Undergraduate College Recruiting – When, Why, and How Companies Recruit on Campus
Veterans - raise your hand if you plan to target large corporations as part of your post-graduation job hunt. Makes sense – many large companies have veteran recruiting programs and have made commitments to hire those who have served. However, counting on corporate good will and intention is not enough to stack the deck in your favor when it comes time to find a job before graduation.
Want to know a secret?
Those same large companies have university recruiting programs with a headcount to fill every year. Most of those jobs will never be advertised on Monster or CareerBuilder or LinkedIn. For some companies, university headcount can be as much as 5-50% of all new hires a company plans to make in a year. For example if a major bank plans to hire 10,000 new employees in 2018 and up to 5,000 of those positions have been set aside to be filled by the university recruiting team, wouldn't you want to know how you can connect with those university recruiters?
Want to know another secret?
University recruiting teams have already determined which colleges they will personally visit. These are colleges they have decided have the quality of candidate they seek. Of the more than 6,000 colleges and universities in the United States, a large company may have selected 20 universities that they will repeatedly visit during campus recruiting season (August to October – late summer and early fall for the next summer).
You may have your heart set on working for Google or Amazon or CVSHealth or Cargill, but if you don't attend one of the 2 dozen or so colleges each of those companies visit in the fall, your chance of connecting with one of their university recruiters is limited.
Want to know a 3rd secret?
Many large companies offer internships to college sophomores and juniors. Many veterans routinely ignore internships because they think (1) they are unpaid, or (2) internships are for "kids with no real work experience to learn how to work". In reality, most large companies offer well paid internships, paying students an average of $16 - $26 per hour depending on the degree they are pursuing, how close they are to graduation, and whether they are a bachelor’s or master’s degree candidates.
Veterans should view internships as a way to "test drive" an organization and learn about company culture and processes and assess various career paths inside a company. It is also a great way to get direct mentoring and guidance from current employees on additional classes to take or certifications to pursue to improve your chances of being hired. Most importantly, accepting an internship significantly improves your chances of getting a job offer before graduation. According to a member survey by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), employers report that they convert almost 52% of all interns into full time hires, and that conversion jumps to 90% for students who do a second internship with the same company (i.e., doing an internship after sophomore and junior years).
So, what is the single most important thing you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your chances of having a job lined up at graduation? Especially if you aren’t at one of the campuses that your target employers visit each year? Participate in a program called Student Veteran Career Conference.
Student Veterans of America has partnered with The Value Of a Veteran to connect you to corporate university recruiters who are recruiting service members for full time employment and paid internships. Student Veteran Career Conference (SVCC) is a series of 7 regional career fairs in the Fall and a student database and internship/job board. These career conferences, and job board registrations, are offered at no cost to student veterans. Companies invest directly in these events to find great candidates.
Physical career events are all on Saturdays from 11 am – 3 pm in the following cities:
Currently participating employers include: Aetna, Amazon, AQR Capital Management, Aramark, BGIS, Booz Allen, Chewy, CommScope, Deloitte, Enterprise Holdings, Koch Industries, McAffee, Nielsen, Northrop Grumman, OUC (Orlando Utilities Company), Palo Alto Networks, PwC, Quicken Loans, TD Bank, Texas Instruments, T-Mobile, Travelers, United Airlines, Wells Fargo and Willis Towers Watson.
New employers are added weekly, and they decide which events to attend in part based on how many student veterans are pre-registered. The most current list can be found at http://studentveterancareerconference.com/participating-employers/.
Students should create a profile (https://studentveterancareerconference.jobboard.io/profiles/sign_up) and upload a resume if they have one (not required). Once a student has created a profile, they can see and apply for internship and job opportunities offered by the employers, as well as see any information the employer wants to share about their company and the skills/degrees they seek. Additionally, the employers are searching student profiles weekly and may reach out directly with opportunities that fit your degree program. Many companies recruit students year round, but with an emphasis in the early fall semester, so any time is a good time to create a profile, and Freshman year is not too early.
Full details at http://studentveterancareerconference.com/student_faqs/ .