Ten top tips for nailing virtual student engagement

Sep 9, 2020 | Attraction & marketing

 The majority of opportunities to engage university students this autumn will be virtual. ISE’s Stephen Isherwood offers ten top tips to getting this right.

Good university engagement is key to successful student engagement and while they may be complex organisations, careers service are a great place to start as they should be easy to access and will have good links with academic departments and the students’ union.

Careers teams can also offer considerable insights into their student populations. Their careers management platforms are often connected to the student record systems, which can help employers target their activities.

You can also share your recruitment data back with universities, which will increase collaboration opportunities: how many of their students get jobs with you, where they fall out of your selection process and who your alumni are.

Digital fatigue is likely to be an issue for students this autumn and although everyone’s focus is on the virtual experience, many universities will also offer some face-to-face opportunities, albeit in a social distanced environment.

Stuart Marriot, Associate Director for Careers and Employability at Nottingham University has this advice for employers: “Come to the Careers and Employability Service (either physically or digitally!). Tell us what your aims and objectives are and we’ll work out how we can help you meet them – at Nottingham we go for what we call the ‘diagnostic approach’ with employers just as we would with students… what can we help you achieve and when would you like to achieve it by?”


Ten top tips for nailing virtual student engagement

  1. Make your content engaging and interactive – students expect more than an online Q&A
  2. Prepare your content for an online audience – be concise, consistent and clear to cut through
  3. Target diverse students – virtual platforms make engagement easier for many students and enable you to work with a more diverse range of students
  4. Prepare for different platforms – how virtual fairs are delivered will vary from university to university so pay attention to any training and information given
  5. Make the most of the data available – you will be able to track students more effectively and use the data to improve the success of your campaign
  6. Organise and brief your team – recruiters will need to know how and when they need to be online and be fully informed to answers students’ questions
  7. Work with the careers service – all universities are different and offer a huge variety of engagement opportunities across campus
  8. Think about working in the curriculum – many academics will still want employers to engage with their virtual curriculum content
  9. Offer virtual work experience and internship options – this is the best way to build long-term relationships with the students you want to hire
  10. Don’t forget about student societies and the students’ union – they will also be looking for employers to engage with them

Read more advice, case studies and insights in ISE’s Planning for a virtual autumn: a campus engagement guide for employers

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