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How to Hire College Grads

As a little background for this post, I should tell you that in the past few months I have graduated with a computer engineering degree from a good university, drove a startup into the ground, and have just accepted an offer for a “real” job. In these past few months, I have experienced and heard tales of a number of different recruiting techniques, and have developed an appreciation for what works and what does not.

The most important thing is to believe that college recruiting is important. It is important. Making an effort to get good college students not only helps get the best recruits, but will help improve your reputation. With a good reputation, the best candidates come to you. That’s a good thing. Young talent can energize the company in way the best management cannot, and it is a lot cheaper than the best management to boot.

So what can you do to get the best talent to come to your company?

I had a friend that went to Microsoft. He was being used by the MS recruiters for an ad that demonstrated the kind of talent they were pulling in. The ad was going to run in a week, and he had not signed yet. The recruiter asked him what it would take to get him to sign that day, and he said an open tab at his favorite bar for him and his friends. She said yes, and they ran up a $800 bar tab (which is huge in Champaign, IL). $800 is nothing for Microsoft, and they got a top recruit and a ton of good will for their money. Half of the top recruits in that class ended up going to Microsoft.

That’s the kind of recruiting that works. It might seem base to those that have been in the industry a while, but for college students, this is a whole new game, and love is easy to buy.

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