Of course, college recruiting is used to describe how college coaches get players to their team each off-season. However, in the recruitment industry, college recruiting refers to the process of hiring talent just graduating from colleges and universities. The function of hiring talent from colleges is considered quite a separate function within large talent acquisition and HR departments; college recruiting is often a segmented function and specific discipline.
Recruiters specializing in college recruiting must have both a very strong understanding of student talent and how to interpret “non-experienced” applicants, but also a deep knowledge and their own company and culture. College recruiting usually involves the recruiter visiting the college and discussing their company with a large number of students and prospective employees. The recruiter must assess the students accurately, but also “sell” the vision of their company and the benefits that they offer. College recruiting is many times a fierce war for top talent, with high performers at top schools receiving multiple competing job offers. The college recruiter must be a specialist in “courting” top prospective employees as well as assessing a high volume of other applicants.
College recruiting many times represents a very important aspect of a company’s overall long term talent pipeline. Recent college graduates generally form a decent percentage of a company’s new hires, but these hires form an important function of “filling” the future management functions of an organization. As a talent strategy, college recruiting is often used as a testing ground to find new employees, assess them, and quickly gauge and judge their future potential. Future high-performers are located quickly and hopefully retained through to management.
While some companies focus almost exclusively on college recruiting, others decide against it. New college graduates have very little experience, and the initial turnover among these employees is very high. It is now assumed that employees do not “join a firm for life” and that they will quickly move on if their growth is limited or if they receive a better offer. It is usually the firms that can hire on a large scale and live with (perhaps counting on) the high turnover rates that rely on college recruiting as a primary method of talent sourcing.