Employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Every time a new graduate enters the workforce, companies have the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective into their organization. So what student recruitment strategy should companies use to source the best talent?

Some companies seem to have all the luck in attracting top students. But how do they do it?

The answer lies in understanding what today’s students are looking for, marketing your company accordingly, and looking in the right places for your target candidates.

This blog post will show you how to source the best entry-level talent for your company using an intelligent student recruitment strategy.

We'll also give you a few recruitment ideas to attract (and keep) top talent.

How to Find the Best Talent for Your Company

The first step in creating a student recruitment strategy plan is understanding what today’s students are looking for in a job.

Here are some of the most important factors: 

  1. A positive company culture
  2. An emphasis on diversity equity and inclusion
  3. Opportunities for growth and development
  4. A competitive salary and benefits package
  5. Worklife balance
  6. Meaningful and joyful work that makes a difference

A positive company culture

Company culture has become increasingly important to job seekers in recent years. According to a recent Glassdoor study, company culture is a higher priority to new candidates than a higher salary.

Positive company culture can lead to greater employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

Moreover, strong company culture can help attract top talent. Students today are looking for companies where they feel they can grow and succeed, and positive company culture is a major draw.

To create a positive company culture, businesses should focus on fostering open communication, encouraging personal and professional development, and promoting a healthy work-life balance.

By prioritizing company culture, businesses can create an environment that attracts and retains the best employees.

An emphasis on DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion)

As the workforce becomes more diverse, students are looking for companies that embrace DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). 86% of women and 74% of men say they favor companies with a strong commitment to DEI.

To create an inclusive environment, companies should focus on recruiting a diverse workforce and providing training and development opportunities that promote DEI.

They should also create policies and procedures that prevent discrimination and harassment.

By making DEI a priority, businesses can show students that they are committed to improving their workplace structure.

As such, hiring for diversity should be your top priority in your recruitment strategies.

Opportunities for growth and development

Within an organization, employees should have the opportunity to grow and develop their skills. Students are looking for companies where they feel they can learn and advance in their careers.

To provide opportunities for growth and development, the best internship programs in the world invest in employee training and development programs. They should also create clear paths for advancement within the company.

For example, they can create mentorship programs that pair experienced employees with newer hires.

A competitive salary and benefits package

The market is competitive for talent. The Great Resignation is happening. 

To compete for great graduates, businesses need to offer a competitive salary and benefits package. They should also be transparent about their compensation philosophy, so that candidates know what to expect.

And since it costs more money to hire and train new employees than to retain existing ones, businesses should always make sure they pay their employees what they're worth–otherwise, another company will.

Work-life balance

The traditional 9-to-5 workday can be a major source of stress for many employees. Between the commute, the office environment, and the constant demands of the job, it can be tough to find time for anything else.

With remote work, employees have more control over their time and schedule, leading to a more flexible and balanced approach to work and life. In addition, remote work can often be done from anywhere, allowing employees to choose the location that best suits their needs.

For example, an employee with young children may prefer to work from home to reduce childcare costs or have more time for family responsibilities. Alternatively, an employee who wants to avoid a long commute may choose to work from a co-working space closer to home.

In any case, remote work can offer a great deal of flexibility and freedom when balancing work and life.

Meaningful and joyful work that makes a difference

The ultimate way to retain your best talent is to give them work that is both joyful and meaningful that they can take pride in doing. When employees believe in their work and enjoy the process, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs.

To create meaningful and joyful work, businesses should focus on giving employees projects that align with their skills and interests. They can also provide opportunities for employees to give back to the community.

For example, businesses can encourage employees to participate in volunteer activities or donate to charity. By doing so, businesses can show their employees that they are making more than just a paycheck–they are making a difference.

The Importance of Employer Branding In Your Recruiting Strategy

Now that you know what students are looking for, it’s time to start marketing your company as a great place to work.

There are a few key channels you should focus on:

  • Your website
  • Social media
  • Career fairs and job fairs
  • University partnerships
  • Employee Referral Programs

Highlighting Your Employer Brand on Your Website

When it comes to branding, your website should be your number one priority. It’s the first place most candidates will go to learn more about your company.

