Are You a Boring University Recruiters? Score Yourself!

So, we get it. University recruiters and hiring managers alike need to adjust how they recruit to appear more appealing to young talents. Be it Gen Z or Gen Alpha, when they are ready to join the workforce, young talent can take up to 30% of worldwide employment

Despite that awareness, many companies still make critical mistakes by sticking with some traditional recruiting methods when recruiting young talent. To decide if the way you are performing as a university recruiter recruiting is too traditional for this generation, perform a self-evaluation by going through the list below. Give yourself 1 point for each “Yes.”

You evaluate candidates for past experiences rather than potential and trainability

university recruiters vetting for qualified talent

College students and new grads do not have a wealth of professional experience. When talking with them, keep your eyes open for those who are passionate, fit culturally, and articulate about their field.

Let’s consider a common scenario in campus recruiting: a university recruiter meets a recent graduate at a career fair. The graduate, though lacking extensive work experience, exudes passion for their field, aligns culturally with the organization, and articulates their ideas with clarity and enthusiasm. However, the recruiter, adhering to traditional norms, focuses solely on the candidate’s resume, seeking specific job titles or internships.

In this traditional approach, a university recruiter may overlook the candidate’s potential and trainability, missing out on a valuable asset to the organization. By fixating on past experiences alone, university recruiters risk dismissing promising talent simply because they lack a robust professional background.

  • To break free from this traditional mindset and attract young talent effectively, consider the following recommendations:
  • Look Beyond the Resume: Instead of solely relying on past job titles or internships, assess candidates based on their potential, eagerness to learn, and cultural alignment with the organization.
  • Prioritize Passion and Enthusiasm: Value candidates who exhibit genuine passion for their chosen field and demonstrate enthusiasm for the role they’re pursuing.
  • Assess Cultural Fit: Evaluate candidates’ fit with the organization’s culture by considering their values, interests, and personality traits, fostering a cohesive and harmonious work environment.
  • Emphasize Communication Skills: Seek candidates who can effectively communicate their ideas, thoughts, and experiences, as strong communication skills are vital for collaboration and success in today’s workplace.
  • Provide Growth Opportunities: Offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, and avenues for career development to nurture talent and enhance skills, demonstrating a commitment to investing in employees’ futures.

You stick to only traditionally highly-structured internship programs

Think creatively and offer a variety of opportunities for college students to gain insights into your office environment and culture. Offer shadowing experiences, informational interviews, volunteer opportunities, or even a hackathon challenge with your internal employees. Contact professors and student organizations directly to set up speaking and presentation opportunities in the classroom or on campus.

To transform your university recruiting strategy and move away from the rigidity of highly-structured internships, consider the following recommendations:

  • Diversify Opportunities: Offer a range of experiences beyond traditional internships, allowing students to explore different facets of your organization.
  • Embrace Creativity: Introduce innovative initiatives such as hackathons, volunteering, or shadowing experiences to engage students in unique and meaningful ways.
  • Establish Direct Connections: Reach out directly to professors and student organizations to establish partnerships and create tailored opportunities that align with students’ interests and aspirations.
  • Informational Interviews: Provide students with the chance to conduct informational interviews, allowing them to learn about various roles and gain insights into potential career paths within your organization.
  • Collaborate on Campus: Actively participate in campus events, speaking engagements, or presentations to showcase your organization’s culture and values directly to students.
  • Flexibility in Engagement: Allow flexibility in engagement by accommodating different schedules, enabling students to participate in activities that suit their academic commitments.

Case in point: Baker Tilly designed Spend a Day and Externship programs for sophomores and juniors to experience the culture of thriving accounting and advisory firms. During these programs, students get to learn about different career paths available in an accounting and advisory firm, engage in team-building activities, and network with employees of all levels.

