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Campus Recruiting: How Novo Nordisk Appeals to Early Talent

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In a crowded field like campus recruiting, even successful companies struggle to be heard. Jill Miller, lead recruiter for Novo Nordisk’s University Relations, has experienced this firsthand.

When Jill launched an early talent program for the global pharmaceutical company five years ago, she had no university contacts, no defined target audience, and limited brand recognition in the United States. Amid what she dubbed the “white noise” of campus recruiting, she had to identify her company’s voice – the right kind of noise – and choose the best technology to communicate with students.

“Young talent likes information in a certain way,” Jill said. “It’s about figuring out how to resonate with them.”

In a recent webinar, Jill joined Avature’s Kelsey Sampson and Carina Lacour to talk about how she built a strategy that is turning her company into a top-choice employer for college students.

Overcoming Core Challenges

Campus events are an important source of new hires. According to the most recent benchmark survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, responding employers recruited 63 percent of their full-time, entry-level employees through campus activities.

Unfortunately, recruiting software has traditionally ignored the logistics of events management, such as tracking costs, sending invitations, and organizing venue information. Even worse, recruitment marketing systems have not been powerful or flexible enough to handle the workload of campus recruiting in one streamlined solution.

Novo Nordisk was an early adopter of Avature CRM, and Jill saw it successfully used on the sourcing front. She realized that the tool could support what she had in mind for campus events, and at the same time maximize the efforts of her “small but mighty” team of three people.

Using a custom-built Avature Campus & Events solution, Jill’s team engaged more effectively with early talent and made the most of their talent pools.

Appealing to Early Talent

To draw the attention of the millennial demographic, Jill and her team began using simplified, mobile-friendly application processes.

Mobile-optimized landing pages

Designing a landing page doesn’t need to be a drawn-out process. Jill told us that she has built customized, branded landing pages in five minutes while seated in front of candidates. Candidates are presented with a seamless program, even though she’s writing the content on the back-end.

“You don’t need to be a wizard at software technology,” Jill said of using Avature. “You just type it as you want it, format it, and ask the questions that you need answered.”

On the user side, all landing pages appear optimized for tablets and smartphones – a distinct benefit for mobile-first millennials.

SMS functionality

While at career fairs, Novo Nordisk hangs banners to promote an option for students to apply or join a talent pool via text. Through Avature’s SMS functionality, students receive a text reply with links to application forms, and while they’re waiting around, they can apply or request more information straight from their smartphones.

“You have candidates that just really want to give you their resume – they don’t really know what to say after that,” Jill explained. “This gives them that opportunity to give you that information and kind of continue on. It’s really awesome and really targeted.”

Candidate control

Jill and her team used Avature software to create their candidacy dashboard. This solution enables students to manage their own interview schedules, update their information or résumé, and register for events online. It ensures that even as sought-after candidates work through their interviews with competing employers, they stay in the loop with their progress at Novo Nordisk.

“These students need to feel empowered and like they can schedule things on their time,” Jill said.

Nurturing Relationships

Novo Nordisk sought to build talent pools in a way that was not simply a “housing tool of resumes,” as Jill put it. Instead of just shelving applicants, her team actively used the lists of young talent in order to reach out and keep them involved with the company.

Thoughtful careers page

Jill calls her company’s career page a “two-sided communication tool.” Novo Nordisk inputs photos, videos, and testimonials to help students envision working at the company.

Continued contact through newsletters

Four times a year, Novo Nordisk sends targeted newsletters for 15 different career paths. Although the emails are branded, they focus on industry highlights beyond the company and its career opportunities. This provides students with more information regarding their specific field of interest – and establishes Novo Nordisk as an industry expert.

“We’re trying to fill in the gap that career services may not necessarily be able to give to their students because they’re not in that professional space,” Jill explained.

The effort has been successful; the campaign boasts a readership rate of about 47 percent, with zero unsubscribes. What’s the key?

“Authenticity,” Jill said. “I think people are finding this really empowering, that we’re giving them tools.”

Prioritizing Innovation

Novo Nordisk is continuing to improve candidate outreach by configuring its mobile app for offline functionality. This ensures that, even in low-bandwidth areas at campus events, recruiters will be able to record information on candidates.

The company is also creating a total talent acquisition portal that combines the efforts of recruiters on all fronts, from early talent to executive recruitment.

As Jill and her team continue to build the campus program, they abide by three core principles:

  • Follow your organization’s strategy
  • Know your audience
  • Never compromise on innovation

“Building a program from scratch is challenging, but partnering with a strong program from the onset helps tremendously,” Jill said. “If you can dream it, you can build it with Avature.”

Interested in being heard at your next campus event? Check out Avature Campus & Events, and start resonating with the young talent of today.

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