the last word
On-Campus Recruiting that
Resonates with Top Students
By Bronwen Hundley
You’re recruiting on campus with the goal to hire top, fresh
talent that your company can shape into high performers.
You’re doing career fairs and employees have presented at
the college at least once. You have a good relationship with
the university, yet you don’t sense that students are really connecting
with your company. Why is that?
On-campus recruiting is the one place where you cannot afford
to be seen as anything but the most progressive and in-tune brand
that truly understands how students communicate and what they
value. Too often, recruiters bring a very “adult” perspective to college
recruiting and they miss the opportunity to connect with
students who are at the height of their passion toward entering a
career that inspires them. You want them to bring that passion to
your company, right?
Here’s a few ways to help ensure that your efforts are resonating
Stop thinking of job roles and focus on values. Top students
know what they value, they know how they want to make a difference
in the world and they have big aspirations for their potential
to do so. They are looking for companies and work that will facilitate
their ability to live out their values. Speak to their values and
then connect the dots to how your company and specific roles can
allow them to achieve their goals. They need to see a clear path
that shows they will be fully contributing as soon as they start.
Speak their language in their native tongue. In other words,
go mobile. Provide tablets at career fairs and apps that allow them
to apply for jobs with as few clicks as possible. Connect with them
on social media. The easier you make it for them to stay connected
to your company, the better impression you will make that your
company is at the forefront in your industry.
Get personal. Savvy recruiters are handing out their phone
numbers and allowing students to text them. Today’s students
text before they email or call. And texts are easier to manage than
phone calls. Embrace texting as a way to show students you are authentic,
you care about them and you are willing to answer their
questions as they arise.
Be present. You need to build brand awareness throughout
students’ college years. It’s not enough just to do career fairs
and expect students to remember your company. Get involved.
Sponsor events, sports, provide guest speakers from your company,
promote your company’s philanthropic efforts, engage students
in projects – build brand awareness so that students already feel a
sense of your culture and company when they graduate.
Build partnerships. Work with the college and faculty to help
shape and drive the education students receive. This allows you
to more directly influence the knowledge and skills you need students
to have if hired by your company. Offer to help faculty
design curricula, as well as to host research, provide case studies
and guest speakers that will bring real-world experience into the
Offer meaningful internships. Top students want to put their
skills and learning to use right away; they want to contribute and
see that while they learn they are achieving meaningful goals. Craft
internships that give them the responsibility and mentors they
need to feel that they are contributing to the company’s success.
Treat them as entry-level employees, not high school students.
They’ll work hard, build connections and provide fresh insight
into your processes.
Take time to evaluate your on-campus recruiting strategy and
be sure that you are up-to-speed with what students expect from
companies today. It will be well worth your time as you see students
connecting with you and envisioning a future at your company. n
Bronwen Hundley is strategic director at Seven Step RPO.
SPONSOR EVENTS, SPORTS,
PROVIDE GUEST SPEAKERS FROM
YOUR COMPANY, PROMOTE YOUR
COMPANY’S PHILANTHROPIC EFFORTS,
ENGAGE STUDENTS IN PROJECTS
– BUILD BRAND AWARENESS SO
THAT STUDENTS ALREADY FEEL
A SENSE OF YOUR CULTURE AND
COMPANY WHEN THEY GRADUATE.
56 ❚ JANUARY 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL