Best Time to Recruit College Grads Is Right Now
By Roberto Angulo If you’re looking for the best time to start your college recruitment and branding initiatives, the time is now. Employers often assume that after the winter holidays every student has resigned themselves to studying and focusing onlyh on school. This is not the case according to our observations here at AfterCollege.com, the largest website in the U.S. for students, recent grads and alumni looking for entry-level jobs and internships.
In January, we typically see a spike in activity from students looking for jobs and internships. Last year we saw a 40 percent spike in student applications during this time. The same goes for other holidays. Our active employers, for example, saw the most traffic (email opens and views) to their email and branding campaigns during Thanksgiving of 2010. After a brief dip in February, student job search activity typically remains strong well until graduation time. Many students and pending grads wait until the end of the spring to apply for full-time jobs and internships.
Things to Consider When Recruiting College Students
Catch students’ attention while they’re on vacation. The beginning of the year sees a spike in activity in student job search activity, as seen in job applications above. Plan next year to take advantage of the holidays to post your jobs and internships for students to do their research. They may be away from school, but this break from homework can give them the free time to explore and compare career opportunities.
February is a good time to plan. Activity in the second month of the year dips a bit. In this short month you can develop a game plan to attract and recruit your target candidates for the remainder of the school year. Activity picks up again in March and remains strong despite the spring break.
Strategies to Help You with Your College Recruiting Goals
Whether you’re looking for full-time workers or interns, here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:
Reach out to faculty and student groups. Schools typically hold information sessions and on-campus interviews at predetermined times during the fall and winter semesters. Did you miss the boat on any of these or did you have more internship or full-time opportunities come up at the last minute? Professors and student group officers are the biggest influencers of students on campus, so academic departments and student groups are the places to go in order to reach your target audiences.
Have a good career section on your web site. Over 60 percent of college students in a recent AfterCollege survey stated that they found applying to jobs on company web sites effective. Therefore, make sure you post your jobs and internships on your web site so that proactive students can find them.
Use job boards and social media. Make sure you also target your jobs to the right job boards. Over 65 percent of students in our survey mentioned that they apply to jobs via job boards, including niche sites like AfterCollege. Post selectively to your target audience using relevant sites. Students are doing their research on these sites.
Social media is everywhere now, and while the majority of students are on Facebook, only 16 percent of them apply to jobs or consider social networks effective for finding work. LinkedIn is a great site for networking, but the average age of a user on this site is 40+ years. Leverage these networks when you can.
When it comes to figuring out when is the best time to reach out to college students, the time is now. Students are looking opportunities and will continue to do so well into the early summer. Leverage groups on campus and faculty to reach your target students. Use niche sites to get your jobs out there fast and efficiently, and make sure you have a good career section on your web site where you can point students.
About Roberto Angulo
Roberto Angulo is CEO and co-founder of AfterCollege.com, the largest website in the U.S. for students, recent grads and alumni looking for entry-level jobs and internships. AfterCollege reaches 2,800,000 college students and recent grads and works with over 8,000 academic departments and student groups at 2,000+ universities. Roberto is a frequent speaker on topics relating to online recruiting, especially as it pertains to Gen Y and college students.
Roberto started AfterCollege in 1999 after graduating from Stanford University. He is currently responsible for the day-to-day operations of AfterCollege and sets strategy for the company.
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