SMB Guide to College Recruitment


Small- and medium- sized businesses have to be inventive to make up for having fewer resources than larger companies. One effective way to obtain new talent with fewer resources is to recruit directly from colleges. New grads are entry-level employees, but they are often trained in the latest developments of their fields and are comfortable using new technologies. Use the following guide to learn how to establish effective college recruitment practices.

Review Programs Carefully
When picking colleges to recruit from, be sure to check how well their major programs align with your company’s needs. For example, if you have an engineering company, then you are probably looking for candidates from both the engineering and business majors. You will experience greater success in the long term if you recruit from universities with business and engineering schools that train their students in both the fundamentals of their disciplines and in emerging trends and technologies. You can also obtain more experienced candidates if you recruit from schools that offer numerous internship opportunities.

Build Long-Term Relationships With Colleges
One way to experience repeated college recruitment success is to establish long-term relationships with schools. When college departments can offer your company’s name as a hiring resource for students, you will have a steady flow of incoming candidates with similar training backgrounds. To foster these strong relationships, send representatives to job fairs and student presentation events. You should also make a point of sharing your job openings with university career centers.

Use Size to Your Advantage
Some students may be attracted to the perceived prestige of larger businesses. However, entry-level positions at these businesses can be boring because duties are divided between so many other employees. For students who hope to shoulder active roles immediately after being hired, SMBs are an excellent option.

If your business can offer candidates the opportunity to play an important role in its development and contribute to decisions, be sure to make that an obvious point in your job descriptions. This is not just a recruitment tactic; it is very much to your advantage as well. While college students may not have the business experience of your more seasoned employees, they do come fresh from an environment of constant learning. They are likely to have information on new developments in the field, and they are primed to chase success. Let students know that rather than swallowing them up into a corporate black hole, you will value their input and offer immersive training in your industry.

Communicate Effectively
As job hunters, college students are both inexperienced and highly motivated. This combination of conditions makes communication an especially important component of college recruitment. Students on the verge of graduating are likely to be churning out a high volume of applications, and your company will stand out to them if you acknowledge them at every stage of the process. This acknowledgment is especially valuable to college students, because they are used to receiving feedback for their work.

When you receive a job application, send an email verifying that you received it and letting the candidate know when he or she can expect to hear more from you. When you ultimately decide to reject or accept a candidate, do it quickly rather than delaying the contact or never doing it at all. Offering prompt decisions improves your candidates’ experiences. College students are likely to have friends who are also seeking employment, so prioritizing communication will be helpful to your company’s reputation among other potential candidates. While this may seem tedious, there are countless hiring tools on the market that can automate these processes for you and save you valuable time and money.

Recruiting From Colleges the Smart Way
Hiring recent college graduates keeps costs down, because you can pay them lower salaries than more experienced candidates. However, this should not be your main reason for recruiting through universities. You should seek to hire college students because they can bring strong work ethic and fresh knowledge to the table, and these are especially valuable assets for SMBs. Ultimately, hiring recent college graduates is one of the best methods for fostering an innovative and industrious environment in your company.

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