Measuring what you do (and how to use it to stand out with students)

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In Part 4 of this 5 part series we take a look at – Measuring what you do i.e. Return on Investment (be that money or time ‘invested’) at it is more in demand than ever.


Whatever you do to recruit interns or graduates, be that online, on campus or outsourced, it is critical to measure it. One example of a heavily used measure is how many hires do you secure from each University?

This is all well and good but as that great quote from John Wanamaker goes ‘Half the money I spend on advertsing does not work, the trouble is I just don’t know which half’. So which activities, that you are spending money to create those ‘hires’, worked best? The Job Board? Target email? Careers Fair? Employer Presentation? Academic Recommendation? Word of Mouth?

You can ask these questions through an online application but even they are not that accurate. For example, a client of ours decided last year to only do on campus activity, so no online job boards, yet 176 candidates stated in their application form they heard about the role through an online job board. The truth is they are so bombarded with information they all too often forget where they saw what and when.

So much money is spent attracting talent to apply (online, events, marketing etc) but too often working the process of attracting applications is seen as the job done. We would argue attracting great talent should really be about identifying those individuals, faster than your competitors, and making sure that not just the best ones apply but that when they do they can be picked out quickly and easily from the hundreds or thousands of others.

In addition to this, students themselves want to feel like individuals, they want to feel that when the stand out they will  not be treated like one of the masses but be picked out/spotted/headhunted. So our advice would be…do exactly that – pick them out! Those companies who do will, we believe, win the battle for the students ‘hearts and minds’. This is why, we believe, the process of delivering a ROI can be used to then stand out with students in a very noisy marketplace.

Looking specifically at on campus activity, for example, as this is very much back in vogue now. One ‘trick’ is still being missed by most and that is capture the details of those students you meet on campus, especially those who impressed, AND follow them up directly. A simple email, or better still a call, will really make your organisation stand out. Recording who you met when on campus is easy. All you need are some pre-prepared sheets and a clip board or two – nothing could be simpler!

The tough bit is to then make sure the follow up is done, then track them to make sure they apply and prove to be as good as them at first appeared. It will be worth is as it will both help you demonstrate ROI and ensure you secure the best talent.


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