How to Recruit College Grads for Your Small Business

December 7th, 2016 Comments off
writing job fair on blackboard

Small business owners looking for enthusiastic, highly trainable employees might want to expand their efforts to recruit new college grads. Your company may be just the environment they crave – a place to develop their talents and make an immediate impact — but first these young workers need to know that you exist. Get your name in front of this new crop of talent and stand out from competitors using these tips:

Hang where they hang

Send staff members who truly love to talk about your small business to collegiate job fairs. These brand ambassadors will engage participants and leave them excited about the prospect of joining such a great place. For added exposure, consider running an ad in the campus newspaper a few days before the event briefly explaining who you are and welcoming interested candidates to stop by your booth.

Look for other ways to become visible, too, especially at targeted regional institutions. Offer to discuss topics relevant to your industry as a guest speaker in a class. Become a sponsor of a theatrical production, athletic team, or charity event. Judge an entrepreneurship competition. Participate in a mentoring program. Keep in regular contact not only with career counselors but also with division heads. They may be able to identify students within their department with the specific skills you desire and connect on your behalf.

And, of course, there’s social media. College students spend two to four hours daily on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so developing a strong presence on a variety of platforms can be valuable. Rather than blatant self-promotion, however, look for interesting ways to grab attention and engage — eye-catching photos depicting company culture, genuine participation in conversations, or perhaps a fun contest. Encourage your small business employees (especially young ones) to get in on the action. Content coming from someone in your personal social circle or from a fellow member of your online college alumni group stands a better chance of being read.

Start an internship program

College students know that “real world” experience can be a great thing to put on a resume. While they’re getting a taste of the future, you’ll gain eager and educated part-time or summer help (paid, unpaid, or perhaps in exchange for college credit). You’ll also enjoy a first-hand glimpse of someone you might want to hire after graduation. Additionally, the intern is bound to mention your small business to fellow students, which can help you attract more interest.

Play up your strengths

Modern grads want to know all they can about a potential employer, so make the information they desire easy to find. A recruitment video is a great way to showcase your workplace culture, values, perks, and awesome staff. Put one front and center on your website, social media pages, and even job ads. Highlight features important to this generation, such as career development, a non-hierarchal structure, meaningful work, project ownership, and a flexible schedule.

Stay in touch

Finally, make a point of valuing every connection with a new grad. While the person may not be the right addition to your staff at the present time, he or she may be just the talent you’ll want down the line as both your small business and the candidate’s professional attributes grow. Maintaining contact keeps the door open.

The Best College Recruitment Tips You’ve Never Heard

August 2nd, 2016 Comments off
The College Recruiting Tips You Haven't Heard

The college career services office is an underrated resource in the recruiting field. Not only does it serve the student population all the way through school-to-work transition preparation, but it acts as a conduit through which companies can identify the talent they hope to hire. So, what do career services professionals see companies doing wrong (and right) when recruiting at colleges and universities? John P. Nykolaiszyn, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, interim director of career management services at the Florida International University College of Business, and Mary Ellen Olson, director of career and professional development at St. Norbert College, were kind enough to provide their insight and experience in answering this very question.

The 5 Things Companies Must Heed in College Recruiting:

1. The Number of Visits is Crucial.

According to Nykolaiszyn, “The most common mistake is only planning to make one visit, trying to find the best possible talent, and then never coming back to campus. A one-and-done visit. The secret to doing this right is to schedule two visits, one in the fall recruiting season and one in the spring season. Visiting more than once keeps the company name in the students’ minds and shows they care about them.”

2. Culture Matters More Than You Think.

According to Olson, “Companies talk about their culture when recruiting students and use this as a lead into the discussion about the job or internship they have available.” She adds, “Students today are not just looking for a job — they are looking for an employment situation that aligns with their personal values. Discussing culture goes beyond simply saying ‘it’s a nice place to work.'”

Instead, she suggests companies ask themselves, “What does this mean about behaviors and competencies required to be successful in the workplace? Students want to know.”

3. Job Descriptions are Essential.

Olson says “having clear job descriptions and expectations and hiring to the job description is critical.” Just because you are recruiting students doesn’t mean skimping on the effort. Rather, recruiting students should be similar to bringing on full-time employees. Nykolaiszyn says, “Write a good job description and put some marketing muscle behind it. When you write a two-sentence job description for a ‘social media internship’ because you’re convinced that only a young student can tell you how the Snapchats work, it shows that you’re not fully invested in the process.” Students can quickly identify when companies aren’t authentic, and will not pursue working for your organization.

4. Timing is Everything.

The time frame for students may not align with your company’s calendar. As Nykolaiszyn says, “Some colleges and universities have different fiscal and academic calendars. In some cases, recruiting the top undergraduate and graduate students in particular programs may officially start with the fall semester in September — a full eight months before summer starts. By the time the spring semester starts in January, the top students are all set, and firms are playing catch-up. Start early!”

5. It’s Not All About the Job.

Students are looking for a company that allows them to make a larger impact in the world. Olson makes two crucial points: “Many students are not interested in devoting their ‘whole life’ to their job.’ Also, students want companies that give back to the community and provide time off for employees to be involved in community efforts.”

Navigating the academic bureaucracy can be difficult, but the career services office can be your best guide to landing top tier talent.  As Nykolaiszyn suggests, “You want to engage the dedicated career offices and have them help you navigate the landscape. Career offices can be the bridge to particular departments, student groups, and even individual students.”

Find out more about how Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting can set your organization apart when it comes to recruiting college students.

The 5 Golden Rules of College Hiring

July 20th, 2016 Comments off
The 5 Golden Rules of College Hiring

Soon, students will be returning to campus from their summer sojourn. For those facing their final semester or year, one eye will be kept on their studies, while the other will focus on life beyond campus.

Here are five golden rules to follow to get in front of the brightest students:

Choose the Correct Communication Channel.

Companies are consistently looking to go where the talent may be. Snapchat, for example, has been all the rage for the past few months, with even the Society for Human Resource Management emphasizing its use of the app at their Annual Conference in June. While many college students may be using it, they may not want to use it with you. Add a line to your job application or find out upfront what the best way to contact that student may be — and stick to it.

Know Your Audience.

College students are not homogeneous. I repeat: College students are not homogeneous. Approaching colleges with the perspective that you are dealing with 18 to 22-year-old millennials means you will likely be missing the boat with non-traditional students. Further, even within the 18-22 demographic, a classroom of 300 (or even 30) is going to be more diverse than expected. What might be appropriate for one student may agitate another student. One only needs to look at the recent Microsoft “Bae” recruiting email to see how a company can misfire.

Know Where the Talent Is.

You may have have been recruiting at College X or University Y for years and have an excellent relationship with them. However, preferences for certain majors may have shifted, and the yield from the same pool may have declined. Using Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting will help you identify if the same schools are providing the desired results.

Be Honest With Candidates About the Job.

College students want a realistic picture of what the job will entail when they start. If the job in actual practice differs from the description made during the recruiting process, students will not hesitate to look elsewhere, particularly in a low unemployment economy.

Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated.

The golden rule of recruiting college students is the golden rule itself. Do you want the application process to be smooth and easy? So do college students. Want to be kept apprised of the status of said application? So do college students. Want to be treated with respect and dignity during the interview? So do college students. Want to be offered the job or given the bad news as quickly as possible? So do college students.

Recruiting college students does not have to be a hassle. Their wants, needs, and desire are remarkably similar to what every applicant wants, regardless of age. Capitalizing on these rules as an organization will get you off to a successful start when beginning your search this fall.


Find out more about how Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting can set your organization apart when it comes to recruiting college students.