10 Tips to Improve Campus Placement

Campus InterviewGetting campus interviews for your students is one of the most important aspects that is expected of the colleges in India.  Students and parents, more so during recession,  look for campus placement records as one of the important parameter in selecting a college.

It is easy when you have a reputation. It is like Sachin Tendulkar getting selected getting that automatic selection even when he is not in his prime, but to be there he had to perform at the highest level in every match he played for about 15 to 20 years. So how do a college which is either relatively new or looking to build their campus placement records. Here are the top 10 tips that we have put together based on our experience of more than 15 years in campus placement and based on the input from various Placement Officers who have been very successful and from very senior HRs. Sometimes even the God of Cricket needs to go back to his basics. So these tips could also be useful for colleges with great reputation and do campus placement day in and day out.

Tip 1 : Placement Officer or Placement Cell
If your college doesn’t have a Placement Officer or a Placement Cell, then it is the first and foremost point to look at. Trying to get campus placement to a college is similar to a recruitment agency trying to run their business without a recruiter. Your Placement Cell is the must and if you are serious about campus placement, they are the most important aspect to make it successful. Resources in placement cell should be dedicated and well recognized.

Tip 2 : Improve Your College Profile
This is a no brainer, so why did we call it out? Well! Pretty much every one can say you need to improve your college profile, but the conundrum is how do you? When it comes to improving your college profile, you should look at every aspect of the things related to college.  Here are some of the things you should consider:

  • Design a professional looking website developed by professionals
  • Your brochure design should look professional and content should be concise and to the
  • Market your Previous Placement Records. If there are none, then project some of the alumni who are in prominent positions or even staffs who are from industry back ground. You can also approach portal such as ours, www.campusinteraction.com to get help to get you started with campus recruitment
  • Academic Records: Student and Staff academic records are an important aspect which companies look for.
  • Market your professors and lecturers profile who have excellent academic and/or industry back ground
  • Include awards that your college has received
  • If your college infrastructure is something to be proud of then include it on the website and your marketing brochure

Tip 3 : Training
This is one of the most important aspects to improve your placement records. Some colleges start their training in the final year, but in our experience colleges that start from first year onwards. Your training should focus on subjects that are related to industry experience. Companies no longer just look for academic excellence, aptitude and group discussion. Yes, they are the corner stone of an interview but more and more companies are looking at how well your students are prepared to work in an industry.  Your training should be focused on real world problem and what the industry currently requires.

For an example, for computer science students the training should focus on programming languages such as Java, .Net the two prominent programming languages. Mobile technologies Android and Objective-C, which is used to develop iPhone apps, are also in great demand. Having your students trained on this will differentiate your college from others and will certainly give you an edge.

Tip 4 : Networking is Everything
NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization! – Adam Small

Through Networking you build trust. If you were a Company HR, wouldn’t you prefer to look at a college referred by someone you know and trust? Networking is more so important if you are a small college with tight budgets as you are dependent upon networking and referrals rather than on costly employment agencies and classified ads. Even if you have a budget to spend on ads, there is nothing better than having a strong network and trusted allies.

Begin by creating a “My contact worksheet” containing all your contacts including your friends, classmates, alumni, faculties and their contacts, relatives, neighbours, people you met at meetings and social gatherings and people who know other people through their work. Maintain this list and review it regularly. You can also portal such as ours, to reach plethora of Company HRs and to Network with them. We reach close to 400 company HRs a day (that is right per day) and you can leverage those contacts

In this day and age, it would be naïve to social media. Use LinkedIn, which I believe is an excellent networking tool to keep professional touch, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It is important you don’t spam Company HRs using these tools but do something that they find it useful. Right a blog that is of interest to them. It will not only raise your profile but they are more likely to read your messages as they know it is not a marketing message or a spam

Tip 5 : Professionalism
Showing professionalism in every step of the way from the first email you send to a Company HR to the way you and your college conduct themselves when a company HR visit your campus, makes a huge and lasting impression. Most, if not all, Company HRs rate this tip as quite high in their list. It is also worth defining a “Code of conduct” for your college so everyone in your college knows what to follow.

Tip 6 : Hospitality
Be a “King of Good Times” when a Company HR visits your college, well except the alcohol! Like a good host, your hospitality has to excel and the Company HRs should remember their trip. You have done all the hard work to get them through your door and most importantly you need to make sure they visit your college every time.  Hospitality is one of the factor that keeps a Company HR remember about your college. It is also great way to network and build your professional relationship

Tip 7 : Placing Right Candidates
When a Company visits for placement, there may be a tendency to place as many students as they can, it is extremely important you place candidates who are ready and eligible for that role. If you think if a student is not ready, though has the qualification, you are better off in not sending that student for the interview. When companies visit one of the aspect they see and one of the aspect their company governance board and senior executive management see is “Attended vs recruited” numbers. This gives them an indication of which colleges have high quality students. If the colleges expect large numbers, it is even worth getting eligible students from nearby colleges rather than placing students who you know won’t get through.

You can use portal like www.campusinteraction.com to short list the candidates. You can use online test to assess how well a student does and infact use video profile to evaluate ones communication skill

Tip 8 : Company-College Collaboration Platforms
Portals such as ours, www.campusinteraction.com, helps you to reach out to company HRs. In our portal, we provide a complete life cycle of campus recruitment from online training to put your college in touch with the college. Here are some of the benefits of using portal such as ours:

  •  Training via online tests including company question papers
  • Excellent reporting module to monitor your student progress
  • Video profile to assess communication skill
  • Career portal having several article on campus interview tips written by industry experts
  • Upload your own online test (or use ours) questions and conduct mock tests
  • Words a day; helping your students to improve vocabulary
  • Video training
  • We reach close to 400 companies a day so there is a good chance you will get a placement through us. You can visit www.campusinteraction.com/ci/campusjobs/ for current jobs

Tip 9 : Employability
According to Nasscom only 25% of Indian Engineering Students are readily employable. Unfortunate, but true. According to Albert Einstein “In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity” (By the way for great quotes check quotedb).

If your students are more employable, Congrats! You are already in the top 25%. That is for every 4 students employed, one of your student will be part of it. It is great position to be in, but how do you get there. The answer is persistence. Many colleges start training their students in final year focusing only on Aptitude, Logical, Group Discussion, Presentation and Face to Face. Yes, these are must, but most colleges do these. Also companies have started to look for more and more employability skills along with traditional skillsets like logical and communication.

Here are some of the examples what companies may be looking for?

  • Does your students know how to write a program in Java or .Net or Android or Objective-C?
  • A manufacturing company may look for candidates, who knows how to operate and understand machineries?
  • Students who apply for sales and marketing know what the latest marketing trends are? Can they use social media effectively to sell? Can they give impressive presentations?

These skills can’t be built in few months. So your placement activities should be focused from year 1 and it has to be continuous and should be measured periodically. Make sure you keep some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and measure student’s progress against this.

Tip 10 : Picking The Right Campus Job
Last but not the least! Picking the right kind of Campus Job ensures you maintain your reputation in the market. Though it will be very difficult to say no to campus placement, if you believe your students are not suitable for a particular job then you are prudent to say no. Companies would greatly respect if you are upfront and most likely to visit you for a job that suits your student. The last thing you want is to agree for every campus jobs and couldn’t get even one student placed. Companies will most certainly avoid any contacts with you as it wastes their time and spoils a HRs reputation and may even affects his job to an extent.

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