“Interns are the bottom of the surgical food chain” — Dr. Bailey, Grey’s Anatomy
I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with this quote from the popular medical drama, where surgical interns are made to do all the grunt work. They are treated as nobodies—but interns in the tech industry are a whole other ball game! Tech companies compete with each other to hire freshers, interns, and students. They want to build and nurture relationships with the next generation of workers as early as possible.
Consequently, campus recruiting becomes the holy grail for companies and their big chance to snap up tomorrow’s top talent!
With campus hiring coming up in a few months, we thought it would be a great idea to go behind the scenes for this event. Come, spend a day with our campus recruiters from HackerEarth, and see for yourself!
A special shoutout to our Talent Acquisition Manager, Preethi Saakre for all the insider information that shaped this blog and allowed us to go into great detail about the workings of a recruiting team during campus recruitment!
P.S. This article is an extension of the first part, Spend A Day With A Tech Recruiter, where we debunk plenty of misconceptions floating around about tech recruiters. If you haven’t read it already, here you go.
What is campus recruiting?
Campus recruitment (not to be confused with mass hiring) involves attracting, sourcing, engaging, and hiring young talent for entry-level positions. Companies with high-volume recruiting needs opt for campus hiring. Moreover, whether it’s on-campus recruiting, virtual, or hybrid, the responsibilities of campus recruiters stay more or less the same.
On the other hand, mass hiring, while interchangeably called campus hiring varies in the type of candidates companies look for. Mass hiring drives are mainly to recruit experienced candidates and are generally not open to fresh college graduates.
How HackerEarth can spice up your campus recruiting strategy
Unlike traditional campus hiring, which happens once a year, a virtual campus recruitment drive can take place in phases throughout the year. That gives you many options to take your remote hiring strategy up a notch –
#1 Encourage students to become brand ambassadors
Invest time in students even before they graduate. Offer mentorship and networking opportunities through a student brand ambassador program. This helps you create targeted brand awareness as well as show the students that you care about them.
The HackerEarth Campus Ambassador program offers free mock interviews along with a certificate of appreciation, the opportunity to network with leading coders, and to be taught by engineering leaders at our company. Join our campus ambassadors to experience the HackerEarth advantage.
#2 Host hackathons to better engage with students
Instead of relying only on 1:1 interviews, conduct hackathons as well. Those students who couldn’t perform well in interviews might outdo themselves in a practical setting.
If you’re looking for a hands-off experience when organizing a hackathon, then HackerEarth is your best bet. All our online hackathons and hiring challenges are fully curated managed services. To put it simply, you get the engagement you need, without any bandwidth drain.
#3 Invest in a remote-ready campus recruitment platform
Virtual campus recruitment can open so many doors in terms of a wider, bigger talent pool, lesser costs, and better returns. To fully capitalize on this, you need a trusty platform to dot the i’s for you.
Enter HackerEarth’s campus hiring solution that has helped hundreds of companies ease the burden of remotely assessing students from universities across the globe. Be it assessing students through coding assessments or interviewing them with our tech video interview tool, FaceCode, we’ve got you covered.
There’s more where that came from. Bake in extra innovative elements as part of your tech recruitment strategy to capture the attention of your potential talent pool. 👇
A typical day for campus recruiters looks like…
Create a core team of campus recruiters and hiring managers
You need a dedicated recruiting team to drive the best results from your campus hiring drive. Put together a mix of campus recruiters and hiring managers to carry out the different stages of the process including screening, interviewing, and shortlisting candidates.
The next crucial step is to pinpoint your hiring goals and requirements. Some questions to ask that will help you identify your needs –
- Who is your ideal candidate for this exercise?
- Which team would need to add new employees in the next six months?
- What departments (for instance, engineering or sales) are short-staffed currently?
Make a list of suitable colleges and universities
Now that you have your ideal candidate persona, figure out what colleges and universities you need to target.
- Are you looking at tier 1 universities or tier 2 and tier 3 universities as well?
- Are you looking to hire students from any engineering field including computer science, electronics and communications or are you looking for purely technical candidates, etc?
- How many tech roles and non-tech roles are you hiring for?
- What businesses in your company need fresh talent?
Try and target a diverse range of universities to build an inclusive pipeline of fresh talent.
