How to develop a campus recruitment strategy

May 30th, 2023
The HireVue Team
Gen Z,
Recruiting Teams,
Tips & Tricks

When students are nearing graduation, it can be the perfect time to capture their intuition, creativity, and desire for progress as assets for your business. Campus recruiting, time and time again, is one of the best ways to help fill open positions with new employees who will stay with you for decades to come.

Formulating great campus recruiting strategies is an absolute must to ensure that your business remains competitive with other companies seeking the same recruits. Your recruitment strategy should be thought of as a constantly evolving program that will continually adapt to meet the needs of prospective recruits as well as your recruitment team.

A guide for campus recruitment

For many companies, the campus recruitment process requires countless visits to some of the nation’s top campuses. The planning process starts many months in advance to ensure proper scheduling of vendor booths at job fairs, flights, and interviews. Furthermore, many companies will end up investing a large portion of their recruitment team’s time in away-from-the-office hiring tasks. Having a well-thought out recruitment strategy becomes critical to make such large investments worthwhile.

Each year, the needs and wants of the student population change. College recruiters have to continually employ new campus recruiting strategies to ensure that they’re finding, attracting, and employing top talent from universities across the nation. Every business that wants to successfully capture its fair share of qualified job candidates needs to have a thorough recruitment strategy that it can rely on.

Know what your candidate pool wants

Any good college recruitment strategy starts with understanding your pool of prospective candidates. You want to structure your recruitment strategies in a way that attracts them to enhance your odds of being able to hire the top talent that you find. Unfortunately, college recruitment tactics that worked 10 years ago aren’t going to be effective on the newest group of candidates.

With most college graduates falling into Gen Z classification, they have a collective concept of how the recruitment process should be. Many want to have a personalized experience that involves human contact with a potential employer. They desire to have transparency around the time frames for hiring as well as the status of their applications. Furthermore, they want to have a process that is relatively fast and responsive to their needs. 

Use technology to attract them

When it comes to attracting Gen Zers, technology is an absolute must. With most students active on social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, these online communities are necessary to reach your prospective candidate base. You want to employ these channels as part of your overall recruitment strategy to help spread the word about the job openings that you have. And text recruiting is vital as it provides an one-on-one exchange with candidates in your recruiting pipeline.  It’s time to give up that old, singular Facebook posting strategy and start publishing concise, more attractive video snippets.

Stay actively engaged to prevent losing talent

While you may go through all of the motions and find the ideal candidates for your job, that doesn’t always mean that they won’t change their minds. Keeping a consistent relationship with candidates throughout the application process  and even beyond their initial job commitment is a necessity to ensure that they remain true to their word.

One great method to help keep that engagement constant is to reach out to your recruits to celebrate holidays and milestones. A simple text message saying “Happy Holidays” can go a long way in helping to keep your business at the forefront of their minds. Remember to always keep these messages relatively short and easy. You don’t want to be bombarding your hires with extremely long newsletters that they’re not going to have time to read.

Additionally, consider sharing some internal business messages with them, so they feel included as part of the company. This could be things like positive press coverage or new benefit programs that you’re offering. Keeping them in the loop will ensure that they stay committed to your company after graduation.

Make communication transparent

Equally important as consistent engagement with Gen Z candidates is transparent communication. One of the biggest reasons that businesses lose out on recruits they thought they had is a lack of a clear and open flow of communication with your company. You never want to leave them in the dark, make them wait too long, or have a gray area in what you’re saying.

Make sure that your messages are concise and that you’re checking in regularly. Recruitment software is a great way to help stay in touch with your wide pool of candidates after each step of your outreach program. From thanking them for completing your assessments and telling them what will happen next to planning dates for them to physically visit your office, you need to ensure that you’re being as clear as possible.

What are the best campus recruiting strategies?

The best campus recruitment strategies that your business will have are those that are tailored to meet the needs of your prospective job candidates. Most businesses will have a multi-faceted approach to attracting, interviewing, and hiring new candidates. You want to widen your possibilities to ensure that you’re getting access to the top talent throughout the country.

On-campus recruiting

Campus job fairs are one of the most popular methods for recruiting prospective graduates. But thanks to tech and software innovations, attending these fairs can now be both virtual as well as in-person. Obviously, conversing one-on-one with graduating students and discovering more about their interests, skill sets, and personality is ideal.  However, attending a multitude of desirable on-campus fairs can be cost prohibitive for many businesses (including yours). This is where having a virtual on-campus strategy is paramount – attend more, spend less. 

Virtual tactics enhance on-campus recruiting, such as identifying and prioritizing top talent prior to meeting them in-person at job fairs. And virtual components can assist in registration, applications, getting prospective candidates into your hiring process, and keeping them engaged. In many situations, virtual can replace being on-campus, allowing you to scale recruiting efforts, since you don’t have to be present to conduct interviews. And the flexibility and ease offered by virtual meetups more easily fits into the lifestyle and schedules of busy students. 

