High-Impact/High Tech Recruitment
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Posted by: Michael Van Lear
By Michael Van Lear
High-impact recruiting events offer university career centers an important way to measure the success of their engagement with both students and employers. Technology provides ever-increasing platforms to connect employers with the talented graduates exiting higher education. Selecting the appropriate technology is an important decision for employers seeking to sway top talent to their organizations.
At the 2019 Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers (MPACE) annual conference in Monterey, CA, Mary Scott led an informative presentation titled, Recruitment High Tough/High Tech: What Matters to Students – and WHY. Mary’s research on this subject revealed some interesting feedback from college students who’ve engaged in both the high-touch and high-tech recruiting mediums.
Mary’s presentation offered relevant research regarding how our Career Development Center team at Hawaii Pacific University can best facilitate employer recruiting of HPU students and graduates. Our geographic location makes it particularly challenging for out-of-state employers to recruit on campus. With at least 30% of our graduates planning to return to the Mainland, US, our career center must be resourceful in how we connect these graduates with recruiters back home. Leveraging high-tech recruitment tools and platforms is an absolute for us. Coaching both employers and students as to which tools/platforms to utilize and how to do so is our responsibility.
The crux of Mary’s presentation is that students are far more receptive to employers that invest in high-touch recruitment practices. Students used words like “lazy” to describe organizations that heavily depended on one-way video interviews. Two-way video interviews were viewed more favorably by students, but technical issues arose too often. Considering the importance of these career, more accurately, life decisions, who can blame students for being frustrated with employers unwilling to engage in a more personalized recruitment manner?
An important fact to take into consideration for attendees at this presentation is that most of the students in Mary’s research were enrolled in Research I universities. A lot of us in the room were not representative of this classification. Even before one attendee pointed out this variance, I was already weighing how to respond to a talented HPU senior who was turned off to engaging in a high-tech recruitment format. Would I advise them to pass on the opportunity and seek out only employers who engage in more personalized recruiting?
Shifting through data-heavy presentations is worthwhile when the topic is intriguing and relevant to one’s work. This was certainly the case with Mary’s presentation. While the data was derived from student surveys at mostly Research I institutions, I needed to see how it correlated with the work my team and I do at HPU.
Technology will continue to have a critical role in how employers recruit college students. How university career centers serve as high-impact conduits in this process may be the most important consideration.