6 Ways Managers Can Score Great Back-to-School Job Candidates

By Julia Dunn on July 24, 2015

As the months of August and September loom ahead, summer comes to its inevitable end. This time of year means thousands of students return to college to begin another academic year, and it also means many will be looking for a job.

If your business is in need of a few more people this fall, here are 6 ways recruiters can target incoming students to get them a job before they return to school.

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Advertise widely

One “We’re hiring” sign in your store window isn’t going to cut it. Advertise all over town that you’re hiring, maybe even on nearby college campuses if they grant you permission. Spread the word on your social media pages and make sure students know that you exist and you’re looking for students like them to work for you. Radio advertisements won’t hurt either!

Emphasize what you’re offering

Some of the biggest concerns students have when deciding whether or not to take on a job along with being full time college students are time management and balance. Students are constantly stretched thin as activities-overload takes a toll on their well-being.

If you’re looking to hire students and you’re especially flexible with hours and scheduling, make that blatantly clear when you advertise the job vacancies you’re looking to fill. Students will be much more likely to contact you and apply for your job if they know that you understand where they’re coming from as busy students juggling many responsibilities. You will have better success hiring students this way, as they will feel understood and appreciate your willingness to work with them.

Is your work environment extra fun? Stress that too. Students want to work in a supportive, happy atmosphere as a contrast to their stressful lives.

Image Via: www.trishalyn.com

Hold a fun event for interested applicants

Much like the “Open Auditions” concept that Cold Stone Creamery and Dutch Bros Coffee use to attract applicants, hiring managers can create fun, informal events for interested students to attend for more information about available positions and to show off their skills (depending on the type of job).

While the traditional hiring process works, students might appreciate an event that is less formal, relieving the pressure firsthand of having a standard job interview right away. At these events, you can see students in a comfortable setting and sort out who you think might be great for whichever job you have available.

Check the news

Newspapers and online news sources frequently feature students for notable achievements. If your job vacancy requires a certain skill, look out for amazing students on the news and in printed publications around the community. Stories about student accomplishments are more and more prolific these days, and it’s not a bad idea to reach out to featured students and let them know you think they’re great from what you read in the paper.

The student will be flattered and honored that you took the time to contact them, and they may be just the person you’re looking for; plus, if the student has already been looking for a job during back-to-school season, they might be more inclined to take your offer since you made clear that you appreciate who they are and the work for which they’ve been recognized.

Talk to professors and advisors at local colleges

Hiring managers searching for responsible and hardworking job candidates might find luck in connecting with teachers and advisors from local schools who know of standout students in their past classes. Often, even in large classes, professors can tell which students are especially driven to learn, and which students exhibit standout thoughtfulness, integrity, and care for their work.

These are students who can likely translate their academic personality into a high-quality work personality ideal for the job vacancy you are looking to fill. Recruiters hoping to land primo employees should find out which students stand out to faculty on nearby university campuses, and send them an email or phone message indicating your interest in them. Ask them if they would be interested in a job during the next academic year. This way, you will be able to meet amazing students and possibly hire them to work for you if they are so inclined.

When meeting interested candidates, keep an open mind

Image Via: incometherapy.com

Have interested applicants begun to contact you? When meeting them, try your best to let go of any pre-existing ideal candidate images in your head and focus on learning about your candidates as non-judgmentally as possible.

Many candidates with a lot to offer get turned away after they apply simply because they don’t exactly come across as what the hiring manager had in mind.

When interviewing students, understand where they’re coming from and listen to what they have to say before making a decision about hiring them.

As a hiring manager, consider your target audience (students) when attracting job candidates.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
I am a graduate student in the Creative Writing MFA program at San Jose State University. I specialize in creative nonfiction writing and poetry, as well as composition studies.

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