In today's competitive labor market, with a fierce war for talent, qualified candidates get to pick their employer. Even final-year students often have jobs in their pockets before they graduate.
Thus, if you are a company looking to attract recent graduates, you must already reach out to candidates during their studies. That’s where a good campus recruitment strategy comes in. But how do you get started?
A year ago, I myself was a student and was approached by a lot of companies. During my first project at TriHD, I had the opportunity to learn about the campus recruitment process behind the scenes and develop a campus recruitment strategy based on my own experiences and expertise. In this blogpost, I want to share some tips to get you started with your own campus recruitment strategy.
Step 1 | Map your target audience
When developing a campus recruitment plan, it's important to identify exactly who your target group is. As a first step in your campus recruitment plan, map out what degree candidates should have and what skills they should already possess. Also take a look at your current employees to see which degrees have a positive correlation with years of employment.
Step 2 | Determine the right timing
Depending on the timing, students may or may not be more open to job opportunities. An academic year generally starts in late September and runs until early July, with re-examinations until early September. However, some programs follow a modular calendar.
Avoid a campus recruitment event or activity coinciding with an exam period. Other important times to consider are internship periods and paper deadlines. Try gathering as much information as possible on the students’ schedule.
Step 3 | Establish partnerships
Cooperating with educational institutions and student associations is recommended to get in contact with young potentials. These collaborations can take different shapes, such as placing advertisements in student magazines or posting vacancies on an internal career site of an educational institution.
Being present in the classroom itself is, of course, even better: try organizing a guest lecture on a topic which your company specializes in. Organizing in-house events for a student association or class is also smart. Invite the students into your office to host an event. This way, you create direct contact, and young potentials get to know the company first-hand. Ensure that some of your own recently graduated employees are present, as they remain the best ambassadors.
Step 4 | Engage with your target group
To build brand awareness among your target group, creating visibility on various channels (e.g. Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn) is key. Content can include a calendar of all campus recruitment events where a student can get in touch with your company, tips on how to apply for a job, (video) testimonials of young potentials at your company…
When reaching out to students or recent graduates through LinkedIn messaging, always use a personalized approach. Just as experienced candidates, young potentials want their profile to be viewed in-depth.
Make sure you have a clear view of the educational institution and studies, vacation jobs and/or internships and make the link to the job opportunity at your company. Is there a particular side activity of the student that attracts you as a recruiter? For example a student enterprise or volunteer work.
Step 5 | Offer Internships or Traineeships
Internships and traineeships can introduce young potentials to your company first-hand. By participating in an internship, students can learn and develop during a short period while still studying. Does the internship go well on both sides? Then the intern might become a permanent employee.
A strong traineeship program on the other hand is a strong asset to commit a recent graduate to your company through a combination of on the job learning and specific customized training.
I hope these tips will help you to shape your campus recruitment strategy and get students and recent graduates to choose your company.