Discovering the right candidates for your business can be a challenge. It involves finding the necessary skill sets, character, attitude and future potential. So, what is the best way to source talent? There are many, but to me, a majority involves the university campus and giving back by sharing your experience with the next generation of the workforce.
College recruiting is a highly underrated strategy for finding the right talent for your team. You can accomplish much more than you realize by actively engaging with local colleges and enhancing your university relationships.
A 2020-2021 study by Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute found 66% of employers are working closely with colleges to identify potential talent. But edging the competition requires you to meet the talent on the university campus before they graduate. And, you must differ from your competitors to have a greater appeal. Showing up to campus is only a piece of the puzzle.
Appealing to the next generation of the workforce is a crucial part of the process as well. Data shows that by 2025, Gen-Z workers will make up 27% of the workforce. And with the digital nature of this generation, having an appeal can be a challenge. So how do you overcome this? Let’s explore a set of campus recruiting tactics.
Tactic 1: educational seminars
You have a prime opportunity to share a unique education from the traditional college classroom. Offering an on-campus seminar enables business professionals to provide real-world knowledge and skills that exist outside their classroom. Whether you are a large corporation, or a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), your knowledge has power in engagement. Some of what you can offer includes mentoring, presentations, Q&As and an inside track for the students.
The additional benefit of offering this knowledge is the alumni connection. If a student is recruited into your business, they can share their experiences in a more personal manner. This, in turn, can lead to the possibility of acquiring continual young talent for your business.
Tactic 2: campus workshops
Lectures and speeches are a great offering. But let’s take it a step further. A campus workshop provides a more hands-on approach compared to a seminar. Examples of what you can provide include mock interviews, resume critiques, LinkedIn profile tips, professional etiquette seminars and public speaking classes.
The purpose of these workshops is to equip students with practical knowledge that transitions them from the college classroom to the business world. And with the ability to control the content, you can prepare the students to be in line with your environment, work standards, attitudes, and so on. This, in turn, further develops them into prospective employees that are custom fit to your specific needs.
Tactic 3: career fairs
Career fairs can provide far greater value than you may realize. They provide guidance, education and the opportunity to highlight your company’s benefits to a captive audience. Diversifying is crucial though, so make sure to highlight how you differ from the competition. Benefits such as the work-life balance you offer, 401k, vacation time and more make a difference.
More importantly, students want a future where they feel like what they do matters. Don’t focus on run-of-the-mill information about your company that may turn away the mind of a college student. Instead, highlight your brand values and culture that puts a spotlight on your business’s corporate social responsibility.
Also, bring giveaways with your logo and make sure it’s something they will use. Remember, it’s best to not blend in with your competition. Stand out, and show up, because the more unique exposure to college talent, the more they will be interested.
And speaking of career fairs, Synergis will be at the upcoming University of Georgia Fall Career & Internship Fair on October 6 from 12 pm–5 pm. Later in the month, we will also be attending the Kennesaw State University Sales & Marketing Career Fair on October 20 from 4 pm-7 pm. Be sure to drop by and explore all the great opportunities we have to offer!
Tactic 4: internships
Enabling students to polish skills beyond the classroom is highly valuable. And what better way to do this than an internship with your business. In a 2020 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 55.5% of college students who interned converted their experience into a full-time job. Think of it as a “test run;” you fill in a short-term need, train the prospective employee for the future, and gauge if they are a fit for your company.
Most importantly, it provides an incentive. Students want to build their resumes, and what better place to begin than with your company? You can monitor their performance, skills and prepare them for a potential long-term future with your company.
Combining all these recruiting tactics can help to prepare your business for future success. In all aspects, you are bringing awareness to your business and planting the seed for prospective talent to come to you. Here’s how:
- Seminars educate the students by providing an idea of a potential future in your industry/company.
- Workshops equip students for success that is customized to the needs of your business.
- Career fairs combine education and marketing for prospective candidates to learn about your business.
- And internships combine all offerings to give potential employees a glimpse into what it’s like to work for your company full-time.
No matter what tactics you choose, the key is to remember: be different, be hip and be desirable to attract young talent.
About the author
As the Talent Acquisitions Specialist, Kama Chavis is responsible for supporting internal hiring initiatives on behalf of Synergis. By partnering with management, she can also identify the best candidates while creatively developing recruitment solutions. Having an established resume in a variety of consultant, assistant and HR roles, Kama understands the value of connecting people with jobs they are passionate about. She has a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Montclair State University. Outside of work, Kama enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and in most cases, spending too many hours with Diablo III on the PS4.