Talent Management
HR Professional
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Bronwen Hundley


You’re recruiting on campus with the goal to hire top, fresh talent that your company can shape into high performers. You’re doing career fairs and employees have presented at the college at least once. You have a good relationship with the university, yet you don’t sense that students are really connecting with your company. Why is that?


On-campus recruiting is the one place where you cannot afford to be seen as anything but the most progressive and in-tune brand that truly understands how students communicate and what they value. Too often, recruiters bring a very “adult” perspective to college recruiting and they miss the opportunity to really connect with students who are at the height of their passion toward entering a career that inspires them. You want them to bring that passion to your company, right?


Here’s a few ways to help ensure that your efforts are resonating with students:


Stop thinking of job roles and focus on values. Top students know what they value, they know how they want to make a difference in the world and they have big aspirations for their potential to do so. They are looking for companies and work that will facilitate their ability to live out their values. Speak to their values and then connect the dots to how your company and specific roles can allow them to achieve their goals. They need to see a clear path that shows that they will be fully contributing as soon as they start.


Speak their language in their native tongue. In other words, go mobile. Provide tablets at career fairs and apps that allow them to apply for jobs with as few clicks as possible. Connect with them on social media. The easier you make it for them to stay connected to your company, the better impression you will make that your company is at the forefront in your industry.


Get personal. Savvy recruiters are handing out their phone numbers and allowing students to text them. Today’s students text before they email or call. And texts are easier to manage than phone calls. Embrace texting as a way to show students you are authentic, you care about them and you are willing to answer their questions as they arise.


Be present. You need to build brand awareness throughout students’ college years. It’s not enough just to do career fairs and expect students to remember your company. Get involved. Sponsor events, sports, provide guest speakers from your company, promote your company’s philanthropic efforts, engage students in projects – build brand awareness so that students already feel a sense of your culture and company when they graduate.


Build partnerships. Work with the college and faculty to help shape and drive the education students receive. This allows you to more directly influence the knowledge and skills you need students to have if hired in your company. Offer to help faculty design curricula, as well as to host research, provide case studies and guest speakers that will bring real-world experience into the learning journey.


Offer meaningful internships. Top students want to put their skills and learning to use right away, they want to contribute and see that while they learn they are achieving meaningful goals. Craft internships that give them the responsibility and mentors they need to feel that they are contributing to the company’s success. Treat them as entry-level employees, not high school students. They’ll work hard, build connections and provide fresh insight into your processes.


Take time to evaluate your on-campus recruiting strategy and be sure that you are up-to-speed with what students expect from companies today. It will be well worth your time as you see students connecting with you and envisioning a future at your company.


Bronwen Hundley is strategic director at Seven Step RPO.

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