How Will COVID-19 Change Campus Recruiting?

Alex Davessar
Posted on
May 5, 2020

COVID-19 is radically changing every aspect of our daily lives. Humans are social creatures, and, while social distancing is critically important, doing so has created numerous challenges around collaboration, both within personal and professional relationships. And so, as your organization is now experiencing an increased reliance on virtual collaboration tools, you are likely also thinking about your campus recruiting strategy for fall of 2020 and beyond. "What happens if career fairs are cancelled? What happens if classes are online and we can't reach students through traditional methods?" While COVID-19 has made adjusting campus recruiting strategies a daunting task, it also presents an enormous opportunity to improve existing processes and make your recruiting efforts more efficient and effective for the long-term. Here are our recommendations for reaching college talent during these unprecedented times:

Reach Students Through Familiar Technologies

With an increased reliance on virtual connection, ensuring that the students you are targeting have a positive user experience has never been more critical. Have you noticed that many job boards, talent pools, and micro-internship platforms feel clunky and antiquated? Have you noticed that these platforms do not replicate consumer technology that students use daily, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter? Students have noticed, too. To keep students engaged with your company during the recruitment process, we recommend that you utilize talent engagement platforms whose user experience makes students feel at home. For instance, Outern utilizes interactive video content that allows students to share their talents and learn about companies, similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories. In which there is a mutual interest between you and the student, Outern also allows your recruiters to engage directly with students via high-quality chat and video-calling that feel like typical social media platforms.

Outern's Interactive Video Content

Invest In Your Candidates' Skills and Financial Well-Being

Nearly 4 out of 5 college students work a part-time job during the school year. Many of these jobs, such as working at a dining hall or local pizza shop, do not relate to the skills that students are seeking to build for their careers. Because so many students are looking to make money and build their skillsets, we recommend that you engage with students by giving them work that they can do remotely. Commonly known as micro-internships, these short-term and project based offerings allow you to work with students year-round without committing to that student for an extended period of time. Essentially, micro-internships allow you to sample younger candidates prior to committing to a longer term opportunity. Outern makes doing so extraordinarily easy, as it handles all payroll and onboarding. Outern even helps students pay taxes, so hiring students to work remotely is as easy for your team as buying lunch.

Project Management on Outern

Focus Your Outreach Resources

Prior to COVID-19, many campus recruiting strategies were focused upon campus visits and career fairs. For each college at which you wanted to recruit, you would have to pay for a table, staff to engage with candidates, and marketing materials to hand out. This becomes very expensive, and your recruiting becomes limited by the geographic reach of your organization. Additionally, like wide-blast email marketing, most of the students with which you engage will not apply or will not be a good fit for your posted roles. With the rise in remote work, we recommend that you utilize virtual platforms on which you can expand your reach across the country and only pay to engage with students in which there is a mutual interest. With micro-internship platforms like Outern, you can reach students across the country from your laptop and within minutes. You can also be sure that, for every dollar you pay, you engage with a qualified candidate that's also interested in your company.

Recruiting amid and after COVID-19 will be significantly different, and your company will have to adapt. However, doing so will open the opportunity for your organization to improve its processes for the long-term. The Outern team is happy to help you through this process! Click here to learn more about campus recruiting with Outern, or reach out to us at!

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