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The Secrets of Successful Campus Recruiting


Students are heading back to college and employers are thinking campus recruitment.  One thing we hear repeatedly from collegiate career services staff is that employers can’t come to them on short notice and expect stellar results. On-campus recruiting programs take time and planning to be effective. Even long-time industry veterans need to take the time to prepare for collegiate recruitment since the business is constantly evolving. We’re sharing a few suggestions for effective collegiate recruiting below, and even more secrets to success in our upcoming Gearing Up for Campus Recruitment Season webinar.


Strategic Planning


Agricultural employers report that college & university recruiting programs are the top method to attract new graduates[1]. When beginning these vital on-campus recruiting programs, it needs to be understood that employer branding is not built in one year. Employers need to concentrate on building a lasting impression.


Develop a strategic plan with a tactical selection of schools and then focus on those schools. How many do you need to target? Don’t overestimate your abilities; if you aren’t able to make a 100% commitment and back away midway in your plan, your absence will be noticed more than your presence. There are hundreds of colleges and universities that offer agriculture programs in the United States. Maybe there will only be three or four schools that you can realistically visit. 


All universities have a career services office; many offer a decentralized model with staff that focuses primarily on the agricultural disciplines. Employers need to establish relationships with career services directors and personnel. You can also capitalize on relationships with key faculty. Oftentimes alums that have graduated and joined your organization can connect with faculty. 


The new school year is just around the corner and career fairs kick into high gear in September. Therefore, employers should have made, or be finalizing decisions for campus visits and career fairs now.


Career fairs are an ideal connection point for campus recruiting, but there are other ways to connect with students:


  • Present to clubs and organizations. These informational sessions usually last for about 45 minutes and allow time for questions at the end. Make sure you send the right people and don’t make it a company commercial. Utilize your collegiate contacts to publicize the presentation. 
  • Use your faculty contacts to make presentations to their classes.
  • Hold company information sessions prior to on-campus interviews or career fairs.
  • Provide tours for faculty; invite them to your company to educate about what the company does and what kind of internships and positions you can offer their students. 
  • Sponsor a scholarship
  • Offer students the opportunity for site visits and tours
  • Host or sponsor a pre-existing event on campus that your target audience would attend
  • Develop an internship program; word-of-mouth is one of the strongest forms of advertising among students, especially with the power of social media
  • Conduct on-campus interviews and make sure the interviewer is adequately prepared and passionate about the business. 


The upcoming Gearing Up for Campus Recruitment Season webinar provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear directly from collegiate career services contacts regarding what works and what doesn’t. This webinar on August 18 is meant for both industry recruiting newcomers and seasoned professionals seeking knowledge about refreshing their recruitment programs. You’ll hit the ground running this campus-recruiting season with strong insight into how to stand out to students as well as how to positively impact their career fair experiences. Find out more and register now:  Gearing Up for Campus Recruitment Season webinar.