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Campus Recruiting Trends for 2022

In the wake of the pandemic, many recruiters have shifted to working part on-site and part remote. Students have also shifted their work habits and are looking for employers who align with them. This change has lead to some new campus trends:

Having an online presence

Recruiters have always used digital technology for outreach and communication with student candidates, but it’s never been more important than it is today. With even just your phone, you can cast a wider net and form connections with more schools or top candidates, regardless of their location. Hybrid recruiting also saves money, as travel to in-person job fairs and campus events can be expensive. Digital programs now allow companies to schedule virtual events with selected schools or participate in several locations. It is important to stay active online and build your brand virtually as much as in-person.

Company culture and benefits matter more

Hybrid recruiting brings a wider candidate pool while also bringing in more competition for talent. Today’s graduates know what they’re looking for — that’s why it’s especially important to understand what they value. When recruiting, emphasize corporate culture, especially any remote or hybrid work arrangements. Many new graduates want to feel they’re valued for their work and that they’re contributing to a company that cares about people and issues, so showcasing diversity and inclusion initiatives can also give you an edge. Even inexperienced graduates expect competitive pay, along with the standard retirement plan and paid time off, plus nice-to-have perks like wellness programs and employee discounts.

Traditional job requirements matter less

The Great Resignation has left many organizations with gaps in their ranks. Early-career talent can fill some of these gaps, but this may require campus recruiters to be more flexible in how they evaluate. This could mean offering roles to graduates who may not tick every box but possess strong soft skills, have a genuine interest in the work and seem to align well with the company culture. A related trend is for companies to prioritize internal hiring, offering permanent positions to college interns who have already shown their worth. If you don’t run internships, you can still prioritize graduates who have interned at other companies in your industry.

On-campus events still matter

Plenty of students still prefer in-person interactions to virtual ones. Traditional events like job fairs are one way to reach this audience, but you should also consider out-of-the-box ideas to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Examples include:

  • Hackathons — This is a great way to reel in computer science and engineering talent. If your target schools don’t host hackathons or coding contests, why not start one?

  • Campus challenges — Next time you give a classroom presentation, close your talk by sending the students a tough challenge — preferably the kind of problem they’d face as an employee at your company. Review the solutions on your next visit and flag any outstanding candidates for future consideration.

  • Mini events — To maintain a relationship with your talent pool, consider organizing a monthly group chat or 1:1 meetings with your hiring managers at the campus coffee bar. It’s an informal, cost-effective way to keep your company at the front of students’ minds.

2022 is ushering in a new era of campus recruiting. Let our professionals at NetworkESC help you today!

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