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Gearing up for a data-driven fall recruiting season

Build a bigger candidate pipeline by attending fewer on-campus events.

The fall recruiting season is quickly sneaking up on us. Before the busy season hits, it’s crucial to have a solid strategy in place that’s backed by data. This year, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could track and measure the success of the colleges you recruit at to maximize your investment and exceed your goals?

Most employers on Handshake think so, too. A vast majority of our clients used Handshake data to craft their school lists last year, and we’re changing the game with a new feature to simplify the process to just a few clicks. School Explorer is our newest Premium capability, which empowers you to identify the ideal colleges from which to recruit based on specific characteristics of their student & alumni populations.

Harnessing the power of Handshake's database of 15+ million active students and alumni across 1,500+ schools, School Explorer is there to help you identify where your ideal talent attends school and what they want in an organization. To make the most out of School Explorer, it’s important that employers shake up their old habits to make room for brand new recruiting strategies.

Leaving the ‘core school list’ behind

To start, it’s time to start thinking outside of the traditional core school list approach. We know you can’t physically visit the thousands of accredited four-year institutions in the United States. However, for many employers, most of these core school lists are based off a number of antiquated factors: company location, prestige, and (everyone’s favorite) the C-suite’s alma mater. Employers tend to spend tons of their budget and time on these core schools. But where is the data that says that these schools are the most effective to meet your organization’s hiring goals?

“But we’ve always recruited at these colleges!” We hear you. But we also want to challenge you to think about how your business goals have changed over the years since you started recruiting at these schools. Maybe you’ve found some great Engineering Interns from your favorite institution, but that approach has led to a homogeneous hiring pipeline year-over-year.

Aligning your goals with your school list

Taking a harder look at recruiting data with School Explorer will encourage you to broaden your reach and increase the quality and diversity of your applicants. The first step you can take is take out your hiring goals. Are you looking for CS majors that are experts in Artificial Intelligence for a new product your Engineering team is working on? Does your organization want to get to 50% female engineers this year? Are you shifting your focus to hiring students with experience in SQL? Do you need to hire 40% more Accounting majors in the upcoming season? School Explorer will give you the opportunity to identify which schools have the highest populations of students and recent graduates that will bring you to meet this goal. Here are some examples of questions that School Explorer will answer:

  • Which universities have the most Computer Science majors with expertise in machine learning that want to live in Detroit?
  • Which schools have the highest populations of students in diversity & inclusion-focused orgs, like the Black Students’ Alliance, that are interested in working in Sales?
  • Which HBCUs and HSIs am I not yet connected to?
  • Which colleges have the most Accounting majors that interned at a Big 4 company that want to move to Kansas City?
  • Which schools have high populations of underrepresented students and alumni who have interned for my company in the past?
  • Which schools have the most students who specialize in Mobile Engineering that have internship experience?
  • Where should I post a job that has large populations of students and alumni who want to work in Chicago and know Python?

Taking a more digital, proactive approach

We’ve started to see a shift in the way that early talent recruiting teams build their applicant pipeline. More employers are moving from a reactive to a proactive approach when it comes to identifying students & alumni they want to hire and inviting them to apply to jobs or attend events. To open up the talent pools from which they recruit, many employers are marrying their on-campus tactics with a digital recruiting strategy. This digital and in-person combination often leads to a much more expansive school list, which brings in a more representative pipeline of skilled talent from all over the U.S. The more inclusive and the more variety of skills your applicant pipeline has, the happier your business partners will be with the talent you’re sending their way. It’ll also mean you’ll be doing your part to bridge the opportunity gap for students of all backgrounds. That’s something you can feel good about that also helps you meet your goals.

Interested in learning how to build a more effective fall recruiting strategy? Contact us to speak with a team member about how to take a more data-driven recruiting approach.

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