New data from Aptitude Research Partners reveals that nearly 70 percent of companies are hiring new college graduates this year. As student recruitment becomes a priority for the majority of talent professionals, it’s more important than ever to enhance your company’s appeal to college students.

Nearly 70 percent of companies are hiring new college graduates this year.

Since we founded Yello a decade ago, we’ve helped hundreds of companies establish successful campus recruiting programs by equipping talent leaders with powerful technology and offering guidance to adapt to the new realities of college recruitment. As the fall approaches, here are four ways companies can make a lasting impression on campus.

1. Start recruiting early.

The 2018 Yello Recruiting Study found that nearly all students begin searching for jobs before graduation and many in-demand students have already accepted full-time offers with their internship employers before returning to campus senior year. Start recruiting students as early as freshman year and engage with these candidates throughout their college careers to build relationships. Through internship programs, co-ops and mentorship opportunities, encourage interest in your organization early in students’ college careers.

2. Drive referrals.

Academic clubs, greek organizations, classmates, sports teams—college students have endless networks of students who could be your future employees. Engage a wider talent pool and attract top students by establishing a campus referral strategy. Reach out to interns, silver-medal candidates and students you meet at career fairs to encourage them to refer friends and peers. A campus referral strategy will grow your early talent pipeline, while bolstering engagement among the referring student.

3. Show they can grow.

The opportunity for career growth can be the deciding factor for many young candidates. They want to understand growth plans and advancement opportunities before making a commitment to a company. It’s not all about perks and pay—be sure to highlight career trajectory at campus recruiting events.

It’s not all about perks and pay—be sure to highlight career trajectory at campus recruiting events.

4. Lead a year-round strategy.

A successful campus recruiting strategy doesn’t start and end in the fall. Leading campus recruiting teams engage students year-round. Throughout the year, communicate with student talent through email campaigns and social media, or host off-season events, such as networking sessions or presentations on a particular career path. In a fast-paced world, keeping your employer brand at the forefront of students’ minds is essential to cultivating candidate relationships and, ultimately, hiring top talent.

Continually evaluating and improving campus recruitment programs is essential to hire your company’s future workforce. Take a look at this white paper, A New Era in Campus Recruiting: Leveraging Technology to Recruit Top Students, for data to optimize campus strategies and attract top student talent.

About Jason Weingarten

Jason Weingarten is the co-founder and CEO of Yello, which enables the world’s leading brands to deliver personalized candidate experiences, resulting in quality hires and faster fills. Originally named Recsolu, Yello was founded in 2008 to support large enterprises with campus recruiting. Under Jason’s helm, Yello now powers 300+ enterprise clients’ talent acquisition programs.