10 Tips from Recruiters for College Career Services

Experience, Inc. recently convened a panel of college recruiting professionals from a diverse group of companies. We took the opportunity to ask them their top tips for our career services partners.

Our recruiter panel had great praise and constructive criticism for career services to share with the university partners in attendance. While their responses varied by company, we compiled their top 10 suggestions in detail below.

Top 10 Tips

1. Help provide the best career center contact to recruiters.

“I love when schools can refer me to the right contact on the first call or email,” notes one head of college recruiting. Better yet, having that information readily accessible on the career services website, if possible, is tremendously helpful when recruiters are trying to reach out to new universities or programs.

2. Work with admissions offices.

College recruiting professionals really appreciate working with schools that admit career oriented students (doubly if students’ career interests involve working for their company!) Our panel noted that they are usually happy to help present about programs at orientations or admissions events. One panelist even mentioned, anecdotally, that as a parent, the focus on career services in the admissions process helped her family choose her son’s college.

3. Offer as much data as possible to potential employers.

If you have data to share, college recruiters appreciate when you make some of it available. They enjoy learning more about your student population, placement rates, or relevant student survey outcomes. Many noted that numbers are great to include in career services websites, outreach, or literature.

4. Provide a single point of contact.

Every college recruiting professional on our panel seconded this suggestion. Once the right contact has been established, college recruiters see the greatest success if they can rely on that individual as their go-to on campus. One point of contact makes it much easier to grow a relationship and collaborate on mutually beneficial campus recruiting programs.

They realize, however, that this is not always possible. In situations where multiple individuals handle the same recruiting contact, college recruiters mention that they really appreciate career services professionals that make introductions to the appropriate colleague and communicate that contact’s role in the conversation.

5. Connect recruiters with student groups.

Colleges discourage student groups and employers from cutting the career services office out of the loop with good reason: when independent employer relationships go wrong (low event turn out, poor organization, etc.) the career services office often handles the damage control.

Still, many employers count clubs among the best places to recruit engaged, career oriented students. Career services that work with student clubs and include student group events on their calendar side-step this issue and stand out to employers as offering the best of both worlds: professional relationships and useful events with the right students for the job!

6. Make resume books available for off cycle hiring.

This one is pretty self explanatory: college recruiters like resume books, even in the off season. A few college recruiters mentioned they noted eRecruiting schools with year-round resume book availability, as it was a good way to engage students who might not be actively browsing with a one-off opportunity or internship.

7. Contact employers in the off season.

College recruiters enthused that the best time for meaningful relationship building and planning was during the off season. They enjoyed hearing from university career services professionals about campus updates and appreciated check-ins on placements. And even in the thick of recruiting season, recruiters look forward to outreach that isn’t just about jobs.

8. Make investments in classes together.

Class presentations were a favorite among college recruiting panelists. They especially liked working in conjunction with career services to find the right opportunities to visit classes. A recruiter from a small company said these class sessions have been great for getting the word out about his hiring. “The turn-out for a traditional info session is a little less predictable for companies … with less brand recognition,” he says, so working with career services to present industry knowledge in relevant classes has been a win for everyone involved.

9. Set expectations for candidates prior to the interview.

Our panelists noted that most career services offices already do a good job of helping the majority of students understand interview expectations and etiquette. Several highly recommended mock-interview programs to career services as a means to convey this knowledge. All recruiters agreed that they are much more likely to continue to work with universities with well prepared, polished students.

10. Help mitigate turnover impact.

Career services professionals and college recruiters alike face turnover and job changes and should work together to make smooth transitions. Reaching out when a contact will be changing or making an introduction is one of the most helpful things that can be done on either side.

Check back next week for Part II: “Top College Career Services Ideas for Employers”