For some reasons, your college recruiting initiatives are not working out. You might be hiring the right people, only to see them leave the second they find another job. You might be meeting the right candidates, only to have them slip through your fingers and go to your competitors. Or you might not be finding good people at all. No matter where things are going wrong, you’ve got a big problem that you need to fix sooner rather than later.
Even though you’ve got an issue that could hurt the long-term health of your organization, all is not lost. With some changes to your recruitment process, you can see a steady stream of talented and eager new employees who will stay with you for years to come.
Let’s look at four things you can do to fix your recruiting process.
1) Fix up your career site
For recruiting in general, your career site is one of your most important resources. This is especially true for recruiting Millennials, since they are natives of the Internet and have a lot of basic expectations you wouldn’t find in older workers. Your career page is one of their first stops for learning about your organization. If it’s not engaging and functional, you will see potential candidates send their applications elsewhere.
Now what makes a good career site?
- Visibility - Your career site should be easy to find through your organization’s website and through search engines.
- Branding - Your career site is an extension of your brand as an employer. A well-done career site will give potential applicants an emotional connection to your organization and its message.
- Effective Job Descriptions - Your job listings should have accurate titles, engaging descriptions, and good formatting.
- Ease of Use - Sending an application online should be a simple and seamless process. Make sure that applicants have to fill out as few fields as necessary and avoid repeating the same information. On especially well-made job sites, you can pre-fill certain fields by uploading a resume or linking to a LinkedIn profile.
- Mobile Optimization - More and more young and minority applicants are using their smartphones to apply to jobs, and you’ll miss them without a mobile-friendly career site.
Below is an example of what we think is a good vs bad career page:
2) Reevaluate your hiring criteria
Don’t forget that you’re hiring people right out of college. In this arena, plenty of criteria you could use with other candidates has to be thrown out or weighted less. For example, experience is much less important here, because you are unlikely to find any students who have spent multiple years in your target field. Even majors can be an unhelpful criterion that will shut out too many applicants from the process.
Luckily, it is possible to set standards for candidates without shutting too many qualified people out of the process. Here is where a candidate’s skills, attitudes, and competencies can shine. For example, if you’re looking for a programmer, a computer science major shouldn’t necessarily be prioritized over a philosophy major who programs in her spare time. The second candidate might have stronger skills, a nicer attitude, and a better ability to work with a team. Be careful about evaluating the people who come to you and avoid using shortcuts as much as possible.
3) Speed things up
You absolutely want to make the right hiring decisions. There’s no question that you want a competent, skilled, likeable, and loyal hire for your company, and you want to be absolutely certain that you’ve chosen the right person. Furthermore, it’s pretty likely that your competitors feel the same way; in 2015, a survey by Glassdoor found that the hiring process takes about 23 days on average in the United States.
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as being too careful. If your hiring decisions take too long, you will lose some of the best candidates to other companies. You and the hiring manager can probably afford to wait, but the candidate won’t be waiting. You are likely to lose that candidate as soon as another company comes up with a job offer. You need to make sure that your hiring process does not go longer than necessary and determine what steps you can lose.
4) Work on onboarding
You’ve found Mr. or Ms. Perfect and they’ve accepted the job offer. Then a couple months later they leave to take another offer. What happened? How could you have lost a valuable asset so quickly? It’s likely that you’ve messed up the onboarding step of the process.
Onboarding is very important for new employee productivity and loyalty. If your onboarding process is too abbreviated or mismanaged, the new employee is unlikely to be an asset to your organization. The employee will be disengaged and dissatisfied if you pull them in and simply expect them to become part of your organization. This is especially true for Millennials, who often expect mentoring from their superiors. Luckily, the effort you and the hiring manager take to bring the new employee up to speed is very much worthwhile; you will see an engaged and productive employee who will create plenty of value for your organization.
If your university recruiting efforts aren’t working out, you may have some big problems that you absolutely need to fix. It may take some work to get things on track, but those efforts will be repaid multiple times. Having an engaged and productive bunch of young employees will go very far toward ensuring the long-term health of your organization.