Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals, August 17, 2011
When Amanda Perry follows up with students by phone or e-mail, she says many are pleasantly surprised by and appreciative of the personal interaction.
“They have experienced their information getting lost in the ‘black hole’ and they’re frustrated,” says Perry, recruitment coordinator/STARS Program manager for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a presenter at the NACE 2011 Conference on the topic of low-cost, high-touch recruiting. “By using high-touch recruiting methods, organizations can stand out amongst their peers and competitors because they are creating the personal relationships that students want.”
Another benefit of high-touch efforts is that they don’t have to eat up a chunk of the budget as it typically requires only a recruiter’s investment of time and energy.
“A lot of organizations see it as more efficient to cast a wide net by blasting an e-mail to hundreds of candidates,” Perry says. “Still, with all the technology around us, it’s important not to lose personal connections.”
Perry has identified several low-cost activities to make connections and gain increased visibility on campus:
- Enlist the help of campus ambassadors. Tap into students who have been engaged with your organization through, for example, an internship or a research project, and have them become on-campus advocates for your organization.
- Take advantage of the career center’s campus insight and connections to students, student organizations, faculty members, academic departments, and administrators. The professionals in the career center know their campus best and can help you make the most valuable connections. In addition, career centers offer ways for you to provide valuable services to students, such as by participating in mock interview programs.
- Host students at your office. Nothing gives students a better sense of their potential work environment than being on site. Show them where they would be working and let them meet some recent hires, managers, and members of the executive team.
- Hold educational seminars for students on site. Have your internal subject matter experts speak about industry-specific topics.
- Take your educational programming virtual and hold webinars to reach a wider audience and give them valuable information and insight into your industry.
- Create a listserv for interested students. This is a great way for potential employees to connect with your organization and with one another. Make sure to monitor, participate in, and, if activity on the listserv cools, stoke the conversation.
- Connect with campus affinity groups and student organizations that match up with your industry and offer support by, for example, providing speakers for events. Doing so will allow you to build relationships with campus leaders interested in your industry.
- Give students access to an organizational e-mail account set up for recruiters to monitor. Then make sure to check the inbox and respond to all inquiries with a personalized note.
- Participate in virtual career fairs. Some offer employers free participation and allow the chance to interact with students through instant messaging.
- Take advantage of industry resources. For example, some associations hold events at which you can present and/or connect with college representatives.
For more from Amanda Perry on low-cost, high-touch recruiting, see her NACE video. Other videos that address topics in our profession are available at www.naceweb.org/knowledge/video/2011/.