May 31, 2021

How to Recruit Great University Students

Dr Bryan Brulotte CD
Dr. Bryan Brulotte KJ CD
CEO & Chairman, MaxSys

The growth and future prospects of your business is highly dependent on the quality and skills of the employees you are able to recruit.  Whether you’re hiring for internships or full-time employment, here are just a few of the latest techniques used by forward-looking companies to recruit the best university students.

Relationship management

Relationship management is a term often used in customer service to describe how businesses build long-term relationships, turning satisfied customers into loyal customers. These techniques can also be very useful in university recruitment.

Essentially, companies need to identify talented students on campus before they graduate and stay in touch with them throughout their schooling.

For example, even if you have no specific jobs to fill, your company could do interviews with students to meet them and begin building a pool of possible candidates. Once the first contacts with promising individuals are made, your company can maintain that relationship through special sponsored events, correspondence or presence at on-campus job fairs.

Another technique used to forge strong relationships is to get involved in university education programs. For instance, your business could offer industry-specific presentations on campus. An example would be an aerospace company presenting new technology developments to engineering students. Advertising firms might offer marketing workshops on branding or advertising techniques. In this way, your company benefits from working with professors and could get a first-hand look at the best students.

Branding on campus

Image building on university campuses is another key strategy for companies today. Although multinationals often have sophisticated sponsorship programs for student activities in universities, entrepreneurs can also take advantage of building their presence in academic circles with a minimal investment.

Essentially, you want to be top of mind for students. Show your competitive advantages, whether it’s salary, work environment, job perks or room for professional growth.

Start by using tried-and-true techniques such as consistent advertising in campus newspapers. However, there are other ways to brand your company in universities. For example, you can train employees as recruiters to help sell your company in job fairs. You might also consider getting key people in your business to do public speaking on campuses. Whatever method you use, your ultimate goal is to make sure you’re visible to the students you would like to recruit.

Get creative with open houses

Opening up your company to students is one of the best ways to build visibility. Typically, businesses hold events that invite students to tour their facilities, meet key people in their company and answer questions.

To attract the most dynamic candidates, be sure you take a creative approach when you’re setting up these events. 

  • You’ll need a strong visual display to present key information. To capture the imagination of students, think about innovative ways to present your company or make a video that defies the usual tropes of a corporate video.
  • Is hand-out material a good idea? Young people are increasingly turning to the web and social media to get their information. Perhaps it would be a better idea to invest in a state-of-the-art website to attract more candidates.
  • Organize a “free-flow” event where students can come and go when they wish and discuss whatever topics interest them.
  • Make sure your staff are clearly identified and carry pads to record comments, questions and concerns.
  • Ask visitors to complete a short survey as they leave the open house so you have valuable data on your recruitment target group. This could also be an opportunity to get their contact information to follow-up with relationship management afterward.

Creating an HR plan can help you figure out what skills and aptitudes you are looking for in potential employees. That way, you will be able to identify and extend an offer to potential recruits as soon as you meet them.