Hospitality school campuses are some of the most fruitful places to recruit new talent. Here your business will find an incredible pool of enthusiastic young people looking to get started with their careers in the industry after graduation. Many even look for part-time opportunities while they’re still studying.
It's no wonder why so many hospitality businesses take advantage of this ambitious and educated crowd. They attend career fairs and give talks at colleges, universities, and vocational schools where they compete against many other hospitality employers looking for the best of the best.
How can you stand out to the student body and set yourself apart as the most desirable hospitality employer? Below we're providing a few tips on achieving precisely that. Continue reading to learn more.
What's Campus Recruitment?
Campus recruitment is a specific recruitment strategy that focuses on engaging with entry-level employees on university campuses. With over 4 million students graduating each year in the US alone, there's a colossal talent pool for hospitality employers to dip into.
There are tons of compelling reasons why hospitality employers should make campus recruitment a priority.
First off, students are enthusiastic about starting their careers. Often, they're willing to work hard to prove themselves and bring new ideas to the table. Not only that, but you know these candidates boast an academic background and are readily available after college. So, if you need to fill vacancies around the time where college courses end, you can fill openings immediately.
How Do You Source High-Quality Talent with Campus Recruitment?
So how exactly do you attract college graduates as a hospitality employer?
Pre-COVID sourcing and hiring this young talent took a systematic effort that often included:
- Visiting a wide array of college campuses
- Attending recruitment events and career fairs
- Giving talks at colleges
- Working with university career centres to source candidates
- Advertising on student job boards
Campus recruiters have to compete with several other employers and jump through several hoops to enjoy success. This makes it all the more essential to put your best foot forward to provide an outstanding candidate experience. This includes:
- Creating job descriptions, interview questions, and assessment tools.
- Formulating job offers that suit intern and entry-level skills.
- Preparing presentations, videos, and other marketing materials.
- Managing talent communities.
You want to take all the necessary steps to establish and strengthen an employer brand that students flock to. The tips above will undoubtedly steer you in the right direction with that.
How COVID-19 Changed Campus Recruitment
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, campus recruitment has changed dramatically. The majority of campus recruitment efforts have been taken online. As such, hospitality recruiters have to adjust accordingly by preparing promotional materials for a digital setting. For example, slideshows, videos, live Q&As, webinars, video interviews, etc.
Establishing a solid online presence is key to succeeding in this new paradigm. Therefore, it's imperative hospitality employers sink their time and effort into updating their career websites, producing engaging social media content, and attending online job fairs.
How to Ensure Your Campus Recruitment Stands Out as a Hospitality Employer
So how do hospitality employers stand out amidst the competition and in the wake of the pandemic? Here are a few tips for ensuring your online presence attracts the best talent.
Set Clear Expectations for Entry-Level Roles
The majority of college graduates will be young people with little professional experience. So, set your expectations accordingly to ensure entry-level roles suit the skills and education college students can bring to the table.
That said, don’t overlook genuine and keen young talent! The right fit will pick things up quickly and will be all the more loyal to you for the training and opportunities you provide.
Layout a Clear Progression Path
One of the most important things to college students is the ability to progress and grow. In fact, Gen Zers are very motivated when it comes to career growth opportunities, with as many as 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement.
So, set yourself apart from other hospitality employers by creating a promising early-career plan. This will also attract ambitious students who intend to give the job their all and become star members of your hospitality business.
Host a Virtual Open Day
Virtual open days present the perfect opportunity to invite top talent to visit your workplace (albeit virtually) and meet the management team. The day can consist of videos showcasing your workplace culture, behind-the-scenes tours of the offices, as well as Q&As with managers. This enables students to get to know your brand and ask any questions about the company and its recruitment process.
Invest in High-Volume Recruitment Tools
Traditionally, campus recruitment and the hospitality industry go hand in hand. Many of their entry-level jobs don’t require too much formal training or previous experience. This means you could be setting yourself up to receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications.
Once applications start rolling in, it’s important not to drop the ball. Your hospitality business should already have software to streamline applicant communications. Without the right tools, you could fail to assess candidates properly and let top talent slip through the net. So, be sure your recruitment team's equipped with the tools they need to process high volumes of applications.
For instance, with Hosco, employers can post vacancies on multiple hospitality school sites at once, and manage applications effortlessly using Hosco’s candidate board.
The final tip we’ll leave you with is to start establishing relationships with colleges across the country or region. By forming long-lasting connections with the right people, you stand a better chance of top talent being nudged your way and of being kept abreast of any upcoming opportunities to advertise new roles.
Are You Ready to Start Recruiting College Graduates?
We hope this article has helped you understand the merits and challenges of campus recruitment and how to stand out in an increasingly complex and competitive graduate job market.
Hosco is strategically aligned with hundreds of hospitality schools, education centers, and associations. Take advantage of our unique partnerships by advertising your vacancies on our website. Get access to top-notch hotel, tourism, culinary and vocational schools worldwide today.