College Recruitment Landscape in COVID-19

College Recruitment Landscape
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Previously we explored some tactics to help companies recruit college students. However, during a pandemic, the college recruitment landscape has changed. Some tactics become less effective while other approaches are more important than ever.

While CNBC called this the worst college job market since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, many companies need to replenish the pipeline of students in entry level roles. Companies needing to hire must try new tactics to target and recruit their ideal student. In these trying economic times, business cannot afford to make the wrong hire.

Biggest Changes in Recruitment Marketing

The bread and butter of college recruitment marketing are job fairs. Students learn about a companies’ beliefs and offerings. Recruiters get to meet face-to-face with potential prospects. This year nearly every school has canceled in-person events. Additionally, many schools remain wary about allowing recruiters onto campus. They want to minimize the amount of personnel on campus at a given time.

To compensate for the lack of the job fairs, companies must switch to virtual events and other methods. Virtual tradeshows and job fairs existed long before COVID-19. These events will take a more prominent role in this year’s recruitment cycle. However, as business’s host events, they still need to drive attendance especially if it is not a career fair orchestrated by the school.

Driving Awareness

Even though most companies advertised their presence on campus during job fairs and meet and greet info sessions, it was typically in coordination of existing career services channels. This year businesses  must take that responsibility on for themselves. Messaging related to upcoming virtual recruitment events, job microsites, or potential openings need to reach the students.

Bulletin Board Posters, College Newspaper Print ads and campus oriented out-of-home placements can drive the message home to students at the 70%+ of schools with in-person learning. Digital tactics work great for all college students. College Newspaper Websites have increased readership as students use it as the primary source of campus news. Email blasts remain a great source, especially as it can target relevant majors. Social Influencers can also alert their peers to upcoming virtual job events and career opportunities.

While COVID-19 makes the college recruitment landscape more challenging, it can be done effectively. Pivot to more digital and virtual style programs to replace career fairs. Use traditional and digital tactics to increase attendance at these events. Future employees live on college campuses, now is still the time to get them.

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