This New Job Searching Tool Was Created Specifically for Millennials

 

A Millennial man searching for jobs on his laptop.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

With the U.S. unemployment rate hitting a 16-year low, it’s important for Millennials to sharpen their interview skills, hone their resumes, and equip themselves with the best job searching tools available. Typical job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor are all great places to start. But if you’re a recent graduate you might want to try WayUp, a job search startup aimed at Millennials.

Founded by recent University of Pennsylvania graduate Liz Wessel, WayUp is a platform that connects college students and recent graduates with job opportunities that fit their unique skill sets. WayUp’s Chief Technology Officer J.J. Fliegelman reported that since their launch in 2014, the site has registered 3.5 million user profiles. Wessel believes that the success of WayUp thus far has been rooted in their dedication to democratizing the job search. Wessel believes that this unique job searching platform could eliminate the “who you know” aspect of employment.

Registration is a simple process that takes less than five minutes. WayUp can link to your Facebook account or you can manually set up an account. A student or recent graduate then fills out personal information, their work experience, uploads their resume and photo, and even answers a fun fact about themselves. WayUp profiles are designed to frame a candidate’s experiences in relevant ways to hiring managers.

“A lot of employers just don’t realize that a year of working part-time during the school year is very valuable experience,” says Wessel.

Here’s how it works. WayUp matches users using machine-learning algorithms. The algorithms then crunch data to compare new members with similar users’ accounts. The application is a one-click process that is designed to provides hiring managers with candidates who would be a good fit.

Since WayUp focuses on non-traditional experience, this could give an edge to the younger demographic that companies are targeting. Millennials look at their careers thematically as opposed to other generations that had a more linear approach to professional growth. That’s why WayUp founder Liz Wessel believes that this new approach to job search will be the way of the future.

McDonald’s to Use Snapchat for Summer Jobs

A McDonald's sign.

Photo credit: Mike Mozart at Flickr Creative Commons.

Many teens turn to the fast food industry when it’s time for their first summer job, and McDonald’s has found a way to reach this new crop of potential employees.

This week McDonald’s will be releasing a series of 10-second ads on Snapchat, aimed at teens who are looking for summer work. These ads will feature current employees talking about why they love their jobs, with the hope of enticing viewers to become its new batch of hirees. Jez Langhorn, a McDonald’s human resources executive, believes this is the best way to reach their target audience.

“As we see the younger generations seeking out their first jobs, we want to make them aware of the great opportunities available at McDonald’s,” Langhorn said in a statement.

McDonald’s plans on hiring 250,000 seasonal employees for jobs starting this month and ending in August–just in time for the new school year.

Clever advertising and intelligent marketing are just two of the reasons McDonald’s is one of the most ubiquitous companies in the world. It’s no surprise that McDonald’s is using the most popular social media platform with teens to engage them, especially one that comes with a catchy name: Snaplications.

“We thought Snaplications was a great way to allow us to meet job seekers where they are—their phones,” said Langhorn.

While some may say kids would have McDonald’s in their mind anyway, it’s still a very smart way of interacting with today’s teens and young adults. It’s also not entirely new.

McDonald’s began using Snapchat in Australia earlier this year (with positive results), and in keeping up with the online/social stratosphere, it’s looking to engage jobseekers on both Hulu and Spotify.

Job seekers are encouraged to find out more by going to McDonald’s website (via the Snaplication, of course) or any local restaurant.

Stifel Looking to Weather Fiduciary Storm

An image of stock market charts with the word "fiduciary" written across them.

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Stifel Financial is one of many firms looking to weather upcoming regulatory changes. Though Stifel’s 2,282 financial advisors are currently in good shape, and the company doubled net income in the fourth quarter of 2016, the June 9 fiduciary rule could make or break recent progress.

Co-chaired by Thom Weisel and Ron Kruszewski, Stifel will “always look at good deals,” according to Kruszewski. And that’s likely to be the company’s saving grace in tumultuous times to come. Capitalizing on forward thinking, Stifel currently manages over $235 billion in assets, and the company’s net income doubled to $24.5 million, or $0.31 per share, with sales rising 14% in Q4.

But it’s not all champagne and roses, despite the robust health of the company. Some investors are cutting their stakes in Stifel, including Ameriprise Financial Inc., which reduced its shares by 23.7% during Q1 of 2017, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. And Instinet analyst Steven Chuback downgraded Stifel to “neutral” in late May, citing the cautious messaging coming from Kruszewski regarding the upcoming fiduciary rule.

