To capture the best amongst an ambitious, motivated, and self-driven Gen Z, companies need to be focused when it comes to campus recruitment – it’s no longer just career fairs, tests, and interviews. While these are still important, they form part of a multi-pronged strategy to hire the best talent from campus.
Being exposed to technology since birth, this new generation is hugely aware of brands. They research and review before making any decisions. They are connected to people across continents. Being highly competitive, entrepreneurial even, they are also impatient, so it’s important to engage with them early on and hold their attention.
Companies require a strategy to appeal to campus talent and then be able to continuously engage with them to get them on board. There is no elixir for this, but here are a few tips to help you with campus recruitment strategy. Read on!
Start at the Right Place
Campus recruitment can often feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it need not necessarily be so. While it’s not feasible to visit every college/university, it’s important to identify the right ones. Companies need to have a clearly defined set of requirements and then decide on the campuses to target.
The identified list of schools could be based on the positions, budgets, and diversity policies. This really is a very specific business requirement, closely tied-in with business objectives, hiring goals, and job roles. Having made a shortlist, consider the programs offered by the school, demographics, diversity and inclusion practices, and geographic location. Pull in alumni and colleagues to get reviews of places they think will offer best-fit candidates.
To get a slice of the best talent, processes need to be unbiased. To reduce hiring bias, simplify and standardize hiring and interview processes, and use AI-based systems to pick candidates. Educating recruiters and hiring managers about unintentional biases, reworking language in job descriptions by using gender-neutral adjectives, and giving work sample tests to compare candidates’ skills are some ways of doing this.
Build Campus Connections
Brand awareness is necessary for Gen Z to consider applying for jobs or internships, especially for startups and new firms. Maintaining a continuous exchange of ideas, opportunities, and information throughout the year helps to keep the brand at the forefront when it’s time to begin the actual hiring process. The obvious choices are involvement in college activities, fest sponsorships, besides, of course, internship opportunities. Workshop and mentorships increase visibility and build trust at an early stage.
To build your brand, share information about the company via webinars or seminars – the nature of work, new patents, cutting-edge research, and career paths. Maintain a continued relationship with students and faculty through the academic year and even through the lifecycle of the student from freshman to senior. Offer project support and incubation programs as part of learning.
Off-campus, make sure that the website is prepped for new hires, landing pages for job postings are updated, and virtual engagement is always on. Responding to reviews on LinkedIn or GlassDoor enhances the image of an employer who cares about what employees think.
Leverage Digital Channels
An overarching digital campus recruitment strategy with email and text information and a presence on social media with enough interesting content throughout the year helps garner followers and attract campus talent.
While presence on business networks such as LinkedIn and GlassDoor is obvious, active presence is required on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and even Snapchat. Besides job postings on LinkedIn and Facebook pages, sharing snappy stories and interesting content keeps brand awareness high. Share information that will capture their attention – work culture, fun events, and opportunities for continued learning.
Today’s college grad is an evolved persona. Growing up in a digital age, with the internet and social media, their physical life is so closely intertwined with a digital one that the virtual world often transgresses into the real one. These digital natives have grown up watching YouTube stars and influencers. An organization is nothing but people, and given this, companies need to adapt to get these “new human beings” into their fold.
To attract this generation, companies must connect to them both in terms of values and work opportunities. Self-expression, distributed trust, and authenticity are not just good on paper, but need to be put into action, and made visible via social media, career pages, and the website.
Dedicate Technology, Time, and Resources
Effective campus hiring requires many elements to come together. With job postings across websites and social media and other channels, dedicated landing pages are important to capture candidate interest. Grab eyeballs on the website with 360-degree videos and immersive experiences, Augmented Reality (AR) videos and apps, and let the candidate in for a virtual experience.
