A New Era in Campus Recruiting
As job openings hit a record high with unemployment at 3.8%, organizations are placing more emphasis on campus recruiting programs than ever before. In fact, according to Aptitude Research Partners’ 2018 Hire, Engage, and Retain study, nearly 70% of companies are hiring new college graduates this year.
Rethinking Campus Recruiting
Campus recruiting is an integral part of talent acquisition with employers investing time and resources in both informal (kick-off events where companies meet and greet upcoming graduates) and formal initiatives (recruitment at on-campus career fairs in the fall and spring seasons).
According to Aptitude Research one in four enterprise companies attend an average of twenty-five campus events each season.
Historically, the success of campus recruiting has hinged on two basic activities: employers attending career fairs and career services preparing graduates for these events. In theory, it is a simple and straightforward process. In reality, most employers and graduates are not getting the information they need to make the right decisions moving forward.
In order to make data-driven decisions around campus talent, companies need to invest in world-class technology. Through the use of technology, companies have access to data that can help them prove ROI to company leadership, invest in the right schools, and determine the best ways to engage graduates.
Only 30% of companies measure the effectiveness of their campus recruiting efforts.
The top challenges with campus recruiting
- Candidate Communication: Graduates are doing their own research and becoming more informed about employers before their first interaction. They are visiting job sites, career sites, social media sites, and third-party review sites. They are also connecting with current employees to learn more about work/life balance, leadership, and culture. Companies that do not take advantage of this discovery phase may miss out on top student talent.
- Insights: Although analytics is becoming a critical part of talent acquisition efforts, most companies do not have enough insight into campus recruiting. Companies need to know what events lead to quality hires, what schools to visit, and the best use of communication. They need to consider how they can better manage and track events with a clear view of data
- Resources: Currently, one in three companies have a dedicated campus recruiting team. For many of these teams, significant time and resources are focused on logistical and administrative tasks, instead of value-add activities. Both companies with dedicated teams and those without should consider technology that can help them more efficiently manage, track, and follow-up on their campus recruiting programs.
Lastly, many companies struggle with frequency in their campus recruiting efforts. Often viewed as a seasonal, one-time activity, companies do not always build meaningful relationships with soon to be graduates. Campus recruiting needs to be part of an ongoing strategy and needs the resources to support a long-term approach.
The Role of Technology
In order to be more strategic in campus recruitment, companies are increasing their investment in technology. Companies are evaluating solutions that can help them make data-driven decisions around talent while also improving the candidate experience.
In the past, campus recruiting processes have been manual and cumbersome. They have failed to provide employers with important insights into their college student pipeline.
Fortunately, innovation in talent acquisition technology has resulted in a new generation of solutions designed specifically to support campus recruiting. The new landscape for campus recruiting brings technology that can support recruiting efforts through every stage of the candidate funnel from the attract to recruit to hire.
Only 1 in 4 companies have a mobile optimized campus recruiting program.
Technology can help ensure that companies are making better decisions around everything from who they hire to how to communicate with candidates. Organizations that invest in one provider to facilitate these capabilities will have an advantage in being able to optimize their results. The following framework provides an outline of how technology can improve campus recruiting through each stage of the candidate lifecycle
Events management solutions provide a digital experience for candidates, recruiters, and managers. Companies can manage and share event information in seconds. Candidates do not need to rely on paper-based resumes and managers can access candidate data and pre-screening data that has been captured.
Talent pipelines or talent communities provide a solution that allows companies to engage and nurture talent throughout the year. Companies can filter talent based on interests and skills and provide information on job openings and company culture.
Campaign management allows campus recruiting efforts to continue before and after events by providing tools to quickly and easily engage with candidates through email and text.
Companies need an omni-channel approach to communicating with graduates. Companies need to use a combination of social media, SMS and video. By leveraging text recruiting technology, organizations are able to keep in touch with candidates and reinforce their employer brand.
In addition to Event Management capabilities, organizations are investing in candidate self-scheduling to empower candidates to schedule time with managers and be proactive in the process.
Companies are investing in video interviewing as a way to reduce costs associated with campus events and be able to better track and pre-screen candidates.
Top companies have a strategy not only to engage candidates, but to evaluate them. Instead of taking notes on the back of the resume, employers can leverage solutions to instantly evaluate candidates digitally. These tools provide increased insight into candidate quality at specific universities and enable recruiters to immediately advance candidates.
Campus recruiting technology gives hiring teams the insight they need to make data-driven decisions throughout the entire process. Insights include cost savings, quality of candidates, pre-screening data, and conversion rates.
The Business Impact
Companies are being held accountable not only for attracting talent on campus but ensuring that they are hiring the best. TA professionals are under tremendous pressure to improve not only cost and time to hire but also more strategic areas such as quality of hire and the candidate experience.
Campus recruiting is now being measured on much more than the number of events and number of resumes or applications received. Companies need real data about the quality of talent and the level of engagement with individuals.
Eighty percent of companies using technology communicate with candidates in a timely manner.
Also, 61% of companies using technology have improved quality of hire compared to only 32% of companies not using technology.
Companies using campus recruiting technology were…
Technology can play a pivotal role in campus recruiting but companies need a strategy for communicating the value throughout the company. The value of these solutions extend far beyond talent processes and reach every part of the business. Companies that will achieve the most success are those that are able to identify their own priorities, evaluate leading providers, and communicate their vision to various stakeholders.
Companies that have a strategy for attracting and hiring recent graduates are investing in technology solutions. These organizations see an improvement in overall efficiencies, quality of hire, and business results. Campus recruiting requires a unique set of processes and technology options from other areas of talent acquisition. Companies looking to compete for talent need to use technology to help make better decisions around student talent. Below are a few recommendations to consider:
- Be Consistent: Campus recruiting is not a seasonal activity. It is a strategic initiative that needs to be managed and tracked consistently throughout the year- not just during campus event season in the fall and spring. You’ll need solutions that will enable you to engage with talent in a more frequent and meaningful way.
- Use Technology to Make Data-Driven Decisions: Companies need a strategy that is driven by data for managing their campus recruitment. If you’re able to measure the success of your talent acquisition efforts it will provide a better experience for your recruiters, managers, and graduates.
- Improve Communication: Companies should think about tools that enable better communication beyond email such as video, text, and mobile solutions. Leveraging video is three times more likely to improve candidate communication.
- Consider One Provider: Companies should consider one platform instead of disparate solutions to support campus recruitment and help them manage and track events and engagements. With one provider, you’ll have more accurate data that can be used to drive decisions on activities, quality, and performance.
- Build a Business Case: In order to improve campus recruiting efforts, companies need to consider solutions that will improve efficiencies and the candidate experience. The value of campus recruiting technology extends beyond talent acquisition into strategic areas of the business. Champions of campus recruiting technology need to put together a plan to communicate that value to key stakeholders within their organization.