“Our decision to downgrade SF does not come lightly,” Chuback noted, “as the company has executed well in recent quarters (bank growth, expense management, etc.). However, after hosting meetings with CEO Kruszewski earlier this month, his cautious messaging on the DOL rule…reinforced our view that this latest announcement/enforcement of the June 9 deadline could weigh on broker multiples (litigation risk) and slow advisor recruitment.”

Certainly the June 9 DOL rule is likely to shake things up. For Stifel, however, the future is still looking bright overall. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Macquarie Group Ltd., FMR LLC, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp have all recently increased their shares of Stifel stock. Dimensional raised its stake by 17.7%, Macquarie by 1.2%, FMR by 27.5%, and Bank of New York by 7% just within Q1 of this year. Institutional investors and hedge funds now own 84.09% of Stifel’s total stock, which was trading at $43.475 as of June 5. The company has also announced that their quarterly revenue is up 9% as compared to the same quarter last year.

While the effects of the DOL rule remain to be seen, for the moment, Stifel is looking good to weather the storm.

Ford Puts New CEO in the Driver’s Seat

Ford's logo.

Image credit: rvlsoft / Shutterstock

On Monday, Ford replaced its current chief executive, Mark Fields, with Jim Hackett, who had been responsible for the Ford subsidiary that works on autonomous vehicles. During Fields’ three-year stint as CEO, Ford has seen losses in both sales and profits. Although the U.S. automotive industry as a whole has been soft, Ford’s sales are down 25% this year, and first quarter profits fell by 30%, which is a far greater decline than its competitors.

Ford’s board was critical of Fields’ failure to keep pace with companies like Tesla, General Motors, and Google in the development of self-driving cars. Ford has not only fallen behind these companies in this area, but it has also failed to deliver profitable sales of their existing models despite the fact that, at the recent annual meeting, Fields said that Ford was capable of staying competitive in the current automotive market while also “keeping one foot in the future.” Ford promised to have a fully autonomous car on the road by 2021. But the Board felt that was not soon enough to beat the competitors who are already testing such vehicles.

Other issues have dogged Fields during his time at Ford. Ford has had a number of safety recalls that have raised concerns about its ability to insure quality. Fields was also involved in a failed plan to build an assembly plant for small cars in Mexico. And as recently as last week, Fields cut 1,400 jobs in an effort to improve the bottom line. But the stock price continued to decline.

The appointment of Hackett to the top job is a signal that the Board sees self-driving cars as the wave of the future and will be putting more pressure on the new CEO to successfully and more quickly develop a self-driving automobile that can compete in the marketplace.

Next Generation Farming Techniques Involve the Clever Use of Technology

A drone hovering above farmland.

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The next generation of farmers believe that there are better ways to farm outside of mainstream techniques.

Millennial farmers are incorporating technology into everyday farming practices as a means of increasing productivity and streamlining conventional processes. For example, trends show that younger farmers are leaning towards organic and sustainable small-scale farming.

These small farms often gain support for their technology through crowd funding and are sustained by Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Many utilize farm shares where members subscribe for a portion of produce weekly, monthly, or yearly. They use technology that provides accurate tracking of their produce and livestock so that they are better able to plan for their farming needs and the production requirements to deliver goods to consumers.

Technology also offers opportunities to produce food more sustainably. A mixture of data, math, sensors, analysis, hardware and software allows farmers to go beyond what the eye can see. This data can be monitored all at once, creating greater efficiency in the agricultural process.

Forbes reports that “consumers have gravitated to mobile devices and smart technology to live healthier, safer, and more connected lifestyles–monitoring our thermostats and securing our homes and tracking our health. The migration of technologies that we use in our everyday lives into tools for farmers to grow crops more effectively and create sustainable farms is the model for a new generation of farmers.”

Farmers have successfully integrated such technology as moisture sensors, terrain contour mapping, smart irrigation, drones, and self-driving and GPS-enabled tractor technologies into their daily routines.

Drone technology is another powerful addition to smart farming. Drones allow farmers to map fields aerially in real time. Aerial imagery can expose heavily compacted fields and crop health issues, as well as show improvement in yields.

Drones can also help pollinate crops. Bio-inspired drones could have huge effects on the pollination crises and the decline of bees. They can be designed to fly from crop to crop, fertilizing plats mimicking natural pollination. These flight patterns might also provide researchers with some clues about how to help with pollinator declines.

The hope is that smart farming will help our agricultural industry reduce negative side effects on the environment, protecting our planet’s resources, while still producing the best food supply for a growing and hungry population.

Millennials: Start Saving for Your Retirement Today!