To make sure your website is effective, you should:

  • Include a dedicated careers page that outlines your employer brand and what it’s like to work for your company.
  • Use strong imagery and videos to give visitors a taste of your company culture.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage visitors to learn more about your company or apply for a job.
  • Use SEO keywords throughout your website to ensure that you come up in relevant searches.

You should also spotlight current employees on your website and feature employee testimonials. This will give candidates a better sense of what it’s like to work for your company.

And since students prioritize social issues, you should highlight any social responsibility initiatives your company is involved in via blogs, infographics, or videos. If they are standout programs, link to them from your homepage and create landing pages for them.

Utilizing Social Media in Your Recruiting Strategy

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you reach a large audience of potential candidates.

  • When used correctly, social media can help you:
  • Build relationships with prospective employees.
  • Increase brand awareness and visibility.
  • Generate leads and drive traffic to your website.
  • Engage with your target audience.

The most important thing to remember when using social media for recruiting is consistency. You want to ensure you are putting out a uniform message across all your channels.

To do this, you should:

  1. Define your brand voice and tone: This will help you create consistent messaging across all your channels.
  2. Develop a content strategy: This will help you determine what content to post and how often to post it.
  3. Choose the right platforms: Not all social media platforms are created equal. You should focus on the most popular with your target audience. For recruitment efforts, it is best to prioritize LinkedIn first, then Twitter and TikTok.
  4. Monitor your activity: You should regularly check your social media channels to see how your content is performing and to engage with your audience.

On social media, it is also best to highlight employees who contribute to your company culture. You can do this by featuring them in social media posts or encouraging employee-generated content (EGC).

Prospective employees who see this can get a better sense of what it’s like to work for your company and see that your employees are happy.

Attending Career and Job Fairs

Attending career fairs and job fairs can be a great way to meet prospective employees face-to-face. These events provide an opportunity to introduce yourself and your company, and learn more about the individuals you may be interested in hiring.

Career fairs and job fairs can also be a great way to connect with other businesses in your industry, and to network with potential customers or clients.

When attending a career fair, remember to be as professional as possible. This is your chance to make a good first impression on potential employees.

Be sure to talk to as many students as possible. If you can find dozens of qualified candidates at each job fair your company participates in, your recruitment process will be much more efficient.

  • To make the most of your time at these events, you should:
  • Come prepared with a list of questions to ask each prospective employee.
  • Have plenty of business cards and information on hand to give out.
  • Dress professionally and have your resume ready to go.
  • Be sure to follow up with each prospective employee after the event.

University Partnerships

Another great way to source top entry-level talent is by partnering with universities.

There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Start an internship program: This will allow students to gain real-world experience at your company. Internships can also lead to full-time employment after graduation.
  • Sponsor university events: This will help you get your company’s name out there on campus.
  • Develop relationships with professors: This can help you identify talented students early on. Professors may invite you to present in their class or to guest lecture.
  • Offer scholarships: Paying or financially assisting students in their education can help you develop a pipeline of top talent. It can also help you retain talent and be part of their personal and professional development.

Employee Referral Programs

Incentivizing current employees to refer their friends and acquaintances can be a great way to source top entry-level talent.

Employees usually have a good sense of the company culture and whether their friends would be a good fit. They may also have connections that you don’t have access to.

To create an employee referral program, you should first develop some guidelines. For example, you may want to specify the type of person you’re looking for or what kinds of skills and experience they should have.

You should also decide how much you’re willing to pay employees for each referral. This will vary depending on the position and the company’s budget.

Once you have a plan in place, be sure to communicate it to your employees. You can do this through email, company-wide memos, or team meetings.

Make sure you promote the program and make it easy for employees to submit referrals. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to participate.

You may also want to consider offering additional incentives for employees who make referrals that lead to new hires. This could be a bonus, paid time off, or even extra vacation days.

Recruitment Ideas for College Students

When it comes to college recruitment strategy and recruiting best practices, there are a few key places to look.

Here are some of the best:

  • Online job boards
  • University career centers
  • Industry-specific job fairs
  • Social media
  • Employee referral programs

Using Online Job Boards to Find Great Resumes

Recruitment strategy 1 is to use online job boards.

When it comes to looking for top talent, online job boards can be a great resource for universities. You can search for resumes by location, industry, or keywords. This can help you find candidates that are a good fit for your company.

