On-campus Recruiting

College recruiting – sending an employer’s representatives to college campuses to prescreen applicant and create an applicant pool from the graduating class is an important source of management trainees, promotable candidates and professional and technical employees. One study several years ago concluded, for instance new college grads filled about 38% of all externally filled jobs requiring a college degree.

The problem is that on-campus recruiting is expensive and time consuming if done right. Schedules must be set well in advance, company brochures printed, records of interviews kept and much time spent on campus. And recruiters themselves are sometimes ineffective or worse. Some recruiters are unprepared, show little interest in the candidate and act superior. Many don’t screen candidates effectively. Such experiences underscore the need to train recruiters in how to interview candidates how to explain what the company has to offer and how to put candidates the ease.

On-campus Recruiting Goals: The campus recruiter has two main goals. One is to determine if a candidate is worthy of further consideration. Exactly which traits to look for will depend on company’s specific needs. Usual traits to assets include communication skills, education, experience and inter-personal skills.

The other aim is to attract good candidates. A sincere and informal attitude, respect for the applicant as an individual and prompt follow up letters can help sell the employer to the interviewee.

Employers have to choose recruiters and schools carefully. For recruiters, employers naturally seek employees who can do (and preferably who have done) the best job of identifying and attracting top applicants. Factors in selecting schools include the management school’s reputation and the performance of pervious hires from that source.

Building close ties with a college’s career center can help employers achieve these goals. Doing so provides recruiters with useful feedback regarding things like labor market conditions and the effectiveness of one’s on and off line recruiting ads. Shell reduced the list of schools its recruiters visit using factors such as quality of academic program number of students enrolled, and diversity o the student body.

On site Visits: Employer generally invite good candidates to the office or plant for an on site visit.

There are several ways to make this visit fruitful. The invitation letter should be warm and friendly but business like and should give the person a choice of dates to visit the company. Someone should be assigned to meet the applicant preferably at the airport or at his or her hotel, and to act s host. A package containing the applicant’s schedule as well as other information regarding the company such as annual reports and employee benefits should be waiting for the applicants at the hotel.

Plan the interviewers carefully and adhere to the schedule. Avoid interruptions; give the candidate the undivided attention of each person with whom he or she interviews. Luncheon should be hosted by one or more other recently hired graduates with whom the applicant may feel; more at ease. Make an offer, if any as soon as possible, preferably at the time of the visit. If this is not possible, tell the candidate when o expect a decision. If an offer is made, keep in mind that the applicant may have other offers, too. Frequent follow ups to find out how the decision process is going or to ask if there are any other questions may help to tilt the applicant in your favor.

What sorts of things turn job candidates on or off? A study of 96 graduating students from a major Northeast university reveals some positive and negative factors. For example 53% said that on site visit opportunities to meet with people in positioning similar to those applied for, or with higher ranking persons had a positive effect. Fifty one percent mentioned impressive hotel / dinner arrangements and having well organized site arrangements. On the other hand, 41% were turned off by disorganized unprepared interviewer behavior, or uninformed useless answers. Similarly, 40% mentioned, unimpressive cheap hotels disorganized arrangements or inappropriate behaviors of hosts as having negative effects.

Internships: Many college students get their jobs through college internships. Internships can be win–win situations for both students and employers. For students, it may mean being able to hone business skills, learn more about potential employers and discover their career likes (and dislikes). And employers, of course can use the interns to make useful contributions while evaluating them as possible full time employees. One survey reports that employees offer jobs to over 70% of their interns.