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Campus Recruiting 101🎓: An Ultimate Guide for Beginners💡

What is a Campus Recruiting?

Attracting and retaining top talent has become a battle for companies. This time, the war for talent has moved to entry-level roles. As they say – “Catch them young, watch them grow.” Most firms are forced to evolve their campus recruitment practices, given this competition.

One can’t simply land up at a college in an attempt to hire talent. After all, from fast-growing startups to Global MNCs, everyone is looking to grab a piece of the pie.

There is a seasonality to campus drives and university recruitment. In most cases, firms focusing on hiring use the spring semester. On the other hand, internships are a focus during the fall semester.

So, let me walk you through the details to make campus recruiting a success;

What is Campus Recruiting?

Campus Recruiting is a hiring strategy targeting recent graduates and college students. This form of hiring is primarily used to fill entry-level and internship positions. The career development center of a college, alternately known as the placement cell, acts as the bridge between students and companies.

Companies visit multiple educational institutes to hire new employees to meet their future needs.

For example, you might have heard about Amazon hiring 55,000 people globally.

Usually, companies with higher or medium demands of the workforce take part in the campus drives. On average, companies with more than 450 employees participate in the hiring processes like this.

Why is Campus Recruiting important for companies?

Campus recruiting strategies never goes out of style. This has been the most advantageous way for companies to make mass hiring. It is also one of the oldest and safest ways to build a employee brand.

Let me take you through the advantages of campus drives,

Advantages of Campus Drives

Brand promotion

When recruiters from an organization visit institutes and universities to conduct campus drives, it comes in touch with a vast number of people. How companies have carried themselves in this recruitment drive makes an impact. Good conduct and candidate experience with students help companies build their relationships with institutes and students. 
As a result, this automatically helps create a positive brand image and spreads the good word among the students.

Build a strong and diverse pipeline

In campus drives, companies build relations with institutes and also with students. Companies that have good word in the market receive several applications for internships from students. In this way, companies provide training to the students and pre-employment experience.

Therefore, this gives companies a vast and diversely talented pool of applicants. That gives companies more options to choose from and builds a strong pipeline for the present and future.

Cost-efficient and saves a lot of effort

According to research, regularly, a new hire costs about one and a half times the salary for the position. With the responsibility, the cost of the hire grows. On-campus recruitment offers a higher recruitment rate than other ways of recruitment. As a result, it is very cost-effective as it opens companies to a big talent pool.

On the other hand, employers need to spend just a few days in the institutes to shortlist the pool of candidates and then go ahead with the further procedure. This way, companies save a lot of effort in advertising, sourcing, and screening candidates before the interviews. Therefore this saves cost and a lot of time in the process.

Updated with new skills and technical advances

It is well aware that the young generation is more fluent with the latest technological advances and skilled in them. As a result, the new generation of employees will be more skilled and efficient. Though at some level, grooming this potential talent as per the Company’s needs will eliminate high costs in search of new hires.

Therefore, this will help companies grow the right talent within the Company and promote them within. Which, in the future, avoids the organization’s retention rate.

Loyalty factor

On the other hand, this talent is directly coming out of their college life to work in their first Company. As the first employer, the young talent is more emotionally attached to the first job.

Therefore, being their first employer, they have you in high regard. As freshers are ready to take on a new challenge, their loyalty is highly regarded towards their first employer.

Drawbacks in Campus Recruiting:

Cost to make a hire

If a company is looking to recruit at the mass level, campus drives play an essential part in hiring. In another scenario, if a smaller company takes part in a campus drive, making a hire of two costs them a lot. Considering the budget of the smaller companies with the cost to make a hire among the pool of talent. Additional expenses for travel, marketing, advertising, etc., will also increase the budget.

Time to fill the position

Campus drives are the fastest method of finding the mass number of talent and are still a time-consuming procedure. First recruiters engage with candidates before they graduate based on their previous credentials and are available for a role.

However, this method is not practical for a company looking for immediate hire. After graduation, when a student joins the Company, they need training. Overall all procedures take more time.

A decline in acceptance rate

We know that the campus drive is a slow hiring process, so few candidates consider the offers a second option. Many students go for higher degrees after graduation and decline the offer. On the other hand, many fresh graduates want to work in diverse fields like freelance, vlogging etc.

As a result of the above situation, there is a decline in the acceptance rate after receiving an offer from a company.

Let me walk you through the different ways campus drives can be conducted.

Different types of Campus Recruiting

Types of Campus Recruitment

On-campus or In-person recruitment

In the on-campus recruitment process, companies visit the colleges to participate in their hiring events. Hiring managers enlist and promote the job roles they want to hire, analyzing future needs. This method of managers helps companies promote the good word about them and receive potential applicants. After this, recruiters screen the applicants according to the job skills they need or the job criteria.

Therefore, this method gets them good fresh talent and spreads the good word to students.

Pooled campus recruitment

When a company visits a city with several colleges, it chooses one college as its host for campus recruitment. Then the managers promote this pool campus drive with the nearby colleges and students and invite them to take part in the drives.

As a result of these methods, companies get access to potential candidates in pooled campus drives. Also helps employers save extra effort and costs.

