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6 Steps to a Rockin' Campus Info Session

Campus recruitment is in full swing. Here are a few things to keep in mind for both the experienced and new campus recruiter when it comes to the on-site info session.

Information sessions are standard practice for many academic disciplines and programs. Regardless of the building popularity of social networking, video interviewing and electronic recruitment tactics, the on-site information session is still a key method of connecting with students and building your brand at most schools. For smaller firms or those new to campus recruitment, information sessions can actually be an innovative method of branching out. Contact the career centre of the school you are interested in to get hints on holding these sessions. Your intention should be to gain a captive audience with the purpose of providing details of career opportunities at your organization.

Here are 6 secrets to success:

1. Build it, and they shall come. When offering information sessions, remember to think of ways to entice students to your session. Hint: Food always brings students. You will boost your chances of a successful turnout by footing the bill for some food. Remember, for your first session or two at a site, you are building the excitement about your brand. Food and giveaways will help build that excitement.

2. Your reps are very, very important. As far as representatives are concerned, alumni and “like” individuals are very powerful at an event like this. If you can, bring positive employees that are alumni and promote and demonstrate a successful career for a recent graduate. You want the students to see themselves in a similar role and being able to connect the dots of the next steps in their career with a path in your organization. This can be very powerful. Also, your representatives should be trained to be ongoing contacts – their job shouldn’t be done at the end of the session. They are, in fact, your best recruiters.

3. Give a presentation, not a lecture. At the information session, do give a presentation, but keep it short and entertaining. Students are in lectures all day… they don’t want to hear one from someone who isn’t responsible for their grades. Educate them about your organization, your brand, your value proposition, and sample employee paths through real-life examples if possible. Tell them why they might fit with your organization. Find a hook. If you can talk about an issue that is important or familiar to the group, you can attract a larger crowd and provide an experience that students will appreciate.

4. Always be sure to have an entertaining, informed speaker. Yes, it is great to have the CEO deliver the message, but only if that person is a powerful speaker. If you have to go a level or two down from CEO to find an engaging speaker - do it. The CEO can be there, but don’t put the crowd to sleep in order to have the “top dog” deliver the presentation.

5. Interaction, interaction, interaction. The old real estate adage about location can be turned to something very useful when it comes to interaction and relationships. Make interaction opportunities a priority in an information session. Set up time both before and after a presentation for students to interact with your representatives. In campus recruiting, it always applies that personal interaction is paramount. People entering a career field love to speak with people who are experiencing the field first hand. Be sure to facilitate that experience for them.

6. The space must be enticing. Spend the time to ensure that the room you have for your information session feels right. The size and ambiance should facilitate personal interaction, food should be delivered on time, and details should be seamless. Finally, find a way to get contact names and means of thanking them for their attendance. Again giveaways with ballots are a clever way to reel in talent

I am sure that you all have some info session innovations – please share them with us!

Jamie Allison

If you are building a program and want a guide to help, order a copy of my book Jackpot! A Step-by-Step Guide to a Winning On-Campus Recruitment Campaign through Amazon or Chapters.

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