A lot has changed in the job market in the past few years - including the prospects of new graduates. So when it comes to reaching new talent, why is campus recruitment so important?
Why Campus Recruitment is Important for Employers
Being proactive to reach top entry-level talent is arguably more important than ever for employers. With a over a year of historically low unemployment rates, an extremely tight talent pool, and the after-effects of the "Great Resignation" more and more organizations are finding campus recruiting (and even career advocacy programs to reach students early in their career decision making journey) has become an indispensable recruiting strategy.
Campus Recruiting is Also Valuable to Students
But let's not forget that campus recruitment is also important for the audience you're trying to reach - students. Students value when organizations help them get advice on their resumes, being able to practice interviewing, learning about organizations from the people who work there, and even getting advice on what specific areas to focus on as they enter the career world. Invaluable advice they can get from campus recruiters. Organizations that invest in equipping students to navigate emerging from the educational environment into the professional world will build lasting relationships that pay dividends over time.
So, we know that campus recruitment is critical for both employers and students. Now the question is - what's the best way for campus recruiters to reach this talent? Let's start by putting ourselves in their sneakers.
Understanding What Students Want
In today's job market, students know they have a lot of options once they graduate. They are also extremely savvy digital natives, who expect an easy to navigate experience - the same way they expect from their favorite brands.
They're looking for:
- Digital options
- A convenient process
- An organization that aligns with their values
How to Reach Students with Campus Recruiting Events
So, how can a modern campus recruiting team reach students and provide the type of experience that will convince them to join the team?
One secret that many campus recruiting teams have found is that virtual career fairs and hiring events give them the opportunity to reach more campus talent - while also providing everything students want from the hiring process.
So let's start with the students you're trying to reach. You want them to feel that their needs and preferences are not just acknowledged, but understood and served. To attract the most (and best) talent, anyone who hosts a virtual career fair for students should understand what students want to get out of a career fair so you can design your events to maximize the candidate experience.
What do Students want from a Virtual Career Fair?
Conversations with Campus Recruiters
Job seekers are attracted to virtual career fairs because they offer a direct connection with a recruiter at a company that is actively hiring, and job seekers have a higher probability of getting into a conversation with a recruiter during a virtual recruiting event than through other application methods. Historically, job seekers have often complained about submitting online applications and never hearing a response. This is a pain point that virtual career fairs solve by design. Virtual career fairs virtually guarantee connections with potential employers who are actively seeking student talent.
An Easy & Convenient Format
Student job seekers, like most of the rest of the human race, prefer to take the path of least resistance, especially if they’re already juggling classes, work, internships, and possibly even a family. Virtual career fairs hosted on easy to use platforms take the guesswork out of the process. When a virtual career fair platform is so well designed that job seekers need little or no training before joining an event, they’re more likely to be satisfied with the experience and stay engaged in the recruiting process. Location independence is also key for students with busy lives, so mobile accessibility is a must, so they can log in wherever they happen to be. Because they require much less preparation than in-person job fairs, virtual career fairs can also be more flexible in their timing, and employers and universities can even host events multiple times a day or spanning multiple days of the week, which creates more opportunities for busy students to attend.
Career Opportunities & Connection
Students who participate in a campus recruitment event may not just be looking for their next “job.” These job seekers are particularly career-minded, and they want to get the most out of their efforts. Virtual career fairs can lead to internships and positions that could springboard an entire career, and students understand this opportunity. What’s more, virtual career fairs may open up opportunities that students can’t access any other way, particularly when it comes to connecting with big national brands. Having a chance to connect with a recruiter at a familiar national brand is an attractive element for student job seekers considering which recruiting events to invest their time in.
Today's students are also looking for a connection in values, culture, and mission. Virtual campus recruiting events are a great way to showcase your employer brand and bring it to life - whether by hosting conversations with company executives, offering AMA sessions to help students envisioning a day in the life at your organization, or showcasing the diversity of your team by connecting them to ERGs.
Campus Recruiting & Virtual Recruiting Events Go Hand in Hand
As student job seekers become even more savvy with technology, and specifically online communication, virtual career fairs will continue to garner their attention. Understanding what attracts students to virtual career fairs in concept will help you design specific virtual recruiting events that speak directly to those needs and preferences, and students will pay attention. Designing a candidate experience that highlights the priorities of your target talent is one of the best ways to boost your results, in terms of candidate satisfaction as well as quality of talent, quantity of participants, and number of hires.
Are you using virtual hiring events for campus recruiting? If you're interested in learning more, check out our webinar with Deloitte on campus recruiting in a virtual world.
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