Off-campus drive/ walk-in drive

Off-campus or walk-in drives are usually conducted once the Company has a good name in the market. First, hiring managers analyze and update the job roles on the Company’s career page after promoting the job posts via text, mail, or other social platforms to source the candidates.

As a result of this promotion of jobs, companies receive applications without campus involvement.

Virtual campus recruitment and hiring

Virtual campus hiring has no face-to-face contact between a candidate and a recruiter. Instead, companies organize virtual screening processes to screen the candidates in this process. A process like video interviews allows candidates to record answers directly in their own time.

Therefore, students are quickly shortlisted with the skill test and interviews using virtual hiring solutions and new tools.

Hybrid hiring processes

The hybrid way of campus hiring combines all the recruitment types above. In addition, with each passing day, new technological advances are being added to the hiring process. These methods use software solutions at some level in in-person interviews. Overall this could be as abstract as one wants to use. These days, virtual recruiting tools are a big help in all the hybrid methods of hiring an organization.

Hence, using these new recruitment methods opens up potential candidates and reduces hiring costs.

Common Pitfalls in Campus Recruiting

Campus drives are a pool of talented and fresh candidates. This talent comes with diverse skills and carries a high potential to become leaders of tomorrow. 

If not identified as suitable, companies could miss out on potential students. Below are the few common pitfalls that recruiters could lead to it, such as

Not having a campus hiring plan

Small and medium-level companies don’t participate in campus recruitment because of small staff and cost factors. Hence they do not consider having a plan or other benefits around it.

They should be present in such drives for their benefit as it helps grow the brand value and build a strong pipeline even if they are not hiring.

Limited staff and lack of branding

If companies are not hiring for a while, it does not create the right brand image in the eyes of fresh talent. And with their staff, they visit colleges, promote their job roles, and do other processes. As this team of recruiters comes to campuses in a few, it is hard for them to deal with a higher number of applications. It is hard for hiring managers to screen all candidates, affecting the whole drive thoroughly. 

Hence the process becomes slow and damages the image of the Company.

Lack of time and higher number of candidates

Obviously, in any campus hiring, thousands of applicants will be applying for the job roles. With limited staff and a limited time limit of 2 to 3 days, screening a vast pool of applicants is challenging. Moreover, the lack of proper screening costs them bad hires. They do not screen the applicants and skip campus drives a few times.

Therefore such actions and ineffectiveness from the companies will harm their brand.

Negative candidate experience

Maintaining proper communication with a vast pool of candidates is a challenging task. With limited time, staff, and traditional methods, companies can not maintain proper communication and feedback in the drives.

As campus drives are fresh and new talent-driven, the first impression significantly impacts these drives. With the new tools and methods in the market, the candidate will choose companies with new hiring methods over regular ones.

Campus Recruiting Best Practices to stand out from the Competition

Best Practices in Campus Hiring

Prepare in advance

For companies to make their campus hiring a success and stand out compared to their competitors, it is always in their favor to be prepared in advance. Planning before 2 to 3 months of the hiring will give them a fair amount of time to reach out to colleges and promote jobs properly.

Hence, they will list campus drives early and find more skilled and talented students than their peers.

Active social media presence

Considering the age of the candidates you want to hire in the campus fairs, you need to be around them. These students have access to the internet and social media in a switch. So as they hear of a new trend, their first instinct is to check it on the net and social platforms.

Thus, a professional and engaging social media presence is essential to get successful results and grow the Company’s market presence.

Pre-placement fair via virtual events

Once companies visit the campus fairs and receive more applicants, they can conduct virtual fairs or webinars. Such events will help keep students engaged and well informed about the Company. Hiring managers can conduct a Group Discussion using digital meeting platforms via these fairs.

Thus this will give recruiters the idea of talent and maintain a good candidate experience.

Video Resumes for shortlisting

There are now multiple options to screen the candidates. It is not hard to shortlist. Use of video resumes to shortlist and screen the candidate.

As a result, Video resumes help recruiters understand candidates’ personalities and enthusiasm, which is far better than traditional or other methods.

Cognitive Aptitude and Skills Tests

Skill assessment tests and aptitude tests are important ways to filter out candidates during campus hiring, as there will be many applicants. New talent is inexperienced and it is hard to filter them only on their credentials.

Therefore to avoid missing out on the right talent, aptitude and skill assessments are a better way to assess candidates and filter out the talent.

Positive onboarding post Campus Recruiting

As it is crucial for a company to find skilled and talented students; likewise, for students, it is necessary to feel safe with the company post-hiring. Companies can host onboarding events to make this fresh talent feel valued and welcomed.

As a result, such events will create a happy culture in the Company and grow their interest.

Future of Campus Recruitment

In conclusion, campus recruitment plays a crucial role in a candidate’s career and life. On the other hand, hiring managers face challenges while participating in campus drives, as mentioned above. So one must know the ins and outs of the process to make this process a success. With the help of new software solutions, big companies have made campus hiring a success.

Therefore, companies should adopt the new changes by using recruitment tools. Such tools will help you attract suitable candidates, screen them and make your campus recruitment more effective with new methods.

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