If you missed part one of this post, check it out here. The post focused on some of the wasteful tactics that a lot of campus teams employ, and offers an alternative for your talent attraction budget.
For part two, the focus will be on two common strategies which should be reevaluated ahead of visiting campuses and a summary of what graduating seniors are actually looking for from your campus recruiting team. First, those two harmful strategies:
Hiring Managers Who Are Great But Have No Coordination With HR
Here’s the situation. You head to an event on-campus after class for a company and you're interested in a data analytics role. The event is two parts. The first is a quick presentation from the talent acquisition team that highlights company culture, perks and different roles. The second part is a Q&A with the hiring managers that is followed by a mixer.
After the presentation and Q&A, you’re feeling pretty great about this company—the data analytics role sounds like the perfect application of your skills and the company seems to really care about its employees. You hit it off with one of the hiring managers and end up having a lot in common. She hands you her business card and says “just shoot me a quick email and we can make sure you get an interview set up.”
This is going perfectly, right? You dash home and send an email over to that awesome hiring manager, and then…
A few days later, a follow up note just in case…
Maybe you get a follow-up from this awesome hiring manager a few days later, but it says that they haven’t had the chance to coordinate with the recruiting team.
Unfortunately, this happens way too often in campus recruiting. It could be fixed very easily with better coordination between HR and hiring managers. This means designing clear roles for on-campus events and creating a standard feedback system to recommend great candidates.
Search Queries for Cookie-Cutter Résumés
Research suggests 85% of candidates doubt a real human actually reviewed their résumé. A lot of college students I speak with are convinced of a grand conspiracy theory where a robot is sitting in a room filtering through résumés looking for cookie-cutter candidates.
In reality, it’s most likely a search query from recruiters. The problem here is that these types of queries reward those who are good at keyword stuffing, and eliminate any outside-the-box candidates.
In a diverse place like a college campus, there are hundreds of leadership opportunities. By keyword hunting, you may miss out on candidates who managed a large budget for student government, or who doubled the donation goal from the previous year for their student organization. The skills you seek are not always found in buzzwords.
So, What Do We Want From Campus Recruiting?
Millennials want the chance to present the best version of themselves, to hear back, and know where they stand. They also want to feel a connection to the company. But most budgets are spent on talent attraction and not on follow-up with qualified candidates.
The main frustration millennials have with campus recruiting programs is that they receive no feedback after their interview, or they don’t hear back about their application in a reasonable timeframe. My friends and I all joke about the automated messages we have received months after accepting different offers.
Yes, swanky dinners and free stuff are nice, but they're not as important as a fair shot in an interview and timely feedback. Instead of dropping thousands of dollars on tacky t-shirts, spend that money on ways to interview good candidates quickly. Conduct a strategy meeting between hiring managers and campus recruiters ahead of campus season to create a punctual process where those meaningful conversations with candidates turn into interviews and offers.
And again, please, please, please, please no more colored wayfarers.