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Planning Your Next Campus Recruiting Campaign: A Winning Guide

The early career talent you hire today will be key for your organization’s success tomorrow. In order to create a strong pipeline of early talent who will help steer your company forward, it’s important to build a strong campus recruitment strategy. The following are winning tips to help you with planning your next campus recruiting campaign.

7 Tips to Creating an Impactful Campus Recruitment Strategy

1. Establish Campus Recruiting Goals

As with any recruitment initiative, it's important to start with goals that will guide you throughout the process. Look at how many entry-level positions you need to fill throughout the year, then examine how much early career talent you have in your pipeline to decide how much more you’ll need. Also, look at the types of positions you’ll need to fill, along with the skills and competencies candidates should have, in order to define the type of talent you should look for. This information will help you create clear goals for your campus recruitment and better position you to reach your objectives.

2. Build Strong Campus Relationships

A successful campus recruiting campaign starts with relationships. First, evaluate which schools will bring the best return on investment and which schools will not to ensure your limited time is spent wisely. Then work on cultivating strong relationships with the career centers at the schools you've chosen, and explore different ways to build visibility on campus. In addition to participating in career fairs, you may want to create scholarship and internship programs, sponsor different events on campus, or provide mentoring for students in targeted majors.

Additionally, it's important to build strong relationships with students—and it should start on day one. By helping freshmen move into the dorms, as well as providing food and branded items they can use in their rooms, you get on students’ radar right away and leave a good impression that will last throughout their college careers. As you participate in different events on campus, be sure to collect contact information so you can stay in touch with students on a regular basis—thus building relationships that keep your brand top of mind when they look for a job after graduation.

3. Create an Early Career Website 

Early career professionals have different needs than seasoned talent, so creating a website dedicated to them and promoting it at colleges and universities can aid in your campus recruitment. Young candidates want to know that any company they work for is going to invest in their future, so be sure to include information on how you’re developing entry-level talent and providing paths so people can learn and grow in their careers.

4. Craft Compelling Content

When you communicate with students, don't just try to sell your employer brand; write compelling content they can relate to. Although you do want to regularly provide information about what's going on at your company, you can also offer study tips, advice for job interviews and resume writing, and industry-related news. Even things like wishing students well during exam periods will work in your favor when it’s time for them to look for employment.

5. Implement a Student Referral Program 

Just as creating a referral program for employees can help attract qualified talent, creating a referral program for students can incentivize them to send classmates your way. To make the program as robust as possible, in addition to getting leads from students you’ve built relationships with on campus, you can encourage interns, alumni, and even faculty and staff members to participate.

6. Plan a Hackathon

A hackathon is an event where students are tasked with working in a group to solve a specific problem. Organizing this type of activity gives employers the chance to evaluate students’ skills in a simulated workplace environment—giving them another level of insight they may not otherwise have. These types of events also help students, who may not perform well during job interviews, demonstrate the value they bring to the table.

7. Participate in Traditional and Virtual Career Fairs

Campus travel expenses can add up quickly, so it's a good idea to participate in both traditional and virtual career fairs to expand your recruitment reach. While traditional career fairs allow you to take advantage of powerful face-to-face interactions with students, virtual events create a presence at schools you may not be able to travel to. By casting a wider net, you will increase the chances of meeting recruitment goals.

Planning campus recruiting campaigns will help you create a strong pipeline of talent that will be interested in working for your company after graduation. These tips can help you reach your early career recruitment goals and find the employees that will shape the future of your organization.

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