Marketing in Campus Recruitment

Applying Principles of Services Marketing in Campus Recruitment:

Campus Campus placement has traditionally been a one day affair where HR sells his company during the pre-placement talk and makes tall promises such as great experience, great work environment, good money and total satisfaction. To sum it all up, a rewarding career! But does all this selling have sufficient positive impact on student community? Is there a need for HRs to look beyond selling with promises and introduce the principles of services marketing?

In this blog, I have attempted to present my views on why there is a need to move from traditional one day campus affair to a full fledge attempt to implement the principles of services marketing in campus placement management. I have also shared some of the methods in which services marketing principles has been implemented.

Gone are the days when only a select few companies conducted campus placement drives and hired the best student participating in their drive. Campuses are now witnessing large number of companies willing to conduct drives in their campuses. Students too are becoming choicer and demanding of companies. Bright students often land with 3-4 offers with similar offerings and have no specific criteria to choose one from the other. HRs in such competition are striving to achieve that “one reason” for which a student would choose their company, rather than loose the student to competition.

With these challenges, it’s becoming paramount for HRs to use the principles of services marketing and ensure they attaract and retain the best talents. As a fundamental step in this direction, I present our effort to implement the principles in the following lines:

Implemention of Booms & Bitner’s extended 3 Ps of services marketing:

People: Different HR could present the same pitch differently bringing down the effectiveness of pitch developed. Thus to bring consistency, several steps could be taken such as:

o Video pitch

o Physical Collaterals

o Providing several touch points

Of the three things mentioned above, video and physical collaterals have been executed by many companies, however the last has been achieved by a few. In today’s internet age, it is feasible to provide several touch points such as facebook, twitter, orkut etc. Publishing these social media channels in advance of a placement drive could provide an opportunity to students to gather necessary information accurately from the authentic source, reducing FAQ session to just a few minutes on drive day. Also a warm response from the administrators could more than make up for ineffective presentation by HR.

Physical Evidence: A crowded shop gets more crowd. Why? Because people believe so many won’t make a wrong decision. It could be herd mentality but so be it! It is important for HR to demonstrate the popularity of his company among the student community. This will help students trust the selling pitch presented during the placement drive.

So what are the ways means to present physical evidence of the number of students interested in a company? We again went the social media channel where interested students could become fans. The number of fans directly indicated the popularity of the company.

Creating dedicated website for any help and putting a visitors count is another way to demonstrate the traffic and popularity of company.

Process: A one day recruitment process presents very limited opportunity to a HR to demonstrate their care for students, who would eventually become his employee. We believe in having pre-drive, drive, and post drive sessions so that there is continuity of process till an employee joins the organisation.

Pre-drive process:

o Evangelise social media channels in the college

o Key to success in interview

o Answer specific questions

o Have pre-screening mechanism to get focus on target students

Drive Process:

o Providing joining letters on the same day

o Print everything including Names to show professionalism

o Excellent stationery

o Implementing good HR practices

Post Drive Process:

o 2 way communication using social media

o 1 way communication using letters etc that could be shared with family and friends demonstrating continual touch points

o Temporary ID to enter company with relative ease for any purpose

o Creation of company email ID

The above efforts would perhaps help the students get that “one reason” to pick one company from the other 2-3 offers he has!

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