What Recruiters Need to Know About College Hiring in 2016

Nearly 85 percent. That’s the number of college students who have an online profile specifically for career purposes. More than 51 percent. That’s the number of students who start their job search on Google. Interesting stats and insight, but what do those numbers really mean to recruiters who are eager to hire their next crop of entry-level talent?

According to Looksharp, the largest internship and entry-level jobs marketplace, students are increasingly more tech-savvy, yet they enjoy having “a division between personal and professional when it comes to social media,” advises Andrew Maguire, CEO and founder of Looksharp. “It’s good to experiment with these channels, but don’t expect a huge return.” Instead, college recruiters should look for ways to incorporate career profile sites — including LinkedIn, Github, Behance, or About.me — into their sourcing processes.

“We also think that students are going to Google versus their campus career centers because they want total access to opportunities, as well as a great user experience,” shares Maguire. Now, this doesn’t mean that campus recruiters should bypass the career centers! What it means is that recruiters and their respective organizations need to consider Google (and other search engines) when it comes to their recruitment marketing. Questions to ask include:

  • Are the company’s jobs indexed on Google?
  • Are jobs search engine optimized?
  • What page do the jobs appear on?
  • Should resources be put toward (or reallocated to) Google and search engine optimization?
  • Are there other ways for the company’s jobs to rank higher via search?

Preparing for the New Academic Year

Based on tens of thousands of survey responses, Looksharp found (despite popular belief) students are happy to relocate, even on their own dime. This means that campus recruiters may want to look outside their corporate backyards to discover new talent sources. “The majority of our new consulting and sales college hires are transplants,” shares Tracey Waecker, director of university relations at Netsuite. “I’ve found that students are happy to relocate for the right opportunity.”

As recruiters gear up for the fall, full-time hiring season they should start to think about the spring’s internship hiring. The survey found the top five internship attributes that students want are:

  • Career advancement opportunity
  • Work relevant to major/minor
  • Access to executives and mentoring
  • Work-life balance
  • Clearly defined work assignments

Knowing where to look for talent and what’s important to them are two critical components to a successful recruiting season. Additionally, As recruiters plan out their 2016-2017 season, they should be “really clear in articulating brand and value prop,” counsels Erin Peters, global college recruiting leader for Insight2Profit. “Delivering consistently is important to university recruiting.”

Disclaimer: Want to know what new grads really want? You can download the full report here. (I’m not getting paid to endorse or promote this report; it’s genuinely actionable information that I want to pass along.)

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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