Staying Focused in the University Recruiting Offseason

Join us on December 17th at 2p EST/11a PST as we kick off our 3-part series over the Campus Recruiting Lifecycle starting with “Implementing a Career Fair Strategy for 2016.” Register for the first part here and check out part 2 & 3 here.

I’m a big sports guy. My teams are Oklahoma State (NCAA), Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), Denver Broncos (NFL), and the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB). With all but the NBA coming to an end these students and professional athletes are going to start thinking about staying healthy and focused during the offseason. University Recruiters are in the same boat.

While most companies have already extended offers to students for either a spring or summer internship, there are a few months where very little is happening. There are very few if any, career fairs, students are away on holiday break, intern classes are ending, and campus recruiters can finally take a breather. Staying focused in the offseason can make or break your spring programs.

The job of a University Recruiter is rough and limitations by budget, both in branding and paying interns, can be detrimental when it comes to having a strong, competitive program. In the lull that is late December, early January it’s important to take stock and reorganize your strategy to make full use of your resources. We’ve come up with a short checklist of what you can be doing to ensure success when you’re back on campuses come springtime.

Analyze success and failures, specifically in campus recruiting.
When it comes to visiting campus after campus after campus, you need to understand which campuses were successful for specific types of degrees, students, and overall branding. Take a look back at the campuses you visited and cross-examine the following metrics:

  • # of resumes collected
  • # of qualified resumes collected
  • # of students offered interviews
  • # of students offered an internship
  • # of students who accepted internship
  • Degree types of students at each campus

Understanding these basic metrics will allow you to build a strong strategy around which campus to attend for the different requisitions that you have open. Without this type of information you may be visiting the wrong campuses for specific majors. This will allow you to focus your budget and ultimately cut cost for under performing campus visits.

Work with all departments to forecast potential need
Without knowing specifics around the needs of all departments it’s hard to determine what type of effort is required from your university recruiting team. It’s also hard to determine what campuses to visits and where to focus your efforts. Take the lull you have in late December and get meetings on the books before everyone heads off for the holidays and talk about forecasting each department so you can plan ahead. In doing so, when Spring comes around you won’t be shocked when these departments are requesting X amount of new hires.

Build world-class programs and start getting excited
The job of a university recruiter as I said earlier was a tough one and very limited when it comes to having ample resources. If you use this offseason to understand where you’re at and where you want to be in the next five years — it’ll serve a greater purpose in the long run. Focus on thinking about what you want your program to look like next year and set 3,6, and 12-month goals to accomplishes your objectives. And lastly, get excited! You’re hiring the future DNA of your company. It’s a crazy and extremely busy industry, but a fun one.

Staying focused in a brief lull of offseason will allow you to plan a strategy around major components of your university recruiting efforts and might help open up some spend to try other types of programs and services that will help alleviate some of the work. University recruiting is still a new concept to most companies and providing value and strategy will help not only increase your budget, but number of hires, retention, and innovation.

Join us on December 17th at 2p EST/11a PST as we kick off our 3-part series over the Campus Recruiting Lifecycle starting with “Implementing a Career Fair Strategy for 2016.” Register for the first part here and check out part 2 & 3 here.

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Blake McCammon

Blake is the Growth Marketing Manager at Looksharp. Before Looksharp, Blake spent over five years working with companies in the HR Technology space to help build influence and market their products to practitioners. He also helped build one of the largest HR & Social Media blogs on the Internet, Blogging4Jobs. In his spare time he enjoys tennis, skiing, traveling, and running a non-profit he co-founded, ProtoHack.