The time really is now for graduate recruiters and in universities all over the UK the drive is on to pick up the top talent. However, unless you’ve been really hot off the mark, you’re almost certain to find that someone else has got there before you! The push for applications has been bigger than ever before, and getting maximum exposure for your graduate scheme can be tough, particularly when compared to some of the big budgets of the top law and accounting firms.
However, getting exposure doesn’t just have to be about turning up to careers fairs and bombarding the mailing list; here are a few creative ways firms are getting exposure on campus…
Book Your Own Time
Student time is surprisingly precious and getting a group to give up an hour of their day (particularly if it’s before 11am) can be tough. However, rather than battle with the masses at careers fairs, why not ask if you can book your own slot for a presentation and request attendees sign up to come along?
This works particularly well for luxury brands or schemes with only few places to fill as it gives you a chance to really sell your business. Imposing a booking system also gives you their air of exclusivity but most universities will also have some form of incentive scheme to encourage good attendance.
Sponsorship of a student society or sports team is more than just getting your names on the shirts; it gives you a direct relationship with a number of the central members and actually gives quite a lot of negotiating power if you’re looking to host events.
The key to getting sponsorship right is to ensure that your money is being well used. Don’t be tempted just to hand over a pot at the start of the year; hold an agreement to host or sponsor a number of recruitment events. Target big law societies or academic groups if you can.
Make it Personal
Most graduates are signed up to a variety of email mailing lists but round-robin emails just tend to get ignored. If you can personally target inboxes of students you’re particularly interested in, you’re much more likely to get a response.
You don’t need to know names; but think which sort of modules, groups or classes would be particularly interested in your offer. Target third year, core modules if you can; you should easily be able to find details of the appropriate administrators online.
Do Something Wild
Students become quite accustomed to seeing odd things on campus and societies host bizarre events all the time. If you can think of it, it’s probably been done before, but why not have your team spend the day doing something unusual or, better still, get the students to join in.
Recruiters have used oxygen bars, sponsored stationery-bike rides, improv shows, tennis games…the list is endless. Whatever it is, make sure it gets people’s attention for just a day and make sure you have a few spare staff to hand out flyers.
The key is to remember that however imaginative, exciting and creative your plans for getting noticed are, everyone else will have just the same ideas! It’s not just the graduates that have to be competitive these days, it’s the recruiters too.
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