How Innovative Companies Win at Campus Recruiting
Campus recruiting has many advantages for employers in today’s competitive hiring environment. It’s an opportunity to get the best and brightest right out of the gate. You can pay college students lower salaries for entry-level positions although many of them make excellent employees. Students are comfortable with technology, and you don’t have to deal with correcting any bad habits that candidates have learned in other jobs.
A Streamlined Assessment Process
Our assessment process could be compared to behaviorism – it gets results without complicated analyses. We interview your top performers for each position that you’re trying to fill and perform an assessment as if they were job candidates. That allows us to develop a “Success Profile” of what to look for in applicants. We can make highly accurate estimates of who will be a good fit or a bad fit based on real-world data that are specific to your company. Our turnover rates for recommended hires average 10 percent or less. Other assessment companies have turnover rates near 50 percent.
Building Campus-based Recruiting Partnerships
An article posted on Shrm.com reveals the benefits of building campus partnerships to recruit college talent more effectively. These partnerships might include alumni organizations, college placement programs, key professors and student organizations. Job fairs, mobile marketing and social media are also excellent resources for hiring college students.
It’s possible to hire several students from a single appearance at a job fair or college recruiting event, but these are one-time events. Building relationships with campus professors, departments, alumni and job placement professionals can provide ongoing referrals for many years. You can update these resources about changes in your industry, and recruit your partners to promote special recruiting events or job openings.
Regular visits to college campuses allow your recruiters to stay in touch with student opinions and new recruiting methods. Your company’s physical presence helps to build your brand and enables you to respond quickly to evolving trends. College recruiting is really marketing, so you should involve your marketing department in planning and promoting campus events and maintaining content with your on-campus recruiting partners.
There are many on-campus options for recruiting – both college-sanctioned and extracurricular. Your company can attend job fairs, conduct on-site interviews, establish an internship program or arrange phone or Skype interviews. Some colleges might allow college credit for internships. Establishing partnerships with on-campus resources can prove extremely valuable to your recruiting efforts.
How to Recruit College Candidates Successfully
Careerbuilder.com reports that about 74 percent of all employers plan to hire college students. However, just showing up at a stall for a campus career fair no longer works effectively for recruiting plugged-in students. Your website is at the core of your recruiting efforts, and 64 percent of people looking for employment check out business websites.  The best methods of recruiting successfully at colleges and universities include:
Make Your Website Hiring-Friendly
Write effective job descriptions that include information about the company’s culture, outside activities, community involvement and opportunities for advancement. Provide links for candidates to get further information, which helps to build your hiring database.
Recruit Students at Off-campus Sites
Determining where young people with your targeted student profile hang out is valuable information. Recruiting off the campus works in both physical and virtual locations. You can recruit on social media, at the local McDonald’s or during sports scrimmages. Local hangouts, eateries, off-campus organizations and community fairs and festivals are just a few of the possibilities.
Develop a Candidate Pipeline
You can take a page from the coach-recruiting book for intercollegiate sports. Identify your dream candidates based on data and recruiting technology. Building a pipeline of ideal recruits allows you to target each candidate more effectively. You can recruit remotely using the communications method that each candidate prefers such as mobile phones, social media, chatbots, text messages, etc.
Use Technology to Narrow Your Choices
Technology can screen your choices effectively based on keywords, work experience, college majors, etc. Using technology for preliminary screening allows recruiters to focus more attention on establishing personal relationships with the best candidates. You can further streamline the process by conducting the initial interviews using remote videos or Skype.
Students and millennials are very comfortable using digital technologies. You need to think digitally to win the campus recruiting wars. You can attract students by posting general information on Facebook such as videos, behind-the-scenes views of the company and recruiting updates. LinkedIn is your best site for searching resumes, networking, building your company’s brand and generating leads. Twitter is very effective for posting new jobs, promoting your blog and weighing-in on news stories that affect your industry.
Appear on Campus Frequently
You can’t make multiple trips to every college campus, but those schools that are effective sources of new hires are worth more than a single visit each year. Interacting with students regularly on campus can provide invaluable recruiting insights, build your brand and impress job candidates with your commitment to campus visits.
Host Fun Events
Hosting engaging campus events – such as hackathons, contests, and meet-and-greets – can subtly inspire students to think more about career development.
Providing summer internships for students is an excellent way to recruit. Students gain professional work experience, and you get uninterrupted opportunities to promote your company.
Establish a Student Referral Program
Student referrals can provide steady stream of word-of-mouth candidates. You can offer incentives for referrals that lead to a hiring decision such as tickets to campus athletic contests, etc. You can involve professors, job placement staff and friends and families of likely candidates.
Build Your Brand
Your company’s culture is more important than you might think when recruiting college students. A recent HR study found that students ranked a company’s branding and sourcing efforts as the most important factor when choosing an employer.
Strategies for branding your company effectively for student candidates include:
- Using your best communicators to engage students
- Taking recent new hires from the college to on-campus recruiting events
- Showcasing the work that alumni, interns and new hires have done at the company
- Keeping your recruitment content updated on your website
- Interacting with candidates on social media
- Making the application process simple – at least for preliminary contact
- Focusing on real-world issues instead of providing free stuff
Recruit to Diversify Your Staff
Diverse workplaces are important to most students, and your efforts to recruit a diverse workforce can build your brand among student candidates.
Student Recruitment Is an Ongoing Process
Your student recruitment efforts can’t be an afterthought if you want to win at recruiting. Students are more savvy than ever about investigating potential employers and researching a company’s work culture. The more genuine your recruiting efforts, the more effective your hiring process will be. It takes a combination of technology, digital connections, referrals and personal visits to attract students.
By the same token, hiring inexperienced students is a gamble. Training and hiring expenses are high. You want to choose the best fit for each job, and third-party assessments can give you the tools to hire confidently.