A student at a career fair with text reading, "5 Best Practices for Recruiting College Students"

5 Best Practices for Recruiting College Students

5 Best Practices for Recruiting College Students 1016 528 Sprockets

If you’re struggling with staffing challenges, the solution might be closer than you think: local colleges. They are often overflowing with potential hires who are eager to find seasonal work or accept a full-time position shortly after graduation. However, recruiting college students might be more complicated than you think. It’s important to follow these best practices to ensure you find the best employees for your business.

Of course, you can always just use Sprockets to quickly stabilize staffing levels. Our AI-powered platform augments sourcing and reveals the best applicants without any stress, guesswork, or wasted interview time.

The Ultimate Guide to Recruiting College Students

1. Know Your Audience

Recruiting 101: You need to think like your target audience to advertise opportunities effectively. While people of all ages could be college students, the majority of them are members of Generation Z. So, what do Gen Zers want in a job? 

First of all, you can take the word “job” out of your vocabulary. They are searching for careers with growth potential. While 76% of surveyed Gen Zers said they’re willing to start at entry-level positions, 64% also said the opportunity for growth is one of their top priorities when selecting a workplace. Make sure you offer them chances to climb the ladder and promote this in your job description, along with the pay rate, benefits, and workplace culture. These are among the top details job seekers want to see.

2. Engage With Local Schools

Don’t simply post on Indeed or other popular job boards and wait patiently for people to apply. Take the initiative of engaging with nearby colleges and universities! This can take many forms, including attending career fairs and speaking with students, posting information on bulletin boards, and networking with school staff who might know potential hires. 

3. Use Social Media

Many college students are tech-savvy and spend time on various social media platforms. They’re not just chatting with friends and sharing pictures, though. These websites may also be where they read the news and network with peers or industry professionals. Use this to your advantage by creating profiles for your business and maintaining a consistent social media presence. 

We also recommend running paid ads on these websites to attract potential applicants. It can actually be more cost-effective than paying for job boards (unless you’re using Sprockets to avoid these fees!)

4. Prioritize “Fit”

Don’t be overly concerned about industry experience, especially with college students. Applicants with no experience can turn out to be the best hires! It’s much more important to focus on an applicant’s personality traits and “soft skills” to ensure they’ll mesh well with the team and thrive in the work environment.

5. Use Sprockets to Reveal the Ideal Applicants

A staff meetingDon’t worry if you’re too busy to create a college recruitment strategy and read through a pile of resumes. Sprockets can handle the heavy lifting of the hiring process! Our sophisticated solution lets you post jobs for free to several websites and reveals which applicants are most likely to succeed. It’s like replicating the talent of your current top-performing employees!

Schedule your free demo today to live a life with less turnover, ultimately saving you thousands of dollars each year.

A Gen Z worker on his phone with text reading "5 Tips for Managing Generation Z Employees in the Workplace"

5 Tips for Managing Generation Z Employees in the Workplace

5 Tips for Managing Generation Z Employees in the Workplace 1016 528 Sprockets

Generation Z is making its way into the business world with tremendous strides, but are you managing members of this group to the best of your ability? Every generation is unique, so owners and operators must adapt their management styles to bring out the best in these new employees. Defined as any individual born after 1997, Gen Zers can be vastly different from Millennials. They’ve had separate sets of life experiences that molded them into the people they are today, which could also affect how they view companies and behave at work.

So, the question remains: What are the best tips for managing Generation Z employees in the workplace? Find out below to start increasing productivity and improving retention!

Managing Gen Z Employees in the Workplace

1. Hire the Ideal Gen Z Workers for Your Business

The oldest Gen Zers are in their late teens and early twenties, which means many of them are searching for entry-level positions that typically involve hourly pay. That’s great news for industries such as fast-food service, home health care, and retail, which rely on hiring young, energetic individuals. 

However, it’s still crucial to be selective about who you hire. Onboarding employees quickly to save time can end up wasting more resources when workers don’t meet expectations. That’s why you should utilize tools such as Sprockets’ AI-powered platform with a sophisticated applicant matching system. It reveals which applicants are likely to succeed and stay long-term, ultimately improving retention and making it easier to manage Gen Z employees. It even includes free job postings to help augment sourcing efforts!

