Gen Z is a brand-conscious generation. This up-and-coming talent pool talks about brands, products and services 33% more in their daily conversations than any other group. Brands influence their decision-making as consumers, and as they enter the workforce, their choice of employers, too. That’s why creating and crafting a better brand presence on campus has become a priority for college recruiters and TA teams. Here are six tips you can use to boost your brand on campus.
1. Understand your brand and perception now.
A check-in on your current status is the first step toward improvement. Explore these questions with young new hires and students on campus:
- How do college-age candidates see your brand now?
- Are they aware of your brand?
- Do they think of it positively or negatively?
- Does it resonate with their values and their identity?
2. Know the brand and perception you want to convey with your brand on campus.
Think like a marketer in this step. Consider who your ideal college candidate is, and who you are trying to reach. Then, think about your company values and what you stand for. Craft your brand message so it emphasizes values you share with your target group of talent.
3. Beef up your online presence and actively engage.
Having strategies in place to effectively recruit and engage Millennial and Gen Z candidates is crucial. Today’s college students have never known a world without instant access to information, so online is where you need your brand to be. Priorities have to be:
A great careers site and jobs page(s) on your website
- Do you present your company as why it is a great place to work and what it offers to employees?
- Do you provide a workday glimpse so students can see what it’s like?
- Do you feature videos or testimonials from young, post-college staff?
- Do you provide a lot of details?
Presence on the social media Gen Zers prefer – Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
- Is your branding and messaging consistent across all channels?
- Is your brand conveying a sense of transparency?
Plan to spend time posting, tweeting, and also reviewing and responding to comments. If you come across negative comments, try to address concerns. And, don’t forget about campus networks. Plug in with some of the content you use on social media.
4. Showcase your brand on campus by hosting and joining on-campus events.
Colleges and universities put a lot of emphasis on helping their students transition to their first job. Take advantage of on-campus events to increase awareness of your brand. Make sure you convey what makes your company unique. Pay attention to communication done before and after too to get the most value from your on-campus time:
- Deploy solid lead-up campaigns to the event to build buzz
- At the event, make it easy for campus recruits to take the next step, whether it’s completing a video interview or simply getting in touch with you.
5. Harness the power of online references.
Positive feedback, positive comments and reviews, and even name checks are all free publicity. Incorporate it all into your online presence with tweets and posts. Take time to thank people.
6. Cultivate campus brand ambassadors
Look for student influencers, like team captains, club leaders, organization stars, and other students who are already interested in your company. You can hire them to help spread the word and talk about your company in an approachable way. Many companies are doing this already.
Ask them to collaborate with you on video or make a social media campaign prior to the event. Have them on-hand at the event, too. There’s nothing like seeing a real person and shaking hands, especially when it’s someone of their own age. You may wind up with a great hire this way and also a brand ally.
Looking for more tips on how to engage young candidates faster and hire smarter? Download our Ultimate Guide to Campus Recruiting.