Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Attracting the Best College Talent

Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Collegefeed, has written a terrific article for Harvard Business Review regarding the recruiting of top college talent.  Agrawal surveyed 15,000 millennials as part of a research project on this topic.  60% of the respondents were still in college, while the remainder had graduated recently.  The two charts below highlight some of the key findings:

Note several conclusions that might surprise you.  First, cultural fit matters more to millennials than compensation or company mission.  In today's Wall Street Journal, we read about the extraordinary lengths to which companies are going so as to convey the meaning and purpose of the work to millennials.  Yet, this finding says that culture matters even more than mission.  

Second, students want to understand the career opportunities available to them down the road.  How can they grow and develop over time?  What is the potential path ahead?  Where might they be in 3-5 years?   

Third, on campus efforts clearly matter as companies try to recruit top notch talent.  However, word-of-mouth through friends matters the most, and on-line efforts (job boards and social media) are crucial elements to the recruitment process.   Campus activities and outreach are important, but you have to go beyond the usual information sessions and job fairs to be effective.  

Here at Bryant, the most successful employers certainly conduct info sessions and appear at the career fair.  However, they have found many more ways to connect with students through course projects, networking events, and ways in which they connect our alumni who work there with current students.  They also use social media effectively to attract talented students and inform them about the opportunities at their companies.

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