By Curt Hensley
Is your merchant services business looking for rapid growth? Finding talent from within the payments industry is one way to go. However, college recruiting is another alternative many financial services companies can use successfully.
In recruiting from colleges and universities, a strategy called "superior college recruiting" has rendered more traditional approaches outdated. Breaking free of entrenched methods isn't easy; few in the corporate world are willing to take on the challenge.
About 95 percent of recruiting efforts on college campuses follow a model that is dependent on career centers. It relies heavily on career center services but very little on actual scouting for talent.
The traditional model is straightforward:
It's uncomplicated, relatively inexpensive and produces enough hires to keep countless companies reasonably satisfied. Unfortunately, corporate recruiters are unaware there are alternatives that yield clear, competitive advantages and include more sophisticated elements designed to ensure extraordinary results.
Superior recruiting is distinguished by reduced emphasis on campus information sessions and more focus on branding, technology, relationship building, aggressive marketing, and fact-based decision-making.
Following are nine key aspects of the superior college recruiting approach created by human resource expert Dr. John Sullivan:
As graduates mature, they may consider your firm for subsequent employment opportunities. Working closely with alumni associations is key to maintaining open communication channels with alumni.
However, the goals of superior college recruiting is to dominate the college market and get a disproportionate number of exceptional students; build and maintain a measurable competitive advantage in recruiting; build an employment brand that makes every targeted college student aware of your firm; and win every head-to-head fight with competitors over top targets.
College branding includes winning best place to work awards, placing on the best place to start a career list, being written up in targeted media for your best practices and having executives speak on campus. You can develop your employment brand even with just three or four local universities in your area.
Superior identification tools include the use of student and graduate assistant referrals, online and on-campus contests, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and online forums. Other sources include campus professional clubs and honor society meetings to identify talent, as well as having interns act as on-campus recruiting ambassadors.
Other ideas to consider include creating compelling videos for your company's Web site or YouTube; texting recruiting messages to potential candidates; encouraging students to refer their classmates to you; designing a corporate career page dedicated to wowing top graduates.
The most effective assessment process, on-the-job assessment, can occur during internships or with short-term projects students can complete off-campus during college breaks.
The way college students communicate is changing rapidly, so shifting your approach is essential. The rapid advancement of new technologies now allows college recruiters to do things that were not possible just a few years ago. If you are looking to be an innovative leader in the merchant services arena, adopting a superior college recruiting model is a critical piece of the foundation.
Curt Hensley is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of CSH Consulting, a recruiting firm exclusively focused on the payments industry. He and his leadership team have over 50 years of combined experience recruiting in the merchant acquiring arena. They have placed over 1,200 payments industry professionals since their inception eight years ago. Contact Curt at 480-315-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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