2. Maintain a Positive Company Culture

As with most generations, Gen Z is looking to work for businesses that cultivate positive company cultures. They’d like to enjoy the work they do and feel valued, which ultimately leads to higher productivity, better team morale, and more employee engagement with Gen Z workers. Take time to get to know your employees, request feedback on your management style, encourage diversity, and recognize hard work. (You can find even more ideas for creating Generation Z’s preferred work environment in our blog on 10 Tips for Creating a Positive Company Culture!)

3. Allow for Work-Life Balance

Similar to company culture, Gen Z employees also seek positions at businesses that allow them to maintain a work-life balance. As much as someone might love their job, it’s important to provide breaks, PTO, and flexible schedules so they can lead healthy lives outside of work hours. Otherwise, you risk burnout, reduced productivity, and even costly employee turnover.

4. Ease Health Concerns in the Workplace

As we mentioned earlier, every generation has unique life experiences that can influence their outlook and behavior. In this case, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely one of the most impactful events for Generation Z. In a Pew Research Center study conducted in March 2020, half of Gen Zers from age 18 to 23 stated that they, or a member of their household, had been financially affected by the pandemic. Another report by Deloitte explains that worries about health and finances are growing concerns among Gen Z. Make sure you implement processes that ease concerns around job stability and health — both physical and mental health.

5. Embrace Technology

Technology also plays a major role in the lives of Gen Zers, with smartphones and social media platforms at the forefront of their daily routines. It’s critical for managers to embrace this movement and use digital tools that improve the workplace environment. Check out our blog on How to Use HR Tech to Elevate Your Company Culture for some ideas.

Attract and Retain the Best Gen Zers With Sprockets

The Sprockets platformIt makes a significant difference in managing and motivating Gen Z employees at work when you hire the best applicants from the start. That’s why we created Sprockets, an AI-powered platform that finds the ideal applicants based on a unique success profile for your business. It’s convenient, precise, and proven to work, helping users improve employee retention by an average of 43%. 

See what our happy customers say about it, including owners and operators from top brands like McDonald’s, then schedule a demo to enjoy the same success!

Someone on a computer and text reading "Social Media Recruiting: 4 Tips to Grab Gen Z's Attention"

Social Media Recruiting: 4 Tips to Grab Gen Z’s Attention

Social Media Recruiting: 4 Tips to Grab Gen Z’s Attention 1016 528 Sprockets

Did you know that Gen Zs and Millennials made up 75 percent of the restaurant workforce in 2020? That number will only grow larger as time goes on, and businesses must adapt their recruiting practices to attract high-quality employees. It’s no secret that technology has been a defining factor of these generations, which means owners and operators should embrace innovative ideas and use new outlets to grab their attention.

It’s time to add a social media recruiting strategy to your hiring process. It’s alright if you’re not tech-savvy — we’ll explain everything you need to know to recruit Gen Z workers on social media platforms.

You can also add the power of Sprockets, an AI-powered platform that augments sourcing with free job postings and predicts which applicants will succeed like your best employees.


1. Know Your Needs

Before you start messaging all your social media followers with private messages about how great your job opportunities are, take a moment and assess the situation. What job openings do you have? Where are you in the hiring process? Are you looking for someone to create their own position? What skill sets would you like a potential employee to possess? What is your company culture like, and what personality traits would enable a candidate to mesh well with the current team? Defining your purpose in hiring will give you an ample idea of who you are seeking and what that person must bring to the table.

If you are bent on sending out private messages for social recruiting, look through your top commenters. What kinds of engagement do they offer? Are they helpful to other customers? Do they care about your brand as you do? What types of hobbies do they have, according to the content they post?

Learn about the content your consumers engage with. If someone seems like a good fit from there, reach out.

2. Get Creative

If you plan to use social media for the recruitment of Gen Zs and Millennials, then you need to create content that will resonate and inspire them to take action. Creating and sharing blog posts that answer niche questions (like this one) can be particularly effective for engaging people in your target demographic.

You can also create posts on various social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, asking fun questions that would capture the interest of your audience. There doesn’t need to be an actual correct answer to your question; simply seeing how people’s minds work is a great way to identify high-quality candidates.

