If you love to travel and are looking for a challenging, ever-changing career that empowers you to use your relationship-building, social media and technology skills to impact a company’s success, campus recruitment may be right for you.

As the name implies, a campus recruiter sources, engages and hires college talent for internships and entry-level positions, while building a talent pipeline for their organization’s future hiring needs.

With employers facing the tightest labor market in decades, the current college population of nearly 20 million students represents a valuable pool of talent to fill staffing needs. In fact, nearly 70% of companies plan to hire new college graduates this year. The number of organizations heading to campus to fill open roles means the race for top college-educated talent is on.

Campus recruiting: an overview

Overall, campus recruiting starts with the company’s short- and long-term business strategy. Working with talent acquisition leaders, recruiters define what organizational roles are needed to drive business results now and in the future. Then, they develop and execute a recruiting program to fill staffing needs.

Recruiters may work in-house as a member of the company’s human resources (HR) department, or for a recruiting firm specializing in talent acquisition. They may focus on recruiting executives, experienced professionals, college interns and recent graduates, hourly workers, part-time employees or temporary help. Some are solely dedicated to recruiting; others may have additional responsibilities as human resources specialists, recruitment operations managers or employer branding experts.

What does a campus recruiter do?

A campus recruiter wears many hats, and requires a broad array of skills to attract, engage, screen, interview and place college students in internships or entry-level positions. Depending on how the role is defined, a recruiter’s responsibilities may include some or all of the following responsibilities:

    • Work with business leaders to define how many college interns and graduates will be needed in the upcoming years and in what disciplines.
    • Collaborate with hiring managers to develop job descriptions and define the recruiting process, from creating interview formats and questions to determining how to assess candidates and designing the job offer.
    • Identify which colleges source the best candidates based on their employer’s staffing needs.
    • Build relationships with a network of universities and their career services offices.
    • Create and manage a budget and calendar of hiring events and career fairs.
    • Promote your company’s attendance at upcoming recruiting events and engage students before, during and after the event.
    • Prepare presentations, videos and other marketing materials to introduce your organization’s employer brand and job opportunities.
    • Attend and facilitate hiring events, virtual recruiting events or employer information sessions.
    • Answer students’ questions about your company, culture, pay and benefits, career paths and development, corporate citizenship, sustainability, and more.
    • Move candidates through interviewing, assessment, offer and onboarding processes.
    • Build and maintain relationships with talent communities through a variety of channels like texting, email, social recruiting and more.
    • Educate students about your organization’s employment brand and culture.
    • Analyze seasonal recruiting success and measure results (like time-to-hire, number of candidates who accepted offers, etc.).
    • Define opportunities to improve campus recruiting by staying up to date on trends and influencing organizational changes that can positively impact outcomes.

How to become a campus recruiter

To become a campus recruiter, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or another related field. Campus recruiting generally does not require a master’s degree, but advanced degrees may be useful to obtain HR leadership positions later in your career.

You should also possess certain soft skills like strong organization, listening and relationship-building abilities. Real-world work experience can help you build the business acumen needed to thrive in this role. To stay up to date and have an advantage over the competition, it helps to get certification from nationally recognized organizations like the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Average campus recruiter salary

How much can you expect to make as a campus recruiter? According to Payscale.com, campus recruiters can make anywhere from $41,000 to $78,000, with an average base salary of $60,485. Bonuses can range from $500 – $9,000 per year.

Five tips for success as a campus recruiter

What can you do to distinguish yourself as a top-notch campus recruiter who delivers results?

  1. Get to know your target market – Generation Z – and what they look for in an employer and hiring experience.
  2. Establish and maintain strong relationships with current students. According to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, the recruiter is the biggest factor a student considers when deciding whether to accept a job offer.
  3. Learn about the latest in recruiting technology to boost productivity and success.
  4. Develop and execute a social media recruiting strategy to create awareness about your company’s culture, employment brand and job opportunities.
  5. Stay up-to-date on campus recruiting best practices.