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Campus hiring is the process of recruiting students and fresh graduates from colleges and universities. Organizations choose the best directly from the campuses, which is ideal for building effective talent pipelines. Companies utilize on-campus recruitment strategies to attract students for full-time entry-level jobs, summer jobs, co-op positions and internships. Recruiters can focus on specific institutions with the best academics based on their company’s niche or field of expertise.
Much goes into developing and implementing a campus hiring strategy, including which campuses to target, which programs and degrees to consider hiring from, and how to engage prospective candidates in the given opportunities. The company’s primary goal is to onboard fresh talent, and campus hiring is an important means of achieving the same.
“800 organizations hire more than 100,000 graduates from 3500+ colleges in India.”
Influxing diversity is no longer an afterthought for companies. In fact, it is a measured goal. With changing times, achieving this goal has become a distant dream. The issue isn’t the lack of diversity, but the pipeline being built with an outdated campus recruitment process.
Traditional campus hiring includes a range of variables such as too many universities and candidates, spread across a vast landscape to filter from, undefined expectations, rigorous competition among companies, the enormous time and money spent, and so on.
Companies must reassess their strategies to embrace a more strategic hiring approach.
Impress the candidates with your presence and move them quickly but smoothly through the hiring funnel. Companies need to recognize and connect with promising students through on-campus recruiting for a longer-term advantage.
The campus recruitment process involves three stages, as mentioned below:
Let’s take you through the elements of each category:
Your strategy begins even before the candidates apply, or you begin searching for them. It starts with setting the right expectations.
“Unless you do not know what you are searching for, how will you find it?”
Utilizing social media channels to get the edge.
Today’s youth is well-versed with the available technology and knows how to use it in various ways. The advent of social media channels provides an effective medium for recruiters to amp up their upcoming campus hiring drives. It is a well-known fact that social media keeps young people hooked on their modern devices. Whenever they seek out some sort of information, they turn to social media. Implementing campus recruitment strategies without having an in-depth social media plan does not yield any useful results, so recruiters need to reconsider their approach. Thus, recruiters need to maintain a strong media presence to reach the target audience with the utmost ease. They need to create a social media strategy that is extensive, objective and engaging as well.
Once you’ve understood your organizational needs and checked your competition, you have enough data to set clear and compact objectives for your campus recruitment strategy. Given this data, creating an arrangement of goals will keep your endeavors on track.
The job description is an essential step towards planning your campus hiring program. It lays the foundation for many processes such as recruitment, selection, training, and performance management.
Let your JD interact with the candidate, i.e., it impresses and expresses what you truly want.
Organizations can pick and choose campuses if they know the institutes yielding quality talent. This can be determined by getting a handy campus scorecard, a progress report of many colleges compiled in one.
Sometimes the talent acquisition managers study the market themselves, understanding the demand and supply of various roles and positions.
But these services are best to be outsourced, saving time and effort and sparing time to prepare for better tasks to come. For instance, Mercer |Mettl’s leading-edge and scalable proprietary technology platform helps you build this scorecard after conducting assessments. Mettl takes ownership and evaluates candidates with a set of logical, analytical, and verbal questions. It considers the percentage of candidates clearing the overall and sectional benchmark score, giving you a clear picture of quality.
Add this scorecard to your kitty and shortlist the institutes to cover.
Be aware of the various schedules. Do you wish to go all out and target your candidates in the peak hiring season? Do you want to reach them when the competition is high, with all companies coming into the field to grab the best person?
The placement season begins as the semester starts. You wish to go there, then get set for heavy competition. Try to avoid the campuses during examination time and also when children are busy interning at other places. Restrict yourself from the campuses during vacation time too.
Keep all the factors into consideration and schedule your visits.
Do you wish to employ all-stars? If yes, then portray the job in terms that entice the candidate you are looking for. The words should convey the value the role adds to the company and the expectations desired.
Having done the groundwork simply adds to the benefits yet to be reaped. Gathering information, writing a perfect JD, making your scorecard all gives you a road map to follow for assessing each candidate against the expectations set.
Now once you have fairly completed your tasks and are all prepared to go into the campus for hiring, make sure you start with –
Before you start your placement drive, nurture your campus relationships. Do not think that just going directly to hire will guarantee you your best candidate.
There is more to your list of prerequisites than merely having a presence year after year.
