106 Communications

6th Sense

Think like a student: applying great customer service to early careers recruitment…

October 2018 | Employer Brand

Hundreds of companies are currently visiting or stalking students up and down the country, in the name of early careers recruitment.

Some organisations will be rocking up to campus armed with a pull-up banner and a bag of goodies (how things haven’t changed).

Of course, for companies going on to campus right now, it is an exciting time.  A chance to meet great talent and start the process of bringing in the next graduate cohort.

But this can be a highly stressful time for students.  Of course, fairs and campus events are great.  They get to meet employers, find out about companies and start to think about their options.

However, it’s also the start of what can be a lonely experience.

I go back to my student digs.  Now it’s me and my laptop.  Who can help me decide what I should be applying for?  And whether I’m actually any suited to it?

Next up, when I do decide to apply to X and Y, I am confronted by the mother of all forms. It’s as though companies want every last bit of data about me.

I press submit and like one of those prize draws, I’m unlikely to hear anything unless I win (well, apart from the automated email that says ‘thanks for your application’).

If I don’t hear or I get the ‘Dear John’ email that 99% of students receive, how do I know what I’ve done wrong?

So what do we suggest?

Put the user first; not your IT systems, not your admin process, not your desire to get everything sorted by the end of February.  Design everything around the user.

Think about the great customer experiences you can provide – social proofing and matching tools on your website, live chat with candidates, application clinics, quick feedback and more.

Look at different digital journeys; not everything has to be from homepage to application.

Consider what information you can provide to encourage applications – from live application data on courses and unis, to real-world insights.

Finally, think about when students start to shortlist industries and companies they want to apply to.  It’s likely to be way before you open up for applications.

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