Many organizations are already rolling out their hiring strategy for 2019, but are there other opportunities you may be overlooking and be able to capitalize on in the second half of the year? As always, MCS is here to provide you with the specialized intelligence and hands-on support that will help you hit your hiring targets. So to make it easier for you to plan your activities well in advance, we have set the dates for all of our major career and recruitment events through to the end of October 2019.
We have also analyzed the results of our 2018 post-event surveys to identify the recruitment trends and best practices that can optimize your student engagement efforts in 2019.
Here’s what we found:
- Campus Recruitment Events are Alive and Well
Trying to justify those campus recruitment event budgets? Wondering if your time is well-spent attending them? Based on the student participation and engagement we saw this past year, it’s safe to say that it continues to be an effective tool for attracting and evaluating talent. Need further proof? According to 2017 research conducted by the Scott Resource Group with students from 19 universities, 55% of students disagree or strongly disagree that “employers that use virtual tools to recruit are just as interested in students from my school as those who maintain a physical presence.”
In 2018, we broke student and employer attendance records for our marquee fall networking event, now known as Rowe Networking Night. Over 200 students, and over 110 employers joined us for a lively evening of networking. Save the date for Sept. 11, 2019 when we’ll host the next one!
2018 also saw student registration for our Halifax and Toronto Corporate Tours fill up much faster than in years past, indicating student demand to interact with employers and explore different work environments and corporate cultures on site is stronger than ever.
Students who attended our 2018 fall recruitment events were recently surveyed and respondents reported that…
- 85% were satisfied with their experience.
- 95% were more likely to apply for a job with an organization after connecting with them at an event on campus
Employers who opted to attend our Corporate Residency MBA Pitch & Mingle event in August
- Saw a 30% average increase in applications to their job postings
- 100% decided to offer one or more positions to our CRMBA candidates, compared to 80% of the employers who posted jobs but chose not to attend
- Timing is Everything
The leading cause (76%) of students canceling their registration for a career event this fall was due to a conflict with their class schedule or midterm exam. In addition, “convenient date and time for my schedule” was the top-ranking factor (55%) influencing which events they chose to attend.
So how can employers ensure that their campus information session is being held at an optimal time to attract students? The key to scheduling your campus information session is to consult with the MCS team well in advance, indicating the type of students that you are targeting with respect to the program, year of study, degree major, or any criteria that may be relevant to you. Course schedules vary program to program, and year to year. The MCS team can help you determine the best time to host your event by aligning your targets recruits with the day/time that conflicts with the fewest classes.
How far in advance should you start planning your campus information session? For the busy September 2019 recruitment season, we recommend reaching out to our team in late spring/early summer. For all other times of year, 4-6 weeks advance notice is ideal for room booking and event promotion purposes.
- Students Crave Face-Time with Employers & Alumni
Whether we were asking students for their feedback on our Corporate Tours or our fall career events, there was a recurring theme: the more opportunities to network with employers and alumni, the better. This is feedback that employers can easily apply to their student engagement activities by:
- Building dedicated networking time into your information session/tour visit
- Invite multiple recruiters or company representatives to the session/visit to increase the number of students you’re able to talk to within the time available
- Tapping into Dal alumni you have on your team in the presentation and/or networking component and encourage them to talk about their career path and their experience with the organization
- Working with MCS to do an alumni spotlight which can be shared through the MCS student e-newsletter, social media channels, and the video wall overlooking the Rowe Atrium in the lead up to your event
- Mixing It Up with Mixers Pays Off
2018 saw the evolution of two of our annual recurring events, to positive reviews. Both the Co-op Summer Social and the CRMBA Pitch & Mingle events allow employers to interact with a single cohort from the respective program, and offer a format that combines structured and open networking opportunities.
The Co-op Summer Social (an event designed to celebrate the 2nd-year Bachelor of Commerce students returning to campus from their first-ever co-op work term) has been an annual event since 2014. For the first time last year, at the suggestion of MCS’ own co-op student employees, employers were offered the opportunity to host booths and network in the Rowe Atrium. Open to only 200 BComm students and 8 sponsor organizations representing a range of industry sectors, the atmosphere is kept light and cheery, which allows these lower-year undergrads to feel more at ease, whether they were approaching an employer at a booth, or being introduced to them by a student ambassador for a more casual networking interaction. Following the event in 2018, employer sponsors and student ambassadors were invited to rank their experience and provide feedback:
- On average, employers rated of the quality of student interaction at a 4.3 out of 5, and the alignment with their recruitment goals at a 4 out of 5 (5 being “High”, 1 being “Low”).
- The majority of employers commented on the value of having student ambassadors on hand to help make introductions
Last year, the CRMBA kicked off its fall recruitment with a speed-pitching event followed by a networking reception. The speed-pitching session enabled more intimate and engaging discussion to take place between pairs of students and employers pitching each other at high-table stations set up around the room. The structure of the speed-pitching portion helped to break the ice between the two groups leading into the reception. As a result, 85% of the employers shared that they were supportive of this new approach.
Employers who participated in our most recent Toronto Corporate Tour as practice interviewers also benefitted from this combination of a more structured student engagement activity, followed by the option to attend the Corporate Tour networking reception that evening.
MCS is here to help you achieve your recruitment goals. Whether you are looking for quality student engagement opportunities, hands-on recruitment activities, or the chance to heighten your organization’s brand exposure, we have the unique solutions and support services to make it happen. Connect with us today to map out the plan that’s right for you.