At colleges across the country, students are learning the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the start of their careers. Rather than waiting for them to graduate and look for opportunities, employers have much to gain by reaching out to students before they graduate. Whether looking to recruit interns who can be groomed to take on full-time positions, or hoping to identify the talent needed later on, college campuses are the key to finding the next generation of talent.
Campus recruiting enables organizations to source the best and brightest candidates before they even enter the workforce. However, efforts to source college students can easily fall short and fail to deliver the anticipated value. For instance, instead of spending time with students who show the most promise and interest in working for the organization, recruiters are often met with individuals of varying qualifications, who are looking for just any job. However, screening candidates in advance of a campus job fair makes it easy to connect with those who are most likely to be a good fit. Fortunately, new technology advancements make it easier than ever to connect with top talent and get maximum value from when tapping into college campuses to find talent.
“Meet” Candidates Before Meeting Them
To ensure more time is spent meeting with the best candidates, instead of each and everyone one showing interest in the company, recruiters can screen the candidates before the campus career fair. One of the ways this can be done is through digital interviewing. By simply providing a link inviting interested candidates to take the digital interview which can be shared over social media, you can ensure maximum exposure of your company prior to the event. Candidates can then answer the interview questions through their webcams and mobile devices, and recruiters can view the interviews and select the most promising candidates to meet in person.
The value of these pre-screening interviews extends beyond just saving time. It also allows for a more consistent interview process, as all candidates will respond to the same questions. When candidates are asked the same questions, it is easier to compare responses and judge candidates on their competencies rather than their specific experience. This ensures that the best students will be selected for the next steps, instead of those who have an impressive-looking resume or those who compensate for less-than-stellar qualifications with a charming personality.
By conducting pre-fair digital interviews, you can focus your recruiting efforts on the students who best match the needs of the company. With more time to spend on speaking with top talent, you can have more in-depth discussions with students about what they can bring to the organization, as you will already have learned basic information about them from the screening.
Gaining a Competitive Advantage
In addition to the benefits of pre-screening candidates to ensure a high level of talent, doing so also gives significant competitive advantage. By offering digital interviews, the organization can engage talent and connect with them prior to the career fair. This helps the company to set itself apart from the other organizations at the fair, showing that it embraces new technology and the power of social media and mobile devices. Thus, college students are likely to be more attracted to your forward-thinking company and view it as a desirable place to work.
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In addition to attracting talent before the competition does, companies that conduct pre-screening activities before an onsite career fair also improve their cost of hire and speed of hire. By providing digital interviews prior to the event, the career fair will be the second interaction the company has with top students, ensuring that candidates are brought to the next step of the hiring process much faster than if the career fair served as the initial interaction. And as economic uncertainty has caused many organizations to abandon their college recruiting efforts, tapping into this source of talent allows organizations to find the best candidates before their competitors do.
Doing Less with More
While the combination of pre-screening and onsite campus job fairs is highly effective, not all companies have the budget to attend such events. But that is no reason to give up on college student sourcing. For those organizations who have to do more with less and are unable to attend career fairs, a virtual career fair is very useful in finding talent. As students conduct more activities online and on their mobile devices, such events can draw almost as many people as a live career fair.
As college students have grown up with technology and have come to expect instant gratification through online interactions, a virtual career fair is a great way to connect with the newest entrants to the workforce. Doing so gives recruiters the chance to interact with students and deliver robust presentations of the company and its work culture. When combined with other online interactions, such as company information sessions, social media contests or a YouTube series showing what it is like to work there, the organization can more effectively attract college students, whether they are onsite at a career fair or not.
Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to connect with top talent across college campuses. But instead of just throwing a message out there and hoping it resonates, organizations need to develop a clear strategy for engaging students. By utilizing a mix of social, mobile and onsite recruiting techniques, the organization can attract the next generation of talent where they are most comfortable – online and on their mobile devices.