A Winning Guide to Plan Your Next Campus Recruiting Strategy

A Winning Guide to Plan Your Next Campus Recruiting Strategy

/blog/posts/plan-campus-recruiting-strategy/ - May 17, 2021 - 27 minute read -
campus-recruiting talent-acquisition-leader


Campus recruiting in a post-pandemic landscape is looking to be very different from what we were used to. According to NACE’s Fall 2021 quick poll:

Of 218 responses, 61% said their business would hold their separate virtual career event.

NACE Fall 2021 Quick Poll

With colleges also planning to host both in-person and virtual events, the hybrid recruiting practice is steadily gaining popularity. Knowing this, let’s boost our campus recruiting effort by crafting a responsive strategy!


8-step Preparation strategy for campus recruiting event


A quick refresh: campus recruitment is when a hiring team identifies and engages with students or recent graduates and recruits them straight from colleges or universities. This method of recruiting allows a team to find some of the best and brightest students to build up solid entry-level talent pipelines.

Activities such as summer jobs, co-op programs, or internships are perfect for acclimating your undergraduate leads to the business culture. For recent graduates, they are often scouted for full-time entry-level positions.

Whether you are recruiting virtually or in person, there is a lot to consider to develop the most suitable approach. It is advisable to set your defined goals early on to make the most of every career fair.

The first step to kickstart your recruiting process is identifying the internal talent needs. Knowing the specific skill needed for a position can make it easier for your team to identify target schools in the next step.

Ask yourself:

  • What department in your business is in need of new talent?
  • What type and level of knowledge do you need from your candidates?
  • How do you plan to build your brand among student groups?

Work with each department within your business to understand your business’s hiring needs and, subsequently, your hiring goals.


Be deliberate when building your relationship with on-campus organizations and career centers, as you need to consider the ROI you can achieve. Your time and resources are limited. It would be unwise to invest them in universities that no longer provide a major you target to recruit or did not produce high-quality hires the previous year.

You may even have to leave long-term but ineffective university partnerships to achieve your hiring goals. Look for schools with academic courses that match your talent needs. For example, you will likely find suitable candidates for a marketing position in schools with reputable marketing programs.

Once you have identified your schools, don’t delay and reach out to respective career centers. Each program has specific requirements, deadlines to track, and the career center can help you in this process.

Ask yourself:

  • Which academic program or degree to hire from?
  • Which school can provide these academic courses?

Quick Tip:

Recruiting software like Rakuna’s Recruiting CRM can be used to track each university partnership and identify campuses that result in quality hires. These valuable insights from campus recruiting software will help you make a better decision when registering for career fairs at universities.

A business representative look for candidates for campus recruitment


You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, why don’t you leave an exciting first impression on potential candidates by choosing relevant business representatives?

They are often the first people to welcome a candidate and make an introduction about your company to them. Therefore, they should be knowledgeable about current opening positions, enthusiastic about the company, outgoing, and energetic.

Selected representatives should have a vested interest in engaging with qualified candidates; for example: if your campus hiring goal is to recruit entry-level engineers, bring your current engineers to the fair.

Quick Tip:

Capitalize on an alumni program. If one of your employees is an alumnus at your target school, you should bring them in for a talk with the school students. Having alumni as representatives can have undergraduates break out of the initial shyness.


Adopt campus recruiting software to promote your career fair or your company’s presence in one and increase pre-registration.

Be active on social media, for example: share helpful information with a sign-up link, dedicate a section on your careers site to allow interested applicants to register and upload their resumes.

Tailor different email campaigns for potential candidates you met last year and send a sign-up link in the emails. Brace yourself for on-campus competitions by advertising your booth at the school career fair before the event.

Quick Tip:

Remember to enable the sharing option and make them highly visible on any content you put on the internet. As the internet connects students across multiple social media sites, a single share can help your content to reach numerous potential candidates. Don’t miss out on this chance to expand your talent pool


Students are becoming more active in seeking out information about their prospective employers. They can easily access information about your company via your company website, social media, and third-party review sites. Make the most out of career events by sharing information that candidates cannot find online.

