There is intense competition for the best candidates in today’s hot job market and companies are looking for every advantage to secure top talent. The highly competitive job market has made college recruiting an essential part of a talent acquisition strategy that allows organizations to identify and cultivate budding talent early. Recruiting on college campuses not only allows you to identify emerging talent that you can invest in and grow over time, but also provides valuable insights from on-campus career services and student unions and the opportunity to strengthen your brand through the development of competitions, co-op placements, and internships for students. However, the world of college campus recruiting has changed significantly. Companies that rely on just the one-day campus career fair to engage students are bound to fail.
The vast majority of college recruiting programs focus all of their energy and resources on the campus job fair event. They look at college recruiting as a seasonal event, rather than approaching it as an ongoing campaign designed to engage and cultivate students that meet their requirements. The brands that that win the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s workforce are the ones that invest in building lasting relationships with students. And one day on campus isn’t going to make your company stand out against the hundreds of other companies vying for student attention at the recruiting fair. The campus job fair is merely one piece of the college recruiting puzzle.
In fall 2015, it’s estimated that some 20.2 million students attended American colleges and universities—an increase of about 4.9 million since fall 2000. That’s a huge pool of potential candidates! But how can you reach them? Today’s students aggregate and consume information much differently than students of years past. Traditional methods that many organizations still rely on to reach potential candidates—like email and job boards—simply aren’t used by students who live on mobile devices and social media. If your college recruiting strategy still focuses on in-person events on campus and traditional resume collection, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with students on their level—and in the process, to stand out from the crowd of potential employers vying for their attention.
Read on to learn how to supercharge your college recruiting effort and attract and engage the best young professionals.
The New World of College Recruitment
Today’s students are “always on” and always on the go. They access and consume information on their smartphones and social media sites. And they expect to engage with prospective employers on their mobile devices, so mobile recruiting is no longer optional. You need to ensure your career site is mobile-friendly and make the application process easy to do from any mobile device. In addition, organizations that want to tap into this emerging workforce must have a robust social media presence and nurture relationships with their top candidates on their favorite social platforms. You need to meet students where they already gather.
The best emerging talent have led challenging and active college lives. As they graduate, they want the same from their professional lives. These students are looking for cool places to work, where they can learn and grow—not staid, boring workplaces. Make sure your social media strategy brands your company as a cool place to work, where young professionals can find challenging roles and grow their skills and their careers. Every post communicates something about your company’s culture, so consider what you are communicating about your workplace and ensure it resonates with today’s students.
So what’s the best way to engage with college recruits? Deliver a personalized experience with tailored communications designed to nurture and grow a relationship over time. It’s about much more than the job fair— it’s about leveraging technology to engage students on their level. While the job fair most certainly has its place, handing out corporate tchotchkes on campus won’t make you stand out with prospective candidates. Instead, save the swag and focus your college recruiting strategy on communicating in a personal and targeted way with students that meet your requirements.
Whether you are a large organization that attends tens or hundreds of campus recruiting events per year or a small organization with limited resources, the task of marketing yourself and making an impression with students all year is a different approach—and may seem like an impossible undertaking. In fact, regular personalized and targeted communication with students is highly achievable—if you leverage technology to do it efficiently across thousands of students.
Here’s how you can use Jobvite to initiate contact and build enduring relationships with students to ensure a healthy candidate pipeline in the future.
Harness the Power of Technology
With Jobvite, you can approach your college recruiting as an ongoing campaign and build relationships with the best emerging talent. Jobvite enables companies to create targeted email campaigns and segment communication to specific schools, skill sets and more. Just like you market your company to prospective customers, Jobvite lets you market your brand to prospective candidates efficiently and effectively. Jobvite Engage gives you everything you need to engage with students—email campaigns, access to resume databases, web page campaign builders and a CRM. All of these tools help you to source student talent and keep in constant contact, so you are top-of-mind when students contemplate their post-college career moves.
When Schneider Electric’s recruiting team was tasked with attracting students to its Advanced Development Program for recent college graduates in Mexico, the US-based team turned to Jobvite Engage to tackle the out-ofcountry recruiting challenge. Within 24 hours the team built a recruiting web page campaign called “The Future is Now” to draw in prospective emerging professionals for the open roles. Working against their deadline, they used Jobvite to send out targeted emails to hundreds of students and recent graduates and went from zero candidates to hundreds in a matter of weeks. Using Jobvite Engage to quickly and efficiently maintain communication with their targeted talent pool and with several Schneider Electric hiring managers in Mexico, the team was able to fill these coveted positions in record time. In less than two months the team met or exceeded all of its goals—conducting 31 first round interviews, 17 final round interviews and signing nine hires, three of which were highly specialized, difficult-to-find engineers.
Be Social, Get Shared
Recruiting campaigns with highly shareable content have the potential to turn students into advocates for your organization that extend the reach of your recruitment message. GroupM, the world’s largest media investment group responsible for one in three ads globally, was recently recognized as having the best recruiting program in all of Asia. Using Jobvite, GroupM APAC launched a college recruiting campaign “You can’t stand still if you don’t stand out...” The team built a web campaign that became a one-stop shop for potential employees at the internship level to everyone from recent graduates up to the more advanced candidates with graduate degrees.
The campaign was particularly effective for several reasons:
Pinpoint your Target Recruits
Jobvite Engage integrates with more than 100 college resume databases, allowing companies to search and find the best student matches for their requisitions. Users can filter by school name to target undergrads with email campaigns, one-to-one messages, and more. To attract a select group of students, one Jobvite customer created a short video interview with their CEO, a UCLA alumni. Dressed in UCLA gear on camera, the CEO talked about the culture of the company, the benefits of working there and the career development opportunities for young professionals. Using Jobvite, the recruiting team pushed the video out directly to a select group of UCLA students delivering a subtle yet effective message: “We want you and you can be successful here.”
School alumni networks are an often untapped recruiting resource. Using Jobvite, you can post your recruiting campaign content to alumni groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, enabling school alumni to share your campaign information and advocate for you to their networks. Jobvite also helps you immerse your company into the fabric of the school by communicating with your target students in a timely way during important school events. Even school sporting events can provide a ripe opportunity for recruiting via social media sites. During a game, share your recruiting campaign information on Twitter, using school hashtags to reach students tracking the game.
Today’s students want to engage with innovative companies that understand how they work and communicate. Done right, college recruiting programs can be highly effective at attracting and hiring emerging talent. However, in today’s highly competitive job market, you need to leverage technology to find and engage the best candidates. Companies that don’t will find themselves at a disadvantage in attracting the best young talent. So save the swag and invest in technology that allows you to communicate in a personal and targeted way designed to cultivate lasting relationships with emerging professionals. A robust pipeline of future candidates awaits you.
Check out these additional resources to learn more college recruiting: