A common perception of recent college graduates is that the core of their education takes place inside the classroom. However, the education a student receives by participating in extracurricular activities can often be more valuable when entering the workforce. This raises the question: Are we being effective with our university recruiting strategies? With the aging workforce, skills shortage and increase in the number of college grads, it is now more important than ever to have a strategic university recruiting plan.
So what kind of education are students gaining outside of the classroom? Universities today are becoming incubators that help shape and develop student skills both inside and outside of the classroom. These opportunities allow students to learn skills that translate directly into entry-level positions. The following are three programs you shouldn’t discount when developing a recent graduate recruitment strategy.
Student Government and Programming Planning Boards
Each of these organizations probably deserve their own category but, for the most part, they accomplish the same objective. The main goal of student government is to promote and allocate a budget of student-given funds to help plan and promote student activities. Programming boards are dedicated solely to planning and promoting events without the political entity attached. These boards usually plan concerts, carnivals, high-profile lectures and campus-wide charity events.
The skills that students can learn include customer service, accountability, collaboration, passion and team communication. All members of both programs have a unified mindset and are working toward a certain goal or plan. This is one of the best ways students can become accustomed to working with a team, and it also makes them accountable. These are great candidates for your positions, particularly those that may have leadership potential down the line.
Besides the flashy fraternities and sororities you usually hear about, there is another other side to these groups. Many organizations have business fraternities that organize community service events, attend chamber of commerce meetings, attend professional lectures, and hold resume-writing courses and fundraisers. These individuals are focused on career development, networking, and bettering themselves and their communities. These members are ideal candidates for entry-level roles and internships.
Another perk to connecting with your local organization’s Greek life is that chapters often stretch regionally and, in many cases, nationally. So when you hire a student who was involved in Greek life, many times you are also gaining access to those networks as well.
Professionally, this is where students in universities have the chance to grow the most. I’m sure the word internship comes to mind when you think of an on-campus job, but that isn’t the only pool of professional student talent you have access to. When networking with local universities to create a recruiting partnership, are you seeking out information on students who have been resident advisers (RAs), peer advisers or orientation leads? If you’re not, you should be. While not every student has time to do multiple internships, becoming an RA or assistant can be just as eye-opening for students. There are also positions that students can take on temporarily over the summer. These include helping out with summer conferences, orientation team leader, peer adviser leader and residential outreach communication specialists.
All of the positions are creating the building blocks for leadership development, work ethic, responsibility, collaboration, and communication. Students are put to the test with all these positions and can learn how to provide excellent customer service, resolve conflicts, lead teams, conduct trainings and presentations, and work in stressful environments.
Take a look at your current university recruitment strategy. If you’re not thinking outside the box, then it’s time to innovate. What other groups have you tapped into via university recruiting partnerships?