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02/08/2018  //  By Tracy Kelly  //   campus recruiting

You can’t afford to let your campus recruitment strategy become stale. While you’re using the same tactics year after year, your competitors have refined their student outreach programs and are hiring the best candidates. To gain an edge, and recruit high-potential students, talent acquisition leaders must review and revisit campus recruitment strategies, to continuously improve ROI.

Leveraging data, from the number of candidates your team met, to interview process speed, helps you understand where your college recruiting strategy succeeds and where you need to pivot. With the fall recruiting season behind you, use learnings from the fall to achieve recruiting success this spring—to edge out your competitors and win top student talent.

Identify target schools

Do established relationships with career centers and on-campus organizations bring you back to the same schools each year? Instead of routinely recruiting at familiar universities, evaluate campus partnerships to find out which provide ROI for your organization. If a university no longer offers a major you’re recruiting or didn’t result in high-quality hires last year, it may not be worthwhile to invest time and resources at that campus. If you did meet high-quality students at a particular campus this fall, consider investing more resources at this school in the spring. Build relationships on these college campuses by sponsoring a student organization, developing relationships with faculty or hosting events on campus.  Letting go of long-term, but ineffective university partnerships can be difficult, but is essential to achieving campus recruitment ROI.

Audit your interview process

If students make it through your interview process, but don’t accept your offers, assess if your interview process is too long, if you’re losing candidates to competitors, or if you need to provide your team with additional interview training. Too many rounds of interviews or a poor candidate experience can contribute to candidate drop-out, leading prospects to accept offers with other companies. Audit your fall interview process to find out if you’re losing candidates, and use this insight to improve your process for the spring.

Review event communication practices

Generating a pre-event buzz is essential to a well-attended campus event. How did you build candidate excitement before the fall recruiting season? Did you invite candidates to pre-register, promote event attendance on social media or update your career site with event information? Review each of your pre-event communication tactics to identify which drove the highest attendance. If you offered pre-registration for career fairs in the fall, review how many candidates who pre-registered met with your team at the event. Based on these results, modify your spring event communication strategy to achieve attendance and hiring targets.

Identify candidate success metrics

To achieve spring recruiting success, identify characteristics top candidates shared this fall. Did candidates who received an offer have a certain GPA, a specific major or similar extracurricular interests? Review the fall candidate pool to find out what factors led to candidate success. Use these success metrics during the spring recruiting season to narrow the top of the funnel, and focus on talent who will likely have the greatest impact for your organization.

Measure your candidate pipeline

Not everyone you meet will be an immediate match with your company, but they may be in the future. Campus career fairs are an opportunity to build your talent pipeline. Audit pipeline growth during the fall recruiting season. Set benchmarks to monitor future increases and continue to build a quality pipeline. Based on these benchmarks, establish goals to grow your talent community during the spring recruiting season, so you’re prepared for future hiring needs.

Analyze sourcing channels

Students connect with your company through a multitude of channels: referrals, career fairs, career center job postings, social media, information sessions and more. Evaluate your student outreach strategy to find out which sourcing channels are most impactful for your campus recruiting goals. If social media is a top entry-point for candidates to connect with your company, prioritize this medium in your spring recruitment strategy, and if very few candidates apply through the career center, consider foregoing these efforts in the future.

Understand the candidate journey

Campus career fairs are a great opportunity to build your recruitment brand presence and network on campus, but it’s crucial to understand the candidate journey and calculate the ROI per campus event. Leverage campus recruiting software to learn the number of qualified candidates per event, the number of interviews secured, how many offers were made, total offers accepted and what happened to the candidates you met with during previous years. Track the candidate journey all the way through—from interviews scheduled to offers accepted—and use these insights to inform your spring recruiting strategy and modify your practices.

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