8 tricks to better student recruitment

Oct 7, 2020 | Attraction & marketing

New research presents new ideas about how student recruitment can be improved to ensure that your firm is attractive to early talent.

More than 2,000 students responded to questions set by ISE members as a way of finding out current attitudes to job hunting.

‘What do students want?’ by ISE and Debut found that despite the current climate, just any job will not do and it’s not all about the money.

Students still place a high value on development opportunities and work content. And students from different backgrounds, ethnicities and genders think differently about their career options and what they want out of the recruitment process.

Covid-19 will change how employers should target and speak to a range of student communities. This report demonstrates that students still want a blend of information, they want to know how to do well in the section process and what the work really is like.

And despite Covid constraints, students still want face-to-face experiences. Although this may be hard to deliver at the moment, employers can think about how to replicate the on-campus or in-office experience as closely as possible on-line.

Using key insights from our findings, we’ve come up with eight tricks to better student recruitment:


#1 Careers matter

Employers should be explicit that the jobs that they are recruiting for are the gateway to a fulfilling career whether this is pursued within your firm or outside of it.


#2 Money isn’t everything

Young jobseekers do care about money, but they also want to hear about the wider opportunities that organisations will provide them with.


#3 Tell everyone

Employers should be careful not to narrow their attraction and marketing campaigns to too few channels.


#4 Don’t encroach on jobseekers’ non-work social media

There is concern amongst young jobseekers about the use of personal social media. It is important that your marketing strategy is sensitive to students’ concerns.


#5 Make a meaningful connection

Jobseekers want to know about your organisation, its processes and its people before they make a commitment to join you.


#6 Shift to online recruitment approaches (if you need to do so)

Most students will cope with the approaches to recruitment that have emerged during the pandemic. Make it clear from the outset what is expected of them and how the process will work.


#7 Be fair and be seen to be fair

There is scepticism amongst jobseekers about the fairness of recruitment processes.


#8 Jobseekers are comfortable with virtual induction and home working

Candidates are generally happy to begin working for your organisation in this way.

‘What do students want? Listening to the voices of young jobseekers’ was conducted as a partnership between the Institute of Student Employers and Debut.


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