Organisations across the board are gearing up for an increasingly hybrid world that blends virtual and in-person interactions. In this context, the campus recruitment landscape has experienced a paradigm shift. Earlier, organisations deployed traditional campus recruitment strategies consisting of in-person interactions and events such as on-campus job fairs and face-to-face interviews. Then, to derive the benefits of technological advancements, they began adopting virtual recruitment strategies that included video interviews and customised virtual events. However, with disease outbreaks and unpredictable economic conditions posing a constant threat to the talent pipeline, organisations are now opting for a hybrid campus recruitment strategy to remain flexible and agile in the changing circumstances.
A hybrid campus recruitment strategy is a harmonious fusion of various permutations and combinations of in-person and virtual recruitment strategies based on the specific hiring requirements of an organisation. Virtual tools allow sourcing diverse talent from campuses across the globe, speeding up time-to-hire, eliminating travel expenses and reducing logistical costs. On the other hand, in-person interactions provide the essential human touch in recruitment. They enable getting to know the most talented students better, allowing students to interact with multiple employers at the same place and providing students with an opportunity to have their queries addressed in real-time. Hence, a made-to-measure hybrid campus recruitment strategy, which aligns with specific hiring requirements, is set to become the norm in the future.
Here are six steps for transforming your campus recruitment strategy to stay ahead of the curve in the hybrid world.
Re-strategise as per your campus recruitment needs in the hybrid world
New avenues of talent acquisition have opened up for organisations in the post-pandemic era. With educational institutions encouraging both in-person and virtual events, a hybrid campus recruitment strategy can unlock access to talent from around the globe. In order to capitalise on this expanded talent pool, your recruitment strategy must be redesigned for enhanced flexibility and scalability. Carefully gauging current and future talent needs, listing out the exact positions you aim to hire for, matching specific skills with target universities and identifying the most successful events and activities from the past can help you formulate a highly focussed hybrid campus recruitment strategy.
While redefining your strategy, it is recommended to take stock of the availability of resources, logistical support, technology and timelines for delivery to understand operational bandwidth. Then, map the list of events and activities to be held in-person or in the virtual format, and roll out the preparations for execution. At present, it is a common practice to conduct screenings, assessments and the initial rounds of interviews in the virtual format, with large parts of pre-placement talks, employer branding and coordination with colleges and universities preferably being carried out in-person.
Establish and streamline your hybrid campus recruitment process
After identifying whether events and activities are to be held in-person or virtually, you can fill out a schedule comprising an optimal mix of both formats to reach the best candidates beyond your usual target group. Since hybrid campus recruitment is new, streamlining the process may take some time. Hence, it is advised to stay adaptable and leave some spots in the schedule open to test out adding new events and opportunities as and when they arise. Your hybrid campus recruitment process could consist of stages, such as candidate application, pre-placement talks, screening, assessments, group discussions, interviews and post-placement discussions.
When planning your hybrid campus recruitment process, you will need to sequentially record the stages, supplemented with a list of materials required for each stage. Name tags, giveaways and business cards will be needed in case of the in-person format while laptops, tablets and campus recruiting software will have to be arranged in case of the virtual format. After finalising the process, you can synchronise all the stages with your team; this will help them plan the acquisition of resources required at every stage. Planning the internal and external logistical support for each stage will also ensure that the hybrid campus recruitment process flows smoothly and efficiently.
Choose the right hybrid campus recruitment technology solutions
The slew of features offered by campus recruitment technology platforms includes automation, scheduling, candidate database organisation and management, deep-dive analytics and comprehensive reports. They not only eliminate paperwork and manual intervention but also crunch reams of data in record time for real-time insights that help pivot your strategy if and when required. Technology solutions also help scale quickly and cost-effectively. One of the important features to consider while choosing the right software for your hybrid campus recruitment needs is the ability to seamlessly integrate the in-person and virtual stages of your recruitment process to establish a single unified system.
During the in-person stages, campus recruitment technology platforms can be accessed via laptops, tablets and mobile devices to facilitate registrations, candidate verification, interview scheduling and email follow-ups. Technology solutions for virtual stages include cloud-based platforms for online events such as online job fairs and virtual campus hackathons, online assessments and live or pre-recorded online interviews.
HirePro provides a comprehensive, customised and automated solution for hybrid campus recruitment. It enables you to effortlessly merge the in-person and virtual stages of campus recruitment as per your specific requirements for a holistic view on a single intuitive and feature-rich dashboard.
