Hiring graduate talents is one of the biggest challenges companies face today. That’s why hiring teams are steadily adopting virtual campus recruitment efforts in today’s digitized market.
The never-ending mutation of the Covid 19 virus implies that this pandemic is likely to stay with us for months or even years to come. Is your recruitment strategy ready for virtual campus recruiting efforts? Check out these best practices and find out!
What Is Campus Recruitment?
For new recruiting teams, here’s a quick recap on the Whats and Whys of campus recruiting:
Campus recruitment is a company’s strategy for attracting, sourcing, and hiring talented students or fresh graduates for internships, summer jobs, co-op positions, and full-time jobs. It is usually practiced by companies or organizations in need of mass hiring.
Recruiting teams will first target schools or campuses, plan and host pre-event activities to attract participants, followed by screening, interviewing, and finally hiring.
Why Do Companies Conduct Campus Recruiting?
In the past years, campus recruitments have been a large part of every company’s recruitment efforts. But why do employers need to conduct campus recruitment?
Below are some reasons why:
To Create a Talent Pipeline
For companies to succeed in the tight labor market, they have to take a proactive approach to manage their current and future hiring needs. A campus recruitment program is essential to screen candidates for available positions and mark potential talent for future job openings.
To Find Enthusiastic Workers
Many employers today require their employees to have experience. A graduate survey done in the Middle East and North Africa states that 76% of the respondents claim that finding their first job is challenging, while 31% said it is very difficult. The same survey revealed that 51% of respondents believe employers are hesitant to hire fresh graduates due to a lack of experience.
While many companies prefer applicants with experience, hiring fresh graduates can give your organization an edge in digitalization. These fresh graduates have an intense thirst for knowledge and are highly determined to prove themselves in the real world. Millennials and Gen-Z can quickly adapt to the latest technologies, growing up in the digital world.
To Bring New Knowledge and Skills
College people or fresh graduates can bring new perspectives and various ways to deal with company issues. They may not be experienced with the company’s processes, but they can hone in on creative plans old employees won’t be able to come up with.
The younger generation is more in tune with current events. They are more aware of modern trends and how consumers will react. Using their innate knowledge and fresh ideas to implement into the company’s processes, they’ll craft solutions to elevate its culture and better connect with consumers.
Before the pandemic strike, campus recruitment was done in an educational institution’s physical location to find and engage promising students completing their studies.
With the danger of the pandemic still affecting many aspects of life, both employers and employees cannot afford to wait for physical sites to come back but must move the recruitment process partially, and in many cases, totally online and virtually.
Challenges of a Virtual Campus Recruitment Landscape
As companies worldwide start adopting virtual campus recruitment, we begin to discover various challenges associated with this form of recruiting. Acquiring leads virtually, creating an optimized candidate experience, screening for suitable candidates are some of the concerns recruiters have when conducting virtual campus recruitment. However, overcoming these challenges can bring sweet rewards that the traditional recruiting process can never reap.
Read on to learn some of the best practices to transform your virtual campus recruiting strategy!
Campus Recruitment Goes Remote
Virtual campus recruitment should become an essential business strategy. Even if the pandemic ends, this campus recruiting trend will continue to open up more opportunities and save costs for both applicants and companies.
To access the best talent and improve your talent acquisitions, we’ve compiled the best eye-opening strategies for virtual campus recruiting.
1. Enjoy the New Flexibility to Broaden Your University Talent Pool
Your company can assign recruiters to different channels on the internet, such as social media platforms, websites, and more. It's also best to start adding schools you previously didn’t include in your campus recruitment to widen your pool. Remember that you are not looking for schools. Instead, you're looking for talented individuals to be assigned to specific jobs.
If it’s your first time conducting virtual campus recruitment at a specific school, make sure to reach out to the school’s career development centers. Form good relationships with the school and their careers team. This is because the department can lead you to their best graduate students; they are dedicated to helping them transition to work.
A 2018 survey of The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) noted that the average cost-per-hire of companies was $6,110. With online recruitment, you’ll be able to save some of these offline recruitment expenses associated with traveling to the campus location, setting up your booth, and paying fees.
According to a 2021 report from GradLeaders, if your company plans to host a virtual event, you can still save up to $10,350 per event even with a high-cost virtual event.
2. Articulate Your Company's Value Proposition to Students Clearly and Efficiently
Going virtual means having a Campus recruiting landing page, but what to put there other than just a sign-up button and a logo?
A Gen Z Spotlight Report conducted by the Carson College of Business showed that 68% of that generation worry about their career growth potential. 70% of the 1,000 candidates who participated in the study desire to work for a company that shares their values.
So, when creating campus recruiting landing pages, make sure that your company’s mission, vision, and values or code of conduct are included. Highlight them on your page in a way that they can easily be seen. You can also cover these aspects of your company to give visitors and candidates a more transparent look into your business:
Company’s mission, vision, values, code of conduct
How company support the workers
How company engage in community and social cause activities
How your business embraces diversity…
Demonstrate to your potential workers that you care for your employees, and be sure not to exaggerate. Students of this age group can detect any over-selling your company makes because they’ve been subjected to endless sales pitches since they were young. Remain genuine, and it will show.
