Energize Campus Hiring in a Challenging Job Market

Campus Recruiting

Keeping the spotlight on your campus recruiting during challenging times is imperative. Embracing change can help you improve your results.

Campus recruiting comes with a variety of benefits and challenges, and the process can be further complicated in a tight job market or when financial investments are diverted to other areas of the business. And yet, 55.4% of hiring professionals said they would focus on building talent pools, making it the top hiring priority for 2019, reports

To that end, here are three straightforward strategies you can implement with a limited budget to sharpen your campus hiring efforts.

1. Call On Your People notes that "Recruiters are struggling to find both passive and active candidates, and they lack the time and resources to strengthen their recruiting processes." Persuading employees to take an active role in campus recruitment can be difficult at times, but you can use the following techniques to interest them in the process and elevate the effectiveness of your core recruiting team:

  • Incorporating campus recruitment as an aspect of performance reviews or stretch assignments can provide an opportunity for employees looking for ways to move their careers forward.
  • Establishing formal teams within business units can enable employees to take ownership of their recruitment and the responsibility to rotate participation and replacements at events.
  • Recognizing efforts with rewards grants additional incentives (e.g. gift cards or extra time off).
  • Utilizing former interns who have accepted full-time roles to relay opportunities to other high-potential students through brand ambassador and student referral programs can be highly effective.

2. Make Strategic Connections

Coordinating efforts with specific groups can increase candidate flow and improve hire quality and brand perception. You can do this by centralizing event registration across business units and communicating what recruitment activities are upcoming so that multiple teams can benefit. For example, diversity or military recruitment could be a prioritized at campus events, and alumni groups can be leveraged to recruit for more experienced roles.

Ensure that a common and authentic message is being communicated to represent all roles with a clear process for directing candidates to these opportunities. As long as you make candidate evaluation consistent and universal, role-specific assessment can be made during subsequent interviews.

3. Rethink Your Approach

A limited budget can reduce or eliminate the ability to travel, especially when recruiting for short-term roles like internships and co-ops. Where it makes sense, integrate virtual platforms to replace on-campus events or in-person interviews, and only conduct the latter when you have the final slate of candidates or the position is long-term.

Embrace campus recruitment as an ongoing process, focus on maintaining communication with former interns on a regular basis and shift recruitment activities to the beginning of the school year. When speaking with students, adjust your message to resonate with their population.

Attracting and retaining millennials and Gen Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture. A culture is enhanced when businesses and their senior management teams are diverse and when the workplace offers higher degrees of flexibility, notes Deloitte. Ensure your recruitment team is representative of all employees and showcase all that your organization offers regarding non-compensatory benefits, including flexible schedules, training and sustainability efforts.

Finally, connecting with local high schools and community colleges through free or low-cost events can introduce your brand to an alternative group of candidates at an earlier stage.

Keeping the spotlight on your campus recruiting during challenging times is imperative. Take inventory on what techniques you've already implemented, what's working and what else can be done right now. Having a clear intent and embracing change can help you improve your results.