Campus Hiring Students

Companies like Epicor have successfully closed their Campus Hiring season for 2022-2023. They recently hired 32 interns.  

For them, the Campus Hiring season begins in June and ends in February. February is when they onboard their interns.

The cycle varies from company to company, so the bottom line is that it doesn’t have to look the same for you, dear recruiter. 

What is Campus Recruitment all about, and why is it important?

Contents

To fulfil an organization's demand for adding workforce, Recruiters are responsible for carrying out multiple types of recruitment, such as Replacement, Expansion, Planned, Lateral, Campus Hiring, and more. 

If you want a brief overview of how to devise a Campus Hiring plan or strategy, you may head straight to this blog: Campus hiring 101: A complete guide to Campus Recruitment Process for Recruiters. But, this article will give you the full picture and context that you need to execute a solid Campus Hiring strategy. 

“But, are organizations hiring in the current climate?” Yes, they are, however, the rate at which they’re hiring has slowed down. It hasn’t halted.

In an article by The Economic Times, startup CEOs have collectively stated that hiring at this point in the economy makes more sense because companies don’t need to focus on quantity over quality. They can now hire the crème de la crème without playing the numbers game. 

Why do companies invest in Campus Hiring? 

Campus Hiring isn’t a one-off activity administered to fill in a company’s quota of employees. 

Companies looking to make a dent in their domain are always in need of fresh and different perspectives. They need to adapt to the growing demands of the economy, and for that, they’re always on the lookout for talent that not only complies with the existing systems but also questions norms that may have become a blind spot for existing employees. 

What are the disadvantages that a company may face for not hiring freshers from colleges and universities?

Lack of Representation and Diversity 

Companies that don’t have a good mix of employees with respect to various age groups tend to limit their ability to understand and cater to a broader range of customers, and tend more towards groupthink. 

Limited access to fresh perspectives and innovative ideas 

It’s 2023, and young employees usually have more context about the current cultural and business context. This allows them to build more relevant and creative solutions to problems. 

Difficulty in succession planning 

In our previous article on Campus Hiring, we shared that when newer employees enter the market, it gives people with more experience, a chance to move up the ‘corporate ladder’ or enable them to get more promotions and responsibilities. Companies that do not add new workforce risk setting their existing employees up for success. 

Here are 3 solid benefits of Campus Hiring (nudge: you may send this to your boss) 

1. Freshers are willing to challenge the status quo by introducing out-of-the-box ideas 

Fresh graduates are exposed to the latest trends in their field of study. They’re also subjected to a curriculum that evolves every 6 months to a year based on current world developments. They challenge the existing way of doing things which pushes organizations to innovate better products and serve top-notch solutions to customers. 

2. Campus Hiring Includes An Element of Certainty 

Memes of candidates ghosting recruiters flood the internet daily. Yes, we accept that the reverse is also true. 

Candidate Ghosting Meme

So how does Campus hiring involve certainty? 

While there is no 100% guarantee that a prospective employee will accept an offer but during Campus Hiring, recruiters are aware of the exact number of candidates who will potentially join the organization, and also the date when they’ll be onboarded. This avoids the scope of ambiguity to a certain extent that conventional job postings on job portals may not always offer. 

Employees with more corporate experience don’t tend to rely on one company only. They’re interviewing at multiple places at the same time, and that gives them the power to cherry-pick their options. Although that’s fair practice, it poses a challenge to recruiters to source talented candidates for various roles. 

However, this isn’t to say that the same isn’t applicable to Campus Hiring. It is. Students may receive multiple offers and they possess complete freedom to choose from multiple offers.

Universities want their students to succeed, which is why they wouldn’t want to restrict the opportunities they receive. And, to enable fair play between recruiters and students, they have established protocols in place.

Again, every recruiter may have a different experience with Campus Recruitment—one may have been able to roll out offers to a specific number of people, whereas other recruiters might have experienced students accepting other offers. 

To reiterate, there is no one way of doing this right. One company’s strategies will not effectively work for another company. 

Well, just how fries don’t satisfy everyone—strategies that work for one company, wouldn’t work for another. (Yes, we’re equally disappointed that fries aren’t everyone’s favourite.) 

3. Increase in the Organization’s Brand Awareness 

The more pre-placement workshops or sessions an organization conducts, the more they increase brand awareness and stand a higher chance of attracting prospective hires.  

According to Nokia's annual Mobile Broadband Index report 2022, Indian Millenials and GenZ spend an average of 8 hours a day online. 

So when they join an organization, they tend to publish more about not just embarking on a new journey, but also documenting their day-to-day experiences on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. 

Employer brand awareness also helps organizations at later stages when they recruit more people from not only campuses but also during lateral hiring.

What roles are involved in campus recruitment?