Don’t forget about Instagram, especially when it comes to Gen Zs and Millennials. Consider holding a photo contest. Encourage your followers to come up with a unique photo and creative tagline related to your business. Or, if you’re looking for a new designer to join your team, give them some basic guidelines and see what they come up with for a design contest. (Make sure you ask all participants to tag your business account and use a particular hashtag!) You can give as many or as few details as you want. While you won’t be able to legally use the results in your marketing — unless you onboard the winner — you will get a great look at your talent pool.

3.  Be Consistent

To effectively execute a social media recruitment strategy, it’s essential to maintain a consistent presence online with your company’s accounts. This tells people that you’re easy to reach, you’ll respond in a timely manner, and you value a strong work ethic.

Consider scheduling several posts at once that will be published on a regular, weekly timeline to make things easier for yourself. Pay particular attention to your audience insights on each social media platform so that your posts go live at ideal times to reach your target demographic. You can even come up with a simple social media calendar to plan posts more effectively.

Using a wide range of media is also fantastic for reaching different people. Some individuals are visual learners who love infographics. Others are audio learners, so podcasts are great. Utilize a variety of media to engage your followers on multiple platforms, allowing them the luxury to choose when, how, and what they want to learn.

4. Choose the Right Channels

Every social media platform reaches different demographics and has different innate purposes. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for recruiting and job seekers. Here, you’ll find candidates actively looking for work and passive candidates willing to take a better offer. Instagram is typically where Millennials and Gen Z-ers go to check out more visual, fun messages. Twitter is mainly about news headlines and trending hashtags. This is a fantastic place for your polls and quippy questions. Lastly, Facebook has become the world’s largest address book. You can find almost everyone on Facebook (but don’t expect Gen Z to spend much time scrolling through their feeds — they’re more inclined to be on Instagram). Simply put, knowing what each social media site is designed for helps you maximize marketing efforts for your job opportunity.

Ultimately, recruiting online takes research, just like any other form of marketing. However, social media — at its core — is meant to be fun and relaxing. Enjoy the questions you ask and the comments you interact with. At the end of the day, you want to mesh well with your next hire.

Source and Screen the Ideal Applicants With Sprockets

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platformIn addition to social media recruiting, you can upgrade your hiring process with the power of Sprockets! Our user-friendly platform augments sourcing efforts with free job postings and virtual recruiters while ensuring you hire the ideal applicants every time. It creates a success profile based on your top performers and matches candidates against this benchmark, helping you make better hiring decisions and improve employee retention. Users see a 43% increase in 90-day retention, on average!

Schedule a free demo to start finding the best applicants for your business!

A woman on a laptop researching workplace benefits to retain millennials

5 Employee Benefits To Attract and Retain Millennials

5 Employee Benefits To Attract and Retain Millennials 1920 1280 Sprockets

Millennials now comprise the largest portion of the workforce and are in high demand as companies seek younger, tech-savvy talent. 

With record-low unemployment and a crowded recruiting field, how can your company stand out from the crowd and attract millennials? 

Take it from a millennial—here are five employee benefits that will capture the attention of your millennial candidates.


1.) Health Care 

Believe it or not—health care continues to top the list of the most coveted employee benefits, even among tech-savvy millennials. In fact, 85% of surveyed millennials rated health insurance as ‘absolutely essential’. Even more compelling, when presented with the option between a 10% raise or better health care coverage, a majority of respondents indicated that they’d prefer better health care. 

This might seem surprising, but the data speaks for itself. Employee Benefits News found that 27% of millennials don’t go to the doctor because they don’t want to incur medical debt and 50% of millennials have received a health care bill that they had not budgeted for. And, as millennials move into their 30’s, many are getting married and starting families, which is all the more reason to seek a robust health care plan. 

A slice of avocado toast a day won’t keep the doctor away, so keeping your health benefits front and center will catch the attention of this coveted demographic. 

Just because a trendy brunch item won’t impact personal health doesn’t mean you can’t shape your health care programs to meet the demands of the millennial workforce. ‘There’s an app for that’ applies to health care too! Consider offering a telehealth program as an alternative option for seeking medical treatments. And, offering both high deductible and PPO options can better meet the health care needs of a diverse population. 