You maintain a rigid interview process

Are you putting candidates in a stuffy conference room with multiple interviews back-to-back? Consider alternatives by holding a video chat or even inviting your next job candidate to interview at the company’s cafeteria for a more informal setting. Use the interview as a way to communicate your company culture and benefits to the interviewees. Take the candidate around the office and introduce him or her to some potential coworkers. To modernize your interview process and break free from rigidity, here are some actionable recommendations as a university recruiter:

  • Embrace Informality: Consider conducting interviews in more casual settings, such as a cafeteria or coffee shop, to create a relaxed atmosphere conducive to open conversation.
  • Utilize Technology: Leverage video chat platforms for remote interviews, offering flexibility and convenience for both candidates and interviewers.
  • Showcase Company Culture: Use the interview as an opportunity to showcase your company’s values, culture, and workplace environment to candidates.
  • Introduce Potential Colleagues: Allow candidates to meet and interact with potential coworkers during the interview process, giving them a sense of the team dynamics and camaraderie.
  • Provide Office Tours: Take candidates on a tour of the office to familiarize them with the workspace and highlight key amenities and features.

You are not (THAT) active on social media as a university recruiter

College students spend two to four hours daily on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Many GenZs love humor and are active on sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed, TikTok and 9Gag. 

Let’s not forget that university recruiters and employers also have their very own social media networks. According to The UK-based Agency Central’s recent survey, 68% of their recruitment agency network said LinkedIn is the site that brought these agencies the most success in finding prospective candidates.

Tune in to what young talent likes to read and where they like to hang out and be active on those platforms.

Here are some actionable recommendations for university recruiters to enhance their social media presence:

  • Understand Your Audience: Take the time to understand the interests, preferences, and behaviors of college students and young talent on social media.
  • Diversify Your Platforms: Don’t limit yourself to LinkedIn; explore other platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat to reach a wider audience and showcase your employer brand.
  • Share Engaging Content: Create and share content that is relevant, informative, and engaging, catering to the interests and sensibilities of your target demographic.
  • Foster Interaction: Encourage interaction and conversation by posing questions, running polls, and responding to comments and messages promptly.

Case in point: Goldman Sachs, America’s most influential investment bank, is tapping into Snapchat for campus recruiting. They recently showed a 10-second ad on Snapchat’s Campus Story, which appeared for users at around 50 schools around the United States. Goldman Sachs is a great example of a leader who understands the concept of going where their target audience is consuming information.

You use a complicated, lengthy application form

For Gen Z and other young talent, the application process should be easy and frictionless. When filling out applications, many young talent are put off by complicated web forms with 30 to 50 questions to answer. 

Make it easy for candidates to apply in a few clicks. Or you can consider using a recruiting dashboard that has standardized forms to eliminate the administrative side. It helps you focus more on making connections and discussing career options, goals, and ideas with millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha.

Here are some actionable recommendations for simplifying the application process:

  • Streamline Forms: Condense application forms to include only essential fields and eliminate unnecessary questions or sections.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure that your application process is mobile-friendly, allowing candidates to apply easily from their smartphones or tablets.
  • Implement Autofill: Incorporate autofill functionality to automatically populate certain fields with information from a candidate’s resume or LinkedIn profile, saving time and effort.
  • Provide Clear Instructions: Clearly communicate instructions and guidance for completing the application, reducing confusion and frustration for candidates.
  • Offer Alternative Options: Provide alternative application methods such as email submissions or one-click apply options for platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed.

Your brand is viewed as “unsexy” by Young Talent, and you are doing nothing about it

Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that your brand is not naturally appealing to young talent because your company has been around for so long, and the majority of your workforce might still be the Baby Boomers. In this case, taking a firm-wide employer re-branding effort might be necessary.

