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How to Hire Quality Engineers through Campus Recruitment

Published: October 12, 2016 In: Recruitment Best Practices

Have you heard of the phenomenon called, “unusually empty talent pool”? Who am I kidding - we can all relate to it. Campus recruitment season is here, and all you can think of is making sure you cover the best colleges first, so you don’t have to pick from the leftovers.

Doesn’t it almost feel like you are planning for a NASA mission? The difference is you are talking about getting the best slot, cutting down on expenses, which hotel to stay at, how many are you sending and where to. No wonder why every time we plan on executing campus recruitment, we panic. But it’s not the system we must blame; it is ourselves we must blame.

990 Hours - Blame your Interview Process

I was reading a Forbes article the other day; the article said it takes about 990 hours to hire 12 engineers! You think that’s ridiculous, don’t you? But I think, that’s kind of investment a company must put into hiring engineers. Not the time spent, I’m saying you must look deeper into the candidates - not just through aptitude tests.

Here’s what we usually do:

    1. Allot insane amount of budget for campus recruitment
    2. Send in resources to go to universities (expenses)
    3. Take OMR sheets, book hotel, travel time and food (more expenses)
    4. Go to college; first two rounds will take until afternoon (time wasted)
    5. Last two rounds will take about four more hours (energy wasted)
    6. You’ll announce the winners at 10 PM or the next day (I pity you and the students)

Those poor souls would have waited all day eagerly to be selected. You would have definitely heard this, “I don’t feel bad about not being chosen, I feel sad I wasted all my day on this.” Not to forget, you have also wasted your entire day talking to sulking, dimwit candidates to only to find a handful of good ones.

It really doesn’t have to be that way. You certainly have heard of video interviews, haven’t you?

Dropouts & Poor Hires - Blame Your Flawed Tests

You hire close to 40 - 50 engineers, but at the end of three months, you’ll be left with 12 good hires candidates at most. Why? Because when you were hiring, you concentrated on aptitude tests - not on the behavioral fitment, communication skills or passion.

Though aptitude tests help gauge cognitive skills to an extent, it’s scope is narrow and the questions are rudimentary. Campus recruits are mostly freshers, you cannot hire based on experience as they hardly have any experience. What you need to hire for are latent skills. And for that aptitude tests aren’t enough.

What you need to see in a candidate is whether they have the required communication skills, passion for the roles and behavioral competencies like design thinking, leadership potential and the capacity to work as a team player.

Thanks to technology all of these can be gauged over a simple video interview.  You can let candidates take these interviews before you visit the campus from their smartphones with no concerns of cheating or impersonation. And when you are on campus, you meet the best ones before any other employer does. No more sulking, dimwit candidates!

Start revamping your campus recruitment practices right away. No, it isn’t going to upset anything. No, it’s not going to take much time to align it the right away. This way you don’t miss out on hiring excellent candidates. You don’t miss out recruiting from great universities, and you don’t spend an insane amount of money. Win-win situation, don’t you think?

I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Talk to our sales team today. (It’s free by the way)

Passive Hiring: How to Hire Tech candidates

Tech talent is notoriously hard to find and all the more hard to hire. The “best and the brightest” already have jobs, you should always strive to hire potential superstars; it's all in the chance that you give someone to prove themselves. Tech skills are in high demand and low supply; it is suspected that by 2020, there will be more than one million unfilled programming jobs. Along with shortage of talent, difficulty in accurately finding tech candidates is what's creating this gap.

Reducing the Overwhelming Gap

So to speak, there are lots of tech applicants who are unemployed, but they are all scattered across geography and ‘unavailable’ to you. Scarcity of the talent is only if you confine your search to one particular location.

Going by traditional methods, you are probably looking at arranging referral drives, walk-ins or advertising on social networking sites and job boards. But these are not enough, and asking someone who stays 30 km away from your office premises to come in for preliminary round of interview is unfair.

A better practice would be to inculcate digitized or virtual walk-ins wherein candidates are provided with a link where they can attend the interview anytime & anywhere before the link expires.

Are you worried about fraudsters who look up answers over the internet? With fraud detection extinctions and video recording of the entire assessment, these assessments can be cheat-proof. That would mean three things for you:

    1. More quality candidates to choose from

    2. No headaches of assigning resources to handle the bulk candidates pooling into the office premises, and

    3. You are now in the candidate's list of 'best employers' for the convenience you have provided

That covers major part of screening bulk candidates, it also means that you now have lot of 'superstars' that I mentioned earlier, selecting them is the task ahead of you.

Subject matter experts in this domain can be consulted or you can prepare these questions in-house. Now, set up one of these online, recorded, cheat-proof, video assessments in the form of MCQs or code evaluation tests as per your need.

Next, set up panelists to evaluate the answers and you are now a little short of finding superstars.

Now that the candidates are shortlisted, you need to find out if they are a good cultural fit in your company. Leverage one of the easy interviewing solutions out there. Introduce recorded behavioral skill tests, push for analytics to the interview process so that it computes all the traits and flag the good ones.

Et voilà! You now have your all star tech new hire ready for the on-boarding process.

I suddenly feel like the teacher we had in primary school who always asked, “what did we learn today?” After writing this article, I think, I’d say -

    1. Implement online video interviews as it offers convenience to candidates and panelists.

    2. Evaluating candidates is much easier for over this platform as tech hiring involves multiple evaluation.

    3. Time taken to hire these candidates would cut back considerably due to reduction in rescheduling and travel.

[CASE STUDY] See how MuSigma screened 3860 candidates from colleges at US, while the recruitement team was stationed in India.

Tags: Recruitment Best Practices, Campus Recruitment

Written by: Mark Samuel

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