2.) Remote/Flexible Work 

Life happens, and it doesn’t always take a break between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is exactly why many companies are embracing the remote/flexible work movement. 

A study by PriceWaterhouseCooper revealed that 64% of millennials would like the option to occasionally work from home, and 66% of millennials would like the option to shift their work hours. 

Remote work options also offer several other surprising benefits: higher engagement, increased efficiency and productivity, decreased operating costs, larger hiring pool—the list goes on and on. And employers are clearly taking note; the remote work population has increased 140% since 2005, which is nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce. 

Of course, a shift in work hours or a change in physical workplace might not be an option for your individual workforce. If it’s not, consider other creative ways where you can allow for more flexibility with scheduling and work hours in the workplace. 


3.) Student Loan Repayment Assistance 

There’s no denying that stats around student loan debt are grim. As of 2019, 44.7 million Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt (yes, trillion with a ‘t’). Yikes. And, more than 11% of student loans are more than 90 days delinquent. The average student loan payment sits at almost $400 per month, which can be a considerable chunk of change for employees in the beginning stages of their career.

Student loan repayment assistance has been a hot topic over the past several years, as more companies are beginning to adopt this innovative employee perks. However, there’s plenty of room to grow. Currently, only about 4% of organizations offer any type of loan repayment program, which means this benefit is still in its unicorn stage—highly coveted and rarely seen. 

And, if you’re curious about the demand— it’s there. 56% of workers with loans indicate that they worry about repaying their loans either ‘often’ or ‘all the time’. And, from a retention perspective, the same study revealed that 86% of employees will commit five years to a company in exchange for student loan repayment help. How’s that for investing in retention?


4.) Generous Paid Time Off

Often known as the “experiential generation”, it’s no secret that millennials prefer to invest their money on experience versus physical possessions. The catch? Enjoying amazing life experience requires the time to do that, which means millennials are keeping a close eye on their paid time off allowance. 

Most corporate companies offer a standard 10 paid holidays and 10 additional paid days off per year. Many companies require employees to work a certain amount of time before they are PTO-eligible while others only allow PTO to accrue from day one. And, many companies have a tiered structure where employees are eligible for more time based on tenure. 


To capture the attention of millennials, you’re going to have to go against the status quo by offering a more robust and generous PTO policy. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Make employees PTO-eligible on day one (vs a waiting period)
  • Front-load PTO on day one (vs accrual over time) 
  • Lump all PTO into one general category versus individual buckets (ex: vacation days, sick days, bereavement days, etc.)
  • Offer unique PTO days, like a free day off for a birthday or dedicated time off for volunteer opportunities
  • Offer more total PTO days than competitors
  • Include part-time employees in your PTO plan 
  • PTO ‘donation’ program where employees can donate unused days into a general pool

If a complete revamp is on your radar, consider the pros and cons of unlimited PTO and whether this could be a good fit for your organization and resources. 


5.) Retirement Savings and Financial Wellness

‘Kids these days… just starting their career and already planning for retirement. How millennial.’ 

After you’re done cursing the clouds, remember that Social Security benefits are slowly declining and many millennials want to have a solid base for retirement—even if they aren’t quite sure how to get there. 

A Northwestern Mutual study revealed that, while millennials are excited about their retirement future, 82% feel that their financial planning needs improvement. And this problem isn’t exclusive to millennials—that same report revealed that 1 in 3 Americans has less than $5,000 tucked away for retirement. 

Get your millennial recruits thinking about their future—preferably their future with you—by giving them confidence that you have their long-term financial success in mind. 

Currently, about 40% of private sector millennials do not work for a company that offers a retirement plan. And even for employees that do have access to a plan, many aren’t participating because other expenses (see also: student loans) are a bigger priority. 

Help your millennial workforce meet their long-term financial goals by investing in them—literally. Offering a retirement savings plan is a great step but providing an employer match is even better. 3% tends to be the standard match, so can your company do better? What about a 4%, 5%, or 6% match? 