With the sudden uproar in campus ambassador programs, the ambassador has become equivalent to companies’ marketing agents.
The ambassador promotes the company at various events or educational programs. The person makes sure that students not only hear them out but participate in the activities as well. The ambassador also tells the people about the company and infuses some eagerness to know more about it when it comes. This is a beneficial activity that sets the stage for the company. The students are well aware of your company even before you place your foot on the campus. This marketing strategy is an excellent way to capture an audience.
Brace yourselves for here is where you meet your prospects for the very first time. Be well-prepared, innovative, try not to be indifferent and redundant but maintain the decorum.
Get ready for the talk. This is the place where you get to know more about the candidates and vice-versa. This is where you officially introduce them to your company, the environment, the rules, and regulations.
Throw some light on the various projects or social initiatives the company is taking.
Millennials see the company’s commitment to society as a critical factor in decision making. Highlight what candidates want to hear. They want to know the prospects of growth, the appraisal system, or the various learning and development programs.
Give them the food for thought.
A resume cannot speak out about the nuanced skills; an assessment can.
You have your pool of candidates in front of you. Now filter the good ones for yourself in the best possible way. Gone are the age-old techniques of sifting through a pile of resumes, using sheer guts, to select the right person. All this has been replaced with an organized, better way of evaluating the candidates, online assessments.
They are time and cost-effective and useful for measuring competence, work ethic, and emotional intelligence. You would want to evaluate people for various abilities such as aptitude, personality, domain knowledge; hence assessments are the best way forward.
Sometimes companies feel lost trying to figure out that assessment test – What questions to include? How many to have? What shall be the break-up? All this and much more gets very hectic.
We at Mercer | Mettl have the perfect solution to your problem.
The library, with our Pre-Built-Tests to measure various skills, is at your perusal. Should you wish to add some of your questions, Mettl’s customization services have got you covered.
Use the psychometric, aptitude, simulators, coding, and pre-employability tests to evaluate the candidates reliably and validly. The in-depth analytical report is an added advantage which gives a detailed analysis of the candidate performance in various sections.
While on campus, time is money. You cannot afford to waste any of it. Now, if you plan on having pen-and-paper tests, imagine the time gone, the resources drained, and the possibility of errors during selection. Stay away from all the hassles by shifting the entire process online. It removes the possibility of cheating with features, such as web browser tolerance, online proctoring, and disabled copy paste option. Mettl provides you with a package deal of assessments and automated platforms. Use it smartly to your advantage and assess students in the best way possible.
Interviews are mismanaged, random, and haphazard. Interviewers do not know what to ask, when to ask, and how to ask. Any questions can pop-up anytime. There is no set questionnaire or way to approach the session. The expectations are unclear, and the interviews are susceptible to bias. Since there are no set questions, there is no equality or objectivity maintained to analyze the candidates.
The pitfalls are many, but the solution is – structured interview. Once you have filtered candidates with assessments, apply the next filter for a refined outcome with structured interviews.
Mettl’s HireTrack is capable of providing you with all the above services. Added to the advantage is the feature of providing you with a platform where the entire hiring funnel can be managed. Right from sourcing to selection, the whole funnel is presented to you in one dashboard. You can get an idea of where each candidate is at the hiring process.
Therefore, hiring quality candidates with assessments and structured interviews reduces the attrition rate in an organization and forms an integral part of its succession planning.
After rigorous evaluation, once you have gone through all the assessment results and gone back to the interviews you were doubtful about, you are set to roll out the offer. You have your best candidates, after grilling them through the round of tests and interviews, this is the lot you were looking for.
There might be times the high performing college does not fall in your salary bracket; this is where the campus scorecard comes into play and helps you choose the ideal campus as per your salary budget. Get a thorough read of the scorecard and decide which college falls to the best of your salary range. Once you have that ready, roll out the offers to the candidates you want.
The first day of any workplace is filled with anxiety, nervousness, confusion, and many questions. Make this day useful and comfortable for your new joiners.
Remember that onboarding is not a one-day process; it continues for weeks. This time is critical in shaping your employee to new roles and responsibilities. Successful onboarding is the key to retain and engage your people.
