Is It Too Soon to Start Recruiting College Students?

The 2018–2019 school year will be kicking off for many college students over the next few weeks, which begs the question, when do you start recruiting college seniors?


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According to Katie Kocmond, campus recruiting manager at Addison Group, “[t]he best time to recruit seniors is around one to two weeks after the graduation of the class before them.” So basically, when the class of 2019 walks down the aisle, you can take a 2-week break before recruiting college seniors from the class of 2020. However, smart recruiters would be wise to use this in-between time wisely.
“Between this time, you will be able to capture the early birds who want to get a position prior to their last semester. However, there is some good talent that waits until a few months post-graduation to look for a job since they are not 100 percent sure if they are going to walk in May.” Recruiters must keep in mind that not all college seniors graduate in May. Some graduate in December at the end of the fall semester and others graduate in August, after the summer semester.
Keeping these other dates in mind, recruiters and hiring managers should be vigilant year-round, and start engaging college students as soon as possible. This way, you’re putting your company out there and showing college seniors what their prospects are before they have a degree in hand.

Tips for Recruiting College Seniors

Regardless of when a college senior graduates, you’ll want to know how to effectively vet them to stay ahead of the competition in today’s ever-changing marketplace and workplace. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Be mobile-friendly. Currently, around 26% of Millennials and Generation Z candidates apply to jobs via their mobile devices. And they are constantly searching for job opportunities and exploring potential places to work via their mobile devices.
So, to properly lure in college grads, you’ll want to make sure you have a mobile-friendly site that has easy-to-fill-out forms applicants can use when they’re interested in learning more about working for your company or hearing more about a potential job opportunity.      
Be quick to evaluate candidates and to respond. According to one study, 74% of recent grads turned down a job offer because it came too slowly. Make sure you have a solid system in place that focuses on your top candidates so that you can make a competitive offer to them as soon as possible.
You’ll also want to consider sending automated messages through chatbots and texting candidates to keep them informed every step of the way about what’s going on with their application while they’re waiting on your final response. Otherwise, expect them to move onto other job opportunities quickly.
Don’t assume money is everything. While money is important, it’s not everything. Recent college grads really want growth opportunities, and they want to continually hone and enhance their skills.
They’ll want to know how they can be successful with and at your organization now and in the near future. And they’ll also want to be connected to whom they work with every day, so you’ll want to have them visit their future workplace and meet their future coworkers before you provide them with an offer.