Carefully craft your promotional material so that you can compellingly convey your key messages to your target students. For example, If you are hiring for marketing positions, tailor materials to demonstrate an entry-level marketing professional’s career path at your company. For sales roles, present proudest achievements your sales team has reached or challenging campaigns your sales team has excellently completed.

Quick Tip:

For this step, consider working with your marketing team to alleviate your workload and streamline the promotional materials creation process. Consider having both physical and digital versions of your materials, even for your in-person events.

You can have the digital materials downloadable using a QR code. This simple method reduces paper usage and shows your company as innovative and thoughtful.

Another approach you can take is creating a graduate career page. Applicant tracking systems like Rakuna’s ATS can help your team effortlessly craft a unique job site with detailed information on work opportunities. Most candidates appreciate a well-designed job portal as it’s an excellent time-saver and a window into your business’s mission and culture.

Recruiters creating logistic plan for their campus recruiting event


It can be overwhelming at the sight of all the materials you need to prepare before your career events: booth attractions, name tags, business cards, giveaways, tablets, and so many more.

To help manage the logistics of your recruitment program, start by planning and implementing a recruitment schedule across your internal team. With everything synchronized, you can start thinking about what, when, where, and how to acquire resources.

Remember to closely monitor the shipment for each event you attend to ease the potential headache in the pre-event stage. And don’t forget campus recruiting software which comes in handy by helping your team to manage all collateral needed at the event easily.

Take time to elaborate your team on a detailed timeline of material drop-off or pick-up, booth set-up and breakdown, and team member responsibilities along with shifts for business attendees.


Chaos always arrives on the first day of a recruiting event. Therefore, training business attendees is a must that you must not forgo. Allocate enough time for this task before leaving the office. Communicate clearly to your team about your career fair goals and metrics you hope to hit by the end of the event so that everyone can work toward the established goals.

Quick Tip:

Equip business attendees with knowledge on recruiting software so that they get a quick grab at how to assess a candidate and manage scheduled interviews with talented students on the spot. In pre-event preparation, it is encouraged to designate practicing sessions or mock-up career fairs for business attendees to use the technology and get the hang of the evaluation and scheduling of candidates before arriving on campus.


Think ahead of your competitors by crafting a detailed post-event communication plan so that you can save your time in waiting to follow up with candidates after the career fair. Career fairs offer hundreds of talented students opportunities to interact with your brand, learn about the company, and make in-person connections.

Therefore, make the most out of career events by planning ahead to leave every fair with a pipeline of high-quality potential candidates. Simple gestures of thoughtfulness can yield unexpected results: Send personalized emails to every candidate you have met, thank them for visiting your booth, and put in nice words to encourage them to schedule an interview. Campus recruiting software can make this process a lot easier with an event repository.

Quick Tip:

If a candidate is not ready to process further with you, remember to include them in your talent hub to keep them engaged until they are ready to secure a position in your company.

Contact Rakuna for the U.S. College Career Fairs List Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 Make Your Preparation Strategy Much Easier


a recruiter talking about job opportunities with a candidate


UK millennials spend 8.5 hours consuming content across all their devices, with Generation Z spending 10.6 hours.

WNIP - 2021

Social media allows students to connect with their peers.

Find out what’s happening in their communities and areas, and search for information that will impact their decisions for the future. If you want to appeal to prospective graduates, you have to be active in places where they spend most of their time – it’s just as simple as that.

Social media marketing provides recruiters a unique way to engage with prospective students as they travel through their campus recruiting journey. Not only can you offer them a direct view into the company life – but you can also use social media channels to instantly reply to any questions or concerns they might have.

A recruiting team research their campus recruiting strategy

Recruiters should encourage their leads to connect with other students that share their path and goals and gain valuable insight into their needs and interests. Make sure your social media marketing strategy involves branding your organization as an excellent place to work, where young professionals can continue to learn and grow.

Every post or action on your social accounts conveys something about your company’s culture, so consider what messages you would like to communicate.

