Featured Image Caption: Campus Recruiting
2020 has thrown us a few curveballs so far. Students have faced some of the greatest changes to their world as entire courses are being shifted online and physical campus contact is being reduced, in some cases, to nil. A global pandemic has created a new landscape to which colleges are adapting, and businesses must adapt to. This creates the opportunity for a fundamental rethink of campus recruiting, allowing organizations to shift to virtual campus recruiting and take advantage of digital tools to reach a broader pool of candidates than ever before.
With virtual campus recruiting, there’s no longer the emphasis on an all-or-nothing physical recruitment event. Rather than scheduling one event and promoting it intensively, you can promote your virtual campus recruiting events year-round and maintain a constant digital presence on the virtual campus.
An Opportunity To Expand
Sourcing candidates in a virtual world is less time and labour intensive than physical campus recruiting so you can use this as an opportunity for expanding the number of colleges you work with. Rather than organizing your teams by school, as demanded by traditional recruiting practices that work in dispersed physical space, you can shift your outreach teams to work based on skill set or hiring needs. You can expand into lower ranked colleges and niche institutions such as Hispanic and women’s schools.
With a greatly expanded pool of colleges through which to source candidates, you can begin to engage potential candidates through digital material. Sourcing candidates should be at the start of any recruitment program, both physical and virtual, but virtual campus recruiting allows for new and diverse strategies. Reach out to colleges for student lists and begin contacting them through email. LinkedIn and other professional social platforms are also a fantastic way to connect with students in a virtual era.
“Your organization can generate valuable content that keeps students engaged year-round,” says Joan Powell, a business writer at Britstudent and NextCoursework. “Whilst virtual campus recruiting entails some real-time events, you’re far less tethered to these moments compared to physical recruitment fairs.” Use quality blogging, email newsletters and SMS updates to engage candidates year-round for maximum interest in your virtual events.
Virtual Campus Recruiting Event Ideas
1. Virtual Careers Fairs
Adapting to a global pandemic doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice what you achieved through physical events. The number one opportunity to connect with candidates in traditional campus recruiting came at careers fairs and in virtual campus recruiting you can take these online to have the same reach.
Large organizations can hold their own independent online career fairs, but if you’re a smaller company you may prefer to connect with colleges and universities to take a virtual stall at their own events. A virtual career fair will consist of a homepage – the lobby – which links to the visiting companies’ resources. Use these opportunities to offer digital material about your organization and offer one-on-one video chat with interested candidates.
2. Virtual Q&As
There are so many opportunities to get information out there in the virtual world. Since Reddit popularized the AMA (ask me anything) this has become a fantastic way of crowdsourcing questions, running a real time Q&A in a forum space. Anyone in your organization can run one, from your CEO to individuals in specific roles that students may have questions about.
3. Webinars For Professional Development
Webinars are increasingly used to disseminate information online and candidates will be familiar with this structure as more college courses become digitized. Your organization can run valuable webinars throughout the year, engaging candidates by offering valuable information about the skills required for a career in your niche. Because these take place virtually, the cost of running them is low, yet engagement can be high and it can leave candidates with an itch to pursue a career with your organization.
4. Virtual Assessments
Virtual assessments allow for a dual process of providing candidates with new skills, challenging them to learn in an environment where you compare problem solving and suitability for the roles you have on offer. Through virtual assessments you can scale up your assessment programs, running virtual events for large groups of individuals.
“One way to run virtual assessments is by gamifying your processes,” says Martin Long, a content marketer at PhDKingdom and Originwritings. “Develop challenges for your candidates that are fun and engaging for your students, but also reveal the outcomes you need to assess. These assessments can reveal which students possess the fundamental skills your organization needs.”
5. Virtual Interviews
At the end of a long process of meeting, vetting and assessing candidates, it’s time for virtual interviews. These have become commonplace in our pandemic-era culture. Virtual interviews allow you to make a final choice of candidates and find the best fit for your organization.
Virtual campus recruiting offers new opportunities to connect with students. You can create profound relationships with candidates through one-on-one video chat, use virtual Q&As to create informal spaces where students can express their interest and reach a wider pool of candidates than ever before. With every crisis comes an opportunity – grab this one by the virtual horns.