Our frenzied clamber from the pit of austerity prompted the British Chambers of Commerce to raise its economic growth forecast this week, which predicts a stronger labour market in the second half of this year. It is, therefore, a good thing that there are innovative graduate recruitment platforms out there. But what about those who are still studying? Corporate headhunting in universities is no new thing, but bringing the brightest talents to you first is perhaps more of an unmet need.
That was the case for a group of students from the University of the West of England in Bristol, as reported by local press this week. Realising that there weren’t enough opportunities for undergraduates to earn and learn in their prospective industries, they felt compelled to plug the recruitment gap with their own, dedicated platform.
The reasons their idea already has 50 businesses on board even before its official launch are very simple – relevance in the short term, and aspiration in the longer term.
The platform promotes opportunities for part-time and freelance work, internships and apprenticeships, and volunteering work that is directly related to students’ areas of study. Therefore, no time feels wasted and the prospect of a full-time offering upon graduation very real.
The untapped talent pool
So what does all this tell us?
Well, firstly it tells us we have a potentially enormous pool of untapped talent in Britain’s network of universities (with plenty more on its way, if recent A-level results are anything to go by).
It tells us this talent is both innovative and hungry to be noticed.
It also tells us that a comprehensive digital solution is their first port of call, and businesses have listened. They see the intuitive potential of its matchmaking prowess – where skill is partnered with industry – in a highly cost-effective package.
It’s great recruitment marketing. Big corporate should heed the need, and the best thing is that companies can take it upon themselves to provide a similar solution to what the Bristol students developed.
Which is where we come back to promoting relevance and aspiration, and aligning a content marketing strategy with your HR goals is a great way to do it.
Innovative recruitment marketing
Innovative companies want to hire and retain innovators. Recruiting innovative students requires a campaign of quality content – perhaps blogs, sponsored articles in the university press, fun, shareable videos, or a dedicated and amplified social media campaign that taps into undergraduate communities – that promotes creativity and support in your company culture. Promote a forward-thinking attitude that nurtures skill – a company that proactively wants to retain its talent. Backing this up with an extensive content calendar ensures this content remains fresh and exciting.
The students that matter to you feel a connection to your company and will be eager to hear more. The more content you can provide that appeals directly to the persona of student you seek most, the more those students engage. Provide them with shareable content on social media to tell their friends; in many ways a company couldn’t ask for a more engaged audience for content with this degree of relevance.
Then comes the aspiration. Candidates are in a better position post-uni to command a fair wage for a job in their field of study, as they’ve already gained practical, on-the-job experience through internships. Considering the amount debt students accumulate before they graduate, working for free until a company decides they’ve built up enough experience to warrant a salary isn’t all that appealing, as you might imagine.
Once you’ve pulled the right students into what is effectively now a marketing funnel, you can start talking about the opportunities: the internship case studies; the week in the life of a part-timer; the student that graduated to your permanent team.
Every company can’t headhunt every corner of every university, but using inspirational recruitment content marketing, the corporate players take steps to ensure that their message is heard loudest and by their most desired candidates.