Campus Hiring is one of the most common ways of recruiting. In fact, 98% of companies still believe that on-campus fairs are one of the best ways to recruit new talent into a firm (2013, Glassdoor). IIT Delhi, in 2017 reported that 254 out of its 267 students had reportedly gotten offers for jobs (194 full time, 60 interning); revealing that it is still relevant and effective to recruit talent right off the campus before they have a chance to explore the industry. However, when looking into how Campus Hiring is done; the main question that arises is: is it still relevant to use old fashioned techniques to hire a new generation?

Many recruiters spend a few days to a week (depending on the amount of interviews they take) on a campus to recruit. If 90 candidates are being interviewed for five positions, is it really good use of a recruiter’s time to interview all 90? With new age technologies and candidates who know how to utilize them, it may be in a recruiter’s best interest to be more efficient and thorough in their campus hiring processes.

There are several ways that a recruiter can now fast-track the hiring process on campus, without being physically present, these are:

  •  Mobile or Web Communication: The new generations have greater accessibility and knowledge of using electronic devices such as smart-phones, computers, laptops etc. Many candidates are found to be more approachable and candid when using these digital methods of recruiting. A recruiter can hold interviews over Skype, Whatsapp or any other video or phone communication available. They can also hold GD (group discussions) using these applications. Firms can also develop an end-to-end mobile strategy that enables them to be in touch with candidates. Online interviews are also easier to schedule, as they do not require physical presence at a particular location.

  •  On-campus Ambassador Programs: Ambassador Programs have become fairly popular in the past few years. They increase the brand awareness of the firm in the youth, giving the firm good exposure. It can also create brand loyalty in the ambassadors; which will contribute in their willingness to remain in your firm. An added bonus of Ambassador Programs is that a recruiter will have more knowledge of a candidate who has been associated with them for some time. Deloitte has a campus brand in many renowned colleges in order to stay relevant to the younger generation.
  •   Internships: One of the most fool-proof ways of knowing who is a great candidate is through internships. This is because employees will know about the working capabilities and talent pool of candidates who have worked with them for a short time. Furthermore, the candidate will also know what the workplace is like, and may be more likely to join a known and comfortable workplace rather than a new firm.

Recruiter’s perspective

A recruiter will always hire a fresh candidate for a job that required little to no experience. This means that executive positions are usually off the table for new graduates. It has become a trend today to hire new candidates who will be able to think ‘out of the box’ and be adaptable to change. Since the recruiters and candidates remain in communication from the first day of placements till the onboarding process, a recruiter and a new candidate will also have a more personalized way of communication. Depending on the requirements of the company the recruiters build a series of interview tests such as written tests, technical tests followed by a personal interview. The recruiters make specific assessments to evaluate candidates depending on their ability, knowledge, field experience (internships), and goals, making the recruitment process quicker.

Company’s perspective

Campus recruitment plays a significant role in recruiting and hiring top candidates. A firm always views hiring young talents as beneficial because they are known to be adaptable with any environment, can adapt with the company culture, are energetic, enthusiastic, and aim for productive results. Campus hiring can also place new recruits for a lower salary, which is economically beneficial for the firm.  More than 50 percent of the India firms look for quality of student, reputation of institute, accreditation, infrastructure or experience of the candidates. Deloitte hired 282 graduates from business colleges around India in 2016; signifying the importance of college hires.

A good example of how Campus Hiring is beneficial to firms is by looking at HCL Technologies. HCL conducts campus hiring each year to place top talents from some of the best colleges in the world in their company. Their CEO, Vineet Nayar, as well as top executives at HCL were all campus hires, showing there is a lot of growth and opportunity for campus hires.

Candidate’s perspective

There is a massive change in the recruitment and selection patterns compared to the last decade, where companies are actively working to build training and skills workshops in an effort to educate entry-level employees. A new graduate wants nothing more than to land a job, which is why campus hiring is great for recruiters and candidates. It also gives candidates the advantage of learning on the job and gaining skills along the way. While retaining fresh talent may be a challenge for some, it can be a learning experience for both the company and the candidates. A candidate also gets to experience what a corporate workplace is really like, giving them exposure and a stepping stone into the industry they want to work in.

Many companies use Campus Hiring as an active way of recruitment, and each year, a larger number of firms actively appear during Placement periods. Some of the companies with the largest number of campus hires are Cognizant, ICICI Bank, Infosys, and Wipro in India. Companies hire more when they are rapidly growing, such as Cognizant.

There are several ways a recruiter can attract more campus hires to their firm, such as:

  • Job Description: Make the job description creative and descriptive. A job description that informs the candidates about everything, from the skills set required to what is expected can help a candidate be less confused. Interesting job descriptions can help differentiate your firm from the various others.
  • Innovation: During interviews and pre-placement talks, recruiters can talk to candidates about why they would be a right fit for their company, how they can make an impact at the workplace, the work culture that your company supports and interesting marketing trends experienced by the firm. It will make the candidates more interested in what your firm is doing and can even sway a candidate to join the firm.

Campus Hiring can be very beneficial for firms, if they utilize it the right way. Companies can shape their new talent to one day become leaders of their company. When hiring new graduates, companies have the benefit of giving them relevant skills and experience that is needed for their company. Ultimately, campus hiring can help your company grow and be ‘out of the box’; something that experience cannot achieve.        

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