Tips for Approaching Gen Z
Take time to work on effective communication to have more remarkable outcomes with virtual recruiting events. You should:
Be honest and open about any information concerning the job and the company. Remember that Gen Zs value transparency and authenticity.
Talk with them in a respectful and considerate manner. Gen Zs are known to deal with situations in a practical rather than theoretical manner, so they’ll quickly pick up on social cues. You don’t want them to misunderstand any intention.
Your company’s relationship with a potential employee starts at the recruitment stage. It’s essential to begin building good foundations from the beginning.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the potential recruit. At the same time, encourage them to ask questions too.
You can also create exciting and relevant content and post it on your social media channels. Try to attract your audience’s interest and sustain it.
Your company’s social media platforms can showcase your culture and values. Although, you should be careful to attract the right candidate and not just have a social networking page for the sake of having one.
For example, avoid posting content that is boring or too detail-oriented. Most recruits in the age group you’re targeting won’t stay on your page if they find it overloaded with information they don’t need to see.
Another example is to use relevant hashtags to make your posts easier to see. If you’re looking for writers, you can use #writingjobs and your company’s location, #ILhiring.
Aside from social media sites, you can also direct your audience to read your company’s blog posts and watch your videos. Try to make them as engaging as possible to keep the audience’s attention. Let your employees post about your company’s work culture as well, without pressuring them to sugarcoat and overly sell your company.
3. Adopt Intuitive and Comprehensive Campus Recruiting Software
View of Rakuna’s Campus & Event Recruiting Solutions
Intuitive mobile app and powerful Analytic Dashboard
Finding the best campus recruiting technology to increase your hiring speed and boost your team’s productivity should be one of your company’s priorities.
- Your solutions should keep up with the tech-savvy Gen Z and Millenials to pique their interest and recruit the best talent for your company.
Your campus recruiting software must be able to assist you in both physical and virtual settings, depending on the movement of the hiring landscape responding to the pandemic, without interruption in how data is being handled and stored.
This is where Rakuna comes in nicely and neatly with both event recruiting mobile apps with resume parsing features and campus event management tools to give you a hand in hybrid recruiting.
- The solutions must take off the manual work (keying-in resumes to the spreadsheet, getting back and forth to schedule interviews, remembering conversations with candidates and the history of interactions,etc.)
While many companies offer various campus recruitment tools, most only cover a small part of the virtual campus recruitment process.
One of the core benefits a well-designed campus recruitment tool can provide is effortless data management. Both in-person and virtual career fairs require a recruiting team to process a massive amount of candidates’ info. Losing data may mean losing the opportunity of recruiting the best talent to your company.
To help your company overcome hurdles in recruitment, you should look at intuitive and mobile-friendly recruitment apps. Not only will this keep your candidates’ information safe, but you’ll also save on paper costs and printing and help the environment too.
One reliable app is Rakuna. Before the pandemic hit, Rakuna had already been assisting recruiters through its “Rakuna Event App” that seamlessly digitalizes physical resume data through its in-house OCR technology.
Contact Rakuna for the U.S. College Career Fairs List Fall 2021 - Spring 2022
Make Your Preparation Strategy Much Easier
4. Enable Psychometric Assessment
When hiring virtually, accessing necessary insights and details on every applicant will help companies identify and shortlist the right talent. Most companies offer technical assessments to identify talent for technical roles.
What are psychometric assessments? These tests scout the candidates' suitability to the company by measuring their intelligence, behaviors, and values.
You can use an already existing personality evaluation test like the DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness) assessment. It’s also free and available online.
If you want a more in-depth assessment, you can look for other tests provided online. You can even create your own to see if a candidate matches your organization the best.
5. Create a Dedicated Graduate Career Page
Since you cannot visit campuses, you can give graduates a sneak peek of what it would be like working in your company.
Your career page should include lists of graduate openings, so your applicants won’t need to wonder if the positions are open to them. Try to have videos with engaging and relatable content and insights into your company’s culture.
Eager to create unique career sites? Rakuna’s recruitment and employer branding ATS makes assembling your landing pages as simple and fun as a game of LEGO. Simply customize, drag and drop content cubes to create the page in your vision!
You can even create a virtual job or career fair on your website to let your candidates know more about the job openings and your company. Simultaneously, you’ll be able to broaden your talent pool.
These career fairs will even let you conduct Q&A sessions and speed interviews. They can even be university-specific if you want to comb through each college.
6. Pre-Screen with Video Interviews
Hiring graduates isn’t just about skills or resumes. Applicants’ personalities play a significant role when looking to hire. But screening a vast number of students quickly and effectively is challenging.
Pre-recorded video interviews can save employers hours of screening time. It can also allow employers to ask custom questions for students to answer.
