2021 Trends in Campus Recruiting

The COVID-19 pandemic completely upended recruiting as we know it. Initially, hiring needs were transformed almost overnight. Some industries, such as entertainment and hospitality, were impacted heavily, resulting in mass layoffs nationwide. It changed the way we recruit as well, with virtual hiring becoming the new normal for many organizations. In 2021, virtual hiring will continue to be central to the way we hire, and the challenge will be to find a way to optimize virtual hiring not as a temporary solution but a long-term strategy.

In particular, campus recruiting will be totally different than it has ever been since most workplaces and schools will continue to operate remotely. This means that many companies will need to adjust to sourcing and hiring early-career talent completely online.

So what new practices should we expect to see in campus recruiting this year? Below we’ve outlined four trends that you need to know:

Virtual Recruitment

To put it simply: virtual recruitment is here to stay. From advertising job postings to hiring and onboarding new employees, we should expect for this process to be remote until further notice.

What this means is that HR teams should focus on delivering a superb hiring, onboarding, and virtual job experience to early-career hires. This entails embracing new virtual hiring technology and practicing new and effective ways to interview candidates online.

Applicants should also be made aware during the hiring process that your organization will support new hires with adjusting to working from home. Teams that demonstrate this commitment through policies such as flexible work schedules, technology stipends, and mental health resources are likely to stand out to potential hires as companies everywhere work towards delivering the best virtual hiring experience possible.

Recruiting Paid Interns

Recruiting paid interns has been an effective way to find and retain top early-career talent. According to one Forbes study, about 60% of paid internships will turn into a job offer. Paying interns is a particularly important investment, given that only 37% of unpaid interns receive a job offer. This is largely due to the fact that paid internships focus more on receiving hands-on field experience, while unpaid interns spend more time completing clerical tasks.

Recruiting paid interns proves to be a more fruitful effort for interns and their employers. Interns are compensated fairly, gain relevant job experience, and employers increase their chances of finding new additions to their organizations. In fact, one study found that about 32% of interns accept full-time offers from previous intern employers.

As companies work towards making worthwhile early-career hiring efforts, recruiting paid interns continues to be a useful strategy for finding long-term talent.

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

New grads today are very conscious and passionate about important causes within their external environment, and this affects their attitudes and expectations towards employment. Specifically, new grads want employers that align with their own morals and values, such as diversity and equity in the workplace.

One Deloitte report assessed the impact of current new grads on the labor force and found that employers should be aware of these values in order to attract top talent. Employers can practice DEI by incorporating these values into their hiring strategy. Companies who demonstrate a commitment to DEI in their mission statement, company branding, and throughout the hiring process are likely to align with and attract potential early-career hires.

Pre-Employment Assessments

Utilizing pre-employment testing is a great tool for sourcing the best early-career talent. While resumes and interviews can tell you what a candidate has accomplished, pre-employment assessments can provide you with powerful insights like aptitude, personality, and emotional intelligence that provide an objective way to evaluate potential, beyond just experience.

During a time when virtual hiring is the norm and workplace diversity is a growing priority, hiring managers need ways to garner as much information as they can from a candidate virtually, while evaluating all applicants as objectively as possible.

Because assessments provide insights into a candidate’s potential, they allow you to identify talent from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and education levels. Implementing these assessments may help you find a candidate from a background that otherwise may have been overlooked.

As companies move forward and conduct campus recruitment virtually, pre-employment assessments are a great tool to implement into this process.