Q&A: University Recruiting Even During Off Season

campus recruiting, college recruiting, university recruiting

It’s May and although, students are getting ready to graduate and you were just given a huge list of hires you need to make for junior roles. But the problem is, you are way late in the game. You needed to hire business students and the best ones are likely gone now. What do you do? Don’t fret. There hope even in May for your university recruiting efforts. I, personally suggest looking into Arts and Science school. Often times these students have quantitative skills, exceptional writing skills, and most importantly are still looking for work. The population is often ignored by large-scale university programs meaning there is higher unemployment overall with these graduates. This translates into increased opportunity for you. I’m here to tell you as part of a special Q&A, you are missing out.

Q&A with Erica Etes, Director of Employer Relations

I recently sat down with Erica Etes, Director of Employer Relations for Fulbright College, The University of Arkansas to have an open discussion on the topic of university recruiting and how employers can improve their on-campus as well as off-campus recruiting efforts.

How did you get started in the Career Services profession?

Currently, my role is Director of Employer Relations for Fulbright College at the University of Arkansas. I connect employers with arts and science students. Previously, I worked as a career counselor for the U of A for 6 years. I work primarily with the Employers and Recruiters in my current role.

Tell me about your school at the University of Arkansas:

Fulbright College of Arts and Science:

  • 7800 students (undergrad/grad)
  • Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD
  • 19 disciplines in 4 areas of focus, Natural Sciences (Analytical), Social Sciences (Service-Oriented), Humanities (Writing skills), Fine Arts (Design and Experience)
  • Over 30+ programs

What are some high yield opportunities for employers to partner with Employer relations at your school?  

Attend our main career fair and industry specific events, like:

  • Media and communications design career fair
  • Non-Profit, government and helping professions career fair

What’s a good example of how a company and their recruiters can partner with your team well (best practices)?

We enable companies to engage with a broader cross-section of students. For example, an Ad company in Kansas City attended a spring career fair. The next fall they came to campus to host an info session, and while on campus, we partnered up with art professional development class to conduct interviews with students maximized their time on campus and provided with a broader group of students to consider. It was a solid plan that we would can replicate with other employers.

The graduating class of 2017 is expected to have 2.5% unemployment - Forbes Click To Tweet

How did they partner with ER and Career services?

They had initiated with faculty, the faculty passed it to ER, companies often reach out to specific departments to do presentations in the classroom, but once had them in the process, did a site visit in Kansas City and cultivated the relationships, and we could expand the cut off  students, comm, arts, advertising. The relationship sits with ED now.

How would recommend companies better leverage what Employer Relations offers?

  • The most important thing is to make sure you’re posting jobs online
  • Participate in the career fairs
  • Send your Employer Relations contact about your list of requisitions and qualifications.

Why is that important?

We can streamline the process and maximize your time and effort.  We can bring forward other students who would be interested in professional employment opportunities with your company. Employers reach out to faculty often and that’s always good to see, but they may be missing out on all that the School can offer. They may only speak to one class. But if they use the system and Career Services they will get more.

We have a distribution list, weekly emails and updates for students and we can highlight and market their visit onsite to the school.

Connect with Erica Etes on LinkedIn.

University Recruiting 365 Days a Year

Even though summer school and graduation are literally days away, you can still access students and grads working with people like Erica as well as career services and the alumni community to reach out to students even after school ends. In this frictionless employment economy, jobs are plentiful with unemployment for college graduates reported at 2.5% although actual unemployment rates for grads are under debate. A recent graduate who is waiting tables full time after graduation while actively looking for work isn’t considered “unemployed” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Good talent is still out there which is why working with different colleges in your university recruiting efforts can work to your advantage at any time of the year.

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Vahid Behzadi

Vahid Behzadi is the founder of OuiCruit, a talent consulting firm that is dedicated to the big picture. We know staffing and we know executive search. Connect with Vahid on LinkedIn.


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