No two companies have the same structure when it comes to Campus Recruitment. 

When it comes to Campus Recruiting, there are three sides involved here:
1. The organization or the company that visits universities or colleges to hire prospective employees.

2. The University Placement officer or committee. 

3. Students or prospective employees. 

From the organization’s point of view, there may be multiple stakeholders involved in the entire gamut of Campus Hiring. They may fall under the following functions:

  • Human Resources 
  • Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Dedicated Campus Recruitment
  • Marketing
  • Compensation Analysis (falls under the purview of HR) 

For instance, the campus recruiter at Epicor India, single-handedly leads Campus Recruitment and manages the end-to-end Campus Hiring strategy.  

A Campus Recruiter’s responsibility includes, but is not limited to—building a Campus Hiring plan at the start of the financial year, devising employer branding strategies with the marketing teams, planning skilled, or technical assessments by using automated assessments and approaching and building relationships with Universities. 

For the universities, the Placement Committee, and the Placement Officer play a vital and main role in the process of Campus Hiring. 

The Placement Committee works to develop relationships with employers, including attending industry events and building connections with alumni. They may also work with academic departments to identify companies that may be interested in recruiting students with specific skill sets. 

Students are the lifeblood of the Campus Hiring process. 

Students are involved in every step of the Campus Hiring process— starting from the moment that universities announce the Campus Hiring plan, till the stage when organizations roll out offers. 

Whether it’s the organizations or the Placement Committee, they need to keep students engaged throughout the process. 

At no stage can Campus Recruiters afford to do a suboptimal job because ultimately, they are responsible for building someone’s future. 

One of the best ways to deliver a great experience to students is to narrow down on using skill assessments that are highly feasible and valuable for Campus Hiring. 

How to build a campus hiring strategy? 

A Campus Hiring Strategy consists of the following steps: 

  1. Employer Branding Through other Channels
  2. Choosing the right colleges and approaching them
  3. Screening candidates with skill assessments
  4. Conducting Interviews

Let’s dive straight into each of these below: 

How to set the right Employer Branding strategy 

Is employer branding posting from the company's LinkedIn page? Is it investing in moment marketing to appeal to GenZ? LinkedIn company page branding is a small part of employer branding. But, what is the buzz around Employer Branding? 

Employer branding is a process of crafting and promoting a company’s authentic image as an employer. It is supposed to portray the company’s vision, mission, and values through multiple channels and ways. This is done to attract talent at all stages and levels.

Employer branding is derived from the company’s culture, and not vice versa. Companies that focus on branding over culture tend to play the game of optics.

Employers have branded themselves in various, and humongous ways. According to Betterteam, 50% of job seekers said that the company’s reputation or employer brand is of utmost importance while applying for a job.

With respect to Campus Hiring, employers begin branding and marketing ahead of the hiring season. This is done in multiple ways, such as:


1. Leaders of the company can teach for a fixed duration at reputed universities to the specializations they want to attract or appeal to.

2. Host career days to maintain consistent visibility among prospective employees. This helps students get immense clarity on how your organization can help build their career if they were to join it. So, when you do begin hiring, students already have a positive perception or image of you, and the chances of them applying for roles at your company shoot up. 

3. Create content in various formats on topics that will benefit prospective employers. Your content should be a mix of showcasing company values and providing as much insight about how the company ensures that its people are set up for success. This is your one-stop solution for positioning yourself as a viable brand for freshers.  

4. If your organization happens to believe in Diversity and Inclusion policy—ensure to talk about it on social media and during career days. This will enable a plethora of candidates to consider applying for jobs at your company, who may otherwise hesitate to apply. Welcome them without keeping your D&I a well-kept secret.

5. Encourage (but not coerce) your existing employees to share their experiences working in the organization, and to feel free to openly talk about it on social media. When fresh graduates or potential hires do due diligence on your company online—they read about what the existing employees have to say about the organization. It’s a wonderful tactic to let existing employees share their experiences which inadvertently creates a ripple effect. 

Talent Acquisition teams must have a solid Employer Branding Strategy in place. In fact, they must act as brand evangelists, especially on a platform like LinkedIn, since that’s where most job seekers hang out.

An important part of Employer branding is the Pre Placement talk. Here’s what a successful Pre Placement should consist of:  

Make a Content Plan 

Prepare the topic in advance. Keep the audience, their interests, and the job profiles you are hiring for in mind. Provide information on the company's history, culture, values, job descriptions, pay scale, and career chances. 

Engage the Audience

Get the audience involved and motivated to participate. Employ interactive elements to make the presentation more interesting, such as films, animations, and quizzes.

Provide Real-Life Examples

Give actual instances of employees who have achieved success at the company. Students will be better able to relate to the company and comprehend the chances that are ahead.

