7 Ways to Build Your Employer Brand on Campus4 min read

July 12, 2019 Campus Recruitment

Establishing a strong campus employer brand not only helps students recognize your company, but builds excitement for the open roles at your organization. Here’s how to make your organization stand out and attract top talent.


What matters most in campus recruitment? A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers says it’s employer branding. Top employers know that if students don’t recognize their company at a career fair or aren’t excited by the brand, they are less likely to apply for a job or seek an internship with the organization. Here are the top ways to build your brand and improve your recruitment marketing strategy on college campuses.

Host information sessions

Hosting on-campus information sessions raises awareness for your company among a target audience of college students. Information sessions, often coordinated with the university career center, are an opportunity to share details on open positions, organizational culture and unique information about your company and industry.

But with so many companies competing for talent, it can be challenging to attract students and increase attendance. Think about how to reinvent your information session to be more creative, interactive, and targeted to Gen Z’s job search expectationsConsider bringing a current employee who’s an alumni of the school to share a new hire perspective. Spread the word on social media, through career center communications and by inviting potential candidates in your talent pipeline.   

Build on-campus relationships

While attending career fairs is an essential part of the recruitment process, attending a once-per-year hiring event may not be enough to build strong brand awareness with college students–and it’s not always easy to get them to attend in the first place. Instead, maintain ongoing relationships with students and faculty throughout the year. Offer time and resources to student groups or sponsor club events to meet potential employees. If the school has a process to connect employers with faculty for classroom presentations, offer to share your company’s expertise. Students and professors will welcome the real-world case study and your organization will demonstrate industry leadership among a classroom of interested students.

Update career sites and job descriptions

Your careers website is the first place students visit to research your organization, and it’s one of the best places to showcase your employer value proposition at the start of the hiring process. Create a stand-out career page focused on entry-level roles that offers a view inside your organization. Keep it up to date with information on company culture, growth opportunities and recent photos. If your job descriptions are recycled year after year, revisit them to make sure they’re optimized for Gen Z job seekers.

Respond to third-party reviews

According to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, over 80% of Gen Z candidates are finding jobs online–which means they’re also likely reading your company’s third-party reviews. Monitoring sites like Glassdoor and Comparably is an important way to measure candidate experience, and is now an essential part of an employer branding strategy. Respond to reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely manner. Thank the reviewer for their feedback, offer steps to address concerns and focus on positive company-led initiatives. Responding to reviews allows you to control the narrative–even on sites you don’t own.

Make personal connections

Offering a personal touch can differentiate your company and help you stand out among other employers. When the dean’s list is released, use recruitment CRM software to send congratulatory emails to students you met at a previous career fair. Before finals, mail care packages to wish candidates good luck. Students may share these personal touches with friends and on social media channels, continuing to build your employer brand among a college student audience.

Nurture referrals

College students interact each day with peers in similar majors and organizations. Turn students into brand ambassadors for your organization to connect to a wider talent pool. At the end of each internship, ask interns to share the names of friends who may be interested in a role within your organization. Add these students to your talent community, even if they are only freshmen, and nurture them until they are ready to explore opportunities with your company. A student who is inexperienced now may qualify for a position in the future.

Create a year-round digital strategy

An on-campus employer brand strategy has no start or end dates. While spring and fall are peak campus recruitment times, stay top-of-mind with college students year-round by communicating unique company information through email campaigns and text, engaging with students on social media. Launching a digital recruitment strategy makes it possible to stay connected to students and fill talent pipelines with the next generation of talent. Recruiting technology enables you to source, attract and engage candidates, even without an on-campus presence.

Don’t rely on word-of-mouth or a single career fair to grow your employer brand on campus. Incorporate these initiatives in your employer brand strategy to cultivate a pool of talent that is already engaged with your company and excited about a potential career with your organization.

Share This

Gen Z is entering the workforce. What do they expect from their first employers?

Learn More

More Talent Acquisition Insights