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Recruitment | 10 Min Read

Fifteen effective campus recruitment strategies to boost your hiring game


In the ever-evolving talent acquisition landscape, campus recruitment is a cornerstone for organizations seeking to secure top-tier talent from educational institutions. As businesses try to stay competitive in an increasingly dynamic market, campus recruitment strategies remain paramount. However, with the proliferation of options and the changing expectations of both employers and candidates, it becomes imperative for recruiters to refine their approach and adopt strategies that resonate with students.

This comprehensive guide delves into highly effective campus recruitment strategies to elevate the hiring game and attract bright minds to the organization. From leveraging technology to enhancing employer branding and fostering meaningful connections with students, these strategies are tailored to address the multifaceted challenges of campus recruitment in today’s fast-paced world.


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What is campus recruitment?

Campus recruitment involves hiring strategies to identify and hire top candidates for vacant positions in an organization. It includes step-by-step processes of campus identification, building a strong and impressionable recruitment team to visit colleges, organizing engagement activities, screening suitable candidates, and conducting interviews.

Identifying motivated individuals seeking learning and growth, bringing in new-age skills, and catalyzing a company’s development can be daunting. Organizations encounter several challenges in building a successful and scalable campus hiring strategy. These challenges range from making several campus visits and aligning stakeholders’ schedules to managing time and investing resources to conduct the drive. As a result, HR leaders need a high-yielding campus hiring strategy that works as efficiently as an on-site campus drive and spouts notable results.


Why do organizations need it?

Campus recruitment enables organizations to engage in strategic workforce planning. It helps find better-qualified candidates and build a stronger connection with post-graduate and graduate students.

By engaging in campus recruitment initiatives, companies gain direct access to this pool of fresh and soon-to-be graduates, allowing them to identify and attract candidates with suitable skills and knowledge needed to thrive in respective fields and industries.


Campus hiring strategy: Challenges

The campus recruitment process presents numerous challenges for hiring professionals. Some of them are:

  • Time consumption: Campus recruitment demands significant time investment, encompassing scheduling visits to various educational institutions, coordinating with faculty and students, and executing rigorous screening processes. This process extends further with the need to review resumes meticulously, conduct interviews, and manage candidate communication. Additionally, travel between campuses increases the time expenditure, especially for companies targeting candidates from diverse geographic regions.
  • Manual effort: Manual labor remains a crucial challenge in campus recruitment, particularly in tasks like processing resumes, inputting candidate data into systems, and organizing paperwork. Coordinating interviews, scheduling meetings, and maintaining communication with candidates involve substantial manual effort, often through emails, phone calls, and face-to-face interactions. Not using automated systems further exacerbates this challenge, necessitating meticulous attention to detail to ensure accuracy and compliance throughout the recruitment process.


How to build an effective campus hiring strategy?

Campus hiring strategies are crucial in recruiting top talents. Here are fifteen effective campus hiring strategies to boost hiring:


A. Research

Comprehensive research is the key to an effective campus hiring strategy. Understanding the hiring competencies and roles helps determine the campuses to target, the hiring partner required, and the overall process. A list of methods that one must adopt while conducting pre-campus recruitment research follows:

1. Building a hiring plan

The preliminary step to building an effective campus hiring strategy is listing hiring needs. Understanding organizational needs helps roll out relevant job positions effectively. Measuring the company’s workforce requirements by receiving input from team leaders of various departments is the first step. It is critical to understand the workload distribution and the short-term team member requirements for upcoming projects, followed by a comprehensive understanding of the current attrition rates in the key departments. HR professionals can understand the skills gap among the current workforce by implementing skills gap analysis solutions to gain data-driven results. A step-by-step approach assimilating the abovementioned factors helps determine the existing workforce challenges and create a viable hiring plan.

2. Selecting a hiring partner

As the next step, identifying the recruitment partner can reduce the workload substantially. A hiring partner provides easy access to resources, marketing ideas, and technical skills, frontloading the entire gamut of the hiring process. Using various hiring methods, a hiring partner helps find top talents to finalize candidates for job positions.

3. Building campus intelligence

Building campus intelligence requires organizations to collate the data and experiences of conducting campus hiring in past years and analyze the outcomes. This helps attribute scores to each campus regarding how the students perform in their assessments or how many students fall within the preferred salary range of an organization. Campus intelligence also involves creating a competency heat map, whereby each campus’s overall students’ performance can be mapped onto the competencies prevalent in the industry and then assigned to the competency requirements of individual organizations.

