7 Strategies for Recruiting Top College Students

By Christine Ascher on April 19, 2017

Finding the right student to bring into your company is a two-way street: just as students spend time building up their resumes, in order to attract the perfect candidate you’ll need to spend some time perfecting your recruiting techniques.

The amount and type of students that you attract will depend largely on how you go about recruiting, so it’s definitely an area worth devoting your energy to. Especially given the ever-increasing competitiveness on university campuses, you’ll have to stay up-to-date in order to recruit the best students.

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Post on college career websites

The first stop for most students in their search for internships and post-graduation jobs is their university’s career website. Posting your job openings here will help you draw in more candidates, as you’ll be getting more traffic from the site. In addition, it makes it easier for students to apply for a position with your company, given they probably already have a resume uploaded.

Oftentimes these websites will recommend jobs to students of certain majors, so you’ll be able to market your positions directly to the students who would best fulfill the requirements.

Use social media

Like university career websites, another likely stop for students in their job search is social media. In addition to using Facebook to explore the work environment of different companies, students also tend to utilize LinkedIn when looking for job opportunities. In addition to posting your open positions, you can also hunt for viable candidates on your own.

As many students now have LinkedIn accounts with their resumes and objectives already uploaded, it will be easy for them to apply and you can browse student profiles to find candidates that appeal to you.

Take career fairs seriously

Despite the increasing prominence of the internet in matching up students with jobs that are right for them, college career fairs still continue to draw in large crowds. Just as much as each student wants to make a good impression on you, you’ll want to make a good impression on them. Students usually bring a limited number of resumes to hand out when they visit a career fair, so you’ll need to make a good impression in order to receive them.

Make your company stand out from the crowd by putting extra effort into these visits. Engage with the students that stop by through conversation; ask them about their major, classes, and extracurricular activities, and find out what they’re looking for in a job. Avoid rushing through the line of students waiting to speak to you; the wait will be worth it for students if they walk away feeling like they’ve had their questions answered and have made a connection with your company.

Recruit students in clubs

A quick way to find future leaders in your field is to visit college clubs related to that area. Offer to speak about your company and what students can expect from a career in your field during a club meeting; you’ll probably receive some interest in applying to work for your company in return. In visiting specified clubs, you’re essentially going right to the source; you know when you visit a college’s pre-law fraternity that you’re speaking to students interested in a career in law who are probably looking to gain experience.

By reaching out to them, you’ll get the name of your company out there and make it that much easier for students to know what you’re looking for when it comes time for them to apply.

Use your recent alumni

Your newest employees are an invaluable asset when it comes to recruiting current students. They can help you market towards what students are looking for and are more relatable for the current students who are applying for positions. Provide opportunities for students to connect with recent alumni who work for your company, as this will allow students the chance to ask questions they might shy away from when speaking to an older, more experienced recruiter.

In addition, it will give students an accurate idea of the transition between college and a full-time job with your company, as well as all of the learning experiences that will come with it.

Emphasize what students will gain from working with you

The most motivated students will constantly be looking for positions that will allow them to grow; they want to learn new skills and gain real-life experience while working for you. Tell students right away what they can expect to gain from an internship within your company. If they know that an opportunity within your company will pay off with better opportunities in the future, whether within your company or by building up their resume, they’ll be much more likely to take the time to apply.

Highlight possibilities for advancement within the company

Again, students are constantly thinking of the future. They want a position that will pay off not just in the moment, but that will open doors for them in the future. If you tend to recruit for entry-level jobs from your previous interns, mention that to students so they know the options that may be available to them after a job with you.

This will offer students a greater sense of security in a job market that constantly fluctuates; if they know that doing a good job as an intern may lead to a full-time position, they’ll be more motivated to apply and, even better, to work hard as an intern in order to secure a job for the future.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
USC
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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