Respond to Questions and Concerns

Respond to any questions and concerns that students may have. Be open and truthful about the culture, expectations, and possibilities for growth inside the organization. 

Concentrate on Diversity and Inclusion

Pay attention to the organization's policies regarding diversity and inclusion. Provide instances of how your company fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Showcase Career Growth

Stress the company's dedication to staff training and professional advancement. Provide examples of how your company encourages employee development through leadership, mentoring, and training initiatives.

Choosing the right college

For ease of understanding, we will take Epicor’s example to explain the steps.

Pre-Work reaching out to universities and colleges  

Epicor’s Campus recruiter starts reaching out to colleges in June. Some universities have remained partners with Epicor for 5 to 6 years—therefore, they don’t really need to establish a fresh relationship with them. 

However, with others, they start by vetting universities based on their rankings, the type of courses they offer, and whether they have the kind of courses that are similar to what Epicor is looking for. 

You need to collate a list of universities based on several factors as the ones mentioned above and segregate them into rankings, course type, and level/degree (bachelor, or master's). 

Here's how you should reach out to Universities and Colleges 

Once the list is ready and approved, it's important to reach out to universities. Epicor’s way of reaching out is by sending flyers that make universities and colleges aware of Epicor’s interest in hiring from their university. The flier also requests information such as their availability for Campus Hiring and dates for when they begin hiring. 

Another way of reaching out to your targeted universities is via email. Here’s how you can craft the email: 

Subject: Announcing Campus Hiring Drive [2023] for students of [University Name] 

Dear [Placement Committee Head Name],

We’re commencing our Camus Hiring Drive starting [month, year], and would be privileged to hire graduates of your esteemed university. 

My name is [Your Name], and I represent [Your Company Name], which is a leading [Your Industry] company in the region. 

We’ve taken account of your university’s progress, and are impressed with the impact that it has created over the years. 

We believe that your students will make an excellent addition to our company. 

Our recruitment process will include the following:

1. Aptitude tests
2. Group discussions
3. Interviews (Technical and an HR round) 

In the attached document, you may find the following: 

1. Roles with detailed job descriptions. 

2. Eligibility requirements & prerequisites

3. Details of the compensation packages 

4. Company’s work culture and values 

Rest assured, we are flexible to inculcate any suggestion and ensure that the recruitment process is tailored to meet the specific needs of your university. 

Please let us know what date and time works best for you, and we would be happy to schedule a meeting to take this forward.  

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Company Name]

[Your Contact Information]

How can you, as a Campus Recruiter, Leverage Technology?

Technology is especially used by Campus Recruiters while devising and formulating skill-specific assessments that are conducted for on-campus hiring. For instance, Equip enables and supports recruiters to create skill-specific assessments through its software. It saves them time. Technology can be used in multiple other ways by campus recruiters such as for listing job openings, screening and tracking candidates—this is usually done through an applicant tracking system (ATS)

More common ways through which companies leverage technology include: branding themselves through social media, creating community channels on Slack or Discord to share company updates, and exchanging notes on industry happenings. 

Learn More: How Equip Helps with Campus Hiring

What should Recruiters assess while Conducting Interviews?

The most important skill recruiters assess is the candidate’s ability to talk about their projects in detail. This allows recruiters to see the candidate’s thoroughness and lets them analyze their technical skills in great detail. 

Here’s what else the recruiter may assess the candidate for:  

1. The ability to communicate articulately 

Employers look for candidates with strong communication skills, both in writing and vocally. They evaluate pupils' abilities to coherently and clearly express their views.

Also read: How Video Interviews Help with Evaluating Communication Skills Equip's Video Interview Feature 

2. Depth of Technical Knowledge

Employers evaluate candidates' technical knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields of study. They could query the students on technical matters and assess how well they can apply concepts and solve difficulties. 

3. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills

Employers evaluate candidates' capacity for data analysis, pattern recognition, and logical conclusion drawing. They can give them a fictitious issue to analyze and provide a fix for. 

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

Employers look at a candidate's capacity to collaborate and work well in a team. They might inquire about the students' prior teamwork experience and contribution to the team's performance.

5. Flexibility & Adaptability

Employers look at a candidate's capacity to deal with stress and change. They could inquire as to how the students have previously handled trying circumstances.

6. Leadership and initiative

Recruiters evaluate candidates' potential for leadership and their capacity for initiative. They could inquire about the student's participation in voluntary work or extracurricular activities.

7. Cultural fit 

Recruiters look for candidates who fit the organization's culture and values. They could inquire about the students' work ethics, drive, and dedication to the company.