If effectively implementing campaigns on various social media channels, a company can establish and maintain close relationships with college students or grads, thus helping them understand more about the organization and its environment and culture. And by building a deep understanding of the interests and motivations of potential students, recruiters can gain valuable insight into exactly what types of content to convey and at what stage of their recruiting journey to do so.


Graduates are concerned about the career opportunities your company can offer and how they can develop their careers over time. If they cannot see a future path at your organization, they probably will not apply. So think of what your organization can provide that is unique and that young people would want?

Young generations tend to follow their passions, desire to work on something meaningful, develop their career, and have a work/life balance. Create an appealing message that attracts graduates. Check out how PwC Singapore is doing it:

Also, use young professionals to connect and engage with students. Send young professionals or alumni on-campus and encourage them to engage and connect with students. Let them tell positive and compelling stories about their experiences and careers at your organization. Allow students to job shadow and witness the daily operations at your company to help them get a better insight into the job and experience the work environment.


Generate mobile-friendly campus recruiting content. Your team can start with creating content accessible on mobile devices, as that’s the tool the young generation use to find career opportunities.

In 2018, Glassdoor reported at least 79% of global job-seekers were likely to use social media in the initial stage of job searching.

Imagine this number in 2021, now that there are more job boards or social sites dedicated to job searching and the Pandemic limiting in-person contact between recruiters and candidates. So leverage search engine optimization for keywords and post content on social media, including your blog, LinkedIn, Facebook pages, and Twitter.

As you’re putting information out there, you also need to promote your reputation and talent brand by frequently refreshing your content and controlling what is communicated about your company on sites like Glassdoor. Addressing negative reviews is just as crucial as encouraging your employees to write positive feedback and comments.


Campus recruiters connecting with candidates through a video meeting
“Keep in touch” is more than just a slogan. You can try inviting top candidates to the 8 to 9 events throughout the year, ranging from personal coaching events to professional workshops. So your goal is to stay in contact with your former interns, promote their career development and pave the way for them to join your organization in the future.

Let them know the benefits of working with your company and how you are interested in talking with them about a position once they have graduated. Establish email communication that includes studying tips, interview etiquette advice, industry updates, or even a good luck note during exam time.

Just as consumer brands interact with their customers on social media, your team should connect directly with top student prospects. Send them a thoughtful message before their exams or share valuable resources for their career and life improvement.

Don’t just focus your attention on seniors. Instead, consider all students. It’s never too early to promote branding and market your company to the next great hire, whether they will join the company in a couple of months or a year from now. Campus recruiting strategy, along with employer branding strategies, needs reviewing and revising annually. Adopting a new marketing strategy and increasing your presence on campus will allow you and your organization to become a memorable brand to potential students.


As a campus recruiter, you must keep yourself up-to-date with the ever-changing landscape, and yes, things are very much changing now. With the tech-savvy Gen Z and millennials reshaping the work world, your technical toolbox needs sharpening.

Take European Central Bank, for example, with banks across major EU countries such as France and Germany, the bank has seamlessly incorporated video interviewing in their job screening process. Let’s check out four have-to-know campus recruiting solutions for your successful campus recruiting strategy below.

4 technology solution for campus recruiting


First of all, check out Portfolium, a leading ePortfolio network for students to present their academic work, skills, and projects to employers. It is a cutting-edge cloud-based platform to curate candidate skills and credentials with style. In practice, Portfolium provides a digital portfolio that showcases the best qualities of students that a rigid resume format cannot bring out.

Viewing the UI of Portfolium's App as a campus recruiter

Not to trample their fire, their team has put it beautifully:

“Portfolium partners with colleges & universities to help students connect learning with opportunity. Our ePortfolio network helps 5M+ students from over 150 partner institutions manage their skills and launch their careers. Portfolium’s cloud-based platform empowers students with lifelong opportunities to capture, curate, and convert skills into job offers while giving learning institutions and employers the tools they need to assess competencies and recruit talent”.

As you know about the troubles of recruiting young people, you will be impressed with how Portfolium brings a view of a student’s abilities and builds a network of qualified candidates to help recruiters improve candidate quality, reduce hiring time and costs. If you need to cast the net wider through online sourcing, take a look at this platform.


