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How to Create a Successful Hybrid University Recruiting Strategy

Although the hybrid university recruiting strategy is nothing new, the increased use of this approach was born of necessity when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and recruiters were looking for effective ways to bring in the talent they needed despite being unable to travel. However, even though it’s a post-COVID world, hybrid university recruiting is here to stay, so it’s a good idea for organizations to incorporate it into their regular recruitment efforts.

In addition to being a convenient way for recruiters to expand their reach by getting in front of students they may not normally be able to connect with, hybrid university recruiting can be extremely beneficial in other ways. For example, companies that have a diversity recruitment plan can use this strategy to hire talent from underrepresented backgrounds. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 71 percent of Black and 61 percent of Hispanic students, as well as first-generation college students, report that they have better interactions with potential employers through virtual recruiting, rather than in person.

Also, a hybrid university recruiting strategy can help organizations save money on their cost per hire. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost for hiring employees through regular channels is $4,129, while the Education Resources Information Center reports that companies spend $2,114 when they recruit at private universities and $536 at public schools. By adopting a hybrid university recruiting strategy, organizations can increase their return on investment, thus further lowering their cost per hire.

Just as with any other part of recruitment, it's important to think your hybrid university recruiting strategy through to get the best results. Continue reading for tips that can help.

Types of Hybrid University Recruiting

Part of creating a successful hybrid university recruiting strategy is understanding the following types you can choose from, which are:

Blended hybrid recruiting

When recruiters use this strategy, they generally employ online recruiting at the beginning of the process, and then switch to face-to-face recruitment toward the end. This is especially helpful because it allows recruiters to pre-screen candidates virtually to determine which ones are a good fit, and then when they move to the in-person part of the process, they’re able to maximize their time on campus because the heavy lifting of qualifying candidates has been done already.

Composite hybrid recruiting

With this model, companies participate in virtual and online recruiting concurrently. Recruiters may visit the top schools they're partnered with to meet students in person at traditional events, while also participating in virtual events organized by colleges that aren’t considered a high priority.

Synchronous hybrid recruiting

This approach allows recruiters to have a virtual and face-to-face component within the same recruitment event. This way, more students can attend because they may choose to participate online if they're unable to make it to the physical location.

Creating a Successful Hybrid University Recruiting Strategy

A successful hybrid university recruiting strategy must be built on a solid plan. The following are some tips to help you get the most out of this type of recruitment and better position yourself to find great hires.

Determine your needs

Before deciding what kind of hybrid university recruiting strategy you’re going to use, you need to know why you're using it. What are your hiring goals? What positions do you anticipate you'll need to fill in the near future? Which ones may be opening up in the long term? What does the landscape look like for filling internship positions? How much early career talent is already in your pipeline and how much do you need? Once you have your needs explicitly spelled out, you can move through the rest of the process with a roadmap in hand.

Evaluate schools

Which colleges and universities have given you access to the best candidates? Which schools are yielding poor results? It's important to figure out which schools should have the most priority, and which ones you can give less attention to, or even drop altogether. Remember to not just focus on "legacy" schools and expand your partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Or better yet, discover candidates from underrepresented backgrounds more quickly with Untapped's MSI Filter feature within our product.

Experiment with events

Not all events are created equally, so you want to experiment with both traditional and virtual events. Just as you need to evaluate the schools you partner with, you want to ensure the events you're participating in are providing a good return on your time and money investment. Choose your tried-and-true performers, while still testing events you may not have considered participating in before. 

Create engaging experiences

Whether you're organizing an online or campus-based event, ensure that it's engaging enough to make students remember you in a positive way. Although recruiters need to have conversations with students to get to know them, you also want to give attendees something fun and interesting to do while they're at the event, so they’ll give the content and experience high marks.

Focus on employer brand

Although employer brand may not be top of mind when creating a hybrid university recruiting strategy, it will play a significant role in how successful the recruitment will be. Whether you meet students online or in person, they will seek out information about your company, and if you don't have a reputation for treating workers well, they'll find out. In addition to demonstrating why the company is a great place to work, your employer brand needs to emphasize the benefits you offer early career talent, since students are looking for companies that will help them grow in their careers and learn the skills they need to be successful.

A hybrid university recruiting strategy can give you the best of both worlds because it allows you to connect with students without needing to travel, while still meeting top candidates in person to build a stronger rapport. These tips can help you create a successful plan so you're more likely to meet the types of students you want to hire, as well as increase the chances that they will accept your job offer.

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