When it comes to interviews and tests, companies can take advantage of technology and use virtual hiring platforms. Using process automation for hiring results in a seamless hiring experience, and this is especially useful for high-volume campus recruitment. HirePro’s Campus ATS is a comprehensive platform that tracks and records the process of an entire recruitment cycle. AI-powered workflows deliver speed and accuracy, with automated fraud detection and remote proctoring while allowing for a superior candidate experience. HirePro also offers coding and functional assessments that test specific domain skills, job skills, personality, and aptitude, which can be administered remotely.
Embrace Inclusion and Diversity
Gen Z takes diversity for granted. They are born in a world where race, colour, and sex are not significant considerations when it comes to hiring. Companies are expected to be inclusive. Having special needs is not taboo, and they expect the world to have equal opportunities. To hire the best talent, companies need to ensure that they are naturally diverse and inclusive. Anything less would probably be met with confusion.
To appeal to this generation, companies need to have diversity and inclusion policies in the very fabric of their being. Talent assessments and interviews need to be data-driven, and result in scientific outcomes, to ensure that personal biases have no place in the process.
Data is the Demigod
Campus recruitment is a long and painstaking process. With initiatives peaking during recruitment, it can get chaotic. Being data-driven is one way to ensure as smooth a process as possible.
To enable this, it’s essential to identify the right data to be gathered.
- Create a baseline of candidate information to make comparisons easier.
- Identify skills and personality traits that are required for a job profile and have scores attached for objective evaluations.
- Measure recruitment event ROI – By university, school, and recruiter. This will help determine which events you should return to.
To run a successful recruitment program, you need to track the Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This will result of course in a better ROI, but besides that, also result in better hiring decisions and efficiency. Companies can also identify areas to be worked on during recruitment, and refine them during each run.
The metrics you track depend on the recruitment goals you are trying to achieve. For example, if you want to source more candidates, you need to be looking at the talent pool size or source of hire, the number of events attended by the company and so on. Typically, companies track the number of qualified candidates per hire, number qualified per event, time to hire, cost per hire and retention rate.
KPIs keep tabs on the fallacies of the recruitment process. For example, are you attending events that seem to give no returns? Recruitment metrics are specific to an organization and depend on the recruitment goals. Using the right campus recruitment technology makes it easier to track various touchpoints. KPI reports should be made available to all stakeholders.
God is in the Details
From identifying candidates at the beginning of the life cycle to putting out job postings, organizing events, virtual engagement, on-campus engagement, running assessments, multiple rounds of interviews, selections, acceptance, offer letters, and the final onboarding – the list itself is pretty mind-boggling.
In this melee, it’s easy to lose sight of the final goal – to get the most suitable candidate. A detailed evaluation takes time and energy, but it’s important to follow through on each aspect. The right platform and tools can help make things manageable, helping you hire the best possible talent. Use technology to your advantage, and human intervention where necessary. For example, include alumni for on-campus interviews to create a bond with the students. At the same time, automated assessments and standardized tests can save tremendous effort, and keep evaluations objective.
Provide a Seamless Hiring Experience
Campus hiring can be a rollercoaster ride, but designing the optimum strategy will enhance the ability of companies to attract the right people. While it’s great to have a process, the recruitment experience for the candidate is going to play a major part in any decision-making.
Engagement needs to start with freshman and sophomores, and lines of communication need to be established early on. Events, hackathons, and internships build brand awareness. Build relationships from the start, so that you become first-choice.
HirePro offers a comprehensive university hiring solution that covers both on-ground and remote recruitment across the top colleges in India. This includes advisory services for building relationships with universities and colleges, skill sets and compensation packages, content services for assessments, operations, logistics and communication, and interview services.
While remote recruitment has been explored earlier, it has now been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, virtual hiring is here to stay. Characterised by high volumes and a gamut of tasks, campus recruitment can greatly benefit from complete process automation. HirePro’s Campus ATS is an end-to-end platform for college hiring. With AI-powered workflows and fraud-proof assessments and interviews, it is a completely automated solution for remote college hiring.
Recruitment is as much about people as the process. With the right process in place, you can get the right people for the job.