Candidate Experience / Hiring

7 Components of a Successful Campus Recruitment Process

Campus recruitment processes are a vital component of any talent acquisition strategy that relies on entry-level employees, but they’re long overdue for a radical refresh.
Today’s college graduates don’t rely on campus job fairs and recruiting events to find jobs and internships. Instead, recruiters must meet them where they are on social media and online job boards. And similarly, we must create assessments that meet their expectations for engagement.
Here are seven key components to an effective campus recruitment strategy.

A Focus on Nurturing Engagement

Top graduate talent is a hot commodity. In a tight labor market, you can’t afford to wait for candidates to come to you. The number of companies clamoring for recent graduate talent can overwhelm candidates, and you’ll need to work hard to build meaningful relationships.

Stand out from the crowded market by ensuring that the time candidates spend with you is as engaging as possible. How?

Build in channels for interacting with your applicants on an individual level. Whether you add chatbots or start with a brief survey, identify what candidates are looking for in their career.
Then, when it comes to assessments, make sure they are also engaging and relevant to the role to maintain their interest.
Using the market standard assessment doesn't differentiate your hiring process from that of your competitors. If candidates are taking the same tests over and over again, “assessment fatigue” will kick in. This further blurs the line between your company and others.
Review the design of your entire campus recruitment program, paying special attention to the assessments you include. Ask yourself: Will these assessments engage or disengage potential candidates? Are they too common on the market? Do they differentiate your employer brand?
When selecting the assessments to use:
  • Make sure the application can be completed on a mobile device. College graduates today expect a mobile-friendly application and assessment process.
  • Use a modern, contemporary design. Reject traditional muted visuals, but don’t lean too heavily into flashy, bright colors, either.
  • Implement tests that are quick to complete. Modern psychometrics enable tests and questionnaires to quickly generate a reliable score.
  • Design an application process that reflects your company. Nothing engages graduates more than seeing what working with you would be like.
  • Include assessments that look like they measure what they are meant to measure. Face validity and robust psychometrics are essential. If either of these elements is missing, candidates will lose faith in your selection process.

Assessments That Highlight Job Relevance.

Graduate applicants want to be taken seriously. Many companies make assumptions about what young talent wants, resulting in a gamified assessment trend. Students and recent graduates want an engaging experience, but implementing over-the-top game-based assessments isn’t the right approach either.
Graduate applicants want a job-relevant experience. They should be able to draw connections between the assessment and the role itself. Games featuring characters or cartoon elements take them out of the experience.
However, level progression and interactive challenges with immediate feedback are gaming elements that can really enhance assessments. Gamified assessments can be extremely engaging as long as they’re clearly job-relevant. Candidates should feel like they’re being taken seriously.
Research shows that, with gamified graduate assessments:
  • 91% of candidates are left with an overall impression that is equal to or better than the traditional assessment format.
  • 94% say the tests engage applicants, and 90% say they reflect the hiring company's brand as well as, or better than, traditional assessment.
  • 86% report being taken seriously and treated fairly using such gamified assessments.

Clear Definitions of Success

Good-quality numerical and verbal reasoning tests can highlight which applicants have the abilities you need. But adding in elements of behavior or personality offers a better picture of how candidates might approach work at your business.
First, you have to identify what behaviors or personality traits define success in the role and the company. To find out what your business needs, think about your values and culture. What qualities are you looking for in a new graduate? Do you want them to bring questions and innovations, or should they follow directions efficiently and effectively?
For example, what are the most important corporate values and organizational competencies to grow at your company? Recent graduates who align with your values and have aptitude for your desired competencies are more likely to establish themselves quickly.
Determine what your business needs from its internship and entry-level positions. Then implement assessments designed to identify these qualities in your graduate applicants.

An Emphasis on Inclusiveness

You need to use talent assessments that are scientifically proven not to have bias for or against any groups of applicants. A fair assessment isn’t biased in its content, administration, response or assumptions. It should be culture-agnostic. Applicants across races, ethnicities and generational cohorts should all have equal opportunity to perform well.
Hiring for behaviors and personality traits helps your organization pinpoint the best candidates regardless of race, class, gender or other irrelevant factors. Assessments give you the opportunity to make hiring decisions that can increase your organizational diversity. This widens your graduate talent pipeline and helps you bring in a more diverse cohort of graduates.

A Branded Candidate Experience

To recruit the best graduate applicants during their job search, you’ll need to differentiate by offering a positive and unique candidate experience.
Think about what can make your selection process different. An assessment in the style of instant messaging or an easy-to-navigate virtual assessment center can set you apart from your competitors.
Incorporating gaming elements can have a big impact, as long as tests remain clearly job-relevant. Research reveals that 90% of applicants believe that gamified assessments reflected the hiring company as well as, or better than, other assessments they experienced.
Real-life examples:
  • A multinational engineering company deployed a gamified assessment based on typical situations or scenarios in its business. Candidates were asked to make judgments about what to do through a messaging-style app on their mobile phone. It gave the company a robust situational judgment score and provided the candidates with a strong insight into the role.
  • Nationwide commissioned the design and development of an escape room-type of assessment. This set the company apart from its competitors and provided candidates with an innovative experience.

Assessments That Are Responsive and Unique to Each Test Taker

There are many sites and forums that graduate applicants can use to learn about their peers’ experiences with campus recruitment. Many companies also offer practice tests to help candidates learn what to expect from the real assessment.
But it's possible for candidates to know too much going into an assessment. Each assessment should be different from anything they’ve completed for other companies.
Psychometrics today allow test developers to create banks of items for building bespoke assessments. You still get all the reliability and robustness you need, as well as a new test generated for each specific candidate.
You can also customize assessments. This could be as simple as branding the test with your logo and corporate colors. But you can also use assessments to showcase what it’s like to work with you.
This increases the candidate’s knowledge of your business. It also encourages those who aren’t sure about working with you to drop out of the process.

A Commitment to Psychometric Quality

Valid and robust psychometric assessments are an essential component of graduate selection. Below are 10 questions to ask of your assessment to spot high-quality psychometrics.
  1. Objective: Is your assessment objective in how it’s administered, scored and interpreted?
  2. Reliable, accurate and consistent: Does it offer dependable results over time?
  3. Valid: Does it measure what it is designed to measure?
  4. Differentiating: Does a stronger candidate receive a higher test score than a weaker candidate?
  5. Providing value for the money: Are the costs relatable to a benefit?
  6. Standardized: Does the assessment offer a comparison with normative or benchmark groups?
  7. Useful: Does the psychometric assessment add clear value to the talent process?
  8. Accepted: Do candidates respond well and feel like it’s assessing them fairly?
  9. Cheat-resistant: Can candidates distort or fake their test scores?
  10. Transparent and fair: Are the test and testing process clear and fair to all? Do the candidates get appropriate feedback?
By implementing high-quality psychometric assessments as part of your college recruiting efforts, you can differentiate your company and attract the best graduate talent.

Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

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