Table of Contents

Table of Contents

University campuses are one of the largest pools of potential candidates for a company. Having a meaningful presence on campuses can lead to higher quality employees and more business. Although it is important, there are certain skills and steps that need to be taken to have success.

What Is a Campus Recruiter?

A campus recruiter is a member of the recruiting or HR team that searches universities in person for potential employees. Recruiters are responsible for attending job fairs to share information about open positions, present to career classes, and establish relationships with other referral sources including internship coordinators and department leads.

How Can Companies Benefit From a Campus Recruiter?

Companies benefit from campus recruiters in several ways.

  • More job applicants. Spending time on campus leads to a higher likelihood of more job applicants. Although virtual recruiting is becoming an integral part of sourcing candidates, in-person interactions are hard to beat. Potential employees feel a greater connection when they are able to talk with a recruiter and initiate a relationship with the company. If done well, recruiters bring in an increased number of applicants for open positions.
  • Added value to the employer brand. If a potential employee has a positive interaction with a recruiter but does not join the company, value can still be created. The individual may become a client in the future or encourage others to take an open position. If the experience was negative, this same individual might avoid the company’s products or services and discourage people from beginning employment there.
  • Pipeline relations with universities. Outside of meeting new candidates one on one, recruiters can develop relationships with university programs. Imagine you are a mental health company hiring for front-line staff who are studying psychology. Having a positive relationship with the internship coordinator of the psychology department can lead to employee referrals. Students who do not attend job fairs often come to their department to find internships and job opportunities.

Skills a Successful Campus Recruiter Needs

Each campus recruiter is different, as they should be! Although diversity is encouraged, there are common skills that lead to success.

Be Knowledgeable About the Role and Company

Students on campus want to know details about the company you represent! With that expectation, a recruiter needs to clearly explain what the company does and what roles they have available. Within these details, recruiters can share attention-capturing facts like pay, what a normal day looks like, and career opportunities.

Extroverted or Introverted?

Is it better to be outgoing and socially confident or a more quiet and reluctant recruiter? The truth is… either one! While most recruiters are extroverted (as they are selling the company to potential employees), introverted recruiters still play an important role on campuses. The many candidates who are introverted themselves will connect better to recruiters like themselves. While extroverts may thrive in job fairs as they compete for attention, introverts may thrive in internship relation development or class presentations.

Ask Questions

A good recruiter does not spew endless amounts of information about the company; they get to know the student and what they are aspiring toward. While your logo or free swag may draw people to your booth at a job fair, asking questions like “What are you looking for in a company?” or “What are you passionate about?” will get more applicants and better fit for new employees.

How to Become a Campus Recruiter

You probably cannot walk onto a campus and start recruiting whenever you want, but here are common steps to follow to start your efforts.

Step 1: Contact the Campus

If you have a campus in mind, reach out to them first. Most campuses have a career services department that hosts career fairs and other events. They can also refer you to program-specific contacts who can aid your search.

Step 2: Prepare Recruiting Materials

Are you going to take flyers to hand out to students? Will you have retractable banners that sit by your job fair booth? What attention-grabbing swag or giveaways will you have to draw students to discuss employment with you? Whatever your plan is, go to the campus with options. This can range from business cards, snacks, and drinks with your logo, QR code flyers that take students to a job application, or hats and backpacks to advertise your company.

Step 3: Sign Up for Opportunities

When universities have job fairs, spots are limited and require a fee. Consider which job fairs are better than others, such as an all-major vs. program-specific fair. Find which classes allow employers to come present information to students and schedule times to do so. Many campuses are using virtual recruiting sites such as Handshake, a platform-specific for early-career jobs for college students.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Campus Recruiters

Depending on the company and setting, company recruiters may conduct interviews. Job fairs typically are for introductions and collecting contact information for a later interview. After a job fair, the recruiter may pass on the information to a hiring manager or follow up with potential applicants themselves. Several campuses allow recruiters to set up times they are available for on-campus interviews.
Again, this depends on the company. Smaller companies may have the same person over the recruiting and hiring decisions, while larger companies have a team of recruiters and hiring managers. Campus recruiters do have significant influence on who they refer to hiring managers (if these are different roles) which affects the final decision.

Austin became the HR Director at Discovery Connections in 2021. Before that he worked as an Account Manager for a Section 125 benefits and COBRA administrator. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science in 2019 and from Southern Utah University with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership in 2021. At end of 2021, he became certified with SHRM-CP.

Originally from Oklahoma, Austin enjoys trying new foods in new places he travels to, watching college football, and snowboarding the local resorts in Utah. He has been married to his wife since 2019 and owns a cockapoo named Hershey.

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