Rewarding Employees for College Recruiting Goals

Most organizations utilize other employees in addition to HR for their on-campus recruiting efforts. They recognize that students want to spend time talking with people who do the jobs for which the students are being interviewed. With the pressure on to make hiring decisions and offers quickly, often the most efficient way to speed the process is to bring the hiring managers on-campus as early as possible. But how to you tap into that already busy and taxed talent pool? The answer for many companies is to make it part of their performance management and compensation systems. If your company has decided that recruiting top collegiate talent is a high priority, you have to align your rewards systems with that goal. This means creating incentives and rewards for employees not only to participate, but also to achieve. Campus recruiting is a very demanding process and employees who receive rewards or recognition for their efforts are more likely to continue their participation and help the company achieve its recruiting goals. There are three ways to create incentives and rewards for your employees: your performance management system, your compensation system, and recognition that leads to increased opportunities. Performance Management Employees pay the most attention to the goals which are set forth in performance management. There is a certain power to writing down the goals and linking them to later compensation. A well-designed performance management system can greatly increase employee performance. Some firms are recognizing that goals in addition to those directly related to the job should be included in performance management. For example, some firms include completion of an advanced degree or attainment of a new skill as performance goals. It stands to reason, therefore, that if this employee is part of your college recruiting effort, your should include college recruiting tasks as part of their performance goals. These goals would include more than just conducting interviews. Participating in on-campus recruiting efforts includes events such as career fairs, presentations, and in-class guest speaking. Some companies also include tasks such as building relationships with students or student organizations, acting as a mentor to candidates, or building a rapport with professors. These types of activities help achieve both long- and short-term recruiting goals. In order to establish your company as an employer of choice on campus, your employee must participate in events beyond the traditional recruiting venue. They are the face of the company on campus all year round. Creating room in your performance management system will tell your employees how important your college recruiting efforts are to the organization. Compensation Of course, the reason that most performance management systems have so much power to shape employee behavior is that they are tied to, or perceived to be tied to, compensation. You want your performance management system and compensation systems in alignment, which means you are rewarding employees for achieving goals set forth in performance management. This is also true for participating in college recruiting. Some organizations add to base salary, while others choose more variable types of pay for college recruiting. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> Choosing variable pay has many benefits, particularly in creating incentives and rewards for college recruiting. In addition to reducing your fixed costs, variable pay is more easily tied to level of performance. You may want to increase base salary a small amount for taking on the responsibility of college recruiting, and then tie incentives to achieving certain measurable recruiting goals. For example, an increase of small percentage in salary for the additional responsibility, but additional bonuses for number of students hired, relationships established with professors, participating in on-campus activities outside of interviewing, or leading a team of representatives to a campus. This approach to compensation creates an incentive for specific behaviors and commits money only for specific results. Non-cash rewards A second and most often used incentive is not related to cash but rather to recognition and advancement. Some organizations whose corporate cultures are vested heavily in college recruiting build participating into their recognition and promotion systems. It might be a simple as exposure to high level executives who participate in recruiting. Through this relationship, employees can demonstrate their value to these executives, which is a non-tangible but important reward. Other companies include participation in college recruiting as a consideration when promoting employees. Those who participate have a greater chance of promotion–provided their performance in other job tasks are equal to those with whom they are competing for promotion. Finally, other companies use public recognition through newsletters and company awards to demonstrate which employees have contributing to the college recruiting effort. All kinds of employees are needed to make college recruiting a successful part of your recruiting platform. Recognizing that employees are busy and providing them with rewards for contributing to college recruiting accomplishes several goals. It integrates college recruiting as an important goal into your system and culture. It provides incentives for specific behaviors and rewards for specific goals. And it gives employee another opportunity to excel in your company and to use a different skill set to help the company achieve its goals.

Article Continues Below

Maggie Ruvoldt ( runs, a website devoted to helping students and employers find each other and to maximizing the internship and entry-level job experience for both. Ms. Ruvoldt also consults for organizations developing college recruiting and internship programs. Ms. Ruvoldt is also working towards completing the Masters Program in Human Resource Management at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. More information about her work, consulting services, and job listings can be found at


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *