Employers face an uphill student recruitment battle: positioning your company as the best place to work for your target candidates when there are so many high-quality companies out there. Each year, we learn about generational expectations, as noted previously on this blog. With information about what’s different between Gen Z and Millennials plus different common candidate characteristics of the positions you want to fill, it can be challenging to fully understand it all while still standing out from the crowd. Below is an overview of the process we use at Campus Media Group to help employers get “on point” with their college student candidates and recruitment advertising. This process will improve your on-campus recruitment. It won’t fit 100% of your candidates, but your messaging and targeting will be much better if you ask these questions than if you don’t. Use this as your rule of thumb (80% of your best candidates) when thinking about what to present in informational sessions, at career fairs, during student group presentations, in interviews, on your career website, etc. The customization will take you a long way toward your end game: hiring the best candidates for your company.
Answer each of these questions for each type of position you are looking to fill. You may not need to do this for every position, but the key categories are great starting points. For example, as you think through these questions, ask yourself or your team how this candidate type (aka “Persona”) would be best described. For instance, a customer service rep (CSR) will have a very different Persona than a programmer. A CSR may typically be an extrovert, socially inclined and leadership motivated. The programmer typically may be more introverted, wants access to the latest technology and likes high detail while getting into coding. These two candidates will want to hear different messages when they visit your website or speak with a campus recruiter. Let’s look at the questions with the example of a CSR.
What’s the Persona name you want to use?
(e.g., “Customer Service Rep Rachel” — Add a picture to help visualize the Persona.)
What’s his/her demographic information?
(e.g., 22-25 years old, a graduate from a large public institution, middle-class family, first in family to graduate from college, socially responsible, 1,000+ friends on social media.)
What does “a day in the life” look like?
(e.g., 2-3 classes each day, a sorority or fraternity meeting, lunch and dinner with friends, a workout at the gym with a close friend, group study in the library for a class project, and in bed by midnight. Assumptions: Snapchat with friends throughout the day, catch up on friends’ stories, text the location of where to meet, watch videos on YouTube of celeb news.)
What are their pain points? What do you help them solve?
(e.g., Pain points — Nervous that a “real job” will limit their social life and ability to connect with people, concerned about upward mobility in the company, and worried that work will not be as fun as college. Solutions — Offer mentors, new-hire social group options, stories of the impact other CSRs have had on their clients and team.)
What do they value most? What are their goals?
(e.g., Values — Social relationships, being busy, and the impact they can have on others’ lives. Goals — Making an impact, being with friends, knowing they are making the world a better place each day.)
Where do they go for information?
(e.g., Friends, classmates, professors, sorority sisters, student groups, YouTube, social media, Google searches, and parents.)
What experiences are they looking for when seeking out your company?
(e.g., Company stability, career path, peer connection opportunities, company-sponsored clubs (social and professional), impact on clients/team, and regular group and fun time with peers and clients.)
What are their most common objections to your company?
(e.g., They don’t hear much about the culture of the company. They think they could get bored or feel alone within a large company. They worry that they won’t have any friends there and that they’d have to move away from their current friends. They’ll be stuck at a desk alone all day.)
Can you see how the answers to these questions may be different for other positions like a programmer? Give it a try. See how it helps you define your best candidates and the messaging/branding/recruiting efforts you use to reach your target Personas. It’ll help your recruiting messaging find greater success, and the proverbial rock will feel like it’s rolling downhill more than uphill by developing and using these Persona questions.
We’d be happy to discuss what Personas can look like for you and how you can take advantage of them to have greater campus recruitment success. Contact us here.