According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pittsburgh has an average of one job for every four unemployed residents. Recruiters at PNC beg to differ.
“Even in a down economy, there are great jobs available and PNC has a lot of them,” said Melissa Mounce, senior vice president and director of talent acquisition.
Mounce, who’s based in Chicago, along with PNC’s Pittsburgh-based recruiting manager, Julie Paden, wants to spread the word about the many job opportunities at PNC. Thanks to the recent acquisition of National City Bank, PNC has “greatly expanded our geographic footprint” to places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Florida, California and Texas where job opportunities are also available.
PNC has a strong presence on 30 different campuses around the U.S., including the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State and some community colleges.
“We have a very strong campus program,” said Mounce. “Programs are specifically targeted at college graduates and include a two-year developmental plan.”
PNC’s internship program, overseen by Davie Huddleston, PNC’s head of strategic talent acquisition, had 60 percent of its 145 participating interns hired in 2008.
“We have a very reputable internship program,” Paden said.
Although PNC recruits heavily from college campuses, it’s not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to work there. Entry level jobs working as tellers, in the call center or in operations (data entry) don’t require a bachelor’s degree. PNC believes in training—Training Magazine cited the institution five years in a row as one of the top 125 companies for employee training—and internal promotion, so the call center position, Paden said, is a “great launching point.”
Employee referrals are another way for someone to get his or her foot in the door at PNC. Employees benefit because they receive cash bonuses every time PNC hires someone they referred.
“It’s proven to be a very good way for us to attract top talent,” said Mounce, “because good people refer other good people because they know what kind of people they want to work with. Tying an employee referral on your resume really sets you apart,” she added.
Mounce and Paden aren’t only interested in telling people about PNC’s job opportunities, though. They want to do what they can to help job seekers get hired, too. “It just makes sense,” said Paden. “You want to do what’s right for the candidates. There are a lot of great people out there.”
To help candidates improve their chances of getting hired somewhere, if not by PNC, Mounce and Paden offer advice when they encounter errors such as a candidate whose cell phone rang during a courtesy interview. Paden, a 21-year human resources veteran with PNC, the last five in recruiting, immediately counseled the young woman about how damaging that could be.
Other tips that Mounce and Paden offer to job seekers are:
•Write several resumes. “The days of having one resume for every opportunity are gone; you have to target each resume.”
•Don’t be modest. “Candidates have to provide true life examples of how they can be effective.”
•Avoid excessive job hopping. “If you can see career progression in the different jobs, you can see that they’ve [made strategic career choices].” Although “in this economy, we’re more forgiving of people who job hopped,” Paden still pointed out that “job stability is important.”
Mounce and Paden each stressed the importance of networking for both recruiters and job seekers. For recruiters, Mounce, a former business process consultant who got her first taste of recruiting when she was asked to help optimize staffing for her firm’s projects, said that using LinkedIn is a highly efficient way for recruiters to connect with candidates.
“My entire recruiting team is on LinkedIn. The Web generation is a huge part of recruiting these days. This is how Gen Y communicates, so it’s important.”
“I still think networking is undervalued and underutilized,” said Paden, who advises cultivating networking contacts by joining professional organizations.
PNC has a lot to offer job seekers in Pittsburgh and around the country.
(To learn more about the company and its many job opportunities, visit http://www.pnc.com/careers. Candidates can also follow PNC on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.)