University recruiting: 8 tips for success and how to recruit Gen Z

During a time of full employment, Universities offer a valued and increasingly rare asset: new entrants to the labor market who are trained in their disciplines and the latest technologies.

The long-standing advice for University recruiting today is similar to what it was twenty years ago. However, with the use of digital technologies to be relevant to today’s college graduates, Generation Z.

The success with your University recruiting begins with the relationship you build with the University placement office and faculty. Why? Placement offices control the access you need. It is the faculty who will inform you about whom they believe are the students with the most potential for your company.

Today’s artificial intelligence platforms for recruiting provide you an alternative to augment your traditional student search. These AI platforms can quickly identify the students with the degrees, competencies, and values that are aligned to your job openings and culture. Use them.

What has been working for several years is the following:

  1. Begin identifying the best students and wooing them when they are sophomores with internships, constant contact, and advice.
  2. Use members of management who graduated from your targeted Universities to build and maintain relationships with the staff and key professors.
  3. Sponsor school events such as engineering design contests.
  4. Give money or donate equipment to the school.
  5. Assign a member of HR or an executive (preferably an alumnus) to manage the relationships with the University.
  6. Have alumni do the interviewing with the HR recruiter.
  7. Make job offers early in the fall of their senior year. Don’t wait until spring.
  8. Track measures, metrics, and results, including for diversity, and adjust as needed.

For Generation Z, who are in college now, go digital, digital, digital.

It is essential to use the digital technologies that Generation Z has grown up using. Generation Z are the first truly digital natives and do not expect them to be clones of millennials.

For example, they are all about making money, not getting into debt, being successful in their careers, and learning how to do things by watching YouTube videos. (Before you arrive, they will watch YouTube videos or videos on your career site to learn about your company, its cool work, and career opportunities, especially from the voice of your employees.)

They are less prone than millennials to create a start-up and more comfortable working with adults. They are showing signs of being socially awkward and will need more coaching on collaboration and teamwork.

Generation Z will be most attracted to companies that adeptly use digital technologies and social media. You also need to engage with them online using the social media they use, like Instagram and Facebook, the University’s version of Slack, and YouTube. Find out from the college what apps are used by the students. It is best to start to build relationships with them early in their collegiate careers. Then, keep up with them on how they are doing in their classes and with their internships (if you haven’t offered one) as well as understanding their career and personal interests.

Are you ready to use the best practices I have outlined above and also go digital to reach our first genuinely digital natives?

Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting. Today’s blog has excerpts from his new book: Hack Recruiting: the Best of Empirical Research, Method and Process, and Digitization. You can buy it online at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Archway Publishing.

Purchase Hack Recruiting by Oct. 4, 2019, and have access to my new video podcast series with leading HR technologists and innovators. To enroll, please email me a copy of your digital receipt with your name to with the subject line: “Enroll me in the video podcast series!”



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