Ask any campus recruiter how challenging it is to attract students to their booth and they’ll tell you campus recruitment is a competitive sport. The war on talent pits employers against each other in a battle for student interest at colleges and universities across the country. When attending a campus recruitment event, your organization is vying for the attention of every attendee, whether they’re soon-to-be graduates or underclassmen thinking about their long-term goals.

The campus recruiting challenge is to build your employer brand amongst college communities while widening your organization’s talent pool. Some campus recruiters rely solely on their brand strength in the marketplace: and if you’re Google that might be enough. But for the other 99.99% of businesses, hiring for entry-level positions requires a strong campus recruitment program focused on your employer value proposition and what you have to offer to college students.

To learn more about campus recruiting best practices, we’re turning to some of today’s best campus recruiting programs for inspiration:

The on-campus career center is your best recruitment partner

Connecting with university career services departments is a must to connect with student talent. They can provide information about upcoming career fairs, connect you with department heads and student leaders, and direct you to specific majors or special interest groups that are most relevant to your hiring needs.

These professionals can also help you expand your campus recruiting program beyond the massive career fair event. Partner with the career center to host employer information sessions that are specific to your organization, giving you a greater opportunity to connect with students. Could you host a pizza party or a meet-and-greet event a few evenings before the campus event? Could you bring alumni who are current employees at your company to a Meet the Alum night?

Take a note from Chicago Trading Company, who hosted a mentorship session with Duke’s Technology Scholars Program this summer. The event was an opportunity for CTC’s campus recruiter to connect one-on-one with female tech students and build more quality relationships with a small special interest group of students.

Invest in your internship program

Intern opportunities are another way to develop a talent pipeline. Not only are they a great way to offer hiring managers summer or seasonal help, but an internship program can help source your next entry-level hire. Think of internships as a test drive — temporary contract work can help you decide if an employee would make a good full-time hire.

EY knows the power of building a strong internship program. Not only did they hire 3,400+ interns from 30+ countries this year, but they host a conference at the end of each internship period where interns can network with other employees, learn from top leadership and make a lasting memory.

Boost your employer brand on campus

Campus recruitment is more than setting up a table and hoping students will stop by. It’s about showcasing your employer brand year round, speaking with students about how you organization is changing the marketplace, and showing students that you’re invested in their career success. Think about ways to promote your organization beyond the recruitment event, from stand-out career pages to building buzz on social media. Yes, finding talent to hire immediately is great, but a strong employer brand strategy can create a talent pipeline for years to come.

Follow in the footsteps of Collins Aerospace, who seeks out sponsorship opportunities to promote their company in the campus community. Last year, the company sponsored North Carolina A&T’s senior design expo. Collins also hosts information sessions in their office so that local university students can meet team members and learn about Collins’ innovative products.

Focus on social media recruiting

If you’re not recruiting on social media, you’re behind the curve. Research shows 18-year-olds are on some form of social media on a daily basis. Social media provides an opportunity to reach candidates in your specific demographic, engage and attract them where they’re already spending their time, then drive them directly to your career page. These passive recruitment strategies may offer you direct hires or generate interest and attendance at campus recruitment events.

Even if you don’t have much time for social media recruiting, there are ways to make sure you maintain a presence and build excitement for your organization. Use software to schedule regular reminders about career fairs, ask students to pre-register, and apply for open positions.

Companies like BP are using social recruiting to focus on the value their organization can provide to new hires. Showcasing mentorship programs for interns, scholarship opportunities for students, and young employee success stories allows potential new hires to picture life as a BP team member.

Top tips to improve your campus recruiting process:

Whether you’re new to the campus recruitment game or you’re an old pro, there’s always room for improvement. Looking for ways to tune up your own college recruitment process? Ask yourself these questions:

Campus recruitment is a costly proposition: some data puts the cost to hire a single student at over $3,500. To maximize your investment, make sure you’ve done your homework and prep. Cultivate relationships and connections with career counselors and through social media, boosting your brand and your presence on campus as much as possible. And remember anything you can to do to stand out and stand for innovation and inclusion at campus recruitment events is a plus to attract students.