Posts Tagged ‘#university relations’

Your next hire may be at an industry event

December 17, 2013

I recently served as interim global events manager for a large corporation and attended conferences all over the world. It was a fascinating experience and what struck me was how many qualified students were in attendance. Many of them had been sent by a company they had interned with or had received a scholarship from a student organization so that they could attend. And, the overwhelming majority were highly qualified, diverse students with undergraduate degrees, master’s, or Ph.Ds. They were all interested in finding a job.

Organizations spend millions of dollars each year at industry conferences. If yours is already planning to set up a booth, I strongly suggest that you consider sending a few university relations team members to staff it. Here’s why:

Why industry events?

  • ROI—Opportunity to leverage your organization’s current participation in industry events, resulting in enhanced ROI.
  • Marketing—Opportunity to announce to a global audience of highly targeted, industry professionals that your organization is a viable, successful company that is hiring.
  • Expanded presence at the booth—Opportunity to field career inquiries that would otherwise tie up technical and sales staff.
  • Name generation—Opportunity to capture names of highly qualified graduates (for use post-event) via badge-scanning technology.
  • Career discussions—Opportunity to market to and network with potential candidates before, during, and after the event.

Ways to participate:

  • Staffing the stand—Recruiters (and possibly hiring managers) staff the exhibit stand throughout the conference to field questions.
  • Collecting names—Recruiters collect names from participant lists and/or badge scanners (or similar technology) to build a list of potential candidates for follow up post-event.
  • Marketing openings—Use event marketing opportunities prior to and during the event to drive candidates to the stand for career discussions or to your organization’s career website for further information.
  • Preselecting candidates—Market to attendees prior to the event and set up interviews during the conference.

Getting started:

  • Reach out to your business to discuss participation:
    • Staffing the exhibit stand
    • Marketing
    • Sponsorship
    • Graphics, handouts, and giveaways
  • Reach out to conference representatives to identify opportunities and restrictions:
    • Badge scanners
    • Recruiting restrictions
    • Marketing and sponsorship opportunities
  • Establish goals and budget
  • Determine marketing strategy (before, during, and after event)
  • Select team (recruiters and hiring managers)

Why should your organization consider you consider sending university relations team members to staff your booth at an industry conference? The heart of recruiting lies in creating a strategy that balances tried and true recruiting methods with less-traditional techniques.

Sue Keever Watts is founder and president of the Keever Group.

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Let’s Be Real (Posted on NACE Blog)

November 12, 2013

I began my career in public relations and learned the fine art of “packaging” content. My friends still tease me about my ability to take negative information and turn it into a tidy, if not murky, message. “I hit your car” turns into “While the circumstances of our meeting are less than ideal, I’m so glad we had the opportunity to share our contact information.”

I got out of PR as quickly as I could, but I still recognize BS (business-speak) when I hear it. Unfortunately, most companies still use business-speak on their websites, in presentations, and even during one-on-one discussions with students. It’s the number one reason why candidates look outside an organization to find out what’s really going on inside of it.

Recently a new radio station was launched in the Dallas area. It was named the best radio station in the city and when I tuned in, found that the reception was a little dicey. I turn it on occasionally and when I tuned in yesterday, I heard the announcer say, “KHYI – if you can’t hear us, then move!” No apologies, no BS – just the truth, but in a humorous way.

A few years ago, I worked with a company that was in the middle of fall recruiting when their CEO announced that the company was being bought. Recruiters wanted to know if they should discuss the merger and how to respond to student questions. The answer was simple. Yes. Bring it up to students, professors, career services and all of your campus contacts because I can assure you that your competitors will be using it to their advantage. Be honest. Avoid using packaged responses. Tell them what you know and admit what you don’t. Showing a canned video from the CEO about the merger won’t cut it. The best way to deliver difficult information is in person.

Keep in mind that you still need to give students a compelling reason to join your organization. Part of that involves giving them the language they need to explain why they accepted an offer with an organization in transition to their parents and friends. You’ll also need to be prepared to answer the following questions:

-What will change and what will stay the same?
-Will there be a shakeup of leadership?
-Why did the organization decide to merge?
-What’s the upside of joining the organization now?
-If I join the organization, is there a chance I’ll be laid off after the merger?
-Will you be able to keep your job?
-Is there a chance that my position, reporting structure or responsibilities will change after the merger?
-Will my benefits package, compensation and training/development be impacted (negatively or positively)?

Feel free to use humor or to speak candidly about why you’re staying with the organization. But, whatever you do, leave the BS out of it.

Keep it simple

August 13, 2013

The Corporate Executive Board reported that brands that simplify customer decision-making are 115% more likely to be recommended. By way of crowdsourcing, its time to let students inform organizations around the best way to simplify their decision to select one employer over another. Organizations want to be “employer of choice,” but research tells us that they might have more success if they find ways to simplify the decision-making process. By soliciting ideas, content and contributions from students via an online crowdsourcing campaign, an organization will show it’s technological savvy while soliciting ideas that may change the way they recruit students – for the better. New, improved and designed by students is a true differentiator. #NACESocial