Setting KPIs and Measuring the Effectiveness of your Placement Drive

Setting KPIs helps recruiters keep track of their progress, and allows them to define what success means to them. A list of KPIs that they may measure, and you can use to measure your Campus Hiring progress: 

Time to hire 

Measures the time it takes to fill a position from the start of the recruitment process to the time a candidate accepts the job offer. A shorter time to hire is generally better, as it indicates that recruiters are efficiently sourcing and screening candidates.

Cost per hire 

Measures the total cost of hiring per new employee. It includes expenses such as advertising, travel, and other recruiting costs. Lower cost per hire is generally better, as it means the recruiting process is more efficient and cost-effective.

These metrics are crucial and must be optimised by recruiters to achieve the best results. You may integrate Equip in your tech stack as it helps you cut short time, and devise a fairer cost per hire with its automated skills assessment. 

Candidate conversion rate

Measures the percentage of candidates who accept other job offers after being extended an offer. A higher conversion rate indicates that the recruiters are effectively engaging and selling the company to the candidates. 

Quality of hire

Measures the performance of the new hires after they start working for the company. It can include factors such as productivity, retention, and job satisfaction. A high quality of candidates indicates that the recruiters are effectively sourcing and selecting top talent who are a good fit for the company. 

Diversity and inclusion metrics

It measures the diversity of the candidate pool and new hires, as well as the company's progress towards meeting diversity and inclusion goals.

Planning the Campus Hiring Budget (without picking all your hair away)

At the cusp of every function in a business is planning the budget. Budget planning helps teams understand the ROI of every activity or campaign they partake in. 

Campus Recruitment is no different. Recruiters need to account for the following while planning for the budget: 

Calculate the number of hires 

At the start of the organization’s financial planning, recruiters devise a plan to estimate the number of hires they need depending on business needs. Some organizations have had a fixed number since the dawn of time, however, some others tend to revise that number with respect to the business’s growth. 

Determine the budget per hire 

Once the number of hires is estimated, recruiters need to determine the budget per hire. 

Calculate the recruiting costs 

Includes advertising, job fairs, and any other costs associated with attracting talent. These costs may vary depending on the size and location of the college, as well as the type of candidates being targeted.

Factor in travel expenses 

Travel expenses, such as transportation, lodging, and meals for recruiters who will travel to the college to conduct interviews and meet with candidates must be factored in. 

Determine compensation costs 

Includes compensation costs, including salary, bonuses, and benefits. Recruiters should consult with compensation analysts, and research industry standards to ensure that the compensation offered is competitive, and values the fresher. 

Allocate budget 

After calculating all the costs, allocate the budget for each category. It is important to prioritize the budget to ensure that the most critical areas are well-funded. 

Track expenses 

Track all expenses to ensure that they stay within the budget. They should also evaluate the effectiveness of each expense and make adjustments as needed for future campus hiring events.

Check out this Budget Planning template: Campus Hiring Budget Planning Template 

Here’s something to remember: Every organization has a different budget. Hence, there is no specific benchmark that can be applied to every single organization.

Experts Speak: Campus Hiring Tips from Recruiters 

Hear from industry professionals who walk the walk for campus recruitment.

On reaching out to universities and colleges 

We start reaching out to universities in June. Some universities have remained partners with Epicor for 5 to 6 years—therefore, they don’t really need to establish a fresh relationship with them. 

However, with others, they start by vetting universities based on their rankings, the type of courses they offer, and whether they have the kind of courses that are similar to what Epicor is looking for. 

Epicor’s way of reaching out is by sending flyers that make universities and colleges aware of Epicor’s interest in hiring from their university. The flier also requests information such as their availability for Campus Hiring and dates for when they begin hiring. 

You need to collate a list of universities based on several factors as the ones mentioned above and segregate them into rankings, course type, and level/degree (bachelor, or master's). 

- Swetha Murlidharan, Associate Recruiter Epicor 

Campus Recruitment has a certainty element 

While there is no 100% guarantee that a prospective employee will accept an offer but during Campus Hiring, recruiters are aware of the exact number of candidates who will potentially join the organization, and also the date when they’ll be onboarded. This avoids the scope of ambiguity to a certain extent that conventional job postings on job portals may not always offer. 

- Sumit Singla, HR Transformation, OD & Culture Consultant, Guest Faculty Member at MDI, Gurgaon

Conclusion: You don’t have to do it alone

Recruiters have a lot of responsibilities under their arsenal. At once, they devise a rock-solid Campus Hiring strategy, reach out to colleges or universities, plan the budget, and conduct employer branding and recruitment marketing activities. 

More often than not, they even shoulder most of these tasks single-handedly.  

Joining Slack communities such as The Shape of Work—where Human Resources professionals exchange notes of a pot full of topics, is one of the ways to strengthen your network among HR professionals and to seek support. 

Before we part ways, we want you to read this quote, by Lawrence Bossidy, and reiterate the value of the work you do as recruiters; that says “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”