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Part 2: Recruiting the Next Generation of Talent – Campus

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Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed how campus recruiting doesn’t start and end on campus. While the physical recruiting event may very well be the pinnacle moment, a robust communication strategy is required before, during and after the event to maximize your engagement with overly targeted high-value students.

In today’s post, we’ll be taking this a step further and digging deeper into the different ways you can really make the most out of your campus recruiting program. Let’s jump straight into number 4.

4. Invite & Manage On-Campus Interviews

Time is of the essence during campus recruiting days: it’s difficult to see everyone, so it’s essential you seize every moment. By combining customized invitations and branded landing pages with interview-scheduling tools, you’re able to invite students for short on-site interviews or “get-to-know-you” sessions in advance. This way you’re building your agenda prior to the event, gauging interest, and engaging students in the process by letting them select their most suitable time.

Once students are registered for an interview, you have the opportunity to communicate with them before the event. You can thank them for registering, let them know you’re excited to meet them and provide pre-event information. This all helps to maintain a positive candidate experience.

5. Going Paperless

Going paperless at events today is a must; no longer do you need to handle paper resumes, manual registrations processes or write your candidate feedback notes on paper. Mobile-optimized registration landing pages make it easy for students to share their details and upload resumes directly from Dropbox or Google Drive. In addition, modern recruiting apps such as the Avature Events Mobile App allow your recruiters to take a picture of a student’s resume and link it to their record within your Avature database. This is particularly useful at events where the Internet connection may be poor. You can continue to collect student details and capture resumes offline, as the data is stored in the mobile app and then uploaded automatically once you’re back online.

The days of writing notes on paper resumes, or putting color-coded stickers on them, are over. Now that you can use mobile devices to check people in at events through a landing page or mobile app, you can add feedback and even rank candidates electronically on the fly. This information can then be seen and accessed by the rest of your recruiting team and hiring managers back at the office, in real time.

6. Sell The Career, Not The Job

In a recent Avature webinar with Lou Adler, we discussed the importance of selling the career, and not the job. This means focusing on the type of work a graduate will be involved in, rather than the traditional job description list with required skills. The problem with a list of required skills and experiences, is it doesn’t build a picture of what a candidate would be doing or what is possible to achieve at an organization. Just because a candidate might fit the bill in terms of required skills, “it doesn’t mean the person is both competent and motivated to do the work required. Worse, it overlooks all of the great people who can do the work, but who have a different mix of skills than those listed on the traditional skills-based job description”. [1]

A “performance-based job description” on the other-hand, provides a crystal clear definition of what success looks like in a particular job. By spelling it out in specific, quantifiable terms, candidates can use this information and decide whether they are interested in pursuing a career at your organization. If you’re not highlighting the work itself and the career growth opportunities, it’s unlikely that the best graduates will accept an offer or even apply in the first place. Here is a great example of a performance-based job description from Lou Adler:

[Source: Lou Adler]

7. Prompt Feedback and Follow-Up

The best and brightest don’t hang around for long. Providing prompt feedback to students who visited you during a recruiting event is an essential part of early engagement and maintaining a positive candidate experience.

Furthermore, your professionals at the event need to have the technologies to be able to provide candidate feedback to recruiters and hiring managers back at HQ. Real-time collaborative technologies enable hiring managers back at the office to quickly and easily review candidate potential within hours of the recruiting event. They can then decide to invite candidates in for further interviews or flag graduates as “high-value” or “not right fit”, which can trigger personalized communications to all stakeholders. Here are some examples of follow-up communications you should have in mind:


a) Thanks for stopping by our booth; it was great to meet you. Here is further information about our available job openings.
b) We received great feedback about you; we would like to invite you for a second interview.
c) We really like your profile. Although we don’t have any open positions available in Marketing, we would like to invite you to our talent community.
d) It was great to meet you yesterday, thank you for taking the time to stop by our booth. You haven’t been selected for a second interview, but I would like to invite you to visit our careers page and stay up-to-date with all future vacancies.

Hiring Managers:

a) We have found a really interesting candidate. {!PersonName} is of high-value and I recommend you review her profile ASAP.
b) I’ve just met this incredible candidate, {!PersonName}, who will major in Engineering. I know you’re not actively looking, but I highly suggest you review his profile.

The crucial part is being able to provide feedback quickly. The longer it takes to provide and gather feedback, the less accurate it becomes, with a higher chance of loosing valuable insights, details and the opportunity to engage. The more detailed the feedback, the greater the ability to segment and target communications, especially to high potential graduates who will be on your competitors’ radar.

8. The Technology to Marry Two Distinct Worlds

Not all recruiting channels require the same level of technology, or involve a similar amount of stakeholders, or entail comparable processes, so it’s imperative for HR to recognize this and provide the right tools to the right people, fit for the right purpose.

Campus recruiting in this case demands two distinct worlds to come together: Events Management and Recruiting or Recruitment Marketing. Yet, these two areas have very different tasks. Events management encompasses invitations, logistics, venue information and reminders, cost tracking, event marketing, etc. Recruiting tasks involve gathering candidate data and resumes, scheduling interviews, collecting internal feedback, reviewing resumes and candidate profiles, etc. Currently, many organizations manage both aspects with their applicant tracking systems and consequently fail. Traditional ATSs were not designed to support these types of processes, as they are not flexible enough to do so, and they lack the communication tools necessary to engage top graduate talent. On the other hand, conventional recruitment marketing systems are not powerful enough to support the entire events management process, nor are they able to manage core-recruiting aspects like internships or track rotational programs, for example, all in one system.

At Avature, we believe that this disconnection is simply due to software limitations. Organizations who are dedicated to recruiting top graduate talent need to use cutting edge technology that is fit for purpose, that marries these two seemingly disconnected worlds with real-time collaboration tools and that ultimately gives them the power to flex their processes to specific market needs, or address critical talent segments.

I hope these 8 points have inspired you to take a look at your campus recruiting strategy with a fresh pair of eyes. There may be a lot to consider, but small changes can go a long way in terms of boosting your results. Ultimately, success depends on an audience-specific strategy, equipped with the right processes and technology that empower your people to deliver.

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