University career services centers often team up with local businesses. This partnership is beneficial for recruiters — it gives them a chance to find and hire talented students, increase their brand visibility and network with alumni on campus. Here’s how recruiters can make the most of their relationship with career services departments to find new talent.

Build a Rapport With Career Services

The first step toward benefiting from career services is to establish a good relationship with the department’s staff. Recruiters can attend networking events organized by career services to get to know them, making face-to-face introductions and creating a good first impression. They can also schedule formal or informal meetings with career services to understand their goals and the needs of their students.

Establish an On-Campus Presence

Once recruiters develop a friendly relationship with the university, they should participate in campus events through the career services department. Career fairs — where recruiters describe their organization and disseminate information to students about working there — are a great way to pique interest.

Talent specialists can put on presentations about their company to help students understand its values, workplace culture and impact on the world. Recruiters can also partner with student clubs or academic departments to build new connections on campus.

Provide Useful Resources

Recruiters can offer workshops on industry-specific skills, interview tips, professional development or job search techniques via a school’s career services department. Other resources students may find useful include specific job descriptions and salary insights. After attracting an audience, talent specialists can use the opportunity to share information about their organization and any available positions.

Create Online Content

Another way to build a good rapport — and help students learn more about the enterprise — is to create custom content for a career center’s social media page. For example, recruiters can write blog posts detailing why working for their brand is fulfilling.

Online content can include pictures from previous career expos, company community service events or day-to-day operations on the job. Recruiters can write fun facts about their business or feature short biographies showcasing student interns.

Offer Educational Opportunities

An organization’s recruiting department can offer internships or mentorships for students to participate in through career services. These programs offer practical experience related to their chosen major. Businesses that create internships should take the lead on designing and implementing them.

Invite Alums to Participate

Talent acquisition specialists should invite university alums to join them on campus. They can explain how their own path led them to work for the company, emphasizing how their degree made them a perfect fit for the job. It gives students a tangible example of how they could apply their education in the real world. Many also feel less pressure when approaching a graduate compared to a professional recruiter.

Keep It Casual

Some students find formal recruitment booths intimidating or even unapproachable. In response, many recruiters have changed their tactics to convey a more welcoming nature.

Google recruiters have, in the past, sponsored the Google Games — a day of friendly competition over video games, puzzles and LEGO-building challenges. The thrill of a good contest seems to be a great incentive for students to join in.

Other recruiters host cocktail hour, coffee chats, pizza parties, programming contests and even treasure hunts to encourage students to learn more about their company. In addition to putting students at ease, these events also help recruiters parse out the most talented candidates for an interview.

Give Out Free Items

Passive candidates — people who aren’t actively looking for a job — comprise 70% of the workforce. How can recruiters catch their eye?

One tried-and-true method of getting people to visit a recruiter’s booth is to distribute free handouts. Coffee and baked goods are classics for a reason, but students also appreciate water bottles, pens, drawstring bags and free USB drives to use during the school year. Even in bulk, these items are affordable enough that giving them out for free won’t break the bank.

Share Job Opportunities

One of the most effective ways to recruit students is by sharing current job openings with them. Many want to start working in their chosen field before graduation, so giving them a list of available positions — as well as the required skills, experience level or degree necessary for the job — can entice them to apply immediately.

Show Appreciation 

It’s good form for recruiters to thank the career services department for collaborating with them. They can express their gratitude with thank-you emails, notes or formal appreciation events.

Highlighting successful stories about students who went on to work for the brand is another great way to show appreciation. It emphasizes the importance of the school’s support while also proving the recruitment process works, encouraging the university to stay partnered with the business.

A Synergistic Partnership

By teaming up with career services, recruiters can meet talented students who could one day become invaluable team members. Talent acquisition specialists should work to build strong relationships with students, career services departments and university alums. Eventually, even small efforts could pay big dividends.

Devin Partida

Devin Partida is a business technology and talent recruitment writer. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of