May 13

How to Rethink the Role of Employer Relations

The Traditional Role of the Employer Relations in Career Services

Employer relations at a university traditionally involves establishing and maintaining relationships with employers interested in your university’s graduates.

As Lisa Simmons, the Associate Director of Employer Experience at Wake Forest University points out in a spotlight for career services professionals, “We are all about relationships.” To that end, the Wake Forest career center has designed a system to “ensure that employers that recruit would have one central contact for the university and find their recruiting experience simple, productive and even enjoyable.”

Enhancing and Rethinking the Role of Employer Relations in Career Services

It’s been more than a few years since most recruiters reaching out to college career services centers were actually in college themselves. Because of this, their recruiting strategy may no longer connect well with today’s students. Your employer relations team can help these recruiters adjust to today’s new realities.

No longer do recruiters need to show up on campus in person to recruit. They’re now able to reach your students through content published on the web via multiple channels, but they still may need your help to make actual connections happen. Here are some ways you can rethink the role of your employer relations staff to better connect employers with today’s students.

Reach the Right Students.

Help employers develop an outreach to relevant students for their open opportunities. Many employers think their job is done once they’ve posted a job listing on their company website and sent you the link.

This is where your employer relations staff can take over. How should employers target not only their job postings but existing content about their company to your students? Should the employer reach out to students via email, text, social media or discovery feeds like The Whether? Is the job offering or content linked to skills and competencies of particular courses offered at your university? How can you alert the professors of those courses with opportunities to connect students with employers?

A company may want to create content for many of channels, or it may want to turn over the job of engaging students to your team of advisors. Once you know the right channels to reach relevant students for each type of opportunity with technology that helps you manage content strategies, you’re well-positioned to help the recruiters custom tailor their content to ensure engagement.

Run a Test.

Test announcements of jobs and other content to see which methods get the most response across various students groups and channels. As you gather more data, you’re better able to help employers target their listings to get the types of applicants they want. Pay special attention to the types of responses you get from students so you can increase the numbers attending recruiting events, filing applications and signing up for interviews to ensure a great candidate experience

Focus on the negatives.

Finally, today’s college students aren’t as ready to leap into a long-term commitment to an employer as previous generations were. They’re more highly attuned to the negatives of any given organization, which can range from the environmental impact of a business to the flexibility of working hours. The employers that your employer relations staff deal with are typically blind to these negatives, since they take them for granted as part of their company culture. Help them not only to realize that certain factors may be perceived as negative (without asking them to force changes!), and develop a working outline for countering those negatives with evidence that college students will accept.

Your college career services center is more vital than ever when it comes to making the important connection between students and employers. By broadening the role of the employer relations staff at your center, you can help provide the personalized touch that makes the difference and provides a valuable service to both the employers and the students.

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