We’re continuing to have a long stretch of a flourishing economy as we experience record-low unemployment rates and new technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence. Today, millennials have become the largest demographic in workplaces, with Gen Z following suit. Our workplace is rapidly shifting because of all the technologies and the younger generations coming in hot.
With all the colossal changes, businesses face the evolvement of their recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion processes and practices, with the aim of getting young talents. In fact, the Aptitude Research Partners state that about 70% of employers will hire college graduates this year.
To stay competitive and find unique talents and qualified candidates, employers must meet and engage with students and graduates where they are now, which is on college and university campuses. That’s where campus recruitment comes along.
About Campus Recruitment
Campus recruitment is an excellent strategy to source, engage, and hire young talent for internship programs and entry-level job positions.
College recruiting is a typical tactic for companies with high-volume recruitment requirements, though it can range from small efforts to large-scale operations. It usually involves working with university career centers for sourcing candidates visiting various colleges, and attending recruitment events during the spring and fall semesters. There are specific industries that participate in campus recruitment more than others, such as business consulting, engineering, financing, technology, and manufacturing industries.
Why Recruit on Campus
Campus recruitment benefits the organization’s hiring strategies in numerous ways.
Entry-level positions are usually one of the toughest to fill, and talent shortage is a high emerging risk for companies around the world. That means more employers recruit directly from college campuses, where a large pool of talents is preparing for their first jobs after graduating. For companies with high-volume recruitment requirements, it’s essential to build an effective campus recruitment strategy to compete for potential talents and candidates.
Furthermore, campus recruitment gives companies more accessible access to the youngest talents. Experts expect Generation Z to make up about 30% of the workforce by 2030, with the digital-native generation creating a significant impact on companies. With a thriving and good understanding of today’s technologies, Gen Z is motivated to develop professional skills through meaningful work and opportunities.
Because of that, campus recruitment allows you to tap into the new generation of talents!
Besides quickly and efficiently building a professional network of young candidates and talents on campus, college recruitment can positively impact businesses beyond sending job offers. Aptitude Research Partners discovered that companies utilizing campus recruitment technology were thrice more likely to improve employee retention and be twice more likely to improve engagement and productivity! This leads to business growth, along with more time and money saved.
What Do Campus Recruiters Do?
Campus recruiters will search for talents on college campuses and travel to schools across the country to meet young talents. It sounds fun but also a lot of work!
Besides traveling and connecting with students, the campus recruiter’s responsibility is to attract, source, and hire top talents. The job responsibilities are wide-ranging, and they can possibly vary based on the season. When sourcing potential candidates, a campus recruiter will form relationships with university career services centers, which will connect with their students and plan career fair appearances and on-campus information sessions.
College recruiters are usually tasked with recruitment marketing initiatives as well. They would build a student communication plan and employer brand on-campus. And most importantly, campus recruiters will work with hiring managers, who can assist in conducting interviews, evaluating candidates, then extending job offers to the most qualified.
The salary of campus recruiters varies, with the average being about $65,000 a year, or $20.02 an hour. The average compensation will include the base salary, commission, profit-sharing, and bonuses. The compensation packages, also including benefits, vary depending on the employer.
How to Build Campus Recruitment Teams
Campus recruitment is vital to a company’s hiring practices. But you need to have an effective recruitment team to reap the benefits!
So, how can you build the best team?
Just like working on projects, you must have a plan before you head to any campus! Determine the company’s hiring goals, answering questions like:
- Will you hire undergraduate students?
- Do you need specific skills, like financial analysis or computer programming?
- What offices will you recruit for?
After you’ve gotten the basics down, you can now decide which leaders and employees need to be part of the team. Consider how many people you’ll need and from what office location. Furthermore, who will be serving key roles (like the director of campus recruitment) and support roles, and how will you define such roles?
After aligning the team and responsibilities, it’s time to develop a plan to address how to manage the team. Determine the following:
- Which employees will travel to campuses, and who will stay behind to manage the offices?
- What schools do you plan to recruit face-to-face, via technology, or both?
- How do you plan to collect student information, like applications and resumes, in a place where the entire team can access it?
Here are a few critical questions to ask yourself before building a campus recruitment team:
- How many team members can you hire?
- What leadership positions will the recruitment team require?
- How many on-ground campus recruiters are necessary?
- Will the recruiters travel or spend more time in the office?
- What skills and roles will the recruiters look for?
- What locations will you recruit for?
- What and where are the universities you’re targeting?
Campus Recruitment Strategies
Many students would attend college classes during the spring and fall semesters, while others would knock out a few courses in summer. With campus recruitment, there are no semester breaks! To further broaden your talent pool and attract quality candidates, you need to focus your strategies on student engagement all year long.
Here are some college recruitment strategies to follow:
- Know your audience
- Connect on campus
- Keep in touch all year long
- Make the hiring process even more efficient
- Measure efforts
How to Budget for Campus Recruitment
When you’re building a good campus recruitment team, you need to mind how much you spend. Since employees will spend a lot of their time on-campus recruiting, the costs of lost productivity and traveling can hit businesses hard, particularly those without budget strategies.
But even if you have a limited budget, you can conduct campus recruitment with a smart, cost-effective plan. When you’re creating or modifying the budget, you must begin with a clearly defined strategy based on the company’s needs.
- Determine the company’s current cost-per-hire and how your team can improve it through campus recruitment.
- Who are you targeting? Do you plan to pursue undergraduates or graduate and doctoral students?
- Who from the company will attend the campus recruitment events, junior or senior employees?
