The role of campus recruiting events in the candidate journey is pivotal – they are a powerful opportunity to establish, or reinforce, your employer brand and initiate a connection with students who are the future of the workforce. But many organizations know that managing even a single recruiting event can be a logistical nightmare. Managing the unique details for dozens, or even hundreds, of events in a year can be simply overwhelming, if not impossible, without the right resources and strategy for communication and measurement.
The challenge for campus recruiting is to create unique and personalized experiences for target candidates at each recruiting event while keeping core elements like promotion, communication, logistics and strategy repeatable, manageable and measurable.
Building Relationships That Last
For many students, campus career fairs are the starting point in their career search; a way to figure out which companies they might want to work for, learn more about them and potentially earn an interview for an internship or job. For organizations, campus events are a way to introduce your employer brand ahead of the competition and make a lasting impression on a new crop of top-tier talent. But for both, these events are just the start of a relationship that could last years (the average person works until 62 and will change jobs more than 10 times!). While they might not accept an offer today, you want to ensure you’re top of mind when they make their next career change. The ability to build and nurture relationships with candidates at the collegiate level throughout the course of their careers is what turns campus events into long-term talent pipelines.
While interviews and applications are a great measure of event success, the majority of candidates you connect with are likely not ready to make that decision immediately or aren’t graduating for another one, two, maybe three semesters! Extending value beyond the day of your event requires you to capture candidate information in another form – a talent network – which enables you to build a pipeline of first-time job seekers who opt in for continued communication and nurturing from your company. The result is a segmented group of leads that you can target with specific messaging and content, setting you both up to get to know each other over time.
The Technology Factor
So how do you turn campus recruiting events into a long-term, hire-producing engine? With the right strategy and right technology. A Recruitment Marketing Platform can automate, manage and measure everything you do pre-, during and post-event to attract, engage and nurture event attendees into qualified applicants, both now and in the future.
Pre-Event: Think Like a Marketer
Smart marketers start with the end game. They define what success looks like and design integrated campaigns around those goals. For your event, success might be new leads in your talent network, new followers to a dedicated social channel, subscriptions to a newsletter or interview acceptances. To get those results, you have to market and socialize the event.
With a Recruitment Marketing Platform, you can:
- Create email campaigns for new leads as well as re-market to attendees of prior events with specific messaging
- Promote events across email, SMS, career site, networking sites and social media from one single platform (goodbye multiple tool headache!)
- Generate interest with social media campaigns to improve the number of candidates who visit your booth or engage with you
- Reinforce your employer brand with targeted and consistent messaging and communication
During the Event: Think Like a Mentor
During the event, you have a unique opportunity to offer something of real value that can make a significant difference in shaping an attendee’s future: guidance, personalization and authenticity. Walking from table to table with hundreds of other students, all feeling like they are competing for the same job, isn’t a great experience for anxious, first-time job seekers. They will likely collect dozens of corporate brochures and even a few nice logoed coffee tumblers, none of which will stand out from the crowd. Invest a few minutes – even if you know they are not ready to apply – to offer personal attention, good advice and encourage them to stay in touch in your talent network.
Don’t lose sight of passive candidates who are potential hires down the road:
- Capture basic contact and job interest information with a talent network form onsite
- Send the right event staff to the right events with the right messages, i.e., brand advocates to showcase your employer brand, veteran employees to gauge new talent from the military, etc.
- Ensure first contact with candidates is helpful and focused on them
Post-Event: Think Like a Matchmaker
You’ve likely made some great connections with leads and applicants. Now it’s your job to follow up and make sure the right candidates apply for the right jobs in your organization. That means nurturing the relationship, tracking their interactions with your brand in different touchpoints and sending them personalized communication that makes them feel valued.
Here, a Recruitment Marketing Platform enables you to:
- Build a detailed candidate profile with social media accounts, resume, event attendance and more
- Follow up with event attendees with targeted content and call to actions
- Nurture relationships through automated communication efforts to:
- Send targeted internship or job alerts
- Educate and interest them with employer brand news and content
- Learn more about leads to better segment lists
- Monitor their actions and interests over time
- Encourage them to attend another event
- Track and analyze the number of talent network sign-ups and applications driven by every event alongside other recruiting tactics
- Effectively measure the performance of each campus event on how they influence hires to better manage budget and resources
Keeping the “Person” in Personalized
Today, the candidate journey can involve as many as 12 touchpoints with your brand, content, social media efforts, employees, and more. Younger job seekers, who have grown up as digital natives, instinctively turn online to research employers the way the research products. You can count on them to visit your career site, follow you on social media, and check out Glassdoor (all in the 1 minute it takes to walk up to your booth).
But the power of meeting a real person who is truly interested in helping them shape their career can be more powerful than any other single interaction or third-party review. Forming early relationships (and maintaining them over time) with these candidates who see you as an advocate can influence their decision to take their career to your organization long after your first encounter.
Learn more about how a Recruitment Marketing Platform can maximize your investment in campus recruiting events.