In a tight labor market, anything that can help get your brand in front of potential employees can be a great help.
As winter eases into spring, apartment firms have begun to head back to school in search of headcount.
“February and March seem to be key months for on-campus career fairs because students are preparing for spring graduations and summer internships,” says Sarah Levine, Director of Workforce Development for NAA Education Institute.
In the old days, simply registering, showing up on campus and setting up a booth might have been enough for recruiting companies who wished to reach students.
Gone are the days of creating an employer account on each school’s career portal, which allowed companies to post your position and register for career fairs, says Jamie Preski, PHR, SHRM-CP, Recruiting Manager for Equity Residential.
Equity will continue to have a presence at career fairs for schools with property management and hospitality programs. However, it also joined Handshake, an online career network that connects more than 200,000 employers with more than 8 million students from 475 schools. Preski calls it a Linkedin for college students.
“Handshake brings together those who choose to be part of the network,” Preski says. “Students can reach a wider range of employers and employers can reach a wider range of students. We can target real estate majors and hospitality majors. We can send messages to students and plan events and establish a presence on campus before we even get there.”
While Handshake can serve as a great specialized tool to reach students, conventional social media is also a valuable way to reach new associates.
“Within today’s talent market, a lot of conversations that were in person are now happening online,” says Latoya Forde, Talent Acquisition Manager for WinnCompanies. “We have made a concerted effort to harness the power of social media and social recruiting and building up our capabilities to support that.”
Three years ago, WinnResidential formed a centralized recruiting group called the Talent Acquisition Group. One focus for this group is reaching out to college students online. Another is encouraging its current associates to be an extension of the company’s brand.
“It personalizes us as an employer and helps us to show candidates what it is like to work for us,” Forde says. “We also had a social media competition that asked our employees nationally why they work with Winn. We are working with partners to amplify our social media presence.”
At Village Green, the company goes beyond social channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, to communicate what is happening within their ranks. Village Green encourages employees to get involved in the process: Posting videos on YouTube and on their personal social media channels that promote the company is encouraged.
“We use the Glassdoor recruiting channel to create a greater connection with our brand,” says Diane Batayeh, CEO of Village Green. “Personally, I enjoy that we use our own social media channels where our people show prospective new employees what ‘Life in the Green’ is like. It shows the best of what Village Green represents.”