A campus scorecard is a significant asset for an organization. The scorecard marks students as low, average, and high based on their performance in assessments taken. After mapping the overall performance of the students, campuses are then aligned as per the performance hierarchy. The mean scores of various campuses is a benchmark used to rank them in the order of preference.
This scorecard acts as the medium for identifying high and low performers among students. Identifying institutes and colleges for one year will just serve the short term goals. To get long haul rewards of having a strategic campus hiring process, companies need to collect and assemble information year on year to build their campus intelligence.
Mettl has a “paid” analytics service through the Mettl Advantage Team (MAT) to develop campus intelligence.
This intelligence will be the benchmark for each campus hiring season.
There are two ways of materializing a campus recruitment strategy: in-person and virtually.
In-person campus hiring means visiting a college campus to increase students’ awareness of an organization and includes resume collection and screening/meeting students who fulfill all criteria. The best way to conduct this recruitment process is through organizing on-campus career fairs or business information sessions.
Virtual campus recruiting involves leveraging the technology tools to enhance on-campus presence without stepping to the campus. For example, organizations may connect with students using emails, schedule interviews via AI-based programs, or require students to record video interviews that can be evaluated by hiring managers.
Since time immemorial, recruiters have been working hard to meet pressing workforce requirements. Even though there are several predominant methods employed for recruitment, campus recruitment is the one that remains a top priority for most organizations. Recruiters have always prioritized campus recruitment as an essential process of hiring. Here we have listed some of the prominent advantages of on-campus recruiting:
When recruiters visit the campus with the intent of finding the right talent, they instead end up getting a massive pool of applicants due to the high availability of aspirants and their eagerness to stand out from the rest. This is how a diverse pool of potential candidates forms for recruiters to choose from. Not all candidates possess the same potential, and there is no shortage of talent choices. Recruiters can also consider some students for future reference when opportunities are matching their skills.
It is a well-proven fact that the total cost involved in finding the right hire for a position is equivalent to one and a half times the salary set for that position. And in some cases, it may go even as high as two and a half times the salary set for high-level managerial roles. In such a case, on-campus recruiting will come in handy for lowering hiring costs substantially.
Companies that conduct campus hiring activities and engage in interaction with multiple colleges will build a good rapport with many campuses and students. This, in turn, will prompt more students to apply for internships, projects, and training, etc. So campus recruitment paves the way for building a talent pipeline for next year’s potential recruits.
Campus recruitment processes witness active participation from a large number of candidates. This is why the applicant-to-hire ratio increases by default. Thus, the chances are high that recruiters will get top-quality talent for specific roles.
One of the significant advantages of hiring candidates through campus hiring methods is that young recruits become ardent loyalists of organizations they’re associated with and become ready to assume new roles and responsibilities in the future. These dynamic and motivated individuals have a special feeling for the company, which gave them the first break. Employees consider their first employers to be very close to their hearts.
With time passing by and new technologies coming to the fore comes a new generation of confident and relaxed employees who deal with technology more effectively than their predecessors. Today’s millennial workforce is tech-savvy and quite deft at handling and operating new technologies and software, increasing employee productivity and work quality. They are keen on trying out the latest trends and are highly enthusiastic about benefiting the organization in the long run.
Listed below are some of the most sought-after campus hiring solutions:
It is well-established that young people are more fluent and familiar with newer technologies than their predecessors. Recruiters can tap into their target audience by reaching out at all the social media channels and running awareness campaigns about their upcoming campus recruitment drives.
Today’s youth are mostly available online. By including a comprehensive social media plan in their campus recruitment strategies, recruiters can get the most out of their recruiting efforts. Millennials always turn to social media by instinct, to seek some sort of information. Thus, having a strong social media strategy will enhance the efficacy of the hiring process.
Trying to conduct on-campus recruiting without seeking support from a college placement cell is an exercise in futility. Organizations need to maintain proper communication with placement cells.
During a campus hiring drive, it is critical to screen candidates considering that a large number of candidates participate in the process. Freshly minted graduates have no prior work experience, so it’s an arduous task to filter such candidates based on their resumes. It is highly likely that recruiters may miss out on talented candidates here. Pre-employment testing and screening assessments are critical to evaluate candidates’ skills and filter the eligible candidates from a sizable pool of candidates. This step ensures that those applicants who do not meet the recruiter’s criteria do not qualify for the next round of selection. Managing campus hiring online is also a unique approach that enables recruiters to save lots of time and money to improve the efficiency of the recruiting process.
