10 Tips for Surviving Campus Recruiting Season
The school year has started, and college students everywhere are settling into their dorms and hitting the books.
With each new school year comes a new university recruiting season, filled with opportunities to find and hire the next generation of top talent. Ready to nail your next university career fair? Follow these 10 tips:
1 .Work With Relevant Clubs to Promote Your Presence
Being involved with student organizations on a company-wide level is a good way to get your name in front of prospective candidates before they even see you in the sea of career fair booths. Campus clubs and societies are a starting point for many students as they explore their interests, and partnering with the right clubs can give you direct access to a pipeline of fresh talent.
2. Decide Whether or Not to Accept Resumes on the Spot
Accepting resumes at a university recruiting fair can be a daunting task, especially if recruiters get inundated with a swarm of eager candidates. If you do plan to accept resumes on the spot, have a system in place for securely tracking and managing the documents. If you’re not accepting resumes, consider a mobile app students can use to register their contact information with you. There are also document-scanning apps that allow you to take pictures of resumes and digitize them right on your phone or tablet, which may come in handy.
3. Brand Yourself
During a university career event, you want to show everyone who you are as a company. This is your time to shine and get the message across that you’re a great place to work. Make sure the representatives you send to the fair have a great sense of what your organization is about and where it is headed in the future.
4. Go to the Right Events
It doesn’t make sense for a company in need of engineers to attend a career event aimed at med students. Do your research ahead of time, and be sure any events you attend will have students whose fields of study align with your organization’s mission and needs.
5. Give Students Something to Learn
The whole point of going to a career fair for a student is to gain something from it. You can’t promise your booth visitors a position at your company, but you can leave them feeling like they learned something. One good way to do this is to practice interview questions with students, giving them feedback on how to improve their answers. Students will be thankful for your help — and they’ll remember your investment in their success when it comes time for them to apply for jobs.
6. Entice Students to Your Booth With Giveaways
Swag on swag on swag! University students love free stuff. While giveaways might not bring the most qualified candidates right away, they do get your name out there.
7. Prepare Questions to Prequalify Applicants
You probably won’t be able to spend a ton of time with each student who stops by, so ensure you’re making a real impact with every conversation by preparing questions ahead of time. These questions should give you an idea of whether a student is qualified enough to move on to more in-depth interviewing steps. If the candidate is qualified, grab their resume and let them know you’ll be contacting them soon.
8. Don’t Sit
Get up, walk around, and make connections with people. Stand in front of your booth and actively invite people to come chat with you. A lot of students won’t want to make the first move, so it’s up to you to let them know what you’re all about.
9. Track Candidate Quality
Students from one university might outperform students from another. Keep track of where you find the best candidates so you know to head back next year. It does your organization no good to attend events where the candidates seem lackluster at best.
10. Follow Up ASAP
If you find someone you like, chase them down! Don’t wait too long before following up with candidates after the event. Chances are other companies that attended will also be after them. Make sure you’re first out the gate.
University recruitment events can be stressful with so many moving parts and candidates galore. Follow these tips and you’ll be the most prepared booth at the fair!
A version of this article originally appeared on the Oleeo blog.
Jeanette Maister is managing director of the Americas for Oleeo.