Over the past year and a half, I have been to multiple information sessions on campus where recruiters are looking to reel students into their companies. I’m one of those students, and I’ve been to more than 50 of these sessions, the agendas of which typically go like this:
- Learn more about the company
- Learn about the application process
For starters, I already know a lot about your company. If I’m attending your session, I’ve already checked out your website and stalked your organization online. That aside, all this can get very repetitive, dull, and at times overwhelming. Too often, my peers and I are just sitting and listening to a recruiter speak for 90 minutes, which causes some people to leave in the middle of the event.
I believe that campus recruiters can do better, so let me tell you what works well — and what does not.
Tell Me About You, Not Just Your Company
Your company history might be interesting (a big emphasis on “might be”), but I want to hear about you. Tell me your personal story that led you to where you are now. Why are you passionate to work at your organization? Why do you want me to be a part of its success? Students want to connect with you personally, because that is what networking is all about. Some of the best sessions I’ve attended involved recruiters willing to share details about themselves.
By interaction, I don’t mean five minutes of Q&A at the end of a session. I love swag as much as the next student, but what I appreciate more are activities that focus on teamwork and relationship-building. It’s these sorts of moments that make an information session memorable.
For example, I really liked when one company’s recruiters had us work in groups to play trivia games that tested our knowledge about their company. It was fun. It was also a chance for students to network with each other, not just with recruiters.
Don’t Rush Through the Application Process
Too often, campus recruiters brush by the application process. Maybe they feel it’s boring, so they skim through it quickly. Here’s the problem with that: When students are interested in a company, knowing the application process — every minute detail of it — is important. Indeed, slides that explain your application process are probably the most important of all in your presentation.
At the same time, be honest with what you believe makes a student stand out. And be realistic about the process. People want to know what to expect when they apply for a position. The application process is tough enough on students, so it’s always great to hear recruiters give honest tips and advice.
Get Your Group On
Ideally, you shouldn’t be the only person from your company visiting the campus. It’s always great when recruiters bring previous interns, people who were once in our shoes. It really helps spur better connections and fosters far more engaging networking.
Nevermind that if there’s only one representative from your organization, people sometimes must stand in a long line that winds outside of a room. Hardy the best experience for students, and I imagine likewise for recruiters. Plus, it’s always nice to get multiple perspectives on why someone should be part of your company.
I hope my observations and advice will help you plan your next campus-recruiting activities — but one last point: You don’t always have to wear business suits to your sessions!