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How to Increase Student Engagement Without Traveling to Career Fairs

July 22, 2020
Ben Siegel

A large number of colleges have already made the decision to continue remote learning through the fall semester and, odds are, many more will follow. This comes with many implications but for recruiting teams the biggest is obviously the lack of on-campus recruiting events. In the past, many recruiters have used their time on campus to put a face to a name and get students excited about potentially working at their company. However, many talent acquisition teams are actually finding that virtual recruiting helps increase their reach. They’re meeting more diverse candidates plus saving time and money.

The value of recruiting college students virtually

When you look back on prior years and think about how you prepared for your fall and spring recruiting seasons, you probably spent a lot of time thinking about what campuses you were going to visit. You lined up all the dates and figured out how much each visit was going to cost and then you embarked on your journey. Meeting students in person is great but there are also a few issues with on-campus recruiting that are easily fixed when doing it all virtually.

No matter how many schools you visit, you still can’t get in front of as many students as you can online. Less than 20 percent of students attend career fairs at their school. Plus, there are only so many campuses that you can visit each year which means you’re missing out on all of the diamonds in the rough that attend the colleges and universities that you aren’t able to get to. 

Not only are you missing out on talented students but, only going to certain campuses can be inherently biased. Think about where you normally travel to and the breakdown of who those students are. Don’t just think about their racial make-up, diversity also means finding people who think differently. This is one of the issues that virtual recruiting solves.

The perks of virtual college recruiting

Although it is relatively new, there are many advantages to virtual recruiting and the utilization of new technologies. 

Reach a broader audience of students

Recruiting virtually allows you to reach a broader audience of students. Instead of selecting specific schools and career fairs each year, you can interact with students from hundreds of universities with the push of a button. Whether you’re posting jobs, matching with candidates or hosting virtual events, you get to meet students from all over the country. Plus, you never have to leave the office!

Build more representative talent pipelines

By recruiting virtually and targeting a broader audience of students, you’re able to build more diverse and representative talent pipelines. It’s been proven thousands of times that a diverse team produces better results. Creating diverse teams is incredibly easy and efficient using an SRP.

Increased ROI per hire

Don’t waste your time and resources at an on-campus career fair; get face time with top students virtually and save. On average, companies using automation platforms have seen their average cost per hire decline by roughly 50 percent. Recruiters using Abode's all-in-one platform have seen a drastic decrease in time spent with candidates.

Increasing student engagement through virtual college recruiting

By hosting virtual events you’re able to meet students from hundreds of schools across the country. With technology like Abode you can understand and target students based on skills, interests and experiences instead of where they go to school. This allows you to engage with a much more diverse audience and get your brand in front of a larger group of students at one time.

You can also host more events when you recruit virtually. Instead of exhausting yourself by travelling to campuses and standing on your feet for hours, you can sit back and relax at your desk while you host multiple events per week. Each event can be drastically different and should include different members of your company to showcase everything that your company does in a more personable way. 

Types of events that will attract the most attention from students

A day in the life: Host a panel with a few employees and have them talk about what everyday life is like while working at your company. Encourage attendees to participate in the conversation via live Q&A. 

Interview & resume tips: There is already so much pressure on students during their internship and job search. Use an event like this to show how your company is truly on their side throughout the process by offering resume workshops and interview tips.

AMAs (Ask me anything): Ask a few of your intern alumni to share their journey from the application process to working at your company. These discussions are exactly the type of insider knowledge students are looking for before deciding where they want to work.

Representative voices: This is important for all events. Be sure to include employees from different backgrounds so all students can empathize with the employee experience at your company and feel welcomed.

“Abode provides a solution that allows us to better connect with Gen Z talent in a way that is engaging to them. It offers a way for Elevance Health to enhance our brand and coin ourselves as an employer of choice for college students and graduates. Working with Abode is an easy and seamless experience.”
Brooke Smith
University Relations Manager,
Elevance Health (fka Anthem)