College Recruitment – Change is Here

Anyone paying attention to the work environment knows that the needs of today’s employees have changed over the last decade. Yet, many HR college recruitment processes still use deeply-rooted, and frankly old, tactics to meet organizational talent needs. It’s now evident that job seekers who once used to be referred to as ‘non-traditional’ have become the norm. Some industries as well as college career centers and college recruitment functions have struggled to adjust. In fact, many in the college recruitment industry still grapple with newcomers who are attempting to change the way college recruitment is being done. See some examples of organizations who are already changing the industry here, here, here, and here.

I’ve written before about how basic career search models must change from linear to “circuit” thinking in order to meet today’s college recruitment needs. No longer are college graduates taking continuous or narrow paths in making career choices – nor should they in an environment that is characterized by fluidity and change. Today’s career paths are exemplified by a combination of climbs, lateral moves, and managed descents. Today’s economy is founded on knowledge capacity and networking. Thus, college recruitment models should reflect the environment in which they are employed.  

College recruitment models need to be based on interconnected entities who together strive to solve talent needs. It is this distributed but networked knowledge within an industry that will increase its human capital competitive advantage in a knowledge economy. Even in this short-term resource-constrained recruiting environment, such thinking offers a better choice for attracting talent and strengthening leadership needs while providing well-balanced career journeys. With this type of thinking, the traditional “career ladder” model exits and the current “career lattice” or systems paradigm enters. Whereas traditional college recruitment approaches were based on communications via sanctioned functions (i.e. career centers and college recruitment departments), new college recruitment approaches need to incorporate multiple resources.

Career centers and organizations alike must respond. Changes in technology, economies, and the talent marketplace need a new model to support an environment which is more collaborative.  College recruitment must evolve into a series of networked relationships in order to attract the best talent and add value. In this new paradigm, independence and flexibility are fostered, career mobility is encouraged, and career progression is measured by angles: up, down or from side to side.