Last week, the URx Leaders Summit 2021 virtually brought together leaders in the early career and university recruiting industry to reflect on the on-going and upcoming recruiting and internship seasons. After nearly two years of pivots and innovation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much to be discussed about how to successfully recruit the next generation of talent. Here are our 5 key takeaways from the summit:
1. Prioritize potential over pedigree
“Great people come from everywhere, and I think we need to continue thinking that way.” – Cindy Loggins, Head of University Programs at Ebay
- With the rise of virtual recruiting since 2019, university career fairs have become redundant.
- Earlier, students would have 2 to 3 offers in hand. Now, they have 6 to 9. Due to the competitive nature of the recruitment industry today, university recruiters are moving towards a ‘pedigree agnostic’ recruiting process to grow and diversify their talent pool.
- The advantage of being able to connect with students across any and every school is obvious: a greater reach of diverse and niche candidates who may have been in limited supply at in-person ‘target’ schools and career fairs.
- In order to focus more on potential over pedigree, some recruiters are being resumé agnostic. Instead, they are including more skills-based assessments as part of their hiring practice. This allows for better hiring without a ‘school bias’.
2. Things to pay attention to as a first-time manager
“‘Is there anything I’m not doing that I should do?’ That really resonated with me so I try to do that with my own team.” -Nicole Ramirez, Campus Recruiting Manager at Conagra Brands
- Lead with empathy: Treat others the way you want to be treated, remember and reflect on your time as an early employee, and recognize that everyone is coming in with different perspectives and backgrounds, so it’s important to listen, check in, and trust.
- Reach out to other experienced managers to learn from them: Set up 1:1s with managers and leaders you admire in your company, learn from their experience instead of reinventing the wheel on how to be a good manager/ people leader.
- Let go: Allow your team to figure things out on their own. Find the balance as a manager of being in the know yet giving them (the team) space.
3. Gen Z recruitment and retention trends
“Well-being is still top of mind for Gen Z.” – Kate Beckman, Executive Manager, Community & Insights, RippleMatch
- Gen Z wants an efficient yet personalized candidate experience.
- Whether their work is remote, in-person, or hybrid, Gen Z employees desires flexibility.
- Gen Z wants to work somewhere that will allow them to thrive personally and professionally.
- The next generation of talent wants to see real results from Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.
4. Weave DEI into every piece of the puzzle
“Bring recruits in to learn about real topics like: What’s it like to live in the whitest city in North America?” – Vicki Ng, Interim Director Global Early Career Talent Acquisition (University Recruiting), Adidas
- Hold each other accountable throughout the team: Call out when something is not right. As a leader, holding a precedent is key to building an inclusive team.
- It is of utmost importance to have a DEI committee on the team.
- Onboard vendors for recruitment that specialize in DEI.
- Make sure your team is representative of the diversity you are seeking. Have people that are authentic, and genuinely want to work in the space.
- Keep in mind these pillars of a diversity strategy: People, Culture, Market, and Community.
5. Tools you could leverage to recruit and retain next gen talent
“We removed resumes from our university recruitment process and started using Pymetrics to assess skills and diversify our candidate pool.” – Allison Barcz, Head of Talent Acquisition & Partnerships, Anheuser-Busch
- Pymetrics: Pymetrics is a tool that uses behavioral assessments to evaluate job seekers. Rather than focusing on backward-looking resumes or self-reported questionnaires, it collects objective behavioral data that measures a job seeker’s true potential.
- Symba: Symba is an all-in-one digital platform that helps organizations streamline the management of their talent development programs. Using Symba, teams can easily onboard program participants, manage projects, provide and collect feedback, and build community. In addition, talent leaders can collect key success metrics and build dashboards to track the long-term impact of their programs. Symba helps businesses adapt to the future of work—adopting remote operations, investing in the next generation of talent, and committing to diversity and inclusion.
- RippleMatch: RippleMatch is a hiring platform connecting employers with students. Its product automates entry-level recruiting and career coaching, allowing candidates to spend less time applying for jobs and more time interviewing and getting to know a company.
- Roblox: Roblox’s mission is to bring the world together through play. They enable anyone to imagine, create, and have fun with friends as they explore millions of immersive 3D experiences, all built by a global community of developers. Roblox can be a great way to build community among your early talent.
- Gather.Town: Gather is a video chat platform designed to make virtual interactions more human. They do this by building the Metaverse, a virtual layer over the physical world where people can work, socialize, and learn.