Campus Recruiting During and Post COVID-19: How to Adapt?
In the past year, the spread of COVID-19 has affected the lives of millions of people, including the students. As a result of the unprecedented spread of the virus, students, along with all other people, were advised to stay at home and try to study/work from home as a precaution to contain the virus.
Campus life has been deeply affected as universities switched to remote learning. Sports, functions, and even campus recruiting has been put on hold till further notice.
The digital trend has boomed as a result of COVID-19, and people are encouraged to apply for virtual jobs. This brings us to the question of whether we should forget about campus recruiting at all, or would there still be a chance?
Why Is Campus Hiring Still Important?
Despite the circumstances, we cannot deny the importance of on-campus recruitment, and we can never make virtual vs. physical presence the same. Let’s have a look at why campus hiring is still important:
According to MentorWorks's research, employees hired through campus recruiting are more likely to stay loyal to the firm. Employers can use this as an opportunity to gain fresh and talented employees while also reducing the turnover rate.
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Through campus recruitment, companies get a chance to hire fresh talent that can bring innovation, a unique perspective, and cost savings for the company.
Reducing Graduate Unemployment
A Research by the Institute of Student Employers found that COVID-19 has been especially destructive for the graduate labor market. Already in trouble before the pandemic, the graduate labor market has shrunk by 1 - 14% in almost all major economies of the world, including the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
It’s not surprising considering that most economies went into complete lockdown this year and even now, most industries are not working at their full capacity. While one reason for shrinking labor markets is the reduction in employment opportunities, another reason is that employers are not able to visit universities to hire graduates.
Online campus hiring can solve this problem. Through online recruitment practices, employers can continue to hire graduates. Organizations can connect with students on social media, offering virtual internships, and focusing on their email marketing strategies to attract and retain fresh talent.
How to Maintain Campus Recruitment During COVID-19?
While it is surely a challenge to maintain campus recruitment with COVID-19 restrictions, consider these practices to help re-strategize your recruiting process:
Go Virtual: Choose an Online Campus Recruitment Strategy
Recruiters and HR managers are actively working towards a cohesive strategy to shift the recruitment process online. While most educational institutions are physically closed, they remain active on the internet. Despite the situation, students are still awarded their degrees and have been promoted to the next courses via online examinations. A new strategy for virtual hiring must include:
In the wake of the Pandemic virtual events can play a vital role in your recruiting process, including webinars, one-on-one online sessions, virtual interviews, etc. Online communication channels are the most logical and safe alternative to in-person campus recruitment during the pandemic. You may include these features in your campus recruitment strategy:
- Virtual tours
- Webinar sessions hosted for students
- Online 1-on-1 appointments with students
Virtual events make up the chunk of your online campus recruitment strategy. It is imperative that you develop a strategy that attracts the biggest pool of the most suitable fresh graduates. Some of the best practices for virtual career fairs include setting up virtual information desks, providing downloadable materials, and technical support, among others.
Furthermore, virtual one-on-one interviews may seem strange to you now, but they are not that different from in-person interviews. Just like an in-person interview, virtual interviews can help you assess the skills and capabilities of the candidate. Not only will they help continue your recruitment process, they will also provide additional benefits like speeding up the screening process, reducing recruitment costs, and increasing the diversity of your candidate pool.
Example – NYU does Online On-Campus Recruitment
Every year, NYU hosts an on-campus recruitment event for its students so they can secure internships and full-time jobs with reputable local, state, and national organizations. Given the pandemic, in 2020, like everything else, their on-campus recruitment will take place virtually.
The Alma matter encouraged its students to take virtual orientations, participate in online employer presentations, complete any pre-assessments mandated by employers (such as online quizzes), and then schedule one-on-one online interviews. As an on-campus recruiter, you can work with Big Universities such as NYU to create online hiring solutions. You may choose Rakuna’s efficient campus & event solution to collect prospective candidates’ information for virtual events and their interview scheduler to schedule one-on-one interviews with students automatically.
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Instead of a face-to-face physical internship, try doing it virtually! Online internships will kickstart your career. Virtual internships work differently, but you can still manage to get the work done just as good, or even more effective. While managing online training, you must be careful about managing communication. Use tools such as Trello, Slack, and Microsoft Teams to interact with your team virtually and reduce the chances of miscommunication. Some more tips to manage online internships are:
- Manage a thorough connection virtually in real-time
- Establish online portals or update existing ones with information about other online internships, job opportunities, and supporting materials.
Example – JP Morgan Chase, MinterEllison, White&Case and More Offer Virtual Internships Notable international organizations are offering virtual internships to senior and graduated students during the pandemic. Students can enroll in the JP Morgan Chase virtual internship that teaches through simulations from anywhere in the world to obtain employable skills and a certificate.
Similarly, MinterEllison and White&Case are offering online internships to students so they can prepare for the post-pandemic workplace. As an on-campus recruiter, you too can offer virtual internships to students to keep them engaged with your company till they are ready to rejoin physically.
Build Your Brand: Brand Awareness Is Critical
Since students and fresh hires won’t get to experience the work environment of your firm, the rate of turnover could be high. Moreover, students may not even want to work for your company online if they don’t know who you are.
According to research, more than 63% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that have a strong online presence (website, social media presence, app, etc.).Therefore, to conduct a successful on-campus recruitment strategy, build a strong online presence online. Your brand should do the following:
- Develop a unique brand personality.
- Develop an interactive and mobile-friendly website,
- Engage with the target audience on social media platforms frequently,
- Post online content frequently,
- Reply to candidate queries,
Share the policies you follow at your organization, including working hours flexibility, leave policies, health benefits, and any other policy that you practice.
- Sponsor school events such as career fairs to increase brand visibility and presence on the school's website.
From carpet cleaning, age-verification service provider, to high-tech firms, every business must build an online presence to make students want to work for them. A strong online presence is required to address candidates’ questions when joining a business, especially during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Here are a few tips that you can use to get high engagement from prospective employees online:
- Utilize a candidate relationship software to nurture candidate relationships during this time
- Utilize students as ambassadors to create authenticity and deeper engagement with student associations and clubs online
- Allow candidates to ask questions online or open a 'ask me anything' session frequently.
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At this time and age of COVID-19, organizations need to rebuild their campus recruitment strategies. Strategies should focus on building a strong virtual brand, engaging with potential candidates, and providing virtual opportunities to attract and engage with fresh talent.
COVID-19 and the societal changes it brought on are likely to last in some form even after the pandemic. Developing a strategy that incorporates on-campus and off-campus methods of recruitments ensures that your company does not suffer from resource shortage. It is critical that organizations adopt the tools and technologies needed to reach students during this crisis.
Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning In London.