College students graduating in 2017 can expect to see employers adding 5.8 percent more new hires compared to last year for U.S. operations. For positions outside the U.S., the projection is a bit higher, at 7.2 percent for 2017 graduates. This information comes from the National Association of Colleges and Employers “Job Outlook 2017” survey.
Employers that regularly hire student talent coming out of today’s colleges and universities understand that keeping a full applicant funnel requires a mix of on-campus advertising and branding, coupled with strong relationships on campus forged by recruiters. If you work for a company that needs to do a better job at building campus recruitment relationships, you should start networking in these five key areas:
- Deans - Academic deans and career professionals can collaborate to improve student career mentoring with top employers all over the world. Deans are also in a position to design flexible and complementary majors that better prepare and educate students on the jobs for which today’s top employers need to source talent. Try to personally connect with deans at your top feeder schools to initiate changes and development for long-term company recruiting strategies.
- Career Services - This department serves as the central resource for all things recruiting on a college campus. They manage career events, job posting resources, scheduling of information sessions, and other employer brand promotions and sponsorships. Career services is also a great resource for identifying who else to talk to, what works on that campus to reach students, and the best times of the year to engage their students.
- Professors - College professors are receptive to genuine speaking opportunities from employers that will enrich their students and provide first-hand information on working in the real world. These professors are your gatekeepers to college recruiting in the classroom and will be protective if they feel a sales pitch coming, so make sure your content is beneficial to the student and agnostic to your industry. These professors may also help you identify the top students in class and help make introductions when appropriate.
- Student groups - You can assume that there is a student club, group, or organization for just about everything on campus. Whether you are looking to improve your diversity outreach, zero in on specific majors like engineering, or connect with students involved with intramural sports, these campus groups and clubs are a vital connection point to the student circles you need to reach. A campus may also require you to be sponsored by one of these groups for any on-campus recruiting events. Connect with them by being useful and accessible. Order pizzas, help fund their activities, and offer casual coaching and mentoring, and you will be rewarded for it.
- Department outreach - Explore the departments on each from which campus you recruit students to see which might be a fit for your various hiring initiatives. Looking to recruit experienced workers? Consider connecting with the alumni association. Is veteran recruiting important to your organization? You might want to work with campus veteran centers or ROTC programs. Employers looking to showcase an inclusive work environment might do well by connecting with a department that services the LGBTQ student campus community.