Here at AfterCollege, we can get a bit obsessed with university recruiting. It just so happens that a lot of our business revolves around it. So it’s only natural that when we come up with these blog posts, we generally imagine that you’ve already decided to invest in university recruiting.
But what if that’s not the case? Let’s say that you’re just at the stage of thinking about whether or not you should start a university recruiting program. Or maybe you’re pretty sure that it’s a good idea, but you need to get approval from upper management in order to secure funding for your university recruiting program.
With today’s post, we decided to take a step back and start at the beginning.
We asked some organizations that already have robust programs why they bother with university recruiting in the first place.
We’ve distilled their answers and put them together in the form of three simple questions you can ask yourself. This little quiz will help you evaluate whether it makes sense for your organization to invest in university recruiting.
1. Are you planning to hire new employees in the future?
Part of the importance (and the challenge!) of a university recruiting program is that it allows/forces you to think in the long term. Sure, you know that you need an account manager now, but which positions will you need filled next year? The year after that?
Once you know that you will have a need for certain positions and you’re able to anticipate those needs with some regularity, it makes sense to invest in university recruiting.
And just in case you need any extra encouragement to focus your efforts on colleges, consider the fact that by 2025, Generation Y will make up 75% of the workforce.
People in the university recruiting world (and we’re no exception here) love the term “talent pipeline,” which generally refers to all the amazing students who are not quite ready to be hired, but will be in the coming months or years.
You don’t have to just take our word for it, though. Shawn VanDerziel, Chief Human Resources Officer at The Field Museum, puts it this way, “A University Relations program is essential to ensure a pipeline of talent for the future. With a strategy in place, you will have the contacts and pool of candidates to fill critical needs.”
Recruiting on campuses also gives you the opportunity to get your brand out there to a much wider audience. Chris Lesser, Lead of AOL Talent Sourcing Programs, explains, “Our recruiters have the opportunity to hit a very large number of students/post-grads at once during on-campus recruiting efforts.”
Consider all the students that you could come into contact with at career fairs, info sessions, and other on-campus events. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll hire all of them (or even a large percentage of them), but if you give them a positive experience and impression of your brand, they’ll be inclined to remember that and pass that information on to their friends, classmates, siblings, etc. So university recruiting allows you to expand your reach much further than when you hire only experienced candidates.
2. Would you like your employees to stick around for a while?
One year. That’s the average length of time employees stick around at Amazon and Google, according to a Business Insider article.
Would you like to keep your employees for longer than 12 months?
If so, investing in a university recruiting program can be a great way to accomplish that.
Companies that have strong mentorship or development programs for new hires and strong policies of promoting within the company find that this combination of factors leads to a stronger sense of company loyalty and long-term employee retention.
Dan Black, Director of Americas Recruiting at EY, puts it this way: “You are ingraining culture and values early on in employees’ careers. When you’re able to have someone ‘grow up’ and be mentored, you have the opportunity to build allegiance to the firm and teams.”
Chris Lesser of AOL agrees: “University recruiting gives us the opportunity to cultivate great young talent into full-time AOL employees and grow them within our company.”
3. Is your organization looking for new ideas and up-to-the-minute expertise?
A wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast.” Sure, his name might’ve been Ferris Bueller and he might’ve been making that statement back in 1986, but it still holds true today.
Technology, laws, regulations, and just good, old progress are happening pretty quickly, and college students have the advantage of dedicating the majority of their time to learning, so everything is fresh in their minds.
Dan Black of EY elaborates, “You are getting people that are learning and knowledgeable in the very latest pronouncements, guidance, regulations, and developments in their respective fields. This cutting-edge, latest and greatest information helps to reinvigorate the company.”
So there you have it—the case for university recruiting straight from some of the experts. We hope these questions and our answers will help you determine whether or not it makes sense for your organization to pursue a university recruiting program.
The next step: If you happen to decide you would like to pursue a university recruiting program, we’ve got plenty of advice and resources to help you get started. Check out our upcoming webinars. Each quarter we cover a range of topics like branding, scholarships, and on-campus events.