To get started, create a list of the most popular job boards in your industry. Then, create an account and start posting job ads. Be sure to include a detailed description of the position and what you’re looking for in a candidate.

You can also use online job boards to source resumes. This can be a great way to find candidates that you may not have otherwise found. To do this, simply search for resumes that match your criteria. Then, reach out to the candidates and see if they’re interested in learning more about your company.

Searching University Career Centers

Another great university recruitment strategy for great talent is to look at university career centers.

Most universities have a career center that helps students find jobs and internships. This can be a great resource for finding entry-level talent.

To get started, reach out to the career center at your target universities. See if they’re willing to post your job listing or help you with on-campus recruiting.

You can also attend career fairs and other events that are put on by the university. This can be a great way to meet talented students and get your company’s name out there.

Attending Industry-Specific Job Fairs

If you’re looking for entry-level talent in a specific industry, job fairs can be a great option.

There are job fairs for every industry imaginable, including tech, finance, and many popular fields.

To find job fairs in your industry, simply search online or ask around. You may also find them through your local Chamber of Commerce.

Once you’ve found a few job fairs, reach out to the organizers and see if you can set up a booth. This is usually pretty easy and only requires a small fee.

At the job fair, be sure to have plenty of information about your company and open positions. You should also bring along some business cards and other marketing materials.

Sourcing Top Talent Through Social Media

When it comes to student recruitment ideas, social media is possibly the most powerful tool. Not only can you get lots of inbound applicants, but it can also help you connect with top talent.

To get started, create profiles on the most popular social media sites for your industry. LinkedIn is a good place to start, and Twitter is even better.

Once you have your profiles set up, start posting job ads and interesting content that will engage potential candidates and draw them to your brand.

It is also best to reply to users who mention your company or seem to be interested in working with you. This shows you’re active and engaged, which can make a big difference in recruiting.

You can also use social media to connect with employees at your target universities. This can help you get your foot in the door and start building relationships.

Finding New Employees Through Current Ones

If you manage a team with a few college students, a great recruitment strategy is to ask them for help. Especially if you aren't sure how to hire an intern or college graduate, employees can be one of your greatest resources.

Your current employees likely have friends or classmates who are looking for a job or internship. By incentivizing them (with commission or a bonus), you can get them to help you find new employees.

Plus, employee referrals are likely to be a cultural fit, since they come from someone who already works for you and knows your company’s values.

To get started, simply ask your employees if they know anyone who might be interested in the open position. You can also create an employee referral program to make it more formal.

Finding the Best International Talent

Sometimes, the best talent is global. Recruitment strategy 2 is to look for the best talent no matter where they’re from.

There are many ways to find qualified international job and internship candidates. Job postings on international job boards, personal networks, and social media platforms can all be effective.

However, another avenue to consider is sponsorship programs. These programs connect employers with high-skilled foreign workers who already live in the country on a temporary visa.

Sponsorship programs can be a great way to find talented candidates who are already familiar with the local culture and workforce.

When considering sponsorship programs, be sure to research the program's requirements and reputation to find a trustworthy provider.

What Employers Need to Know About International Job Seekers

If you decide to pursue international candidates, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Different countries have different visa requirements. Make sure you’re familiar with the visa requirements of your candidate's country.
  • There may be language barriers. You may need to invest in language training if your company doesn’t have bilingual employees.
  • Different countries have different cultural norms. Adjust your expectations and work style to accommodate your international employees.
  • Your employees will need a J-1 visa to intern or train in the United States. Make sure you start the application process early, so there are no delays.

When sourcing international candidates for global internships, keeping these things in mind will ensure that your student recruitment strategy is a success.

How Employers Can Sponsor J-1 Visas for Interns and Trainees

If you want to host a J-1  intern or trainee and aren't sure how to navigate this process, Intrax Global Internships can help.

Our global internship programs are designed to help employers sponsor J-1 visas for their interns and trainees, so they successfully transition to full-time employment..

We also provide support services to ensure that your employees have a successful experience. As a J-1 visa sponsor designated by the Department of State, Intrax Global Internships streamlines the legal process across borders and provides continuous aid to participants.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you sponsor a J-1 visa for your next intern or trainee.

And if you're curious about how to start a thriving internship program, check out this step-by-step guide.

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

Aug 11, 2022
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