Reach out to the respective placement coordinators
Here’s an important part of campus recruitment that has nothing to do with attracting potential candidates. Bonding with the university placement coordinators!
If you want your pick of the season, you need to begin your recruitment right at the beginning. And who is in charge of that? Yes, you guessed it, the placement coordinators. To even get on their pre-selected list of companies, you need to woo them first.
Along with offering competitive salary packages and benefits (which almost every company would do), you need to stand out. This is where campus recruiters can shine. Use all the experience you’ve gained building and maintaining relationships with candidates and channel that here.
Create and nurture strong long-term bonds with the placement cell and build trust with the colleges well before the campus hiring season begins. So when it starts, they know whom to reach out to.
The first three steps are carried out ahead of the campus recruiting season. This ensures you are prepared to tackle this head-on and deliver the best outcomes possible.
Once the campus drives begin, reach out to the respective campus placement coordinators with the job descriptions for roles, EVPs, relevant company data, if you have any cutoff percentage for students, etc. This will make it easier for them to select those students who are eligible and invite them to participate in the selection process.
Get a list of students who applied
Ask your coordinators to share a list of students who have applied for your company. Depending on the pre-defined criteria, filter the list further based on their academic performance in school and college, core specialty, etc.
Then let the placement coordinator know that this is your final list and you would like to send them a screening test post conducting your pre-placement talks.
Conduct pre-placement discussions
Send the students who’ve applied to your company relevant company information like roles/responsibilities, salary range, location of the role, etc.
Arrange for your HR lead or the engineering department head to hold a pre-placement talk for these students. Trying to get potential students hooked about working for your company by holding one single discussion can only take you so far. Especially on a day when students are under immense pressure to perform well during interviews.
Additionally, do this. For having a better shot at keeping your brand top of mind for students, plan and host several informative virtual events throughout the year. Online hackathons, virtual career fairs, and QnAs with the leadership team can all shine a light on your workplace culture, career paths, and so on.
Assess all the candidates who applied
If it’s an on-campus hiring drive, then the next step is to shortlist candidates through a group discussion round (which is quickly becoming outdated) and a skill assessment test.
The best part of a virtual/hybrid campus recruiting process is it is extremely candidate-friendly. Instead of rushing through the screening phase to quickly run coding assessments for students and then reveal the final selection can be tedious to carry out in a day.
When you’re remotely assessing students, you can check when they are available to take the test and send them an assessment invite, accordingly.
With an advanced campus hiring solution like HackerEarth, you get to assess students remotely through accurate online coding assessments and robust proctoring.
Schedule interviews with the shortlisted candidates
During an on-campus recruitment process, the students are interviewed on the same day. Those who cleared the assessment round will have 3-4 rounds of interviews, depending on what the hiring team decides. Students who don’t meet the criteria are eliminated after each round.
The first two rounds are technical, the third round will be the managerial round with the engineering head, and the final round is the HR round. Here the student is evaluated based on culture fit and is rarely eliminated at this stage.
In a virtual or hybrid setting, if there is bandwidth the interviews take place on that day itself. Otherwise, they are scheduled within the next two days.
Set up, invite, and conduct coding interviews on a collaborative, real-time code editor such as FaceCode. This is a smart remote interviewing tool that helps you make objective, data-driven decisions thanks to AI-powered insights.
You know what happens next! Announce who made the cut
But wait…The day is not over yet
If you think you’re done for the day and you get to put your feet up, then you’re wrong 😛 Tieing up loose ends after wrapping up can be the most important step of all, especially in the traditional way of conducting campus hiring.
There is documentation to take care of, carefully putting together lists of shortlisted candidates from each panel, sending out feedback forms, and closing emails.
And you have to prepare to do this all over again, the next day, until the campus hiring season comes to an end.
Drink lots of coffee, you’re going to need it!
There you have it…Campus recruitment simplified
As seen in this article, it takes a village to maneuver campus hiring season. Be it in-person or online, running a successful campus recruitment drive is a Herculean task.
Campus recruiters have their work cut out for them. They shoulder a lot of responsibility to do right by their company and their candidates.
With support and a solid campus recruiting strategy, it is possible to run the show seamlessly. Moreover, it is a straightforward way to engage and nurture fresh, undiscovered talent!
As always, happy hiring 🙂