A jar with money in it. The jar is labeled "retirement."

Photo credit: Tax Credits at Flickr Creative Commons.

Millennials are in an ideal position to get started on retirement planning because the monies they set aside and invest now will grow over time. But starting now is the key.

Starting a savings plan as early as possible will enable Millennials to put aside small amounts of money each month. The smaller amounts are easier to budget for, and the longer the money is invested, the more time it has to grow into enough for a comfortable retirement. Many experts believe that the amount of money needed to retire is in the range of approximately $1 million.

Unfortunately, many Millennials postpone setting aside savings because many already have financial burdens like student loans or credit card debt. Additionally, they often lack access to 401(k) or similar retirement plans if they work seasonal jobs, are employed part-time, are self-employed, or work at small businesses that don’t offer 401(k) options.

In fact, many Millennials haven’t begun saving for retirement yet. A Wells Fargo survey identified that a full 41% of Millennials have not yet started saving for retirement. Some believe it’s fair to assume the percentage of non-savers would be even higher if they included unemployed Millennials in their survey.

There are a variety of reasons Millennials are holding out when it comes to planning ahead. For example, some have just started working or have irregular incomes, so emergency funds are more critical than retirement funds at the moment.

Women find it especially difficult to find the extra money to put aside due to the gender pay gap. In the Wells Fargo survey, women reported median personal income of $28,800 versus the $39,100 earned by men. It’s not surprising then that more women than men (54% to 43%) said they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck.

And the feeling of scarcity isn’t just gender-based: according to the survey, 64% of the Millennials said they would never accumulate $1 million in savings over their lifetime (though it’s worth noting that 73% of the total women surveyed felt this way).

There are a few steps Millennials can take to invest wisely and make the most of their 401(k)s. First, the recent Mobile Millennials survey from Retirement Clearinghouse found that, when changing jobs, 34% of Millennials cashed out of their 401(k)s at least once. Many experts suggest, however, that a 401(k) should be your last resort to cash out on for any reason. Better to find that cash you need elsewhere.

The Wells Fargo survey also reported that 44% who’ve started saving are only putting away 1-5% of their income—quite a small amount when considering your financial future. Wells Fargo advised that a target of 10% would be a better goal, if possible.

Educating Millennials on their finances is another important step. In the Wells Fargo survey, 35% of Millennials said they didn’t know enough about IRAs to consider them. Since IRAs and 401(k)s have nuances that only a financial advisor can really explain, it’s best to consult one in order to best understand the options for each individual.

Millennials come from a variety of financial backgrounds, and each has their own unique situation when it comes to saving for the future. Still, it’s important across the board for Millennials—and for every generation—to take a good, long look at best practices to ensure that retirement is something everyone can look forward to—not dread.

The Battle of Free Shipping Continues

A wooden crate with the words "free shipping" stamped onto it.

Image credit: Shutterstock

It’s hard to be a big box retailer these days and charge a hefty price for shipping. We keep seeing big-name stores that were once prosperous now closing up shop, and a lot of that has to do with the ease and affordability of online shopping.

For a time, many still chose to shop in-person because that option offered no shipping fees, but that era is slowly coming to an end–and major stores are now battling it out for the best free shipping deal.

This week, Amazon announced that it would be (once again) lowering it’s free shipping minimum for non-Prime members. Shoppers now only need to spend $25 to forgo shipping costsa price that is very reasonable for most people. At the beginning of 2017, the spending minimum was $49, but that changed when Walmart came out with their own two-day, free shipping deal on orders of $35 or more. With the $25 limit, Amazon is now the cheapest place for shipping.

Yet, that could very well change.

Target, which has been offering free shipping at the $25 rate for quite awhile, is planning to run a test program on next-day shipping, starting this summer. As of right now, the pilot program will only be offered in the company’s native Minneapolis (and only to REDcard members), but if it’s successful, the company would most likely branch out to Targets countrywide.

That said, Target plans on charging a “low, flat-fee” for shipping, although executives have yet to determine what that fee will be. If it’s something insignificant (say, $2.95) and you’re ordering a $500 dresser, that fee is worth the next-day shipping. If people are willing to pay a small amount to ensure their items are delivered in a timely manner, it will be one more sting against Amazon–which is exactly what Target wants.

Airlines Making Billions From Baggage Fees

A huge pile of cash.

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Airlines are making a killing from fees. Last year, U.S. based airlines brought in a total of $4.2 billion from baggage fees alone, according to figures released by the Department of Transportation. That’s a 10% increase from 2015.

