The Indian ITES Industry has been a great proponent of campus recruitment. Ever since the early days of the Indian IT/ITES boom in the ‘90s, almost all companies in this sector established their campus strategy, year after year, to build their workforce. The approach was not without reason. For an Industry that was growing at a CAGR of 25% or more, the talent was (as it continues to be) the raw material. And it made perfect sense to go to the source directly for the same.
The recipe for an organization was simple. It mainly involved the following steps
1. Designing – the Campus Program – Identifying the campuses, establishing contact with them, blocking a campus visit date
2. Pitching – Sending out the recruitment teams on the appointed date(s), delivering an awe-inspiring & hard selling pitch to excited (and nervous) students
3. Recruiting – Running the selection process and offering those that make the cut
4. Waiting – for the academic year to close so the selected candidates can join the ranks
This is the part that many did well. But, post the hold on, many organisations witnessed only a meagre 5%-10% of the offered candidates show up for their on-boarding. The abysmal performance led the Finance teams to swoop in, question the viability and in numerous cases, pull down the shutters on the grand campus program.
So, what went wrong in the recipe?
As is the case while preparing a Michelin star meal, the finishing is just as important as the primary execution itself. In the event of campus recruitment, the post campus engagement is as (if not more) important as the actual hiring activity itself. The fact that on an average a candidate is offered about 5 months in advance of his/her course completion makes it critical for an organization to keep a candidate ‘warm’ and increase his/her chances of coming on board. Very few organisations kept this piece in mind.
This engagement needs to be part of the overall branding strategy of the campus program. One that starts with creating a strong campus connect that gets reinforced year after year. Sharing e-newsletters about the latest happening in your organization, sending a ‘Best of Luck’ greeting card just before the dreaded final examinations and mailing a list of potential rental accommodations for out-of-station hires are some easy-to-do engagement practices.
With online communities and social networks, the available options have increased multi-fold. Some smart usage of gamification, for example, can enable an organization to excite and engage its selected candidates much before the actual joining. Connecting to this network can help candidates develop a comfort factor which is critical because, for most, it’s the first step into a corporate life.
If all this is executed seamlessly and with close monitoring, there is a high likelihood of higher offer conversion. The metric all campus recruitment leaders should focus on.
Else, in my view, it’s not a Campus Recruitment exercise that’s taken place, it’s Campus Tourism – an official off-site where the recruitment team has visited a new city or town and taken in the sights.. nothing more.
Would love to know your views and ideas on how organisations can make their Campus Programs more efficient.
Feel free to reach out to be on Twitter (@vykasdua)
Vikas Dua – Profile
A Post graduate in Business Management from the Infinity Business School and a graduate of the Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai, Vikas Dua brings with him over 16 years of rich and diverse experience across three industries in the services sector – Hospitality, Education, and ITES.
With extensive exposure over the years to varied dimensions of Talent Acquisition such as Volume Hiring, Campus Recruitment, Lateral Hiring, Train and Hire Models, Talent Acquisition Analytics and New-Hire On-boarding, Vikas is a well-rounded TA specialist who has seen the changing recruitment landscape up close.
Currently, he is leading the recruitment for the North Zone at Concentrix, one of the global leaders in the BPM Space.
*Views expressed are personal.