Year-Round Campus Recruitment Strategies4 min read

February 7, 2019 Talent Acquisition

An effective campus recruitment strategy doesn’t take a vacation. Here’s how to stay engaged with candidates on campus year-round.

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It’s tempting to assume campus recruitment has two seasons: fall, when students arrive back on campus, and spring, when they’re getting ready to graduate. The winter and summer months in between can seem like filler, where students and new grads focus their energy on getting a break from school, enjoying a vacation, or, ideally, working as your college intern or new hire.

But just because it may seem like there’s downtime on a college student’s schedule doesn’t mean there’s downtime in the campus recruiting schedule. In fact, some of the most important campus recruitment work takes place during the months that aren’t jam-packed with career fairs and hiring events. Meeting your campus recruiting goals means establishing a cohesive campus recruitment strategy that spans all twelve months. Just as procrastinating on a school project could come back to bite you, kicking the can of campus recruitment planning to the busy season can leave your candidates disengaged and a create a less-than-stellar appearance on campus.

Use these strategies to stay on top of your campus recruitment efforts year-round:

1. Stay in touch

Fostering relationships with college-aged candidates is the bedrock of campus recruitment. Engaging talent early and often throughout their college career can help craft personal connections, giving recruiters insights into students with the most potential and a keen interest in working with your organization.

That’s why it’s important to engage with college students year round, not just during the traditional campus recruitment season. Staying in touch with candidates during the off-peak months of campus recruiting shows you’re invested in their success, even at times when a career might not be in the forefront of their minds. It doesn’t have to be much: a short email or text message here and there is all you need, and it’s easy to coordinate with the help of campus recruitment software.

“We recently started using the texting feature with Yello, and it’s been really great. I’ve been able to remind candidates to sign up for an interview time via text. We actually had a 90% sign-up rate this semester.” – Jennifer Landis, E. & J. Gallo Winery

2. Create compelling content

Keeping college candidates engaged throughout the year can be achieved through quality outreach. Sharing content that’s highly relevant to their interests can help students map out a potential career path with your organization. With candidate engagement software, it’s easy to craft unique messages to target any type of persona — say, engineering students — and engage them on a regular basis.

To create top content, consider tapping into your company’s existing network of alumni who attended the campuses you’re targeting. They’re not just a great resource to bring with you to a career fair, they’re also great subjects for compelling, relatable recruitment marketing content. Record videos, podcasts or testimonial interviews with alumni to put a personal touch on outreach to students at a particular campus — especially those who may not have been able to attend a campus recruiting event.

3. Focus on specific hiring needs

Do you know the exact reason your company is recruiting on campus? Is there a particular project that could use the help of interns over the summer, some long-term succession planning, or the basic desire to hire the best and the brightest from the next generation of talent?

You may or may not have an answer for all of these questions right away, but it’s crucial to understand your organization’s long-term hiring strategy when considering campus recruitment. Hiring needs can change drastically over the course of the year, and anticipating roles that might be best suited for fresh graduates can help make the most of any campus recruitment operation.

4. Mind your budget

Between travel and the cost of organizing recruitment events, campus recruitment gets expensive. In order to hit your campus recruitment goals without breaking the bank, it’s crucial that you set a budget and do everything you can to stick with it.

That means doing your best to anticipate costs at least six months in advance, giving time to build the price of a campus recruitment event into a budget without it coming up as a last-minute expense. Without planning ahead, you may find your organization doesn’t have the resources when the time comes to start making preparations to visit a campus or prepare a hiring event.

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