Have you ever stopped to think: “Am I doing all that I can to attract soon-to-be college grads?” Because your competitors surely are!
The demand for college graduates remains high. And why is that? Well, college-educated people have a great combination of hard and soft skills. They know how to think strategically, communicate clearly, debate ideas, and apply critical thinking to complex issues. Any business can benefit from having people with this skill set.
In fact, according to a study by CareerBuilder, a whopping 74% of employers plan to hire college graduates. However, most of these companies are following the traditional recruitment model. You turn up on campus, set up your stall at a career fair, and hope to attract graduates’ attention. These old-time strategies are no longer effective for modern employees. Meaning, you need to step up your campus recruitment game!
So, if you’re looking to attract top young talent and fill your entry-level positions, then this article is for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most innovative strategies for campus recruitment.
Create an Attractive Landing Page for Students
Maybe you’ve heard it before but here it goes again: your website is the core of your recruitment marketing strategy. This is where college graduates will go to research your company and see whether it has what they’re looking for.
Statistics don’t lie. According to a survey by Talent Board, nearly 64% of people think that business websites are the most valuable resource when researching new job opportunities. After all, we live in a digital world in which young people are tech-savvy and are looking for a more innovative approach to recruitment.
If you want to present your company in the best light, a booth in the campus career fair just won’t do. You need to design an attractive landing page for the students you’re trying to recruit.
The landing page needs to:
- Be beautifully designed with fun and attractive illustrations.
- Be written in an appropriate language that will attract students.
- Outline the benefits of working at your company.
- Display testimonials and success stories.
I did a little research and found an amazing example of a landing page for attracting college graduates. Take a look:
View the entire page here.
Include a Social Element to Your Campus Recruitment Strategy
When I say a social element, I don’t mean meeting students at the campus and handing them flyers. That’s old school! Remember, these individuals grew up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their entire lives are on the cloud.
You need to think digitally and more creatively. One LinkedIn survey even confirmed that millennials consider innovative work environments to be one of their most important factors when looking at a company.
To improve your campus recruitment strategy, you should consider:
- Posting on Facebook: potential employees will be able to get a closer look at your company through videos, images, and regular updates.
- Posting on LinkedIn: this is a great place to make new connections, generate leads, and build your brand.
- Being present on Twitter: use this social media to post images of your company, promote your blog, and notify your followers for open positions.
Be Physically Present at the Campus More Than Once a Year
How can you establish, develop and maintain long-lasting relationships with college students? It’s simple! You need to be present at the campus, more than just once or twice in a year.
By constantly interacting with students during their time at university, you’ll leave a positive impression of your company. Students will certainly remember who supported and mentored them and who offered help when they were struggling.
If you want to up your campus recruitment strategy, this is what you can do:
- Mentor students.
- Support activities and causes students deeply care about, such as global warming and renewable energies.
- Run workshops.
- Organize events like hackathons.
Be the Host of Fun & Engaging Events
Who doesn’t want to attend engaging events at their university? They’re a great opportunity for students to think about their career development, form new connections, and have fun.
If you want to boost your campus recruiting, maybe organizing an event like a Hackathon can be an amazing idea. Hackathons are a great way to broaden your talent pool considerably, introduce the company to students, and leave a lasting impression. Potential employees can also register and leave/send their resume so they can be contacted by your company.
Another effective form of an on-campus recruiting event is career fairs. Organizing a career fair can be a fantastic opportunity for your company. Not only that you’ll get a chance to expand your talent pool, but you’ll also fill empty positions, network with skilled individuals, and boost your employer brand.
Offer Internship Programs
More and more companies are discovering the benefits of offering internship programs to college graduates. They can be a win-win scenario for your company and for the students. Your company will get a fresh perspective while students will gain real-world professional experience.
You can even involve your interns in your social media strategy. After all, they’re the ones who know the audience the best and can attract a pool of qualified candidates. What’s more, these interns can serve as brand ambassadors who will promote your company among other students.
Set up a Student Referral Program
Rather than spending tons of money on sponsored ads, why not set up a student referral program? After all, one of the most valuable marketing efforts are “word of mouth” referrals. You can ask everyone to get involved, including your current interns’ friends and family, university teachers, and professors.
Student referral programs come with various benefits including:
- College graduates will have the opportunity to hear first-hand success stories from their alumni. And they love that!
- Student referral programs can improve quality of hire, time to hire and reduce cost per hire.
- You’ll get a chance to boost your company brand and improve your reputation as an employer.
Finally, Don’t Forget to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Campus Recruiting Strategy
So, you’ve been organizing Hackathons, you’ve been setting up student referral programs, and you’ve created an attractive landing page. However, you also need to see whether your efforts are paying off. And how would you measure the effectiveness of your campus recruiting strategy? You look at the results!
If you want to know at which universities you were most successful and what strategies are most effective, make sure you track the following metrics:
- The number of students you hired through your campus recruitment at each university.
- How did you manage to hire those students? Was it through the student referral program or the Hackathon event?
- How many offers to acceptances you get?
- What’s the retention rate of your new hires?
One thing is for sure: campus recruitment is a challenging effort that requires dedication, creativity, and perseverance. If you want to gain a competitive advantage in the war for talent, you must spice up your campus recruitment strategy with the innovative elements I mentioned above.
Good luck with your campus recruitment!
About the Author
Experienced Recruitment Consultant and Founder/CEO of RecruitGyan, a Houston based Recruitment consulting agency. She carries a demonstrated history of working in the staffing and recruiting industry. Skilled in Gas, Executive Search, New Hire Training, Technical Recruiting, and Safety Management Systems. Strong human resources professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Psychology from the University of Houston.