Partnering With a University to Find Top Talent? 12 Tips for Success

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: For companies that are considering partnering with universities to recruit the best young talent, what’s one tip you’d offer them for how to make it a successful endeavor, and why?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs, provides these answers. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. Get Engaged

Engage as much as possible with the university. We organize different events, training programs, workshops, and internships to ensure an open path between students and our teams and the ability to connect, brainstorm and even work together in an informal environment before we take it a step further. It may be intimidating for students, so make sure you have the chance to bond ahead of time. — Mario Peshev, DevriX 


2. Reach Out to the Right Faculty

As someone with a partner who’s been in the academy for over a decade, my best tip for partnering with universities is to reach out to the faculty who are engaging students the most. What professors are holding talks, speaking at Greek meetings for initiatives, and doing the real work to get students ready for professional life? These are the people to reach out to. — Richard Fong, Senior Strong 


3. Offer Tangible Benefits

The key to making your university partnership a success is to offer tangible benefits to potential hires. I suggest offering traditional employee benefits, like health insurance and an annual bonus, as well as options for further education. For instance, we buy certification classes for our new hires so they can get up to speed on the latest industry standards. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights 


4. Offer Free Seminars

Come up with free seminars. These seminars will help you get to know more about the students and probably even start relationships with them. From there, choose who you think has the most interest in your niche, excels the most or fits the best in your company. It will only be a success if you can discern and see beyond the resume. — Daisy Jing, Banish 


5. Provide Certain Career Paths

Create career paths for students centered around their goals post-graduation, and be transparent about what you can offer. Students face uncertainty after they receive their diplomas, making it easy for scam companies to recruit them for meaningless positions. You can provide them certainty and a push in the right direction. — Duran Inci, Optimum7 


6. Create an Optimized Website

If you want to partner with universities to recruit young talent, creating an optimized website is important. It’s easier to get in touch with you and find what you need with an optimized site that tells students what you’re looking for and what you expect. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms 


7. Visit Job Fairs Throughout the Year

One way to improve your college recruiting plan is to attend several job fairs throughout the year. Many business leaders don’t look for potential hires until student graduation is around the corner. I think it’s better to visit the same college before that time so you can build rapport with young talent and get people thinking about your company. — John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC 


8. Choose a Friendly Representative

It’s important to choose a representative who’s friendly, inviting and chatty to represent your company at an event. Many college students are nervous about putting themselves out there. And so, make sure that you have a person on the ground who’s comfortable with calling people up and sharing information. With the right “face” for your business, you stand to get better responses. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner 


9. Partner with Universities That Fit Your Niche

Hiring young talent can be a great way for creating a more versatile and active workplace. If you want to partner with universities to hire young talent, you should start shortlisting universities with courses in your niche. Once you do that, reach out to these universities and tell them about your interest. They will definitely get back to you because they too want to establish their students. — Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster 


10. Pitch the Whole Experience

Young talent know their worth today, so pitch the whole experience. While a paycheck is important, they also care about their workplace, work culture, diversity and inclusion, and work-life balance. Talk about your awards or global rankings in the industry, but also describe how you are building an equitable workplace. From appraisals to mental health days, make it all a part of your pitch. — Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day 


11. Really Get to Know the Students

Campus recruiters should be well prepared to get to know the student beyond their grades and prepared answers. Not every college kid knows what they want to do or what the job entails. But this doesn’t mean they won’t be a good fit for your company. I would avoid asking generic interview questions and instead find out what they have to say about what they want to do, learn and achieve in the long run. — Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO 


12. Leverage Campus Career Centers

If you want to recruit the best young talent from universities, you should consider partnering with campus career centers. Since they focus on assisting college students in finding internships and jobs based on their skills and qualifications, they can help you get directions on how to make the process more effective. — Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite 



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