Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Campus Recruiting Strategy

Creating a campus recruiting strategy is a daunting task! I’ve been recruiting on campus for over 6 years and have a few tips that might help you plan and execute a successful campus recruiting strategy:

-          Do not have a blanket approach. Choose your schools & sourcing $$ wisely.
-          Identify your target market and choose schools that have strong programs in that discipline
o   Example: Are engineers your focus? Focus on strong engineering programs. Use ranking guides like MacLean’s to help you understand school’s strengths
-          Once you have identified your schools, set up appointments to speak with, or better yet, meet your career center contacts in person. Each school operates slightly differently with processes, events, and ability to target students. Come prepared with a list of questions to help you understand how to best work with them!

Key campus events can include:
o   Participating in job fairs
§  These are good for building your employment brand; however, unless it is a targeted job fair, do not expect to directly secure a lot of hires from this avenue
o   Hosting an Information Session on campus
§  These are events where you book a room on campus, have a PowerPoint presentation and usually host a mix and mingle event afterwards that is catered
§  These can be very successful IF you have attendees. If you don’t do the right marketing ahead of time, you are wasting your money.
§  Work with the career center to see if they can send out a targeted email & see my new point about using new hires/alumni to drive attendance
o   Using interns or new hires that are alumni of that school/program to market opportunities with your company/company events
§  They can help connect you to influential groups on campus
§  Students want to hear the REAL story, not the PR version so give them what they want! Feature them on your website, have them make videos to post on YouTube, have them speak at events on campus about what working for your company is really like!
o   Case Studies or connect with Influential Professors
§  Professors are rated in the top 3 influencers on students just coming in after parents and friends
§  Business Programs are typically looking for real life case studies that can be used to support their curriculum. Speak to your career center contact about working this angle!
o   Sponsoring relevant groups on campus
§  Ensure you are both benefiting from the sponsorship: In return for sponsoring relevant groups, you may get a speaking opportunity to the club members or email opportunities with your target market
§  Perhaps offering an internship opportunity within this group can create a great new hire & WOM within the group/campus?
o   All of these campus recruiting efforts should be supported by social media efforts. Having a Twitter handle (like @companynamejobs) will allow you to tweet relevant industry information and broadcast news about campus events or job opportunities. I also recommend having a company LinkedIn Page as well as a Facebook page to promote campus events.
§  New Grads are great people to support your social media efforts!

My recommendation on campus is focus on quality versus quantity. Focus on your target market, create a strong strategy and then work your plan. Start small, build it out and use your new grads that are alumni from those campuses to help you understand how to best target the right groups & gain hires from your efforts on that campus! Ensure you measure ROI on spends versus hires as this will help justify your spending and, hopefully, expand your campus budget next year!

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