This article is based on research for our recent eGuide, Building a successful campus recruitment strategy.
Millennials are the largest generation in the Canadian workforce, and Gen Z isn’t far behind. So, if you want your small business to grow and thrive, you need to appeal to this young talent.
Enter campus recruiting.
This age-old tactic is a great way to engage emerging talent, create a pipeline, disseminate your brand, and more. But you have to do it right.
We went deep into campus recruiting for episode three of Safe for Work, the Workopolis podcast for employers (available on Soundcloud here and iTunes here). In it, we spoke with Workopolis’ talent acquisition manager, Shawn D’Souza, about setting goals, creating relationships with schools, and more.
Shawn also listed the major campus recruitment mistakes that small businesses make. Here are a few of them:
Mistake #1: Not having a campus recruitment strategy in the first place
“I think small/medium businesses right now do not consider hiring from campuses at all. Cost can be one of the factors that they shy away from so small businesses tend to shy away from campus recruitment altogether. But it is really important for small/medium businesses to be present at career fairs or even at the events that schools have. It increases your brand at different school levels, and also you’re building a pipeline even if you’re not hiring for talent.”
Mistake #2: Not hiring
“If you are hiring on a regular basis, a lot of students will come to you. If you show up every year but you’re not hiring, you’re not exactly creating a brand that is attractive to students.”
Mistake #3: Not preparing in advance
“Best practices for campus recruitment is to be prepared well in advance. And well in advance is two to three months. Schools, colleges, they already have their spots open two to three months in advance. They start reaching out to employers, and those slots get filled up pretty quickly.”
Mistake #4: Arriving late to the career fair
“You do have, say, around half an hour to 45 minutes to set up. If you reach later than that, you still need time to set up. Until you’re ready, you won’t find any students around there because the competition has already scooped the best talent. So you’re losing out there.”
Mistake #5: Being disengaged
“Don’t be on your phone when you’re at the booth. Take a pause from those business calls. Make sure you’re talking to students, as they are there to chat with you as well. If they come across your company as being inattentive, they’re going to go to another company. Things could get repetitive out there because everyone is asking you the same questions. Have patience and stay real.”