Gone are the days when you can rent a classroom and present slides detailing why students should work for your organization. This style of information session was wildly popular in the past when technology was less frequently used for job searching. Today, students prioritize their time by attending class, working part-time jobs and engaging in extracurricular activities; meanwhile, they search for internships and employment online.
The good news? Students still value a personal, face-to-face connection, when given a reason to show up. We have found that the most successful information sessions are those that involve an activity or application to real-life. For example, a recent NACE article highlighted an information session hosted by Okta. During this event, Okta chose not to focus on their organization, but rather the product management industry itself. During the Q&A at the end of the session, presenters were then able to craft their answers in a way that focused on the organization and what makes it stand out.
Other worthwhile information sessions are those held in partnership with student organizations and clubs. At ASU, there are more than 1,000 student clubs, many of which are professional student organizations. If you have a novel idea or interesting problem to solve, connect with an organization to learn how to engage members in the project or join an event they are already hosting.
Another helpful tip for information session success is to maximize the time you dedicate to recruiting on campus. Attending a career fair or event? Hold an information session on the evening following your event and invite students you meet at the fair.
If your session is not tied to a fair or other event, create excitement by hosting a tabling session during the morning of your session. This gives you the opportunity to personally invite students to attend later that evening. Finally, you can schedule on campus interviews or coffee chats the next day to get to know candidates better. Coupling recruiting activities serves to both increase excitement about your current events in the short-term, but also builds lasting brand awareness about your organization on campus.
When visiting ASU this Fall, Adidas put these pieces of advice into practice. They hosted an engaging information session about their robust internship program, featuring a panel of participants who were able to share their individual experiences working for the company. This was followed by an invite-only dinner that evening off-campus and a group interview session in the Career and Professional Development Services office the next day. Check-out the recorded and live streamed innovative information session:
In short, the visit was an overwhelming success with over 40 attendees at the info session and a large portion of those invited attending the group interview.
Following these simple but effective strategies for in-person recruiting on campus can help to ensure your next series of engagements at ASU are successful as well.