Friday, July 19, 2013

The Insider's Guide to Effective Campus Recruitment

What works in campus recruitment?  How can recruiters gain more traction with their target audiences on college and university campuses?  Is it possible to "get above" all of the noise that current students are exposed to so that your message gets out?  What messages really work?

Since one area I am exploring to further my career is campus recruitment and because I have worked many years for universities (19) maybe I can provide some insights to help some improve their campus recruitment.  From my work with recruiters I know that campus recruitment is challenging. There are internal constraints, competition with from all directions for student attention, campus branding challenges and competition from recruiters who are after the same applicant pool.  These challenges make it difficult to reach staffing goals.

If I could summarize the characteristics that I have observed associated with successful campus recruitment they break down into just a few categories:

  • Knowledge of post-secondary education and programs in general and specific knowledge of the institutions recruited
  • Campus branding including a clear value proposition
  • Clear communication
  • Continuity and consistency in building relationships

Of the above I think that relationship building is by far the most important and probably the most difficult task.  The organizations who do this well, over time build talent pipelines into their organizations and set up their new hires for success in the long run.

More detailed ideas are found here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Brazenly Refreshing

It is bold, hip, and direct.  It's the blog Brazen Life which is part of a larger organization called Brazen Careerist which I stumbled across several years ago and have been a pretty loyal reader ever since.  First, they implicitly, sometimes explicit, acknowledge that postings about career related matters are generally pedestrian and then they make the effort to come up with unique angles to approach common career questions.  Secondly they don't pull any punches, they are honest and straightforward in their writing style but are still creative enough to get the reader's interest.  Here are actual leads from recent posts:

"You want the perfect life. You want to jump through those hoops, get that glory and actually be happy with the greatest of ease"
A lot of the posts also include some rather deep questions for readers to ask themselves.  As you can see from the second example they do not just classify career-related matters to job searching but cover a wide variety of topics that affect us as "careerists."  Included is advice and commentary on what it means to be "professional," commentary on work-life issues, career growth and social media.  All topical areas that many recent graduates and more than a few experienced professionals need to know about and address in their work lives.

If I were looking for a good place to start with readable, reliable advice and the willingness to ask important questions in learning more about careers, Brazen Life would provide more than a good start.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A few years ago a young man, Nathan Green had an idea for a career-related website.  It was a challenge to try and find a niche that was not taken but had some upside.  He struck on 2 things:  What if the site "evaluated" someone's profile and attempted to match the individual with jobs or organizations?  Secondly, what if the target was medium to small businesses who sometimes have trouble making recruitment connections to hire the best matches.

What Nathan came up with is Campus2Careers and they have been quite successful. Over the past month or so, I have had the opportunity to use the system more often and have found it to be very user friendly, navigable and pretty accurate in it's matches. If I were a new college graduate or young professional I think that it would match me with a lot more jobs than it has, because they specialize in entry-level positions.  We keep advising young applicants to develop online portfolios and this system has a lot of flexibility to show off accomplishments in a portfolio-like way.  If I were a small or medium sized business looking to hire professionals I would have to pay attention to the system they have created because it seems to work well and quickly narrows down choices based on the information provided by applicants.

They must be doing something right because Campus2Careers was recently acquired by Sure Score and Nathan is a new VP!