Career fairs and on-campus events are the fundamentals of any campus recruiting strategy, so of course, you want to hit with maximum effectiveness. Despite significant setbacks from the Pandemic, campus recruiting and career fairs are still some of the best talent pools.

Out of 296 responses, 44% of recruiters of Nace report said they will most likely recruit through both virtual and in-person career fairs.

At Rakuna, we have developed a targeted solution to the classical challenges of campus and career fair recruiting. Most recruiters are no stranger to bloated paper trails, loss of candidate data, and stacks of clipboards after each job fair or recruiting event, which can be translated to a waste of time and reduced productivity.

4 core benefits when using Rakuna's Event & Campus Recruiting Solutions

To help you overcome this nightmare, we provide a mobile solution for the campus recruiters to capture and evaluate candidates’ credentials in person and a dashboard for the HR team to enhance the follow-up process and connect with young talent.

Unlike check-in solutions, our solution allows recruiters to fully engage with their candidates while collecting information to create a detailed profile of their leads. Imagine having a central online hub to manage your early-career talent pipeline. No more losing your top candidates in a spreadsheet or pile of paper resumes in your filing cabinets or even the recycling bin.

From filtering candidates by specific criteria, sending out bulk messages for follow-up, setting up seamless collaboration between members - you can have it all done in one place using our platform. That is the kind of next-generation campus recruiting solution!


Besides traditional recruiting events, virtual career fairs are also an effective solution to hiring the best college students if you want to cast a wider net at a lower cost. To quote vFair’s calculation of how much a 3-day physical event would cost you:

“With a physical event, costs keep shooting up with every additional day that you add. If venue rentals cost around $0.14 per gross square foot per day, the rental cost incurred for each additional day for a 60,000 sq ft hall will be $8,400.”

Cost Analysis: Virtual Career Fair vs Physical Career Fair - vFairs

When it comes to virtual career fairs, you can join broad-based virtual career fairs hosted by Monster, CareerBuilder, and similar organizations or create your own. If you are keen on having your virtual career fair instead, Brazen is worth your attention.

Brazen’s cloud-based platform for virtual career fairs and networking sessions allows companies to hold online events with ease. The technology enables timed, one-on-one interactions via web chat in which job applicants and recruiters can get to know each other without ever leaving their homes or offices.

Want to see Brazen in action? Check out this short video:


Viewing the UI of HireVue App as a campus recruiter

Campus recruiting often requires a lot of budget and resources to reach all targeted campuses, so in-person and on-demand video can be significant assets. There is always a large selection of video interview software available on the market, but we believe HireVue is the pioneer in this area.

HireVue offers both asynchronous (one-way) and synchronous (two-way) video interviews while using nifty extras like predictive analytics. In other words, it’s a superb format for checking more candidates in a shorter amount of time while maximizing personalization and candidate experience.

As career fairs are opportunities for interactions and creating the best first impressions, handling stacks of paper CVs and resumes can get in the way. Campus recruiting technology is the answer to that exact problem. With one mobile and web-based app, recruiters can collect prospects’ information through snapshots.

Recruiters now have more than one way to reach out to candidates. Tools like recruiting CRM software can help automate email campaigns and build an online database of potential candidates. Adopting campus recruiting solutions is becoming a must for recruiters in this technology-driven age.


The inside of a career fair with candidates talking to campus recruiters in booths

Below, we highlight the best 10 pieces of advice suggested by Career Services Professionals for working more efficiently and harmoniously with university career services and getting the right candidates for the job!


Many universities offer career services to help students with their professional orientation and help connect them with potential employers. It is beneficial to cooperate with those career offices to provide students with resume reviews, mock interviews, and career events. You might even propose a topic that has broad appeal, such as salary negotiation. A cooperation campaign is a great way to promote your company’s brand and leave a good impression on students and the university.


To boost the image of your organization in university students’ eyes, companies should consider inviting alumni or peers to be their ambassadors. Employees who have a fresh outlook on the college-to-career transition are approachable and often raise topics of interest. Recent alumni can even be more effective ambassadors, whether or not they are formally part of the recruiting team.


