Campus recruiting forms the basis for your next generation of top talent. The first place college students go for help is their career services office. Top performing career services centers put students on the path to their first “real” job after graduation.
A healthy talent pipeline is built with the help of career services. Develop your best practices for a great relationship with college campuses around the country with a few of these practical tips.
Know a Few Things
Getting the inside scoop is all about who you know, but before you make friends at career services you have to present what you know. Colleges and universities are bastions of the free exchange of ideas and knowledge. Administrators and department heads thrive on strategic plans, actionable goals, and raw data to drive the educational engine of campus life – turning impressionable, passionate minds into graduates ready to take on the world.
Campus recruiting starts with knowledge of the current labor market, industry trends, best hiring practices and specific criteria for selecting graduates for employment. Inbound recruiting tactics for your local campus begins with a comprehensive portfolio of why graduates would want to work at your organization. The portfolio can be in a paper or online format, but you should have numbers, statistics, and quotes from current employees to back up your presence on campus. Your information gives you credibility with career services ahead of earning the trust of students.
Engage With the Right People
After you introduce yourself, your inbound recruiting strategy should include engaging with the head of career services and the staffers there. Many colleges and universities have specific strategies to deal with employers who come to campus. Some universities designate an account manager to work with specific employers who act as a liaison between the university and the campus recruiting representative.
Stay in touch with the person with whom you have the most contact. This can be a quick email or phone call once per week. Your message can show you’re on top of trends or campus happenings. Mention a piece of news that affects your presence on campus, such as a hiring trend in the labor market. Perhaps you can congratulate the institution on earning a certain designation as a top-ranked place for students to attend. Each weekly message is simple, but it keeps the attention of the person you reach.
Your contact promotes your company, tells students about internships, informs faculty about your open positions and posts jobs at the career center. At this point in recruitment marketing, your contact doesn’t memorize facts about your company. Instead, the career services staffer remembers that you touch base regularly as a way to stay up to date with what’s going on with hiring.
Commit to a Long-Term Presence
Career services needs to know you’re there for the long haul, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. You should send representatives on regular campus recruiting trips whether you have 100 job openings or a single placement. Colleges love to realize that you’re there for students no matter what, even if it’s not necessarily the most advantageous time for you to send someone to campus.
Who do you send to campus for in-person visits? Your top person. The highly trained team member that has a ton of experience, knows your company backward and forward, and can empathize well with college students. When you send in your top talent, you attract top talent, and you also impress career services with your professionalism and attention to detail.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) believes employment professionals engaged in recruitment marketing should provide accurate information about their organization at all times. Recruiters must stay honest with students about time frames for hiring, what happens when students receive an offer and how to inform graduates they weren’t selected for the job. Act ethically, and never ask for favors in return for extra consideration.
Professional recruiters use a different set of rules, and they may have fees associated with their services. Recruiting companies must divulge what their fees entail and how students benefit from paying someone to put their name out to employers. Remember, any vibe or energy you put out comes back to you. Act professionally, and you’ll attract professional talent. Behave unethically and you reap ne’er-do-well recruits.
Perhaps the most important thing about campus recruiting is the information you get from possible candidates. Leverage the data you receive, and remember that you can come across important trends, information and analysis points at any time. Coming to campus a few times a year is vital to put a human face on your efforts, but graduates can submit a resume or application at any time. In a 24/7 internet world filled with social media posts, LinkedIn profiles and About Us pages, make sure you leave room in your web presence specifically for college students.
When you receive information from a student, reach out for more information. This data leads you to the type of vital resources that the student–and possible employee–needs. Help the recruit to gauge whether or not your company is right for the graduate. Even if the grad doesn’t end up working for you, that information is important when it comes to possible job openings in the future. The data is part of inbound recruiting marketing.
Inbound recruiting strategies apply nontraditional methods of campus recruiting. We leverage online resources to tap into college grads because you can’t station a rep on campus all of the time. If you’d like to have a discussion with our team about how your company can build an inbound recruiting engine that engages millennial candidates more effectively, please be sure to reserve some time on our calendar.