Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

4 Tips to Improve Your Summer Recruitment Efforts

As a hiring and recruitment professional, you know that during the first few months of the year many companies connect with graduating college seniors with the goal of recruiting them for entry-level jobs with a summer start date.

While this is arguably the biggest influx of new talent into the workforce each year, it can be challenging to recruit top candidates who are also being enticed by other employers. It’s up to your team to market the positions and interview, hire, and train the right candidates to elevate your company.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following four tips for improving your summer recruiting efforts this year:

  • Bolster your training and development opportunities.
  • Embrace virtual hiring.
  • Clarify your onboarding process. 
  • Reflect your company culture in recruiting materials.

There’s no time to waste when it comes to elevating your summer recruitment efforts! Let’s dive in.

Bolster your training and development opportunities

Skyepack’s guide to micro-credentials cites a number of interesting statistics when it comes to hiring recent graduates, including that:

  • Less than half of graduating students surveyed report feeling extremely prepared for their first job post-college.
  • Only 11% of business leaders surveyed strongly agree that graduates entered their first jobs equipped with all the needed skills to be successful at the business.

Essentially, while a college education does equip students with a wealth of valuable skills and knowledge, it may not give them everything they need to actually be successful in a role. That’s why on-the-job training is so crucial and is one of the main benefits that prospective hires will be looking for when choosing whether to accept a position at your company.

College courses tend to focus on giving students a strong foundation in the industry they want to pursue— it’s essential information. So, when it comes to the skills that might not be reflected in college courses, general best practices around working a full-time job (i.e. navigating your internal technology or using effective customer service or sales cadences) and the latest innovations in your industry (i.e. search engine optimization for marketing professionals, UX design for developers, or cyber security for IT professionals) come to mind. One of the best ways to train recently graduated new hires in these topics is micro-credentials.

Micro-credentials are short, stackable courses that your employees complete with the specific goal of developing a new skill. These courses are most often asynchronous, meaning your employees could complete them as they best fit into their work schedule. At the end of a course, the employee takes a short assessment and earns some sort of credential— whether a digital badge, certificate, or even just a new skill to add to their resume.

To incorporate micro-credentials into your new hire benefits lineup, there are a few tasks to keep in mind. For example, micro-credentials are a fairly new and rapidly developing trend in instructional design. So, you may want to bring in an instructional design partner that is familiar with this course type to train your internal learning and development professionals to author them. This team can also help your team physically develop the courses, so you’re not overwhelming your internal team with the task.

Embrace virtual hiring

In 2020, a significant number of in-person processes moved to the virtual environment— for better or for worse. For many people, working from home was a long-awaited and eagerly welcomed change. However, we’re also seeing articles pop up about the dangers of burnout and “Zoom Fatigue” due to how much time we collectively spend looking at screens each day.

For many companies, now is the time to reevaluate which processes are staying virtual and which are going to be reverted to in-person. For example, creating a hybrid work environment where employees largely work remotely but have certain team days that take place in the office.

When your company is making these decisions, consider maintaining virtual hiring and interviewing to set your summer recruiting efforts up for success. Essentially, virtual recruiting and hiring involve conducting the process remotely from start to finish; so, candidates complete any assessments and interviews from their own location, rather than driving to your company’s office to do so.

There are a number of benefits that come with virtual hiring, particularly that it’s more accessible. With more accessible processes:

  • Candidates from locations far away won’t need to invest in expensive travel for the interview.
  • Interviews are isolated from changing public health recommendations, so regardless of what happens with the pandemic, the show can go on.
  • You won’t be excluding certain candidates (such as those from other areas, those with disabilities, or those with particularly busy schedules) from participating.

Plus, there are now software solutions created specifically to empower virtual hiring processes, so it should be fairly easy to make it a regular part of your organization’s efforts.

Clarify your onboarding process

Have you ever joined a company and had a bad experience for the first few weeks? Maybe you were walking into a newly-created role and your responsibilities weren’t yet clearly defined. Or, maybe your initial training wasn’t outlined, so you found yourself regularly waiting for the next task and unsure of what you should be working on. These situations can make you feel confused, uncertain, and as though you’re wasting time.

Why do these first few weeks— onboarding— play into your summer recruitment efforts? Well, we know that younger generations are leaving roles faster than the older generations that preceded them. And, we’re in the midst of what many are referring to as “The Great Resignation.” So, if your current onboarding process is ineffective, you could be hiring summer recruits only to quickly lose them to another company a few weeks after they start.

To prevent this, clarify your onboarding process before you begin recruiting for summer hiring.

For example, you could create a full onboarding curriculum that’s outlined in a syllabus and distribute it to all new hires on their first day of work. This document should cover what new hires will do each day for the entire onboarding process, whether it’s one week or one month. Include information such as:

  • Key tasks to complete each day
  • What lessons or skills they’ll be trained on each day
  • Who to direct questions to as they arise
  • Which resources to reference for specific tasks and skills

Make note that the schedule could change from day to day, so your team will have some “wiggle room” to make adjustments as necessary. However, you should aim to stick to this schedule as much as possible.

Giving employees this resource will significantly improve the first few weeks of your new hires’ experiences. This is especially true for virtual new hires since they won’t be able to simply turn to their peers in the office when questions arise.

Reflect your company culture in recruiting materials

Whenever you’re recruiting new employees, the goal isn’t to just find a person who can do the job— the goal is to hire the right person who will align well with not only the skills needed but also your company’s culture.

According to Double the Donation, employees who are engaged in their job and the culture are not only more likely to stay at the company, but they’re also 22% more profitable in their roles. So, it’s important to reflect your company’s culture in your recruiting materials to ensure that individuals who are applying align with your core values.

Write a strong job description that not only discusses the role itself but values-related topics such as:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Mental health
  • Work/life balance
  • Philanthropy and giving back

While your job description and recruiting materials make the first impression, remember that these values should be reflected throughout the hiring process as well. So, your conversations with the candidate and any assessment items should align with the values you include in the written materials!

We’re in the throes of the summer hiring season, so there’s no time to waste! These four tips will elevate your summer hiring process, as well as all of your hiring efforts that occur going forward. Good luck!

About the Author

Instructional Editor & Content Curator 

Salma graduated with a BA in English from Texas A&M University. With her background as a research scholar, she became a person who is continually learning and excited for new knowledge. Her passion for reading and writing helps her continue to create quality content for online learners. When she isn’t creating course content, she can be found traveling around the world, reading, watching the latest movie, or learning something new.

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