From there, focus on educating employees on the reality of retirement—how much they will  need to retire comfortably, how much they should be contributing, etc.—and incentivizing and rewarding good behaviors. Decision support and other interactive tools can be invaluable in quickly and effectively educating employees and driving better contribution decisions.


How are you changing your benefits plans and programs to better attract and retain top millennial talent? 


This guest blog was provided by Meisha Bochicchio with PlanSource. Based in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, Meisha works as the Content Marketing Manager for PlanSource. With over 20 years of benefits experience, PlanSource provides innovative technology solutions for a better HR experience. You can connect with Meisha on Twitter at @MarketingMeisha.

A woman on a college campus

How Innovative Companies Win at Campus Recruiting

How Innovative Companies Win at Campus Recruiting 2048 1365 Sprockets

Campus recruiting has many advantages for employers in today’s competitive hiring environment. It’s an opportunity to get the best and brightest right out of the gate. You can pay college students lower salaries for entry-level positions although many of them make excellent employees. Students are comfortable with technology, and you don’t have to deal with correcting any bad habits that candidates have learned in other jobs.

A Streamlined Assessment Process

Our assessment process could be compared to behaviorism – it gets results without complicated analyses. We interview your top performers for each position that you’re trying to fill and perform an assessment as if they were job candidates. That allows us to develop a “Success Profile” of what to look for in applicants. We can make highly accurate estimates of who will be a good fit or a bad fit based on real-world data that are specific to your company. Our turnover rates for recommended hires an average of 10 percent or less. Other assessment companies have turnover rates near 50 percent.

Building Campus-based Recruiting Partnerships

An article posted on reveals the benefits of building campus partnerships to recruit college talent more effectively. These partnerships might include alumni organizations, college placement programs, key professors, and student organizations. Job fairs, mobile marketing, and social media are also excellent resources for hiring college students.

It’s possible to hire several students from a single appearance at a job fair or college recruiting event, but these are one-time events. Building relationships with campus professors, departments, alumni, and job placement professionals can provide ongoing referrals for many years. You can update these resources about changes in your industry, and recruit your partners to promote special recruiting events or job openings.

Regular visits to college campuses allow your recruiters to stay in touch with student opinions and new recruiting methods. Your company’s physical presence helps to build your brand and enables you to respond quickly to evolving trends. College recruiting is really marketing, so you should involve your marketing department in planning and promoting campus events and maintaining content with your on-campus recruiting partners.

There are many on-campus options for recruiting – both college-sanctioned and extracurricular. Your company can attend job fairs, conduct on-site interviews, establish an internship program, or arrange phone or Skype interviews. Some colleges might allow college credit for internships. Establishing partnerships with on-campus resources can prove extremely valuable to your recruiting efforts.

How to Recruit College Candidates Successfully reports that about 74 percent of all employers plan to hire college students. However, just showing up at a stall for a campus career fair no longer works effectively for recruiting plugged-in students. Your website is at the core of your recruiting efforts, and 64 percent of people looking for employment check out business websites. [2] The best methods of recruiting successfully at colleges and universities include:

Make Your Website Hiring-Friendly
Write effective job descriptions that include information about the company’s culture, outside activities, community involvement, and opportunities for advancement. Provide links for candidates to get further information, which helps to build your hiring database.

Recruit Students at Off-campus Sites
Determining where young people with your targeted student profile hang out is valuable information. Recruiting off the campus works in both physical and virtual locations. You can recruit on social media, at the local McDonald’s, or during sports scrimmages. Local hangouts, eateries, off-campus organizations, and community fairs and festivals are just a few of the possibilities.

Develop a Candidate Pipeline

You can take a page from the coach-recruiting book for intercollegiate sports. Identify your dream candidates based on data and recruiting technology. Building a pipeline of ideal recruits allows you to target each candidate more effectively. You can recruit remotely using the communications method that each candidate prefers such as mobile phones, social media, chatbots, text messages, etc.

Use Technology to Narrow Your Choices

Technology can screen your choices effectively based on keywords, work experience, college majors, etc. Using technology for preliminary screening allows recruiters to focus more attention on establishing personal relationships with the best candidates. You can further streamline the process by conducting the initial interviews using remote videos or Skype.

