The Battle for the Soul of Campus Recruitment
Over the last two years, the pandemic has changed the way many employers think about talent acquisition, and we’ve seen significant shifts towards virtual recruiting. Specifically, early talent recruiting, which previously relied heavily on a presence on campus, has gone through an evolution that has recruiters asking questions about the future.
The strategies of campus recruiting teams have also shifted from seeking short-term fixes to adjusting to the long-term impact of recruiting in a mainly virtual environment for an extended period.
We have seen a spectrum of solutions – some companies are returning to primarily in-person campus interactions with students, and some are permanently shifting to virtual recruiting or taking a hybrid approach. As you navigate this new era of early-career/campus recruiting, read on for three important insights from employers finding success in the new normal:
- A hybrid approach is the future of early-career recruiting, and basing your efforts on one strategy (only in-person or only virtual) will no longer be enough. Going forward, recruiters will need to develop a skill set that allows them to build relationships with and expose students and universities to their employer brand in an almost entirely virtual setting. However, this does not mean that building relationships with universities is no longer important. Companies who opt to discontinue campus recruitment altogether, hoping to connect with students directly via Linkedin or email sourcing, will face challenges being noticed as students today are inundated with recruiting messages from companies they do not know. Hybrid campus recruiting combined with direct online sourcing of qualified candidates will give your company the most avenues to success.
- Students currently enrolled in undergraduate programs have adapted to a semi-virtual professional and educational environment and expect their future employers to do the same. Many students have had virtual internships in the past two years and are comfortable working this way. Unless your employer brand is large enough to overshadow this, candidates graduating from college in 2022 and beyond expect to have the flexibility to work virtually, at least part of the time. Some early-career individuals in the workforce today have never worked in an office five days a week and are more likely to apply to roles that allow them to continue that cadence.
- Recruiting primarily from a list of core schools is outdated and could be holding you back from achieving your DEI hiring goals. In the past, companies invested in recruiting candidates graduating from universities the employers trusted and with whom they had a relationship. Now, how we look at education and what makes for a successful candidate has changed (for the better, in our opinion). Diverse, qualified students and recent grads are obtaining a great education from a large range of schools and programs across the country (this is where those virtual relationships come into play). In addition, the workforce is more diverse than ever and hard-working employees show us every day that passion and the will to learn are more important than standardized test scores or higher GPAs. Companies who fail to recognize this shift will be limiting their talent pools in the midst of a highly competitive market.
Is Campus Recruiting Finished?
No! Campus recruiting has gone through unprecedented change in the past two years, but the need to hire students and recent grads has not. Teaching large groups of students about your brand in-person at career fairs may be less common, but relationship building is as important as ever. Students and recent grads are ready to connect virtually, but companies need to meet them halfway. They also need to be prepared to match candidate expectations. For example, job descriptions that require relocation without the support of a stipend or the option for remote work are no longer enticing. Companies who are ready and willing to evolve and adapt are well-positioned to succeed. Interested in learning more about how to empower your campus recruiting team to excel in a hybrid environment? Reach out today to see how Yello can help.
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