A comprehensive on-campus recruiting strategy should have both in-person as well as virtual components, so you can flourish with prospective employees at all touch points, from an initial in-person or virtual meeting to welcoming them to their first day on the job. 

Text message recruiting

One of the best strategies for attracting Gen Z graduates is through text message recruiting. This newest generation is much more likely to respond to text messages as opposed to traditional email and snail mail. With a platform like HireVue, you can instantly send recruitment messages to prospective candidates so they can discover more about your company.

You can invite them to take a quick job assessment to ensure that they possess the skills you need. Even better, you can interview them on their smartphones or other electronic devices so that you don’t have to physically visit the college campus. In addition, more prospective hires are likely to schedule an interview when it’s effortless, thanks to your recruitment software program.

Social media recruiting

Social media is a big deal with Gen Zers, and your business needs to be well aware of that fact. One great method for engaging more prospective students is to stay active on your company’s social media profiles. Don’t just rely on one job posting on a select social media network to do all of the advertising for you.

Rather, you should be posting your openings in all different formats. From short messages to video snippets, provide a plethora of options to help put your business in front of prospective talent. When candidates are able to get a sense of your company and culture thanks to your active social media profiles, they’ll be more inclined to reach out to you when you let them know about your job openings.

Partner with college career services

Another must-employ strategy for recruiting top talent from schools across the nation is to partner up with each college’s career services department. These departments are where students go to get connected with prospective employers, practice their interviewing skills, and network. By engaging with this department at numerous schools, you can get your company before the eyes of various prospective hires before other competing companies can.

Career service departments are always on the lookout for making new connections with companies that they can recommend prospective candidates to. Apart from interacting with the college’s department, ensure that you have a solid strategy for helping hires learn more about your company. Schedule tours of your business, have alumni talk about the goals of your company, and work to go above and beyond just throwing your company name onto the department’s list of companies who are hiring.

How to use campus recruiting software

Whether it’s undergoing an interview with a prospective candidate or widening your pool with potential candidates without employing more resources, campus recruiting software can be the key. With a platform like HireVue, you can wrap all of your recruitment processes into one main place. From video interviews to text recruiting, this campus recruiting software has it all.

Text message engagement

This type of software program will allow you to engage with prospective candidates through text messages. The days of engaging over email are over. Many people have tons of unopened messages in their inboxes. Your candidates are much more likely to engage with your company when they receive a text message about upcoming events, assessments, and so forth.

The best part about using this type of software is that it allows you to create the comfort of one-on-one interaction with each candidate while being able to reach a wide pool of candidates throughout the country. This texting capability will even allow you to continually stay engaged with candidates by sending helpful information about how to plan a move to a new city or celebrating their graduation day.

Game-based assessments

Another great attribute of HireVue’s campus recruiting software is that it helps to reduce your recruitment team’s workload while matching your company with qualified candidates. With the help of HireVue’s IO psychologists, you can construct a talent assessment for each of your job openings. This will help to determine a prospective candidate’s relevant skills via a game-based assessment that can be completed in less than 20 minutes.

These assessments are a great way to help evaluate the skills of potential candidates in an engaging environment. Your team will be able to easily prioritize which candidates have the right skills for your open positions without having to physically perform countless pre-hire interviews.

Online scheduling and video interviewing

Once your assessment has determined the most prioritized candidates to interview further, this particular campus recruiting software can actively reach out to those candidates to schedule an interview that works on their time. Thanks to the video interviewing aspect of the software, prospective candidates can be interviewed by your team without your team having to physically visit a campus location.

This drastically helps to increase the chances of a candidate scheduling an interview with your company and attending it. Even better, they can undergo the interview on any device, such as their smartphone or laptop computer. Suddenly, getting that interview underway can be done between classes so that your company can acquire top talent before your competitors do.

Optimal recruitment organization

Apart from its many other great features, HireVue’s recruitment software is massively helpful in keeping companies organized throughout the entire hiring process. All of your prospective candidate’s information can be stored on HireVue’s platform. This will allow you to easily scroll through your potential hires with ease.

You’ll no longer have to worry about keeping schedules to engage these candidates. This software program will send them engaging messages based on whatever time schedule you decide. Whether it’s a gentle reminder to schedule an interview or a congratulations message on their graduation day, everything can be pre-programmed so that you never miss an important engagement with any potential hire.

When your company is looking for new talent, college recruiting is a great way to fill that void. It will give you access to a large pool of fresh talent that is eager to learn. Even better, they’re typically cheaper to employ and retention rates tend to be better than hiring through traditional channels.

However, to be effective at recruiting prospective college graduates, you need to be equipped with a well-developed campus recruitment strategy. It’s well worth investing the time and money in resources like HireVue to assist your recruitment staff in connecting with and scooping up some of the best talent across the country.