style  and company culture on their websites.  
  • Ethics: Does the organization support sustainability; how does it support the community? 
  • Remote work: Remote/ Hybrid/ onsite only. More employees prefer Remote only options however some actually prefer Hybrid or Onsite only for comradery and networking opportunities. “Remote Work” is one of the most frequent search terms this year.  
  • Geography: For jobs paying less than $20.00 /hr. location and public transportation are critical issues.  
  • Flexibility: This is very important for employees with children.  
  • Training and Development Opportunities 

What resources do candidates utilize when looking for work.  Coaches recommend a Multi-Prong approach! 

  • Indeed/ LinkedIn: There was a mixed response with one coach highly recommending Indeed while others preferred to not use it but rather recommend Linked In 
  • Networking: A majority of people find their jobs through word-of-mouth. 
  • Informational Interviews: Learn how skills fit and gain knowledge required on the job. 
  • Zippia.com: Offers ability to translate job descriptions in to Career Paths.  
  • Glassdoor and Indeed: Are good source for reviews from employees but one should be sure to look more at trends rather than the feedback from one individual.  
  • Culture: Ask questions such as “what adjectives describe successful employees such as Competitor, Collaborator, and value statements. 

Job Seeker Frustrations and Perceived Barriers: 

  • Barrier – Not being able to talk to live human beings before or after application. 
  • Frustrations – Unclear and confusing job postings – jargon, no wage transparency, long, overly-detailed position descriptions, positions that have been filled are still posted. 

How can employers better recruit candidates? 

  •  Be open to informational interviews. 
  • Have recruiters & managers be responsive to applicants who have questions. 
  • Be transparent about the hiring process (how long does the process take). Some recruiters said that their company policy is to process all applications within seven days with minor exceptions.  
  • Best Practice: Provide candidates with notice of who to call with any questions and then train staff to respond to all applicants promptly.  
  • Prepare all employees with a script of what to say to candidates who express interest in your company. 


Brandon Beaulieu, MCDA Professional Development Committee 

Elke Izakson, MCDA Professional Development Committee 

Paul Larson, MCDA Board member 

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