4. Building a strong recruitment team

A campus hiring drive is one of the astute means of creating a solid brand presence. Therefore, building an impressive recruitment team is one of the best practices for recruiting college students. A team of engaged employees aligned to the company’s goals can represent the organization suitably. Employee engagement strategies offer insights into which team members should participate in the recruitment program.

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B. Promotion

A well-thought-out promotion strategy ensures successful campus hiring. From reaching out to students through social media to creating an attractive careers page and promoting recruitment drives through rewarding programs, one must clearly define job descriptions to attract the most suitable participants.

5. Advertising right

Recruiters can leverage social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, etc., to market campus recruitment drives among college students. One can innovate new ways to announce the recruitment drive through a catchy banner or an engaging short video. A robust social media presence is a remarkable way to attract the talent pool. Organizations can keep the messaging short and crisp with captivating content that can be sustained on the careers webpage and linked to the social media pages.

6. Innovating with a career page

Hiring professionals can attract candidates with a creative and interactive careers page on the organization's website with compelling headlines highlighting the organization’s qualities, company’s work culture, goals, benefits, rewards, etc. The visual content could include images, employee videos or graphics to create a story. A well-designed job description can influence students’ decisions. Adding value to the job description by explaining profiles well attracts more candidates for the job role.

7. Building a campus ambassador program

Another innovative campus recruitment strategy adopted by companies is the Campus Ambassador Program. It is a creative way for brands to enhance awareness about their services through university students. In these programs, the brand identifies enthusiastic students willing to learn. Then, mentors and teachers are assigned to teach them different skills, enabling students to understand the company's technologies and how things are executed. These campus ambassadors then help other students to make career decisions by conducting workshops and seminars for the brand.

8. Adopting a student referral program

“Word of mouth” is one of the most valuable marketing efforts. Using a referral program, one can identify talent using the current students' social networks. Employers can build a program in which they pay a referral fee to their current employees, encouraging them to recommend potential candidates for vacant positions. Student referral programs work similarly, improving the quality of hire and time-to-hire and reducing cost-per-hire. It helps boost the company’s brand and enhance the employer's reputation.

C. Engagement

Connecting and engaging with students assists in impactful campus hiring. Nurturing a connection with students is critical for any brand to create a strong presence. One can pre-engage, connect with students, and spread awareness about the brand by hosting interactive ‘ask me anything’ sessions. Interactive hackathons can also capture their attention and identify their abilities before commencing the recruitment process.

9. Pre-placement connect

Businesses employ pre-placement interactions and presentations even before commencing the placement drive. Companies can build the brand's image and highlight its propositions by visiting the campus. One must develop the company's brand visibility through engaging presentations. Alums can undertake such interactions to create a more substantial impact. From hosting information sessions to allowing students to ask questions about the company, establishing a robust brand image helps candidates recognize the company and excites them about prospects.

10. Pre-placement engagement

One of the most engaging ways to source candidates and build a unique brand identity is through innovative contests, such as hackathons, ideathons or case study competitions. These tools are excellent platforms to exhibit the company’s unique culture, technology, learning opportunities, and challenges. Such contests allow students to experience the brand closely. Hackathons, ideathons and case study competitions create a business simulation to help assess the students’ actual on-ground skills. The rewards can be an additional attraction. One can execute these contests online seamlessly without employing a dedicated team to set up a base on the campus. A student ambassador can drive engagement and participation, ensuring a smooth experience.

D. Skills assessment

The most crucial step in a campus recruitment drive is skills assessment. With efficient tools to assess candidates, one can tap into the student’s potential by conducting high-yielding assessments for diverse roles. It helps evaluate and filter students based on their skills and find a suitable way to proceed with the drive ahead.

11. Assessment tools

Effective screening assessments can significantly impact an organization’s hiring quality. Screening assessment results have a direct correlation with on-job performance and culture fitment. Data can be analyzed using new-age screening assessments and tools to predict hiring outcomes. These holistically virtual tools, powered by AI and remote proctoring, evaluate students on multiple levels of aptitude, communication skills, domain skills, personality traits, etc. A customizable set of assessments that measures all aspects of a potential employee, such as agility and domain-specific knowledge, can improve the hiring quality and onboarding rate. Assessments are also practical filter tools that enable organizations to select top candidates.

