We’ve moved into a new era of campus recruiting. Considering today’s students have grown up as digital natives, preferring text messaging and email above other forms of communication, recruiting on campus is no longer an activity that exclusively takes place during annual career fairs or recruitment events.

Recruiting technology makes it possible to stay connected to students virtually, preparing them for internships and opportunities throughout their college careers and beyond. With the right digital campus recruiting strategy, it’s possible to fill talent pipelines with the next generation of talent, manage interviews with speed and efficiency, and measure the impact of any campus recruiting initiative. 

Here are the steps campus recruiters can follow to launch a digital campus recruitment strategy:

1. Source candidates

A digital-first campus recruitment strategy starts through candidate sourcing. Build a talent pipeline before you step foot on campus by reaching out to the career center. Ask for a list of students that might be interested in your company and invite them to join your talent community. Engage soon-to-be college graduates by sending regular communications about open entry-level positions, share key insights on your organization’s internship program, or let them know when you’ll be on campus for their university’s career fair.

Another great way to source young talent is through referrals from other recent college grads. Tap current interns or entry-level employees at your company to fill open roles, and ask them to invite their friends to join your talent community for future hiring updates.

2. Attract candidates

You don’t have to be on campus to catch the eye of young job seekers. Attract college students by boosting your recruitment marketing efforts online. Show off your employer brand on social media and via your career site. Share short videos from current employees who are alumni at the universities you’re targeting. Use recruitment CRM software to send personalized email marketing campaigns that target specific groups of college students by major, university, or area of interest. Review your job descriptions to make sure they’re written with Gen Z candidates in mind.

3. Engage candidates

While career fairs are still important for any college recruiting strategy, digital-first solutions make it possible to engage candidates year round. Host webinars that contain the same content you’d offer at an on-campus employer information session. It’s a great way to connect with students in real time without having to travel to campus, and students can access the webinar long after it’s over. Students can even stay engaged during the session by electronically “raising their hands” to ask questions.

Keep students engaged by touching base often throughout the year. Stay connected on social media, or send an email or text message once a month. Celebrate student milestones by sending a small coffee gift card at the start of winter break or during finals week. For especially promising candidates, offer to provide resume feedback or schedule a 15-minute advisory meeting on job search best practices.

4. Assess candidates

Using data gathered throughout the recruitment process, including email engagement and interactions during real or virtual recruitment events, begin assessing candidates on their potential fit for your organization. With the help of candidate evaluations software, establish consistent sets of assessment criteria for campus recruits, ensuring candidates are measured based on the metrics and qualities your company desires. Using evaluation management software also makes it easy to get efficient and accurate feedback from hiring managers and interview teams.

5. Schedule interviews

Once your recruiting team has identified candidates to advance in the hiring process, recruiting technology makes scheduling interviews simple. Interview scheduling software allows you to confirm candidate meetings in seconds with AI, empowering your team to hire faster, impress candidates and work more strategically.

First-round interviews or brief conversations can also be conducted with video interview software. Live video interviews give recruiters the chance to meet with candidates face-to-face in a virtual setting, and pre-recorded interviews let candidates answer questions directly to the camera on their own time. Whether live or pre-recorded, video interviews make it possible to efficiently screen candidates no matter where their campus or your office is located.

6. Measure success

Throughout every step of the recruitment process, talent acquisition software provides valuable feedback and insights to measure the success of your campus recruitment efforts. Whether it’s the clickthrough rate of a digital marketing campaign or metrics that measure the number of hires from a campus event, recruitment software can help your recruiters understand the effectiveness of their campus recruiting program.  By sharing assessments and engagement metrics with your organization, you’ll be able to identify the bright spots and areas for improvement within your digital strategy, enabling your recruitment teams to boost your on-campus performance for the next semester and beyond.