Tag Archives: College Recruiting

Hiring and retaining the class of 2012

campus recruitment
Recruitment event at the University of Birmingham

Achievers and Experience, Inc., recently asked about 8,000 students where they plan to look for jobs, what motivates them and what it will take to retain them. With nearly 3.4 million Millennials graduating from college and entering the workforce this year, it’s crucial for employers to understand what attracts top talent. (Research Source)

Here are some highlights from the findings:

How they hunt for jobs
Thirty-five percent of Millennial plan to use LinkedIn as a primary source for their job hunt, up from a meager 5% in 2010.
83% percent of Millennials use some sort of social media site right now, but don’t abandon the traditional methods.
When asked to rank six job search methods in order of importance, the majority said they are still relying on the old-fashioned approaches.
About 88% of respondents said they plan to go straight to the source and submit an application directly to the company.
73% said they’re most likely to utilize a career services center on campus.
72% will search for jobs at a networking or recruiting event.
Social media sites still aren’t the primary tool for job searches among students, but 7% plan to use Facebook and 5% said they’ll use Twitter to look for jobs.

college poster services
This company was hiring computer engineers and asks them to solve those equations in order to find out the right phone number to call and schedule the interview.

What’s most important to them when making a decision?
51% said salary
54% of students said career advancement opportunities
51% said doing interesting and challenging work

The average tenure of employees in the U.S. is 1.5 years, according to the Department of Labor, but 21% of respondents expect to stay with their first employer for 5 years. An even more ambitious group, and the vast majority (22%), estimate they’ll stay for more than 10 years.

College recruitment on campus is still a big factor in attracting the right students. Is it time to blow the dust off your campus recruitment plan and build a presence there again?

Campus Media Group are experts when it comes to developing recruitment advertising strategies that work. Access to campus starts here. Contact us today to learn more.

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Building Your Recruitment Brand – Tool 2: Career Fairs

Career fairs have always been a mainstay for companies recruiting graduating students, but their effectiveness has come into question for many of the brands we work with. Employers are starting to see a drop in the number of students coming to career fairs, and this could be for a few reasons:

(1) Some employers are no longer accepting resumes at career fairs,

(2) Students are able to apply and get a great deal of information online that was not available in the past, and

(3) Conversations at career fairs between recruiters and students have become a bit less enticing since employers cannot provide information to students that may give them an advantage in the hiring process.

NACE has an article about this on their website that digs deeper into this issue.

College Fair at Drexel
College Fair at Drexel

I attended a career fair recently intent on learning more about how companies are promoting themselves to students. I was put-off by some of the things I saw there. It wasn’t uncommon to see recruiters sitting behind their tables working on their Blackberries instead of being out in front, engaging students in conversation about their company. Why would a student want to stop and talk to a company recruiter that’s not paying attention to the crowd around them? Some of the companies were sending the message that the attendees were just a number that didn’t matter. It was very disheartening. A few other things that were surprising included uncomfortable silences in conversations between recruiters and students (aren’t the recruiters supposed to be good communicators?) tables looking very “flat” (booths need a 3-dimensional appearance), table skirts that look beat up and old, and booths that only have the generic name label as a branding element.  Although I did see one company staple a cloth logo on a pennant to the booth label behind them, it was crooked and took away from the brand quality.

So, a couple words of advice for companies participating in a campus career fair this fall:

Stand up. Be in front of your table versus behind it. Be there to look people in the eye and talk to them.

Know what’s happening on campus. Pick up the student newspaper when you arrive on campus to find out what’s making news on campus. Even better, check out the student newspaper or university “media” website before showing up. Have some stories that are relevant to the students. Have more to talk about than yourself. Your goal is to make the student feel comfortable and create a personal connection.

Be proactive. If you are handing out something, design it with student in mind and personally hand it to them. Stop the insanity of saying “take this and that” and point out the important information they should look at more closely when they have time. In most cases the pieces you have to hand out are designed to build the overall brand and tie everything together. If they only get one piece of the picture they are likely to miss the big one – why they should want to work for your company.

Tips. Give the students recommendations for the best way to get into your applicant tracking system (ATS). Let them know how to avoid falling through the cracks.

Be nice. Even if a student doesn’t have the educational background or experience you’re looking for, make a positive impression. Word of mouth resonates and students will share their experience with your company, especially a poor one. Allow them to be advocates for your company by encouraging them to spread the word.

Dress the part. If your company dress is formal then a suit is fine, but you should represent the reality of your company. If your office is casual, dress that way.  One trend I’ve noticed is recruiters wearing school-branded gear – golf shirts, hockey jerseys, etc. This not only shows your support for the school but encourages conversation. If you do go with the football jersey, you’d better know what’s happening with the team (see “Know What’s Happening on Campus” above).

