Expert Interview with Steven Rothberg on College Recruiting

By Cheryl Morgan

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College recruiting

As the president of College Recruiter, a job board for college students, Steven Rothberg is an expert on finding the best and brightest among the new entries to the job market. He spoke with us about finding the right candidates - and more importantly, finding them the right way.

Many view social media as the best place to find younger workers. Is that the case?

Social media is a good place to engage with younger workers, but the data shows that it is also one of the highest costs-per-hire amongst all sourcing options. In short, I believe that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are great tools to engage potential candidates; but it is very difficult to get those same candidates to apply to a job unless the social media strategy is accompanied by a lead generation strategy such as job posting ads, on-campus interviewing, and career fairs.


What misconceptions do recruiters have about social media?

Many recruiters view social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as being merely a public relations platform where they blast out information about job openings, and then miraculously their ideal candidates will click, apply, and be hired. If the process was that simple, employers wouldn't need to employ recruiters.


How do you recommend using social media to tap a college's pool of potential candidates? What's a good place to start and why?

First, employers need to understand that LinkedIn is much more of a job board than it is a social media site, so it shouldn't be considered a part of their social media strategy. Second, employers need to have a measurable goal for their social media strategy. They need to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy just like they would evaluate the effectiveness of recruiting at a specific school, posting opportunities to a specific job board, etc. If the goal is to improve the employer's brand amongst chemical engineering students at 12 schools, then define how you're going to measure the brand, what the measurement should be (such as strong favorability rating by at least 60 percent of juniors and seniors), measure the brand before and after the campaign, and then make the necessary adjustments.


When looking for college grads for a job, is social media the cornerstone or just one part of the recruiting plan?

No one sourcing tactic is the cornerstone of any successful campus recruiting program. It is better to think of social media along with other tools as arrows in a quiver. You can't successfully hunt with one arrow. You need many. Some will hit their mark and some won't.


What social networks are best to be on for recruiting purposes, and why?

Twitter is probably the best for most organizations, as its use is widespread, commercial use is accepted, and it takes little time to learn and successfully implement. Facebook is more problematic as many view it is being a personal rather than career space, so recruiters who contact candidates via Facebook are often thought of negatively. And waiting for candidates to contact recruiters on Facebook is going to create a lot of recruiters waiting for a whole long period of time -since that rarely, rarely happens.

For the latest in social hiring and finding the right candidates, follow College Recruiter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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