campus event recruiting

University Recruiting: 8 GR8 Ways to Win

University Recruiting: 8 GR8 Ways to Win

Career fairs and information sessions remain among the most common ways for students and employers to connect. What’s not so common? The ability to stand out as an employer of choice in the sea of sameness.

Here are 8 GR8 ways college and university recruiters can do just that and win:

  1. Bring the stars along. As approachable and knowledgeable as you may be, the reality is that students truly value the opportunity to speak with the people at your company who are working in the career areas they’re most interested in. Tap into your star colleagues when you head to campus and offer students a level of “day-in-the-life” insights they won’t get from other employers on campus.

  2. Set the stage for selfies. If you really think about it, social media is less about documenting one’s life and more about performing one’s life for our friends and families. Give Gen Z the stage they seek by offering a great backdrop for a selfie—preferably one that is fun but also ties into your company’s purpose or product. You’ll attract more students at the event and benefit from their selfie sharing habits.

  3. Promote campus ties and connections. Make sure you do your homework and learn as much as you can about the campus you’re visiting, and not just the number of alumni working at your organization. Look for shared values or, given academia’s track record of involvement in breakthrough innovations, a history of complementary achievements and accomplishments. Highlight what links you to the college or university you’re visiting in your communications and conversations.

  4. Seek out niche events. If you find that you overwhelmingly attract students pursuing similar majors at general career fairs, then it may be time to research opportunities for campus hiring events that target a specific school or department. While you’ll have fewer overall attendees, you can expect to have more meaningful connections and, ultimately, more hires. Plus, attending a focused event can increase the odds that strategy #1 will be both possible and impactful.

  5. Go digital or go home. Leave paper resumes and spreadsheets behind. Today, you can fully automate your campus hiring experience with tools designed to manage everything from pre- and post-event communications to digital resume uploads and check-ins. You’ll demonstrate to students that your organization is digitally-savvy while having more time to focus on getting to know them personally.

  6. Steal some thunder. You can leverage campus career fair traffic without even being on campus. Host a “power breakfast” for students that morning before their classes and the career fair start. And, if you’re lucky enough to be located close to your target campus locations, invite students to your offices for an event that you can market as a networking opportunity (with your company’s employees and their student peers) and a chance to learn more about specific job opportunities while getting a first-hand glimpse of the work culture.

  7. Make a game of it. Gamification, when it makes sense, can be effective in engaging students on campus especially if you recruit for technical disciplines. Attract attendees with an onsite hackathon or a mock work scenario they can solve on the spot. Be sure to include cash prizes or branded giveaways as part of the experience.

  8. Appeal to their appetites. Sure, technology and innovation rule in terms of student impressions of your company. But don’t underestimate the power of food when it comes to luring students to your booth or event. Consider budgeting for sandwiches or tacos—just make sure it’s more substantial than your typical cookie trays or snack-size candy baskets.

Finally, no matter which of the approaches above you integrate into your campus program, do your part to set students up for success. Include helpful details about what they should bring and what to expect in your pre-event communications. Doing so will demonstrate that your company cares about their experience, which is just one more way to stand out from the competition.


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