• Recruitment

  September 21, 2016

Problems Finding Talent? Head Back to Campus

More and more companies are focusing their attention on campuses to add human capital to their organizations and to lure the younger generation to replace the retiring baby boomers. Here is how your organization can be more successful with campus hiring and attracting a new generation of leaders

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3 min read


Creating a campus presence takes more than an annual information session, fancy posters or submitting a posting on a campus job-site. Students are looking for multiple touch-points and proof that individuals with similar background have not only been recently hired by the organization but also are doing well and are happy with their choice. In the same way that hiring managers are expecting previous examples of scope and accomplishments from candidates during the interview, the candidates are expecting real-life stories when learning about the company and types of people they hire. Communicating this well is key for campus recruiting success.

Basic Strategies:

Post opportunities on-line with the campus provided job web site to make it easy for students to see that you are serious about hiring. Take your organization to a campus information/recruiting session this fall. Book early to ensure that space is available. Plan to provide students with representatives that are patient and knowledgeable enough to answer a wide variety of questions. Bring out your best reps, including alumni. Don’t expect that students have heard of your organization since many organizations are represented at these campus events. The closing dates for posted opportunities should be shortly after the campus event so that the momentum is not lost.

Be prompt with your hiring process. Candidates are easily frustrated by inconsistent communication on time lines for interviews and offers. Additionally, discouraged candidates are quick to spread the word. If the process falls behind schedule, chances are that your top candidate has already been hired by somebody else – or will simply reject your offer. If you do run into delays – keep candidates in the loop.

Advanced Strategies:

Throughout the year, connect with relevant student clubs. This will give you an opportunity to access student leaders and interact with these “most wanted” candidates multiple times. Participate in numerous club activities as a guest speaker or a panel member. Sponsor an event or retreat that helps club leaders to pass their knowledge on to future leaders.

For campus recruiting events and interviews, choose staff members from your organization who can relate to the students either by having similar interests or similar educational backgrounds. If your target is a more mature student group, such as MBAs, take senior management to represent your organization. Nothing demonstrates commitment better than a senior level executive sharing their perspective with students.

Liaise with the career centre staff such as co-op coordinators and career advisers to let them know what kind of opportunities your organization has. The best time to do this is during the summer when planning for the career related programming takes place. If campus career advisors have a clear understanding of ideal candidate requirements, career paths within your organization, and compensation levels, they can encourage the right kind of individuals to apply for your opening. If you are establishing or fine-tuning a leadership management program, by consulting career centers and getting their feedback, may help you to avoid costly mistakes. Find out what kind of activities each career centre organizes for the students. These may include mock-interviews, information sessions on different industries, and even mentorship programs where students are matched with senior level decision makers. All of these are opportunities for your company to build a presence in a simple and cost effective way.

About the Author:
The Sauder School of Business, Business Career Centre provides business community with professional recruitment services and access to a pool of qualified candidates from Canada’s leading academic business school linking organization with the students and the Alumni of the School. Marja Harmer works closely with MBA students, enabling them to reach their career related goals as well as manages career related programming for the full-time and part-time MBAs at the Business Career Centre.

Excerpt by permission from BC HRMA ©2006 All rights reserved. Website: www.hrvoice.org, and www.hrma.ca.

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