Why companies can't avoid university recruitment

In a recent research study conducted by Robert Half, almost one-quarter of CFOs claimed that their companies are doing more entry-level recruiting from colleges and universities than they were doing five years ago. Another article along similar lines from HBR states that 84% of employers understand and accept the importance of college hiring.

With these statistics, it is clear that the job market is more dependent on the young talent than ever before, and the war about hiring the best talent in the VUCA era has already started. The question is this: “Will you enter the war or will you sit back and be a regular passive player?”

Make a decision after considering the following:

Strengthen your employer branding - engaging opportunities

Talent is everywhere, but it is your job to find and attract them. Campus recruitment helps you to engage with this emerging talent. Being present at the university provides you with the opportunity to tell students about the benefits that your company offers. You can focus on development, organizational culture, and work-life balance opportunities. These are the three things that interest Millennials and Generation Z the most. They are more interested in identifying with your mission than receiving a t-shirt during your presentation at the university or during their on boarding day at the company.

In addition, the Harvard Business Review supports that 72% of millennials hear about companies from their friends, 68% via the job board, and 45% on campus. With such a high percentage interested in campus presentations and job fairs, this is your chance to use the 45% and reach out to the 72%. You have the opportunity to make a great impression on the attendees and make them talk about you to their peers. You can increase your awareness by having a clear and regular program regarding your presence at universities.

Finally, by letting your employees who also may be part of the alumni group of a specific school (if there is any) to talk about you, you can strengthen your employer branding and engage even more with this emerging talent. Your interns, or young alums, can highlight the tasks they have performed and the responsibilities they have been given. Showing by example is the best way to attract someone to your company. This is how you create a strong talent pipeline and how you strengthen employer branding.

Improve the retention rate

It is well-known that employees tend to feel more loyal to the first employer. If they feel welcome and appreciated, they will also feel a sense of responsibility and ownership. According to a Workopolis article, TD Business Banking enjoyed a 98.6% retention rate for the 600 MBA students it recruited in Canadian campuses between 2009 and 2013. Of course, other factors such as company culture, career opportunities, and job security play a great role, but being objective about the current situation in the VUCA era, we all know that people hate change. We hate putting effort every five minutes on trying to feel comfortable working with different groups of people.

So, it is up to you as an employer to convince your employees that you are worth working for. Give them a clear overview of what they will be expected to do when joining the company, a clear overview of what kind of opportunities they will have within the company, and an even clearer image of the key relationships they will be required to build.

Hiring people right after their graduation is your opportunity to welcome onboard people who will easily be committed, engaged, and dedicated to you. It is a very critical moment for them. It is the time they need to be convinced that you are the perfect place where they can start applying their knowledge and skills and build their career step by step. In turn, for you, this may mean lesser financial investment every now and then to replace people who easily would give up and leave you!

Millennials have the best retention rate for all generations. They tend to be more loyal than any other generation to their employer. Take action and make them join you, and they will be fully dedicated to your company’s success!

Bring new knowledge and skills 

College people are a huge source of fresh knowledge. They can bring new perspectives and different ways to deal with issues that a company may be facing today. They are better at thinking out of the box. Not being experienced with the processes your company uses, they sometimes can be naive (read novel) in their thoughts, and their suggestions could be the next big idea which could boost your company’s success.

They more recently than anyone else, made themselves familiar with the latest trends and theories about the industry of their interest. They are currently studying and researching business models and new technologies that potentially will shape their respective industries. Be smart and take advantage of this opportunity! Be smart and do not sit and watch while others “steal” them from you!

From a different perspective, like it or not, a big portion of the current workforce around the world started their careers before technology took over the world of business, and consequently, their ability to follow and perform computer processes and applications is limited. By growing up in a generation which is more dependent than ever on computer technology, senior colleges and grad students are expected to be more familiar to computer process and applications; and if they are not, they are likely to learn faster than someone from older generations. This brings me to the next point...

