Top 10 Tips For Surviving Campus Recruiting Season

By Jeanette Maister

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A new school year has started and college students everywhere are starting to move back into dorms or halls of residence as they prepare for university life. With the new school year comes a new university or early careers recruiting season filled with new opportunities to shape and hire the next generation of workers.

Check out these 10 tips to nailing the next university career fair!

Work with relevant clubs to promote your presence

Get to know what the students on campus are like by talking with the clubs or societies most related to your business. Campus clubs and societies are a starting point for many students and shape the direction of their careers.

Being involved with clubs on a company or organizational level promotes your company’s values and lets the students make connections with you before they see you in a sea of booths.

Decide if you’re accepting resumes/CVs

Anticipate how to manage a large volume in advance. Accepting resumes/CVs at a university recruiting fair can be a daunting task to recruiters trying to juggle multiple students. Decide ahead of time if you’re going to accept these from your booth visitors. If you do plan to accept them, have an idea of how you’re going to keep track of them.

Having a mobile app or CV/resume snapshot tool to snap a picture or take down information if you’re not accepting resumes/CVs is a great solution. For the student, there’s nothing worse than wasting paper on something an organization will lose after the fair is done.

Use it as a great branding opportunity

Show everyone who you are as a company! This is your time to shine and get the message across that you’re a great place to work. Make sure the people you’re sending to the fair have a great sense of what your organization is about and where you want it to go.

Go to fairs targeted towards who you’re hiring

It doesn’t make sense to be an engineering company going to a fair directed towards medical students. Do your research ahead of time and be sure the event you’re going to has students studying what your organization is all about.

Event Management tools and registrant communication centres are great ideas for event hosts. Check to see if the event you’re going to has something like this and use them to see who’s going to be there!

Give students something to learn

The whole point of going to career fairs is to gain something from them. Even if you can’t promise your booth visitors a position at your company, still leave them feeling like they’ve learned something. Take the time to ask them real-life interview questions and give feedback if you notice something is off in their response.

This is another opportunity to show off who you are as a company and promote your brand!

Consider giveaways that entice job seekers to stop by your booth

Swag on swag on swag! University students go to events for the free stuff. While giveaways might not bring the most qualified candidates right away, it does get your name out there and will bring more attention to you.

Prepare questions to pre-qualify applicants

It’s easy to get lost in the flow of people and you’re not going to be able to talk to everyone. Ensure you’re making an impact on the people you do talk to by preparing questions. These questions will give you an idea of whether the candidate is qualified enough to move on to additional interviewing steps.

If the candidate is qualified, grab their resume/CV and let them know you’ll be contacting them soon.

Don’t sit

Get up, walk around and make connections with people. Stand in front of your booth to invite people in and talk to you. A lot of students won’t want to make the first move, so it’s up to you to make the first move and let them know what you’re all about.

Track quality of hire

Students from one university might outperform students from a different university. Track where you find the best candidates so you know where to go next year. Going to an event year after year and consistently seeing lacklustre candidates doesn’t help your organization.

Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event

If you find someone you like, chase them down! Don’t wait too long before responding to questions or following up with candidates. Chances are, there are other companies out there who are also after them.

Make sure you’re first out the gate by using mobile apps and a registrant communication tool. In today’s candidate-driven market, you need to make sure you’re constantly engaging and keeping up with the communication demands of a younger generation. Gen Zer’s expect quick response times and a pace of communication that leaves nothing in the dark.

University recruitment events can be a stressful time with so many moving parts and candidates galore. By using these tips, you’ll be the most prepared booth at the fair!

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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