What Are Some College Recruiting Best Practices?
From widening your view beyond candidates who have specific degrees to developing a better understanding of the skills and experiences that students possess, here are 10 answers to the question, “What are the best practices for college recruiting?”
- Casting a Wide Net
- Offering Internships and Experiential Learning Opportunities
- Being Honest
- Running Informative Social Media Campaigns
- Building Relationships With Counselors
- Leveraging Social Media
- Demonstrating Quality Experience
- Creating a Network for Alumni
- Using Pre-Employment Tests Instead of Reviewing Resumes
- Engage With Students Early and Often
Casting a Wide Net
Remember that college graduates are young with a lot yet to learn and a lot more potential than what their years at college may have shown. When college recruiting, don’t limit your view to only candidates who have specific degrees.
There are so many college students who will end up succeeding in a career having little to nothing to do with their degrees. It’s important to widen your view when college recruiting so as not to miss out on any great potential.
Offering Internships and Experiential Learning Opportunities
Offering internships or other experiential learning opportunities is a great way to engage with college students and recent graduates. Through this engagement, you’ll be able to assess the interns’ skills and their potential long-term fit within your organization.
This approach helps you maintain a robust talent pipeline that comprises qualified candidates with an in-depth understanding of your company’s culture, values, and goals.
Providing internship opportunities to college students and recent graduates can also help you build relationships with college faculty and staff, which will enhance the company’s employer brand.
As someone who has been through the college recruiting process, I can say with confidence that honesty is truly the best policy. When I was applying to colleges, I attempted to be completely honest about my academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal experiences.
This meant that I didn’t exaggerate my accomplishments or try to present myself in a certain way just to impress admissions officers. Instead, I focused on being authentic and presenting myself as honestly as possible.
And I truly believe that this approach paid off—I was accepted to several top colleges that were a great fit for me academically and personally. I also found that being honest helped me build stronger connections with the admissions officers and college representatives I spoke with. They appreciated my candor and were more likely to view me as a genuine and trustworthy candidate.
Running Informative Social Media Campaigns
A good way to recruit college students is to use social media platforms to create informative campaigns. These campaigns can be tailored to target specific audiences, including high school seniors, transfer students, or those seeking graduate degrees.
Using social media, recruiters can engage with potential students on a platform they are already familiar with and active on. Social media campaigns also provide a cost-effective way to reach a wide audience, making them an attractive option for colleges looking to increase their student body.
By providing valuable information about the institution and its programs, social media campaigns can help to build brand awareness and attract students who are a good fit for the school.
Establishing Relationships With Counselors
Establish strong relationships with the career counselors at schools that you are interested in hiring from. A great, but uncommon, way to build a bond between yourself and these counselors is to host an info session wherein your company can explain who they are, what kind of intern/entry-level opportunities you might offer, as well as answer questions students may have about your organization. By actively engaging with the counselors in this manner, your company will stay on their minds when students are looking for jobs.
Leveraging Social Media
College students are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Use these platforms to connect with potential candidates and showcase your employer brand. Share company news, job openings, and employee testimonials.
Demonstrating Quality Experience
Create and maintain the best possible working experience you can for your office. College students are going to be most interested in jobs with strong, positive cultures and productive, friendly environments.
If you have this environment already, you’ll just need to promote it. Use social media to show off your company culture, field questions about your inner workings, and allow interaction between your business and the students you want to attract.
If college students can clearly see that your business is one where the employees actually enjoy being there, they’ll be much more enthusiastic about applying for roles with your company. If you can show real, quality experiences that everyone loves, college recruits will be eager to take part in your business.
Creating a Network for Alumni
With college recruiting, building a network of alumni is a smart move. Alumni can be incredibly helpful because they have lived through the college experience themselves and can provide valuable information about things like the campus vibe, academics, and career paths.
Once you have a group of alumni on your side, you can collaborate with them to find promising candidates, offer college details, and address any concerns applicants might have.
You can even ask these alumni to represent your college by attending recruiting events, leading information sessions, and talking with prospective students about their personal experiences.
Using Pre-Employment Tests Instead of Reviewing Resumes
Many hiring managers treat resumes like crystal balls, expecting them to reveal personality, skills, abilities, and competencies from a two-page document. However, traditional resume screening is inherently biased and ineffective at all levels, and it becomes completely useless when hiring emerging talent with no meaningful work experience. With ChatGPT now writing many resumes, even screening candidates based on spelling errors is no longer a reliable strategy.
In reality, these characteristics need to be explicitly measured using pre-employment tests, which provide a significantly more reliable picture of a candidate’s potential. This is especially important for college recruitment, where candidate volumes are high and an automated solution is necessary for short-listing.
Instead of wasting time reading students’ resumes, hiring managers should measure what really matters to their organization and create high-quality shortlists with pre-employment tests.
Engaging With Students Early and Often
Create a strong employer brand and engage with students early and often. This involves building a positive reputation as an employer among college students and consistently communicating with them through various channels, such as career fairs, campus events, and social media platforms.
Employers can also establish relationships with college career centers and student organizations to create a pipeline of talent and develop a better understanding of the skills and experiences that students possess.
Also, provide a positive candidate experience throughout the recruiting process. This includes clear communication, timely feedback, and a streamlined application process. A positive candidate experience can help attract top talent and improve the overall reputation of the employer brand.
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