Quick learners who are adaptable are easier to manage

Despite the fact that new grads could bring new knowledge and skills to the company, students and recent grads can often observe, understand, and perform new instructions and training easier and faster than an older workforce. Being able to adapt easily and multitask, they very often have a great solution for a range of business tasks. Senior college students are very eager to learn and regularly looking for ways to impress their superiors; therefore, they take on many tasks within the company. Millennials and Generation Z are also usually more willing to help their co-workers when necessary.

Moreover, this group of people is just about to start their career. They are willing to listen to your instructions, and not argue with you about them. They trust you as someone more experienced and they see you as a mentor or a role-model for their professional career. They strive to learn as much as possible during their career’s first steps, so they put themselves in a position to not show any disruptive behavior. They can be easier to manage than someone who has had many years of work experience.

Save on yearly employee salaries

Engaging opportunities, improving the retention rate, bringing new knowledge and skills, and being easily adaptable and manageable are some of the advantages of having a well-established campus strategy. All these together are a great asset that employers could benefit from but be convinced that nothing ends here. You can have all these benefits, and you can save on your yearly employee salaries at the same time.

A student or a recent grad is always willing to “sacrifice” salary to get an opportunity where he/she will be able to learn, apply his/her knowledge and skills, and grow in terms of experience, professional network, and status. It is a win-win situation!

To conclude, by hiring someone without much relevant experience, but with fresh ideas, new knowledge, and eagerness to learn and succeed, you are adding a great asset and you do not have to pay for this great asset the same amount that you would pay for someone with many years of relevant experience. In addition to that, along with saving much in terms of yearly employee salaries, you provide the business with the opportunity to “take advantage” of the new ideas and new approaches that this hire would potentially bring to the table.

How to boost efficiency of your university recruitment strategy

If you are searching online for tips to improve your campus recruitment strategy, you will end up with hundreds of articles mostly focusing on one factor: “how serious are you about your relationship with these universities” (see UndercoverRecruiter, SHRM, HBR, Workopolis, and Glassdoor). Despite the fact that dedication is a key factor to succeed in everything we do in our lives, I like to consider this factor as only the first step on our way to success.

The only constant in our era is change and, technology is shaping the future. Therefore, to succeed we should align our actions with the new needs and opportunities that are evolving. One of them is the opportunity to take advantage of computing tech and make use of Talent Assessment Software (TAS) while recruiting. A TAS does all of the prescreening work for you and ensures that at the end you have the best candidates to consider for the open positions. It tests candidates’ knowledge and skills and makes a recruiter’s life easier by increasing the after-hiring success rate for their candidates.

One way companies could make great use of it is by collaborating with colleges and universities on developing relevant degree programs to address the critical skill gap. After ensuring a bigger pool of candidates with the relevant skills, the next step is a collaboration with TAS companies which will ensure that you only have to select from the best applicants. A good example for this is the different hackathons that companies like HackerEarth organize to help companies meet their recruitment goals with the best talent.

Based on statistics, students consider their school’s career services as helpful, but they would like them to focus on more services on finding a job or to network with professionals. This is your opportunity to be innovative and different from other campus recruitment strategies. This is your opportunity to take advantages of platforms such as HackerEarth, and in collaboration with your best partner universities offer training opportunities for students by challenging them with different projects (i.e. coding, developers, etc.).

For more information on how to improve your campus strategy, take a look at our CEO’s article: “5 strategies for better campus recruitment”.

Considering all these advantages that campus recruitment may offer to your company, now it is time for you to think and make the decision. Would you like to join the talent war by establishing a great campus recruitment strategy or would you prefer to sit back and be a passive player who hopes that somehow will find a candidate or the candidate will find you?

If you decide to join, then congratulations because it means you care about your company’s success, but if you decide to be a passive player, it is time for you to accept the leftovers. It is up to you, so be smart!


PS: For more such insights on tech recruitment, we invite you to join our LinkedIn group -"Yours Truly HR"  

 

About the Author

Nikola Tore
Travel Addict • Tech Lover | Talent Acquisition • HRM • CX • LinkedIn • Freelancer | HR Content Writer
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