Work is very exciting and hectic when your company is growing. In fact, it can be so hectic there is little time for recruiting new people. However, it is difficult to expand your operations without enough quality logistics professionals to manage your operations and facilities. Many of those emerging supply chain professionals are completing degrees at colleges and universities.
Recruiting these candidates into entry-level positions can appear to be an overwhelming task for logistics firms that have little to no college campus recruiting experience:
- Many college students may not know your company simply because they are not your direct customers.
- Most transportation and logistics majors only know the big names in the industry and the firms which currently recruit at their school.
- Many direct-line managers have little time for or experience with college recruiting. As a result, they are unfamiliar with the timing of the on-campus recruiting cycle and how to use the systems used by career services offices to facilitate and organize interviewing opportunities.
- Most employers lack a plan for organizing their recruiting efforts.
So how do you get over these hurdles to establishing your college recruiting program? Whether your plan is for an ongoing recruiting program or a program for just-in-time hiring, there are simple steps you can take to improve your odds for achieving success.
Your first step in finding success with college recruiting is to get to know the people who help employers find new employees every day — the people who work in career services. These professionals can be your resource for gaining insight into how and when to recruit on-campus. They can help you understand the cycle and timing for interviewing college candidates, average salary offers and when to make offers of employment. The can also help you understand what students are looking for in written descriptions of the job and your company.
Next, get to know the top candidates every supply chain group wants to hire. Many logistics programs have professional organizations for students. The student leaders of the organizations are typically leaders in every category of life and tend to be highly regarded by college faculty, students and employers. Invite these student leaders to lunch and ask them which firms recruit effectively and how you can help their student logistics organization. You are likely to find many valuable nuggets of information to assist you in your recruiting efforts.
Transportation and logistics firms that are successful in recruiting the top talent establish a presence on-campus with a few select schools. First, these companies do this through working with student organizations where they will find the types of candidates they are seeking. Second, they participate in corporate sponsorship programs that help build name recognition and provide access to students, services and faculty. Third, these organizations facilitate information sessions for the candidates they will be interviewing. During the information session, students can learn more about why they want to work for your company and it confirms the candidates’ decision to interview with you.
The last hurdle in college recruiting is developing a connection with the faculty teaching transportation and logistics courses. Before or during your visit to conduct interviews on-campus, take the time to meet with a faculty member and ask how you and your firm might be of help and get involved with their work. This can lead to assisting with research and to classroom access where you will find the candidates you are seeking. Plus, faculty can point you in the direction of their top performers. LT
Mark Wilson is director, recruiter relations & technology, Office of Career Services, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University. He can be reached at [email protected].