Campus recruitment isn’t a new concept. Companies have been going to colleges' to hire students and freshers from universities. Though campus recruitment is known to be a lengthy process, the retention rate of the students employed through campus recruitment was less. To retain the students in the organization, the problem was analyzed, and changes in strategies were implemented.
In this new process of campus recruitment, the first step in the process is to
Identify hiring needs. While the recruiters might not have a particular agenda when they go for campus recruitment, they should have a clear idea of what they require and reason for hiring any specific campus. The needs you list for hiring aligns the job description for candidates. The better way to go about this would be to know what is the role an organization is looking for and then target institutes accordingly.
Deliver brand experience, not pre-placement talks: Students these days are vocal in terms of their requirements and their needs. They are aware of the kind of organization they want to work for. This is why once an organization hires the students, they should be clear about the brand they are and not they expect or aspire to be. The talk when the organization addresses the student should be about a company’s culture and what the speaker values in the organization to give students an idea as to what to expect. Bindu Nambiar, Global head of TA in Welspun Group, says, “Employer brands are something you continue to build across campuses and with general populations.”
Continuous campus engagement: With this, the students of the institute are familiar with the recruiter, which makes it easy to build a relationship with them. Social media plays a significant role in the relationship building and familiarizing the recruiter with students. Another way to connect with students would be by talking about history and partnership with the institute and talking about the alumni of the university who are working in the organization.
Watch the competition: The organization should always keep a keen eye on the competition, and screen the ideas and strategies they are implementing for campus recruitment. Knowing the competition motivates the organization to be as creative as the competition to achieve the targets.
Technology as an enabler: Technology for the most organization is the driver for them. Investing in technology across different things that are done in an organization as a partner has been fruitful. Also, investing in technology for campus recruitment has resulted wonderfully for many organizations. For example, Marriot joined hands with Facebook to experiment with a game based assessment for the former’s recruitment drive. The company used this VR platform to engage top talent as well as convey the righteous environment inside a Marriott kitchen.
V.P Singh from Jaipuria Institute of Management had an interesting take when asked about training students. According to him in this buyers’ market, there are three personalities; one who is well trained, second who is half trained, and third the self-educated. The academic institute looks at hiring students by trying to focus on mental intelligence, physical intelligence, emotional intelligence, and spiritual intelligence. Institutes train and customize the students, so they are a fit for organizations.
Digitization has taken over many attributes of an organization. Therefore hiring talent and training them manually will not benefit for a longer term but instead, become obsolete in 5-6 years. Thus the entire process of training needs to change along with the talent organizations repositioning the purpose and proposition of the organization.
The gaps between the campuses and the corporates can be bridged if the institutes try and create all-rounder talents. Talents that are not just skilled analytically but also are creative to fill the gaps that the organizations are missing today. Vodafone HR head, Suvamoy Roy Choudhury, says, “The skills that are required in today’s campus are not analytical anymore, but the organization requires more conceptual skills; skills to imagine.” The institute can work on the student’s ability to learn on the field in organizations to implement the concept of continuous learning. Whatever the students learn now, might not be required after five years as new technology would be taking over.
The academic institutes and the campus recruitments panel needs to work together and come up with strategies that can help the students get the ideal jobs that they can grow in. This will help the individual grow as well as the organization.
(This article is based on a Fireside chat on ‘Train your dragon – Campus recruitment strategies that work’ during TAC 2019 organized by People Matters.)