Companies must streamline the campus hiring process and lend it a structured approach by employing the following screening assessments:

  • Technical Assessments: These assessments enable filtering the top talent with in-depth functional knowledge. The test makes applicants look at multiple problems comprehensively to offer a solution. Employers could also use a coding simulator, an innovative tool to simulate an actual coding problem, to assess a candidate's problem-solving skills in a real-life work scenario.
  • Communication Skills Assessments: This assessment measures an applicant’s expertise in English language-based communication. Such a test comprises sections that evaluate an individual’s speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills, including comprehension, pronunciation, vocabulary and fluency.
  • Aptitude Assessments: This assessment can be employed in the hiring process to find candidates with excellent problem-solving skills and numerical abilities quickly and efficiently. These online assessments evaluate critical thinking and reasoning skills using questions.

12. Simulator-based screening

Simulator-based tests are unique interactive tests assessing candidates’ problem-solving and coding skills. They are one of the most used coding skill tests as employers get a detailed insight into the candidates’ problem-solving abilities in real-life situations. A candidate is provided with a comprehensive abstract problem to find solutions. Backed by an auto-grading system, the results are data-driven and credible. Simulation tests serve as an effective strategy for campus recruitment by identifying and hiring the best coders.

E. Structured interviews

Interviews are the ultimate step in a campus recruitment drive. After shortlisting candidates with assessments, one can apply the following filters for a refined outcome with structured interviews.

13. Conducting compelling virtual interviews

One must conduct structured interviews as a part of the campus hiring process, where the hiring manager creates questions focusing on the organization’s present and future competency needs. In the case of technical hiring, evaluating the candidates’ technical skills is critical. For example, pair programming interviews can help employers expedite technical skills assessment by assessing candidates based on real-time programming skills. Pair programming interviews are backed by an online interview platform, pre-embedded with a coding simulator. The platform allows candidates to solve a real-world problem during the interview, where the interviewer can invigilate and evaluate their proficiencies in real time. These virtual interviews are location-agnostic and can be used to hire candidates for technical departments.

F. Post-hire measures

Successful onboarding is fundamental to engaging and retaining new team members after a successful campus hiring process. Building an interactive plan to make the new joiner feel comfortable in the team and the company is essential. The next step is to measure the effectiveness of the campus hiring drive to adapt and innovate for future campaigns.

14. Virtual onboarding

Virtual onboarding should be engaging, straightforward and stress-free. It is essential to accommodate the requirements of remote employees, such as laptops, monitors and headsets; upload the new hires’ paperwork into signing software and use the new hires’ email addresses to send them everything they need to sign before their joining date. Using videoconferencing software for virtual face-to-face meetings with team members helps put a face to a name. It makes the new team members feel like a part of the team. Virtual onboarding games are another fun way to introduce the company to a new workforce. The games can be built around the company’s values and vision. A virtual scavenger hunt or games like ‘two truths, one lie’ could help develop and sustain new employees’ interests.

15. Measure the effectiveness

It is critical to measure the effectiveness of the campus recruiting strategy. It can be done by analyzing how the candidates are hired, assessing whether it was through a student referral program or a hackathon event, the number of offers accepted, the retention rate of new hires, and the cost-effectiveness of the drive. In addition, determining the number of people hired vis-à-vis the set target and how efficiently the newly hired workforce performs helps develop a roadmap for future strategies.

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Stages of campus recruitment strategy

The campus recruitment strategy can be divided into five stages. They are:

  • Identifying needs and selecting campuses: Organizations must understand why they should hire on campus and identify the problem that needs solutions. After that, campus recruiters must shortlist the colleges they wish to visit.
  • Building suitable assessment solutions: The assessment of candidates is significant in any hiring strategy, including campus hiring. Some common assessment tools can include aptitude tests, technical tests, coding skills tests, etc. These tests assist in filtering and finding the candidate suited for the position.
  • Connecting and advertising with career centers: University career services or placement committees are the bridge between organizations and candidates. They can provide relevant information about past programs, helping recruiters analyze data and build better strategies.
  • Evaluating and interviewing applicants: After shortlisting candidates, recruiters must assess and schedule interviews for the final shortlisted candidates. The strategy should state the assessment type, the number of selection rounds, and the judgment criteria, and it should be communicated to the career centers so that candidates applying for the role know what to expect when they sign up for the event. Post interviews, recruiters can conduct one-on-one interactions to make a final decision.
  • Extending offers to selected applicants: After the final interview, recruiters can send the offer letters to the campus hires. It should include all essential details, like joining date, designation, location, etc. Organizations can also opt for campus recruiting software to streamline the process, like an online tool that can roll out multiple offers to many candidates in one go.


