3 TA Leaders Talk About Modernizing Your Campus Hiring Strategy

October 24th, 2019
HireVue Team
two girls adjusting graduation cap who will soon be part of a company's campus hiring strategy

Modern times call for modern approaches. And successfully competing for today’s student talent calls for an updated campus hiring strategy. At Horizon 2019, HireVue's premier talent acquisition event, three university recruitment leaders shared their views and approaches on letting go of the past and how they’ve implemented an updated way to engage today’s campus recruits.

The panel discussion, “It’s Time for a Change: Don’t Let History Get in the Way of Your Campus Hiring Efforts,” included Krista Lamkey, manager, talent attraction technology and operations, Grant Thornton Canada; Hayden Kornblut, head of US university relations, Kraft Heinz; and Malika AlBejawi, university relations leader talent acquisition, Baker Hughes.

Understand Students’ Needs and Mindsets

The world is rapidly changing and college students’ needs and expectations are changing too. Panelists pointed out that in recent years particularly, students are grappling with what to do with their futures.

But, even though students don’t necessarily know what specific role they want to fill, they feel strongly that they want to do it for a company whose values match their own and that’s committed to current technologies. They aren’t necessarily interested in working for a big-name company as much as they are in working for an innovative company that lets them add value and have a stake.

University Relations Leader Talent Acquisition, Baker Hughes, Malika AlBejawi talks about what campus candidates want today.

That requires that companies brand the company itself — not just its products — to candidates, and in ways not required in the past.

The solution for these university TA leads is to meet the students where the students’ needs are. Kraft Heinz helps students address their uncertainties by giving them access to ways to experiment with different roles including internships, training programs, and classroom-based experiences.

Grant Thornton Canada approaches selling its culture by virtually inviting students into the company. Through a unique series of virtual reality videos, Grant Thornton walks students through the actual work experiences of Grant Thornton employees worldwide. Employees share how they work, how they thrive, and how the company supports their workdays and careers.

Meet, Engage, and Nurture Students Early

For all the panelist companies, their campus hiring strategies don’t start at graduation, they start well in advance of it. Strategies for connecting with candidates early include video interview workshops where students can practice interviewing by taking simulated video interviews.

University Relations Leader Talent Acquisition, Baker Hughes, Malika AlBejawi talks about when Baker Hughes engages campus talent.

Workshops serve a dual purpose. They let candidates become familiar with video interviews and interviewing in general and create a brand touchpoint between candidates and the companies. Grant Thornton calls them “mock digitals.” With their program, students get feedback in a live setting. The see how they did in the video interview and what they might be able to do better. The experience gives students a leg up during actual recruitment later on.

Kraft Heinz created a virtual speaker video series for students. Every other week, different Kraft Heinz business leaders tell students about the company. The series aims to have students think of Kraft Heinz as an employer of choice. Speakers don’t talk about actual roles, but how the candidates can excel as they apply for jobs that encompass a wide variety of roles, who the company is, interview tips, and more. The series — like the workshops — creates a connection between the company and prospective college candidates.

Grant Thornton takes connecting with students a step further with half-day on-site office visits with different teams. Students apply to participate by completing a HireVue OnDemand video interview. The on-site visits let students network and get to know the culture. The result: early job offers and early engagement, which helps Grant Thorton win in the competition for campus talent.

Broaden the Net

The panelists talked about broadening the recruitment net by not investing in physical visits to campuses and instead, using digital technologies like HireVue OnDemand. Panelists shared that a video interview actually lets recruiters connect with more students and more deeply with each student.

Video interviewing lets companies interview students in locations they may never typically visit. Instead of talking with students at only 20 campuses that are visited in-person, companies can connect with students at any university anywhere — even on the other side of the globe. And an introductory video used with a video interview can create a deeper connection with the company’s mission than a recruiter may be able to do at a busy campus career fair.

Head of US University Relations, Kraft Heinz, Hayden Kornblut talks about visiting fewer campuses but still broadening the candidate net.

What’s Next for Campus Hiring?

Panelists agree that video interviewing will become a standard part of campus recruiting. They feel that the use of game-based assessments will also continue to grow. Why? Because both video interviewing and game-based assessments can facilitate relationship-based recruiting without actual in-person contact, so virtual recruiting is personal and doesn’t become “touchless” recruiting.

Head of US University Relations, Kraft Heinz, Hayden Kornblut talks about what's next in the campus recruiting space.

Panelists see these newer technologies facilitating a potential end for campus career fairs and the rise of more personal interactions with individual students.

Shift the Dynamic and Engage Sooner than Later!

Perhaps the biggest trend underlying the need to shift the campus hiring strategy to a newer approach is the trend seen in hiring overall — companies selling themselves to candidates instead of just the candidates selling themselves to the company. Creating a connection between candidates and the company comes through engaging with candidates in a variety of ways and for a longer time frame than needed to simply fill a single job opening. It requires building relationships with students well before they’re actually in the workforce.

Manager, Talent Attraction Technology and Operations, Grant Thornton Canada, Krista Lamkey talks about maintaining a human touch in the campus recruiting process.

It’s likely no surprise to anyone in talent acquisition, that these are emerging and ever stronger recruitment necessities. And if the shifting trends these university TA leaders are seeing continue, these needs aren’t going away anytime soon.

Hear More About  How These Companies Approach Their Campus Hiring Strategies

Get access to the Horizon 2019 breakout sessions, including “It’s Time for a Change: Don’t Let History Get in the Way of Your Campus Hiring Efforts.”


Masthead photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash.