Best Practices for Hiring College Students

Campus Recruiting

A growing amount of the labor force is comprised of recent college graduates. From sales jobs to specialized industries, college students and graduates are looking for all types of opportunities in their job search, and they are often more flexible than those already in the workforce. Read on to learn the best practices for recruiting and hiring college students and other young talent.

Post on College Job Boards

LinkedIn, Indeed, and Ziprecruiter are a few of the most common job boards. To set your job openings apart, try posting on college job boards. An extra step is to look beyond your local colleges when you post on job boards. One survey revealed that 77% of new graduates would be willing to relocate for their first job – and a significant 29% would be willing to move anywhere.

Attend College Career Fairs

Campus recruiting involvement typically means attending a college career fair. Career fairs are a great way to meet a mass amount of college students at once. Meeting face-to-face gives you an extra perspective on their level of interest.

After the career fair, plan on staying in the area for a few days. During this time, meet with any promising candidates who approached you at the career fair. This is a great way to show immediate interest, stand out from the other companies at the career fair, and streamline your process for hiring college students.

Connect with Relevant Campus Organizations

Getting in touch with student organizations on a college campus is a great way to connect with engaged students. Are you looking to fill a marketing position? Try connecting with the college’s local AMA chapter to speak at a meeting. Most, if not all, colleges have a list of their student organizations along with the President of the organization with their contact information. This is a great way to provide value, advertise for your company, and meet involved and engaged potential candidates.

Extend Your Social Media Outreach

Look beyond simply posting on LinkedIn. Try sponsored ads on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms to meet college students where they’re at. Social ads also allow more creativity than a typical job posting, which helps your brand shine and show off your culture. Check out these creative Instagram job ads for inspiration.

Ensure that your company shows off your culture on the social media platforms when possible. In fact, 75% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.  76% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work.

Try New Platforms

As the labor market tightens, job boards are getting more and more specialized. The job boards below are intended for recruiting college students.

Handshake: Enables you in recruiting and hiring college students from their 650 university partners, ranging from Carnegie Mellon University to Princeton to Michigan State. Handshake features multi-school posting, career fair management, and an integrated network.

Tallo: Allows talent seekers to engage with over 500,000 students who are either in high school or college registered on Tallo, perfect for companies who may not require a college degree to get started. Tallo features direct messaging capabilities, lets you know when students have viewed your company’s profile, and lets you search based on career interests, experience, location, and more.

Aftercollege: Features 2,970 schools with registered users and lists job and internship opportunities. Utilizes machine learning rather than keyword search. Job postings go on the website and are distributed to relevant university career networks.

Consider Soft Skills Over Work Experience

While college students may have some summer internship experience, volunteer roles, or extracurricular activities, but not all students have had those opportunities. Taking soft skills and passion into account can be more important than their experience.

An effective way to test for soft skills is through a pre-hire system or predictive hiring solution. One great predictive hiring system is  SENTIO’s Applicant Matching System (AMS). These tests are able to identify the personality traits and mental makeup of a candidate and determine whether they are a good match for your company.

Develop an Effective Talent Pipeline

If your company doesn’t already have an internship program, whether paid or unpaid, it is an effective talent acquisition pipeline for finding job candidates when full-time positions open up for hiring college graduates. Also, consider adding internship opportunities during the school year if you are close to a college campus. Many students have flexible schedules or days off during the week, making them able to add on an internship.


Learn how SENTIO’s predictive hiring solution can help you identify matches based on soft skills, streamline your hiring process, and onboard the best team members at www.mysentio.com.