Communicating with College Students

What channels should recruiters use when communicating with college students? A recent study from Universum Global, a provider of employer branding solutions, provides insight.

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Universum’s World’s Most Attractive Employers 2017 study includes a look at the top 10 communication channels for business and engineering/IT students.
Although the focus is on two distinct groups of students, findings are broken out by student major and there isn’t much difference between the two groups. With this in mind, and the fact that Universum surveyed more than 290,000 students, it’s safe to make general assumptions about student communication channel preferences.

Study Findings

Here are the top 10 communication channels that students rely on in connection with pursuing employment opportunities.

  1. Social media
  2. Employer websites
  3. Career fairs
  4. Job boards (defined as sites where job openings are posted)
  5. Employer presentations on campus
  6. Career guidance websites
  7. Career and job related apps
  8. University press and student organization publications
  9. Lecturers/case studies as part of curriculum
  10. Employer advertisements on TV


It comes as no surprise that social media now holds the No. 1 spot, as it has become an important vehicle for employer/job seeker communication. The fact that employer websites is a close second comes as no surprise, either. Today’s job seekers are adept at internet research, while companies now have robust corporate careers sites.
The fact that “career fairs” is in the No. 3 spot and “employer presentations on campus” is No. 5 should give recruiters pause, however. This is a generation that has grown up with technology. These are job seekers who prefer written communication to phone conversations, and yet, when it comes to the job search, they appear to highly value live interaction.
Likewise, supposedly old-fashioned communication channels, like “career guidance websites”; “university press and student organization publications”; and “lecturers/case studies as part of curriculum” make the top 10. Students also value “employer advertisements on TV.”
The message, it seems, is that a variety of channels should be employed, if you want to employ college students.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.

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