4 Methods to Grab Student Talent

4 Methods to Grab Student Talent That You Haven’t Thought About


Companies often think recruiting recent graduates is as simple as attending traditional career fairs to increase the applicant pool. What they don’t realize is that companies with high brand awareness often attract long lines while those with low brand awareness don’t generate the same interest among students.

So how can companies with lower interest generate more attention outside of career fairs?

Here are four techniques that can increase interest from recent graduates:


Turn Interns Into Brand Ambassadors

If you already have an internship program in place, then you’re already ahead of the game. While interns often fulfill internal gaps, it’s wise to also utilize them for external gaps by turning them into brand ambassadors at the conclusion of their internship.

Kissmetrics suggests that 89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust claims from brands themselves.

Understanding that millennials trust peer recommendations can be useful when interns head back to campus. Students have the ability to influence their peers by speaking in front of various student organizations, identifying top students in the classroom and providing recommendations to classmates.


Find Candidates Where They Are

Chances are you’re looking for potential candidates in all the wrong places. Instead, it’s important to consider how and where your desired candidates spend their time.

Students use social media all the time. That’s why it’s important to get your brand in front of them wherever they are whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook.

There’s a number of ways to get your brand in front of potential candidates using these social media platforms.

At a recent conference I attended, a presentation from General Electric identified how the company used Snapchat to get in front of potential interns and employees. They did so through geofilters that resembled boarding passes for Snapchat users to utilize in proximity to 50 major airports and 25 train stations.

Doing so allowed their target audience to learn that GE is involved in the transportation and aviation industry— something they otherwise might not associate the company with.

Sydney Williams, head of social media at GE spoke with Business Insider regarding a Snapchat campaign the company launched over the holidays. The campaign was an effort to promote brand awareness among 18-to-24-year-old users.

“We are always looking for the best engineers and it’s important for us to get in front of them when they are younger and make sure the brand is relevant to them. Because eventually, these are the people who will become the future of the company,” said Williams.

Creating custom geofilters or hashtags for interns to use when sharing their experiences on social media are great ways to promote your brand.


Get Into the Classroom

As students advance through their programs, many universities have capstone courses that give students hands-on experience working with real-world clients.

One example is students interested in advertising and marketing at University of Wisconsin. In their capstone course, students are put into teams and for the duration of the semester and act as an advertising agency that works together with various brands to develop and execute advertising plans. This gives companies an opportunity to speak with students directly about what kind of candidates they’re seeking and identify top students for potential interviews.

Classroom relations also give brands insight about how they are perceived among potential candidates which can be useful in determining best practices for enhancing brand identity among millennials.


Be Here and There

Identify key campuses in proximity to your organization to reach out to for recruitment. For hard to reach areas, work to create digital features that allow you to drive applications without a physical presence. This can be done by utilizing the college’s online student organization directory to send videos that highlight your company’s internship and entry-level opportunities to relevant student organizations or their executive board.

For example, a video highlighting an engineering internship can be shown to at a Chemical Engineering Association meeting to recruit interested applicants.

Remember that universities often have hundreds of student organizations. Be sure to spend time browsing the directory for all relevant organizations to expand your outreach. By doing so you’ll be able to put your brand in front of hundreds of student organizations at various campuses across the country.

Students want information on internship and careers that will help them decide what they want to do after college so make sure your video focuses on these elements.

While career fairs are a great way to reach potential candidates, it’s important to diversify your outreach to identify the best candidates and enhance brand identity among millennials.

These channels provide opportunities for organizations to connect with candidates outside of traditional methods and speak directly with students in more comfortable, relaxed environments.


See how we helped Volkswagen achieve an increase of 700 applicants by downloading their Case Study.