Online assessment tools are also an indispensable tool for recruitment.
With online assessment tools such as Mercer | Mettl in place, most recruiters can streamline their campus recruitment strategy and save valuable time and resources. These tools ensure that the process of filtering out least-suitable applicants for a smaller, better-qualified pool is conducted scientifically and suitably. This way, only those candidates having an adequate set of skills and competencies get to the final round of interviews. Such an innovative platform can enable companies to hire the most deserving entry-level talent with customized assessments that provide incredibly accurate results.
The labor market is tight, and most companies are still yearning for top talent. With the advent of the digital revolution comes a change of approach in the way work is done. It’s estimated that more than fifty percent of jobs in 2030 don’t even exist now. And millennials -known as the well-read and skilled generation- are graduating from colleges with their preferences and expectations about work, organizations, and more. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 19.9 million students attended college in the United States, indicating that students make up a massive talent pool to fulfill instant staffing needs and serve as a talent pipeline for future opportunities.
Employers, college students, career placement staff and subject matter experts all are linked with campus recruitment in one way or another.
Employers: While most employers look for college talent to meet workforce requirements, campus hiring is imperative for both medium and large-sized organizations to accommodate their high-volume hiring needs.
Campus recruiters: Some companies appoint campus recruiters who help them source, engage and recruit freshers and interns based on the organization’s bandwidth and priorities. Others instruct HR specialists to implement campus recruiting strategies as a part of their job responsibilities.
Career development centers: Many universities include career services in their offerings to benefit students and alumni. Most colleges market this as distinguished offerings to attract students to become a part of their schools. Usually, they have a dedicated staff that helps students to navigate their initial experiences of the work-world as interns and trainees.
Students: College students start dreaming of their professional lives when they enter the premises of a college. Students must start building relationships and networking early to maximize their chances of getting hired.
HR representatives: experts from other HR disciplines, such as Performance, learning and development, legal, benefits and pay, inclusion and diversity, legal and more, must also ensure that they work toward propagating their employers’ brand and value proposition by attracting and engaging the Gen Z talent.
Business leaders and hiring managers take care of the interview, assessment, job description, job offer, hiring strategy and other related processes.
More often than not, employees from different corporate functions, such as law, marketing IT – are involved in the on-campus recruiting process pertaining to their key responsibility areas. For instance, an enterprise adopting campus hiring solutions needs experts from IT and HR to make the implementation and rollout process incredibly easy. A company keen on redefining its brand identity will likely seek marketing department staff inputs to reinvigorate the employer’s brand.
Recruitment marketing agencies can help organizations develop or improve their employer branding strategies, offering potential candidates a glimpse into what it’s like to be associated with such an organization.
Campus hiring software platforms streamline the overall hiring process by replacing time-intensive and traditional redundant parts of recruiting.
A staggering number of employers are engaged in a war for winning top talent; Gen Zers are well-aware of this fact and have high expectations from future employers. To address the skill shortage, employers are taking their campus recruiting efforts up a notch and employing tech solutions to improve speed and time-to-hire, improve relationships with applicants, maximize reach and effectiveness and reduce costs.
Mercer| Mettl provides a detailed assessment to test the candidates’ behavioral aspects and cognitive and domain-based skills. A candidate can be judged more appropriately by using situation-based problems, psychometric tests and cognitive tests. Even the dark personalities of the candidates may prove helpful in making reliable and firm hiring decisions.
“Tell me something about yourself.”, “Where do you see yourself after five years down the line,” and several more questions. These are the common questions each company during campus hiring asks the hopeful candidates. The exciting part is, every candidate, irrespective of which grade-block he/she belongs, or to what extent is he/she proficient for that job role, start practicing these at least two months beforehand, or in fact, they learn by heart those.
Well, this isn’t a bad thing, though.
One of the best ways to cope with these situations could be the assessments, including every aspect of the candidate. The detailed introspection of the candidate may come via these kinds of evaluations.
In this placement season, students on campuses are worried about getting placed in the organizations of their preference, so are the HR and recruiting managers when it comes to hiring effectively. With these campus recruitment strategies in place, you’re prepared to begin connecting with the upcoming star. Re-energize your campus recruitment program with this step-by-step guide. All it takes is time and determination. Once you set the tempo, the rest comes easy.
