Many topnotch UR programs have both the backing of C-level executives (direct reports to the CEO) and an executive presence on campus that reinforces the recruiting effort. With “skin in the game”, senior leaders have reason to help achieve recruiting success. These firms have discovered how to navigate the time commitment in order to effectively use the talent of their most senior executives.
CSP has worked with firms across many industries — finance, professional services (accounting and consulting), aerospace/defense, as well as manufacturers, and has developed a Campus Executive Program (CEP) tailored by our consultants for each client. The CEP judiciously includes high-level executives in the plan. CSP matches senior executive availability and interests – business and personal, with campus needs to maximize their impact. A CEP can also provide the UR program with documentation to underscore these methods and training for executives to be successful.
Using top executives effectively in the UR program provides visibility, distinguishes the company among key university notables, helps reinforce the brand and sends the message that the company’s leaders are committed to their employees and the university, Here are just a few tips from the CSP Campus Exec Program for you to use in your UR efforts:
- Start with an endorsement from your the top executive and involve him or her in the process of developing a campus executive program
- Create a titled position such as “campus executive” (CE) to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the institution and provide a direct liaison with the school’s top leadership.
- Assign colleges strategically, where CE involvement will have the greatest effect. CEs must feel they make a difference to justify their time
- Match CEs to their alma mater, where possible:
- Analyze hiring needs and assign geographically, based on interest and practicality
- Correlate business needs with academic program strengths, the CE’s expertise and/or interest
- Select schools where the greatest student talent is for your company by examining current priority business hiring needs; assign CEs accordingly
- Develop a CE job description with brief, clear expectations of time, effort and specific activities; most importantly – train CEs on their roles and your expectations
- Do the legwork and suggest participation wisely. Arrange an initial meeting on campus for CEs to meet with university VIPs: deans, presidents, provosts, chancellors, department heads, key faculty, and influential alumni
- Set up follow up lunches, dinners, student club events, and meetings
- Learn about committees, boards, advisory groups; alumni chapter speaking opportunities and other campus activities for CE participation
- Guide the CE to lead the company’s philanthropic support
- Make personal introductions to further the relationship including involvement in the company internship program
- Facilitate contact with your best prospects who receive offers to help close the deal
- Make it easy for your CEs by creating templates for thank you notes; congratulatory emails; or communication to alert prospects of upcoming firm events – all to deepen your firm’s university relationship
- Demonstrate the results of the campus executive program to your firm’s leaders:
- Produce monthly hiring reports showing results measured against the plan
- Compare results to prior efforts that did not include CE involvement
- Distribute the analyzed results to leaders throughout the organization to encourage growth of your campus executive program. This can instill competition within the organization to spur excitement, boost efforts and improve outcomes.
CSP has many more good ideas, which can be customized to creatively involve senior executives in your UR program.