Campus Recruitment: The Good, the Bad and Ugly

Have you ever used a campus recruitment strategy before? If not, it’s likely that you don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of how to find new staff straight from college. Campus recruitment can be a valuable source of top up-and-coming talent for your organization when you know how to do it right. We’re here to break it down for you into the good, the bad, and the ugly of campus recruitment.

What is Campus Recruitment?

A campus recruitment strategy involves finding, attracting, and recruiting talent straight from college to fill entry-level roles or internships. Typically, this tactic is employed by larger organizations who recruit at a high volume. But that doesn’t mean that if you’re a smaller business, you can’t also try out a campus recruitment strategy.

Campus recruitment efforts can be as simple as working directly with the career center at your local university to promote your business. Or, you can create a larger strategy that involves visiting colleges across the country and attending their careers fairs and other recruitment events. That way, you can meet face-to-face with potential new employees.

Campus recruitment is more common in some industries than others. The business, technology, engineering, and finance sectors commonly use this recruiting technique. If you are in one of these industries, you should consider trying it out.

The Good – Benefits of Campus Recruitment

Find an Untapped Talent Source

There is so much competition these days for top talent, with most companies experiencing a talent shortage. Finding people who aren’t even in the job market yet by engaging with them at their college can help you to find those with undiscovered potential and snap them up before anyone else gets the chance.

Employ from the Tech Generation

The majority of those studying at college right now grew up as digital natives. The nature of work is continually changing, and an estimated 85% of the jobs that people will hold in 2030 don’t exist right now. It is this new generation that will have the right skills and knowledge to handle these new positions. You want enough young people in your organization to keep up with the demand of new technologies, and employing graduates is a great way to do that.

Fill Hard-to Fill Roles

Another benefit of campus recruitment is that you may be able to find candidates for your tricky to fill roles. Entry-level roles can be tough to find the right people for, but on campus, you can easily find people with the right qualifications for these. By recruiting directly from a college, you can be assured that the applicants meet your preferred experience criteria.

Company Loyalty

Imagine if you could build company loyalty before someone even starts working for you. By recruiting at colleges, you can do precisely that! Start connecting with students and showing off your employer brand. Let people know what benefits you provide and what you offer as an employer. This can start to build company loyalty with your preferred candidates before they even apply for a job with you or start working at your company. If you build relationships well enough, students will be set on working for you before they have even completed their qualifications.

The Bad – Difficulties of Campus Recruitment


The cost of campus recruitment can really add up, which is particularly an issue for smaller companies with a minimal recruitment budget. With travel, marketing materials, and more costs, campus recruitment can be a costly process. If you are hiring at volume, it is well worth it and can even reduce the cost per hire. However, if you are looking to fill just one position, it can be expensive.


Campus recruitment is by no means a fast method of finding employees. First of all, you are likely to start engaging with potential candidates before they finish college and are even available for a role. It is more of a long-term recruitment strategy and may not be that useful if you have positions open immediately. Plus, you will have to take the time to train and onboard your college recruits, especially because it is likely their first time in the workforce.

Outdated Approach

If you want to attract young people into your business, you need to target them where they are at. Sure, you can visit careers fairs and meet candidates in person. However, you may find that you have far more success if you move your college recruitment efforts online as well. Young talent expects to see their employers online, so you need to get up to date with the digital age quickly. That includes having active social media profiles which invite and engage in conversation. Use digital channels to show the students why they should want to work for you. If you don’t, you may lose some excellent job candidates.

The Ugly – Where You Can Go Wrong

For a long time, diversity was not a recruitment priority. Today, more organizations are getting on board with recruitment strategies designed to increase diversity in their companies. However, remember that college recruits are likely to be among some of the more privileged people in our society – after all, they had enough resources to attend college. So, while a campus recruitment strategy can be a great source of job candidates, don’t forget to prioritize diversity as well. Along with many other benefits, businesses with more diversity in their workforces are up to 33% more likely to outperform their competitors financially.

One way that you can encourage diversity is by following up your campus recruitment with a blind graduate application process. Use campus recruitment to get people to apply for your roles. Then, during the application process, have all identifying details of applicants removed. This includes gender, ethnicity, details about their backgrounds, and more. That way, you can be sure that you are making decisions based on each person’s experience and qualifications rather than letting unconscious bias come into it.

Campus recruitment can be an incomparable talent source when you approach it the right way. Make sure that you connect with candidates online, promote your employer brand, and hire a diverse workforce. That’s how you can attract a younger generation of workers into your organization who will help to lead it forward in the digital age.

Do you want to see how Talent Intelligence helps you create the Future of Work?

Book a meeting with our team today to find out!

Related Posts