Online Campus Recruitment –
The New Normal?

A few decades ago, it was the norm for freshly minted graduates to throng employment agencies or scour newspapers for job advertisements. Getting a job while still in college was as unheard of as landing on the moon. Well, we did land on the moon and a half-century later, students getting placed while still finishing a course is the new norm. Campus recruitment has now become an integral part of hiring. So much so that a company’s employer brand is often associated with the efficiency of their campus recruitment processes. Educational institutions are also ranked on the basis of the kind of organisations they attract for their career fairs.

Over the years, organisations and their recruitment partners found their rhythm with their campus recruitment strategies. The fact that you needed to be onsite at the campus to hire limited this activity to those institutions that were geographically accessible. The campus recruitment model was also seasonal. This was to make the most of the hiring team’s resources in terms of money and time.

Hiring platforms have been experimenting with online hiring for some years now. However, while remote hiring processes were adopted for some pieces of the hiring process an end-to-end hiring solution for campus recruitment was not universally accepted. Then the social distancing norms imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the acceptance of virtual hiring in all its formats including campus recruitment. A July 2020 report by CareerNet indicates that 74% of HR/TA leaders embraced virtual hiring as a viable option.

A bird’s-eye view of online campus recruitment

Online campus recruitment involves most of the processes adopted in the traditional recruitment process. However, these processes need to be restructured to suit the virtual recruitment environment. Here’s a look at some of the steps from a broader perspective.

  • Finalise a hiring strategy: Your hiring strategy should be based on your organisational needs both in the short term as well as the long term. You need to have a clear and concise view of the kind of talent you need, especially when hiring remotely.
  • Identify your ideal hiring partner: Ensure that the hiring partner you align with has the technical capability and experience to deliver a seamless hiring experience for you as well as your potential hires. An experienced hiring partner with the ability to deliver end-to-end process automation, fraud-proof remote assessments and interviews, a superior candidate experience, and virtual onboarding is crucial to the success of your online campus recruitment.
  • Use Campus intelligence: Online recruiting gives you the advantage of being able to access many more campuses than you would normally do. However, it’s still important to focus on the campuses that are most likely to give you the best results. Most organisations develop their campus targeting strategy based on their previous year’s experience. This is likely to put you in a loop. You should take advantage of your hiring partner’s analytics of a larger pool of campuses and their wider experience to make the most of your recruitment effort.
  • Promote your campus recruitment: Hop onto the Social Media bandwagon and make your brand appealing to students and campuses. Virtual hackathons, case study competitions, and other competitive events can be organised on virtual platforms too. These activities will increase your brand value and will also help you identify candidates who are the right technical and cultural fit.
  • Identify the most useful tools for campus recruitment: Ensure that your campus hiring solution comes with the fraud-proof assessments tools and structured virtual interview capabilities. The process, as well as tools, should be easy to use and candidate friendly while ensuring the sanctity of the tests are maintained.

Is online campus recruitment a flash in the pan?

Some might opine that online campus recruitment is just a temporary solution to the social distancing constraints that COVID-19 has imposed on us. However, it is more likely that organisations will continue to adopt this method even after students get back to campuses. After all, the benefits far outweigh any challenges that this model poses.

  • Lower cost to hire
  • Allows access to a larger talent pool
  • Solidifies a dependable talent pipeline
  • Ensures recruitment continuity
  • Engenders efficiency and transparency
  • Increases employer brand recognition

All these benefits make it imperative that you invest in an online campus hiring process that aligns with your current and future needs. Ensure that the online campus recruitment ATS offers a customizable end-to-end solution that suits your specific needs. Adapt your campus recruitment strategy to the online platform by tweaking your processes for a seamless candidate experience. Since you will not be meeting the candidate face-to-face, ensure that you have many touchpoints over an extended period to get to know your candidate well. It’s just a matter of making changes to your perspective and your processes. The long-term gains for this initial investment are well worth it.

Sources: Present Hiring Outlook In India Report By CareerNet July-2020