Recruiting Advice

How to Recruit University Students

Written by Ankur Hazarika for Gaebler Ventures

Google, McKinsey, SUN: these companies that have made it big, have maintained close interaction with the newest talent. How can your small business hire the best and the brightest employees? Stay close to the talent pool at universities.

Enthusiasm drives entrepreneurship.

Hiring people whose sole motive is to learn the trade, make a quick buck and then move on will not pay dividends to a start-up.

You need to recruit individuals with fire in their bellies, who are encouraged by your company goals and initiatives. Universities and colleges are one of the best-known sources for such talent.

Posting job vacancies on random job portals or billboards may not help you target the right prospective employees. Prospective employees need to understand your business and culture.

A start-up cannot afford for someone to experiment with the company for a few months to identify if it is a fit for them. They must seek eager individuals who will be invested in the company and offer immediate insight.

Recruiting students at a university is one good solution. Here are a few useful tips for university recruiting:

  • Establish contacts at a local university and find avenues for involvement in recruitment events. At the event, tell your story; the kind of work you do, the opportunities that exist, and where you see the company headed. If your business idea is anything above mundane, this information should attract quite a few bright minds.
  • Universities host many conferences and career fairs that encourage external participation. Plan ahead to know when these will occur, and sign up to contribute.
  • Your own alma mater will likely have perks for their alumni. Get in touch with your alma mater to see what benefits you may receive to attract graduating seniors.
  • Send university student groups white papers, reports, and beta versions of your work. Sharing things they will value and appreciate will increase your visibility and help serve as a potential future recruiting outlet.

Opportunities and avenues are endless, and you must be creative in your initiatives to recruit the best new minds. There's an old saying: "the well never comes to the thirsty, the thirsty goes to the well." Who can be thirstier than an ambitious entrepreneur?

Ankur Hazarika is currently studying at the School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology (SJMSOM, IIT B), in Mumbai, India. He has been closely associated with a host of entrepreneurship networks like NEN, TiE and BarCamp, and has worked with the Indian business incubator, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE).

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