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Recruitment | 10 Min Read

Step-by-Step Guide to Campus Recruitment/Hiring

Campus Recruitment

The primary goal of a company hiring is to bring in fresh talent, one way they do this is through Campus Hiring.

“800 organizations hire more than 100,000 graduates from 3500+ colleges in India.”

Influxing diversity is no longer an afterthought for companies but in fact a measured goal. Now with changing time, achieving this goal has become a distant dream. The issue isn’t lack of diversity but the pipeline being built with an outdated campus recruitment process.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 too many candidates spread across a wide landscape to filter from, undefined expectations, rigorous competition among companies, the huge amount of time and money spent, and so on.

Time is evolving fast, so when it comes to hiring in-demand skill sets, companies need to take up a brisk & crisp strategic approach.

Impress the candidates with your presence and move them quickly but smoothly through the hiring funnel. The truth stays, you can not afford to sit back and watch. To pick up an edge, the savviest companies need to recognize and connect with promising students through dynamic campus recruitment.

The Most Effective and Efficient Ways for Campus Recruitment

Campus Hiring Mantra:

Companies may be doing everything mentioned below but the challenge comes when they do not know what to do when. The beauty of a structured process brings with it a system of discipline, which when adhered to yields impressive results.

Campus Recruitment Process:

  • Pre-Hiring (Requirement Gathering)
  • During Campus Hiring (Assessment & Selection)
  • Post-Hiring (Analytics & Campus Intelligence)

Allow me to take you through the elements of each category.

1. Campus Hiring Process – Pre-Hiring

Campus Recruitment - Pre-Hiring Strategy

1.1. Information Gathering:

Your strategy begins even before the candidates apply or you venture into the field to search for them. It starts with setting the right expectations.

“Unless you do not know what you are searching for how will you find it?”

  • The back-end work begins by revealing the job roles for which you need to hire.
  • List the staffing needs by specifying the key positions/ leadership roles that your company is looking to fill.
  • Chalk out your own competencies. No one can be a better judge of the pre-requisites of a candidate than you. List the qualities of your ideal candidate. What skills and features broadly fit into the definition of your perfect employee, for the required profile.
  • Determine the number of hires. Decide the verticals and decide the number of people you need to hire for each vertical.

Once you’ve experienced the poll to know your organizational needs and checked your competition, you have enough data to set clear and compact objectives for your campus recruitment strategy. In view of this data, creating an arrangement of objectives will keep your endeavors on track.

1.2. Spice Up Your Job Description:

The job description is an important step towards planning your campus recruitment program. It lays the foundation for many processes such as recruitment, selection, training, and performance management.

  • Do not be the manager who writes a plain job description. Do not be the one who writes the JD once on the career pages and never looks back.
  • Do not let your descriptions look like a long list of demands, rather use it as an opportunity to interact with the prospects leaving the best possible impression.
  • Make sure that the job description clearly states the roles and responsibilities with a separate mention of the salary package.

Let your JD interact with the candidate, i.e. it impresses and expresses what you truly want from them.

1.3. Shortlist Best Campuses:

Organizations can pick and choose campuses if they know the campuses yielding quality talent. This can be determined by getting a handy campus scorecard which is a progress report of many campuses compiled in one.

Sometimes the talent acquisition managers study the market themselves, understanding the demand and supply of various roles and positions.

But from where I see these services are best to be outsourced, saving time and effort and sparing time to prepare for better tasks to come. Mettl helps you to build this scorecard after conducting assessments. Mettl takes ownership and evaluates candidates with a set of logical, analytical, and verbal questions. It takes into account the percentage of candidates clearing the overall and sectional benchmark score and thus giving you a clear picture of quality.

Add this scorecard to your kitty and shortlist the institutes to cover.

1.4. Decide When to Visit

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 at the time 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, 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 job 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 own scorecard all gives you a road map to follow for assessing each candidate against the expectations set.

2. Campus Hiring Process – During Campus Hiring

Now once you have fairly completed your tasks and are all prepared to go into the campus for hiring make sure you start with –

Campus Recruitment - Strategy During Campus Hiring

2.1. The Captivating Campus Engagement

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 simply having a presence year after year.

How Does the Idea of Having a Campus Ambassador Sound?

With the sudden uproar in campus ambassador programs, the ambassador has now become equivalent to the marketing agent for companies.

  • They are the contact between the campus and the company. They fill in as the voice of the company, that resonates in the campus before they come.
  • They are the proactive souls among the students, the creative ones who know about the influencers.
  • They are proficient in developing cool, engaging promotion campaigns for your company and market it specifically to spread the word far and wide.

