Student Recruiting: The Business Impact to Showing Up in the Winter and Spring

By Jeanette Maister

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Campus recruitment events are a hotbed for fresh talent who can set your company ahead of the pack. While employing these professionals who are chomping at the bit to discover the next big thing will help your company, there are other business impacts why companies need to recruit on campuses.

More importantly, companies need to visit multiple times in an academic year for better results and opportunities to improve. Showing up in the fall (autumn) and the spring has a major business impact on employer branding and brand awareness, potential candidate engagement and the potential to build up a strong and healthy talent pipeline.

Employer Branding and Brand Awareness

Career fairs on campus and other events are great sources for attracting your next potential game-changer or even CEO down the road. However, it’s important to ensure you are executing them correctly. According to the Universum + Oleeo report on student recruiting trends in 2018, 48% of candidates will not choose an employer as ideal if they do not know enough about them. Furthermore, 54% of recruiters said a lack of brand awareness was a major problem they face. Both of these issues have the ability to be eased through more frequent attendance to career fairs on campus.

Before you show up for the event on campus, you need to get serious about the event. Promote on social media. Work with the school’s media teams and promote on campus. The more you get involved with the university, the more exposure you’ll gain and show how interested in the talent on campus.

But mere exposure is not enough, you need to provide valuable information. In order to do so, you must do research on what recent college grads are looking for. Disseminating your values as an employer can be huge. Putting your company culture can lead to better retention in the long run if you find someone who aligns with it.

According to a Columbia University study, the turnover rate is only 13.9% at businesses with higher job satisfaction. Firms with poor company cultures see a turnover rate of 48.4%. This indicates a fitting company culture is important to candidates. If you do not effectively showcase your company culture, your talent pool could suffer. Campus recruiting events provide students with a window into your company, so you need to ensure you provide a snapshot for them.

Candidate Engagement

A more frequent campus presence can also result in an increase in candidate engagement. It may be self-explanatory, but it is important nonetheless. Showing up in the fall (autumn) and spring allows you to connect with more candidates and also re-connect with people you may have met in past events. However, engagement is not as simple as branding.

Continuous candidate engagement will set your recruiting team up for success. While you are promoting your brand via Twitter and other social media outlets, you need to be communicating directly with those who are interested in short and concise messages. Tweeting back with fun hashtags and valuable information about when you’ll be on campus can only improve your chances of meeting them in person!

Once you have attracted them to your table, it is time to connect on a personal level. Candidates visit your booth for a reason, so you need to ensure you’re giving the important information they want to know about your company. Short and concise messages, much like your social media campaign, will allow you more face-to-face time with your candidates and they can ask more valuable questions.

Building a Strong Talent Pipeline

Through engagement at these events, your team will continue to keep the talent pipeline full to the brim. But don’t take it from us. Here is what Stephanie Ahrens, the EMEA of Talent Acquisition at Morgan Stanley, said about attending these events:

“...at Morgan Stanley, we have used themed campaigns to take learning from digital interactions and devote attention to running more events outside the busy autumn cycle with some regions also pushing up their recruiting timeline. These crucial school outreach events and programs help pipeline into spring and summer analyst schemes. Interacting with promising talent earlier has helped - and continues to help - increase applications to the Morgan Stanley campus programs and also helps the firm to build on its brand awareness and diversity intakes aligned to operational goals.”

An important tactic to continuously strengthen your pipeline, engagement and brand awareness is to interact after your event. Using text messaging or emails to send job updates or application statuses is a great way to continue to show interest in your candidates. You can also use automation tactics to send them emails about when your recruiters will be on campus next.

Boosting your employer branding, engaging with your candidates and constructing a strong talent pipeline are the three biggest goals for recruiting teams. Generating a reputation for your company is important so candidates will engage with you and want to work for you, thus filling up your talent pipeline. Showing up to campus recruiting events multiple times per year will allow you more opportunities to enhance all three of these aspects to your recruiting efforts.

About Jeanette Maister:

Global talent acquisition technology leader with extensive experience in global talent acquisition, applicant tracking systems & recruiting technology, recruiting metrics and process. Deep insight into all aspects of campus recruiting strategy. Recognized for driving growth and helping clients transform their recruiting efforts.

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