There are many things video interviews can show about your candidate, even if they’re pre-recorded. Some of them are:
When the candidate correctly relays information about the company to answer, it shows that they’ve spent the time to read about your organization. If a candidate can dedicate this effort to answer an interview question, what will they do when they become employees?
Reading about your company also means they know and are now familiar with its values and goals. Fervently answering your questions will show you how interested the candidate is in being a part of your team.
Aside from what the candidate says, a video file will also let you see their body language. These nonverbal signs will show a candidate’s intent, feelings, and personality.
Here are a few body language cues you need to check when watching video interviews:
Attire and Appearance
Candidates who are serious about the job position will do their best to dress for it. Aside from following a fitting dress code, the applicant will also have a well-groomed appearance to show they’re prepared.
It takes 5 to 15 seconds for people to form a first impression. First impressions are vital as they will show how the interview will go.
For example, candidates who look directly at the camera indicate confidence. Those who greet you with a smile demonstrate that they are pleasing to talk to and work with.
Eye contact is not only crucial for first impressions. When a candidate maintains eye contact throughout the interview, it shows interest and openness. Those who avert their eyes display uncertainty and insecurity.
Candidates should sit upright. In your video interview instructions, you should clearly state how the camera angle should be so you can see the candidate’s posture. Posture affects the voice, so you’ll quickly be able to determine if a candidate is tense or not.
Candidates’ closing remarks or goodbye are just as critical as their greetings. These shouldn’t be abrupt, and the body shouldn’t immediately relax while the video is still ongoing.
Candidates’ responses to interview questions will let you know their expertise and knowledge. Since your candidates are fresh graduates, you can focus the interview around their career goals and educational background.
There are other things you can learn about your candidates with video interviews, even if they’re not done live. Tailor your interview questions to let you know about the specific things you want to understand about the candidate, and you’ll develop a faster and easier recruitment process.
7. Do Online Live Interviews for Face-to-Face Rounds
Conducting a live face-to-face interview is an excellent tool to help companies decide whether to hire a shortlisted candidate.
After choosing a pool of promising candidates from the video interviews, you can now talk to them live to see if they’re just good with pre-recorded narration or if they’re able to present themselves with confidence.
Online interviews remove the unnecessary time and cost spent scheduling and conducting interviews. It’s also more convenient for both parties, especially the candidate because they don’t need to travel.
Online live interviews give the same results as regular interviews without the hassle. In traditional interviews, candidates are expected to receive a message from the HR department, agree on an interview schedule, and then wait for their turn.
Some candidates are put off by this tedious process and discouraged when the interview location is too far away or they can’t fit it into their schedule. Letting go of a great candidate because they can’t come in for a live interview is a missed opportunity.
Now that we have gone through 7 core best practices for virtual campus recruiting, consider checking out the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ report on what was working and what was not for this new form of recruitment in 2021:
Other Tips for Virtual Campus Recruitment
Aside from the ones discussed above, you can also add the following to your virtual campus recruiting process:
1. Focus on Quality
Virtual campus recruitment opens up avenues for broader recruiting. However, keep in mind that your goal is not to find as many candidates as possible but to sift through every possible university to find quality recruits.
It’s still essential to appropriate your resources and invest in the proper channels that will help you develop your recruitment process.
2. Rely On Key People
Virtual recruiting requires key people to oversee the process. These key people should support you in finding the right talent to ultimately hire them.
When Gen Zs are asked what turns them away from job opportunities, 44% revealed that it was because of slow responses from recruiters and hiring managers. So, you must place the right people in charge of supervising the virtual recruitment process. Discovering great candidates will be a waste if your system doesn’t promptly let them know they are wanted.
3. Start Early
If you have already decided to hire graduate students, reach out to them as early as possible. This is important to get an advantage over other companies. Because Gen Zs heavily rely on referrals when looking for work, you can partner and connect with their current employer.
Other trusted job sources for Gen Zs are:
Job Boards (56%)
Company Websites (55%)
Career Centers (54%)
4. Use Your Collected Data
After finding a great recruit, you can keep the data you collected from the process to use in your subsequent virtual recruitment. The more you use this method, the more you’ll optimize your procedures and strategies to make them more effective.
However, remember to continually update these processes to reflect current research. It’s critical for your virtual recruitment’s success that your effort corresponds to your target candidates’ preferences.
Companies must adjust and adopt modern ways to recruit talents. Virtual recruitment will not only give your organization an edge over the others, but it will also open up many opportunities that will help you save on cost and work more effectively.
After learning the seven best practices for virtual campus recruitment, you’re now ready to search for the best candidates and give them the best recruiting experience.
About to plan your next campus recruiting program? Check out this detailed guide on how to apply these best practices to bring in qualified candidates!
Alex has been working in online marketing since 2011. His main areas of expertise are marketing research, social media marketing, and SEO. During 9+ years of experience, he has helped many products and startups develop marketing strategies and implement them further. Alex is CEO of Scanteam.pro and SEOBROTHERS. He and his team of experts work on innovative solutions in the iGaming niche all the time.