Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
When it comes to working with colleges and universities, university relations and recruiting (URR) functions should strive to develop and nurture relationships that are strong and sustainable to maximize the partnership for both parties.
“Yes, organizations need to have relationships with career services, but not just among their university recruiting professionals,” says Chris Carlson, director of talent acquisition and diversity for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“To get the most out of these relationships, your leaders should participate on industry advisory boards, and have relationships with professors and students within individual academic departments in which the organization has interest. You want to build sustainable relationships beyond just URR.”
Carlson stresses the word “sustainable.” Why is this important? In part because recruiters come and go, and the turnover can cause problems for an organization.
“Too often, one or two individuals from URR do it all themselves, but you don’t build sustainable relationships that way,” he explains. “Organizations need to understand the power of relationships and their brand. You don’t want to connect your brand to one or two individuals because if they leave the organization or aren’t responding to the school, the relationship is damaged. A brand has to be an all-inclusive endeavor.”
Within the organization itself, URR should keep its partners informed and engaged. How can it do this? Carlson offers several suggestions:
- Communicate—Within the organization, have ongoing communication and dialogue. Form a university recruiting committee or council that brings in stakeholders from and has a point of contact for each business unit. Meet on a regular basis to coordinate and collaborate efforts across these groups.
- Team up—Larger organizations might have teams for the various campuses they’re targeting. These teams have leaders, middle-layer leadership, and individual contributors.
- Know your audience—Together, work to translate your corporate brand to an employment brand that resonates with your audience. Then conduct research and target departments from which your organization is most interested in recruiting.
“Finally, it’s very important that your URR team keeps its word and does what it says it’s going to do,” Carlson advises. “Being genuine and transparent about your brand and company are critical elements of effective relationship management, both within and outside of your organization.”
Chris Carlson will present about relationship management during NACE’s Recruiter Leadership Institute, which will be held on January 10 and 11, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. Click here for more information and to register.