What Student Job-Seekers Think About Virtual Recruitment Events
For most students, virtual recruitment events are uncharted territory.
Going into the new school year, many college students will continue learning and working remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A lot of employers are in the same boat, with many keeping their offices closed and working from home instead. As a result, an unexpected consequence of COVID-19 is that most fall recruitment events will need to be conducted virtually, too.
While in-person recruitment events are generally well-regarded, virtual recruitment is uncharted territory for many students (and employers). That’s why in May, RippleMatch conducted a survey of college students to find out what they think about virtual recruitment events. Here are a few of our top findings from the survey, as well as some advice for recruiters developing a calendar of fully virtual events.
More than half of students are very likely to attend virtual recruitment events
Students understand that since many colleges and offices are still operating remotely, recruitment events will also need to take place online. The good news is that according to the survey, 57% of students say they are very likely to attend virtual recruitment events this fall. Only 13% of respondents noted that they are unlikely to attend virtual events, with the remaining 30% feeling unsure. The takeaway here is that many students want virtual events, so recruiters should start the planning and event marketing process early.
Underrepresented minorities and students from lower-prestige schools are more likely to attend virtual events
Interestingly, the likelihood that students will participate in virtual events varies based on their demographic profile and the college they attend. For example, 68% of survey respondents who identify as underrepresented minorities (URM) indicated that they are very likely to attend virtual recruitment events, compared to only 51% of non-URM respondents. Similarly, 66% of students from “low-prestige” schools are very likely to attend virtual events, while only 52% of students from “high-prestige” schools answered the same. For employers, virtual events could be a great opportunity to further diversify recruitment or reach students at schools that weren’t previously on the radar.
Lack of personalization is a concern for students
Among the 43% of students who are either unlikely to attend virtual events or are unsure, the top reason is that they are concerned that it will be difficult to make personalized connections in an online environment. Recruiters can alleviate these concerns by incorporating more events with one-on-one communication or small group interaction. Personalized communication, such as targeted outreach via LinkedIn or tailored follow-ups from a recruiter, also go a long way toward building relationships with prospective candidates.
For more ideas on how to develop your virtual recruitment strategy, watch our webinar ‘What Students Value in Campus Recruiting Events’ or download our white paper “Fall 2020 Recruitment Playbook: Crafting an Effective University Recruitment Strategy Amid Uncertainty.”