As we mentioned in our previous guide, one of the most important aspects of engaging students is to make sure you’re in contact with them in as many ways as possible. These touch points are crucial, as they prevent you from being forgotten and potentially also give you an avenue of communication to let them know about events and open days you have planned in order to engage them more.
There are a lot of different touch points you can use. You don’t necessarily have to be present in a student’s life with every single one, but it’s a good idea to include several in a varied strategy to make sure you aren’t missing out. Here are your best options.
Once you have a student’s email address, they are part of your talent pool and can be contacted directly. One of the services we offer is RMP Connect, which allows you to easily send out mass emails to targeted groups of students and measure their success. We find this helps a lot with recruitment efforts.
Because students spend a lot of time using their university email address, this is a good way to make sure they actually see the offers, vacancies, placements and competitions you have for them.
If you are looking to attract the attention of a large group of people, social media is one of the best ways to do it. Facebook is still the king of social networks, but Instagram and LinkedIn are also good ones to focus on.
Get students to like or follow your company with competitions, and keep them interested by sharing career opportunities or even just useful advice; as long as it adds value, it’s a good tactic.
Societies and other groups
University societies will usually be glad of your help with their events. You could send along a guest speaker, invite them for a tour of your business or even just provide them with a sponsored party. However, make sure you’re targeting the right societies for the best results, as you don’t want to waste money on people who wouldn’t be interested in working for you.
Print media and branding
Posters and flyers still have an impact, even in the digital age, as they keep your organisation in the minds of all those who see them. However, you must design them effectively. Always consider what someone will get out of picking up a flyer or reading a poster before you commit to a design.
Branded merchandise can have an even larger impact, as you can give it away as a free gift. Even something as simple as a branded pen will ensure that students are carrying a touch point around with them in their bag.
Campus installations and pop-ups
A good installation, stall or other pop-up can work wonders for engaging with students. We have mentioned this before as a way to attract students, but it will also serve as a touch point for those already aware of your business.
As with societies, your business almost certainly has something you can offer students in a lecture. If you have an expert in your field, or anyone that can offer useful insight, reach out to universities to see if they can benefit from your expertise. It could end up being a win-win situation for both parties.
Freshers’ and careers fairs
If you have a placement year or any kind of work experience programme, you should make sure one of your touch points is at a university or careers fair. These are the perfect times to gain the attention of talented students looking for direction and advice about their future working life, and you can gain a lot of engagement through them.
Even a freshers’ fair can pay dividends in the long run. While most people aren’t thinking about their career in their first weeks of university, being one of the first companies to show interest in them can give you a huge advantage over competitors when it comes to attracting talent.
Students looking for work placements will almost certainly end up looking on job boards, both physical ones in their university or virtual ones online. In both cases, you should make sure your company is well-represented with a compelling and clear advert that shows the benefits of working with you.
Most universities will have an office to deal with work placements, as many courses include a placement year in their syllabus. You should make sure when students go there to work out where to spend their year in industry, your promotional materials are clearly visible.
Similarly, universities will have a careers office or similar, where students can go to get advice and potential opportunities. They may not be considering a work placement or graduate programme, so if you can make sure you are represented as a good place to work, you might find that talented people seek you out as a result.
Next guide: Consideration
So far, we’ve learned how to attract top talent at universities, engage them with your brand and make sure they remain aware of you via a range of touch points. However, once you have students clamouring to become part of your company, how do you choose which ones to take on?
The most talented people are not always easy to spot, so the next guide will focus on how you should be considering applicants. What attributes do you want them to have, and how can you tell when you’ve found them? Find out in our next installment.