Attracting the Best: 9 Effective Recruitment Strategies for Colleges

TSP • @myTSPnet


Developing a campus recruiting strategy is an ideal way to fill entry-level positions or positions requiring specialized education in your business. The job market is competitive, making it harder for companies to source the best talent. Strong recruitment strategies for colleges will give you access to the brightest potential in a new generation of talent.

Campus recruiting is the process of sourcing potential employees directly at colleges and universities. Organizations can hire students or recent graduates, often seeking students for co-op or summer jobs, internships or full-time entry-level positions. Successful strategies factor in several things when sourcing the best talent for your positions.

  • What are potential candidates looking for in a job or an employer?
  • What is the company’s pipeline talent needs?
  • What are the company’s emphasis and plans for incorporating diversity?

Generation Z will make up a majority of the workforce in just a few years, and these individuals know exactly what they want for their careers and professional development.  Understanding your workforce and the generation seeking work is a fundamental part of college recruitment strategies.

Balancing your brand’s hiring needs with the expectations of college students or graduates leads to successful recruitment. These strategies can put your business on track with quality talent.

1. Work With Ideal Schools
It’s best to identify potential candidates from colleges that are known for exceptional performance in your niche area or industry. This is one of the more beneficial recruitment strategies for colleges. You develop academic partners that understand your brand and industry.

You can get to know the programs and courses that support the business needs of your organizations and interview candidates more confidently. The familiarity between academic experience and your operations can help job candidates feel more comfortable and committed to filling your position.

2. Develop Relationships With Career Centers
Go beyond just identifying a school that excels in your area of business. Cultivate a strong relationship with the career center at the school. Stay aware of the events or job fairs scheduled for the campus, the guidelines for requesting internships or how the center can help with setting up interviews.

3. Prioritize Recruiting Events
While you may want to attend every recruiting event you have on the calendar, it’s important to prioritize your time and resources for events that are more likely to deliver qualified candidates. Trying to attend every event doesn’t allow you to spend the time and resources needed to speak to the right candidates and accurately represent your brand.

4. Create a Strong Brand Presence
You can introduce and develop a positive interest in your brand long before you start recruiting. Get a head start on your recruitment strategies for colleges by working with your company’s marketing team to strategically place your brand around campus. From sponsoring events or working with a career center for seminar opportunities, create a presence that has specific appeal to a campus audience.

If you can develop brand recognition early on in a college student’s journey, you start to build trust that you can develop over the years of education. By continuing to build awareness and a relationship with the brand, it’s easier to connect with graduates or students when recruiting. Try these ideas:

  • Showing up on move-in day to lend a hand carrying boxes
  • Set up a breakfast or snack station on the first day of classes
  • Distribute branded items like blankets or towels to the departments that fit your employment goals
  • Host a mixer for juniors or seniors

Get creative when thinking about how to put a friendly face and personal relationship behind your company’s brand. Let your competition be the ones handing out unwanted t-shirts.

5. Implement Virtual Recruiting
The current generation entering the workforce is digitally minded, so developing virtual recruitment strategies for colleges plays to the strengths and interests of your potential employees. Virtual recruiting can help with juggling the schedule of career fairs and reduce the costs of expensive booths and travel time.

Virtual recruiting gives you more time with candidates, as scheduling is more convenient for you both. You can also expand your search area, reaching a broader audience and promoting diversity and inclusion.

6. Leverage the Power of Social Media
Trends show Gen Z using social media more than millennials, with almost 90% of Gen Z using social media channels like TikTok, LinkedIn, Meta and Instagram for more than two hours a day.  Unless you incorporate social media into your recruitment strategies for colleges, you won’t get far.

Instagram is a great way to showcase the work environment, while X (formerly known as Twitter) lets you interact and connect with students. Social media gives you a way to show how approachable and personable your brand and working environment is.

7. Develop Internship and Externship Opportunities
The great thing about offering internship and externship programs is the opportunity to mentor the future leaders of the world through your brand’s perspective. By working with potential candidates in this way, you are able to share more than the technical skills of the job. You share your brand’s values and awareness about your goals and mission.

8. Create Compelling Referral Incentives
If you’re successful in recruiting some college graduates or current students, leverage their on-campus connections to point you in the direction of more qualified talent. Build an enticing program that includes referral bonuses and benefits everyone involved. By networking with referrals and getting them involved in referrals, you have a strong pipeline of potentially qualified leads.

9. Work With a Recruiting Partner
It's often in your company’s best interests to work with a recruiting agency. Not only does TSP already have the connections and resources in place to source the best talent, but we also have a team to manage and provide IT support for more effective workforce solutions.

Give your recruitment strategies for colleges a competitive boost with the help of TSP. Our team crafts custom business solutions that work to meet your objectives. Contact us today about how our technology support can work for you.

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