5 Fresh Student Recruiting Tactics That Will Make Your Company Stand Out

May 7, 2018

Graduation season is upon us.

It’s an exciting time. And if you’re looking to hire new grads, it’s also a competitive time. Obviously, you want to hire the young men and women with the best grades, skills, and relevant work or intern experience. But so does every other company.

That’s why it’s so important to make your company stand out. One way to do that and get the attention of college students of all ages is to shake up your college recruiting strategy. To help, we’ve put together a list of innovative ways you can get students attention on and off-campus:

1. Use fun, high-tech tools to engage students and assess their soft-skills

There are a number of new recruiting tools out there that make the interview process fun for candidates and help you woo talent at campus events. For example, Pymetrics uses quick, interactive games designed to identify candidates’ top strengths and weaknesses in terms of soft-skills, all while they are having fun and learning about themselves (who doesn’t like that?). It then benchmarks the results against the profiles of your current top performers. In addition, it can help you combat unconscious bias that may hamper your recruiting efforts thanks to the scientific evaluation it uses.

There’s also another tool, Koru, which uses its 7 “impact skills,” including grit, ownership, and curiosity to measure candidates and predict their future success. Its predictive hiring software asks candidates to complete a 20-minute assessment and comes back with a “fit score,” all without the human involvement that can introduce unintentional biases (in a similar way to Pymetrics).

Beyond improving your reach and helping you find potential employees at campuses you don’t typically target, these two innovative tools can improve candidate experiences all while helping you get a more realistic and objective snapshot of a student’s personality (as compared to a traditional interview).

2. Try Virtual reality (VR) to give students an inside look at your workplace

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) remain some of the hottest technologies in recruiting and TA, and can help you give a unique experience to students and help them picture what working at your company would be like.

For example, Intuit developed a virtual experience of its company through VR headsets to give prospective job candidates an inside look at their Mountain View headquarters and company culture. The VR element proved to be a major hit and boosted Intuit’s Net Promoter Score (how likely a person is to recommend something to their friends) at the fair all the way from -60 to +30.

General Mills also recently debuted a virtual tour of their world headquarters at the University of Minnesota. Delivered via the Oculus Rift headset, the unique VR experience not only let students envision themselves working for the consumer foods giant, but also attracted tons of attention to their career fair booth.

“The gear draws a crowd,” says Leo Timmons, General Mills’ IT Director for Application Development. “We knew it would be an automatic magnet for attention. When you’re trying to stand out in a crowded career hall, nothing draws a crowd like a crowd.”

3. Hold a contest that allows students to compete and show off their skills

Competitions can be a great way to both screen for talent and build up your brand in the eyes of students and new grads. Take what Absolut did to attract attention: The Swedish-based liquor company’s HR team looked for recent graduates to become brand ambassadors by challenging them to create a unique video application.

Rather than asking for a typical resume or cover letter, Absolut asked college students to submit a two-minute YouTube video that explains why they’re right for the brand’s unique Absolut Graduate program. Students who were accepted were placed in 18-month marketing positions around the world that could potentially turn into long-term jobs with the company.

For Absolut’s recruiting team, the video challenge not only created interest and buzz around the Absolut Graduate program and they received hundreds of applications for their ambassador positions. Parent company Pernod Ricard has hired 80% of ambassadors in similar programs to full-time roles.

4. Host informational on-campus events to add value outside of career fairs

Another way to recruit differently from the rest is by hosting events -- something that the recruiting team at LinkedIn has found to be hugely successful. For years, the team focused on its own campus recruiting efforts on traditional strategies like attending career fairs and recruiting at a few elite colleges—but that resulted in a pipeline that lacked diversity.

To attract candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, the team scrapped its traditional campus recruiting model altogether. Instead, they started moving away from career fairs and towards hosting on-campus events that provide value for students in untraditional ways, like teaching them best practices for improving their LinkedIn profiles.

In combination with the team’s other campus initiatives, like the Accelerate U program, the results of these changes were significant: they reduced their traditional on-campus presence by 73% and saw a 23% increase in underrepresented minority hires.

“This was definitely a great learning experience that provided me with so many different tools that I am beyond excited to use in the workplace,” said one student.

5. Use digital interview platforms to reach more schools and students

In order to widen your reach and make it easier for prospective interns or employees to connect with you outside of career fairs and events, you can use digital interview platforms like HireVue.

You can start by connecting with career centers at colleges where you won’t be able to go physically, then schedule on-demand video interviews that fit into students’ busy schedules.

If you use HireVue, candidates can record themselves answering a few questions at any time—and recruiters can review them at your convenience, screening tons of potential hires at once. Even cooler, HireVue’s evaluation system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the candidate’s verbal responses, body language, and more, building up a picture of their soft skills and potential job performance.

When used this way, the tool can greatly increase your reach, streamline your campus hiring processes, and even improve candidate experiences by moving things along more quickly.

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