6 Unique Ways to Source Top Entry-Level Talent
Fresh strategies for recruiting standout talent.
Summer may be coming to an end, but peak campus recruitment season for most companies is just beginning. There is a lot of advice out there about how to recruit new employees on college campuses, including career fairs, coffee chats, and student referrals. But what about some fresh ideas for finding standout entry-level talent? Here are some new strategies you might want to incorporate into your fall recruitment plan for college students and recent graduates.
Visit business competitions and innovation contests at your core schools in areas of interest.
Throughout the year, many schools will host events like startup pitch days, business case competitions, and project-based learning presentations in which students showcase their professional skills. Get in touch with the career center at your target schools and ask what business competition events or contests are on their calendar. There’s a good chance you will find one related to your industry or to the core skills you are looking to hire for (like coding, marketing, or consulting). You could volunteer company representatives to be competition judges, offer to sponsor the event, or request an invitation to attend in order to see the students in action. Unable to participate on that day? As an alternative, monitor who wins these competitions and source them on LinkedIn afterward.
Get creative with filters and keywords on LinkedIn.
With 40 million college students and recent graduates, LinkedIn is the main social networking destination for entry-level job seekers. While you might already be searching for candidates through the “location,” “school,” or “company” filters, a little extra digging could yield even better results. Find candidates who hold leadership positions in clubs that align with roles you’re looking to fill (investment club, mock trial club, toastmasters, etc.). You might also search for which students are affiliated with a professional organization like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), an honor society like Phi Beta Kappa, or a certification like Six Sigma. From there, reach out to your preferred candidates with an InMail or a request to connect.
Search for candidates based on previous companies they’ve worked for.
Let other companies do the legwork for you. If you know your competitors are great at sourcing candidates, find and reach out to candidates who have interned or worked there before. Your Applicant Tracking System is one way to flag keywords related to your competitors, if candidates have already started to submit resumes and cover letters. Going back to LinkedIn recruiting, the “past companies” filter is also great for this option. In addition, if a prospective candidate’s internship supervisor left a glowing recommendation on LinkedIn, you also have the benefit of having a built-in reference. This strategy works well with current college students as well as recent graduates.
Experiment with virtual reality and remote recruiting.
Virtual reality isn’t just a technology used in the movies. It can also be used for recruiting, especially as a gamification strategy. You can deploy virtual reality at in-person events or remotely to aid in the recruitment process, from giving virtual office tours, to running skills-based tests, to letting students experience your company culture. Here are eight companies that have used virtual reality to their recruiting advantage. Can’t make it to campus, or don’t have the bandwidth to use VR? Consider other remote recruiting strategies that integrate video interviews, text messages, and other online technologies that your company already uses.
Find new prospects on Instagram.
For positions that rely heavily on social media or content creation, look for candidates who are already making waves in this space. Instagram is one of the main social media platforms for millennials and Generation Z, and 71% of the platform’s users are under 35. The rise of influencer partnerships has also lent a new business savvy to Instagram. Finding individuals with a strong social media presence and personal brand that aligns with your company’s offerings or values can be a huge opportunity for sourcing top talent.
Consider finding technical platforms that automate the recruitment process.
Have you noticed a theme with these recommendations? Most of them use some form of technology. However, there is also a large amount of human capital required to search for prospective candidates on social media channels, with VR, or through in-person business competitions. Luckily, many of entry-level recruitment strategies can be automated through platforms like Ripplematch. Ripplematch fosters connections with universities and organizations nationwide and uses custom algorithms with more than 60 candidate traits to help companies find their perfect match for a new position. The platform also helps companies tell their story to prospective candidates and build a brand that resonates with Gen Z talent.
Having a diversified, unique recruitment strategy can greatly expand your talent pool and help you attract the best candidates for the job. Which of these strategies are you most looking forward to trying out?
Download our latest report, "Understanding the Gen Z Candidate Experience" to understand what today's entry-level candidates experience and expect during the hiring process.