Here are some actionable recommendations to revitalize your employer brand and attract young talent as a university recruiter:

  • Define Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Clearly articulate what sets your company apart as an employer and why candidates should want to work for you. Highlight factors such as career development opportunities, a positive work culture, and meaningful impact.
  • Refresh Your Brand Identity: Update your company’s visual identity, including logos, colors, and imagery, to reflect a modern and appealing aesthetic that resonates with young talent.
  • Craft Compelling Storytelling: Use storytelling to communicate your company’s mission, values, and employee experiences in a way that engages and inspires young talent. Share authentic stories from current employees to showcase the unique aspects of your workplace culture.
  • Embrace Transparency: Be transparent about your company’s goals, challenges, and initiatives. Young candidates value authenticity and are more likely to trust and connect with employers who are open and honest about their operations.
  • Leverage Social Media: Utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn to showcase your employer brand and engage with Millennial audiences. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your workplace, employee spotlights, and company events to humanize your brand and attract top talent.
  • Foster Employee Advocacy: Encourage your employees, particularly Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha, to become brand advocates by sharing their positive experiences working for your company on social media and professional networks. Employee-generated content can be a powerful tool for showcasing your employer brand to potential candidates.

Case in point: GE has been around for more than 130 years, and its brand does not exactly excite a millennial. However, GE is launching a TV campaign on late-night comedy shows designed to recruit young professionals and position itself as a digital industrial company.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force is competing against the hot tech elites like Google and Apple by running their latest recruitment drive as a traveling experiential event packed with futuristic games and experiences to attract tech-minded youth at high schools, state fairs, and air shows across the country.

You perform slow or no follow-up communication

Unless your company has established a strong brand (top 10 places to work for, etc.), you can’t always expect students to come to you. You need to perform rapid-fire communications to keep candidates interested in your company and avoid them from “slipping through the cracks” due to your lengthy, delayed communication process. After connecting with a student at a career fair or recruiting event, immediately initiate a follow-up with them with links to your website for application. Rakuna’s #1 mobile app for candidate lead capturing can help you do just that.

Here are some actionable recommendations to enhance your communication strategy and keep young talent interested in your company:

  • Swift Follow-Up Process: Immediately after connecting with a student at a career fair or recruiting event, initiate a rapid-fire follow-up. Send personalized emails or messages expressing your interest in them and provide links to your company’s website for easy access to the application process.
  • Leverage Mobile Apps: Use mobile apps like Rakuna’s for candidate lead capturing. This tool can streamline and expedite the communication process, allowing you to capture leads efficiently during events and seamlessly follow up with interested candidates.
  • Interactive Content: Create engaging and interactive content on your website that specifically appeals to Millennials and Gen Z. This could include video testimonials from current employees, virtual office tours, or interactive quizzes that showcase your company culture and values.
  • Social Media Engagement: Leverage social media platforms to maintain a consistent presence and engage with Millennials. Share updates about your company, highlight employee achievements, and actively participate in relevant online communities to stay on their radar.
  • Personalized Messaging: Tailor your communication to resonate with the interests and aspirations of individual candidates. Personalized messages that demonstrate your understanding of their goals and values will make a lasting impression.
  • Proactive Event Participation: Instead of waiting for students to approach your booth at career fairs, proactively engage with them. Attend relevant student events, workshops, or seminars to create additional touchpoints and foster connections with potential candidates.

[Drum roll…]Let’s tally up your results.

Score more than 3? Your company is definitely too traditional for young candidates. In that case, boost your recruiting strategies with this Comprehensive Guide to Hiring Gen Z Candidates

Or easier, check out Rakuna’s Total Recruiting Software Solution. We are an online-based, one-stop-shop recruiting solution specifically designed to tackle tedious admin tasks in the recruitment process with the power of AI to give university recruiters more breathing room to attract top-tiered talented millennials & Gen Z:

Text Recruiting – More Than Just SMS


Change your recruiting game in the new era with Rakuna Text Recruiting: applying customized templates, sending messages in bulk, and navigating through detailed candidate profiles with ease – Instantly right from your Dashboard.

Learn More

Our Expertise Is Recruiting Events


Whether it is in-person or virtual fairs, we always have your back covered. Streamline your event recruiting operations with Rakuna Event Management – Trusted by government, military, professional, and university recruiters.

Learn More

Schedule Interviews In A Breeze


One-on-one, group, panel, back-to-back, etc, you name it, we got them all. Thoroughly developed by real professional interviewers, Rakuna Interview Scheduling offers candidate self-scheduling, availability requests, automated notification emails, and much more.

Learn More