Campus recruitment is not a walk in the park. Are you geared up for it?

For decades now, campus recruitment has been de rigueur for companies looking to recruit new employees at entry-level positions. The benefits are manifold. For one, you have ready access to a large talent pool. Fresh graduates are eager to learn and highly motivated to perform well in their new roles. Research shows that retention rates from campus recruitment drives are also relatively high.

So what is the downside? Talk to any campus recruitment team about the process and you will realise that campus hiring is no walk in the park. It is not as simple as just going to a college and selecting a candidate.  For recruitment teams covering campuses across different geographic locations, the exercise involves time-heavy processes, expenses on logistics, and plain exhaustion. There is no guide book for this exercise and teams learn to cope with time and experience.

Campus recruitment not a walk in the park,

Identifying the challenges of campus hiring and devising the best practices to counter them can help minimise pain points and importantly, enable you to drive up onboarding rates. Let us look at some typical challenges of campus recruitment that companies face and how to overcome them.

Targeting preselected institutes hinders talent acquisition

For most companies, the standard practice is to have a longstanding tie up with selected universities/colleges. While this is convenient, it deters you from exploring a wider range of talent. Online recruitment can help you avoid the logistical hardships of visiting multiple campuses. Embrace it to your advantage, to reach out to institutes you have not tapped so far. Reach aspirants who are not from the top ranked colleges or gain access to fresh talent from premier institutions.

High volume of candidates deters efficiency

Entry-level hiring is typically about screening hundreds of candidates — a physically and mentally tiring process for interviewers that can impede their capabilities. One way out is to embrace AI-enabled recruitment platforms that can handle candidate assessments and interviews at scale with ease and speed. This empowers quicker and better decision-making by hiring managers. Tech tools like AI-based chatbots can, for example,  be used to handle routine enquiries from applicants and free up your HR team,  allowing them to enhance candidate experience.

Relying on resumes hampers good decision-making

Campus recruitment teams typically get insufficient time to thoroughly review the hundreds of resumes they receive. Also, the traditional resume is not necessarily the most dependable tool. Structured one-way video interviews complemented by written resumes provide more nuanced inputs to interviewers. Video interviews can also put at ease anxious young candidates who may under-perform during in-person interviews. 

Importantly, rapid advancement in digitisation has altered the skills needed for work today; from focusing on qualifications, organisations now assess aptitudes like problem-solving, logical thinking and good communication. Proctored online assessments, conducted on state-of-the-art recruitment platforms, help hiring teams in many ways, from avoiding logistical nightmares to dealing with issues like cheating and impersonation.

High-quality talent does not relate to outdated practices

Millennials and Gen-Z candidates who have grown up in the digital era typically do not relate to older recruitment initiatives. For this tech-savvy generation, in-person applications are positively archaic!

Companies must meet candidates on their own turf, i.e., the digital space. Companies that add a smart online component to their campus recruitment, such as a dedicated landing page with company culture and values for registration, stand to gain more dividends by attracting students.

A weak employer brand impacts hiring

During campus hiring, small and medium-sized companies, however well-managed and profitably run, are often unable to attract talented candidates due to low brand visibility.

Before embarking on a campus recruitment drive, your employer branding strategy should be to project your company values, work culture, and accomplishments. Some tips:

  • Rope in senior managers as part of your interview teams to engage with students. This creates a positive impact and allows candidates a glimpse of your company’s work culture.
  • To engage today’s digitally savvy candidates, think up creative online pre-placement programmes like talks, hackathons, and case-study contests.
  • Short videos on popular social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, featuring employee testimonials or your CSR programs also help build your employer brand.

A combination of hiring strategies specifically designed for campus hiring such as proctored assessments and long-term initiatives like developing a strong employer brand are the foundational elements of successful campus hiring today. Besides fulfilling current employment needs, a good campus hiring strategy enables companies to build a positive presence with student communities, thereby developing a talent pipeline to meet future hiring requirements.

HirePro’s end-to-end campus recruiting platform, with over two decades of experience, is a partner of choice for MNCs and top startups alike.