I’ve recently started doing some Talent Management Consulting for a Technology start-up company in Singapore. An inspiring team of young go-getters, committed to investing in other start-up ideas they believe will change the world.
Coupled with their mantra of investing in innovative technology, they’re also becoming cognisant of the role people play in successful companies. As a result we’re working together onattracting the right talent into their organisation, and establishing a strong talent pool for further recruitment.
This of course involves a heavy University Relations campaign, and crafting your pitch to university students is key to a well received message. The best opportunity to talk at length about your company’s opportunities on campus, is via a recruitment talk. So, what exactly should an organisation focus on in this presentation? Below is a list of areas I’ve identified as pertinent.
Company Vision: Start with WHY you’re doing what you do. Why is it you get out of bed in the morning? Why should people care about what you do? In order to attract the right young, impressionable adults (or anyone for that matter), it’s vital you appeal to their heart as well as their mind. Blowing their mind with your prestigious client base may be sufficient to pull a larger university crowd, however only those that believe in your vision will be loyal and become brand ambassadors. If your mission is to change the way people use technology for example, then promulgate it. Don’t be afraid to communicate this vision despite how bold it may be.
Companies that are able to encapsulate their overall vision through a diagram or metaphorical representation will also go further in winning over their audience.
Company Description: This is essentially the WHAT and HOW of your company. “What” exactly is it your company does and “How” exactly do you do it. This is the section you can elaborate on the type of services you offer, your unique value proposition and differentiation from competitors, and a brief list of clients you work with (I say brief as we’ll expand on this via case studies later).
An enthralling story (especially if you’re a start-up or smaller company), is to tell your audience about the very first time the founders got together and started working to build the business. I recall in my previous company, everyone found it amusing as I would narrate the time my previous CEO and CTO would be working in a tiny office with one powerpoint which was shared by the server and a meager coffee machine. Likewise if your company has grown from such humble beginnings, capitalise on this experience and evoke a strong feeling from listeners.
Employee Profiles: There’s no need to showcase every single employee in your company, but pick a few superstars that shine. Be sure to include at least one of the senior members as well as an employee at the graduate or intern level. Why? Well a senior person demonstrates the type of career progression available through the company, and a graduate resembles the most similar position to your audience’s current stage; It gives them a more accurate depiction of the calibre of talent you’re seeking. Qualities you might choose to illustrate for each individual are exemplified below:
Name: Chan Sung Jung (aka The Professor)
Position: Lead Engineer
Degree: Electrical Engineering at NUS
Hobbies: World of Warcraft, Wannabe triathlete and passionate Liverpool fan.
Biggest Achievement: Leading a team of engineers to conceptualise design for an emergency surgery system at NUH.
Biggest Challenges: Remaining on the cusp of continuous technology innovation.
Future Aspirations: To develop a technology that can be used in bionic devices that save lives.
Culture and Values: Your company culture and values tie your overall vision to your Talent Management goals. Your aim is to attract young people that not only possess the necessary skills but also prove to be a good cultural fit and will represent your values. So what’s the difference between the two? Well the Values of a company are essentially the fundamental principles you believe – i.e. integrity, leadership, excellence etc. The Culture is how those values are personified by the people. A good way to demonstrate this in your presentation is via a photo, preferably of the whole office, engaging in an activity that displays your culture and values. It may be from winning a big client and capturing everybody celebrating or it may be from a team bonding activity such as bowling.
Future Growth: Every Gen-Yer wants to join a company with serious growth prospects. They desire progression and they desire it quickly. If your company aims to expand, either through it’s product and/or service offering or through international markets, make this known! Ambitious students will want to be a part of your successful growth plans.
Client Case Studies: Pick out a couple of client projects that you’re particularly proud of working on as an organisation. Don’t feel like they must be recognised clients. Instead, focus on examples that your audience will find interesting, unusual or compelling. Back up your story with visual images where possible; after all a picture speaks a thousand words.
Graduate Programme: Behind all the rhetoric, people still want to know the type of graduate or internship programmes your company offers. In this section, go into details about the different phases of the training programme you’re offering and how long each of these phases lasts. What roles can people expect to play as they progress up the ranks of the company? Do you provide different training for tech positions as you do for marketing? Elaborate on these important details here.
A Day in the Life of: A great way to illustrate the above training scheme is through an example of a real life employee. What activities and tasks consume their day from morning to early evening? Naturally the more exciting this appears, the more interest you will garner.
Selection Criteria: It’s important that you attract the best talent to your organisation. The definition of “best” will also vary from company to company. Everyone in your audience won’t be a matching fit, so use this as an opportunity to highlight the numerous criteria you may seek in fresh grads. Are you looking for people that are driven? entrepreneurial? What makes your employees different, and how do you assess potential recruits? In your subsequent hiring procedure, the most in touch students will be sure to address this in their application.
Immediate Vacancies: Sometimes you might be offering positions that fall out of your regular graduate and internship programmes. Feel free to mention these in your talk, but don’t waste too much time on this. Rather, direct students to the relevant URL on your website and interested parties can apply accordingly.
Dates and Logistics: Give some further information about deadlines and minor details.
- Application Procedure
- Application Deadline
- Interview Process
- Commencement Date
- Number of Vacancies
- HR Contacts
- Social Media Resources (encourage people to join your Facebook Page, Follow you on Twitter and subscribe to your blog)
and so on…
The above isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it does cover the main elements required to captivate your university audience. You may choose any or all of these that are appropriate for the type of company you are and stage of growth you’re experiencing.
Ultimately the aim is to stimulate young people’s minds through the exciting clients and projects they’ll be working with, but more importantly, inspiring them to achieve their goals through effective alignment with your organisation’s overall vision.
What other elements are important for a company recruitment talk on campus? What am I missing?