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3 Campus Recruiting Practices to Leave Behind in 2022

A new year is rapidly approaching and recruiters are thinking about their goals for 2023. While you may be considering what you're going to do next year to increase early talent hiring, have you reflected on what you shouldn’t? There are some common practices among recruiters that may be best left in 2022, especially if you're working on DEIB hiring in your organization. As you make plans for next year, the following are some things you may want to leave off your list.

 1. The Hire, Then Train Paradigm

Usually organizations hiring early in career talent seek out those with college degrees, believing candidates will be equipped with the skills needed to do the job—and then once they're hired, the company can train them on the specifics of the position. But are colleges really giving students the vital workplace skills they need?

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, not necessarily.

When employers were asked what skills were lacking among recent college graduates, the top cited were critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and communication abilities. In fact, not only did recent graduates not come armed with these skill sets, 51 percent of employers reported that colleges were doing little or nothing to fill those gaps.

To ensure that early career candidates have the skills you’re really looking for, it may be a good idea to flip the hire, then train paradigm on its head in favor of training first and then hiring. Although this may sound counterintuitive, it's actually a win-win proposition. During a pre-training period, which can be in the form of a certificate program that you provide, candidates get the skills they need to succeed in the position they’re being considered for, while at the same time, you get an extra layer of information to evaluate them on. Based on their performance during pre-training, you’ll have a better idea about whether or not someone is a good fit for your organization.

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2. Considering Grade Point Average

Although a student's grade point average may be a source of pride for them, as an employer it tells you very little about their workplace capabilities. Although considering grade point average when hiring used to be the norm, more and more organizations are actually moving away from this practice. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, in 2021, 56.6 percent of employers were using GPA to screen candidates, down from 63.0 and 73.3 percent in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

This is good news because it allows employers to focus on more pertinent criteria, such as a student's major, employment history, and volunteer experience, as well as any internships they may have participated in. Since grade point average has no bearing on relevant qualifications, it's far more important to evaluate candidates on other things, rather than a number.

Furthermore, if you're trying to meet the goals of a diversity recruitment plan, focusing on grade point average probably won’t help, since many people in underserved communities don't get the chance to go to college—making a strong emphasis on GPA an opportunity for unconscious bias against these candidates. 

As a result, you may want to consider not factoring in college education at all. There are many early career candidates who have potential, but don't necessarily have access to higher education or the work experience you normally look for. By hiring for potential, you can widen your candidate pool and find untapped talent that can be every bit as capable as someone from a prestigious school with a 4.0 GPA.

3. Only Focusing on College Juniors and Seniors 

It only makes sense that you would focus on juniors and seniors during your campus recruiting. After all, they're the ones who are participating in internships and have their first job after graduation top of mind. However, while most companies are vying for students during their last two years of college, you can really stand out by making students aware of your employer brand much earlier. It’s important to build strong relationships with students—and it can start on day one. For example, helping freshmen move into the dorms, as well as providing food and branded items they can use in their rooms, can get your company on students’ radar right away and leave a good impression that will last throughout their college careers.  

Although some strategies for early career hiring are considered tried and true, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try something new. As you're planning your hiring strategies for next year, you may need to freshen up your approach—especially if you didn’t get the results you wanted this year. Consider leaving these common strategies behind and doing something you’ve never done before. You never know—access to untapped talent may be waiting for you when you do.

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