On July 14 and 15, 2020, Brainstorm Strategy Group hosted a virtual Campus Recruiting Forum, to give participants the opportunity to explore how to optimize virtual recruiting heading into Fall. The Forum was billed as an occasion for the 460+ registered employers, recruiters and post-secondary institutions to connect.

Based on the presentations and discussions that resulted, it’s clear that recruiters are reaching out to on-campus career centres for both strategic and tactical support more than ever before. Moving to virtual means that organizations need to be more thoughtful in their approach to students, in order to be effective in today’s environment.

This is where WIL practitioners can help.

Encourage your workplace partners to:

  • be authentic in their materials and offer personal interactions as must as possible to give students a very real sense of the workplace culture. Gen Z in particular seeks out organizations and connections that are genuine.
  • provide real examples of diversity and inclusion in their organization. For example, creating a series of spotlight videos or articles featuring diverse employees and how they’ve made a positive impact, or by ensuring that hiring managers have access to relevant examples when interviewing students or presenting offers.
  • create specific touchpoints, such as meeting students one-on-one or in smaller groups, drawing on alumni who can speak to an organization’s culture in a relatable way, and through workshops, industry panels and virtual office hours.
  • ramp up staffing support at virtual events to ensure students are offered one-on-one meetings in a timely way. Students won’t wait in a virtual line-up for long, and may not hang around in a waiting room without a greeter.

It’s also important to recognize there are many different tech platforms available for virtual recruiting events. Workplace recruiters will need to learn them all. Think about using a common platform within your institution and providing recruiters with tips to optimize their experience at your event. Giving extra time them to get familiar with the platforms is also helpful. Wherever possible, keep the technology simple.

For students, interacting in a virtual space is more demanding. With several competing organizations reaching out through video, email and other techniques, there will likely be a lot of noise. Providing supports to help students save time, stay organized, and focus their efforts, such as providing templates to follow-up with employers, will help them navigate this new environment. As well, by offering frequent, shorter on-campus events with fewer participants you’ll improve the odds for students seeking personal connections with potential workplaces.


Interested in the format of the event?

The Campus Recruiting Forum was a two-day event, with each day about 4-5 hours long. The primary platform used was Pheedloop, with the individual sessions offered through Zoom and integrated into the Pheedloop dashboard.

Graham Donald, Brainstorm President, kicked off each day with opening comments. There were three 1-hour time slots, each with two 50-minute sessions offered and a 10-minute break in between. The day wrapped up with an hour-long online social/networking using randomized break-out rooms through Zoom.

If you have specific questions about the event format, send an email to Carmen Wright, Communication Consultant.