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Get a Head Start On Hiring: Head Back-to-School with the Class of 2017
Friday, Aug 12, 2016

Are you ready? The class of 2017 is embarking on their last year as college undergraduates and all of the excitement that it holds. There is no doubt that the next year is important, and not just because it is the last time they will ever go to a homecoming game, or set up their college rooms, but because now is the time to think about what happens after graduation. Some will continue their education in a graduate program, while most enter the workforce for the very first time as fresh talent. The first semester of senior year provides a great opportunity for employers to connect with prospective students while their minds are open and they are beginning to research and network to for their future. Attracting millennials is no easy task, but with some forward-thinking and the right tools, you are one step closer to scoring the newest talent on the block.

Establish an On-campus Brand 

Students are already beginning to overflow onto campuses all over the country. Stay ahead of the curve when recruiting in the highly competitive college scene by introducing your on-campus brand early on. This is a long-term investment that requires year-round effort, but it can be easy by taking advantage of career fairs and other events held throughout the fall semester. Begin by targeting schools that have competitive programs within your industry as well as those that hold corporate alumni ties. Sending executives to speak at events aside from the large networking forums can also help to gain exposure and generate interest in a low-pressure environment.

To really stand out amongst a sea of employers who are competing for the same talent, make sure to incorporate highlights about culture. Ninety-four percent of millennials agree that companies offering nontraditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent. Be sure to talk about any perks and benefits your companies offers in person and on your career portal. You should dedicate a space for entry-level or internship positions online as well as offer an on-campus recruiting events calendar to help students gain awareness and allow them to schedule their time to meet representatives. After recruiters have met with students for the first time, recruitment marketing tools can be used to follow up with personalized, automated emails based on their major, and interest in a particular department or position.

Get Social 

In the fall, seniors may not start actively seeking employment, however, they will be looking at the online presence of different companies to gathering their own research. One thing that we can be sure is college seniors live and breathe social media. The job search is certainly no exception, and many will look at past employees and the overall culture of an organization on their social media accounts as a first instinct. Forty-four percent of college seniors revealed that the top corporate social media actions that would make them more likely to apply to a job are social media posts that demonstrate the company culture, like pictures or staff activities. Often if you can win them over at that level, they will be more passionate when it comes time to select an employer. Don’t limit yourself to just LinkedIn. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also have great recruiting potential to show off culture. This low or no cost tactic provides a great way for companies of any size to connect with passive audiences.

Time for Try-Outs

To further engage entry-level candidates, an internship is a great way for college seniors and employers to test the waters before full-time employment. Ninety-seven percent of recruiting professionals said they have offered entry-level employees temporary full-time internships with the potential to receive permanent job offers. Students that fall in love with an organization and make a significant impact during their time as an intern can be the company’s next top hires. Many employers are using internships as a recruitment program for a full-time job down the road, and would rather hire from an established intern talent pool than interview new graduates who are unfamiliar with the company.

So, what does this mean for employers? A fresh outlook and the opportunity to familiarize college seniors with your company while simultaneously building a pipeline of qualified talent for future hiring needs. Talent pools are a great method for developing a collection of go-to candidates who are a seamless fit with your company’s mission and culture. Forty-six percent of employers reported difficulties finding candidates in high demand talent pools such as colleges where the competition is intense. They may be in school for the next year, but don’t wait until May to do the heavy lifting. Now is the time to build up opportunities and take advantage of the next year to make recruiting efforts in the spring a breeze.