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Standing Out on Campus in a Competitive Hiring Environment

by Jessica Palm | Dec 07, 2016

IMG_2434While intern season may sound like a ways off, at TeamKC it’s a hot topic with our clients as we quickly approach the start of 2017. 

This morning, more than 45 college campus recruiters joined us for a TeamKC College Recruiter Roundtable where they shared insight on career fairs, soft skills and leadership development training, as well as navigating counter offers from interns and recent grads. Below are key takeaways from the discussion:

Setting Your Company Apart on Campus:

  • Leverage your returning interns and recent grad employees, making them ambassadors for your company during career fairs. 
  • Tap into student organizations and special interest groups as a way to build brand awareness and thought leadership of your company.
  • Consider hosting a “company takeover” on campus prior to a career fair to engage students with your employer brand, as well as to help source potential candidates. 
  • Make the ask to your top candidates to join your company for a happy hour and/or dinner following a career fair to learn more about career opportunities at your organization.
  • Develop relationships with key professors through a visiting educators program, hosting these individuals at your company to learn more about your organization and career opportunities for students. 


Soft Skills & Leadership Development for Interns:

  • Consider setting a leadership goal as part of your internship program parameters. This goal will encourage each intern to identify an opportunity to show leadership in the workplace.
  • Shift your intern or new employee orientation from a company overview to a best business practices overview based on key aspects of your organization (i.e. how to use IM, developing business relationships, etc.).
  • Encourage both formal and informal mentorship opportunities between employees.
  •  Leverage various internal departments at your company to offer professional development for interns. (i.e. marketing for presentations and personal branding; sales for relationship building.)

Navigating Internship and Recent Grad Hiring Counter Offers: 

  • Work with university Career Services to share your hiring practices. In most situations, employers in the KC region don’t negotiate intern pay rate or entry-level salaries. IMG_2435
  • Highlight company perks with candidates as a way to show benefits without adjusting pay.
  • Often, salary negotiation is more prevalent from candidates not familiar with the company and its culture. Use your intern program to expose top talent to all of the various opportunities and benefits within your company. 

Thank you to Michaela Ward, manager of talent acquisition and campus relations at JE Dunn Construction, for hosting us. To learn more about TeamKC and its recruiter roundtables, contact Jessica Nelson

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