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Kelsey Fletcher

Concur HR Business Partner of Global Services, United States

I love building relationships with students. Once they’re hired, it’s incredibly inspiring to see what they accomplish and knowing I played a role in their career journey.

Kelsey Fletcher
Bellevue, United States

The secret to recruiting awesome university students

By Naomi Thalenberg,
SAP iXp Brand Manager

 

Kelsey Fletcher has seen it all. In her two years recruiting university students for internship roles at Concur and SAP’s global Internship Experience Project (SAP iXp), she’s combed through thousands of resumes and interviewed hundreds of internship candidates.

She’s now changing roles from University Recruiter to Concur HR Business Partner of Global Services, focusing on the candidate experience and ensuring Concur employees are well taken care of.

We sat down with Kelsey to see what she’s learned in her two years of recruiting for a global and competitive internship program. Whether you’re a student seeking a new role or a novice recruiter looking for tips of the trade, Kelsey has insight for everyone.

What sort of information stands out to you when you’re reading through hundreds of resumes?
It’s inevitable that first impressions involve the aesthetics. Right away, I look for resumes that are clean and polished. The main thing I look for is how a person has chosen to tell his/her story.
 
For example, if a student is describing their tasks in a previous internship role saying “I calendared meetings and printed materials,” that doesn’t tell me much.
 
I recommend painting a story through your experiences. If you say things like “I listened to directions well and organized and planned for the day,” now I’m interested.  
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What has inspired you in this role?
I love building relationships with students. Once they’re hired, it’s incredibly inspiring to see what they accomplish from the beginning of the summer to the end of their internships.
 
Our interns work on a specific project throughout the course of their internship. I love watching their presentations at the end of the summer, knowing the tremendous amount of research and work they’ve put into it and the impact it has the team and the business. It’s incredible knowing I played a role in their career journey.  
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What are some of the frequently asked questions you hear from students?

Students seek a role where they feel they have a seat at the table and can make a difference through the projects work on. I always tell students ­that our hiring managers are looking for people who can challenge them and question the status quo. We want interns to raise their hands and ask the big questions.  

Many students say “I want to make a difference and help people, or improve something.” Honestly, in my two years recruiting for this internship program, we’ve assured that each student fills this inherent desire through the projects they work on.  

Our goal is to eliminate this fear that they won’t be making an impact by placing them on a great team with a project that’s focused on developing real solutions for real problems. 

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Have you found any differentiating factors between your role and other recruiters in similar industries?
Recruiting can oftentimes feel very transactional. What I love about it is plugging the puzzle pieces together. I call myself a career matchmaker. Oftentimes I think about specific conversations I’ve had with students and match them with the best fit hiring manager and team.
 
Other companies use buzzwords or make applicants take a quiz. At Concur, it’s a more holistic process. We love taking chances on people and we’re not afraid to hire a student who hasn’t had three internships before.
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What advice would you give to a novice recruiter?
Some of the best candidates you’ll meet won’t be through traditional avenues like a referral or a career fair; you’ll meet candidates everywhere.
 
For example, I was shopping during Christmas and struck up a conversation with the girl who was helping me shop. I said something like, “I wish I could wear yoga pants at work,” and she asked me where I worked. When I told her, she immediately told me she was interested in an internship. She didn’t even know I was the university recruiter. We swapped information and now she’s in her second interview for a role on our communications team.
 
You’re representing your company everywhere you go. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and say where you work. And the same advice goes for job seekers. It would’ve been so easy for her to say “oh cool,” but she saw an opportunity and jumped on it.  
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What will you miss most about this role?
I’m going to miss that feeling I get on the very first day of students’ orientation. I’ll miss seeing all the people I brought into this awesome company who go on to share my love for Concur.  
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