There’s a Big Problem With Your Campus Recruiting

by Jan Hughes

You’ve just been handed responsibility for your campus recruiting program and everyone you speak to has a different priority for you: “our social media presence is awful,” “we’re losing the top students to our competitors,” “why haven’t we hired from my alma mater?” and so on.

The biggest problem with your campus recruiting is likely deciding where to start!

Conduct a simple campus recruiting program audit

In my last post, I discussed the crucial element of determining the purpose of your campus recruiting program. That will help guide you, but the next step will provide the greatest clarity and ensure that you take a truly strategic approach as you manage the challenges and seize the opportunities. It’s time to conduct a basic campus recruiting program audit.

Uncover your greatest assets and weakest links

Conducting an audit of your current campus recruiting program helps you to pause and assess the various pieces of your organization’s current tactics and determine which areas should be addressed first. Completing this audit is a crucial step to determining where your weaknesses are and designating which should be given priority, so you can begin addressing them as soon as possible.

Auditing your current campus recruiting program is simply a matter of giving your organization a score on a 10-point scale in many different areas to determine where resources are needed.

Some examples for rating are:

  • What’s our executive level buy-in?
  • Are we making optimal use of our co-op or internship programs?
  • Do we have a strategic recruitment plan in place?
  • How effective and current are our marketing and advertising?
  • Are we strategic about how we select and evaluate target schools?
  • Do we have the metrics in place to measure our effectiveness?
  • Does our on-boarding process set up new hires for success and support retention?
  • Do we have a clearly defined and communicated Employer Value Proposition (EVP) for campus?

(If you’d like a copy of the 26-point audit template I use, please email me.)

It’s impossible to be completely objective with the process, but having several colleagues, hiring managers and other stakeholders participate in assessing your program makes it easier to determine those areas that stand out as needing increased priority. Stakeholders will appreciate your methodical approach and the opportunity to provide input. In this sense, the process can be a great way to build support for your new initiatives once you have planned them out.

The audit will provide a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of your programs. The next step is to rank the importance of each area you’ve scored. If your internship program is poorly run and not valued highly, then it may be time to either terminate it or re-build it from scratch. Overall, you’ll want to build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses in your priority areas.

Of course, you can never “do it all,” but your audit list will help you build a business case to invest in certain areas, and not others, while gaining the interest, respect and support of your key stakeholders.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to blog about the process behind building a truly strategic campus recruiting program. I hope this series of posts will encourage you to take a second look at what you’re doing for your own organization and help you maximize the potential of your campus recruiting program to achieve greater success. To learn about new posts as they’re published, follow us on Twitter @DayConnect.