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How Companies Make it Harder to Hire College Students

By collegemktgrp | March 28, 2019 | Student Employers

Spring break is over, and college seniors are getting closer and closer to graduating. Many are already sending out resumes, looking to secure a spot in the workforce this summer. Not to mention that many lowerclassmen are looking for short-term summer gigs.

But some companies may be making it harder on themselves to hire, particularly when it comes to college students. Many employers see college students as “not career ready”, seeing gaps in key skills that college students don’t see themselves.

New hires often get good at what they do by learning on the job. And there are many talented and driven college students who could bring real value to your company, even as freshies to the job market.

But because of their novice experience with the application process, college students and grads may struggle with certain barriers throughout the hiring process that other applicants may not.

Here are a few potential barriers that may deter college students from applying to your company, and how you can make the hiring process easier to navigate for college students.

Don’t Be Shy About the Bennies

Understanding what college students care about most makes it easier for you to attract students to apply for your job posting in the first place.

To hire a talented college student, you’ve got to get inside their mind. They obviously want a job, but how do your company’s values align with theirs? What makes your job listing stand out?

Be sure to advertise your company’s perks and benefits on the job posting. Have a philanthropic event coming up, or a partnership program that gives back to the community? Create a company blog to share these cultural perks with job seekers. After all, millennials love companies that give back.

Reconsider Data-Driven Talent Acquisition

If your company uses data and workplace intelligence to help evaluate applicants, make sure you’re familiar with how the software uses predictive analytics to target a student’s qualifications. You don’t want to weed out a strong candidate just because their resume or cover letter doesn’t have the right keywords.

You may want to consider other more personal strategies, such as a pre-interview to get to know college student applicants before moving on to the first round of interviews.

Be Available Throughout Project Assignments

Your company may ask college student candidates to complete a project assignment to better understand how they problem solve before you hire them. Maybe you ask applicants to design a brand logo, put together a proposal for a brand partnerships, or write a sample marketing blog post.

Make sure the project guidelines and directions are clear, and that there’s a way for candidates to reach out with questions throughout the process.

The goal of the project assignment isn’t to hold candidate’s hands throughout it. But you don’t want capable candidates to drop out of the process because they didn’t get an answer about word count expectations, brand colors, or who exactly to send their finished project to.

Provide Application Deadlines

Without a deadline for the job posting, college students and grads may think they have ample time to apply. Be sure to include a hard deadline for when your company will no longer be accepting applications.

Be Merciful With Multi-Round Job Interviews

Multi-round job interviews are something that most job seekers who have been in the workforce for a while are familiar with. But for college students and grads, they may be new to the process.

One interview can be anxiety-inducing enough. But multiple rounds can be a new challenge that college students and grads are trying for the first time.

Be clear from the get-go about how many interviews there will be, and what students can expect for each interview so they can feel as prepared and comfortable as possible. If one round is digital, let them know they’ll need to have a Skype handle established and the Skype app downloaded for the interview.

For digital or in-person interviews, let them know how many people will be interviewing the candidate in advance so they aren’t caught off guard when you entire board is in on the interview process.

Discouraging college students from applying to your job listing is only a secondary problem if students aren’t aware of your job listing in the first place. From on-College Marketing to smart digital marketing strategies, College Marketing Group are experts at getting your company’s listings in front of the best college talent across the country.

And we don’t just walk the walk. Check out our portfolio of work to see our successes with college student employers »


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