In August, a Federal Manager at the Department of Veteran Affairs asked Washington Post blogger Tom Fox an intriguing question: “The average age of my agency’s employees is high. With retirements increasing, we will need to recruit and hire younger employees. What is the recruiting pitch that will appeal to younger employees?”
Fox offered great advice that can work for all college recruiters, with one of the most valuable solutions being to revamp job board postings. The recruiting pitch in a job description needs to be clear and interesting with a little bit of zing. Fox said recruiters must include an elevator pitch, or a “30-second, plain-English pitch that explains your role and mission.”
While you may not be filling government jobs, the same rules apply to college recruiting. And after conducting a quick search on a few of the more popular job boards, it’s clear that many organizations are in violation.
Top Offenses When Recruiting College Talent
- Providing little to no information about your company. Based on your job description, candidates may be able to figure out what it is you want them to do, but glossing over what the company does as a whole will leave applicants in the dark. Even if you’re a household name, give readers a quick-and-dirty overview so college students can determine if they even belong at your company.
- No means of asking questions. If you’re posting through a third-party site that requires applicants to register without the ability to connect directly with someone at your organization, provide an email contact or links to Twitter and Facebook careers pages that allow interested candidates to address any questions or concerns they may have about the opportunity. If you don’t provide a way to connect, quality candidates will go elsewhere.
- Talking in corporate lingo. Check it at the door. Keep posts simple and real if you want talented individuals to be well-informed and interested in your company.
- TMI. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but you’ve got a generation of students that – for the most part – aren’t too particularly keen on reading long, drawn-out blocks of text online. It’s a 140-character world, so you need to adapt in your job posts as well. When recruiting college candidates, don’t list every single mundane task that’s involved with the position. Instead of telling them what they will be doing, detail what they’ll be accomplishing over time.
Things to remember: an effective job posting is not flashy. It’s a clearly written, 30-second read that allows ideal candidates to get a better grasp of the opportunity and your organization.
Does your organization have a college recruiting strategy? Share your fail-proof techniques in the comments!