WRITTEN BY: JOHN O’BRIEN. PRESIDENT, AROUNDCAMPUS GROUP
I’m often asked how our company manages to recruit 750 college students for our annual summer sales and marketing internship. Each year, we receive over 13,000 applications and interview thousands of applicants to find the right people, so the short answer is: carefully and strategically. Through the years, we’ve learned some important lessons about recruiting. Following are four battle-tested practices that will help you and your organization optimize your college recruiting strategy and bring promising talent on board.
We paint like Rockwell, not like Monet
When we recruit for our summer sales and marketing internship, we’re careful to lay out the job with absolute clarity. We tell recruits that it’s going to be a hands-on, challenging summer that will rely heavily on their willingness to try, learn, and make mistakes. We’re open about the fact that rejection is a regular part of the job. But we also describe the training and management systems that we have in place to support them and help them achieve their goals. We want the recruit to know exactly what they’re getting into and how the experience will ultimately help them grow professionally.
Adopt the same philosophy of transparency when recruiting for positions in your organization—describe the training offered, a typical day, management structure, career path, and common challenges that people face. Misaligned expectations are cited most often as the reason the majority of recent college graduates jump companies so frequently.
We think like conductors
As company president, my role is to create a culture that exposes team members to all company functions and allows them to see how their particular role fits into the bigger picture. This mindset enables our summer interns to understand the significance of what they do on a daily basis, getting them excited about working with us. It also helps them to envision future opportunities with our organization, whether as Brand Ambassadors on their campuses during the school year or as full-time employees after graduation.
Next time you’re searching for new talent, remember that while a good recruiter shares the vision of the organization with prospective employees, a great recruiter empowers them to see how they fit into that broader vision. Don’t forget to explain what kind of support, professional development, and/or advancement they can expect along the way.
We mix business with pleasure
Prospective employees want to know just as much about the company culture and personality as they do about the job or the organization’s mission. Whether on social media or on our company website, we always try to show our fun, human side. Take this video introducing our regional managers:
Post photos from company events, funny videos featuring your employees, or a lighthearted Q&A with your CEO. Whatever you decide to do, make it authentic—the last thing you want to do is to sell something that doesn’t reflect the reality of working for your organization.
We get by with a little help from friends
Our internship’s high performers are often our greatest ally in expanding our candidate pipeline. By engaging their social networks, we’re able to connect with similarly qualified and motivated individuals. We also find that former interns are an excellent resource for identifying and staffing on-campus recruiting events. For many recruits, the best referral is the peer referral, as it gives them an opportunity to gain the most relevant—and trusted—insight into your organization.
Try tapping into these networks and opportunities to make the most of your recruiting strategy—you might just find your next rock star this way!
About AroundCampus Group
AroundCampus Group is the nation’s most established collegiate marketing and media firm, with 42 years of experience in the college market. Our ever-advancing goal is to produce relevant media and facilitate meaningful moments for college students, parents, and faculty to encounter, experience, and engage with exceptional brands through an omni-channel approach. We are built to perform multi-directional campaigns, meeting our target audiences where they are, when they’re listening, and communicating with them in their language. Our diverse media and marketing platform comprises over 400 student and parent publications, a national network of more than 800 brand ambassadors, digital signs on over 250 campuses, the world’s only college community beacon network, and an expert digital marketing team that manages our numerous mobile applications, websites, and social interactions.