Campus recruitment or campus hiring continues to be one of the most preferred and time-tested recruitment options for most organisations. This form of hiring gives companies access to large talent pools in targetted locales and domains. Also, since the scale is large, it saves time and money, as compared to other forms of hiring. Campus hiring provides organisations with some much-needed energy and fresh thinking. It is also known to result in better retention rates than lateral hiring. The freshers can be easily trained and moulded to suit various roles as they come with an open mind and some amount of flexibility. Custom campus recruitment is also a great tool for branding and networking. In this exercise, a relationship is built and nurtured with the educational institutions that gets extended through students, alumnis and employees. Another essential benefit is the diversity and inclusion in campus recruitment, which may otherwise prove to be a challenge.
Typically, placement time is one of the most eagerly awaited sessions in the campus. The hustle and bustle, anticipation, preparation, those little fist-pumps of triumphs, the misses etc. are all part of campus hiring stories. This is also where some great careers take off. Some companies trace their origins back to campus startup ideas, hackathons and the likes. However, when Covid-19 hit the world, a lot changed for campus hiring too. Thankfully, the setback was brief as organisations and institutions recouped fast with the help of technology. Gen Zers, who were about to start their careers, were digital natives anyway. They were watching and waiting to see how the industry would cope and how it might affect their careers.
Some organisations scored well here as they were already prepared for such disruptions. For the rest, it was about evaluating tools with the best of online assessments, fraud-detection, requisite analytics and more. Remote hiring tools that met the required criteria like those offered by Hirepro were used effectively by many organisations to ensure that they didn’t miss out on some great talent. It was a new experience for many. However, Gen Z took it in its stride and the show went on. For organisations, it meant a positive change in the campus recruitment strategy. Here are some essential points to succeed in the campus recruitment trends and strategies post Covid.
1. Plan and strategise for campus recruitment
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Indeed, in the post-Covid recruitment landscape, a well-planned campus recruitment strategy counts a lot. It starts with the yearly organisational hiring plan, which has provisions for campus hiring. This will need to be backed by some insights on the organisational skill gap analysis from hiring managers or teams. It is essential to know and map the fresh graduates who need to be hired from campuses. There could also be a possibility that the organisation is looking to fill only DEI requirements. Then, predominantly, the skill gap and the DEI may determine the campuses to be visited. The organisation may already have an understanding with some institutions. These may need to be reviewed based on current needs. New relationships based on skill requirements may have to be evaluated too.
Once the strategy is in place about who to hire, from where, and how many to be hired, then the next step is to initiate action towards this. Some promotional material about the organisation needs to be created. It is best not to recycle old ones. They may already be in circulation and may not arouse new interest or curiosity. Let the placement team at the institution feel that the organisation has evolved and has something different or more to offer. Once the placement team gives the go-ahead, the plan to start student engagement should be put into motion gradually.
Student engagements should start with sponsorships of relevant campus events, student ambassador progammes etc. If it aligns with the company policies, some hackathons or coding events may also be conducted, as it could lead to some of the best coding talent in the campus. Once these engagements have started, introduce your organisation through formal talks, webinars, alumni connections etc.
2. Get discovered –– Increase online presence
The campus recruitment is no less than a show in the eyes of Gen Zers who are graduating. This is the first tech-savvy generation and fully believes in constant online engagement. For them, if it’s a happening thing, it has to be online! Their expectations about their career and almost every aspect of life is different from that of the previous generations. To attract and retain this unique talent, organisations need to tweak their online presence. It’s not enough to have a website and social media presence. Something more compelling and engaging needs to be out there.
Employer branding is very significant and this needs to be felt by them. Engage with the students during the months leading to the placement sessions, in as many ways as possible. Identify the right people from your organisation who can connect easily with them to gauge their aspirations, likes and dislikes. The company HR policies may also need to be tweaked to match their expectations.
That done, the next step is to ‘sell’ your organisation’s work culture as one of the best that they can get. Create intriguing content through constant engagement in social media handles, especially meant for them. Also create a unique landing page on your website, which will arouse their interest. Make them feel special. Invite them to explore your organisation, your workplaces, work culture, growth roadmaps and more. This needs to be done through multiple social media channels with innovative content. Blogs, videos, alumni talks, alumni employee testimonials etc. are various ways to reach out to them. One key aspect is to ensure personalisation wherever possible. This is a sure-fire way to connect with this generation. Also pay attention to some nuances like ensuring content is delivered seamlessly across all devices. This generation does everything on the go and you have to be found by them with your increased online presence.
3. Adopt tech-enabled solutions
Adopting tech-enabled recruitment solutions is a must to cope with the pandemic disruptions and to attract Gen Z. Of course, traditional methods are not to be totally discarded. They should be a part of the process. However, increased online presence, incorporating online applications, conducting online assessments etc. help immensely. Simply put, virtual campus recruitments are the way to go. The benefits range from reduced cost and time to better efficiency and unbiased hiring. The best talent can be spotted more accurately with carefully customised online assessments.
Virtual career fairs, webinars on FAQs and other relevant topics and even video interviews can be easily conducted through automated solutions. Choosing the right, fully automated solution can help conduct 8–10 thousand assessments and 5–6 thousand interviews on a single day. That’s the unbeatable ease and scale of tech-enabled solutions. The tech-solutions should be custom campus recruitment solutions that present enhanced brand value to those looking for long-term and meaningful employment. This will be their first experience with your organisation. Make it count.
4. Create unforgettable branding experiences
Branding should happen consciously and unconsciously in every engagement with the students in every placement-related activity. One common mistake many organisations make is to believe that once the assessment process is over and offers are rolled out, the job is done. In reality, the job has only begun and there is a need for constant engagement with these students till they come on board.
Some interesting ways to keep the Gen Zers engaged and invested in joining you is to conduct office tours, share newsletters or hand out branded goodies. Make sure that the information you share reinforces their choice to join you. Share interesting information like milestones, awards and achievements to give them proud, feel-good moments. Also, share employee achievement news and career roadmaps to give them a glimpse of their future prospects.
The bottom line is to ensure that the end-to-end campus recruitment becomes an unforgettable branding experience.