How can founders best utilize university career centers to find potential hires as graduation approaches?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Introduce Yourself to Freshmen and Sophomores
Everyone wants the attention of the seniors, but you will stand out if you ask to be introduced to some of their more promising younger students. You will likely find interns for the summer, but even better, you will develop strong relationships with students over time, influencing their training and coursework so they are prepared to work for you full time when they graduate.
– Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work
2. Speak at Events
If possible, volunteer to speak in a class or to student groups. This gives students an opportunity to learn more about you and get a feel for you as a person. It can help start the exposure process before other companies begin and it gives you a leg up in terms of connecting with potential hires.
– Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.
3. Be a Squeaky Wheel
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. University careers centers are contacted by many businesses. So to stand out, you must make a concentrated effort to show you’re serious and committed to their university and students. Reach out and petition them to act on your behalf. Put the ball in their court and ask about options for employers, such as an online job posting system or on-campus interviews.
– Luke Skurman, Niche.com
4. Build Relationships
Form impactful relationships with the staff of the career centers at the universities where you want to recruit. These folks are often privy to information about candidates you couldn’t get elsewhere. They can help steer interesting applicants your way when they come into the career center for guidance. Also, offer to help create a startup program for the career center.
– Brewster Stanislaw, Inside Social
5. Talk to the Career Counselors
First, identify the schools that have the students you’d like to have as employees. For instance, as a young startup with a need for marketing leadership, I would likely look at Kellogg and Babson, among others. After identifying the best matches, formulate a very specific job description for your startup. Then talk to the career center itself. They are often willing to feature startups.
– Alec Bowers, Abraxas Dynamics
6. Inquire About Internships
Career centers have more people willing to work than there are jobs. Use this to find some of the best interns out there. Talk to the counselors to post up flyers. You’re helping them find their students good opportunities.
– John Rampton, Adogy
7. Hold Workshops
Organize a workshop with the career center so you have an opportunity to interact face to face with any potential hires and get a feel for what they could provide for your business. Attending the workshop wouldn’t guarantee anyone a job, but those who attended would likely be more driven, desirable employees.
– Nathaniel Victor, Sonic Electronix, Inc.
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