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How Recent Trends Have Influenced Campus Recruiting Strategy

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*Also written by Maria Gianakakos.

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Since the pandemic, the whole world has changed the way we do things, and campus recruiting is no different. Staying home is the new norm, and this is transforming the way we reach students. In fact, we’ve identified six important trends within the UK and EMEA:

  1. We are all figuring it out at the same time
  2. Act now
  3. We are becoming more digital
  4. Social is soaring
  5. Being proactive with content
  6. Capture interest

These six trends are impacting the UK market and have influenced our clients’ campus and early careers strategies.

We are all figuring it out at the same time

There was no manual for recruiting during a pandemic. So whether you are a university, student or employer, these experiences are new for all of us. Take a breath. We’re all in this together.

So how do we collectively move forward? It’s important that our clients are communicating with students, as 84% of students are worried about their career opportunities. This approach should be woven into all our clients’ messaging strategies – social, email, talent communities, etc.

Act now

COVID-19 has caused people and businesses to change at an exponential rate, not necessarily because they want to, but because they have to. Digital transformations that we once thought would take five years to occur have taken place over the last five months. In fact, in a recent Twilio study, 79% of respondents said COVID-19 has resulted in an increased budget for digital transformation within their company.

The same applies to campus recruiting – we are already starting to see universities shift in how they are communicating with and providing services to their students. For instance, 96% of UK universities will be offering blended learning, and 71% of companies are saying they are shifting to online interviews and 60% to online assessments. If companies do not adapt, they will be left behind, so we need to encourage each other to start to act upon these changes as quickly as we are able to.

We are becoming more digital

It’s no surprise that, over the last few months, mobile use has increased and more people are streaming content than ever before. Virgin Media is reporting that content downloads are up 90% as we look to inform and entertain ourselves more during these unprecedented times.

A large part of this trend is video conferencing tool usage, which has skyrocketed. Zoom has surfaced as a clear winner as employees continue to work remotely.

In addition, 92% say their organization is very or somewhat likely to expand digital communication channels as the world reopens – something to keep in mind when it comes to early careers recruitment strategies and how we’re integrating digital communication to reach candidates.

Social is soaring

Another trend that I’m sure we’ve all noticed is the increase in social usage. In fact, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are reporting 70% increases in the time spent on their sites.

Similar to Zoom, TikTok has been one of those apps that really experienced a positive impact as a result of COVID-19. In Q1 of 2020, it was downloaded 315 million times, up 58% from the previous quarter. We also saw trends like ‘how to make a TikTok’ being searched 400% times more as more people started to familiarize themselves with the social media app. Because of this increase in social usage, and considering the target audience that companies are trying to reach for early careers roles, social should be included in any early careers media strategy.

Being proactive with content

Looking at Google Trends data, we see a steady interest in students actively seeking out graduate, internship and apprentice opportunities throughout the year. While there are ebbs and flows within these keyword terms, having this content readily available year-round is important and should be the foundation of any strategy.

99% of students reported that they wanted their university’s career services to help them during this time. This presents a unique opportunity for employers – to be there for students to proactively help answer their questions and help them find relevant roles. Companies can stand out from competitors simply by making the information more prominent to candidates – what programs they are offering, available job opportunities and new recruiting efforts.

Capturing interest

When receiving information from companies, students prefer to communicate via email. And as we see students continually look for opportunities throughout the year and plan for the future, doing some type of info capture to keep students informed even when there aren’t currently jobs open to apply for is crucial.

In addition, we also saw on a handful of UK TalentBrews, as a result of job alerts, that candidates clicking on roles with intern, apprentice or grad in their job title had up to a 150% higher likelihood of clicking the apply button when compared to all roles offered. Early Career role job alerts are a worthwhile addition to any strategy that a company with TalentBrew automatically receives.

As the world continues to change, these trends can help to inform more detailed recruitment marketing strategies for our clients. At TMP, we’re committed to delivering the talent acquisition results you deserve. Our unified platform intelligently connects you with the right talent across their entire journey.

Want to see what we can achieve together? Connect with us today.

About Rachel Maude

Rachel Maude has been at TMP five years and has a background in digital media and marketing. She started as an Account Director in our Boston office then transitioned into a role as a Campaign Strategist which focused on overseeing our Boston clients’ media strategies and campaign performance. After moving to our London office, Rachel moved into the role of Digital Strategist supporting our global accounts. Rachel specializes in building relationships with our clients and helping them connect with tools, strategies and solutions to be successful with their talent management, employer branding and recruitment needs.

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