4 Easy Steps to Building Your University Recruiting Program

For growing software companies, establishing an internship program and recruiting recent grads from top universities can be one of the best (and most economical) ways to build out competitive teams.

University recruiting programs are a great way to attract top intern and entry-level talent to your company. They can also be instrumental in creating brand awareness around your company and product so that when students, recent grads, or alums are looking for a new opportunity, they think of you.
The best part is that while building a university recruiting program may seem daunting at first, by following these four easy steps your company can start seeing results in no time!

4 Steps to Establishing Your Own University Recruiting Program

1) Appoint An Owner

The first step is to appoint someone on your team to own the program. This person will be responsible for creating, implementing, and managing the program. The key here is establishing good account management — this person should be the point of contact for all universities, the gatekeeper for all intern and career fair requests, and the go-to for any and all questions (both internal and external) about the program.
By having one point of contact the program will come together in a more cohesive way and the process will remain more streamlined.

2) Connect with Targeted Universities

Chances are, you likely know which colleges and universities in your area you want to target. If not, there are many helpful resources, including U.S News Education’s list of top colleges, which allows you to sort by state, region, enrollment, tuition, and major to find schools that may have the type of candidates you are looking for.
After the university recruiting owner has compiled a list of target universities, he or she should create an account on each of their job portals, sign up for a mailing list, and contact a representative in career services to get acquainted. Doing this work up front will streamline the job posting process and ensure you are always notified about events on campus and career fairs.
For more information on building productive relationships with universities, take a look at this blog post.

3) Stay Active On Campus

The university recruiting owner should remain informed about upcoming events on campus. Career services at universities typically host career fairs every semester along with panel events, mock interviews, and company presentations.
It is always good practice to attend career fairs when you have openings for interns or entry-level candidates. For best practices around attending career fairs, read this this post.
Additionally, company presentations and mock interviews are usually free to participate in and not a huge time commitment. Even If there are no open positions at the time, this can be a great way to stay top of mind with students and career services representatives.

4) Convert Exiting Interns to Brand Ambassadors

Don’t simply cut ties with exiting interns. Employ them as brand ambassadors on campus. As a brand ambassador they will be tasked with creating brand awareness and ensuring their peers know about your company. Brand ambassadors are typically compensated with a small stipend for the semester if they hit certain goals.
Potential goals can include:

  • Sign up X number of students to receive your company newsletter.
  • Get X number of students to attend your company presentation.
  • Present their experience with your company to X number of classes.
  • Refer X number of students to visit your booth at the career fair.

Announcing OpenView’s University Recruiting Program

OpenView Labs has been experimenting with an internal university recruiting program for the last year. This quarter we are excited to roll the program out to our portfolio to offer assistance hiring interns and recent grads. Portfolio companies can request an intern for the summer of 2014 using this form and interested students can contact Meghan Maher at [email protected] for more information.
Newsletter signup bottom
Photo by: John Walker

Meghan Maher
Meghan Maher
Senior Talent Manager, Engineering

Meghan Maher is Senior Talent Manager, Engineering, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies. Her tech background has helped OpenView hire for nearly 20 IT and engineering positions. Meghan began her career at AVID Technical Resources, where she was a Technical Recruiter for two years.
You might also like ...
Your Guide To Your First GTM Hire: How To Scale Your Team To Accelerate Growth
Who should be the first go-to-market (GTM) hire at an early startup? This isn’t a new question, to be sure....
by Kyle Poyar
The Fight for Tech Talent Isn't Over—How To Pivot Your Hiring Pitch for the Market
It feels like every other day there’s a new headline about another tech company’s round of layoffs or hiring freeze....
by Steve Melia, Maggie Crean
Your Candidates Want A Great Remote-First Culture. How Are You Creating One?
Before coming to OpenView and in the pre-pandemic times, my role was remote-first. When I told people that I worked...
by Maggie Crean