Here's advice for recruiters looking to land their prime college candidates based on over 30 years of experience as a career services director working in the trenches with college students regarding their entry level employment decisions.
1. Provide candidates with concrete and specific information about entry level roles within your organization. Descriptions of a typical day in the life of recent hires can have the desired impact.
Including both multimedia information such as video clips from younger employees and written content which can be quickly skimmed is essential. Make sure that candidates gain a clear sense of what they will actually be doing on the job.
2. Offer candidates the occasion to interact directly with recent hires throughout the recruitment process. This can begin with online forums through your website. Bringing an alum from a target campus to information sessions and as a greeter prior to campus interviews can be helpful. Utilizing young alums at career fairs can also be effective.
Once screening interviews are completed and priority recruits are identified, consider enlisting recent hires to initiate email follow up with recruits. Provide the opportunity for candidates to meet individually with younger staff as part of your on-site/second interviews. This generation of college students places a high value on first hand feedback from peers when making decisions.
3. Consider structuring shadowing opportunities for high priority recruits who seem uncertain about your offer for employment. Spending a day with the right recent hire can help those recruits to develop the level of comfort necessary to make a commitment.
4. Convey information about mentoring programs. This generation is accustomed to being coached and will favorably view mechanisms at your firm which foster their professional development.
5. Communicate a clear picture of potential career paths and include intervals for advancement when possible. Use real examples of past progression by employees to illustrate pathways and timeframes. Include information about first promotions and the criteria for these movements.
6. Continue periodic communication with candidates even after they have accepted your offer. Provide a social media outlet like a Facebook group for pending employees to interact with other college hires during the current cycle. This will enable hires to find roommates, identify potential friends and feel more socially comfortable with relocation.
7. Ethics count with this generation. Make sure your green initiatives and other public interest programs are apparent to recruits.
8. Cultivate and communicate a cool factor related to working at your organization. Ask current employees for suggestions about current or desired perks which have a youth appeal. Be sure to take advantage of social hiring strategies.
9. Beef up or institute highly selective, paid internship programs wherever feasible. Hiring interns takes much of the mystery and uncertainty out of the process both for employers and for candidates.
10. Seek feedback from career services partners at key schools and let them know if you implement any changes based on their suggestions.