Yet according to airline executives, profits aren’t as high as they were in the past, even with lower fuel costs. Airlines reported $13.6 billion in profits total, down 45% from 2015, citing higher labor costs as the reason for the lower figures. Lower passenger fares also attributed to the lower revenue, as ticket sales fell one percent to $124.2 billion.

These lower profits are the main justification for extra fees, not just for luggage but legroom, seat selections, and early boarding to name a few. Airline executives claim these fees allow passengers to choose the kinds of service they want, even though few flyers are fans.

This news comes right as executives from America’s major airlines testified before Congress about their customer service protocols. While this was prompted by last month’s United Airlines debacle, many took the opportunity to vocalize their disdain for airline fees.

William McGee, a former airline executive now representing the Consumers Union, argues that the fees are disingenuous and unfair to passengers.

“We’ve heard a lot about pricing today, about fares being lower than they were 25 years ago,” McGee testified. “The fact is that obscures fees we didn’t used to pay. Every day there are higher and higher fees. Passengers are getting gouged.”

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano agrees that customers are negatively affected by these business practices.

“I go in the computer to try to figure out which flight I want to take. Some charge fees for baggage. Some charge fees for oxygen. Who knows? You can’t get comparable prices,” Capuano said.

As expected, executives from United and American disagreed, saying the baggage fees help keep other costs, such a ticket prices, low.

ESPN Facing Major Layoffs

A photo of an ESPN microphone.

Photo credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock

ESPN is the latest organization to be hit by the digital craze. The sports network is laying off 100 employees this week (mostly on-air talent) hitting every facet of the organization as ESPN is moving toward a mostly digitized medium.

Sources say the decision comes after an increasing amount of costs and decreasing number of cable subscribers have cut into its bottom line. For a network that has spent billions of dollars in deals with major sports teams and events, layoffs are no surprise to anyone. So who is getting hit? Well, some big names at the network.

Yesterday, Deadspin posted a number of tweets from ESPN anchors, writers, and reporters who were given the bad news, some of who worked at the network for decades.

NFL Reporter Ed Werder was one of the first to go.

“After 17 years reporting on #NFL, I’ve been informed that I’m being laid off by ESPN effective immediately. I have no plans to retire,” he tweeted.

“SportsCenter” Anchor Jay Crawford, Big Ten Reporter Brian Bennett, and MLB Writer Jayson Stark are some of the other talent who are now gone. College Basketball reporter C.L. Brown found out about his firing while on vacation.

ESPN President John Skipper noted how difficult this decision was, thanking the former employees for their “great work” and “many contributions,” yet made it clear that the layoffs had to be done.

“Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value,” Skipper stated, “and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent–anchors, analysts, reporters, writers, and those who handle play-by-play–necessary to meet those demands.”

Many of the people laid off were at the end of their contracts and unwilling to take a massive pay cut. The rest of which were bought out of their contracts.

Meet the Unicorn Frappuccino That Everyone is Raving About

A photo of a pink and blue "Unicorn Frappuccino" from Starbucks.

Photo credit: Brian Chow at Flickr Creative Commons.

Starbucks’ new multi-colored drink is a dream come true for sugar enthusiasts and frozen drink lovers, offering an array of colors and flavors with every sip and giving drinkers one sweet-filled experience.

“Like its mythical namesake, the Unicorn Frappuccino blended crème comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity,” a spokesperson for Starbucks said in a statement. “But give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart. The more swirl, the more the beverage’s color and flavors transform.”

This limited edition drink is only being offered from April 19 through April 23, and it’s caffeine free, so coffee lovers won’t be offended by this sugar-filled creation. The Unicorn Frap consists of the crème Frappuccino mixed with mango syrup and dusted with a pink powder and sour blue drizzle. Then it’s topped with vanilla whipped cream and sweet pink and sour blue powder, making it paradise in a cup for all sweets lovers.

Starbucks says its inspiration for the drink came from the Internet, as social media is blowing up with pictures and recipes of Unicorn-themed foods and beverages. Not one to shy away from a trend, Starbucks decided to play along and offer loyal customers something fun and festive before people moved on to something else. Case in point: last year’s Pokemon Go Frappuccino.

Naturally, people have been going crazy and posting their excitement on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. It’s safe to say that social media will be bombarded with photos of the drink this coming week, as the frap is expected to sell out.

It should also be noted–although I’m sure it’s no surprise–that the Unicorn Frappuccino is not friendly to those watching their diet. A tall Frap with whole milk comes in at 280 calories, with 11 grams of fat and 39 grams of sugar.

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