Promote your hybrid campus recruitment strategy
Once the recruitment process and technology solutions are in place, it’s time to promote your unique hybrid recruitment strategy. Students from target colleges and universities must be made aware of the recruitment stages to be held in-person or virtually. Since students are active on social media, your organisation should have a social media presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to inform and engage students regularly. On social media, you can share posts about your organisation’s mission, goals and work culture as well as useful content on career orientation. Besides, you can share sign-up links and intimation posts on upcoming events and activities. You can also send email alerts, SMS and push notifications to keep students in the loop. Further, search engine optimisation using relevant keywords must be done to secure maximum visibility and reach.
Students tend to visit websites of organisations to gather further information on recruitment events or contact them directly. Hence, it is vital to keep your organisation’s website and careers page updated. It is also recommended to add a section on your careers page, allowing interested applicants to register and upload their resumes online. Optimising your site for mobile usage is advised as most students conduct job searches on their mobile phones. In addition, you can advertise on university and alumni websites. Apart from online promotion, offline promotional material should be crafted carefully to convey your message to target students in a compelling manner. It could include printed flex banners at campus recruitment booths, brochures, pamphlets, flyers and branded merchandise giveaways.
Enhance your employer brand
Your employer brand must reflect your new hybrid recruitment strategy in online aspects such as careers page and social media posts and offline aspects such as recruitment booths, brochures and giveaways. Your organisation’s logo, colours and messaging must be consistent and uniform to create a positive impression in the minds of students. Your employee value proposition (EVP) must be clearly conveyed so that you can attract students with specific skills and traits. Showcasing your organisation’s vision, mission and culture will improve brand reputation and make your organisation stand out from the competition. Constructively addressing any negative comments on review sites, such as Glassdoor, also fortifies your employer brand.
To further elevate your employer brand, you can appoint campus ambassadors to act as spokespersons for your brand. They help spread information on your offerings and the organisational culture via word of mouth. They also amplify awareness about your expectations among interested students and address their doubts and queries. With respect to your target colleges and universities, you could go beyond the initial in-person talks with campus stakeholders and conduct regular meetings with them. Providing useful information on your campus recruitment programs and activities to campus administrators is vital to improving your employer brand.
Nurture an enduring relationship with your campus partners
Building a robust and mutually beneficial relationship with your college or university campus partners is crucial to ensuring the success of your hybrid campus recruitment strategy. A hybrid strategy widens your talent pool. However, without a customised campus nurturing strategy for your list of target campuses, it could be challenging to clinch the best talent across different geographic locations. Your campus recruitment technology platform will allow you to efficiently manage and reach out to career centre directors, deans, professors, student groups and alumni associations of target campuses through personalised emails and notifications, enabling you to stay actively connected. Alternatively, you can also meet the campus stakeholders in-person to build a stronger relationship with them. Bringing campus stakeholders on board for the various in-person and virtual stages of your hybrid recruitment process is also an important step towards frictionless implementation.
Keeping the lines of communication open with all target campus stakeholders ensures that you receive important information about campus recruitment guidelines, events and timelines. It also allows you to keep campus stakeholders in the know about your evolving recruitment needs. When a trust-based rapport is established, you can enter into an agreement with the college or university to develop degree or certificate programs for subjects or disciplines in which your organisation is facing a shortage of skills. It will help bridge the skills gap and ensure a steady supply of fresh talent equipped with skills that match your most critical requirements.
A personalised approach and an authentic engagement with students during campus recruitment is the need of the hour. By harnessing the best of both virtual and in-person solutions, you can transcend limitations and capitalise on the benefits of both to ensure a steady flow of top-notch talent from campuses the world over. What’s more, you can future-proof your talent pipeline by enhancing your ability to pivot swiftly in response to unforeseen challenges. Thus, a hybrid campus recruitment strategy not only meets your immediate talent requirements efficiently but also helps you stay future-ready and competitive for years to come.
HirePro’s end-to-end University Hiring Solutions enable you to manoeuvre hybrid campus recruitment to onboard top-notch candidates worldwide. Our solutions include advisory services to help you choose the right colleges and universities, managed services for resource-intensive recruitment operations management at scale, AI-powered technology platform for automated recruitment workflows, customised content services, interview services, on-ground assistance for in-person events and 24/7 technical support for virtual events. Partner with us today to redefine and ace campus recruitment in the hybrid world.