Top Takeaways from the College Recruiting Bootcamp

June 10, 2014

Recently LinkedIn hosted the College Recruiting Bootcamp at LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, CA. It was a jam-packed day, filled with discussions and many things to consider if you recruit students for your company’s internship or entry-level program(s). Here is a summary of some highlights and 3 trends I am sure will open up the discussion.

Highlights for me:

The medieval thoughts that came along as Theresa Koch with Salesforce Exact Target Marketing Cloud talked about “slingshot” and “catapult”-themed programs.  That gained my attention and it turns out to be a program to watch. And it has nothing to do with medieval weapons as I had hoped. If you are curious about what these programs are, check out the explanation here.

Bruce Soltys , manager of Verizon's University Relations & National Diversity Partner Strategies, got the audience attention. I mean, getting excited about “EVP’s?” What? Yes, Bruce made Employee Value Propositions fun. And I have been waiting for such an occasion (which gives you a glimpse into my social life).

The “live” red carpet broadcast. Some 750 virtual attendees hung on for several hours and refused to drop off the webcast. As the host, I’d like to think that was because of my comedic ability, but let’s be honest… it was the awesome guest stars like Sarah Coke from Concur, the always awesome AmyBeth Quinn, and one of the “must watch” rising stars in the world of college recruiting, Sandhya Kodippily with Applied Materials.

Here three distinct trends I picked up on during the Ted-style talks on campus and student recruitment:

1. Companies are looking for ways to extend their brand beyond the so-called list of target schools.

And good for them, because data suggests skills (e.g Python programming, creating infographics, using Excel) trump the school you went to any day of the week. Tip: Look at LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool and take a gut check on what schools your employees went to and what they studied. Are you recruiting in these schools?

2. The talented folks graduating or looking for an internship don’t necessarily care about your job advertisement.

They care about what their friends and family think. Sounds like what my lovely wife refers to as “common sense.” And guess, what she is right.  To get your brand in front of the next generation of talent, you need to keep this top of mind.

How can you do that? There are a lot of examples, and most of them start with your employees. Your employees are the key to amplifying your brand message. For example if you have 500 employees and they are connected on average to 50 people, you have a reach of 25,000 people! Considering the power of second-degree connections, the ability to get your message our to 3-5X that number is real. And you can harness this network by simply asking employees to share updates about jobs for interns and graduates. By the way, posting new grad jobs on LinkedIn is free.

3. College recruitment is not easy.

There, I said it. College recruiting is a really unique and competitive sport and it’s not for the weak of heart. And this is the biggest trend – the realization that organizations around the world must focus their energy more than ever on acquiring “fresh” graduates with the skills and capacity to drive innovation and results.

Until next time, that is how I see it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog. And follow @HireOnLinkedin to drop your comments, and questions.

Rob

* image by Beverly

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