9 Ways to Gain a Competitive Recruiting Edge at Colleges
College campuses are prime grounds for finding quality job candidates. And make no mistake, it’s best to be proactive about connecting with these folks rather than figuring that they will reply to your company’s online job postings. Here are nine ways to develop a strategic approach for a competitive college recruiting edge.
1. Set Up Internship Programs
Develop an internship program to spread the reputation of your company far and wide. You can connect with specific colleges to welcome interns attending these schools or go more general. Regardless of the approach you take, it’s critical for your interns to become campus allies. In other words, use the interns to spread word-of-mouth reviews of your company and what working there is like. Needless to say, your interns should find their work engaging and challenging. You do want positive recommendations, right
2. Attend Career Fairs
This one is an oldie but a goodie. Attend career fairs at certain colleges to attract potential job candidates for a competitive college recruiting edge. Students who have never heard of your company will do so at a fair; just be sure you represent your company as best and fairly as possible.
3. Get Involved with Workshops and Seminars
Does a nearby college have something like a lecture series, where people in a certain field speak at the college Get your business on the roster. You can also contact targeted departments and offer guest speaking services. Colleges love when people with practical, real-life experience offer their expertise.
4. Connect Personally with Career Center Staff
Have a representative from your business visit college career centers once or twice a year to personally connect with the staff there. The staff will appreciate the effort and personal attention, and staffers serve as good matchmakers between students and job positions.
5. Donate to Colleges
If you have the money, donations are one way to gain a competitive college recruiting edge. For example, you could sponsor scholarships, or help sponsor workshops such as those that guide students in dressing effectively for job interviews.
6. Tap Alumni Who Work at Your Company
Whichever strategies you choose, for example, attending career fairs or connecting with career center staff, it is extremely helpful to have alumni of that college involved. They have built-in connections to help identify the most promising job candidates and embody the link between your company and the college.
7. Post Ads in the Campus Newspaper
Campus newspapers, whether print or digital, are widely read. Putting ads in them helps you reach a targeted pool of job seekers for a competitive college recruiting edge. In addition, check to see if the colleges you want to connect with publish career services guides. If they do, post ads there as well. At the very least, you’ll balance out your competitors’ ads, and all the better if your competitors don’t even advertise there.
8. Tell Students What They Want to Know
Students want to know what your workplace culture is like. They need to know about issues such as advancement opportunities, work-life balance and job flexibility. Be sure to prominently include this information in your recruiting materials, and when you’re at events such as college fairs, to tout that information up front as a recruiting edge. As an example, many college students love companies that are altruistic. If your company culture emphasizes volunteer work and giving back to the community, showcase that on your visits to college campuses.
In addition, keep what you say real and authentic. Sleek marketing materials certainly have their place, but college students like the nitty gritty. To this end, filming a recruiting video in which an intern wields a flip cam and strolls around asking employees what they like about working at your company could well be more effective than a marketing video that looks good but that has little heart.
9. Take Advantage of Social Media
One way to gain a competitive college recruiting edge is to take advantage of social media. For instance, your business could hold a Twitter chat a few times a year in which college students ask questions. Similarly, you should always tweet when someone from your business will be recruiting at a college. Have a social media strategy that allots plenty of room and attention to college students.
As you can see, it takes preparation to gain a competitive college recruiting edge. These strategies, however, more than pay their dividends in raising the quality of your applicant pool and in raising brand awareness. As you investigate various approaches to landing all-star hires, enlist the tools here at Mighty Recruiter to gain an edge.