One of the greatest inherent challenges in HR has always been that of recruitment services – in order to build a workforce that’s highly productive and contributes to your bottom line, you need to go out in the world and find talented people in the first place. Once you locate talent, you often have to win a fierce competition to pry candidates away from other suitors.
Recruiting has always been difficult. But these days it’s getting even harder, and here’s why – a new generation is entering the workforce, and like previous generations, they have new expectations when it comes to being recruited. Baby boomers are walking off into retirement, and in their place are millennials (those born between early 1980s to the early 2000s) who are seeking jobs with status, autonomy and the potential for rapid growth.
So if you’re on a college campus looking to find the next generation of employees for your organization, how do you deliver that recruiting pitch? It can be a challenge. After all, if your company doesn’t have the cache of a big name like Google, you’re probably going to be a David battling against the Goliaths. But that doesn’t mean you’re without hope.
According to Inc. Magazine, there are other selling points you can emphasize. The publication used the example of Tomas Barreto, a young college graduate who made the bold move of saying no to Microsoft when offered full-time employment. He ended up instead taking a job with Box.net, a small cloud computing software startup that had other things to offer.
“One of the biggest selling points for me was having that level of impact and ownership, giving me a lot of the skills I needed to grow,” Barreto said. “I’d have more of the ability to make decisions from a product and engineering standpoint and have the resources to become a manager, which I am now.”
Can you compete with better known brands and win top talent? These four tips might help:
Establish better name recognition
Big companies have an obvious advantage – name recognition. If you’re recruiting for a smaller company or one without the brand recognition, people might pass you over simply because they’ve never heard of you. The only way to combat this is to work diligently to spread the word about your organization.
You are at the campus event for two reasons; first to hire talented soon to be new grads and secondly (and just as important) to inform & engage with tomorrow’s work force! Don’t just show up to the recruitment fair with a bunch of jobs. Come prepared with your company’s story.
New grads want to know why joining your company would be a good career move? What can they expect to achieve? What are their prospects for career growth? Will the work they do matter? How are you supporting the communities you work in? The answers to these questions are just as important as the jobs you are recruiting for.
Emphasize elements of your company culture
Be prepared to talk about elements of your culture that resonate with new grads. What are your values and more importantly how do your employees live those values. What is your work environment like? What do your employees do for fun? What types of events (community or volunteer) does your company sponsor?
Some of your best advocates will be former alumni who have joined your organization. Make sure that they attend or are available to answer any questions students may have.
Get a little creative
Box.net took out an ad in the Stanford newspaper with an elaborate math puzzle and encouraged all solvers to consider working for them. The creative pitch worked surprisingly well. Consider sponsoring a campus club event or hosting a more intimate & informal career information talk rather than relying on the larger campus career fair event.
Take advantage of social media
If you still have a ways to go in terms of establishing an employer brand, social media will probably be your best friend. Using social sites is a great way to connect with students. It will allow you to connect, engage, and inform students on the happenings at your company on a platform that they are comfortable using. It is also an effective tool to showcase your culture, any fun at work activities your company sponsors and any type of community involvement your employees are taking part in.
Bonus tip – when you sign up for a campus recruitment event, ask the organizers if they have a hashtag for the event or which social media properties they will be using to promote the event. You can then leverage your company’s participation at the event through those channels before, during and after the event to generate more interest in your company!
Learn how you can make recruiting and hiring easier for recruiters, managers and candidates.
Maurice Fernandes is the Manager of Employment Brand & Social Media at Ceridian and is responsible for developing and promoting Ceridian’s employment brand across various social media channels, events, and campus recruitment activities across North America.
Maurice is passionate about building best in class talent attraction strategies, HR technologies, recruitment marketing, employment branding, and social media. Maurice has had the privilege of speaking about recruitment topics at numerous conferences, and through media outlets such as the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, the Canadian HR Report, and Post Media. You can follow or connect with Maurice on Twitter @MoeRecruits.