Surveys suggest that top performing students are increasingly interested in long-term career prospects within a company. As a consequence, career services offices have reported demand for more focus on company culture, advancement opportunity, and work-life balance. Offer office tours to student groups to present a complete portrayal of the workplace - including trade-offs - is a precious and important part of drawing and retaining prospective future employees.


Sometimes, recruiters are too dependent on their company websites or print materials when they introduce their culture to students. In fact, hands-on introduction is the one that works much better.

Students notice when company events and interactions reveal a diverse and welcoming population. “Don’t bring in a group of people with identical backgrounds, especially if you’re trying to engage a diverse pool of individuals,” says one panelist.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same goes for your business’s diversity culture. It is a complex and lengthy process but begins with developing a targeted and well-planned internal and external recruitment strategy at your organization. Whether launching or rebooting your diversity recruiting programs, consider implementing these 10 tactics to create a successful diversity campus recruiting program at your organization.


From in-class presentations to shadowing days, businesses have many chances to work with university career services and stand out on campus. Remember to listen to criticism or comments to update or improve your presentations after each event instead of recycling the same content every time. Also, don’t just read information from your leaflets or website since students can do it by themselves. They need unique features that are hard to find online or insights into the inner workings of a position.


Students find their recruiting process a lot more frustrating when encountering unresponsive employers, especially if the silence comes after an initial response or interview. It also causes a lot of difficulties for career services when they want to help their students communicate with employers. A powerful on-campus brand takes time to cultivate. “One year does not build a brand,” notes a panelist, adding that repeated presence makes a big difference.

Focus on building and maintaining relationships with students and offering them with great workplace experience. eRecruiting allows recruiters to easily update students on the status of their candidacy, which are also shared with career services offices and are very much appreciated.


    Do you recruit from one or more universities on a campus?

    Consider holding an informational session in the classroom with the dean or a professor there. While these are compelling ways to get undivided attention from your grads, you can also pack a one-two punch by doing one before or after a career fair.

    Students are eager and willing to learn as much as possible about their new industry. Give them a leg up by creating an online community that publishes reports, industry trends, FAQs about jobs in the industry and even online learning curriculum that will prepare them for jobs in your organization.

    Work with the career center to create a hackathon (these aren’t just for computer geeks anymore) in any industry or support one in your space that’s already planned! Either way, it’s a fun and less formal way to get to know students.

    Once again, the career center and your recruitment event software can be your best friends in creating time outside the traditional career fair times to simply conduct interviews.

    Have an interview day with those you met at a career fair, or work with professors and alumni associations to fill up a day with pre-selected applicants. The career center can also direct students your way and WILL, if you help provide them with email templates, flyers and guides for their students.

    A huge trend throughout the United States is team hiring. Why NOT extend it to college groups? After all, in many cases, students are already working on teams to complete assignments and projects.

    Don’t have the budget to travel everywhere for events? Try video interviewing and screening. This method is an efficient and easy way to see many prospects in a limited time.

    If the university you want to recruit from is near your home base, consider in person events like being a judge on a panel, helping to assess and grade student portfolios, getting involved or supporting sporting and fine arts events and participating in semester-long projects as a “client.”



In August 2017, Amazon hosted the largest recruiting event in the US, attracting at least 20,000 applicants. As the company continued to expand, there was a greater demand for those in the “fulfillment network,” where people package and deliver orders. Amazon’s benefits package drew many with pre-payment for tuition and medical benefits for full-time positions.

Amazon set up locations in Maryland, New York, Washington, Ohio, Tennessee, and many more nationwide events. Guided tours of the facility were delivered to all the potential hires, and interviews were held in tents set up outside.


Ford Motor Company understands that organizing an on-campus car show is a great way to attract college students. And it proved its success and effectiveness through “Ford Days’’ events, showing that the car company has implemented an excellent recruitment marketing strategy. These events often occur at university campuses like MIT, UC Berkeley, and UMichigan to attract talented students.

