Back To School: College Recruiting Tips – Part II

Last week I offered six tips on how to make your college recruiting activities more successful. Since then, I have received many emails from a wide variety of those actually out there “doing it” attesting to the validity of those comments. This week I offer you an additional six tips and a few comments from Dr. John Sullivan, a professor at San Francisco State University who also heads up the Human Resource Management function there. Many of Dr. Sullivan’s findings are reflected below. Six Tips: 1.Have a WOW web site that introduces your company and products to the students in an exciting and fun manner. As Dr. Sullivan says: “WOWing them is essential in order to win the recruiting battle.” 2.Establish internal methods and policies that let you make offers either on the spot or very, very quickly. These students are in high demand, have multiple offers, and won’t wait for your bureaucracy to grind into action. If it takes you longer than four days to extend the offer after your interviews, you have more than likely lost your candidate. 3.Use line managers, technical experts, or other line employees to do the interviewing on campus. Using only (or mostly) HR folks is a mistake. They do not generally have the product or company technical knowledge needed to be credible and to answer the questions that may be asked. 4.Be prepared to offer more than a basic package (i.e. salary and benefits). College graduates today are often looking for equity (i.e. stock options or stock grants) and for opportunities to be as independent as they can. They want real work – not rotational programs and more training, per se – and they want to make a difference. 5.Be sure you are up to speed on salaries, competitive offers, benefits and special opportunities your company can offer. These can be what tip the scale in your favor. Graduates are looking for these key benefits: international work/travel, real equity in the company, independence to make decisions and control outcomes, access to key decision makers in the company, exciting co-workers and team work experiences, opportunity for having a coach or mentor, and an informal atmosphere. 6.Savvy graduates also want to see how other recent college graduates who have been hired by your company are faring. Make sure you give them a chance to meet with a few of these recent graduates, be prepared to how recent grads have moved up or across the company, and be prepared to demonstrate that you live up to what your recruiting message says. Hope you have an outstanding college recruiting season! Next week I will tackle the issue of cost-per-hire and explore some other approaches.

Article Continues Below

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at