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What is Your On-Campus Recruiting Strategy, Wait Do You Have a Strategy?

By: WENYLLA REID, New Brunswick | Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

I’ve communicated with many college recruiters and relationship managers over the years and one point we seem to agree on is how the challenges of on-campus recruiting are often underestimated. Many people think, “It’s college kids and they need jobs how difficult can it be?” Those people clearly are not aware of the coordinating and maneuvering required to organize multiple events, communicate with varying stake holders, reserve interview rooms, post job descriptions and more while duplicating these efforts across various campuses; each with their own unique process and culture.

One key determining factor in predicting success recruiting new graduate talent at college campuses around the country is creating a strategy for your efforts. Strategy according to Merriam Webster is

  1. A careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time or and
  2. The skill of making or carrying out plans to achieve a goal

I often communicate with many recruiters and college relations manager who plan as they go. There is no careful pan or method in place for achieving a goal of attracting and hiring talent. They tend to contact the school as recruiting season is underway to schedule information sessions, register for career fairs, schedule on campus interviews or request the contact information of key faculty and student leaders on campus. When these individuals fail to yield the desired outcome of a myriad of students attending their information sessions or applying for their positions they lament the lack of interest of students or inquire as to how career services markets employer presence campus.     Their entire course of action consists of a plan as you go approach. There is little forethought to effectively leveraging resources or considering the nuances that accompany the unique space of recruiting college students on campus. To avoid being a plan as you go recruiter or college relations manager spend a few moments carving out your strategy a few weeks before recruiting season begins. Consider the following when you are developing your approach:

  1. Who are the key or primary points of contact within career services at my respective schools for providing guidance and direction regarding the inner workings on campus?
  2. Who is my target audience? Are they familiar with my company? Our opportunities? Our brand? If not, what specific steps can I take to engage this group?
  3. Are there key stakeholders on campus connected to my target audience? Who are these stakeholders?
  4. What dates are career fairs? Which ones will connect me to my target audience?
  5. Are there other key events being hosted by career services where my support is needed? Can I use these events as anchors and plan other on campus activities before, after or on the same dates to minimize travel and maximize my campus presence.
  6. Is an on campus interview appropriate for me? How much time is required to initiate and execute an on campus interview?
  7. Do I have a list of set dates, times and locations when I will be available on campus or deadlines for applications and resume submissions for sharing with students?
  8. Can I solicit hiring managers within my organization to represent my organization on campus? Who are these individuals? Will they be available for the dates and I times I have planned on campus?

While some schools have already had their first day of class there is still time to develop and execute a useful strategy. If you are not ready for the this fall you can begin to prepare for the spring.

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