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New Report Shows How Virtual Recruitment is Impacting New College Grads

March 12, 2021

By Kevin Marrs, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

A recent Forbes article pointed to the impact of the pandemic on talent acquisition.  The article, among other highlights, suggested that the digital transformation of talent acquisition is well underway and here to stay.  While this may not come as a surprise for some who are well into their journey, there is some evidence that employers need to do more for certain groups of applicants, namely college graduates.

In fact, a new whitepaper entitled Succeeding in the New Normal: Student Attitudes and Effective Virtual Recruiting from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) highlights how employer websites might be falling behind in their effectiveness in help recruit new college graduates.  The authors of the white paper argue that websites are key tools for employers to use to attract job candidates, especially in the current environment when employers are largely unable to conduct traditional in-person college recruiting.  However, there appears to be a disconnect between students’ use of employer websites in their job search and students’ perception of their usefulness.

The whitepaper points to NACE research that underscores this discrepancy. For example, nearly three-quarters of the students taking part in NACE’s Student Survey indicated that they had used employers’ websites during their job search—ranking them No. 1 overall as a resource. However, less than half of these students considered “visiting employer websites” either very or extremely useful.

There are ways for employers to overcome this issue. Succeeding in the New Normal offers several recommendations to help employers overcome this apparent disconnect and offer students valuable experiences with their websites, including:

  • Recognizing that most students take seriously an employer’s mission and values statements—but reading the words on the website is just the first step. If “we value our employees” (or words to that effect) are set as an expectation, be sure the candidate experience reflects the same.
  • Understanding that the process employers use to execute their virtual recruitment strategy will be of even more significance when digital communication is the only available channel. The “promises” (students’ term of choice when referencing such expectations as timelines) will assume even greater importance and serve as a differentiator among employers.
  • Featuring actual new hires (not stock photos) to showcase early career opportunities; credible testimonials are valued, but only if they seem authentic and not scripted.
  • Assuring that the corporate website “speaks to” those seeking early career positions and that job descriptions are written in language students can understand.
  • Providing sufficient detail in job descriptions to enable students to not only assess their match to the requirements, but to gauge the appeal of what incumbents actually do.

Regardless of the current economic conditions, college recruitment represents an important segment of many employer workforce planning initiatives.  Ensuring that your recruitment tools meet the new realities will be critical.

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