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. This 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 set your foot on the campus. This marketing strategy is a good way to capture an audience.

What Different Do You Do at the Pre-Placement Talk?

Campus Recruitment - Pre-Placement Talk Strategy

Brace yourselves for here is where you meet your prospects for the very first time. Be well-prepared, be innovative, try not to be boring, and redundant but do 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, its environment, the rules, and regulations.

  • Make this session an interactive one, do not let it become a presentation where you just keep speaking and no one seems to be interested.
  • Promote a two-way communication, where you talk, and the aspirants’ question. Remember an indication of interest questions, if you see them ask, interrupt, then you are on the right track.
  • Take this as the time of your life, where you have the stage to yourself, you just have to sell yourself in the most positive and engaging way possible.
  • Throw some light on the various projects or social initiatives the company is taking.

76%  Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.    

– 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study.


Millennials see the company’s commitment to society as a key factor in decision making. Highlight what candidates what to hear. They want to know the prospects of growth, about the appraisal system, or the various learning and development programs available.

Give them the food for thought.

2.2. Assess to Identify

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 ways of filtering through a pile of resumes, using sheer guts, and the first impressions to select your person. All this has been replaced with an organized, better way of evaluating the candidates, online assessments.

2.2.1. Conduct Online Assessments

They are not only time and cost-effective but are also a valid way of 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 include? 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. You wish to add some of your own questions, our customization services are bang on.

Use the psychometric, aptitude, simulators, coding tests, and the pre-employability tests to evaluate the candidates in the most reliable and valid way. The in-depth analytical report is like a cherry on top 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 to resort to pen and paper for the tests imagine the time gone, the resources drained, and the possibility of an error during selection. Stay away from all the negative by shifting the entire process online. It removes the possibility of cheating with web browser tolerancing, online proctoring, and disabled cut paste options. Mettl provides you with a package deal of assessments and automated platform. Use it smartly to your advantage and assess students in the best way possible.

2.2.2. Conduct Structured Interviews

Campus Recruitment - Benefits of Structured Interview

Interviews are mismanaged, random, and haphazard. Interviewers do not know what to ask, when to ask, and how to ask. Any question 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 one, Structured Interview. Once you have filtered candidates with assessments, apply the next filter for a refined outcome with structured interviews.

  • The highlighting feature of this process is its standardization. All the candidates are asked the same questions in the same order to ensure consistency and promote an unbiased way of evaluation.
  • Structured interviews are well planned in advance, where the interviewer is clear about the competencies he wishes to measure and does so with the prepared questions based on job analysis.
  • The interviews are digitally recorded which means that the candidates’ responses are available in a detailed report format.  

Mettl’s HireTrack is capable of providing you will 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 entire 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 not only reduces the attrition rate in an organization but also forms an integral part of its succession planning. ‘

3. Campus Hiring Process – Post Campus Hiring

Campus Recruitment - Post Campus Hiring

3.1. Offer a Competitive Package

After rigorous evaluation, once when 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 do 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 then 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.

3.2. Engaging the Shortlisted Candidates for Smooth On-Boarding

The first day of any workplace is filled with anxiety, nervousness, confusion, and a lot of questions. Make this day useful and comfortable for your new joiners.

  • Tell them about your company, the culture it promotes, give them a tour of the workplace. Let the building, its idea seep into them
  • Tell them about their team, its structure, introduce them to the people they will be working with
  • Make them have a word with the top management at the new joiners lunch
  • Tell them intensively about their role and responsibilities and make sure that their desk is all set to welcome them
  • Align a teammate with them, who can help them understand the place better

Remember that onboarding is not a one-day process, it continues for weeks. This time is critical in shaping your employee to the new roles and responsibilities of the company. Successful onboarding is the key to retain and engage your people.

3.3. Build Campus Intelligence

A campus scorecard is a major asset for an organization. The scorecard marks students as low, average, and high based on their performance in assessments taken. 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 in the band of 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 by year so as to build their own campus intelligence.

Mettl has a “Paid” Analytics Service through Mettl Advantage Team (MAT) to develop campus intelligence.

This intelligence will be the benchmark for each hiring season.

The Bottom Line

Re-energize your campus recruitment program with this approach. All it takes is time and determination, once you set the tempo rest comes easy.

You may also like: 5 Ways to Build an Effective Campus Recruitment Strategy


More Info : Click Here

Originally published July 25 2018, Updated June 16 2020

Divyeshwari Singh

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