Think Digitally
Students and millennials are very comfortable using digital technologies. You need to think digitally to win the campus recruiting wars. You can attract students by posting general information on Facebook such as videos, behind-the-scenes views of the company, and recruiting updates. LinkedIn is your best site for searching resumes, networking, building your company’s brand, and generating leads. Twitter is very effective for posting new jobs, promoting your blog, and weighing-in on news stories that affect your industry.

Appear on Campus Frequently

You can’t make multiple trips to every college campus, but those schools that are effective sources of new hires are worth more than a single visit each year. Interacting with students regularly on campus can provide invaluable recruiting insights, build your brand, and impress job candidates with your commitment to campus visits.

Host Fun Events
Hosting engaging campus events – such as hackathons, contests, and meet-and-greets – can subtly inspire students to think more about career development.

Provide Internships
Providing summer internships for students is an excellent way to recruit. Students gain professional work experience, and you get uninterrupted opportunities to promote your company.

Establish a Student Referral Program

Student referrals can provide a steady stream of word-of-mouth candidates. You can offer incentives for referrals that lead to a hiring decision such as tickets to campus athletic contests, etc. You can involve professors, job placement staff and friends and families of likely candidates.

Build Your Brand
Your company’s culture is more important than you might think when recruiting college students. A recent HR study found that students ranked a company’s branding and sourcing efforts as the most important factor when choosing an employer.

          Strategies for branding your company effectively for student candidates include:

    • Using your best communicators to engage students
    • Taking recent new hires from the college to on-campus recruiting events
    • Showcasing the work that alumni, interns, and new hires have done at the company
    • Keeping your recruitment content updated on your website
    • Interacting with candidates on social media
    • Making the application process simple – at least for preliminary contact
    • Focusing on real-world issues instead of providing free stuff

Recruit to Diversify Your Staff
Diverse workplaces are important to most students, and your efforts to recruit a diverse workforce can build your brand among student candidates.

Student Recruitment Is an Ongoing Process

Your student recruitment efforts can’t be an afterthought if you want to win at recruiting. Students are savvier than ever about investigating potential employers and researching a company’s work culture. The more genuine your recruiting efforts, the more effective your hiring process will be. It takes a combination of technology, digital connections, referrals, and personal visits to attract students.

By the same token, hiring inexperienced students is a gamble. Training and hiring expenses are high. You want to choose the best fit for each job, and third-party assessments can give you the tools to hire confidently.



Millenials in the workplace

10 Statistics for Recruiting and Hiring Millennials

10 Statistics for Recruiting and Hiring Millennials 735 425 Sprockets

Millennials recently etched their name in as the biggest generation in U.S. history and, in the process, overtook Baby Boomers, becoming the largest demographic in today’s workforce. Millennials are uniquely their own and hold their own ideas of what work and a workplace should be. Hiring millennials also takes a unique approach.

Below are statistics about millennials you need to familiarize yourself with before recruiting and hiring.

Important Statistics about Millennials

  • 95% of millennials say work-life balance is important to them, while 70% say that it’s very important.

  • 19% say that flexible working hours is the benefit they would most value from an employer, compared with 4% who said they preferred higher wages.

  • 64% of millennials say they’d rather make 40k a year at a job they enjoy than 100k at one they don’t.

  • 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job.

  • The opportunity for personal development was the factor that most influenced their decision to accept their current job, cited by 65% of millennials.

  • 52% said career progression was the main thing that attracts to an employer, ahead of competitive salaries at 44%.

  • 75% of millennials believe that their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.

  • 59% said that an employer’s provision of state-of-the-art technology was important to them when considering a job.

  • 36% said the reputation of the organization influenced their decision to accept their current job.

  • 82% of millennials believe it’s easier than ever to start a new business.

Millennials are smart, technologically advanced, connected, and driven. They will liven up your workforce with fresh ideas but perform best with flexibility, fun, and a strong cultural fit!

Sprockets helps companies hire more top-performing people. Our assessment discovers the shared characteristics of your best people and sees that information to predict a new hire’s likelihood to succeed in a position before they’re hired.

Sprockets decreases the number of screening interviews you conduct, allows you to conduct candidate assessments, and reduces turnover through increased employee engagement.

Start predicting employee success with a free trial account today! No credit card required.