We have listed the answers to the most typical concerns regarding campus hiring:
Redefining a college recruitment strategy is one viable way to get the attention of college students. To help, we’ve listed below some ways companies can attract students on and off-campus:
Recruiters can focus on a group of institutions recognized for their industry-oriented programs and build connections with them by hiring students for jobs and internships. Career fairs are an excellent option to connect with students to explore further opportunities. To attract new college graduates, have a targeted recruiting process. For instance, a tech startup keen on hiring software engineers could sponsor a hackathon for software engineering students.
The hiring process should be a continual process that should continue throughout the year. Companies shouldn’t wait until the campus hiring season opens up, and students start searching for jobs; instead, it should work like a consistent process happening in the background.
A growing, well-established company attracts many young graduates who are dreaming of jobs straight out of college. For most newly launched startups, this poses a significant challenge. Creating a strong employer brand requires dedication, strategizing carefully, providing lucrative opportunities for students and creating a remarkable impression during on-campus recruiting.
When hiring college students, organizations should focus on learning and development opportunities and earning potential that candidates can anticipate once hired. This way, college students feel intrigued and look forward to applying to such an organization.
For many young graduates, lucrative payloads are the biggest motivators behind joining a particular organization. Unfortunately, not every enterprise can provide such hefty packages, but candidates can feel intrigued to work for those organizations that offer competitive perks. Moreover, other fringe benefits can tempt young talent to join an organization, such as skills training, the flexibility of working, professional development opportunities, paid vacations, and other offerings.
A campus recruiter performs many responsibilities and is well-versed in such skills as attracting, engaging, screening, interviewing and recruiting potential candidates in internships or entry-level roles. Listed below are some of the responsibilities of a recruiter:
Here are some reasons why on-campus recruiting is becoming essential for businesses:
The job market is more reliant on young workers than ever before. This is quite apparent across the United States, where twenty-three percent of firms opened more avenues for young talent from colleges and universities than they were five years ago. More organizations are realizing the benefits of on-campus recruiting and devising suitable campus hiring solutions.
On-campus recruiting can help create a pipeline of entry-level recruits, interns, and co-op students to help organizations achieve their hiring goals. Such activities can also improve retention rates as employee retention is becoming a pressing priority for organizations.
On-campus recruiting is necessary for building brand awareness. Any organization will get to meet their potential hires during campus hiring. A thriving campus recruitment strategy will help companies build long-term brand awareness for securing the best talent straight out of campus.
Campus recruitment training course-short for CRT helps candidates prepare for recruitment either on-campus or off-campus. CRT provides thorough training on the following subjects: Quantitative Ability, Aptitude Test, Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning.
Graduate recruitment, also known as campus recruitment, is where recruiters conduct a strategic program to attract and recruit candidates who will soon graduate from colleges and universities.
A college’s placement cell must follow a proper college placement strategy to connect with companies for campus hiring. It is noteworthy that guardians and students try to pick a college with a good reputation regarding academics and placements. Listed below are some points that shed some light on the process of approaching companies for campus recruitment:
Strategists can consider these points to make the entire process easy for recruiters, enabling them to approach and hire the deserving candidates with lesser efforts. In addition to that, Mercer | Mettl conducts skill assessment tests that will aid recruiters in identifying every candidate’s skills in various domains. Taking the time to organize such specialized assessments up front saves time and eventually enhances the efficacy of the hiring process,
A campus recruitment system comprises a student login, an admin login and a company login. The system is extremely beneficial for college students, college placement representatives and various companies visiting the campus. The software system enables the candidates to register and upload all their details, including their scores, onto the system. The admin keeps a tab on each student’s account and can delete accounts that don’t fulfill the criteria. The system includes a company login part wherein different organizations can browse through the list of students on a particular campus and their resumes. The system also enables candidates to view a comprehensive list of companies that have posted for openings. The admin ensures that users don’t violate the rules while using the system.
Generally, all campus hiring drives include the following steps:
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Off-campus placements are a viable option for those who were not satisfied with the results evident in on-campus placement drives. In this eternal debate of off-campus vs. on-campus, the former usually takes the back seat as students aggressively focus on finding jobs through on-campus recruiting campaigns.
Originally published April 1 2018, Updated November 18 2020