- What will the recruitment booth look like, and what decorations will it need? Will you need to give away corporate swag?
Here are essential factors to include in your overall campus recruitment budget:
- The recruiter’s overhead (bonuses, salary, and the like) and travel expenses
- The campus recruitment event technology
- Branded swag
- Booth collateral (handouts, signages, etc.)
Executing Successful Campus Recruitment Events
Up to 70% of companies recruit on campus, so there’s pressure to stand out in campus recruitment events and career fairs! Because of that, you may want to follow these tips:
- Contact university career centers to build a talent community and source candidates before visiting campuses.
- Maximize college recruitment efforts through attending on-campus job fairs. You should attend career fairs in person but leverage proper technologies, which help create ongoing relationships with students.
- Develop a campus recruitment event communications strategy. You can use candidate sourcing technology to connect with talents even before arriving on campus and before competitors do. With up to ¼ of college students looking for jobs within their first two years in college, employers must meet them where they are.
- Utilize recruitment event software for collecting resumes and evaluating candidates during and after career fairs. It saves time and effort compared to manually entering hundreds of candidates in a spreadsheet after the event.
- Please focus on the metrics you want to meet, such as the number of resumes you aim to collect during the event, students to engage with by the end of their semester, and the universities most successful in sourcing candidates and future hires.
Build campus recruitment events around your goals and objective criteria. That way, you can fill immediate needs while gaining the opportunity to develop relationships with students and schools, which results in an executable and successful campus recruitment program.
What’s a Campus Recruitment Software?
Campus recruitment is a great way to connect with qualified talents and candidates. But if the campus recruitment event processes involve manual reporting, tedious administrative tasks, and spreadsheets, we recommend using campus recruitment software.
Event management software, in particular, will help streamline campus recruitment. For instance:
- Before the event, you can have candidates register in advance. They can also check-in before events and schedule interviews on the software’s platform.
- The software allows you to collect resume and attendee data digitally during the event itself. Furthermore, you can evaluate all the candidates from your mobile device.
- After the event, you can re-engage with the event attendees via text and email. You can also schedule interviews and assess the event performance.
Monitoring campus recruitment details, connections in different schools, and historical data is challenging when done manually. Using the right technology to handle such tasks allows you to focus more on creating and building relationships than administrative tasks that take a lot of time!
Improve the Company’s Internship Program
Many companies already have some form of an internship program. If your company has one or plans to, you need to make it as strong as possible. Here are some tips to help improve the internship program’s return on investment:
- Be selective
- Hold interns accountable
- Improve the work culture
- Be supportive in and out of the office
- Provide flexible work options
- Schedule regular check-ins
- Develop intern-specific referral programs
- Conduct exit interviews
Engage the New Generation of Students
Campus recruitment differs for every generation, with Generation Z being no exception. Develop an effective college recruitment program by first understanding your audience. When you learn to recruit the youngest generation, you can implement successful hiring strategies while attracting top talent.
Gen Z will bring an entirely new set of expectations and talents to the marketplace. Here’s what to expect:
- Almost 1 in 5 Gen Zers will expect a job offer a week after the initial phone screening. Most would expect a job offer within two weeks.
- Gen Zers have no patience for using outdated recruitment technology. 46% of Gen Zers applied for a job using their mobile device, while 54% won’t even complete job applications if the company uses outdated recruitment methods.
- Gen Z values meaningful work and face-to-face relationships. In fact, their relationship with the recruiter will have the highest impact when deciding to accept a job or not.
- Because Gen Zers want meaningful work, they prioritize job duties and responsibilities more than other generations when accepting a job offer or not.
- Gen Zers expect to job hunt more than the older generation. 55% of Gen Zers plan on working for their current employers for less than three years.
When you understand who you’re recruiting, you’ll be able to better engage with them. Adapt the company’s recruitment methods to the younger generation’s preferences and skillsets so you can secure the future of talents now.
Campus Recruitment Metrics and Return of Investment
You must measure the effectiveness of the campus recruitment event, which is critical to your hiring efforts’ growth and development. When you determine the campus recruitment KPIs, like the cost-per-hire and time-to-hire, you’ll have a greater understanding of your successes and identify any areas open for improvement through a more objective perspective.
Unfortunately, only 30% of companies would set processes to measure recruitment efforts to capture success. Implementing reporting processes is important to capture data, improve candidate experience, provide transparency, and understand the impact on the return on investment. It will also help the team streamline recruitment efforts and make wiser hiring decisions. The more you all know, the better the results become!
If you’re unsure of the metrics to track, look into the company’s hiring goals, answering questions like:
- Will you need to fill open positions faster?
- Do you aim to build a better employer brand on campuses?
- Do you want to reduce hiring costs?
When you know the most critical factors to the team, you’ll all determine what needs to be included in the reporting and analytics.
For instance, if your goal is to source more candidates, measure the events attended, talent pool size, source of hire, and the job application completion rate. Or, if you want to reduce turnover and recruiting costs, measure the retention rate, vacancy rate, employee reviews, time-to-hire, and cost-per-hire.
For those who prioritized the speed of the recruitment process, then measure the time-to-hire and length of each step throughout the hiring process. As you can see, it all depends on your overall goal!
Wrapping It Up
Campus recruitment is now taking on a new shape. Employers won’t be sitting at tables in job fairs or recruitment events, waiting for students to visit and talk. You must stay competitive and invest in solutions focused on improving candidate experience to drive results rather than focus on monotonous administrative tasks!
The new generation expects companies to bring their A-game, so it’s time to bring it on. Good luck!