6 Tips to Help You Recruit College Students

By Alicia Geigel on November 1, 2022

When it comes to appealing to and recruiting college students for employment, one important factor to keep in mind is their need to search for a greater, more altruistic purpose in their work rather than a monetized incentive.

With the increasing number of college students entering the job market at an alarming rate, employers and recruiters are confronted with the task of reaching college students and creating techniques to appeal to their interests and goals. It is no surprise that college students are an ever-growing, large sect of society. Post-graduation, there is definite pressure for students to have a promising job offer that satisfies both their need for fulfillment and financial goals.

Are you seeking college student/millennial workers in your company but are lost as to how to appeal to this specific group? Follow these five tips to better gauge your target audience of potential employees!

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1. Emphasize Benefits: College students and millennials desire and appreciate different elements of working than generations before them. For instance, we like to be able to have valuable input in our work, express our ideas and creativity, incorporate advancing technologies and social media into our work, have upward mobility, and have an efficient balance between work and social life. When listed, it seems like a demanding set of standards, but when considered, it is not nearly as complex or bad as it seems and in reality, it’s not too different from what everyone wants! Though these standards may seem universal, unfortunately, they are not, which means that as a recruiter, you have to include these elements in your listings/career site as a means to differentiate your company from the rest.

2. Offer Internships: Not all college students want to leap into a full-time work position right away. Most students don’t have the time or energy to dedicate themselves to a job while balancing school work and classes. What is enticing for many students, however, is the idea of an internship. Internships are a great way for students to get job experience and earn college credits at the same time. Include the prospect of an internship while you’re recruiting on campus, and include the qualifications, responsibilities, and pay (if applicable) that the position requires so students have accurate information.

3. Utilize Former Employees: College students love being social, whether it is face-to-face or on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Connections not only expose us to new ideas, cultures, lifestyles, etc. but they also can help us figure out our path in life! A helpful recruiting technique is to use former employees as a way for future college student employees to connect and get a feel of what working with your company is like. According to Recruiting.com, “It’s especially valuable to have brand ambassadors available when you are recruiting on campus. Their testimony to success will convince other great candidates like them to explore your opportunities and perhaps gain future employment.”

4. Connect with Universities in the Area: Another great way to help recruit college students is by making a connection with local universities. Colleges and universities are trusted institutions, and if students see you are affiliated with a college they either attend or are familiar with, you will have a greater student turnout!

5. Be Altruistic in Your Message: As stated earlier, college students are more interested in working toward a greater purpose, rather than a bigger paycheck. While you’re recruiting, include elements of service and detail how you prioritize helping others whether it be through specific programs, events, etc. Additionally, a blog post by Indeed notes, “Explain how your company values social corporate responsibility and how it maintains involvement in the community.” Doing so will appeal to college students and make them want to explore what else your company has to offer!

6. Take Advantage of Technology: A majority of college students rely on technology for just about everything in their lives, with an equal amount of reliance on social media as well. Social media can serve as a news outlet, a job market, or simply a way to connect with family. When recruiting, it is important to take advantage of technology and social media. In your listings, include links to social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, where students can see and explore what your company is about as well as see what others have to say about you. Set up a monthly email newsletter that students can sign up for that can relay more information about your company and its mission.

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Appealing to college students may seem difficult due to generational differences, but if you consider these five tips, not only will you be successful in recruiting but you will also gain a greater understanding of how college students think and what they want.

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