Campus recruiting is a term often used to describe talent hunting and hiring college and university students.
There are various reasons why this trend has been around since almost forever, and in this post, we will discuss:
- The benefits of campus recruiting
- What does the campus recruiter exactly do?
- How to create a winning campus recruiting strategy?
- How to approach Gen Z the right way?
- And how digital solutions can help us and boost our efforts.
The benefits of campus recruiting
According to the National Association for Colleges and Employers, the average hourly wage for an undergraduate intern was $16.26 in 2014. This is an excellent way for small businesses to hire without adding a large amount of overhead, as they would need to when employing more established professionals.
This is only one way of looking at things. And the other is more oriented towards staying ahead of the competition. Many large enterprises, funded startups, especially in the IT industries, love hiring young, skilled, and enthusiastic graduates.
Just think about it. Every once in a while, you hear how some very young student has gotten a good job offer from some tech giant.
One of the big reasons businesses like hiring Gen Z is also because they are very tech-savvy. They are born surrendered with technology, and while millennials and older generations may struggle with technology, Gen Z does it so naturally.
Therefore, hiring them can significantly help both small businesses and larger ones. Small businesses often consider at least hiring them to work and train their older professionals since they’ll be much more cost-effective than other types of trainers, as well.
What does the campus recruiter exactly do?
Campus recruiter actively searches for young and talented students across the globe that can help the business and be an amazing add-on to their current workforce. Their primary duty is to source, attract, engage and form relationships with students.
The method they choose to do so can significantly vary and depends on the industry they are recruiting for and their overall campus recruiting strategy.
Therefore, campus recruiters often need to have a comprehensive knowledge of recruitment marketing, social recruiting, employer brand, and how to communicate effectively.
How to approach Gen Z the right way
Gen Z is very different from the older generations.
They are often referred to as digital natives, which means that studying, finding a job, and even working can be done 100% online. And this is important fact recruiters and employers need to bear in mind.
When compared to the older generations, Gen Z is far more competitive, with 75% of them stating that they expect to be promoted in their first year on the job.
Another thing that is essential to Gen Z is activism. Hence, they care a lot about:
- Social issues,
- Gender equality,
This is why for the good portion of them, salary is not that much important, since they want to work for a cause and want to be in a good, diverse and caring company.
The facts mentioned here will be crucial when creating a winning campus recruitment strategy that we will discuss in the next section.
How to create a winning campus recruiting strategy
Research your audience
When talking about the right way to approach Gen Z, we have mentioned a few fundamental traits that they all share:
- Digital natives are very tech-savvy
- They are ambitious
- They are willing to fight for what they preach and want more than just a job.
These are all very important to keep in mind.
When doing the first phase of creating a campus recruiting strategy, make sure to really go out there and research the students and their behavior.
You can do this by going to their university or college and spending some time with them. You will need to pay close attention to what they are doing, both during their breaks and lectures, how they react to specific social issues, and how they interact with each other and their professors.
Another thing that you should also take into consideration is to actually talk to them or even do quick surveys in which you will ask them some critical questions like:
- How do you envision your ideal workspace?
- Would you rather work from home or go to a job, or have a bit of both?
- How much do you expect your first salary to be?
- Is it important to you to have a mentor first, or would you like to start working from the start?
These questions can further help you to be able to personalize your communication when reaching out to them.
Keep in mind that the answers can vary depending on the school they are attending and the type of field they are studying. It is a no-brainer that the law and IT students will probably have different preferences, and sometimes you will even ask them different questions.
Identify the target campus
Based on the job you need to fill, you will have to identify the target campus. Different schools have different specialization programs, and you have to make sure to research which one may have the ideal type of candidate you are searching for.
For example, we at Recruiteze create a recruitment automation software, Recruiteze, an ATS for staffing agencies, and iReformat, resume reformatting.
With that in mind, we will naturally seek a fantastic software developer to join our team, or maybe customer support with excellent soft skills.
It is your job to find a well-known and reputable school for its programming/IT programs and partner them with the client.
Showcase your employer brand in a right way
If you want to attract and be approved by Gen Z, you need to have a diverse workspace. This means that you have to hire people from different backgrounds, religions, and gender/sexual orientations.
Or, if you don’t have them yet on your team, you need to communicate that you are a welcoming and accepting community.
When creating your employer value proposition that you will market to Gen Z, make sure to tailor it to them. If possible, mention:
- Flexible work hours
- Space for personal and career growth
- The company devotes to critical social issues like climate change, gender equality, working with people with disabilities, etc.
- Healthcare insurance
Here you can take a peek at how to craft a good employer value proposition and here how to create a good job description.
Market your campus recruiting efforts
Recruiters need to be not only good at selling, but they also need to be good at marketing if they wish to be successful at recruiting.
Since we are talking about Gen Z, digital natives, you need to have a strong online presence before you even decide to reach out to them.
This is simply because, once you announce to them that you will visit them at their campus, or if their professors mention your company to them, the first thing they will do is to Google you.
They will quickly go through the company’s social media and website, and from that, they will decide whether they like you or not. You can be the most inclusive, diverse company with many benefits, team-building activities, and amazing workspaces.
Still, if you don’t showcase it on the Internet, it is as if you don’t even do or have any of those. Simply put, if it isn’t online, it isn’t happening in real life.
You can see a few fantastic examples of how companies have embraced the digital to attract their ideal employees in our guide on social recruiting strategies.
And sometimes, not much is needed. Many companies state that they only bring their CSR portfolio to campuses. And this is no surprise since Gen Z cares a lot about the meaning behind the job, so if you are performing sustainability recruitment, make sure to mention it too!
Make the right offer
Based on everything discussed above, it is pretty much self-explanatory that even once you have reached and piqued the interest of the ideal Gen Z candidate, you still need to make them the right offer.
A good number of them are very vocal about their rights and what they want and expect from a job, so if you don’t include it in your offer, you risk losing them. That’s why you need to pay close attention to what they are saying and asking you at the interview and tailor the offer according to that.
Don’t forget to have a quick talk with their professors or professors that have recommended them to you. Ask them about the character and personality traits of that student and how they would describe them. Good professors tend to pay attention to detail and know their students well.
This can help you a lot to craft the offer they just won’t be able to refuse.