Activities during the events include a car display, meeting Ford team members, and a lecture by a company representative. This year, Ford Day at MIT will have Dr. Ken Washington, Ford VP of Research & Advanced Engineering and Chief Technology Officer, as the guest speaker. Students get the chance to spend a whole day finding more about the company and its job opportunities right at their campus.


IBM campus recruiting week

DeveloperWeek, attracting more than 8,000 attendees when taking place in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Austin, is one of the world’s largest developer exposition and technology conference series. IBM is just among many companies joining the Hiring Mixer at the event to connect with the most talented in the pool of candidates taking part in the conference. The week-long event includes multiple developer conferences, a hackathon, and the hiring mixer.


L'Oréal - Weekend Retreat

Every year, L’Oréal hosts “Taste of L’Oréal” - an internship recruitment program to offer around 100 undergraduates and graduates the chance to learn what it is like to work at the company. The event invites students to New York City for presentations from presidents of different Divisions, an in-depth orientation, and to work on a case study. Students can also learn more about career choices and have an opportunity to interview in person for a position.


Spotify - Diversify

Hackathon events usually attract many programmers, developers, and coders, which is predictably often male-dominated. Some events have a 15/85 female to male ratio. Seeing this, Spotify exerted its influence to promote a change. In 2015, Spotify hosted a hackathon named “Diversify” to attract 50/50 female and male participants.

Spotify has worked hard to market this event beyond the usual Facebook hacker groups utilizing word-of-mouth. Though coding a product was the critical aspect of the event, there were also lectures and workshops to distance itself from a traditional hackathon. The company managed to pull in a 43% female and 57% male participant ratio, which was unprecedented at any tech event.

To carry out their jobs, campus recruiters depend on several tools to help them connect and keep in touch with talent. For instance, instead of posting job ads or internship opportunities on traditional sites, where they can get lost in a bunch of things like that or attract ones that are not suitable, they find other places.

Download Rakuna University Recruiting Playbook To Transform Your Next Career Fair Recruiting Program


Rakuna is a total recruiting platform that helps employers and recruiters redefine how top employers recruit young people. The Rakuna Solution Suite includes the simplest mobile app, Rakuna Recruit, and an applicant relationship management dashboard, Rakuna Recruit Dashboard. We are how companies hire millennials.

What Are Some Features of Rakuna Mobile Recruiting App?

  • Fully engaging experience: Leave an impression on your student candidates with paperless technology. Get rid of conversing and connecting with them manually.
  • Instant and easy data access: Our intuitive design requires no user training. Make your career fair experiences fun and easy with Rakuna’s intuitive app.
  • Professional and streamlined solution: Make a connection with college students and impress your colleagues with a paper-free, eco-friendly smartphone app.

With the Rakuna Mobile Recruiting app, recruiters can capture prospective candidates’ information instantly at the point of contact, utilize a customized evaluation form to gather additional data, and rate candidates immediately as the conversation with candidates happen. Unlike check-in solutions, Rakuna Recruit allows recruiters to be 100% engaging with candidates while collecting required information at fingertips.

How Rakuna Recruit Dashboard Benefits Your College Recruiting Strategy?

  • Making your game plan: Reach an agreement with your teams on common goals, forms, and questions that all candidates can get access to during the job fair. The dashboard helps to track time, staff, and attendees in advance.
  • Engaging top talents: Connect with applicants and utilize standard forms to get rid of the administrative side, and discuss career options, goals, and ideas with your prospective leads.
  • Beat the competition: Get a headstart on other businesses by using the information made immediately available at your fingertips. Scroll through resumes and follow up with your favorite candidates.

With Rakuna Recruit Metrics Dashboard, recruiters can dive deep into metrics reports, design evaluation forms, collaborate with hiring managers and recruiting team, and customize automated follow-up emails to candidates to improve candidate relationship management.

For more tips and tricks on ‘on-campus recruiting’ and ‘college recruiting,’ visit our blog, subscribe to the “In & Outs of Recruiting Millennials” vid-cast, and join the conversation on our LinkedIn Group.

To learn more, contact sales@rakuna.co.

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