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Campus recruitment. Day 1. Slot 2.
Frenzied. Chaotic. Tight deadlines.
- 10 AM: Pre-placement talk
- 11 AM: Written test. 230 candidates
- 2 PM: Shortlisted candidates (face-to-face interviews). 30 candidates
- 3 PM: 5 face-to-face interview panels. Interviews begin
- 9 PM: 10 panel members. 60 rounds of interviews
- 10 PM: Job offers rolled out. 5 candidates
Welcome to the world of traditional campus hiring!
Campus hiring is the most effective way to hire fresh graduates. Each year, about 800 organizations hire more than 100,000 graduates from 3500+ colleges in India. While the primary goal of campus hiring is to bring in fresh talent, it also helps to build a brand name among the top colleges in the country.
Despite being one of the most common recruitment practices, in actuality, the campus hiring process is ad hoc and often mismanaged. Traditional campus hiring involves many variables such as a large number of candidates to filter from, stiff competition between companies hiring simultaneously, and so on. There are many things that can go wrong.
Here are five strategies that can help you make the most of your campus-hiring drive.
Spice up the job description
A well-written job description can set the right expectations and help you connect better with the candidates. During campus-hiring drives, candidates have to choose between multiple opportunities from various companies. This is true especially during the first few days of the campus hiring season. Interesting and crisp-yet-informative job descriptions can tip the scales in your favor.
Be innovative with your pre-placement talk
The pre-placement talk is crucial in attracting the right talent. It is what sets the initial impression of your company. While geographical expansion, growth/outreach-related numbers, and stats are impressive, it is how a person can contribute or make an impact is what is interesting. Your pre-placement talk should cover the following points:
- How they will fit in as fresh college graduates
- How they can make an impact
- Work culture
- Hierarchy followed within the organization
- Types of projects
- Interesting market and technology trends
Filter candidates using assessments
Filtering the right candidates for interviews is absolutely critical for the success of a campus-hiring drive. It is a fact that most college graduates have only
- Basic résumé-writing skills
- Little or no prior work experience
Therefore, only résumé filtering alone cannot help you assess candidates. Due to the sheer volume, it is likely that you may miss out on relevant candidates. Preliminary written tests are a more reliable way to assess candidates. The objective of these tests is to filter out those candidates who don’t have that critical core skill that you require. It is tempting to cover multiple topics, such as technical aptitude, logical reasoning, verbal ability, psychometric quotient, and so on. However, what works best are short and focused tests.
Identify that one critical skill that’s most important for your hiring needs and conduct a quick, relevant 45- to 60-minute test. Core skills could include programming proficiency, logical reasoning, communication skills, etc.
Minimize repetitive manual tasks
"How?" you ask—use an automated solution! Time is of the essence during campus drives. Take too long to make a decision and you may lose your candidate to a competing company.
Conducting pen and paper tests require massive amounts of manual work such as creating questions, getting question papers ready and printed, coordination, conducting the test itself, evaluation and so on. During manual evaluation, there is a significant possibility of an increase in evaluation-related errors.
Alternately, an online recruitment solution that lets you automatically conduct online tests to evaluate different skill sets and view candidate performance.
The final decision is made via personal interviews. Taking back-to-back interviews can be tiring and this could result in errors. Following are a few ways in which you can minimize interviews:
- Conduct at least 2 interviews for each candidate. One messed up interview should not be the basis of rejection.
- Do not judge technical aptitude only through programming puzzles/questions. A lot of candidates have active Github profiles and open source contributions which can serve as a relevant metric.
- Have a large question bank for the interviews to minimize the repetition of questions during interviews. Candidates discuss their interview experiences with each other.
- Manage interview slots to ensure that candidates don’t have to wait long hours. Waiting can be tiring and demotivating, which in turn can affect performance.