Relationship Building Is the Future of Recruiting

 -  3/23/12

Early candidate identification via spring break programs or internships enables organizations to form relationships with students long before they are recruited.

As spring break rolls around at campuses across the nation, many students head for the sun and surf, while others are ditching volleyball and partying for volunteering or professional projects. Not only does this offer them a chance to rub shoulders with established professionals who may one day become their colleagues, but it also allows companies to assess and form relationships with strong candidates in a more informal setting.

Don Tapscott, author of Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World, has said recruitment is increasingly more about building relationships with potential candidates early via opportunities such as summer jobs and internships. Then when it’s time to hire, the company is basically just making a boundary decision — bringing the known individual into the boundaries of the organization.

“Relationship recruiting is a term a lot of people use,” said Diane Borhani, national director of campus recruiting for Deloitte. “We really believe that they get to know us, we get to know them, so there’s a lot of exchange. It’s a much more in-depth connection point than you would ever have at a campus event.”

One example is Deloitte’s Alternative Spring Break program, which targets 88 college sophomores who go out into the field to volunteer with about 30 to 40 Deloitte employees representing its various businesses across the country.

“We partner with United Way and Teach for America and the focus is predominantly around education, so they’re doing a lot of things — whether it’s working with students on the importance of getting an education and providing guidance and coaching to them and/or even doing some refurbishing and cleanup in various schools, education systems in the community where we’re hosting these programs,” she said.

One of the primary goals of such a program is to identify future leaders early in their academic careers and form long-standing relationships with them, Borhani said.

“[The students] can really find out who we are, what it’s like to work at Deloitte and really get a firsthand glance into what life at Deloitte would look like for them,” she said. “Students are very educated consumers today and they are gathering information and figuring out interests in professions and organizations they’d like to work for much earlier than they were.”

Article Keywords:   gen y   relationship management   millennials   college   recruitment   intern  

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