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Innovation / Recruiting

14 Ways To Improve Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

In this photo taken on May 26, 2013, Chinese job seekers visit a job fair in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. While the job market in China is still much better than in many other parts of the world, 2013 is being billed locally as the worst for young graduates. A record number of them _ about 7 million _ are leaving universities and graduate schools to seek their first employment at a time when companies are hiring fewer people. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

A successful campus recruitment strategy is far more than a single presence at the campus recruitment events. This article will introduce 14 ways to improve your campus recruitment strategy from a comprehensive perspective, including 5 ways to engage the most students, 4 ways to boost student candidates experience, 3 ways to identify the best students and 2 ways to win the top student prospects.

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5 Ways To Engage The Most Students

  1. Have a consistent campus presence.

Invests and builds awareness in the target schools, even if it does not currently have any openings to fill. Some employers go one step further and sponsor teaching fellows or new academic programs, or even develop relevant degree programs to close the skills gap in long-term.

  1. Target students who are not actively looking for a job

Don’t assume that all college students are actively looking for a job in their graduation year. You won’t be able to identify these non-lookers through the career centre or job postings. Use referrals and social media pages to attract them to work at your firm.

  1. Add an on-campus student ambassador program

A student ambassador program is an alternative way to have a full-time recruiter on the campus. It converts your summer interns into volunteer ambassadors for the firm during the semesters when they return to campus. They can spread your employer brand message continually via students’ own media, societies and meetings. They can also work to get your firm’s managers and employees invited as speakers and classroom project evaluators

  1. Add a “refer-a-student” component to your recruitment

Firms that have operated effective college referral programs have only needed to offer small rewards or prizes in order to entice high quality referrals. Corporate-sponsored student referral programs should seek referrals from your firm’s newly hired students, your interns, grad assistants, student organisation leaders, on-campus ambassadors, and tutors.

  1. Take advantage of niche job sites

Mass job boards are quickly becoming outdated for employers when it comes to hiring young talent. The niche job sites can help you target at the candidates with exactly the kind of skills you are looking for, and those candidates usually have a clear idea of what kind of work they are looking for with an aim to further develop their skills.

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4 Ways To Boost Student Candidate Experience

  1. Develop the capability of recruiting remotely (without visiting the campus)

Spread your employer brand message through blogs, being ranked as a top firm on lists / social media. You can cost-effectively spread your message, identify, video interview, and hire top talent from any campus without a visit. You can find top students remotely by finding their work online through Internet contests, LinkedIn, etc.

  1. Re-focus your recruiting messaging/communications on the mobile platform

The mobile phone dominates student communications. This can be used for recruiting communications and messages, including text messages, recruiting videos, social media messaging, virtual hangouts, pictures, email, and even voice messages. Your corporate college careers website must be mobile-phone friendly.

  1. Be willing to personalize recruiting messages and jobs

So many recruiting messages are going on in the campus and you have to make yours stand out. Personalization might include a personalized video from the team, a handwritten note, or a message that specifically covers their background and that covers each of the factors that would likely interest them in a new job opportunity.

  1. Adopt an “extended recruiting” approach

Most employers cannot hire everyone on their target list but think about “I’ll get them eventually”. Take a long-term view of recruiting, have a second shot at the students you missed on graduation date. After one or two years, you will often find that many of your targets have become disillusioned with their first-choice firm and that they are now anxious to try a different alternative (which may be your firm).

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3 Ways To Identify The Best Student Talents

  1. Shift to a data-driven college recruiting approach and add these metrics

A number of major business functions have shifted to a model of decision making that relies on data and facts, and it is time for university recruiting to take advantage of this trend. Key metrics that must be added include:

  • Quality of hire metrics. This covers the on-the-job performance, the retention rate, and the failure rate of new hires. It could be used as a basis for selecting the best schools, the best assessment approaches, and the most effective recruiters.
  • Measure the success rate of each top-tier school. This is to measure school effectiveness in order to determine if the extra time and money required are worth it.
  • Candidate experience metrics. This is to ensure that your candidates are treated well so that their negative social media comments don’t hurt your employer brand.
  • Forward-looking predictive metrics. This is to supplement historical metrics (i.e. we hired 22 students last year) with an eye on upcoming recruiting problems and opportunities.
  • Cost per hire. This is not normally recommended but could be necessary in campus recruiting case, as there were programmes that cost more than $40,000 per hire.
  1. Add more scientific candidate screening and assessment approaches

Research from Google has shown that interviews are frequently weak predictors of on-the-job success and new ways to assess pre-experience student candidates are being explored. For example, Internet contests that include a real problem and hackathons have proven to be effective in selecting tech talents.

  1. Grad assistants may be the most accurate identifiers of student talent

The graduate or teaching assistants spend the most time in direct coaching, advising, and tutoring students. They also see students in situations where leadership and team skills are exposed. As an added benefit, they are extremely effective at convincing the best students to apply for your internships and positions.

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2 Ways To Win The Top Student Prospects

  1. Convince your CEO to make calls to hot student prospects

A personalized call from the CEO would make any individual student feel important, but it might also send a message that they would have a friend in high places if they joined the firm. These types of calls have had an extremely high success rate at firms like Microsoft, Whirlpool, Google, Ernst & Young, and Apple.

  1. Add a buddy-hire program where you “hire them both”

The “hire them both” approach is only used when you encounter a truly exceptional candidate who is difficult to convince. You simply ask them if they have a strong desire to work with a close friend or spouse. If so, you offer to hire them both at the same time.

Author: Selina Gao, Plusser Marketeer based in Manchester

Source: ERE Media | Social HireSHRM

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