Campus Recruiting Strategy  

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Campus Recruiting in Oregon

Campus Recruiting in Oregon

In today’s competitive job market, small businesses in Oregon face unique challenges when it comes to finding and retaining top talent. One often overlooked but highly effective strategy is campus recruiting. By tapping into the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas of recent graduates, small businesses can not only fill immediate job openings but also build a pipeline of future leaders.

At a glace

Small businesses in Oregon can greatly benefit from campus recruiting by accessing fresh talent, reducing hiring costs, and building their brand. To create an effective strategy, businesses should identify their needs, build relationships with career services, develop internship programs, participate in career fairs, and leverage online platforms. Oregon boasts top schools like the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Portland State University, as well as often overlooked institutions such as Willamette University, Southern Oregon University, and the University of Portland. Resources like the Oregon Association of Colleges and Employers and Handshake can aid in this process.

Benefits of Campus Recruiting for Small Businesses

  • Access to Emerging Talent: Colleges and universities are breeding grounds for the next generation of professionals. These students are often well-versed in the latest industry trends and technologies, bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm to your business.
  • Cost-Effective Hiring: Campus recruiting can be more cost-effective than traditional hiring methods. Job fairs, internships, and campus partnerships often come with lower costs compared to recruitment agencies or online job boards.
  • Brand Building: Establishing a presence on college campuses helps build your brand among future job seekers. By participating in career fairs, sponsoring student organizations, or offering internships, you can increase your visibility and attractiveness as an employer.
  • Diverse Perspectives: Colleges attract students from various backgrounds and regions. By recruiting on campuses, you can enhance the diversity of your workforce, which has been shown to drive innovation and business performance.

Building a Campus Recruiting Strategy

  • Identify Your Needs: Determine the skills and attributes you are looking for in candidates. This will help you target the right schools and programs.
  • Build Relationships with Career Services: Connect with career services offices at local colleges and universities. They can provide valuable insights into the best ways to engage with students and promote your opportunities.
  • Develop Internship Programs: Internships are a great way to assess potential hires and give students practical experience. Design your internship programs to be mutually beneficial, offering meaningful work and learning opportunities.
  • Participate in Career Fairs: Attend job fairs and career events to meet a large number of students in a short period. Make sure to have a compelling booth, informative materials, and engaging representatives.
  • Leverage Alumni Networks: Alumni can be powerful ambassadors for your company. Engage with alumni associations to connect with graduates who are already familiar with your business or industry.
  • Utilize Online Platforms: Many colleges use platforms like Handshake to connect students with employers. Make sure your job postings are detailed and highlight what makes your company a great place to work.

Top Schools in Oregon for Campus Recruiting

University of Oregon (UO)

Known for its strong programs in business, journalism, and environmental science, UO provides a diverse pool of talented students. The Lundquist College of Business and the School of Journalism and Communication are particularly noted for producing high-caliber graduates.

Oregon State University (OSU)

OSU is renowned for its engineering, agriculture, and forestry programs. The university’s strong emphasis on research and innovation makes it an excellent source of technically skilled candidates.

Portland State University (PSU)

Located in the heart of Portland, PSU has strong ties to the local business community. Its School of Business and Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science are key programs for recruiters.

Often Overlooked Gems

Willamette University

With a strong liberal arts curriculum and a reputable MBA program, Willamette produces well-rounded graduates who are critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Southern Oregon University (SOU)

SOU offers strong programs in business, education, and the arts. Its focus on sustainability and community engagement aligns well with many small business values.

University of Portland (UP)

UP’s School of Nursing and Pamplin School of Business provide a wealth of talent, especially in healthcare management and business administration.

Resources for Campus Recruiting in Oregon

  • Oregon Association of Colleges and Employers (OACE): A valuable network for connecting employers with career services professionals across Oregon.
  • Oregon State Chamber of Commerce: Provides resources and events to help small businesses connect with local talent.
  • Handshakes: An online platform used by many Oregon schools to connect students with potential employers.

Attracting New Candidates

Attracting students to cities beyond the major urban centers in Oregon involves highlighting the unique benefits and opportunities available in these areas. Emphasize the lower cost of living, tight-knit community feel, and potential for a higher quality of life compared to larger cities. Promote the availability of meaningful career opportunities, professional growth, and the chance to make a significant impact in a smaller market.

Additionally, showcase any partnerships with local colleges, the presence of local amenities, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities that these cities offer. By presenting a well-rounded picture of life and work in these locations, you can appeal to students seeking both career advancement and a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

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FAQ about campus hiring in


Q: How do I start a campus recruiting program?

A: Begin by identifying your hiring needs and targeting schools with relevant programs. Connect with career services offices, participate in job fairs, and develop internship programs to start building relationships with students.

Q: What are the costs associated with campus recruiting?

A: Costs can vary but generally include fees for job fairs, marketing materials, travel, and potentially sponsorships of student organizations or events. However, these are often lower than traditional recruiting methods.

Q: How can I make my company attractive to recent graduates?

A: Highlight opportunities for growth, learning, and impact. Emphasize your company culture, any flexible work arrangements, and benefits like mentorship programs and professional development.

Q: What if I can’t attend job fairs in person?

A: Utilize virtual career fairs and online recruiting platforms like Handshake. You can also host webinars, virtual info sessions, and leverage social media to engage with students.

Q: How do I measure the success of my campus recruiting efforts?

A: Track metrics such as the number of applications received, interviews conducted, and hires made. Also, gather feedback from interns and new hires to refine your strategy.

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