With the potential of economic recovery heading into fall, it would be smart to start looking at how to recruit the best in post-secondary student talent now. Whether you’re looking to get a student onboard as part of a work-integrated learning opportunity or hire a soon-to-be graduate, here are some tips to up your game.

Make it personal: Students are people, too! And they’re looking for an authentic connection with their choice of workplace. Make this happen during recruiting with personalized emails, frequent touchpoints, and thoughtful responses to their questions about your culture. They’ll spot the impersonal, standard form response they’ve seen before. Treat them as an individual, and be respectful of their time.

Make it real: Don’t believe the myth that Gen Z are satisfied with an exclusively virtual world. Just like you, students want the in-person connection and a chance to see your workplace first-hand. Offer them a chance to discover more during a virtual coffee chat with a potential colleague or recent hire. Invite them to observe internal meetings and training sessions. Show them examples of diversity, inclusion and social responsibility when they ask. Don’t just direct them to your website – they’ve already seen it and many more just like it.

Be flexible: Not all students have access to tech or high-speed Internet, so don’t rely on online-only recruiting. As well, since they can’t see your workplace first-hand, they may need extra time to consider your offer and do some additional research, particularly if you aren’t offering them a glimpse into your world.

Consider your brand: You have a brand image that the public and your customers see. And then you have a brand as a workplace or employer. The latter is based on what people say about their experience working with you, including prior students and alumni. Providing a positive experience and a thoughtful onboarding of students will give you strong word-of-mouth on campus and help you recruit top candidates.

Seek out support: You already know that post-secondary institutions are geared up to help students with work-integrated learning placements, career prep and interviews. But did you know they’re also ready to support you with strategic and practical tips? They’ll help you build your brand on campus, provide venues to connect with students, and match you with different work-integrated learning types and programs so you can connect with the right students to help you succeed.

For more information or to post an opportunity, visit: co-op.bc.ca/employers or connect with your local post-secondary institution.