Campus hiring strategy: Benefits

Campus hiring provides many benefits to companies and candidates. Some of them are:

  • Broader talent pool: The college recruiting process provides a vast talent pool, enabling organizations to hire top candidates and bring new ideas and diversity to the organization.
  • Stronger relationships: Through campus recruitment programs, organizations can build long-lasting relationships with colleges.
  • Cost-effectiveness: When organizations use digital tools, campus hiring strategies help save resources. Hiring drives allow organizations to connect with many candidates in one single event.
  • Higher onboarding rate: Campus recruitment usually has a better onboarding and retention rate than traditional hiring methods. In campus hires, candidates are more motivated.
  • Eagerness to learn: Entry-level employees are loyal to their organizations and keen to learn and experiment. They offer a fresh outlook and are more comfortable working with new technologies.


How Mercer | Mettl Can Help

A campus recruitment process demands considerable time and resources. Therefore, organizations wish to transform this process. Mercer | Mettl enables organizations to break away from the traditional and redundant hiring processes and take the first step toward an innovative and holistically virtual hiring process, using the best in technology. Mercer | Mettl’s campus hiring strategy has helped India’s leading organizations reach out to and filter a large pool of candidates by increasing campus footprint and improving the turnaround time.

Our comprehensive 5-step online campus hiring strategy includes:

  • Connect: Mercer | Mettl enables organizations to break away from the traditional campus hiring methods and take a step toward completely virtual recruiting strategies, using the best available technology. Our Campus Intelligence Solution runs a complete hiring requirement analysis of an organization and shortlists campuses accordingly- from understanding their requirements based on qualification, role and region, expected salary, or other eligibility criteria. Using Mercer | Mettl's Campus Hiring Solution, organizations can reach out to their targeted campuses easily by harnessing our nationwide campus partnerships.
  • Assess: Our vast library of holistic assessments and simulators allows you to create your tests and challenges to evaluate your shortlisted candidates’ genuine skills. Choose from a wide range of psychometric, cognitive, technical and communication skills assessments to secure the best fit for the role. These online assessments come with an added layer of online remote proctoring services that make for a complete package to identify the most suitable candidates for your organization.
  • Select: Our intelligent interview platform supports competency-based structured interviews with collaborative tools to help you create a panel of interviewers, define a grading framework and schedule interviews easily.
  • Engage: Mercer | Mettl’s end-to-end online hackathon platform allows you to assume control of the event with the ease of scheduling multiple events and coordinating with numerous stakeholders with just a few clicks. Our team of subject matter experts helps you execute a successful hackathon, from ideation to execution.



Campuses are a gold mine of fresh talent possessing new-age skills, curiosity and an elevated level of motivation. Organizations can easily tap into this talent pool by inculcating the right set of campus hiring strategies. Right from building a connection with students to assessing their skills as per the job role and then finally onboarding, attracting the finest talent demands structured planning. Organizations that do not value measuring their campus hiring strategies that determine the quality of their hires lack the most significant basics. Such anomalies can have long-term consequences, especially in a fast market where companies continuously vie to attract the best and brightest.

Campus recruitment strategies help recruitment professionals prepare for talent that offers many possibilities. The placement season pressurizes students and talent acquisition professionals equally. The new-age campus recruitment needs a revamped strategy that works well, even when organizations do not visit numerous campuses. It is the only scalable and sustainable model for campus recruitment. Implementing innovative virtual campus recruitment strategies can help you limit the overall recruiting cost. Furthermore, virtual recruitment strategies also allow you the freedom to get creative and find innovative ways to engage and assess students.

Hire the best talent for your organization by employing Mercer | Mettl's holistic campus hiring tools

Mercer | Mettl, with its rich experience in assisting organizations to steer their way through campus recruitment, provides end-to-end execution of campus hiring drives.

Originally published April 1 2018, Updated April 25 2024

Written by

With an honours degree in English Literature, Arshmeet has been contributing in field of content for more than six years. From working in NDTV Ethnic, Ideal Home & Garden Magazine to MakeMyTrip India, Arshmeet had the opportunity to write for varied industries. She enjoys writing interactive yet unambiguous content that is relatable and informative.

Campus Hiring

Why campus recruitment is important

Campus hiring is the process of recruiting fresh graduates from colleges. Campus recruitment starts with campus selection, following which a recruitment team visits campuses for engagement activities, candidate screening and interviewing.

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