Engaging booth. Add some stands, images, signage, etc. that provide something that’s not flat against the table or wall behind you. It really does stand out when people walk around and creates a more engaging feel. Remember that the first impression of the booth and people working the booth are what help drive students to stop and talk to you.

Up next – Tool 3: Virtual Career Fairs

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Building Your Recruitment Brand – Tool 1: Career Centers

Recruitment Advertising on Campus
Source: Hollins University

I know, I know. It’s not a “new” way to recruit students, but career centers are a key location on campus that may have more recruitment advertising options than you would assume. Campus career centers usually have full time staff who help students with all things job related: resume writing, interviewing, updates on who’s hiring and when, career direction, etc. They also help the companies recruiting on campus by setting up interview events, campus visits, professors or departmental outreach, career fairs, and online job posting opportunities.

Student outreach opportunities at career centers on campus tend not to be very exciting, and most companies simply do the same thing year in and year out at their target schools.  I encourage you to ask the campus career centers what other branding options exist, or suggest a new way to customize your presence there. You might be surprised how receptive they’ll be.

Custom recruitment event and career center tactics:

  • If you have a long-lasting relationship with a school, you may want to approach them about naming rights or sponsorship of interview rooms or the center itself.
  • Send custom giveaways to the career center staff (branded pens, custom Post-it note pads, note pads, calendars etc.)
  • Custom emails sent to students from the career center about new opportunities or recruitment events with your company
  • Create co-branded career center shirts with the name of the school on the front and your brand on the sleeve. Give them to staff at your recruitment schools.
  • If the career center has a mentoring program, get involved. If they don’t have one, create one.
  • Send posters and literature stands to the career center with a request to have them displayed.
  • Arrange for custom messages on the career center Facebook page and via the school’s  Twitter account
  • If you are really creative, look at supplying the career centers with branded furniture (tables & chairs), floor mats, or magazine/literature racks.

If you have examples of how a company can work with campus career centers, please comment below.

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The Process of Building Your Recruitment Brand

I presented the 16 Tools to Build Your Brand and Recruit the Very Best at the NACE National Conference last week. Before we begin discussing each of the points from that presentation, I wanted to give an overview on our strategic process to recruiting so you have a frame of reference.

Campus Media has an internal philosophy about the process needed to be successful with recruitment marketing and advertising. Below is a diagram of the process, but let me explain each of these parts for you.

Campus Media's Strategic ProcessWe see a great deal of companies who look at the college market and start their marketing play with “we want to do ‘x’ or ‘y,'” but haven’t thought through what effect it will have on your organization. Many approach their brand building by doing the same things year after year. With how quickly things are changing these days, it’s  important to be conscious of each step and determine what the net effect is going to be before you start and execute your recruitment plan. Then start the process all over again for your next initiative. This process can be used annually or semi-annual depending on your budget and planning cycles. More often is better than not due to how fast the student mind-sets are changing these days. The economy is having a strong effect on this too. Two years ago a recruitment brand strategy was very different than it is today.

Let’s break apart each step:

1. Company – This is what you more than likely already have in place. It’s what your business, department, etc. has defined as who you are, why you do what you do as a company, what you want your consumers to think of your brand, your key competitive advantages and products.

2. Customer – In a recruitment context the customer is the student you are looking to influence/hire. You need to define what your consumer think of you. Most of the time your brand view doesn’t align with what the public thinks your brand is. This is where research comes in to play. What does the customer think your competitive advantages are? Why do they buy or want to work from you? What do you offer that others don’t? What’s your brand mean versus your competition? If your “Company” elements above don’t align with the “Customer’s” way of thinking and what’s important to them, then your campaign will not likely achieve the goals set out for the program that’s being developed.

3. Planning and Strategy – This stage is where the 16 tools start to come together and your ROI is developed. What message will you use? Where will the message be located? Do you need to make changes to how your teams are dressed or what they talk about when interacting with the students? When does your marketing happen? How does it help effect the disconnect that likely exists between stages 1 and 2 above? Do you need to make changes to your website or Facebook page or YouTube channel or handouts or booth design or videos or…or…or…? Run through everything to ensure each tool you use is on message and in the right places to cause the shift needed in your consumer’s mindset about your brand/company.

4. Execution – This is the “get it done” stage. Execute on the brand message, website strategies, on campus events, speaking, career fairs, social media, etc.

5. 20/20 – In this stage, take a look at what went well… or poorly. Do your follow up consumer research to see if your goals/objectives outlined in the planning and strategy stage occurred. What did you learn? Did you hire the students you expected to hire? Why or why not? In essence, you should be able to define if you hit the ROI elements you outlined in phase 3.

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